The "combination workspace and lifespace" that is Greenpoint's New Love City debuted their yoga program in July, and Yoga Sleuth took a ride on the G train to check it out. I was greeted by owner and teacher Jennifer Jones in the spacious and welcoming lounge area. She brought me to the vast adjoining asana studio, all white walls and curtains and dark wood floor. The afternoon sun streamed through the ceiling windows.
Jennifer set us up in a supported Fish Pose, with a block at our heads, another between the scapulas, and a blanket draped over both. Hearts duly opened, we put the props aside to start moving. And a real kick-asana it was! The next 45 minutes were constant movement.
"Move through your practice instead of letting your practice control you," urged Jennifer. "Even when we're going really fast, YOU are in charge of what's going on in your space." We stretched in Down Dog, and Jennifer helped me pike my hips higher. "How does the movement of breath through your body start to move the body itself?" posited Jennifer. We came forward to Plank, set our knees chest and chin on the mat, then emerged in a Low Cobra before folding over and rag dolling at the top of the mat.
"A mountain is a formidable thing," reminded Jennifer as we came to the pose of that name. "It's not just standing there!" She asked us to call to mind someone to dedicate our practice too, and to even picture them standing in front of us. "Give all of your energy, your efforts, and your breath to them."
As the music swelled and increased pace, so did we. We brought our arms alongside us at a diagonal in a 45 degree lunge, twisted with an arm on the mat and the other to the sky, then came down to the mat in a Down Dog split, brought knee to nose, and stretched out in a three-legged Plank. Then we lunged again, twisted again, came into a Half Moon, transitioned into a Warrior 3, then back down for a vinyasa flow. Lather, rinse, repeat! After several turns in this sequence I was soaked, but invigorated. And we still had Sun B to do!
After pumping vigorously through our B's we turned to the side wall for Prasarita Padottanasana, grabbing our toes, then came up with raised arms in a Goddess Pose.
"Per special request, we're going to play with a little jumping," announced Jennifer. "It's in line with all the core practice we're doing. Your core is going to control your jumps. Your hands are superactive, like your trying to pick up a basketball off the ground; and the belly is in towards the spine. Those are the two locks your playing with: Hasta Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha," And as an acoustic version of "Sweet Child of Mine" provided us a soundtrack to soar to, we caught a little air time, jumping forward and letting the core lead the way.
We swung around to lie on our backs and came into for bridge, breathing for a count of five, then took another backbend, yogi's choice of Wheel, Bridge or supported bridge as an angelic choir-like version of the Beatles' "Because," sent shivers down our spines. After Plow and Shoulderstand we returned to the Supported Fish that we began with, bringing our practice full circle. Jennifer invited us to stay in that pose, or move the blocks under our knees to support our Savasana.
"Call to mind the person you dedicated your practice to," said Jennifer. "See that person standing before you and give over to them all your efforts. We give thanks to all the teachers in our lives and ask them to keep teaching us."
"Jai!" we proclaimed as one.
- Jim Catapano for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $32 with a mat included; new students can try a class for $16 or two weeks unlimited for $50.
Saturday 4-5pm Intermediate
New Love City 68 Greenpoint Ave, 4th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11222 (616) 915-4576