Yogis Defy Sandy Winds With Steady Breath and Balanced Postures

By Meredith Hoffman on October 29, 2012 2:45pm 

WILLIAMSBURG — As the gusts mounted and the window rattled, a calm descended inside one Metropolitan Avenue studio, where gale-tussled students settled cross-legged on their mats.

"I'm grateful that they're being of service when we need it most," said Lulu Hagen, 45, of Abhyasa Yoga Studio where she prepared to take a class as Sandy approached. "It helps me stay steady, literally when the wind is blowing the the trees are swaying...and when one person is grounded there's a ripple effect on others."

To mitigate the stress that Sandy's havoc may cause, Abhyasa Yoga instructors plan to hold classes all day and evening — especially since they live just blocks from the center, teacher Gigi Boetto said.

"We're staying open," Boetto said, smiling. "Our last class is at 8:15 p.m."

And for Hagen and Narisara Vani Chanan — both yoga teachers in Manhattan whose classes were canceled due to the shutdown of public transit — the storm was a perfect opportunity to become students again for the day.

"Now is my chance to practice," Vani Chanan rejoiced. "I live three blocks away, it's reasonable to come here...plus a lot of people have cabin fever already. We're New Yorkers — we walk, we roam."

Alex Kuenan, who worked from home Monday, also exulted over her flexible schedule that allowed her to take a mid-morning yoga.

"It's nice, I might as well start my day with it," she said. "I come here a lot, it's my constant in life."

And the calming power of the poses, Kuenan agreed, would help her cope with the chaos that might ensue throughout the day and night.

"Maybe Gigi will throw things at us for practice," she said, laughing, before beginning meditation on her mat.

 

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