I always feel at home on a yoga mat, but my yoga practice is sporadic at best. I marked “YOGA” on my calendar for Friday, and I had planned to go to the Chakra Immersion class at Chichester Yoga, but I had the wrong time so I wasn’t able to make it there on time. I still wanted to get to a 9:30am yoga class on Friday, so I went to Woodstock Yoga Center where Barbara Boris was subbing for Alison Sinatra. In the wee hours of the morning, Boris updated her Facebook status to read “I’m subbing Alison Sinatra’s 9:30 Vinyasa class on Friday, July 5. Independence theme. ‘Old Skool Jivamukti Style,’ just one more for the hippies in town.”
In the spirit of Independence Day, Boris began the class by talking about the similarities between the themes in the Declaration of Independence (“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”) and the principles of yoga (“Let all beings be happy and free”). She asked us to think about independence by starting with the political and moving into the spiritual. Her eclectic playlist began with an audio excerpt of Senator John F. Kennedy reading the Preamble of the Constitution during a Radio Show in 1957. Pete Seeger’s “We Shall Overcome” was also on the playlist, and now I can’t get that song out of my head.
The class was very crowded and there wasn’t much wiggle room with five mats spread across each row. The windows were wide open allowing a sweet breeze of incense and Woodstock heat into the room. At one point I had to fight the urge to kill a big black ant as it crawled across my yoga mat, but I really enjoyed the flow of the class, and all of Barbara’s demonstrations. (FYI, I learned via their Facebook page that the fans were fixed later in the day!)
As soon as I saw Barbara Boris, I knew I had spoken to her before, but I couldn’t remember the circumstance, then suddenly I had a flashback to my intimidating afternoon with Joan White at Clear Yoga in Rhinebeck, where Barbara Boris came to my rescue as I was way in over my yogi head in that Iyengar Intermediate class. If you have a chance to take a class with Barbara Boris, go for it! She is a great teacher, and I could listen to her talk about her trips to India all day because I sometimes miss my trips to India too though my trips didn’t include any kind of yoga training. The class ended with a post-savasana bow to Jimi Hendrix as we enjoyed his version of Star Spangled Banner. I have to say, only in Woodstock!
Find more Hudson Valley Good Stuff reviews at Vanessa Ahern's blog HVGoodStuff.com.