|Bend & Bloom Yoga, 708 Sackett Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11217|
Wednesday morning I decided to go to the 9:15am Open class at Bend & Bloom in Park Slope. I was still beat down from the other classes I had taken and wasn't too keen on the class being an hour and thirty minutes, but I wanted to get it in for the day and I had wanted to check out Bend & Bloom for a while. So off I went. It was just my luck that when I arrived at the studio I learned that Amy, who was teaching the class, had to take her child to the doctor that day so she decided to cut class to an hour instead of the usual hour and a half! Yes!
Bend & Bloom is called just that because they offer kids yoga, prenatal and postnatal yoga. So they are there for everyone through all phases of life. They have two yoga studios and I was in the bigger of the two for my class that day. The room is pretty big and there are two windows in the room. One is pretty high up and the other is almost like a door or a little porthole on the left side of the room.
As we started the class I knew right away not to get too excited about it being an hour because I felt like we jumped right into thing. It was moving really fast and I could feel my body screaming at me. But I kept moving and breathing through. Usually I'm pretty focused in class and I do a good job with my breathing, but I kept thinking, "My God I need to go back to a basics class for a minute and slow this joint down." When I really started to think about it, I did dive back into yoga full steam ahead this time. When I did my 30 days of yoga last year I took it slow to get back into the groove. Not this time. I really thought I was super yogi! Poses that shouldn't have been a struggle that day were killing me. I know everyday if different when you hit the mat, but wow! I was bending, but I sure wasn't blooming. LOL!
That was one of the longest hours I had spent in yoga up to this point. That class couldn't have ended fast enough. Amy was a great teacher, but I just couldn't get with it that day and I honestly wasn't sure when I would go back. Well as fate would have it, it would be the next day!
[Side Note: Although I used my passbook that day, the 9:15 an Open Flow class led by Amy is a "Pay What You Can" class. So I know with my budget being what it is these days I can go back and check the class again after my passes are finished.]
Thursday was really crazy for me. My liner notes were due (I had started, but I missed the deadline by a long shot) and I had a doctor appointment (and the office was backed up). I can't remember what else I did that day, but I ended up going to yoga in the evening. My original idea was to go to Bodhisattva Yoga Studio in Park Slope for their 7pm Basics class because I needed to rewind this yoga situation for a minute. I hopped on the train and ended up getting there just a little early so they made me wait outside until they were ready to let folks in.
Before getting to the studio I wasn't quite sure if I had been there before, but when I walked up I knew I had. When I was finally let in I was greeted by Jess who was teaching the class. She asked me if I had ever been to the studio before and I said yes. I then dug in my bag and pulled out my passbook. Before I could even open it up to the page she was looking at me, shaking her head no. Oh no, not again. I was reminded of when I tried to use my passbook at Move With Grace and was rejected, but that situation turned out much better than this. Turns out that once you have been to Bodhisattva with the passbook you cannot go back again with it. The passes are for first time visitors ONLY. So my pass was worth squat. Jess asked me if I wanted to stay and pay $18 for the walk-in. What??!!! If I had planned to pay $18 then I wouldn't have bought my passbook. Also...$18! Really? I know there are many studios around that have $18 walk-ins, but it still boggles my mind. I guess that's Park Slope rent for you. I politely told Jess No, Thank You and headed out the door.
So now it's 7pm. I'm in Park Slope and I really want to go to yoga. The only way I'm getting it in that night is if I use the passbook and then I remember Bend & Bloom had a Basics class happening at 7:45pm. They are on Sackett between 4th & 5th Ave in Brooklyn and I was on 9th Street & 7th Ave. So I figured I would just walk over and wait there until it was time for class.
I moseyed over to Bend & Bloom and waited for the 7:45 Basics class to begin. It was in the same room I had been in the day before, but this time the class was packed. Since I had only been to the studio for the first time the day before, I'm not familiar with who the teachers are. When the teacher came in she didn't introduce herself so I just figured it was the usual teacher.
The instructor had us start on the wall with some shoulder stretches, which was really good for me because my left shoulder needs all the stretch it can get. It was kind of intense, but I was with her. Little did I know that that intense feeling was just a precursor for the rest of the class. I swear during class she bent us in so many positions that were just mean (lol) and then somewhere in the middle of class she sort of starts mocking our thoughts. What I mean is, she said, "I know you're all thinking, 'What the hell! This is a basics class?'" HA! That's EXACTLY what I was thinking. I was like damn, I was trying to slow this ship down and you are heating it up for real! She kept saying things about being the sub and then it clicked. Ah hell, this woman is not the regular teacher so she's just doing her own thing. Damn! It was too late. I was deep in it. I can't even remember all the things she had us doing, but I do remember one quite clearly.
She had us move our mats to the wall for the last part of the class. She had us put one blanket, folded in half, on our mat, but lined up against the wall to give our knee some cushion. I might not describe this next part exactly right, but you'll get my point. She then had us put our right knee on the blanket while front of our foot was on the wall. So imagine you are down on one knee about to propose, but instead of your back foot being flat on the ground, your back knee is bent and your foot is up against a wall. Then she has us back in a bit so we are tight in there and then sort of lean forward to get the back bend in there. Yo! I almost cried for real. It was one of the most painful things I have ever done. I know I had done that post before, but that day it was unreal. It proved just how tight my quads are. I mean DAMN that hurt. We were holding on to blocks on the highest level beside us and then she had us put our hands on the free knee, then in the air! What?? I think my hands made it into the air or a hot second. They barely made it off the blocks on the first side and only to my knee on the second side. Although yoga is not about competition I kept thinking, "How are these damn people doing this?" LOL. I mean I could hear the pain in their bodies as well, but they were in there. The energy in the room was intense. By the time we came out of one pose I couldn't believe we were going to have to do it again on the other side! I think by that time I was just mad at the teacher. LOL!
[Side Note: I had to look up the pose so that you could know what I'm talking about. So the Sanskrit name for the pose is Eke Pada Rajakapotasana II or in layman's terms One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II. Check the photos. They make it look so good and easy. lol Ouch!]
At the end of class the teacher told us her name was Lindsay and that she was teaching on Saturday mornings as well. When she finished with her announcements it was all I could do to put my blocks and blankets away. It was all I could do to even roll up my mat. I was spent or should I say bent!
When I got out to the lobby to put on my shoes I think I was the last one to leave. Lindsay was there too to close up. I thanked her for class and it was genuine. I knew my body needed what it got that night, but it was a hard pill to swallow. Lindsay was very sweet. She told me she liked my hat and had spotted it when I came in. That was the night I wore my fedora to class because I don't have a proper fall or winter everyday hat yet and I keep forgetting that I have no hair. I have to say that after class was over and my body was coming back to itself, I felt like I was floating. I really felt sort of high. It was amazing. I hadn't felt anything like that after yoga before that I can remember. I was actually energized. What a trip. I know I just yelled and almost cussed, but I'm going to give Lindsay another chance. :-D