Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yoga Passbook 2011 – Day 5 (World Yoga Center/Best of Upper West)

World Yoga Center 265 W. 72nd Street, NY, NY,

I'm back! I know I have been away from the blog for a while, but it has been quite a whirlwind for me since my last post. I’ve been to Paris and London and back and it was amazing! If you haven't gotten a chance to read my travel blog please check it out at  I was hoping to get some yoga in in London so that I could report back, but alas there was no time. But now I’m back in NY and back to class and ready to share once again.

I’ve actually been back from Europe for a while and I have been trying to find an opening in my schedule to get some yoga in. Ever since I touched down I’ve been running. If it wasn’t one thing it was another. Finally last Monday I finished up a bunch of things that were looming and decided to take myself to yoga on Tuesday. I had a plan for the day.

I was going to head to yoga and then head to Modell’s to get myself a swimsuit because I want to start swimming again to add so maybe I can do a triathlon again. Then I was going to head down to DSW to get a new pair of sneakers and then home. Seemed simple enough.

For my first foray back into yoga after a long break I decided to go to the World Yoga Center. It’s on the Upper West Side and there is a Modell’s right in the area. I had gone to Modell’s in downtown Brooklyn, but their swimsuit selection was slim pickings. Sometimes the same stores in City has more selection than the ones in Brooklyn. That's just the ugly truth of the matter and a whole other blog.

Class that day was at 12:30pm. I left the house in a timely fashion, but I still thought I was going to be late. I missed the train I thought I should have been on to get the upper west side in time so I was under the gun.  By the time I reached 72nd street I couldn't believe I was actually early.  It was a beautiful day in the City so I was glad I traveled so far just for class. It was the best excuse to get out of the house.

World Yoga Center is on 72nd b/w West End Ave. and Broadway.  It's right across the street from Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar.  As I walked down the street toward the studio I saw the big sign for the studio on the North side of the street.  When I got to the door, there was a sandwich board out front with studio information on it.

There is a buzzer next to the outside door to get into the studio.  The studio is up one flight of steps and directly around the corner.  When I walked in and there was a small foyer area and then the one big room that is the center.  For some reason I was expecting this big center because of the name World Yoga, but that's what I get for making assumptions.  Honestly I was really glad it wasn't super big. I really needed cozy today on my first day back in a while.

I was greeted at the desk by Jana who I soon found out was also teaching the class. They had a bowl full of money on the counter for Japan Relief, which I thought was great and the energy of the place was right on point.  As I said I thought I was going to be late, but I actually ended up being 15 minutes early. Jana showed me the bathroom/dressing room and I went back to put down my bag and get ready for class.

When I came out, Jana and I chatted for a while since we were the only people there.  She talked about the style of yoga we were going to practice that day, which was Anusara.  I know I had practiced it before, but I couldn't recall when.  But as long as it wasn't Ashtanga we were in business. LOL!  She told me about the benefit Kirtan for Japan they were having at the studio and I told her that I also play in a Kirtan at Laughing Lotus. I then revieled that I was musician to which she replied, "No wonder you are able to come to class at this time."  LOL. That made me chuckle because then I wondered what she was thinking of me when I walked in. I don't think it was anything bad, but I do often wonder how I come across when I enter new places with new people.  As we were in mid chat, another woman walked in and found a spot in the room.  It looked like it was going to be a class for two which was great!

According to Jana, Anusara yoga classes always start off with a chant. So we opened with a chant and that was really great.  Then we sat in meditation for a moment and then began the series for the day.  I have to tell you it was an amazing class.  I don't really know a whole lot about Anusara yoga to break it down for you so I did a little research.

According to, "Anusara yoga is a school of hatha yoga, which unifies a life-affirming Shiva-Shakti Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment." Also "The vision of Anusara yoga is grounded in a Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness. In this philosophy we take the premise that everything in this world is an embodiment of Supreme Consciousness, which at its essence pulsates with goodness and the highest bliss. All of creation is divinely danced into existence for the simple delight and the play of embodying the Supreme’s own blissful nature." I can get down with that!  LOL!

Now that you have been briefed about the style I'll tell you about the class. First and foremost it was great! I know I said that, but it needs to be said again. Jana is a really attentive teacher and you can tell that she really loves yoga.  She wasn't just mailing it in.  The class was supposed to be a Basics class, but when Jana realized that me and the other women in class had a more advanced practice she kicked it up a notch. That was fine with me. Jana and the other woman in the class happened to have taken teacher training together so they knew each other well.  You could just feel her genuine excitement throughout class. I really appreciated that.

That afternoon class was only an hour and honestly I think that's all I could have done.  I needed to get back to it, but I needed to ease in slowly.  It was a great way for me to get back into my practice.

Me & Jana

Anusara Chant
Namah Shivaya Gurave
Saccidananda Murtaye
Nisprapancaya Shantaya
Niralambaya Tejase

I offer myself to the Light, who is the True Teacher
within and without (the teacher of all teachers),
Who assumes the forms of
Reality, Consciousness and Bliss,
Who is never absent and is full of peace,
Independent in its existence,
It is the vital essence of illumination.

World Yoga Classroom

Note: If you have read the information "About Me" on the side of the page then you know I'm also a musician. Currently I have the Can a Girl Catch a Break? IndieGoGo campaign going to raise funds for my next album.  One of the incentives for donating to the project is yoga with me! I would love to have some of my blog readers by my side while I'm making my album. So check out the IndieGoGo link below and be a part of making the album happen and let's downward dog together!