Bhakti Flow with Amanda Dates
I would like to start this blogpost by saying, I love this class! But these reviews are not about telling you which classes I like and which I don't, they're about the teachers, so you can make your own choices. Riight!? Ok. Here we go. I didn't get the best impression the first time I met Amanda in the lobby of Big Apple Yoga in Paris. I said bonjour in my signature cheery American way, followed by the Anglo smile, and in response, I got the obligatory, no intonation, I have better things to do than say hello to you' bonjour. Amanda is not warm and fuzzy. She does not speak with a soft voice and she does not tell you to listen to your body. She tells you to start class with 12 vinyasas -in a row- and forget about those extra breaths in downdog. She keeps you in chair pose for 10 minutes (hello thighs), and I am not exaggerating. And she doesn't ask if you even know what a vinyasa is.
She is tiny but tough, and if you're just starting out your yoga practice (you're probably not reading this blog) you maybe shouldn't go to her class. If, however, you've been practicing for a while, and you want to drip sweat from all over your body, and you can manage to keep the breath deep and long in a 10 minute chair pose (with variations), or you can let go of your ego and (gracefully?) drop into childs pose because you've lost the breath, I highly recommend this class. Don't get me wrong, despite the matter of fact manner in which she teaches, she's a good instructor. I almost never have to look up because she teaches with her words while she walks around the room to make minor adjustments (hello quickie backrub, thank you) and hardly ever does the poses herself unless it's an inversion. The thing about this class, though is it's hard, but it's generally not complicated, so it could be a decent class for a relatively flexible strong beginner who knows how to listen to her/his body. Yes, that's a lot of ifs. There are no crazy arm balances or inversions, unless requested, (you heard that right, she takes requests!) and she gives a couple of 'well done's or 'nice work's in class, which is always good to hear when it's cold out and there is not one dry spot on your body.
Did I mention, it's also in English, so I can take off my glasses, find my drishti, breathe, sweat and zone out! Also, unlike Anne, I don't think she looks anything like the picture above in real life.
Teacher: Amanda Dates
Studio: Big Apple Yoga
Class: Bhakti Flow
Feel Good Vibe: ★★★
Spiritual Lesson: There's a bit about Mercury in retrograde, and dedicating your practice, but she doesn't talk for 15 minutes, and even though I don't really care about Mercury, she at least knows what she's talking about.
Would I pay 20€ to take a class with her again?
Yes, anytime I need a good ass kicking with a little dose of be where you are.
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Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris yoga teacher and mom. Sharing. Caution: Possibly too much.
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