|I loved this picture I snapped from the NYC subways depicting the diversity of NYC and the subway riders.|
After a lovely Day 1 New York Yoga and Vegan....off we go for Day 2 adventures.
8:30 am~ish ~ Slept in, sort of. I was hoping to be able to sleep in longer, but my mind was thinking about my advanced teacher training THESIS and how I should wake up to work on it for a little bit before we jaunt off into NYC playland for our daily dose of yoga.
10am - Breakfast at the food truck Wafels & Dinges ~ Shhh don't tell anyone (I'm pretty sure this is not vegan....but it was sooo YUMMY!), yes...that is Nutella!
11am - 12:30pm ~ Virayoga with Elena Brower:
|Large, simple room, with men's and women's changing room within covered by a simple drape. A buzzing Saturday morning, with the students engaged in conversation, some reading the morning paper and some in seated meditation. A diverse group.|
Initially, based on the location of the studio, which I believe is considered SOHO, I had this expectation that a yoga studio in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a serious shopping district could not be calm, peaceful and yogic. So, I have to say although I was excited to practice, I already had a bit of a judgemental lens on (I know...not very yogic)
Elena arrived late (approx. 10 minutes) and I found it odd that she taught in a summer dress and was not wearing yoga clothes. Again, I'm not sure exactly why this bothered me, but it definitely challenged my expectations of 'what a yoga teacher should be wearing'.
With all of these judgements roaming around in my mind, I managed to release them during centering to just be in the moment and ccapture the essence of this studio and Elena's style, which I would describe as; a calming, soothing, not flustered (by her lateness), genuine teacher who spoke from her heart and seemed to be fully present with her students. She has a clean cue-ing method, no unnecessary words - clear and concise.
As her physical posture cues are simple and few, she has time to sprinkle in thoughtful philosophical topics, the theme I took away was to open to a higher place, face your challenge head on from a higher ground (especially as we were in challenging poses she would remind us of this). Excellent reminder for taking yoga off the mat not only within the mind and thoughts but also in difficult situations at work and home.
Elena's flow was challenging, not because it was fast paced or had advanced poses, instead because of her subtle cues and the length we held poses. The class was like a vinyasa flow in that we did chatturanga's and moved with our breath, we also paused with our body and stayed with our breath. The muscles can't cheat.
My favorite part of the entire class was her amazing teacher assistant. (I didn't get her name, ugh). She was gentle, yet firm and strong, my body just molded within her hands and types of assists that I had never felt before.
My 2nd favorite part of the class was that she had a live cello player as her music backdrop.
After the 1hr 1/2 class, savasana felt completely dreamy. So, it was a bit of a distraction to leave yoga and walk back into the hustle and bustle of the city. A bittersweet ending.
12:30 to 4pm ~ Roaming the Soho area, lunch and Brooklyn Bridge
|It's not our lock, but I love the idea.|
|Couldn't resist to do a few poses on the Brooklyn bride!|
7pm ~ Dinner at Pure Food and Wine
A lovely vegan restaurant. We ate inside for dinner and snuck outside on their beautiful back patio for one drink. Their outside space is AMAZING and food was superb, combining unique tastes and ingredients to make something spectacular.
|Salad with morells and fava beans|
|Stuffed Squash Flowers with a cashew mousse, corn, strawberries and candied walnuts|
After dinner we meandered around the city for an enjoyable stroll. It was a lovely day full of great yoga and food....only one more day left to this Yoga & Vegan Adventure.