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Posts Tagged ‘Prana Power Yoga’

My new favorite class in Boston is actually at the Prana Power Yoga studio in Cambridge (Central Square). It’s convenient (right in front of the Central Square T-stop) and it’s a Sunday afternoon class.  What better way to wind down your weekend.  It’s the 4:30-6P class taught by Gretchen. Her class had great rythm and flow and was just hard enough to make you sweat but leave you energized.  The class fills up early so I suggest grabbing your spot well before the 4:30 start time.  The nice part is that it’s held in the larger of their two rooms – the other is quite small and clostrophobic. Check her out!

The other reco I have for Sunday’s is Glen’s 2-hr Sadhana class at the Sadhana studio in the South End. Not as warm and not as hard. Generally the same class weekly.  Glen has quite the following so the same goes for this class- get there early.  Class runs 4-6P.  The 2 hours goes by quickly but know that the last 15-20 min is a savasana/seated-meditation.  I’m not a fan of meditating after savasana. I generally find myself wanting to lay right back down and take a nap.  Still a great class I highly recommend.

-Eliza

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Hot yoga can be a messy business. You can’t be afraid of a little or a lot of sweat. But we’ve all heard the tales of people getting sick from communal mats. In fact, the concern at one point seemed to be so widespread that the New York Times covered the story a couple years back.

Communal Yoga Mats: Beware of Germs, by Abby Ellin. “In the last two years, Dr. Cohen said, he has seen a 50 percent spike in patients with athlete’s foot and plantar warts. The likely culprit? Unclean exercise mats, he said…

Research has not confirmed the link between unclean yoga mats and fungal, bacterial and viral infections better known as jock itch, plantar warts and staph infections. Nor can dermatologists and podiatrists conclusively trace these ailments to dirty yoga mats.

Still, some are making unofficial connections.

I must say in the past two years, it seems yoga studios have stepped up they’re cleaning protocol on communal mats. At Jivamukti you put your mat in a laundry bin following class to be washed before the next person uses it- and they’re not even a hot studio. At YogaWorks you also hand your mat back to someone at the front desk, but I honestly don’t know what they do with them once they’re handed over. Most common is the spray bottle solution. Studios like Prana Power Yoga offer spray bottles with cleaning solution but it’s up to the individual to decide how diligent they are going to clean up after themselves. Unfortunately, Prana also offers paper towels…yikes…SO not green. Where can we find compromise? Shiva Shakti in Northampton, MA offers spray bottles with sponges. But I question how much bacteria a sponge can host and transfer from mat to mat? I’m no scientist so I say invest in buying and bringing your own mat! Especially if your studio has mat storage. No one wants to grab that rented mat and have to wonder if it’s wet because it’s been cleaned or because it has been sweat on, ew.

And, I know studios make it a habit to try and clean the floors in between each class but some transitions simply don’t allow enough time to mop the floors before people swarm in. But really, there’s nothing like stepping in a puddle of someone else’s sweat that gets you off on the wrong foot (really, no pun intended).

As for cleaning your own mat, Yoga Journal’s advice is this:

If your mat is lightly soiled, use a spray bottle, damp sponge, or terry cloth rag to apply a solution of two cups of water and four drops of dish soap. Rub the soiled areas. Wipe the mat with clean water; then rub with a dry terry cloth towel. Hang to air dry.

If your mat is heavily soiled, submerge it in a solution of warm water and mild detergent; use very little soap as any residue may cause the mat to become slippery during future use. Thoroughly hand wash the mat and rinse in clean water. After squeezing out the excess water, lay the mat on a dry towel and roll the mat and towel together. Stepping on the rolled up mat will squeeze more moisture out of the mat and into the towel. Then unroll and hang to air dry.”- Donna Raskin

If you’re looking for an even deeper clean, visit the sight of your mat’s maker- often times your mat can handle a trip through the washing machine and even dryer!

Stay clean!

-Eliza

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“Yoga doesn’t want to change you. Yoga just wants you to be happy.”

Hello Om La La readers! I’d like to announce that I am going to start posting a Monday yoga quote each week to get you all off to a good start! Today’s quote comes from Jacqui Bonwell’s Sunday class from Prana Power Yoga in Newton, MA.

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Rebecca Balfe is the new(ish) manager at the New York Prana Power Yoga studio- probably the studio I frequent most often. For any of you Om La La Yoga readers who have also been frequenting the studio you all remember when it was Molly Powers’ and Rolf Gates manning the helm. Now, I’ll keep my comments about Rolf Gates to myself because personally I think he’s full of…well something. In fact, I’ll keep mum on this one because I honestly do respect his cult-like following (although the following is perhaps part of the reason I have a distaste for him).

Okay, I digressed. My point was this: Molly really ran the show, and a show it was. Molly Powers is a Boston native with the accent to boot. She is bubbly to say the least…all personality. You really never got bored in her class and she taught a good one. (Molly is now manager of the newest Prana Power Yoga in Winchester). When Molly left, Rebecca took the reigns. Now, Rebecca has been mentored by Rolf and by Ana Forrest but when she first started her class was essentially “Rolf Lite.” A lot of the same routine, a lot of the same words even. One of my main criticisms of the Prana Power Yoga in New York is that the teachers generally don’t bring much personality to the mat. And lets be honest, if you’re not going to be engaging, energizing or anything at all, at least turn on some music! All in all, I was pretty discouraged at first.

HOWEVER, (a big however) as of recently I believe Rebecca’s really come into her own. I’ve taken her class a few times in the past week and she has been leading a much more dynamic and challenging class. She is also calls out a lot of options to allow the students to curate their own flow a bit (which I love!).

So, cheers to you Rebecca for coming out from under Rolf’s shadow! I really mean that in the best way possible. And for all of you Rolf Gates fans- all the power to you.

-Eliza

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For all of you yogis that are fans of New York’s Prana Power Yoga in our own Union Square, I highly recommend getting yourselves to the Newton studio if you’re ever traveling in the Boston area. With big windows and bright studio colors this space lends itself to bigger classes that are consistently filled and consistently hot. If you are in the area, drop in on Alex Amorosi’s power hour or a full class led by Heather Rems, or Jacqui Bonwell.

-Eliza

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I’ve been going to Prana Power Yoga in Union Square for a little over a year now. I probably frequent it more than any other studio- it has a convenient location and schedule, it offers a consistent (though often predictable) class, and the classes usually attract a decent sized crowd. Tonight I went to Julia’s 7:30- she’s been appearing on the schedule more and more these days and I’m beginning to enjoy her class more and more.

Tonight she posed a real challenge- . As experienced yogis, it isn’t uncommon that we begin to anticipate the next pose. Very much a reflection of how we spend our daily lives, we begin to act on the impulse of moving quickly through our chores, our “have tos.” Yoga is certainly not a “have to” but a “want to.” However it challenges us just the same. The difference in yoga is this: the goal is not to juggle a million disparate tasks or get through an assignment quickly- rather, yoga’s challenge is to simply stop. We hear it often but we rarely are able to accomplish it -live in the present moment and accept what we’re doing here and now.

What made class different from others she’s led was that she had us hold each individual pose for far longer (seriously longer) than her usual sequence demanded. Without the usual measurement of a few breaths per pose – I was unable to think about what came next. Instead I tried my best to settle in, breathe, and oh yes, smile (despite my trembling legs).

Needless to say I left feeling like Jell-O, but it was oh so good.

I appreciated this class after a long Monday back in front of the computer because it made me feel a level of intensity that made me let go of my thoughts (the usual, what am I gonna eat for dinner after class)

Simply said- to feel the intensity of the postures is perhaps uncomfortable, but still wonderful- because you are feeling!

Note: Prana Power Yoga leads vinyasa yoga in a heated room (generally 95F)- a great workout- crunches in every class. Classes are generally more or less the same routine- never without eagle or pigeon and some serious sweating-that’s for sure!

-Eliza

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