This week’s Gractivity was pretty special, marking the last Friday of my Greatist Challenge: A Month of Yoga. The rest of the team (that is, those who were in town and not plagued by some sort of illness) joined me for a community class (that means you pay what you wish!) at Laughing Lotus Yoga in Chelsea to zen-it-out at the end of a long week. So, Friday afternoon we made the short walk a few blocks away, and climbed up to a brightly colored, warm, and cozy studio. Started by Dana Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi in 2000 with the mission to “inspire devotion, celebrate community, and spiritual life,” the center now has two locations — one here in NYC and another in San Francisco.

Photo by Jordan Shakeshaft

Our instructor, Hana, led us through a Vinyasa-like flow that started with some poetry and an interesting chanting and breathing exercise (it involved repeating the phrase “I am so DAMN alive,” which, by the end of the week, none of us were really feeling). Then, we moved through a quick-paced flow that we all enjoyed, ending with some fun (and really tough) inversion work (forearm stands are not our friends). It was so nice to end the week with a challenging class with great company, and I was so happy to have the support of my teammates at a point in my challenge where my body is kind of starting to suffer! (All that shoulder work is tough!) Plus, I got to show off some of my sweet new skills (like crow pose!) to the team afterwards.

Check out what else I’ve been up to during this month’s challenge on our Tumblr page and my weekly challenge updates!

Laughing Lotus Yoga offers a wide variety classes all week long. Take a look at their schedule, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!