Some years ago I went regularly to yoga classes in San Francisco led by this yogi Pete Guinosso. Pete was more of a coach figure than a spiritual leader, and he’d make me laugh out loud on the mat. Many people go to yoga for a calm...
Some years ago I went regularly to yoga classes in San Francisco led by this yogi Pete Guinosso. Pete was more of a coach figure than a spiritual leader, and he’d make me laugh out loud on the mat. Many people go to yoga for a calming, zen-like experience, but I have a hard time keeping it together without giggling at yoga and like being alert to work on my form – so this higher energy environment was the perfect fit for me.
Pete’s teaching style was fun, athletic, and he was an insightful guide. As someone with a lot of disconnect between brain and body (to the great consternation of my weight lifting coaches), Pete was always able to make suggestions that clicked for me, allowing me to really dig into my poses and get the most out of my practice.
Once a week, Pete led a Candlelight yoga class, about as close to zen as I could get without feeling weird about things. The studio was warm, dark, and cozy, and we’d settle into deep poses with nothing but the light of flickering candles around us. It took me years of yoga that I didn’t like all that much to find this class that I loved, and I was deeply sorry to leave it when I moved out East.
So lately – me and yoga? We’ve been having a rocky relationship. It’s easy to feel like giving up when you are forced to move on from something so comfortable and right. Since then, I’ve had a hard time finding a class that I love. I went to a dozen classes at Prana, but I don’t do so well with hot yoga, and could never find a time that stuck. And then there was the class where I had less than six inches between me and my neighbor, and he kept on flinging sweat in my direction, so by the end of the hour I had a puddle on my mat that wasn’t my own. After that delightful experience, I sanitized the mat in bleach, rolled it up, and couldn’t compel myself to go back.
But I guess times are changing, that’s what the fall does for me – opens me up to new experiences. On Monday morning I woke up before sunrise to head into town to try a new class with my coworker Elyse. Our team does a lot of extracurricular fitness in the mornings – there are the resident golfers, the 40-mile-ride-before-9 a.m. contingent, the gentlemen who do speed work on the track, the November Project stadium climbers (and Summit Ave. summiters), and I’m always up for a little peer pressure to get some early morning workouts in. Cara Gilman, a Boston yogi who happens to be married to one of my coworkers, was leading a free class at Back Bay Yoga, with my fave lunch spot sweetgreen providing breakfast, so I thought it’d be the perfect chance to ease myself back onto the mat.
Oh, this class!! We spent a lot of time opening the shoulders, working the upper body, and practicing balance. While my flexibility will take some time to return to where I once was, I felt strong and energized throughout – a world away from the last few classes where I spent a lot of time curled up in child’s pose. Afterwards there was yogurt, granola, pumpkin bread, cider, and $5 free credit to sweetgreen – so, pretty much the best reason to wake up before 7am ever. Next month? I’ll be back for sure.
That’s me on the left with Cara and Elyse, post-yoga, but pre-coffee. The matching sweatshirts? No, we didn’t plan that.
Have you found a yoga class you love?
Back Bay Yoga
364 Boylston St Boston, MA
659 Boylston St Boston, MA