Why is it that the jankiest yoga studios in Boston have the most challenging, kick ass classes and the most beautiful studios tend to cater to a different type of yogi that doesn’t seem to be there for the physical benefit, but more for the mental awakening and a good stretch? Don’t get us wrong, one isn’t better than the other, but for us, the spiritual awakening is best accompanied by a sweaty mat and some form of muscle fatigue. Coolidge Corner Yoga is a gorgeous studio with a gentle, quiet, soft staff and feel that makes taking a class there truly a calming and centering experience, but even the “core flow” class is best suited for a rest day.
CCY offers a variety of yoga classes including vinyasa, prenatal, core flow, yin, forrest, yoga for athletes, yoga for teenagers, meditation, etc. We took the vinyasa class and left groggy with our contacts sticking to our eyes and ready for a nap. On the website, the vinyasa class is described as a “vigorous” class that moves towards a challenging peak pose. We just can’t agree. It was a true vinyasa class, not a power vinyasa class – 1.5 hours of movement and breathing with intermittent rests immediately after any pose or sequence that potentially initiated a spike in heart rate.
The first 15 minutes were spent supine opening our back body and warming up the spine, then we continued with 45 minutes of modified Sun Salutations peppered with standing sequences that we wouldn’t consider vigorous due to cadence and choice of asana. We slowly moved from postures like pyramid to side angle to half moon to rest. Then we slowly moved from down dog to runner’s lunge to crescent lunge to tree pose to rest. You get the point. After the standing series, we backbended, twisted, and inverted (think waterfall, not headstand) and we rocked corpse pose for a good 10-12 minutes.
We felt great after class – calm, relaxed, and centered. For us, the best yoga classes are the ones where you use the practice of asana to fatigue your body enough that when you find your way into savasana you are able to rest and come into a meditative state. This particular class didn’t bring us there, but it did stretch us out and allow and provide us with relaxation through the experience.
You can tell Sandy Kalik Bartone is a yoga teacher a mile away. She is calm and inviting, confident and knowledgeable, accepting and encouraging, and commands the room well. But in our eyes, great yoga teachers have an authenticity and a bit of flare. We look for teachers who are willing to try something new, push the boundaries, make ridiculous jokes, and connect with us rather than simply guide us through movements we’ve done before. That being said, would we take Sandy’s class again? Absolutely! Is she our favorite yoga teacher in Boston? Not quite.
Coolidge Corner Yoga is located right off the green line in Coolidge Corner. The studio is gorgeous with a bohemian feel: dark wood floors, high ceilings, and an amazing Ganesha mural. There are large windows providing natural light which sets the tone for your practice. There are 2 practice studios, a lovely kitchen/sitting area, 2 bathrooms (1 shower w/o amenities), changing rooms, and mat storage. There is also a small retail section with CCY branded apparel and vegan snacks/cold-pressed juice for purchase. If nothing else, take a class there for the ambiance, get a cheap bottle of wine next door at Trader Joe’s, and call it a night.
1297 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA Brookline Yoga $
Coolidge Corner Yoga
Brookline Yoga $
1297 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
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