Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Believe I Can Fly

I am not exactly what you would call "healthy." I eat poorly, I probably drink more than I should, and my idea of aerobic activity consists of walking the two avenues from the subway to my office.

Nor am I what you would call "spiritual." I do not practice any religion or identify with any set of beliefs, nor do I think I ever will.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that those committed to a more "elevated" lifestyle often feel I need to be converted.

For me, it started a few months ago. Mama Blackberrie (we'll call her that, since she is quite obviously, one of our mothers) became very dedicated to practicing yoga over the course of the past year.

Whenever we spent time together she would mention how badly I needed to take a yoga class. She sensed that I needed something spiritual and positive in my life. And while she was probably right, I always declined her offer.

That was, at least, until yesterday.

Completely by accident, I happened to walk in on Mama Blackberrie's private yoga session with 24-year-old protégée Phillip Askew. Before I could put down my purse, I was suspended in the air, balancing in back-bent poses on Phillip's hands and feet.

Without much work of my own, I flew about the room in L-seats and side stretches (notice my very official yogi terminology) that were as excruciating as they were liberating. Phillip had me bent and pulled in ways I never thought imaginable.

This particular style of yoga, which they like to call “flying yoga,” is extremely low-impact, but stretches and massages the body in ways traditional yoga could never achieve.

Phillip has not only mastered, but adapted this practice into a particular style unique to himself and his apprentices. And while a picture is worth a thousand words (check out Phillip and Mama Blackberrie in poses here), Phillip and his “flying yoga” must be experienced first hand.

I think I may be converted.

Final Word: Phillip begins teaching an open Vinyasa class tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Sonic Yoga (51st & 9th). For private “flying” lessons call Phillip Askew, Giving Yoga, at 917.608.5683.

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