Back to yoga...and a new yoga hybrid mat review below.
I rarely go more than a week without finding myself on the mat. But I decided to get my butt to yoga, somewhere, every day this week. And man, does it make a difference. I've added so much to my practice and finally feel myself melting more and strengthening in a way that you only can from hot, spicy yoga. I feel amazing.
Taking a week off from running, lifting, and Lithing sounded wholly unreasonable to me. Yet as soon as I stepped out of my Saturday class at the newly renovated Lotus Seed Yoga studio in Collegetown, every muscle was on fire. I was committed.
Lotus Seed's Vinyasa with Diane hit me in all of the right ways. She even added on some aromatherapy towards the end, sampling a new spray that the studio carries (along with uber-cute yoga wear from a female entrepreneur). This was my second class with her (the first was last year during Mr. Vedge's interview at Cornell) and both times, it was a beautifully balanced and intimate class. And you'll definitely feel the burn, especially if you walk up the hill to Collegetown before class and are already sweating when you get there. Thanks, Diane!
My week continued...deliciously sore, I slipped over to my downtown yoga flavor of choice, Mighty Yoga for a Sunday evening class with Gina. Mighty is a convenient 2 block walk for me. It has a little something for everyone and is such a welcoming community of instructors and members. It took me some time to get used to the heat (I have never sweat more, ever) but my mind feels so clean after class there.
This week, all classes were $3 at Mighty for their 3rd Anniversary (donated to Ithaca Health Alliance) with extra classes and some special sessions to mix things up. Perfect timing! I tried classes with different instructors, at different times, and loved and valued every minute. I feel so much more comfortable on (and off) my mat after this week. And yes, I feel mighty.
MAT REVIEW. And it's not just the new mat, either... Midway through my power week, my new Kulae Hot Yoga Mat arrived. The Elite Hot Hybrid is a yoga mat/yoga towel hybrid (it's machine-washable) and since I've been doing a lot of hot yoga sans towel, I figured this would be worth a try. I slip often, and when I use a towel, it slips often, and although I've gotten more used to rooting myself down, it's still something that interrupts my flow (I will cram as much yogi speak into this post as possible).
This mat solves all of that. I felt cool and steady this week, and wasn't thinking about my towel or my grip for even a second. The mat feels more durable than I thought it would and I'm curious how it holds up to washing over time. The towel is supposed to be antimicrobial and after my best sweaty sessions in a long time, it was still dry. So far, thumbs up. Aesthetically, it's attractive and comes in appealing colors. The length is perfect, and it's made of environmentally friendly ECO PER and Bamboo Microfiber. It's a few bucks pricier than a regular mat, but since it includes a towel, it's actually cheaper to just buy this.
Fall is my favorite time to practice yoga, so I am going to push forward and get to the studio more. Ithacans, I hope to see you in class at one or both of these studios - they simply rock. And Philly folks, my mat and I will find our way to you soon for a visit.
UDPATE: Over 6 months later with a weekly toss in the washer, and my mat is still in excellent condition.
[images via Lotus Seed Yoga, Might Yoga, Kulae]