Namaste Miami - Ego Trip

My quest for accessible and affordable yoga led me to the Saturday community class at Miami Life Center, 736 Sixth Street, in South Beach. The one-hour class at 12:30 p.m. is $5 and billed as an intro to yoga class. Yoga-curious friends have told me they'd like to find a non-intimidating space where they can get comfortable with their bodies as they work though postures.

I read the description on the studio's site: "If you're new to yoga and think you're not strong enough or flexible, start here." It sounded just right for newbies. On my walk to the studio, I thought with my ego. Practicing yoga for more than five years, I presumed the teacher would notice my more advanced level and I'd have to fess up that I was there for a blog.

Not so. Angelique taught the class that was basic ashtanga, an intense series of postures. A gentle and playful teacher, she guided us, step-by-step. Most of the seven students had a degree of fitness and looked like they had done yoga before. More than half the class went into full backbends. Angelique corrected my postures. I was humbled, sweaty and hot.

Though I can't recommend this class to absolute beginners, I would definitely suggest it to more intermediate beginners who'd like to move their practice into ashtanga. It was a reminder that being "good" is relative. There's nothing wrong with feeling like a beginner.

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Janine Zeitlin

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