Tuesday, March 19

Lighten Up Yoga | Asheville, NC

This afternoon was about exploring Asheville a little more—starting with yoga, grabbing something to eat at Chai Pani, and catching a show at The Grey Eagle. I was pretty excited for our first evening out as we've been doing a lot of daytime stuff and getting back to our rental pretty early. And, as I had missed the morning class I planned, I decided to take the opportunity to check out the studio our hosts had recommended (ps we highly recommend renting their apartment, if you're ever in the Asheville area—for more info see the link above).

LOCATION: We were on foot today, and as our first stop in Asheville was at the French Broad Food Coop which is two doors down from this yoga studio, we were already familiar with where we were going. But, next week they're moving to a new location so I guess this review will be more about instruction than space today. They did say they're working on getting some free parking at the new space, which seemed to be a big deal to the regulars, understandably.   
STUDIO: The inside is another one of those buildings that make you question if you're in the right place, because it's all offices and official looking hallways. Once we went upstairs the door was locked, but a key was hanging off the door. I didn't feel comfortable using it, but I guess I should have because it actually got us into the bathrooms down the hall that we needed to change. Once you enter there is a check-in area and some merch. Then you do a 180 and walk down a small hallway towards the free props. At this point it opens up to a small, carpeted studio with a wall of windows letting in gorgeous light and a yoga wall (every once in a while I see these walls (in Iyengar-based studios), but have yet had the chance to use them—some day, I hope!). $15 drop-in. Credit cards accepted.
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Yoga Secrets for Back Pain (I believe this was another series class, but there's no indication of it on the website this time—I double-checked. I'm done feeling bad for crashing series classes, now that I'm sure to check class descriptions and the calendar). Learn how to promote a balance of strength and flexibility for most types of join aches; back pain, hip pain, and shoulder, knee or neck pain. Simple time-tested yoga postures will be offered along with a therapeutic understanding of how to apply your yoga poses to create the greatest freedom and ease. Please no baggy pants (oops, just reading that one).
INSTRUCTOR: Meghan Ganser has been practicing yoga since 2000, and entered her first teacher training at Dhyana Yoga in Philadelphia, PA with Marni Sclaroff (Jivamukti) and Dhyana D'Amato (Kundalini) in 2005. She began teaching immediately at DY, feeling the "rightness" of studying yoga. She has studied Iyengar with Joan White, and began her studies in Anusara in 2007, when she moved to Asheville. Meghan admires the teaching of Anusara, and is thankful for Joe and Dierdre, her teachers, and the community of practitioners. This gratitude continues to open her to the recognition of just how special yoga really is, and how sweet it is to be able to practice together. Meghan marries specific alignment instruction with uplifting themes, and a vinyasa style of teaching. She intends to support, challenge, and educate you to stay safe, so you can practice for a long time!
CONTACT: Lighten Up Yoga 

OK, I'm going to put my ridiculousness out there from the get go—this was my first class with Jafe where I was completely insecure because our yoga instructor was hot. There, I said it. It's silly, it's embarrassing, and it's human. I had to laugh it off (which I did, of course) and focus a little harder. Ahhhh the distractions life tests you with.

So apparently this was the 6th class out of 8 in the series, with today's focus being on more of the gentle restoration poses you can do with back issues (score!). Jafe and I both have back issues, Jafe's are much more serious than mine—so I was excited to pick up some instruction we could do at home. We used the eggs today, instead of blocks, which I'm not sure why but was happy to play with them. (Totally played with my eggs, lol.) We did some twists and core strengthening work, and Meghan had us using the wall for support in our standing poses. Regularly she would have us stop and poke at our muscles to see if they were activated. Sounds funny, but this was the first time I realized that I regularly activated a different muscle than intended... or I have no quads. Maybe they're just well padded quads. Maybe I don't have quads at all!? No, that can't be it. Anyway, I digress. It was a great eye-opener for me, so thank you Meghan. She also walked around constantly adjusting us—which I loved and her verbal queues were so precise. Jafe actually pointed this out mentioning how much she talked us through the details. I don't think he was a fan of it, but I love it. Verbal queues seem to be even more detailed in Iyengar-style classes that speak well to my body type. I imagine this can't work for everyone because there are so many different shapes of people—and they really are specific in foot placement or angles. We didn't end with savasana on our backs, in face we did a supported twist over a bolster on both sides, and that was pretty much our cool down, if I remember correctly.

Overall, I really enjoyed the class, but if you're looking for more laid back type of class Iyengar may not be for you. I will always recommend checking out a style for yourself at least once or twice, but it helps to know what you're walking into a little too.

Thank you Lighten Up Yoga  + Meghan—really enjoyed your class before walking all over downtown! Namaste.

Business like hallway softens with pictures of yoga

The yoga wall I mentioned

The menu board at Chai Pani :)

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside + Thao and the Get Down Stay Downs birthday show!

1 responses:

  1. Lighten Up Yoga is no longer in business.
    They were bought by One Center Yoga in downtown Asheville in April 2013.