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In the news: Slow and Steady with Eric Powell (

October 30, 2009

yoga city

yoga sleuthSlow and Steady with Eric Powell
Sangha Yoga
107 North 3rd Street, 2nd Floor, between Berry and Wythe
Sat 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Yoga Sleuth’s growing practice took another leap forward recently under the tutelage of Eric Powell, now teaching at the beautiful Sangha Yoga studio in Williamsburg. Sangha offers a myriad of styles, including Ashtanga, MySore and Iyengar.

Eric is a disciple of Srivatsa Ramaswami, (a student of Krisnamacharya), and has created a special “slow flow” that is a godsend to students like me looking to correct their alignment and go deeper into poses. He believes in working on a certain pose (or type of pose) slowly, for long periods of time. This allows for remarkable strides in one’s practice that cannot usually be made in a fast flow class where poses are held briefly without much attention to alignment.

Seated twists reveal some “issues” with my alignment that Eric helps me correct. He reminds me to keep my bent knee’s inner foot pressed to the earth, and to not lead the twist with my turning neck. He gives me a point on the wall to focus on that will allow me to lead the twist with my torso. He stands behind me and lets me lean up against him so my back is straight, and then I twist, pulling my ribs in to express the pose properly, like never before.

Next up is plow, a pose that I have trouble with. But with all the prep we’ve done, my plow is much stronger today. From my plow I slowly roll down into the pose we’ve been building towards, a full Paschimottanasana. We go from plow to fold several times, staying three to four breaths in each expression. Then Eric calls for shoulder stand, and suggests a version of the Queen of Asanas that I have never tried before. I put my hands on my hip creases instead of my lower back, and widen my legs, eventually coming into “Upavistha” legs. This is an unusual version of the pose that I tackle with relish and resolve to incorporate into my practice going forward. We then go to regular shoulder stand, which seems stronger and straighter than usual for me. I credit that to Eric’s guidance and encouragement.

Eric’s class is not to be missed. He is a master of alignment and proper posture expression and will leave you feeling that your practice has matured faster than you thought possible.

Classes at Sangha our $20 drop-in; mat rental is $1.

-Jim Catalpano for Yoga Sleuth

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