Zen and flow at The Power Yoga Company

Before we start: I am not a yogi. I find it very hard to focus my mind and keep it from wandering to my to do lists, memories or just generally random thoughts. I cringe a little bit at Ommms (or however that thing is written...) and sometimes I get distracted if the class is too crowded and I am too close to my neighbours. My  body struggles with many poses, especially as my legs are hyper extended so anything that has me holding them locked for more than a few breaths gets very painful. And I face plant, a lot, especially in crow, and I am pretty sure my attempts at dolphin should be renamed seal pose.

Ok, now that we had this reality check, let me tell you how I came to become a regular at The Power Yoga Company

First, it was recommended to me as a means to relieve my anxiety and I started going almost religiously every Sunday evening to try and prepare myself for the work week in an investment bank with all its attached joys... It was my way to empty my negative feelings and just fill up with peace and zen before plunging back in. Many many months later, I go at least once a week, for the same sense of mental relief, but also to give my over-worked muscles a good stretch. It doesn't replace a couple of weekly sessions with my friend the foam roller (I am lying, those spiky things are noone's friend, they are nasty!) but it definitely helps. 

I had done bikram for a while about 10 years ago, but whilst I didn't feel ready to go back to a the slightly sickening feeling of the sweltering rooms of bikram I wanted something more dynamic than hatha and more focused on flow. This is where power yoga comes in. It basically is a dynamic vinyasa style yoga where the instructor runs the class through a flow of poses which is different each time (unlike ashtanga which is pre-set) so you get a high energy practice which challenges your body whilst keeping your mind focused... basically if your thoughts wander whilst the instructor explains how to get to this or that twist, the odds are you will likely twist the wrong way... ouch! Just saying. 

Most times when I practice in the large room downstairs the ceiling heaters will be on, which adds to the burn, although with the quick sequencing of chaturanga-cobra-dog I rarely need that. The big room is really nice, with a fireplace and plenty of space for a full class, and although it has a wooden floor it's easy to lay your mat to avoid big gaps. I can't say the same about upstairs, it is beautiful and has fabulous windows, but it is much smaller and has quite a crooked floor making holding some poses even more challenging. Teacher-wise, it's a question of finding whose class works best for you, but most are lovely, approachable and don't make newbies or lesser yogis feel awkward at all. Christian has a wicked sense of humour and  Austin classes leave me with a sense of calm I rarely get anywhere else. 

The only let-down of The Power Yoga Co in my opinion is what is outside of  the studio. The reception staff  is usually surly, unwelcoming (I can't recall being greeted with a hello even once) and sometimes late, ... yes my 8AM class this morning started almost 30 minutes late and hence lasted just 30 minutes, because there was noone to open the studio, and so far nobody has gotten in touch to offer a make-up class or a discount on another session! The changing room is tiny and quite grotty, with not even shelves to store one's belongings, not to mention there are no lockers anywhere: maybe this was meant as a yoga place for Fulham mummies only, who could walk here with their phones and keys only? God forbid you come from further afield with more things as all you'll be allowed to do is store your wallet behind the desk (with the aforementioned surly receptionist...) There is a juice bar on site, but I can't say I've ever seen anyone offer juices or anyone order from it, a shame as it could be such a great alternative to the health cafes that have arrived in the neighbourhood in recent years.

For more information, check out: http://thepoweryogaco.com


Anonymous said...

Love this post! I have been going to TPYC for a while and I couldn't agree more about the drawbacks... especially the changing room, it is properly horrible between busy classes! Easy fixes if you ask me.

Katie said...

Interesting post, I must look to see if there is a power yoga class near me!

Jaimie said...

Sandra you are too funny... the idea of you, face planting, is priceless! I'm so glad you found a place to let go of your anxieties, you look in a much better place these days! Sending you love from Chicago. Jaimie