Whether to improve your game or give you game, these inventive classes use yoga to enhance other pursuits.
For Going the Distance (running, golfing, cycling)
Pros on the Nets, the Mets and the Giants have all done yoga. Now savvy amateur athletes can benefit from asana guidance, too. This winter, Yoga Works (212-769-9642, yogaworks.com) offers a variety of two-hour yoga workshops that help runners, cyclists, skiers, golfers, dancers and marathoners train smart and stay focused.
Eschewing the smorgasbord approach, the Running Center (therunningcenter.com, 212-362-3779) holds ongoing yoga classes specifically for runners’ needs—knee and leg health, breath control, and mental endurance.
Yogi J.Brown (917-446-8871, yogijbrown.com) works with golfers on precision and flexibility to improve their swings and their scores.
And come January, Marissa Spano (917-734-7301), a recent transplant from Hawaii, will offer group classes for cyclists, using the techniques of pranayama (breath work) and asana to strengthen knees, ankles, wrists and shoulders and to develop balance on the bike. Ask her about her work with divers and surfers, too.
For Getting Some (dating, sexuality, fertility)
“First comes love, then comes marriage…” and now comes yoga for all stages of coupling. Start with Y-Date?!, an annual event at Noodle Yoga, in Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-624-5525, noodleyoga.com), where owner Nadia Block holds an open-level class followed by a singles soiree (the next Y-Date?! is scheduled for Spring ’07).
Once you’ve met the One, prepare yourself for consummation at a Yogic Ecstasy workshop with Marisa Sullivan (347-563-1404, firstname.lastname@example.org) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sullivan helps women (and soon men) to expand their orgasmic potential through kegels, breathing exercises, vocalization and guided imagery.
And keep those nethers supple and toned at the ongoing Let’s Stay Juicy class at the Breathing Project (212-979-9642, breathingproject.org). If your next stop is babyland, boost your fertility in a Receptive Nest workshop led by Barrie Raffel and Karen Safire (212-898-0414), which focuses on restorative poses and calming the nervous system.
For the Call-back, the Calling and Speaking Up (writing, singing, public speaking)
Liz Caplan of Yoga for Singers (212-645-9369, lizcaplan.com) works with Broadway performers, while Suzanne Jackson of Yogasing (610-444-4135, yogasing.com) works with opera singers and public speakers—both offer yoga workshops, coaching and DVDs to help open up the muscles used to breathe, and to help calm performance jitters.
To get the creative juices flowing, award-winning TV commercial producer Barbara Benedict offers Yoga for Writers, Artists and Other Creative Souls at Levitate Yoga (212-974-2288, levitateyoga.com), a vinyasa class that incorporates artistic assignments (bring a sketchbook or journal).
Yoga for Public Speaking is also a part of Yoga Effects’ comprehensive 8-Part Beginner’s Series (212-754-5600, yogaeffects.com). Director Liz Mandarano says yoga helped her become a better speaker and lawyer—and motivated her to quit the corporate life. Who says creative leaps are limited to artists?