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Lucile Parrado

If you’re looking to do yoga with a cause, Urban Yoga Foundation (UYF) is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers communities through yoga and mindfulness approaches. As if doing yoga alone doesn’t make you feel good enough, your monetary contribution to the class sponsors yoga and mindfulness community-based programs. Even better, the yoga takes place in a relaxing and home-like setting. Bursting into class from the blustery wind and rain, Sleuth was welcomed by the scent of candles, a warm heat dish, and relaxation/massage music. Class takes place on the ground floor living room of a Harlem townhouse. Our instructor for the evening was Lucile Parrado, a model and dancer with a lovely French accent. Our props and mats were already laid out for us—another example of how this organization takes great care of its students. Lucile began class chanting a single and simple “om.” She then directed us onto all fours for tabletop and a few rounds of cat and cow followed by swaying our hips side to side. Lucile asked us to flip one palm and stir our hips around in a circular direction. “We’re preparing the wrists for downward dog,” she said. Coming to an easy pose, we then took a side bend to each side followed by a seated twist. Our next treat in this gentle hatha class was a restorative child’s pose, spreading our torsos over a bolster. Coming up to standing and with our “feet making a number 11,” we swayed our hips side to side and then in a full circle. Building up the energy of the room, Lucile walked us through some slow flowing sun salutations, starting out with ease in crescent moon and knees, chest, chin to baby cobra. We moved into an extended side angle with forearm to the thigh, then bent and straightened the leg in warrior 2. From here, we took a side bend in peaceful warrior. Bringing it back to crescent moon, Lucile