When Yoga Sleuth heard a new studio opened in the East Village offering yoga for tired people - it was time to investigate! Savasana Station, which opened its doors last April, offers mixed level classes for skeptics, the tired and even lazy, with a focus on mindful movement, breath and most importantly: rest. This one-room boutique yoga studio was the perfect setting to discover inner calm, minus the fancy amenities and nine million chaturangas.
On Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., founder Kim Stetz teaches a mindful slow flow class that moves along to the funky hits of the 70s, featuring artists like Fleetwood Mac, Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire.
Upon entering this spacious studio, I found a comfortable seated position on my mat facing a large OM symbol painted on the front wall. Kim sat cross-legged facing the class and opened with a quick introduction sharing our names and what we ate for breakfast (sadly, this morning I’d had nothing yet). Once we all introduced ourselves, this certified meditation teacher led us through a 7-10 minute guided meditation finding the awareness of our body and breath.
Movement started slow with a few Cats and Cows followed by a sequence of Down Dog to Plank Pose and back to Down Dog. Once we created a little heat in the body, we flowed through each vinyasa with more of a classic Ashtanga style, holding each pose for at least five breaths. By the third breath several legs in the class started to shake and breathing became shallow.
“Keep coming back to the breath,” Kim reminded us, in her serene tone of voice. As we moved through a few gentler rounds of Surya A (sans Chaturanga), Stevie Nicks’ beautiful voice wafted through the room and carried our flow.
Kim circled the room, naturally emitting her positive energy and great sense of humor, that had been further developed during her improv training at Upright Citizens Brigade. “Slowing down helps us be more considerate of others,” Kim shared, “and you also start to notice more when you slow down.”
At last, we finally reached the main focus of class: Savasana. Lying on our backs, Kim led us through a mini yoga nidra for about 10 minutes bringing our awareness to the sounds of the room and then hearing the sounds of our own breath. The 70s groove tunes fell silent and for the last few minutes of class I was able to fully relax and turn my awareness inward.
Light chimes on a Tibetan bowl softly transitioned my presence back to the room, and with a restful mindfulness we closed the practice together with one groovy OM.
-Ashley Rose Howard for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-ins are $21 for a single flow class. Manduka Mats available for use at no additional cost.