On a dark, cold October night, I head to Brooklyn for a pop of Tangerine Hot Power Yoga. The studio does not disappoint. Tangerine was fresh and juicy.
Quite literally steps from the Hoyt-Schermerhorn G train station, it’s a commuter's dream. I am greeted with a huge hello and quick hi-tech check-in. The whole front entrance has that vibe—it’s young and efficient, with a smile, decorated in crisp white and orange colors.
The 6pm class is just finishing with students looking sweaty and happy. I squeeze my stuff into one of the last lockers. Coming to the last class of the day, at 8pm, means the studio is full of the after-work yoga crowd.
I head into the warm practice room, grabbing a towel (necessary and appreciated) and notice all the mats (included!) are smartly hung on bars on the wall to dry. I grab one from the clean rack and set it up in one of the designated mat areas on the ground. The floor is organized with little orange circular stickers, efficiently showing students where the four corners of the mat should go. I love this; it solves all the spacing dramas we deal with in NYC.
Our fearless hot-power leader enters the room, full of energy, she beams “Hello! I’m Jessica, your teacher. How is everyone tonight?” The room has been full of students for a few minutes, mostly relaxing in Child’s Pose or stretching, all quiet and a bit tired from a long day. I look around and answer her, “Great, how are you?” Jessica remarks, “Oooh I love when someone actually answers!”
She keeps us relaxed to start, bringing focus to the breath. She encourages big inhales and sighs, with as much noise as you want. She demonstrates noise for us, and I’m impressed by how loud the students are in their responses. Lots of “argghhhh”s from the group, letting go of tension.
The room is hot, but not unbearable. We flow, warming up the body further. Jessica talks us through everything with an amazing sense of humor. She uses her own sighs to let go of tension, showing us via example.
The hour-long class focuses heavily on twists. Full of lunges, Triangles, and Half Moons, the twists complemented the hot room, helping our sweat detox our bodies and our minds. After a deep flow, we come to the peak pose of the class—Twisted Pyramid. I like that Jessica announces this and explaines how the other poses have been leading up to this full expression of a twist. Focusing on breath, we stay and detox on each side. After such a long flow, I am happy to relax in one place, cooling and slowing down a bit.
We continue this cool-down by moving to hip-openers and staying in Pigeon for a very, very long time. Pigeon is my favorite pose, but this deep hip-opener can be difficult and make students antsy. Jessica sees this; as we settle in, she jokingly says our inner thoughts, “You’re probably thinking why have we been here so long? I’m bored. Did she forget about us?” Everyone laughs at how hilariously accurate this is. And, of course, this allows us to let go a bit more.
After options for inversions, Jessica turns the lights off completely and we enter Savasana. The room is so warm, and we’ve done such a good deep flow, that I actually fall asleep in the dark room. Eventually waking up, coming to seated, and closing class with “Om,” Jessica leaves the lights off and begins announcements for the studio. She discusses trainings and potlucks, while students start to spray and wipe down their mats, hanging them again on the wall bar for “dirty” mats. I’m so impressed by the group organization.
Jessica is happy to stay and chat, embracing the Brooklyn sense of community. But, at 9pm, in the after-hot-yoga daze, most of us just say a sleepy goodnight and stumble the two steps around the corner to the subway.
- Madeleine Kelsey for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $22; new student special is $36 for 3 classes. Mats and towels are always included. Classes are all open level, 60 or 75 minutes, and heated to 95 degrees.