A few months ago, I had a serious beef with my yoga studio, Pure Yoga of NYC, when I discovered them squirting “Industrial Strength Cleaner” on the mats between classes. Yes, that’s exactly what I saw: workers liberally spraying the mats with liquid from bottles marked “Industrial Strength Cleaner.”
Pure was not forthcoming about the ingredients in those bottles when I asked to study the labels. I guess Pure Yoga does not want yogis to know what they are lying on, inhaling, and absorbing.
The moral of that story is: bring your own yoga mat. The other moral, for me, was not to trust a studio that calls itself “Pure” and then secretly applies probable toxins to its mats.
But I wasn’t going to quit yoga. I’ve been doing yoga for 10 years; at this point, I can’t imagine my life without it.
To my utter delight, I discovered a new online virtual yoga studio: Dirtyyogaco. I signed up for Dirtyyoga as soon as possible. I’ve been thrilled with it ever since.
Three new sessions show up online every Monday. If you don’t use the prior sessions, they are gone, sayonara, arrivederci, au revoir. Use ’em or lose ’em.
Classes last from about 30 minutes to about 38 minutes. The teacher is a most appealing Jess Gronholm, one of the creators of DirtyYoga, along with Susi Rajah. The website relates that Susi had a dream, one of the kind that plays in your head when you’re sleeping. She roused herself just enough to write it down, and then shared it with Jess the next day.
What a dream to manifest! For me, as a mother and author, I have a hard time getting away for two hours in the middle of the day. That’s how long it takes to go to a studio, do a 1.5 hour class, and rush home again. Every minute that I’m away from my iMac is a minute I’m not writing. And let’s not mention weekends, when my little one vociferously announces that she wants my undivided attention for the entire day.
So for me to be able to run down the hall any time, lay out a mat that has NOT been sprayed with industrial strength cleaner but has been washed in my washing machine, and then work up a good sweat with a solid yoga class in under an hour–well, that’s satchitananda bliss!
Classes move through warrior 1, 2 and 3, triangle and rotated triangle, extended side angle, crescent pose, chair pose, vinyasas, etc–the basics. Poses flow well and Jess’ instructions are thoughtful and articulate. My body builds up heat and I get a good sweat going, which is my favorite thing.
There is some room for improvement. Dirtyyoga classes do a lot more twists than hip openers, and I really need the hip openers. I’d love to see some pigeon and some shoulder stands. Would like some full wheels. Yes, I stay a few extra moments on my mat to do those poses, but it would be great to see them incorporated into the session.
Best of all, there’s no spiritual moralizing from twenty-eight-year-olds who haven’t been around the block, twice, and had the sh*t kicked out of them, bounced back, and kept going while raising four kids and writing books–as I have. I mean, I know I have something to learn from everyone I meet; I just don’t always want to hear deep thoughts from an earnest kid.
Instead, there are cute, clever, and inspirational quotes from famous people–little sayings that always make me grin. Today I saw this one from Abraham Lincoln: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
This quote typifies the dirtyyogaco approach: whimsical while serious, fun while sweaty.
I love dirtyyogaco.com, and I heartily recommend it!