I've made it halfway! This time last week, I was feeling a little broken. I had done a horrible job of balancing more strenuous classes with restorative ones, and kinda’ felt my body hating me for it. Luckily, three or four days of restorative and level-one classes have restored my body to perfect working condition, at least enough so I could enjoy a few harder classes this week!

Saturday I went to a Back Care class at Pure Yoga's Eastside location. The instructor, Jon Witt, was great. The focus was on making sure there was no added pressure or tension in the back, and we did a few unique exercises that felt great on my stressed-out back and shoulders. It was just what I needed after a long week.

Sunday I broke my own "rule" and skipped a studio class in favor of a home practice with my roommate/cousin/new yoga buddy, Liz. We checked out this 30-minute Jivamukti class on Yoga Download, and while I worked hard at each pose, I kind of regretted not going to a class. I should listen to my own rules!

Monday I paid a visit to Hell's Kitchen's Sonic Yoga for a Fundamentals I class. It was great to be reminded of how each pose should look in a less advanced class. (I often get stressed out when everyone around me is holding poses flawlessly and I am tumbling out of Warrior 3.) The instructor, Keith, was awesome and let everyone follow along at their own pace.

Tuesday was a bit of a blip in my month-long yoga challenge. Kelli and I went down to the 13th Street New York Health and Racquet Club for what the schedule indicated was a Restorative Yoga class. While the class may have been restorative in some sense, it was not at all what we expected. In fact, it was more of a "random yoga postures with a bunch of light weight work" class. There wasn't even any down-dogging! We won't be returning to this class, but I am hoping to find a restorative class I like at another NYHRC location!

Wednesday I had a wonderful class at Yoga Union on 28th Street with instructor Brette Popper, founder of Yoga City NYC. Now, with the hundreds of studios just blocks— hell, even just doors or even floors— apart, you'd think it would be easy to find a not-crowded class, and get hands-on attention from the instructor. But let me tell you, my experience this month has taught me that finding a small class is very rarely the case. In fact, until today, that had never happened. And then I walked in to Yoga Union. The relatively new studio, started by Alison West, was calm and quiet late Wednesday afternoon. When class started— with our mats against the back rope wall (yes, I said ropes!!) there were just four students. Perfect. My favorite pose was a down dog using the ropes around our hips, allowing us to sort of hang there and really feel the stretch along the back of our spines. Divine. Then we moved through a warrior triangle and side angle series, using the wall to maintain proper form, with Brette correcting small details of each posture as we went. When I left 90 minutes later, I felt better than I have all month! I'll be back— hopefully to try some inversions on the rope wall!

Thursday I ventured back to Sonic Yoga for a Prana Flow class, and boy was it a workout. I didn't expect to sweat this much… at all… but I needed a rigorous workout, and this definitely worked my body hard! The loud breathing and sighing and rolling through the body exercises were a bit strange and definitely unfamiliar to me, but I went with it. The class wasn't my idea of perfection, but I’ll try it again, hopefully next week!

Today. It’s going to be tough. I'm working and traveling, and I'm hoping to fit in something (maybe just 10-minutes of sun salutations a few times throughout the day?). Ah, if only I was traveling through San Francisco, I could check out their yoga room! (Yes, it exists.)

Hope you’ve enjoyed following me this week! Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to plan next week's classes yet. But, I'll post the schedule on our Tumblr tonight or tomorrow morning— stay tuned to Twitter for updates!

And, I got to cross some stuff off my list this week! Here it is updated:

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Styles:

Iyengar
ISHTA
Bikram
Antigravity
Restorative
Ashtanga
Kirpalu
Caponyasa
Katonah
Yoga w/ Ropes (Hopefully at Yoga Union!)

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Poses:

Crow
Tripod headstand
Full boat
Wheel
Full Lotus
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I’ll continue posting updates on Tumblr after each class and Tweeting every day (from @ksmorin with the hashtag #greatistchallenge)— so keep following along!

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