Sunday, April 8, 2012

Crunch! Yoga

As a teacher, I have the wonderful vacation schedule that I've had since I was about 5 years old. So it's Easter/Passover, so I have off this upcoming week!  To take advantage of my week off, I decided to sign up for a free week at the Crunch Gym in Union Square.  They offer 15-20 classes per day, including spinning, yoga, heated yoga, pilates and many more!  Even if I only go three times, that's 3 different classes I got to try.
I went today and decided to go to the 5:00pm Vinyasa Yoga class.  I know Vinyasa Yoga (although I am definitely no expert) and figured that was a nice baseline for me to get an idea of what the gym was like.
I got there at 4:15 because I assumed I'd have to have a tour and I'd want to be at least 10 minutes early to the class.  It took about 4 minutes for me to get signed in and then they pointed me towards the yoga studio.  I guess we all know what happens when we assume... I ended up with like 40 minutes to spare.  I went over to Lululemon in Union Square (more on that in a separate post as I may become a Lululemon addict.) and then came back about 15 minutes before the class.
Since I was still there so early, I did some crunches while I was waiting - I don't sit still well.  When the class started, there were only 4 people in the room.  A few more came in, but it was a total of only 8 people in the class.
The studio was very nice - it didn't feel like I was in a gym yoga studio... it felt like I was at a yoga-specific studio.  You could hear the music from the weight room, but only faintly and it was a nicely lit space.  I was going to take a picture, but I didn't because there were other people in the room.
Crow Pose (this isn't me)
The class was good enough. I have never actually taken a non-heated yoga class, so I was excited to see what yoga was like when you didn't also feel like you were trapped in a sauna.  Overall, I still prefer hot yoga because I find that the heat forces me to focus on what I'm doing at the moment rather than allow my mind to wander.  However, I do think that occasional non-heated classes might be nice to really focus on poses and going further than I have in the past.  For example, today was the first time that I was ever able to go into crow pose successfully which was pretty awesome for me.  I also was able to work on my flow from plank to upward facing down to downward facing dog and I felt like I made progress on that.
However, I felt that the instructor was a little too hands on.  I'm pretty comfortable with getting corrections, but there were times where I felt like a verbal instruction would have been sufficient enough to tell me what I could do to help fix the pose or get more out of it.  I had a yoga instructor once stand on my hands to help me, but for some reason, today felt a little excessive.
To sum up the class:
1) Felt like a yoga studio, not a gym class
2) In terms of stretching and making progress, a non-heated class really allowed me to focus on moving forward with my practice
3) It was nice to have a small class where there was a lot of space and the structure was a little more personalized because there were only 8 of us.

1) People kept coming in and out which was a little disruptive for me.  I'm distractible, so that made it hard for me to focus
2) Crunch didn't have time to wash the mats from the last yoga class, so the yoga mat may have been used by another person before I used it.  Which actually is pretty gross now that I am reflecting on that...
3) The instructor was a little too hands on and I think he could actually use some work developing his verbal direction skills.  I need to learn how to get my body into a pose without someone else pushing it, so I should be working on that.  Sure, sometimes I need to know what a pose is supposed to feel like or a little correction might change a lot, but constant physical guidance actually might prevent someone from making progress because they don't learn how to move that way themselves. Also, I think it might make some people lazy because they'll just wait for the instructor to fix it.  It actually made me work harder because I wanted to know that I was able to do each pose without having someone make adjustments.

I don't think I would go back to another one of this instructor's classes because I didn't feel comfortable, but I did like the overall results of the class and the overall feel of the gym.  I'll be going there all week, so look for more class reviews!

On another yoga-related note... vote for Helena, my maid of honor's sister, for this yoga talent search contest:! Look at how awesome she is :)


  1. What happens when you assume?

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