It's been a while since I was as sweaty as I was last night. I'm not sure if it was because the "unheated" studio we were practicing in was probably about 90 degrees, or if it was because the class was 1.5 hours long and was packed to the brim, or if it was because the class was just plain tough, but no matter what the cause, I LOVED it. I was seriously "smiling through the sweat (have to give credit to Sara, my travel, training, and yoga companion who came up with this catchy title)"--and it was great--I felt detoxed, purified, energized, lighter afterward. Jivamukti
was totally different than any other studio experience that I've had thus far in my yoga life, but as always when visiting another studio, I learned a lot and look forward to implementing some of the sequencing that I enjoyed in my own yoga classes. How was my Jivamukti experience different than the classes that I typically go to? Read on...
Sharon and David, the founders of Jivamukti Yoga.
First, there were about 70-80 people in class. Although the room was big, we were packed pretty tight. The instructor wore a microphone while teaching and blasted the music (which I loved, because it was a very eclectic mix), but it was weird because everything she said was so amplified...like the voice of Zeus or God or something. Even when she was correcting something small on an individual student, like "straighten your front leg," it was said in a booming voice into the microphone...so that took some getting used to. But, she also made some funny jokes and kept the atmosphere of the class light, which was fun and unexpected--especially because you could hear her so well. The class started with about 10-15 minutes of chanting (with a harmonium!) and meditation, which was new to me, but which I also really enjoyed (party because we chanted "lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu," a chant that I know, love, and truly believe), and then we went straight into Surya A, no warm up or anything--just jump it back! One of the parts of the class that I most enjoyed was the energy in the room--the energy of all those people doing the exact same poses, with the loud music and the heat, it was a very exciting, powerful feeling. I always feel this when practicing in a large class, but it was definitely amplified at Jivamukti because of the size of the space and the number of students.
Another gorgeous picture...you know how I love partner boat :)
On a separate note, I did find Jivamukti slightly intimidating. Even though I'm a yoga teacher, I still get super-nervous every single time that I go to a new yoga studio, and at Jivamukti this anxiousness was increased by the number of people, the size of the studio, and the lack of information given to us at the front desk. Feeling a bit unsure about what to do and where to go was a great reminder for me as a teacher and studio manager--it is SO important to make new students feel welcome. Sara and I were fine, and the lack of info/direction/introduction didn't effect our overall enjoyment of the visit, but we're also both studio managers so I think that we feel a bit more comfortable in yoga studios in general than the average person. So don't worry, yogis, if you feel nervous when you visit a new studio, I'm here to tell you that it's totally normal! Overall,
if you haven't been to Jivamukti, I highly recommend it. It was a wonderful, enlightening experience and it was unlike any other yoga experience that I've had before. If you've been there, let me know what you think :)
Back to DC tonight after one more day of training and a class at Laughing Lotus