Sunday, January 22, 2012
Ashtanga Yoga @ The Life Centre, Islington
I've been fortunate enough to live near two, well-known and established yoga studios during my time in London: the Iyengar Institute in Maida Vale and now The Life Centre in Islington. And while my previous experience at the Iyengar Institute was a little, erm, overwhelming, it still made me reassess my current yoga practice and I came away with some very helpful corrections/adjustments from the instructor.
So when I attended the Ashtanga Level 1-2 community class at The Life Centre on Friday with Adeline, I went with an open mind - but also with the intention to get my butt kicked. And I did. Have my butt kicked, that is. I still can't lift my arms above my head and the class was on Friday. Like, ow?
While I can't envision myself being able to afford the £13, sometimes £15 per class fee at The Life Centre on a regular basis, the community classes are priced at a more affordable £7 and seemed to be the perfect opportunity for me and Adeline to take a class together in my neighborhood (we took Lauren's class together last time she visited and I took her regular Ashtanga class at Union Yoga when I was in Edinburgh).
The class was taught by Ulric Whyte, whose soothing voice and slower-paced Ashtanga sequences helped calm me as I had been hysterically running around (with poor Adeline in tow) trying to make it to the class on time, after a bus had severely delayed our efforts. But after a few too many vinyasas, I couldn't resist the urge to rest in child's pose and now my triceps are paying the price.
The studio is a incredibly calming, quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle of Angel and Essex Road. Inside, you can't hear any cars or noises from the street interrupting your practice and the wood floors, gentle lighting and warm studio help you focus on your breath and asanas. I was also pleasantly surprised at the size of the class, which was considerably small-medium sized (granted, it was in the middle of a Friday afternoon) and it made me wish I had more free Fridays to take off, just so I could make it to the class again. And despite the multiple chaturangas, the pain made savasana feel ever-so-sweet.