Class: Use the Force
Class description from website: CHALLENGE YOUR PRACTICE AS WE EXPLORE SOME JEDI-MIND TRICKS….JUST KIDDING (KINDA). A more challenging and energizing practice, this strengthening class is for students looking to explore and expand their practice. In this class we will build upon our best alignment to explore some of the more advanced postures of yoga. This class is vinyasa-based and may include short tutorials (aka Jedi mind-trick tutorials) on arm balances, inversions, deep backbends, and other gravity defying postures. The class will also include modifications and a range of options for students to work towards these postures at their current level. You will burn calories (tons of them). You will sweat. You will work your core. You will challenge yourself. You will transFORM your practice. Please bring a strong understanding of the fundamentals of the asanas and unpack your humility as you will experience a more intense and challenging practice. Bring water and a small towel to soak up the sweat. A regular vinyasa yoga practice recommended but not required.
Location: 2752 E Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
What to Bring: Yoga mat, water, and towel. Cubbies are provided for you belongings
What to wear: Comfortable clothes. Yoga pants, leggings, tank top, t-shirt etc. Shorts are never the best option for yoga as you never know what poses will give the person behind you or next to you an impromptu peep show. You are required to remove your shoes in the reception area.
Class size: Small. There were 11 people including me.
Props used: Yoga blocks and blankets (all provided by the studio.)
Volume and type of music: Low volume. Mandy calls her playlists “an eclectic blend of genres” and that is the perfect description.
Impact: Low impact.
Modifications: Any good yoga instructor will always give modifications. Mandy gave several options for most of the poses and we always had the option to go to child’s pose.
Format of class: This 60 minute class was exactly like the class description on the website. It was a nonstop class that focused on building strength…although we didn’t get to the Jedi mind tricks this time.
We began class in child’s pose (the calm before the storm) and then jumped right in. We warmed up with several vinyasas (this word simply refers to sequential movements that interlink different postures to form a continuous flow) and were given the option for additional chaturangas (basically a triceps push up). The first 30 minutes (give or take…I lost track of time) was mainly standing poses. We were given several modifications for each pose, from a beginner option to an advanced option. We visited a few arm balances, again with options for different levels of practice, and eventually took our mats to the wall to practice inversions (upside down poses). During this period, Mandy spent time with the class newcomers, teaching tripod headstand, while most of her other students worked on handstands. We finished our practice with the option to do bridge pose or full wheel pose (back bend) and then ended class with a much needed savasana (corpse pose).
What to expect:
- A great strength/resistance training workout. Yoga incorporates lunges, squats, push ups and so many other bodyweight exercises that are excellent for building strength.
- A guided practice that you can customize to fit your personal level of yogi-ness.
- An opportunity to practice arm balances in new ways.
- A judgement-free atmosphere.
- Hands on adjustments. I find this to be a necessary part of any yoga practice so you can get a full understanding of certain postures. If you don’t like people touching you, I would tell the teacher before class. This applies to any yoga practice.
- A laid back teacher who maintains a fun and all-inclusive atmosphere.
- A lot of poses accompanied by instruction and clarification. Mandy packed a lot into 60 minutes but I never felt rushed or pressured to keep up with anyone’s elses pace.
- Some sanksrit when referring to different poses, but also fun names you may not be familiar with. For instance, we were given the option to do baby crow, teenage crow, or big boy/big girl crow. Definitely not a stuffy studio.
Who should take this class:
- People who have a basic understanding of proper form when practicing yoga.
- People who are looking to build strength.
- People looking to enhance their inversion practice.
- This class is not for beginners but there are several beginner classes on the schedule.
I was lucky enough to have my mom in town with me this week so she was able to come to class! After retiring from her position as a cantor two years ago, she went through yoga teacher training and became an RYT-200. At the age of 68 she regularly practices yoga and teaches classes so I asked for her take on the class. I now give you my mom’s two cents about the class:
“Mandy provided a well thought out flow with a lot of poses that had clear and concise instruction. I didn’t find myself having to look up all the time to see what a pose was, or how to get there. We were given freedom to modify poses when necessary. It was a thoroughly enjoyable practice.”
Thank you to my the owner of Form and my instructor, Mandy, for a fun and energizing practice!