Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yoga at Bryant Park

Thank You lululemon for bringing free yoga to Bryant park on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and Thursdays at 6 p.m.

I learned of this free yoga as I watched people assemble on the lawn with their mats while eating an obligatory (WitchCraft) peanut butter cookie. (It isn't obligatory anymore, I was going through a good phase.) Once the cookie was no longer my main concern in life I felt, this is something to write about.

Yet, since this blog is my take on experiential journalism I signed a waiver form for the following class. I've got to eat the cake so I can tell you about it, right?

This past Tuesday morning I brought my yoga mat to Bryant Park, where I took a spot in the shade. Throughout the class we were asked to visit and revisit the basic moves of yoga. (The Downward Facing Dog, warriors I and II, etc.) Although there were a few wild cards thrown at us. (Head-stands, and some leg stretchy-thing. Yeah, I'm not there yet.)

The class t'was relaxing, once becoming accustomed with the twenty or so onlookers with cameras. But that's one way of looking at it. The other being, I became an attraction of New York within that hour. Cool, no?  In regard to the class, it was kept at a steady and natural motion. The instructor, Rima Rabbath, said lovely things like, "Life is good." And when I couldn't hear her words clearly due to my spot in the shade I turned my eyes to this graceful woman. There's no other way to explain her, she was like a bird, she was like a bird that knew what we were doing at all times. (The person in the headstand position is the graceful lady, Lindsey Boylan. I'll be interviewing her next week. O, the happiness.)

When class was over I walked my jello-self over to the instructor, Rima to say thanks and to exchange info. so I could find out a little more about her.

That night I sent her a few questions via e-mail and this is what I got back.

How did you start yoga? "A colleague at Colgate-Palmolive (Where I used to work for 8 years.) mentioned that I should check out Jivamukti Yoga. It took me six months to act on her suggestion. When I walked into my very first class, an evening class, there were over 60 students in that class, mat to mat. The way I like it now, but at that time it was quite overwhelming... Anyway, the teacher, the method, how hard I had to work without being self-conscious, got to me. Something resonated with me. I did not have to explain it to myself. I loved it. I kept going back, over and over again."

What has yoga done for you? "It made me realize how powerful our thoughts can be. How strong we can be from the inside. It made me discover that part of myself that is perfect and pure, not polluted, not constricted. That part that can be so expressive because expression is how we connect with each other and with ourselves." (Rima.)

While at Bryant, Rima told me she is leaving for India in two weeks...Are you going to India to study yoga? "I am going to Mysore, India. That's where my teachers have gone for the past twenty-five years. It's like following in their footsteps. They laid it all out for me so how can I not go and study...."

How could she not? I guess that's how things just doing them. So, go do them!

Unfortunately you won't be able to have Rima as an instructor since she's going to India, and no instructor teaches twice over at Bryant Park, but this means no class is alike. Isn't that the point of New York?
"Breath deeply & appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life." -lululemon's card, grab one and read it before you go to bed. It's a good read.

p.s...On Tuesdays classes are by the Bryant Park Grill, and on Thursdays classes are held on the grass.

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