Bikram Yoga in the Lanes-Brighton
*Originally posted May 18, 2016
Saturday I woke up bright and early to grab the train to Brighton so I could take the 11am class at Yoga in the Lanes. Why go all the way to Brighton for yoga you ask? Because I was hosting a Comedy Club for Kids show at 2pm that day so I was going to be in town. But more importantly, my friend B.A owns the studio; and she and the studio are awesome.
I can’t quite remember when B.A. and I meant. I’m pretty sure we’ve known each other since I started Yoga back at Bikram Yoga NYC. When I was a student B.A was working at a manager at the Midtown Studio. Shortly after BA left for training I became a manager at the Upper East Side Studio. Then B.A moved to England and opened a Yoga Studio; then I moved to England and became to be a stand up comedian. My tagging along behind her all these years has been unintentional, but if you’re going to accidentally follow someone, you’d be happy if it was B.A. She is a fierce, fiery, passionate woman with flexible limbs and love in her heart. If you don’t know what a modern day yogi looks and acts like, I can ensure you, they look and act like B.A..
My plan for the day was to take class, entertain kids, and then meet up with B.A to record and episode of Namaste Bitches Podcast. She wasn’t supposed to be teaching class that morning but to my surprise guess who made it out of her bed the day after her birthday to teach little ol’ me!? B.A.!!! What a treat! I’ll have to admit when she stepped on the podium I was a bit nervous, I wanted my postures to be perfect for her. I wanted to show her how hard I’ve been working this past month. I wanted my asanas and focus to say, “Look at me! I’m back in Yoga baby and I’m fabulous!” I don’t know if that’s the most yogic of thoughts. Probably not. I think many Yoga teachers ramble on about “no ego” and having “no expectations”. But on Saturday Morning I was full of coffee, chutzpah, and expectations. If part of the yoga goal is to work as hard as possible my desire for validation certainly yielded that result. I worked my ass off and had a lot of fun.
B.A offered me a few corrections specifically on Standing Head-to-Knee. She talked about pushing the hip forward as you kick out to keep from falling backwards. It’s something she learned from our mutual teacher Georgia back in New York. As she was breaking down the posture I thought to myself, “Oh yeah, I used to talk about that.” It’s been such a struggle to kick out with my tight hamstrings, once I’ve been able to kick out, I forgot what came next. I was lucky to have a teacher there who knows me, and the posture well to offer some correction.
I think all yoga is good yoga. As I mentioned in an earlier posts if you’re doing yoga at home with a video you’re a step in the right direction but you’re missing some of the vital elements. I’m sure you’re getting a stretch, a sweat, and some deep breathing in. But you’re missing out on community, and your missing a teacher. A real live teacher, who can look at you struggling to stay in a posture and all they say is “Push your hip forward.” and that posture doesn’t become easy per say, but it becomes attainable. You are now one step closer to solving the puzzle that is: Make your body into this shape. Sometimes it’s how a teacher instructs you that finally makes a move click. In Balancing Stick pose I have a tendency to turn my leg out almost like an arabesque. For years teachers have been telling me, “Hip down, hip down, hip down.” On Saturday BA told me to bring my thighs together and then I thought, “Oh! Well why didn’t someone say that earlier!”
B.A. is an amazing teacher, and practitioner. If you find yourself in Brighton; make time to visit Yoga in the Lanes. I’m glad I got to visit with her during this challenge. Watching her with her students and receiving her help on postures made me want to teach more. That’s not really something I’ve felt this whole challenge. It’s been good to practice, and 30 Day Challenge has certainly relit my desire to do more yoga. But this is the first time I’ve really missed teaching and helping students solve the puzzle. Teaching every once is a while here and there has been enough up to this point. In the first post I talked about coming out of yoga retirement. I meant only as a student. Maybe this challenge is pulling me out of teaching retirement as well. That’s something I didn’t plan on happening. I guess that’s why they say to approach yoga with “no expectations.”