My window to practice today was rather limited due to my transplant clinic (so far, so good), and my new class at the Life Centre Notting Hill on Tuesday evenings at 6:45, but I saw Alexa’s name on the schedule and was delighted to see that her class would be right before mine at Notting Hill. I had heard about her for some time but had never had the chance to go to her class before. As I arrived the classes were changing over so It was a little chaotic in the entry space, but It was wonderful to be greeted by such kindness at reception. The class took place in the downstairs studio and was well attended.
Alexa came in and wished everyone a happy new year, stating she was moving rather slowly, but invited us to adjust our practice level to how we felt. Sounded good to me. Then she announced that we would be starting the class with qi gong because she felt it created a nice energy for the class. I was skeptical, but after she spoke it for several minutes, I was ready to give it a try. The instructions were simple for a sequence called Wild Geese, and we were off. She played soft music that she spoke over while we ‘flew’, and after 10 minutes or so we were brought back to standing at the front of our mat. I have to admit, it was a grounding practice and it did shift the energy of the class. Everyone was focused and it felt calm in the room. We went right in to an unusual sun salutation the included lunges, standing lunges and twists, and this was the core of the practice. She continued to add to the flow of the sun salutations right up until we came full circle with the Wild Geese qi gong exercise. After a few last rounds we were invited to either continue or lie in savasana. Alexa then made the comment that in life, we are either giving or receiving. Everything in life flows like that, and in the class, those in savasana at that moment were in need of receiving, and those practicing the qi gong sequence were contributing to stabilizing the energy of the room. I was able to deeply relax in savasana even knowing that others were still spreading their wings. It was labelled a level 1-2 class, and the class provided a spectrum for varied levels to remain challenged.
This was not a ‘traditional’ yoga class in that we didn’t to a wide range of varied asanas. There were technically no back bends, inversions or seated postures, and the standing postures were limited to warrior 2 and reverse warrior, a twisting variation of padmottanasana and adho mukha svanasana. Additionally there were several variations of lunges, and two three legged chatturangas, downward dogs and uttanasana.
What I liked about Alexa was her quiet confidence as a teacher. The class had clearly been thought through and she came across as experienced but accessible, and enthusiastic about teaching yoga.
The Life Centre, Notting Hill has a different energy about it than the others that I frequent regularly. While I can’t exactly out my finger on it, perhaps my impression is based on the entrance way that it slightly cramped due to the layout of the building. There is not much of a place for practitioners to hang out and relax after class, but there is also a coziness to the space. It was nice to be back practicing, and teaching there tonight, and I’m looking forward to going back next week.
Tomorrow, Laura Gate Eastley, Triyoga Primrose Hill, 12:15-1:45 before teaching at 2pm…any takers?