I began writing Sleuths in part because I wanted to spread the news about a studio that I loved in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The sense of community and positive, loving energy from the place were a big part of what made this neighborhood a home for me. When that studio closed a few years later, I began trekking to Williamsburg for class, following teachers that I was devoted to and also taking advantage of the competitively lower prices. But I’m happy to report that in the last few years, some wonderful studios have again sprouted up in Greenpoint, each building community and a network of friends and neighbors among the students. One of these is Lucent Yoga. I have taken class from many of the teachers at this fine studio, but last Saturday was my first time taking Kyle Marshall’s class. This may be partly due to my usual avoidance of weekend morning classes, which are often overly packed with intense once-a-week practitioners. But on this beautiful, sunny morning, Kyle’s class was well attended but not uncomfortably full (I had even taken the precaution of signing up online beforehand, something I now always do if I want to take weekend class). I settle into a spot at the front of the light-filled studio, and Kyle asked everyone to grab two blocks and a blanket. Promptly at 11, Kyle told us to begin in a “belly savasana.” Pausing there for a few breaths, I was reminded of how big my nose is...but this was a nice grounding place from which to begin our practice. We then took a little half frog twist, with just one knee bent up toward the elbow. This felt wonderful and is so much more accessible to most than full frog. After some cobras and a bit more belly work, we moved to hands and knees and began a hip warm-up. Balancing on hands and one knee, Kyle had us lift the knee toward the nose, out to the side, and back again, making five circles at our own pace. This was a figure that he repeated at different phases of the class—in downward dog, and even later standing on one leg. It was an interesting way of experimenting with balance in these different shapes, and it also kept the hips nice and warm throughout class. Kyle included a good variety of standing poses while keeping the flow fluid and interesting. There was no extra chatter, just calm, clear instruction and cues. He also took the time to work with a few of the less advanced students in the class, correcting their chaturangas and upward dogs. Toward the end of class, we used those props that Kyle had instructed us to fetch. Placing the two blocks out to the side of the mat with the blanket draped over, we took a supine twist and used this bolster as a prop for the bent (or straight, if you had space) leg. This was a nice way to make a restorative twist even more restful.
As this extremely well-rounded class began to wind down, I felt my crazy week melt away as I gave in to the sunny Saturday. Kyle’s fun and absorbing class forced me to focus on each movement, each breath instead of replaying my Friday night and planning my weekend in my head. It was just the reset I needed. —Abby Payne for Yoga Sleuth Drop-in classes are $20 and include a free mat rental. New students can purchase a week of unlimited yoga for $20. Saturday 11-12:15pm Open Lucent Yoga 172 Norman Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11222