We don’t tend to venture over to Jamaica Plain much. Why? Thrillist explains JP a lot better than we can: “It’s neither Jamaica nor plain. Once the Allston/Brighton denizens start working at a non-profit or get really serious about their art, they invariably move to JP…Residency comes with a free yoga mat and a dog from the rescue organization of your choice.” We typically like to stay close to high end spin studios and cold pressed juice bars, and don’t like to be more than 5 miles from a lululemon. That being said, we will make the trip again (without our rescue dog) to practice again at JP Centre Yoga with co-owner Daniel Max. It was worth the trip.
JP Centre Yoga, like most studios that only offer yoga classes, caters to many different types of yogis through the classes it offers – all levels, yin, hot, power, prenatal, and teen, as well as lots of workshops. The class we took was an hour long all-levels class. An all-levels class is refreshing because you get to hear how a teacher breaks down the most simple of asanas. Teaching a beginner or all-levels class can be challenging for a teacher with an advanced practice because it forces them to think back to the basics and teach with a beginner’s mind. Daniel nailed it.
The class was warm, not hot, and filled will all different body types and ability levels. As people started filtering in we saw a lot more Prana & Patagonia clothes and Jade & Manduka mats then we see at studios like Baptiste, Yogaworks, and Core Power. We’re used to alo, lululemon, & Spiritual Gangster, but could broaden our horizons. When Daniel entered, it was very obvious he is loved and respected in his community – he connected with lots of people as he walked around, then when he said class was starting the room quickly went silent. The flow was slower-paced than we are used to and was more of a Iyengar-style class than Vinyasa class. We moved from pose to pose, re-centering in down dog in between rather than flowing through posture after posture. This meant our heart rates stayed low and we didn’t work up much of a sweat.
But getting sweaty isn’t why we came to Daniel’s class. Daniel’s cueing was very specific and really had us thinking about each muscle being used and the placement of our bodies in a very detailed way. We found this class to offer basic asanas, but to be exponentially beneficial to our alignment and knowledge of the poses and the actions our bodies are supposed to be taking within each pose. This class was more about learning the ancient practice of yoga than working out.
Daniel Max’s knowledge and experience is unrivaled in the Boston yoga community. He has a background in meditation and nutrition and offers Shiatsu healing, as well as other healing practices, at JPCY. He is a very methodical, calm, light teacher who radiates support and love for his community, and it is reciprocated. As we mentioned, the yogis at JPCY love him, his classes are always packed, and he seems to connect and have a relationship with all his students. He really is a phenomenal yoga instructor and teaches all aspects of the yoga practice to his students, not just the poses – which he’ll tell you are only the tip of the iceberg if you want to become a true yogi.
JP Centre Yoga is located right above City Feed, we were able to get our cold pressed juice fix (phew!). You can also stop for a post class craft beer if you’re into that; we’re not (#holdthegluten). The studio is an old warehouse, so the high ceilings and large windows make the 2 studio rooms feel spacious and bright. Yogis are asked to leave their shoes and cell phones outside of the studio and, once inside, there is a small retail section (JPCY shirts, local artists’ work, water), a bathroom, and a couple changing rooms. No bells and whistles, but we didn’t come for the bells and whistles: we came for Daniel and to learn how to practice yoga.
670 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 Jamacia Plain Yoga $
JP Centre Yoga
Jamacia Plain Yoga $
670 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
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So. Much. Twisting. We knew class was challenging throughout but it wasn’t until the next morning when our obliques were screaming at us that we realized just how hard Kathy’s class was, we LOVED it! The room was heated just enough to help increase flexibility but not enough to be dripping in sweat.
75 min is the ideal length for a yoga class in our opinion. The first 10 minutes of class is spent in childs pose, setting your intention for class, and gently warming up. The next 50 minutes we flowed, mixing in plank work throughout to keep our abs engaged. Each pose we held for 3 or more breaths, really feeling the pose and giving Kathy time to provide cues to make adjustments to deepen or better align in the pose. The focus of the class was all about twisting. Starting with simple twists, revolved crescent lunge, exalted warrior, prayer twist, and playing around with side crow. Breathing into each pose allowed a greater awareness of what your body is doing, not to mention increases difficulty by holding the pose longer.
JP Centre Yoga is known for their amazing instructors and Kathy did not disappoint. The class varied in skill levels yet Kathy’s cues were spot on in helping all yogis adjust and improve their poses. Good form was emphasized throughout Kathy’s class, she encouraged us to push ourselves but to be aware of our body’s limitations and to be accepting of that. We loved Kathy’s class for the authenticity she brought to the yoga practice. This no frills style kept the focus on why we practice yoga instead of working on an Instagram worthy pose. Kathy is clearly a knowledgeable yoga instructor, we recommend taking her class if you’re looking to deepen your yoga practice.