the image on top is "Welcome Home Sweet Sugar" by Kelsey Brooks

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kishan Shah

There's nothing like a rockin vinyasa class in the evening...unless you're in Venice, and that class has dubstep, and an instructor with the best adjustments I've seen on the west coast.

Kishan's Shah's class is a beautiful combination of depth and bass, a solid sequence mixed with sweet spirituality, and an opportunity to sweat it all out.

As much as I appreciate challenge in my classes, I really much prefer it when there's an element in the class that ignites a fire within me, instead of pushing me.

Kishan is quite at home in Exhale's golden Sun room, and he splits his passion between standing meditation and yogic squats. The first time I went, I was so moved by the music, I felt I was stretching far into the sky in my standing poses, particularly the heart-opening lunges. I was so happy I decided to arrive at the studio that evening. I had heard of Kishan a few times, and had the intention of trying out his class for a while. So one unproductive day (I should wisely abandon accomplishment until after 7, really), I came in and let go of a whole bunch of stress: it was fantastic!

The next time I took class, I arrived after spending a weekend hiking 12 miles back and forth to a place called 'The Bridge To Nowhere'. My legs hurt, to say the least. Kishan's concern was apparent as he came over to me in my third or fourth time in child's pose, and asked me if I was. Just sore, I assured him, thankful for the attention. A little while later, he brought me into the deepest twist I had ever experienced, with my chest straight up into the sky in a twisted lunge. Impressive, and challenging : )

An afternoon with Kate Duyn Cariati

When I walked into Kate's class, I joined several other women who were undoubtedly in the same space as me: craving an afternoon break of movement and meditation.

Kate's creative sequencing was truly spectacular, especially her fearlessness with arm balances. It was a Level 2/3 class, so there was certainly an element of challenge to the practice.

I had come in, admittedly, a slightly unbalanced state, and I was grateful for Kate's patience as I shed a silent tear or two, and fell out of more than a few poses. I really appreciate it when a teacher places me in situations that I'm usually a bit to lazy to enter into during my morning practices, like eka pada koundiyanasana (yeah, I had to look that up...). Kate led us into these spaces with a graceful, sweet and friendly air. Several times, she came over to whisper a friendly word of encouragement in my ear- much appreciated!

Overall, I left Kate's class with a sense of peace and accomplishment, and undoubtedly a stronger core as well : )