Featured classes this week include a post-holiday twist with NYC ex-pat Margi Young.
Our featured teacher is Deb Flashenberg, director of the Prenatal Yoga Center.
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get aligned: Your Weekly Guide to Yoga in New York City alignyo
alignyo.com Teachers Classes Workshops Events Issue 70 | jan. 12-18, 2012
Liz Eustace
Founder, alignyo
Liz Eustace, Founder, Alignment Agency
Two thought-provoking articles hit the yogasphere this week – one in New York magazine and the other in The New York Times Magazine. Both created a tremendous outpouring of dialogue. The online community continues to buzz and some teachers are choosing to begin their class not with meditation but with a riff on the merits or problems with one or both of the articles. Personally, I believe robust dialogue is always healthy and I'm glad people are talking about yoga. In fact, sharing knowledge and contributing positively to this dialogue are the two primary reasons I started alignyo after spending four years checking out countless yoga classes and teachers throughout the eastern U.S. We've personally taken every class we've featured in the 70 editions that alignyo has produced to date and we do not highlight every class we attend because some are simply not great – and yes, there have been a few where we didn't feel safe under the guidance of a particular teacher. But yoga is a practice that clearly provides many people with some amazing benefits – otherwise, this conversation wouldn't be taking place today because nobody would care. So whether you choose to simply stand on your feet in mountain pose or stand on your head, you're still practicing yoga and pursuing the very worthwhile objective of connecting body and mind. And as long as you remain committed to doing that, we promise to do our part by providing reviews of the local classes and teachers that we’ve experienced. Have a great week on and off your mat. Namaste, Liz (liz@alignyo.com)
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This week's featured classes
Thursday, January 12
Even if today is not your birthday, OM yoga center has a gift for you. Margi Young is back in town from San Francisco and she is teaching a post-holiday twist and restore workshop. It’s not just that Margi’s restorative class was my first class EVER in NYC; she is also gifted, funny and kind – all wrapped into one. What a way to bring in this auspicious year. (6:30pm, OM yoga center, 826 Broadway, 6th fl., Manhattan)

Friday, January 13
Yo Yoga owner and founder Rebecca Weible teaches her classes with a childlike enthusiasm, leading students with clear and simple instruction. Rebecca sets the tone with an invigorating flow before she slows things down – we found it to be a perfect dynamic. If you’re a newbie to yoga, Rebecca is waiting for you. (12:15pm, Yo Yoga, 344 E. 59th St., 3rd fl., Manhattan)

Saturday, January 14
It’s a new studio, a new year and today, it’s all about the new student. Take one or all three sessions about the beginner’s Vinyasa practice.  Everything is broken down to explore not only the flow but also “energy conservation (mula Bandha),” breath, the use of props and beyond. (2pm, Sacred Sounds Yoga, 163 Bleecker St., 2nd fl., Manhattan)

Sunday, January 15
And hey – if you discovered that breathing is really fun work, go deeper with this pranayama workshop offered in yet another gorgeous studio. The class itself is restorative, so recline and investigate the magical, mystical power of breathing. Something so simple yet powerful – and something we all share. (12pm, Abhaya Yoga, 10 Jay St., Suite 600, Brooklyn)
Monday, January 16
alignyo@home: I know this isn’t how we usually do it, but I couldn’t choose just ONE video from these amazing instructional resources provided by the Prenatal Yoga Center. There are prenatal videos, postnatal videos and even videos with baby massage lessons – click here to check out the full selection. And read more about the Prenatal Yoga Center and its director, Deb Flashenberg, below.

Tuesday, January 17
If you have or are having a baby, please get to know Deb Flashenberg, this week's featured teacher. Her nurturing side, coupled with extensive knowledge and experience, make Deb and her studio the go-to for pregnant women and new moms alike. It's truly a welcoming community where stories are shared and questions are answered. (6:30pm, Prenatal Yoga Center, 251 W. 72nd St., 2nd fl., Manhattan)

Wednesday, January 18
If you’re up on your yoga news, you’ll know that Glenn Black was one of the expert sources quoted in The New York Times Magazine article, "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body." Experience Glenn's "no-nonsense" style of yoga and philosophy firsthand in his Master Class. (9am, Ishta Yoga, 56 E. 11th St., Manhattan)

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This week's featured yoga teacher
Deb Flashenberg Deb Flashenberg Director / Prenatal Yoga Center

I believe that prenatal yoga is far beyond simply modifying poses for the pregnant woman. I approach my teaching with three intentions: to offer a physically challenging and safe vinyasa flow class; to interweave childbirth education throughout class, including a myriad of pain managements techniques; and to encourage women to feel more connected to their pregnant body and baby. Pregnancy itself is such a deep state of transition and change, and it’s important that women honor their changing lives by finding newness and change within their practice.

My immediate hope is that students leave class feeling as though they have attended to their pregnancy aches and pains, and that they feel both energized and grounded. My long-term hope is that the students learn to make educated, empowered choices about their pregnancy, birth and motherhood. As a prenatal yoga teacher, it is my responsibility to be a resource about pregnancy, labor and delivery. I feel I have served my students well in class if tools that will help them through their labor and delivery are successfully communicated.

I have been influenced by Cyndi Lee, my students and current birthing trends. When I first opened Prenatal Yoga Center, I was a regular student at OM yoga. I was really impressed and in awe of the sense of community there, and I had a strong appreciation for the different workshops they offered. I knew I wanted PYC to have a similar community feel, and to be a place that women could go to for more than just yoga classes. So, I decided to offer childbirth education classes, new mother support groups, breastfeeding classes, and so on.

My students are my biggest influence in terms of how I teach prenatal yoga. For years I have watched them and learned from them. I have had the pleasure of seeing so many different experiences of pregnancy, and I am always challenged by having to figure out the physical – or emotional – needs of different pregnant women. I also learned what information the students were receiving from their care providers, and tried to bridge the gap to help build their confidence in their ability to birth.

As a labor support doula and Lamaze teacher, I am in the trenches of birth and see firsthand what is going on in our country in terms of birthing trends. Sometimes I am inspired by the births I see, other times, I am fired up to educate about what I have witnessed. I have found great inspiration in these experiences for my blogs, and I feel obligated to share this information with my students – the educational aspect of prenatal yoga is such a large part of my teaching and practice, both on and off the mat.

See more top New York yoga teachers at alignyo.com
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