Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back on the mat part 3: Laughing Lotus.

After my great experiences at my regular yoga class at the gym and at Jivamukti Yoga School, I was re-geeked about yoga.  I was ready to use the one pass I was saving for a special occasion: my pass to Laughing Lotus.  Why horde the pass? 1) Because it's only good for one class, and 2) all of my favorite teachers trained at Laughing Lotus.  

If so many great teachers are coming out of that place, something awesome is going on there that I needed to experience.  And if I only have one pass, I want to be in the right frame of mind when I throw my mat down in their studio.  I admit it:  I built the place up in my head.  And finally, last week, a co-worker and I decided it was time to get our stretch on there.

We walked in to a very sunlit, very crowded little studio.  There were mats everywhere, and I ended up scrunched over by a wall, crowding the girl next to me.  Apparently all of Manhattan decided to go to the same lunchtime class as us, but, whatever, the place is popular for a reason.

I can't remember the name of the teacher we had, so I scoped out the teacher profiles page on their website.  Not helpful in the least.  Honestly, most of their teachers look exactly the same: they're all beautiful hippie-mamas with long, wavy hair and chatturanga arms. What are they putting in the water at Laughing Lotus?  Even the few male teachers are ridiculously good-looking.  Are you telling me you wouldn't take a bite out of Luke Simon?  Liar. George Clooney minus 20 years plus a whole lotta granola. That's all I'm sayin'.

Anyway, I can't figure out which teacher I had based on the profiles, but she had long, wavy hair, chatturanga arms, and she led class with a voice that sounded more like she was reading spoken-word poetry than giving instructions on where to put what body part.  The class was definitely a different vibe than I'm used to.  It started with everyone sitting around clasping their hands over their heart (as opposed to hands in prayer in front of the heart) listening to the teacher talk about some goddess and protecting yourself and blahblahblah.  I was honestly a little zoned out.  The street noise was annoying.  I felt claustrophobic.  I appreciated that the teacher said "You don't have to believe in the goddess to learn from this story..." but it just didn't jive well with me.

After that we did some stuff where we knelt on our knees crossed our arms in front of us while breathing in.  In a room filled entirely with women, I couldn't help but be totally reminded me of this:

In other words, badass.  But then we had to violently bend over and uncross our arms while exhaling.  And then repeat the whole thing over and over.  So basically we were thrashing around breathing in and out, and I was confused by the whole thing.  

After that, we went into the yoga flow, which was pretty awesome.  Our hippie-mama teacher threw in some hippie-mama moves like going from Warrior 1 

to Warrior 2

by tossing your arms and head back so your hair and arms swing wildly around.  Turning into a man mid-pose was totally optional.

The flow was good, but I was distracted by a couple of things.  1) The teacher gives instruction, but doesn't show you what to do, so it's easy to be totally lost if you're new to the studio.  2) The girl next to me was pulling some crazy advanced inversion poses every chance she got, and I couldn't help but watch her.  At some points, she was basically balancing her body weight on the palms of her hands and her chin — it was mesmerizing.

At the end of class, the teacher did some chanting.  Not Om Shanti Shanti Shanti chanting, but a more advanced chant that the class didn't really know.  She said it a few times, and then they resonated it back to her a few times.  Hooked on fonics worked for them!

After class, both my coworker and I commented that we didn't really dig the way the instructor didn't really show us what to do and gave no corrections or adjustments.  It was confusing.  And distracting every time I had to look up and search around the room for someone to mimic.  Plus the whole flailing about business was a little weird.  Laughing Lotus might have been a bit too hippie for my liking.  I kept feeling like someone was going to pull out the poi and do some fire dancing while the rest of us played hackey sack and stopped bathing regularly.

All in all, not my scene.  At all.  And I probably won't ever go back.  Unless it's for a class with Luke Simon, in which case, I'll bring the poi, you bring the hackey sack, and lets never bathe again.

1 comment:

  1. Leena, Ever thought about teaming up with someone on this yoga discovery/passbook/nyc adventure. If you're open to the idea, please let me know.