22 July 2015

New York {50 States of Yoga}

New Hope, PA
I awoke quite early and began my double state day by driving from PA across the state of New Jersey to Goshen, New York.  The plan was to drive there on highways, but I can't resist a little detour through New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ.  These 2 little towns that hug opposite sides of the Delaware River are charming.  Filled with antique stores, eclectic second-hand shops, and a charisma that I have found bewitching.  Since my husband brought me the first time, 5 years ago, I have returned every time we've visited Bucks County, PA since.  So, even though I didn't have time to stop and stroll the streets of New Hope and Lambertville this time, I did enjoy the quick drive through their quiet, early morning streets.

I returned to the highway and went full speed ahead to Oakland, NJ.  I exited the highway, grabbed a mid-morning snack, and realized I had enough time to take some back roads to Goshen.  With GPS in hand, I began winding through state parks, state forests, and found myself driving along the shore of Greenwood Lake.  For a moment I was transported to my parents' area - the Lakes Region of NH.  The drive along Greenwood Lake felt magical.  It was nearing midday, but a midweek day, so it was quiet and still.  One leg of the drive has the lake on one edge and a large, granite face on the other.  It reminded me so much of the drive around Newfound Lake, NH.  Beautiful!

One thing that bugs me about my GPS, is it doesn't tell me when I have crossed a state border.  I wish it did.  Greenwood Lake is half in NJ and half in NY; I had no idea that I had crossed the border until long after I had been in New York.  Not that it matters, much.  But I like to take photos with the Entering the State of .... signs, so if I knew I was crossing into the state - I could at least try to look for the sign!  Although, on these little backroads, a lot of the time there is no sign.  I continued my drive through the backroads of NY and soon found myself in the quaint little town of Goshen.

That's Happy Buddha Yoga back there in the brick building!

Happy Buddha Yoga is smack in the middle of downtown.  I was 25 minutes early, and being unfamiliar with the set up of the studio, barged right into a teacher training class!  Oops.  Fortunately, they let me in, so I used the facilities, then sat and observed.  I believe they were learning the Sanskrit alphabet.  Practicing the sounds outloud together.  It wasn't long before they took a break and my class's instructor, Mary, arrived.

I had signed up for the Gentle Yoga class with Mary Stark.  I always feel so blessed to find the yoga classes that I end up in.  It's most often random google searches that lead me to these studios and classes, but often times I feel that if I lived there I would be back again and again.  Mary's class was no different.  The flow to the class was perfect for me; I loved it!  I was slightly uncoordinated when we were doing a Goddess pose with Cactus arms, unable to get me feet do to what my brain was telling them to do.. and because I was concentrating so hard on my feet my arms were all over the place.  I just chalked it up to being weary.

Towards the end of class we were instructed into a modified frog pose.  For months I have been discovering how flexible my hip joints are.  {Often times in a class I feel as if I have such limited flexibility.. in my ankles, my wrists, and in general - but then when we do hip openers my hips are so nimble! Haha.. it makes me feel like less of a stiff pole.} As we slid down into the modified frog I decided today might be my day for removing the modifications and going for it.  And I did.  I did a complete frog with my hips/pelvis all the way down to the ground.  I felt amazing!  And then... for the first time ever... the teacher pointed me out in class.  While everyone was doing the modified she pointed out that I was doing regular frog.  Which at first felt a little embarassing, and then felt amazing.. because Hey!  I was doing the frog!

This is the Frog Pose!

I felt amazing after class.  I put away my borrowed mat and props, changed into street clothes for my afternoon drive ahead, and headed back into the studio to find Mary had already left and the teacher training class had resumed.  Darn!  I like to talk to the teachers after class and let them know about my 50 States of Yoga adventure and my blog.  I feel it is only fair to let the teacher know some stranger will be talking about their class off in cyberspace.  But I had missed Mary.  Bummer.  I gave the teacher training instructor my 50SoY business card, a few more to those in training, then made my way out into hot and humid downtown Goshen.

I sat around the town square for a half hour.  Reading signs, talking on the phone with my husband, and absorbing their little town's beauty.  I love small town America.  I keep ending up living in cities, but I dream about living in small town America.  {Truth be told, in my city of 150,000 residents - Hayward, CA - more and more I feel it's a little bit like a small town, which is nice.}  Anyway, I admired their old buildings as I figured out which direction to take out of town.

I headed west out of Goshen onto a backroad towards upstate New Jersey.  I had several hours to kill before that evening's NJ yoga class and miles of rural roads to explore.

Check out all the 50 States of Yoga here!

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