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3 Hour Yoga — ‘Nuff Said

February 8, 2010

My life’s work in yoga has recently hit a fever pitch — two classes a day is just not a novelty any more.  Today, however, ask me why I didn’t even do one class. Go on, ask. Partially I really wanted to do my laundry, because if I don’t do it then paying someone else to costs like $20 and I’m not exaggerating. Oh, right. Well, there is also of course the matter of the 3 hour yoga class I took yesterday, and the soreness in the general area of my body. That tends to be generally discouraging of physical activity.

How I came to find this 3 hour yogic bliss directly was my friend through Bikram NYC, but more indirectly it was through a brief romance with Dharma Mittra at the end of the summer. I very much enjoyed the classes and atmosphere (nag champa incense) but knew that I would never quite fit the mold of a Dharma Mittra follower. Like Jivamukti, they preach veganism and animal rights and since I’m a heartless killer and consumer of animals, I know that the romance would eventually all unravel. At the end of the month/5 classes, I left Dharma Mittra thankful for the experience, but happy none the less for the experiences that awaited me. It was at that time, however, that Robin let me know about this “crazy 3 hour class” that happened at the end of each month.

Clearly, as it is now February, it took me a while to get around to taking this class and while my pectoral muscles may disagree, I am glad I finally did. Robin found Steven Cheng at a New York Health and Racquet, and I’m not surprised that he’s quality…because, well, for what you pay to belong to a NYHR everything should be fan-friggin-tastic. Although he’s teaching health club classes, he’s Dharma Mittra trained, which is extremely rigorous. The 3 hour class is the first Saturday of every month and takes place at BodiBalance — a studio space in Chelsea.

If you think that this 3 hour class is going to be your cookie cutter vinyasa puff pastry experience, then you are in for a rude awakening. Cheng is dedicated to making this experience unique…starting with the extensive time slot.  Stylistically speaking this Dharma-based practice is largely vinyasa, but it has a great emphasis on extremely advanced poses like interesting variations of arm balances and inversions. I’ve never been quite so pretzely in my entire life and I was feeling pretty dang good about it. Before yesterday, I didn’t know there was something called “bat pose” and if you had told me about what I would have to do to get into it I would have laughed in your face. Ok, so I didn’t quite pull it off…but I was sure close.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this whole experience but the BEST part of it was when I left and noticed that I had a voice mail from my father.  He is an avid reader of Rolling Stone magazine recently and (even though they were a little bit late on the breaking news) they published an “expose” on cults and yoga — specifically Dahn Yoga. Um, hello. I already posted about that Dad. Clearly, you’re not reading your fair share of Dharma Chameleon. Anyway, my dear concerned father was just checking in to make sure that I hadn’t become brainwashed or anything. WHAT? It’s just 3 hours of yoga. Seriously, I am still in control.

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