The view from my mat in Brooklyn is a little different from the one in Miami, but let me tell you this – I’m happy to have discovered that yesterday I learned this valuable lesson: You will find your yoga wherever you go.
A couple months back when I threw down my mat in good old NYC I was seriously concerned about how serious the yogis of NY seemed. No joke (obviously), I thought I was going to be scolded for Ommmming too loudly, which is not my vibe.
So as excited as I was to move to Brooklyn and practice in a new place I was a little concerned that I wasn’t going to find the fun-time, goof around, sweaty practice that I’d come to love so much in the MIA. Call me a crazy person, but my life is stressful enough without my yoga teacher bumming me out with a somber tude.
This past Sunday, however, my fears were put to rest when I found a teacher and studio where actual real live, happy, funny, yogis practice… and practice hard. Here’s the story:
After dropping my bags at my new Brooklyn digs and settling in Saturday evening with some local food and booze I decided there was nothing for it but to roll out my mat at the nearest studio Sunday morning. So I cracked open my MindBody Yoga app (download it if you don’t have it) and found that Prana Power Yoga (which I’d heard of, but never practiced at) was one of the closet studios to my new home sweet home. Boom 9am class with Tamara – done.
Let me interject here – I am directionally challenged. I could get lost in a walk in closet. I could get lost in a regular closet. I have gotten lost on an island and I have driven 45 minutes in the wrong direction because, yes, I am sometimes too proud to stop and ask for directions. So I took the fact that I didn’t get lost even once as a good omen.
However as soon as I approached the door (at 8:57am… a little too close to tardy) my heart started racing with the concerns that always run through my head whenever I walk into a new studio:
Do these peeps take off their shoes right inside the space or right outside the actual studio?
Do I sign in now if I’m running late?
Do these peeps have mats I can rent?
Do these peeps have towels I can rent?
Is my teacher going to be funny or really mean and terrifying and ultra dogmatic?
*Open door* Oh no, why are all these ladies wearing shorts? Did I accidentally walk into a Bikram studio?!
Is this? Is that? And what about the other thing?
Prana had me at hello (literally) because as soon as I spoke to the woman at the front desk (incidentally she was also my teacher, Tamara) I felt chilled the fuck out. The worries and concerns and fears of judgement were dropped and I was ready to throw down my mat and practice. Call me crazy but it didn’t feel much different from Green Monkey, my studio back in SoFla.
As we got into the meat and potatoes of class and I found myself rocking flip-dogs (read wild thing) and half-moon variations I knew I had found my Brooklyn safe haven. The fact that Tamara dropped the F bomb just made me love the whole place even more. And when was my heart officially stollen? When she played a song that wasn’t Krishna Das or crystal bowls or crazy gong music at the end of class for savasana. It had lyrics and everything. I was home.
Oh and did I mention I sweat more in that class than I ever have before?! For shiz a plus.
So what do I have to say on my fourth day in my new city? The yoga here isn’t half bad! Can’t wait to return to Prana and keep trying new studios. I’m on an adventure – kicking some yoga butt and taking names!