A Visit to It’s Yoga Puerto Rico (aka Ashtanga Yoga)

I was on vacation last week in Puerto Rico. This trip was a little unusual because I had no time to plan and opted to book a room at a resort rather than my usual off the beaten path type of place. After two days on the compound, we were stir crazy and decided to rent a car to do some exploring. Our first stop was Ocean Park, San Juan. This neighborhood was a much better fit. We found beautiful beaches, green juice at Kamoli Kafe, and David Kyle’s yoga studio, It’s Yoga.

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I read a little about the studio online, but I didn’t know much about it before visiting a 9:30 AM Beginners class. The upstairs studio was clean and elegantly spare as the morning light filtered through the windows. For $17 you get a 75 minute yoga class with an amazing teacher, an assistant, and a mat rental. While I was familiar with the poses from my studio, we don’t follow the sequence in the way that ashtanga yoga demands. It was a nice change of pace.

As a newbie to ashtanga yoga, I appreciated the commentary provided. We stayed in downward dog for a full count of five. The teacher, David Kyle, explained that this was part of the practice and an opportunity for us to focus on our breathing. He assured us that it wasn’t just the teacher getting distracted but an opportunity to breath. He was consistent about the timing throughout the class, and I was surprisingly comforted by this.

His assistant was excellent. She gave suggestions for adjustments with such a degree of subtlety that it never distracted me from the class or felt overbearing. This is truly a gift. At the end of the class as we settled into savasana, David said that they do a lot of adjustments during this final pose. My curiosity was piqued. Sure I have gotten my shoulders pressed to the ground or a little dab of oil on my forehead, which were all quite nice. What else could there be to enhance savasana? Moments later I knew. He came over and lifted my legs and then shook them, pulled them, and applied a little pressure in the arches of my feet before returning my feet to the floor. best. savasana. ever.

After leaving the class, I decided to do some more research especially about the Rocket I and II classes that I saw on the schedule. I found out that David Kyle was one of Larry Schultz’s students. Here is a link to a You Tube video of Schultz describing how his practice evolved and led to Rocket yoga.

I had a great time visiting the studio and taking the class. As a runner I like to research the best places to run whenever I am away. It is an opportunity to experience a place in a new way and to savor your workouts while traveling. Visiting yoga studios does the same thing. I love experiencing something different in my practice. Thanks, It’s Yoga!

 

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