For those needing to fit some yoga into a work lunch break or those needing to kill time between appointments, YoGanesh has a great 45-minute express class just for you. Perched on the second floor of the now trendy and very bustling Garment District, YoGanesh is an intimate and friendly studio with a beautiful mural of the Tree of Life painted on its wall with Ganesha and Hanuman wandering around its branches. Some Krishna Das was playing when I entered and there was a faint smell of peppermint oil in the air. The class was well-attended without being packed and, recognizing me as a new student to her class, our teacher Flor Fridman introduced herself with a sweet smile and checked in about my previous yoga experience. Flor began class by telling us that she had been examining and thinking about the chakras and had brought a book she was reading Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith. She gave a brief explanation of the chakras, noting that since humans are mostly visual in their learning, the chakras are associated with colors.
Flor told us we were going to explore the first chakra that day, a chakra that relates to being grounded and stable, and is associated with the color red. She would continuously remind us of that theme throughout class in relation to the poses, instructing us to be rooted, strong, and firm at various points in our poses. We started with a short warm-up which included a cat and cow but with the cat part being more like a child’s pose. We explored sun salutations with crescent moon poses. Flor was fast-paced and creative with the standing section, offering poses such as rainbow warrior, peaceful warrior, warrior one, triangle, half moon, extended side angle, tree, twisted chair, and so forth. There was a lot to fit into 45 minutes and Flor ensured that we got to sweat. And, of course, since we were dealing with the first chakra, we explored squat pose with a lengthy hold. Flor was very clear in her instruction, played a combination of pop music and yoga chanting on her iPod, and rarely offered hands-on adjustment, preferring visual demonstration of the poses at the front of the class. With ten minutes to go, we finished with salabhasana, janu sirsasana, and a supine twist. Flor advised putting a bolster underneath our legs for savasana as we made our way into final relaxation. We closed class with a “Namaste,” followed by Flor noting that there would be an upcoming studio celebration of the Tree of Life mural. Additional paintings by the artist would also be displayed for the gathering so we could fully appreciate the artwork in all its glory. —Marie Carter for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $20, with $2 mat rental available. New students can try 30 days for $59.
YoGanesh 208 W. 29 St., 2nd Fl New York, NY 10001 (212) 967-9642