Bali in 07

Style: Power Xpress
Teacher: Natalie Holst
Studio: Rama Lotus

Not long ago, when the city was still coated in a sheet of ice with snowflakes gracefully hanging in the balance as I trudged through a dark winter wonderland, 6:30 am yoga was an alternate reality. Stepping out into the balmy morning blanketed in a gentle mist, the sun is already sneaking over the horizon and welcoming me to practice. The north wind has withdrawn its siege on the landscape. Entering the chamber of fire known as the Hot room, I unroll my mat and mentally prepare myself for an hour of Power yoga in the sweltering heat.

This class is known as Power Express. Although it's only an hour long, it contains no rest or repose. It hits the ground running and doesn't wait for you to catch up. There's nothing like getting your ass kicked first thing in the morning.

In my mind there always tends to be a comparison between Power yoga and Ashtanga. They're both very similar but have their own unique genetics, something like distant cousins. I love them both like family. Depending how you look at it, they're both incomplete or they compliment each other nicely. A criticism of Power could be that it doesn't always focus on preparing the body for full lotus like Ashtanga, but it will get you looking like Schwarzenegger in '81. In turn, Ashtanga could be charged with with moving too fast. Like a hyperactive teen with attention deficit disorder, five breaths is a relatively short amount of time to settle into a pose and extract all the benefits.

Like close friends with their lovable flaws, the stance I'll take is one of openness and acceptance. I'm not interested in a debate. I'm at the playground and I'm trying to organize a game of hide & seek or hopscotch, not get lost in redundant semantics. Soon the battle with Power Express is won and I'm back outside in the warm morning sunshine, ready for the day to reveal itself.


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