Saturday, February 26, 2011

Samarya Yoga Studio, Seattle: Go!

Monday night at 1:00am I decided to go to a yoga class at 8am Tuesday morning.

Sometimes I like to practice a little yoga in my living room with Sophie since, as everyone knows, cats are invariably yoga masters.

But practicing alone or with a DVD can be a little flat and I much prefer the feedback and warmth of a live instructor. Unfortunately, yoga classes are expensive, so I'd been on my own since about 2005 when I stopped getting my teacher's yoga discount at a district gymnasium. But a listing on the website caught my eye late that night and I decided to try Samarya Yoga Studio in Seattle the next morning.

Parking is ample and free around the humble Samarya studio, which is located on Yestler next to a restaurant called Good BBQ. That's right: good. Not the best, great, or even Mom's.

Inside the studio I was greeted by Ingrid, the volunteer instructor, whose eyes reminded me of the upside-down U shapes drawn on anime cartoon characters. She made me want to return the so-happy-I-squint expression. I took my shoes off to walk on the hardwood floors and inspected the flowing curtains and paper lanterns decorating the interior.

Only three other students arrived so the four of us, plus Ingrid, rolled out our mats in front of purple curtains and sunlight filtering through. One of the other students was a stay-at-home mom in her thirties with a sleeve tattoo on one arm and parts of a second tattoo peeking from the waistband of her yoga pants. The other two students were college age; one a muscular young man with a map of the world around his left arm and Celtic knots encircling his right. The other young girl was tattoo-less.

Ingrid read briefly from the Bhagavad gita and was interrupted by the studio doorbell. I could tell it pained her to decline to answer it, but she explained it would be most respectful to pay attention to those of us who were on time.

For someone who has done yoga before, but isn't looking to work up a kick-boxing sweat, this class is perfect. If you can't go from Plank to Upward-facing Dog to Downward Dog quickly, or need explanations for those poses, let the instructor know before class starts. The level for this session was listed as "gentle," and it was, but the next day my abdominal muscles and hamstrings reminded me that they had worked hard. That's just how I like it.

And Samarya Yoga Studio is just how I like my yoga--relaxing and FREE. Check the website at§ion=about for the schedule and go!

1 comment:

  1. FREE YOGA?! I can't believe I didn't know about this! I'll definitely give it a try.