As twilight hit us all too early on a Saturday afternoon, Yoga Sleuth and his fellow yogis gathered at the warm and inviting Twisted Trunk Yoga to find a little light with Andrea Frade.
Andrea welcomed us and acknowledged an emotional week, and reminded us that we were in the right place to recover and regroup.
Not only is Andrea a instructor with over 1600 yoga hours under her belt, but she is also a Reiki Master and a specialist in therapeutic yoga and the ways of the subtle body. Although we were to do a fairly vigorous flow, it was clear that we were in healing and comforting hands.
We started slowly, standing in tadasana and raising hands over head and then lowering to our sides, just being with the breath. But soon we were flowing, at any level that called to us today. The flows were augmented by lunge twist, several spells in side plank, and we proceeded through standing splits and warrior threes to half moons. Andrea kept the vibe light and encouraging, and soon the mood in the room was playful and spirited.
Andrea announced that we were heading to the wall for a little inversion workshop. She invited us to put legs up the wall if we were feeling a little restorative was in order—the others played in L-shaped handstand. Andrea spent some time with each of us to check our alignment, then those who wanted a little more, partnered up to spot each other in handstand. "Connect with the process," she encouraged. "Be present with it."
Returning to the center of the room, we put one shin over the other bent leg and folded over in a flying crow prep. "Don't worry if it's wobbly,' said Andrea. "Wobbly means you're here and alive!" Rising, we bent a knee and grabbed its foot for a dancer pose, then lowered into ardha chandra chapasana.
"Does anyone want to do some more work, or are you done?" asked Andrea. The popular vote was for progress. "Ok! I promise savasana will be juicy!" Building on what we did before, we came into side plank and yogi toe-locked the top leg, urging it into the air. Then we flipped over to demonstrate that Twisted Trunk is where the 'Wild Things" are. After that pose of triumph, we lowered down gently into a supta baddha konasana.
Savasana was indeed luxurious. Andrea came around and gently pressed our shoulders, grounding us to the earth. Rising to a seat we brought hands to heart and wished each other peace. Andrea assured us that she and the practice of yoga itself would be here whenever we needed that safe space to breathe again. As she says on her blog: "Here we learn again. Here we breathe again. Here we begin to gently open."
—Jim Catapano for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $22 with a $2 mat rental. New students can try two months unlimited for $108.