23 July 2015

New Jersey {50 States of Yoga}

I drove and drove and drove through the backroads of northern New Jersey.  Through small towns, through forests, along lakes, along farmlands.  Everytime I hear someone bad mouth New Jersey I cringe.  I used to cringe because I know the New Jersey side of the Delaware River.  Lambertsville.  Frenchtown.  And I love these areas.  They're so beautiful and green and wild.  And now I cringe because I know upstate NJ.  The rolling hills.  The corn fields.  The old farmhouses.  I know there are less desirable areas of New Jersey, but every state has a dark side and NJ gets a bad rap.  But off my high horse and back to New Jersey.

After literally hours of zig-zagging and oooing and aaahhing my way across the state, I drove to Denville, NJ.  Denville felt bigger than Goshen, NY did, more like a suburban town.  I was quite a bit early and didn't want a repeat of this morning's barging in scenario, so I sat in my car and watched the pedestrians go by.  People watching can be fun if they don't know you're watching them.

I finally entered Prana Yoga Center for my Beginner Hatha Flow class with Luciana.  I have so much to say about this whole experience.  I think I was very overwhelmed by it, to the point that I forgot to take a single photograph there!  {All of the photos below are sourced and not mine.}  Let me start by saying I chose this studio because they offer a Surf Fitness Workshop - you know the kind with surfboards on a pivot base on dry land.  And, although I did not take this workshop  - and really do not think I am in an kind of physical shape at the moment to take such workshop - I want to!  I want to learn how to surf in water... and think this kind of class would be an amazing start to that!  So yeah, who knows.. maybe one day I will return to Bucks County, PA to visit my in-laws for a few days and take the Surf Fitness workshop at Prana Yoga!


But enough about my vagabond dreams... I was really here to take a yoga class.  When I walked in the front door I was greeted by a luxurious, spa-like foyer and the most pleasant aroma!  I have no idea where this smell came from, but it permeated they entire studio from font to back.  It was deep and earthy, but not overpowering in any way.  In fact I ended up forgotting about the scent during the class as it faded into the background.  As I acclimated to the space and asked the receptionist about a mat to borrow, she pointed me towards a basket.  I grabbed a mat, headed into the studio, and set up my space with props for the class.  Shortly thereafter I met my teacher, Luciana, and discovered I had accidentally taken her mat!  Oops!  I swapped mats with her, set back up, and the class began.


One thing I have solidified for myself - Flow-style yoga is not my thing.  The class was Hatha Flow.  The intention I set for my class at the beginning was "strength".  And I had just enough strength to get through the class.  I struggled through the flows.  My belly gets in the way on many poses during flow classes and I always feel like I am one step behind.  I also am learning that I prefer to hold poses and concentrate on my breath while in these poses.  I can't seem to keep it together in the flow.  My breath.  My movements.  The class was still a great experience.  I always learn something new.  Luciana was a fantasticly patient teacher.  And I am slowly learning what works best for me... and flow isn't it.


I left Prana Yoga Center exhausted with a 90 minute drive ahead of me.  Eager to get back to my in-laws home and go to bed, I took the highway the whole way - except through Lambertsville, NJ and New Hope, PA.  Again, I wasn't there at the right time.  It was after 10pm and the towns were pretty much asleep - but still oh so lovely.

Catch up on more 50 States of Yoga here!


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