I’ve been on a way-too long yoga hiatus. Sure, I’ve done some prenatal yoga here and there throughout my pregnancies, but it’s a far cry from a regular yoga practice. Even though I know how awesome yoga always makes me feel, I never find myself hitting up yoga at my gym. But when Poe Yoga invited me to one of its classes, for whatever reason, I jumped at the chance. They’ve got two locations near me, along with plans for studios in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and the Hamptons. Plus, the founder’s name is Sunshine, so I figured how could I not check it out?
Poe offers new fusion fitness offerings, one of which is Poe Power, a 45-50 minute workout that incorporates high-intensity interval training, yoga poses, boxing techniques, boot camp exercises and plyometrics. Then there’s Poe Fire Barre, which merges precision dance techniques and yoga movements with strength training and light weights. Both sounded pretty killer, but because of my previously mentioned yoga hiatus, I opted for Poe Earth, which is more of a beginner-friendly option.
I hit up the Short Hills, N.J., location and was struck by how pretty the studio was. The yoga studio was on one side, while the boxing area was on the other, a nice combination of zen and hardcore. They also had a changing area with lockers — because no phones allowed in the studio.
The POE earth class was in a warm 85-degree room. You got sweaty, but it wasn’t crazy-hot like a Bikram class. It was a really accessible class that went at a slow pace, and we were all encouraged to work at our level. You were really able to focus on the postures commonly found in vinyasa classes and I never felt like I needed to “keep up.” The class felt like a warm yoga hug, and if you’ve taken yoga, you know what I mean. It wasn’t overly strenuous, but it was challenging in a good way.
It also reminded me why everyone should take yoga regularly: When doing yoga, you notice where your body is off balance. You notice your strengths and weaknesses, where you body is strong and where you could improve. You notice your alignment and where you’re stiff. Where you’re flexible and where you’re not. At one point we were doing a pose with our hands in prayer when I noticed that my shoulder looked tweaked in a way that it wasn’t when I’d done it on the first side. My arm just looked like it wasn’t in the right place. I never would have noticed that I need to really work on my posture and my alignment had I not been in that class, looking at my posture in the mirror.
To make Poe even better? They’re hosting a Fit for Fido fundraiser in Short Hills and Far Hills, N.J., on April 21 to benefit the Humane Society of New York. Participants will get to do a number of animal-inspired poses as they raise money for the cause. All of the $30 per person will go to the cause.
Who wouldn’t want to down dog for Bill and his sriracha chew toy!?
Have you taken a yoga break? I find it so intimidating to start up again, but there are always newbies in class. You’re never alone! —Erin