Story of a College Yogi
Tales from the Mat
Practice Roundup: Week of 8/11/2013
Location: 92nd St Y
Teacher: Sandi Boerum
Coming to this class on Sunday evenings feels like a true Coming Home. You see, Sandi was my very first yoga teacher my sophomore year of high school. “We never know how we directly or indirectly influence people,” my dear friend and illustrator Julia told me the other week, as we immersed ourselves in a deep conversation as we walked around Union Square. This is most definitely the case for what my mind dwelled on when I thought about this class. Years later, after struggling through Sandi’s first classes with lopsided chatarangas and frustration at being unable to get my feet off the ground in Bakasana (crow pose), I became a yoga teacher and an advanced practitioner. In terms of asana, Sandi was the first one who revealed to me that I had a hyper-flexible back by showing me the walking up and down the wall trick for wheel pose. Now, I teach that trick with glee. Sandi remembered in the way that only phenomenal teachers do that I loved that trick and made sure that I was set up along the side of the room that didn’t have a ballet bar (oh hay practicing in cOMmunity centers again, especially one I call hOMe like the 92nd St Y). She also remembered my name and came up to me at the end of class. This blew my mind. Sandi was also the first teacher who introduced me to meditation. Her classes are 90 minutes long and we hold the poses after transitioning into them in fascinating ways that must stem from her own practice and play on the mat. We are, by deeply sitting in the asanas, preparing the body for meditation. At 7pm after the class ends, she offers up fifteen minutes of meditation with a gong to signal the start and end. Before we meditated, she read a phenomenal passage of Ram Dass. I sunk into the practice, sinking into the week, relieving the Sunday night blues in a way that I remember vividly from my high school self, from my beginner’s mind.
About the Author
Shira Engel is a yoga teacher and student at Wesleyan University, where she is studying Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English. She is the author of the e-book Yoga U: The College Student's Tools for Balanced Living. She is the co-founder of WesBAM! Wesleyan Body and Mind, which seeks to make yoga accessible to college students. Shira seeks to create a college yoga movement that helps college students live integrated and holistic lives mind/body wellness in order to embrace and explore their full potential.
Review of Bach Yoga event sponsored by WQXR and the 92nd St Y, posted on facebook:
"BACH YOGA VERDICT: MORE PLEASE!"
"The reviews appear to be unanimous: Yoga + Bach + 90 minutes = Bliss. Here's what a couple of participants had to say about the Bach Yoga event held earlier today at the May Center. Thanks again to WQXR Classical Radio for their partnership. We’re already hearing feedback that we should repeat the session."
YELP review of my yoga class at the Church St. Boxing Gym:
4 out of 5 stars
Kristen B. of Astoria, Queens writes:
"I almost don't want to write this review for fear that I will ruin Church Street Boxing Gym's best-kept secret: they offer 45-minute lunchtime yoga classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays! I was doing a random Google search for fitness classes near my office, and lo and behold, I found out that yoga instructor Sandi Boerum teaches classes here twice a week. You don't have to be a gym member to attend.
The yoga class took place in the private back room, and there were only a handful of attendees, so we got a lot of individual attention and helpful corrections.
Her lunchtime class was perfect -- I broke a sweat, but barely, which was great, because of course I had to return to the office immediately afterwords. I DID leave feeling relaxed and like I got a good workout.
(Church Street Boxing Gym's website doesn't have a lot of information about the yoga classes, though it is mentioned on their schedule...I found the info on Sandi's website: http://www.yogigirl.com/…)
I can't really speak for the boxing portion of the gym, obviously. It did look a bit gritty. The guy at the front desk was very nice; he did seem a bit surprised that I was there for the yoga class. I take it they aren't usually very well attended. Of course, that may change once everyone finds out about them!"
YELP review at New Field Yoga:
K.G. of Mohegan Lake, NY writes:
"I've taken yoga & pilates classes here since it opened, and am mostly pleased. It's well located near the South St. Seaport. Owner keeps it very clean and it looks like new still -- bright and shiny. Instructors are very good, especially Sandi Boerum."