After a full day, starting with a 6.30am private, meeting potential nanny candidates, spending time with son before dropping off at nursery, and an afternoon of Rolfing Training, by 7pm exhaustion set in. Nevertheless, I did manage to make it to Indaba Yoga Studio for Jessica Puglie’s 7:30pm Dharma Mittra class.
I have always enjoyed Jessica’s classes for her diverse approach, attention to detail, ability to cater for all levels, and for her modesty; not to mention her twirly Italian accent. She often takes time at the beginning for a short meditation or pranayama. While I must admit I was a few minutes late into the class, as I watched from outside the doors until the group finished sitting, it appeared there was a short meditation going on. Jessica’s music choice is calming: she regularly plays a mix of classical music, classical contemporary and bhajans, something that seems to slow down the nervous system enabling a deepening of the breath and grounding into the earth.
Similar to Mark’s class, there were plenty of opportunities to practice handstands, forearmstands and headstands with variations, with traditional Dharma Mittra sequencing including hip openers, backbends, twists and balances. The energy of the class, however, appeared to be different, with less of an acrobatic touch. Jessica emphasized doing basic things correctly rather than encouraging people to go the extra mile to try the more advanced postures, something that felt appropriate for me personally this evening as I was feeling pretty depleted on arrival.
Someone on a mat nearby was having some difficulty in hanumanasana (front to back splits), and Jessica spent generous time with her. The woman shared with Jessica that this was her first time in such a class, and Jessica offered her a big smile, a touch on the back and words of encouragement.
My favourite thing about Jessica’s class is her ability to lead a Dharma Mittra ‘style’ class while incorporating many other modalities of yoga and teaching into the framework. It is clear she has practiced many different styles and this adds a great depth to her teaching.
If you have some yoga experience, been curious about Dharma Mittra and wanting to give it a try without being overwhelmed, this class could be the right place to start!