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Nick Neglia

I’ve been attending Nick Neglia’s class at New Love City whenever I can for the past few months, and I’ve found him to be very consistent in his joyful, fun teaching. His enthusiasm and positive energy are contagious, and I always leave his class feeling lighter than when I walked in. This particular Saturday morning was no exception. I was up far too late and I rolled into class barely awake. Nick always seems so genuinely pleased to see me (and every student who comes to class), and his cheerful greeting already confirmed that I had made the right choice to get out of bed. We began our asana practice with cat and cow and soon moved into a downward dog. We flowed through several standing poses, building heat and energy. From warrior three, Nick said to “imagine stepping back into high lunge” before actually instructing us to do so. I’m a big fan of visualizing a movement before I do it, especially in a balance situation, and it helped to be reminded. Nick said we would play with an arm balance before getting into some “fun hip stuff.” After he broke down the method for coming into crow pose, he reminded the class that “it doesn’t matter if you fall...what matters is how you react to the fall.” I can never hear that philosophy too much. And even for the seemingly experienced yogis who made up Saturday’s class, it is easy to slip into that competitive mentality that is teeming around us in so many other places. As Nick led us through a few “donkey kicks” toward handstand, he told us not to take this too seriously. A good reminder when one is in one’s 30s, clapping feet together in the air like a giddy donkey. For the “fun” hip openers, we began in pigeon. Nick had us spend a few moments in preparation before bowing forward to breathe fully into the pose. We tucked the toes and elongated the back leg, and then, with hands alongside the torso, we lifted the pelvis in the air to find length before releasing down. From pigeon, we took ankle-to-knee, which I had forgotten is even more challenging than usual at 9:00am! But using a blanket underneath my seat and a block in the large gap between my legs, I definitely felt the hips opening. From here, Nick broke down compass pose, and the class gave that a try. This is a fun, pretzel-y pose and always a challenge. Nick instructed us to lift one hip as we came into the pose, which did seem to grant a bit more space. It is fun to try these “fancy” poses, and Nick has the perfect method of teaching them in a fun, breezy way. For our final inversion, Nick gave the option to take shoulderstand or the modified version (with a block underneath the sacrum). I chose the latter option, but I noticed that Nick went around to each shoulder-stander to make sure that their weight was safely balanced on the shoulders, without placing pressure on the neck. After a forward bend of either baddha konasana or the more restorative tarasana (my fave), we took a brief but sweet savasana. I left class feeling lighter and ready to face my busy Saturday, thankful that I had resisted the urge to sleep in. —Abby Payne for Yoga Sleuth A single drop-in class is $32, with free mat rental. New students can purchase two weeks of unlimited classes for $50. Saturday 9:00-10:00am Open Level New Love City 68 Greenpoint Ave., 4th Fl. Brooklyn, NY 11222

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