A soothing “Triple Mantra” by Nirinjan Kaur was playing at this midtown studio, allowing students to meditate before a physically challenging class with Keith Partington, one of the teacher trainers at Sonic Yoga.
For our first pose, Keith, a grounded and laid back—yet, challenging—teacher, instructed us into a wide-kneed child’s pose, and asked us to take a moment to focus on the breath. From here, we worked on some gentle sun salutations which slowly gathered momentum to the flavorful sounds of Indian and Middle Eastern music.
Our practice for the day offered up a wide variety of asanas and options.
Moving on to a series of standing poses, we practiced warrior 2, peaceful, extended side angle (with forearm on the thigh the first time), triangle, peaceful triangle, then folding into prasarita padottanasana. This pose was accompanied by some variations such as interlacing the fingers behind the back and extending the arms overhead, twists, and then option to come up into tripod headstand.
Returning to warrior 2, the second extended side angle had an option to bind. We could keep the bind if we wished before moving into triangle and ardha chandrasana. Adding standing split to the mix, we could try some handstand hops before taking a vinyasa flow with one-legged chaturangas as an option. Between each sequence, Keith encouraged us to take rest in a wide-kneed child’s pose.
Building on each vinyasa flow, Keith added in some other poses such as malasana, crow pose, and rock star (AKA flip dog), as well as a koundinyasana arm balance. There was the option to practice pincha mayurasana on the next round; those not wanting to try forearm stand could rest in child’s pose. Moving around the room, Keith gave gentle encouragement and several of his students assists in coming up. “Fantastic,” he would pronounce, as students made their way up into the pose.
Later, we would work on a twisted lunge, parsvottanasana, and revolved triangle. In utkatasana, we would move into a prayer twist and lift up the heels holding a balance. Keith then encouraged us to try the option of a side crow.
Following these challenging standing poses and twists, we were granted a rest in pigeon prep. Even in pigeon, there were options to try going further. Those who wanted to try, could work on mermaid pose, bending the back leg and hooking the elbow around the foot and binding with the top arm.
Keith then gave us the option of headstand or resting in supta baddha konasana. Winding down even more, we were given the option of shoulderstand, happy baby or twists, before the final relaxation.
As we settled into savasana, Keith asked us to take a deep collective inhale and a deep collective sigh out of the mouth. We ended with a short meditation, then gathered our mats and props, clearing the way for the next class, invigorated by a practice and teacher that give a yogi(ni) lots of options to be ourselves.
—Marie Carter for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $22 with $2 mat rental. New students can try two months unlimited for $108.
Saturday 9-10:15am Advanced
Sonic Yoga 944 8th Avenue New York, NY 10019 (212) 397-6344