Day 4 of Fitness – Flow and Let Go at Active Sol Yoga
Best Self editor: Flannery Keck
For my first workout of 2015, I couldn’t think of a better option than yoga. To me, it’s the perfect combination of strength-building, stretching, relaxing and getting my heart pumping. With that in mind, I chose to attend the Active Sol Yoga’s Flow and Let Go class with instructor Flo Sheffield. This is typically a 90-minute class but was a special two-hour session to ring in the new year.
The studio is just off of Peachtree Road in Buckhead, on Bennett Street. (If you’re new to the studio, give yourself an extra few minutes to find it—when you turn on Bennett Street, continue all the way down and then turn left. The studio is tucked up on the hill). I pulled in a few minutes early, parked and headed inside. I took off my shoes and placed them on the shelf in the entryway, and Flo got me checked in. Your first class is free! I filled up my water bottle, stuck my purse in a cubby and then got settled on my mat. If you don’t have a mat of your own, Active Sol has plenty available for you use during class.
Once everyone arrived, Flo started class. We spent 75 minutes doing Vinyasa yoga, which consisted of the sun salutations and warrior poses that many of us are familiar with. The focus during this part of the class was getting our heart rates up, building strength in our legs and cores, maintaining good alignment and stretching out our hips, hamstrings, backs, pectorals and so on. Flo explained each pose clearly and circulated the room to adjust people as necessary. Her cheerful spirit and encouraging attitude made the class feel very safe and supportive.
After the Vinyasa section, we moved into a period of restorative yoga, which was new to me. Instead of focusing on alignment and strength building, this restorative approach simply meets your body where it is. We started out by sitting with our legs out straight and folding forward into a seated forward bend, but instead of pulling with our hands and trying to stretch further, we simply placed our foreheads on blocks and relaxed as far froward as our bodies would naturally bend. Flo pointed out, “If you’re Type A, always on the go, these poses might be challenging for you.” She might as well have been speaking directly to me! It really was tough to site still rather than continually striving to stretch further and work harder, so it was a good lesson for me both on and off the mat. I really enjoyed this new element the class introduced to my yoga practice.
We finished with a guided meditation, which focused on positive affirmations for ourselves, our family and friends, and all living things. Then we moved into savasana for several minutes, simply lying back on our mats and letting our bodies completely relax. Even though the class was two hours, it really seemed to fly by. Flo kept up a great pace, and having two distinct sections of the class helped keep me engaged and focuses. This class would be a great option for people of all fitness levels—there are plenty of blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets and towels right in the practice room so you can modify any pose you need a little help with. Anyone interested in trying yoga for the first time would also benefit from this class, since it gives you a sense of two different types of yoga practices: Vinyasa and restorative. I’ll definitely be back—maybe I’ll see you there!
Details: Active Sol Yoga, 200 Bennett Street NW, Suite A Atlanta, GA, 404-236-9643, activesolyoga.com