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Won’t you be my neighbor?

December 20, 2009

 Truthfully, I have not left the nabe since 3:15 on Friday…furthermore, I haven’t really left the house at all with the exception of a few moments very necessarily spent at the laundromat. Yoga could be  a very uncomfortable experience for everyone if Marla runs out of clean skivvies.

Aside from a holiday party that consumed most of my day yesterday, what have I done this weekend? I know you’re just dying of curiosity – not about the Big Love Marathon – but to hear about my experience with Bodhisattva Yoga right here in my own little hood of Park Slope.

Since I landed here in Brooklyn, I’ve been cultivating a fine relationship with this up and come borough.  From the first week, it was clear that if I could just find a job here that I would never leave. That, however, proved to be impossible…and I have to make the trek to Manhattan every week day. That said, on the weekends I try desperately to avoid leaving my beloved borough.

From the inception of yoga madness some year and half ago, I’ve tried only 4 studios in Brooklyn: Park Slope Yoga Center, Devi, Bikram Yoga South Slope, Jaya Wellness…and now, finally Bodhisattva. I hate to say it, but I’ve not been a very good neighbor. Mr. Rogers would have been ashamed.

Saturday seemed like a good day to try out Bodhi’s intermediate class. I arrived with one minute to spare and nearly found myself shut out of the class! I am usually very much a punctual, or even early person but I suppose I’ve become acostumed to Kundalini’s laissez faire method of starting class. They usually never start on time there, and after it finally does start people seem to enter and leave as they see fit. Really, quite a relaxed arrival policy. Thankfully, someone did let me in…and not a minute too soon or I might have found myself marooned on the front steps in a blizzard.

Vivekan ushered me in and took my mat to set it up while I was guided to the back of the establishment to quickly stash my stuff and hear out a breif explanation of the newly found lack of heat in the building. Did I want to stay? They were offering me the cold saturday afternoon off…and did I take it? No. Because I’m a warrior. Perhaps, warrior 2 even.

Class very gradually crept to life with a lot of announcements and apologies for the cold classroom. Vivekan, although I’m sure he was irritated by my near-late arrival, has one of those mannerisms that serves well to condemn people, or announce terminal illness without even rocking the boat. He’s a gentle, “slow no wake,” kinda guy and I admire that. It’s strange, but in a city so thoroughly saturated by yoga culture I have met a great many teachers that I feel do not have a demeanor suitable for mentoring. Believe it or not, your flexibility and history as a dancer does not qualify you to teach yoga.  Maybe it is a good start, but the jury is still out on that.

In my opinion (and true to Bodhisattva’s mission statement) the class was very much an intermediate style vinyasa. Per Vivekan, it was maybe a little bit more robust as to keep us from freezing on the coldest day of the year to date with nary a heater working. All and all, I enjoyed the class. Really, what seems to make or break it for me these days is quality of instruction and ability/willingness to go the extra distance. In a class with 2-10 people there is no reason I can think of that there shouldn’ t be ample correction during class. I’ve had it both ways of course, and it does make all the difference. Vivekan is very much involved in his classes and completely willing and excited to demonstrate. He’s also a compassionate physical correction kinda guy. He massaged the woman next to me’s back…or what ever that weird rubbing that yoga teachers do is called.

After the class ended, and we had all survived the lack of heat (it really wasn’t bad at all-does it help at all to say I was sweating, or is that a given?) Vivekan approached me and invited me to practice with an advanced class he was planning on forming. Now hot damn, mister, don’t you mess with my ego! That’s my soft spot!

You know, Vivken (*blush*), I am looking for a new home studio in the neighborhood. Maybe, um, this could be it…I could bring my puppets, my spare walking shoes, my primary colored sweaters, and fish feed and we could be new yoga buddies.

[Image via: PSU Libraries]

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie B permalink
    December 21, 2009 8:50 pm

    I bet Mr. Rogers did yoga. Look how easily he hikes his foot up there to take off those shoes, I mean he’s got to be at least 60…

  2. Moodle permalink
    December 22, 2009 4:37 pm

    Mr. Rogers has left the neighborhood.

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