New Yoga, Old Saybrook
X.O. was the first yoga studio I wrote about on the-e-list way back when, and at the time, one of the few in the area. Things have changed, and these days you can find all manner of styles from Bikram and Hot to Iyengar, Vinyasa and Ashtanga on the Shoreline. That’s a good thing, because finding a teacher that supports you and a studio that inspires is just the ticket to dive deeper into your practice. Classes at XO were high energy and exacting, and while I’ve been a student for years, my practice has changed. I’m less after the purely physical (Ow, my shoulder!, Ow, my thumb!) and more about the mind/body experience. You could say it’s taken me twenty years to be able to quiet my mind in class (and that still doesn’t happen every day), and I think I will always feel like somewhat of a newbie. It’s a practice, after all. At his new studio, Patrick (the ex-XO owner and new New Yoga owner) offers classes at every level with plenty of beginner and moderate classes available. I was happy to head off to 9am Gentle Yoga on the first Sunday of the new year. And so were a pile of other Patrick devotees. An extremely diverse group – all ages, men and women – trickled into the Studio. Patrick is a straightforward and precise teacher, an equally important thing for those new to yoga and those of us who have been around for a while. You’ll find no hearts and flowers here, but a steady stream of reminders that manage to silence the inner critic that constantly runs in my head: the important thing is that you showed up on your mat. Not everything has to be evaluated. Let your body determine whether the class was “good” or not. Like all good studios, you can make a class whatever you want (I push back to Child’s Pose as often as I need to) and this class, though gentle and rather slow, still managed to engage every muscle in my body and left me feeling strengthened and calm. For those that are interested in a bit of community, tea is served after Sunday class. Lovely.
In the old River Dog Yoga location, freshly renovated, 954 Middlesex Turnpike on the Old Saybrook/Essex line.
Pricing: Series ($102) – sign up for a specific class, taking 6 classes over a (7) seven-week period and pay a reduced rate of $16 + tax per class.
5-Class Pass ($95) and 10-Class Pass ($190) – good for 90 days, attend any class on the schedule for $18 per class.
Drop-in – $20