Thursday, September 8

The Family Tree | Des Moines, IA

So I've said this in other reviews, but I want to take a moment to apply it to your general yoga studio knowledge. Most yoga studios don't have street signage. So, if you're driving to a studio for the first time, always include an extra 15 minutes to scope out the area (even with GPS), because you will most likely drive past the place three times before you know it's there. This extra time is definitely worth it, because I've always found it silly to stress myself out over going to a yoga class. I know we all do it from time to time, but in my head... I want to relax from the stress I already have, not use my class to overcome the stress of looking for the studio. Ok, on to the review!

LOCATION: In the art museum area of Des Moines, this location is pretty great. Amazing little neighborhoods of different architecture, great local shops, and if I had more time I'm guessing I'd discover fantastic local restaurants too. There is a free parking lot behind the house I didn't know about, so I ended up parking for free on the street a half a block away, no biggie. 
COST: I didn't see a credit card machine, so I'm guessing cash and check. I paid $15 for my drop-in fee. 
STUDIO: 1930s house converted into a yoga/massage studio. You should walk in the back door, off of the parking lot, to sign in and grab a glass of water in the kitchen. You can walk in the front door (like I did), but it will land you right in the middle of the class and feeling somewhat awkward (also, like I did). The first floor has a kitchen, bathroom (I think), living room, and dining room. The living room and dining room is where you set up for class, each section holding no more than 4-5 students, I'm guessing. Which is great, because it guarantees you some one on one time with the instructor. Upstairs houses three bedrooms each set up for massage rooms. The house is a clean, simple, warm (there's a fireplace in the living room I bet they use in the winter months), and welcoming set up. 
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Beginner's Yoga: The perfect place to begin. Discover yoga breath and simple poses to lengthen and strengthen your body while relaxing your mind. For students new to yoga, recovering from illness/injury, or those looking to brush up on the basics.
They offer a lot of family-orientated classes—prenatal, baby & me, and family yoga. I should have grabbed one of my nephews to test this out, but thought of it too late. Anyway, I wanted to share this aspect of the studio with you, since they focus on it more than some. 
INSTRUCTOR: Sarah completed a 200-hour level Hatha yoga certification through Tree House Yoga in Iowa City with James Miller. It was during her training at Tree House Yoga that she developed an interest and passion for Yoga Therapy and working one one one with individuals who are interested in developing a home practice that is designed with their particular needs and goals in mind. She is also currently enrolled at Body Wisdom School of Massage Therapy in Urbandale and looks forward to expanding her career in wellness. 
CONTACT: The Family Tree

What a wonderful way to learn yoga from the very, very beginning. I spoke with Sarah after class, and she said this series is based on teacher training, only instead of spending a whole week on the topic you only spend an hour on the topic... which is stripped down to the very basics to not overwhelm the newcomer.

The first half hour was spent talking about the origins of modern yoga (last week they talked about the origins of yoga in general, and Sarah reviewed it briefly). Topics like Shiva, KrishnamacharyaBKS Iyengar, Indra Devi (the first woman of yoga), and much more were brought up with only a couple sentences, but enough to get you more comfortable with understanding the full picture of yoga.

The second half hour was spent going over two poses. One was to review the pose from last week (downward facing dog modified against a wall), and the second was to introduce trikonasana (triangle pose) also against the wall. I like working with the wall, because it is an easy reminder of your alignment just by having your head, shoulders, back, and feet touching the wall... you know you're going into a pose correctly. And it's tricks like this that you can take home with you to work on more. Sarah talked about the importance of not curving over or collapsing into your pose so you can touch your toes, but to extend out through you head and arm to create a straight line from foot to finger tips. She worked with each student to modify for their past injuries or adjust appropriately for their body. And that was it. No savasana, no meditation, no vinyasas. It was really about starting off slowly and getting to know the poses and the background of yoga before even moving on to the next level. If you live in the Des Moines area, I can't encourage you more, if you're wanting to learn about yoga but honestly are nervous about starting. This class is made for you, and really is well-rounded way to discover yourself and yoga.

After class I had the pleasure of talking with Sarah for another half hour. She really has a genuine excitement over people learning about themselves and their health and wellness. She worked with me on a few issues I've been having, suggesting things I can do to practice through them. We chatted about what inspired this class (her teacher training, as mentioned above), and I apologized for walking into the middle of the class room during the third session. Thank you for sharing your energy and knowledge with me Sarah, namaste!

Oh! Yes! You should also know, it's pretty common for classes categorized as Beginners' Classes that they have a 8-9 week schedule in place. I'm guessing anyone would let you do a drop-in (as Sarah kindly did with me), but you really should get the full benefit of these classes and start when the schedule starts. If I had done more research I probably would have discovered I was crashing a series, but then you wouldn't get to learn all the weird things to avoid when taking your first class. Seriously, this blog has liberated me from fearing awkwardness, thank you for encouraging me to check out studios and fumble through with a sense of humor I eagerly look forward to sharing with you! I'm definitely enjoying my journey with you! 

0 responses:

Post a Comment