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The Yoga Report

Mantra Three: Month Passes Can Be Liberating

Yoga is expensive. Maybe not as costly as a day of skiing at Killington, but at $15 a class, it adds up. Multi-class packages offer a slight discount but the real savings come with a month pass of unlimited classes.

For me, just like for you, a dizzying array of commitments fill the days – work, commute, family crises, coffee with friends. Wine with friends. A little volunteering. It’s hard to figure out how to squeeze in enough classes to make a month’s pass worthwhile. I could trade my aerobic workouts – spinning, walking, biking, x-c skiing – for yoga but I need that jolt of adrenalin. As my husband likes to say, “My wife needs to be exercised.” And so I take a yoga class here and there, sticking to the ones I know – Slow Flow on Tuesday mornings and maybe the Vinyasa on Saturday – and call it a week.

But with my son’s gift of a month’s pass – and the added bonus of the semester break – I can not only take more Slow Flow and Vinyasa classes, but I can also try other forms. Vinyasa + Yin (long holds). Focused Flow (yoga with a targeted purpose). Ashtanga (a series of postures synchronized with breathing – I think). Last night at Repose Yoga I tried Restorative Yoga, billed as a practice that combines long-held passive stretches and hands-on assists. A little massage? I’m in.
Lights are dim. Votives are lit. We grab bolsters, blocks, and blankets. And we spend the next hour splayed across the bolster in five positions, each one held for many, many minutes. But since the mission is relaxation, the stretch is comfortable, a welcome length to tired IT bands and glutes. Best of all, the instructor massages briefly each student -- during every pose. No surprise that the neighboring yogi fell asleep.

If one goal of this month-long intensive yoga journey is to see if practice can quiet my restless brain, I’d say that restorative yoga did the trick. I returned home, mind emptied, so relaxed that I voted to delay watching the next episode of “Making a Murder.” Even the most restorative of yoga can’t calm the blood pressure while weighing the possible guilt of Steven Avery vs. the malfeasance of the criminal justice system.

I’ll save that for tonight.
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