Yoga Sleuth was intrigued by the notion of a 45-minute hot vinyasa class at Tribeca's Lyons Den. Could it be invigorating and satisfying in less than an hour? Under the guidance of Emily Fawcett, we got everything we needed and more.
Texas native Emily is an instructor who brings passionate intensity to our class. After “om”ing three times in mountain pose, we stormed out of the gate. Emily assertively called out the cues boot-camp style as we took one breath per movement in a vinyasa flow, then leaped forward to do it all again. After five minutes and several reps we were already soaked. 40 minutes to go!
"The theme today is to give yourself some space," said Emily. "If you know you can take up the mat, then take up the mat. No time like now!" We took a brief rest in down dog, inhaling and exhaling with holds at the top and bottom three times, then it was right into chair pose for the next sequence.
Even with the quick pace, Emily found space to make adjustments, such as having me place my front foot three inches further in warrior one while sinking in the knee, and then helping me open my side body towards the sky in extended side angle. She encouraged us to prop up in the latter pose. “I grab a block every single time, and I play,” said Emily as we all followed suit.
“Square off your hips,” said Emily as we raised up in a down dog split. “Flex all ten toes, pinky toe even separated. Bend your knee, stack open your hips.” From there we were invited to “flip” our dogs—or not. “If you don’t want to, you don’t have to,” said Emily. “This is your Power 45.”
Before we could say vasisthasana, we were in side plank. “Find the energy through all ten toes, and light up your fingers like it’s firecracker season!” Emily’s words kept us motivated as we stepped into crescent lunge and added a twist. We found time and space for prasarita padottanasana, pyramid, crow, dancer, and surrendered in forward folds like padahastasana. “Maybe today is a day you press down through the balls of your feet and your heels come up,” said Emily as we breathed in the pose. “And if you fall forward, it’s cool, it means you’re in it! Get right back up!”
We rose to stand with eagle arms and legs, hugging to the midline as we toggled the pose, switching limb placement several times. Then from airplane we glided into half-moon pose. “Let the energy from your bottom hand pull you up even taller,” suggested Emily. Coming to stand in tree, we picked a drishti on the brick wall and grew. “Find comfort in being a tree,” said Emily. “In being stoic and strong. In being unshakeable. It’s what good friends are made of.”
After a revolved triangle, we came down for locust and bow pose, and then pigeon (with the option to make it a double). Then came a bridge and a wheel, a camel pose, supine baddha konasana, navasana, janu sirsasana, and even frog pose (at Emily’s suggestion we rolled up our mats like burritos to perch on).
Finally, we brought things to a head (or a shoulder) with the inversion of our choice. After a supine twist, we lowered everything down for a quick savasana. Though my eyes were closed, the number of poses we were able to explore in the short timeframe was eye-opening.
“Thanks for playing!” said Emily as we clapped our gratitude. “See how much you can do in 45 minutes?”
—Jim Catapano for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $24 with hand towel and shower towel included. Mat rental is $2. New students can try 30 days unlimited for $89.