On a snowy Saturday morning in early December, I walked into New Vibe Yoga looking to revamp my fitness routine with some Ashtanga yoga.
Ashtanga is a well-balanced practice that works multiple parts of the body to develop strength, balance and flexibility. It involves syncing the breath with a series of postures which produce internal heat, in turn detoxifying the muscles and organs. The benefits of Ashtanga include improved circulation, a stronger body and a calm mind.
Yoga at New Vibe is a full sensory experience. From the eucalyptus filled airy spaces to the sound of embers crackling in the wood burning fireplace, the entire studio offers a fully immersive escape from the hectic streets of Manhattan.
Classes are held every day of the week and many are suitable for all levels, though some familiarity with basic yoga poses is recommended – think chaturanga and downward dog. While I consider myself a beginner, I never found myself lost in the class even when I lacked the flexibility necessary to achieve some of the poses. Our instructor provided plenty of equally challenging alternatives for the less experienced students and paid special attention to guiding us all into achieving proper form. New Vibe offers new students a complimentary first class which makes it the perfect opportunity to try out ashtanga.
After spending the afternoon in the studio, I descended the spiral staircase onto Saint Mark’s Place, where young men and women ran about in Santa costumes. Taxis honked furiously attempting to navigate the jaywalking Clauses and pedestrians inched along slowly, careful not to slip on the season’s first snow. I threw in my earbuds, put up my hood and peacefully decided that nothing would be killing my vibe that day.