I finally got around to using my month-long pass to New Day Yoga Studio that I purchased a while back on Living Social, and it was a great experience! I love trying different yoga teachers and centers, because they all have their special nuances and different series of poses. (But don't worry, Britten—you will ALWAYS be my favorite!!)
The classroom was small—only about the size of the room at my gym. But by god, Hilary managed to pack 40 people in there! I wasn't too jazzed about that at first, but the others students were really nice, and after all, "yoga" means "union," and with our mats staggered it was never a problem. Man, did that room heat up fast, though! It was already much warmer than I was used to, so it felt like a light-gentle-hot-yoga class. Heat makes your muscles more flexible, but for me it also makes breathing harder and my hands slip on the mat. But challenge is what I was there for.
The teacher started us by having us concentrate on Ujjayi breathing in unison (sounds like the ocean!), then set us in child's pose and read an inspiring mantra. I'm paraphrasing: Every tree started from a seed; every building from a handful of dirt. "From here, every goal is possible. Be bold and fearless." And then she sent us into a long series of sun salutations,
Chaturanga and Vinyasa flows that were really challenging, despite the several years of practice I have under my belt. I challenged myself by getting as deeply into the Asanas as possible. It was difficult, but It felt good.
She ended the class by putting us into Savasana (corpse pose), lowering the lights, and turning on the special effects: a moving field of projected "stars" on the ceiling. I had never seen this used in a class before, and really liked it—very relaxing! To bring us out of Savasana, she read another inspiring meditation. It was a great practice—I can't wait to go back again.
Here's a glossary of Sanskit terms that I found on Yoga Journal.