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September 2019
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Wake Up with Eddie Teboul
Lucky Lotus
184 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
718-522-7119

Sat, 10:00 AM To 11:30 AM
Open

Now that spring had sprung, Yoga Sleuth decided to trek to brownstone Brooklyn to check out the cherry trees and Eddie Teboul’s class at Lucky Lotus, a lovely neighborhood yoga studio in the heart of Fort Greene.

The Monday morning time slot provided for a very lucky and intimate setting – just a handful of us had showed up to practice. Eddie entered the room with a friendly smile. He sat behind the harmonium and asked about any injuries. One of the women spoke up to say she had been having knee trouble, to which Eddie replied that he, too, has trouble with his knees sometimes. He continued by explaining the link between knee injuries and the pelvis and how Mula Bandha can help.

“The lifting of that spot which is the perineum or pelvic floor is a conscious engagement of the body's mindfulness -- as if the mind of the body was the space between our tailbone and pubic bone. It gives the subtle information to hamstrings and psoas to soften in order to bring flexibility to the muscles and joints to engage and transform for the poses of yoga. By nature (these poses) are stretches that shouldn't be forced, but rather surrendered into,” he explained. It [Mula Bandha] also informs the mind to be alert to the immediacy of the moment, so very little distraction is left to get lost into risking misaligned places.”

He then asked if we knew what Mula Bandha was. The room fell silent, so Eddie looked at me directly to see if I understood what he was talking about. At that moment I realized there would be no day dreaming at the cherry trees outside the window, I needed to pay attention in class!

After we chanted -- call and response -- we practiced Kapalabhati breathing. The warm up came next -- Seated Spinal Twist, Downward Dog (held for 10 breaths) and Standing Forward Bend (also held for 10 breaths).

Eddie often counted the breath through the poses which helped keep my attention focused. He also introduced Ujjayi breathing as a heat builder for the body which could help release toxins.

“Together with vinyasa, Ujjayi breathing has a psycho-therapeutic, as well as physical, health aspect removing obstacles out of our own way, and energizing our state of being,” he said.

Surya Namaskar variations ensued. After each round Eddie switched it up slightly — he had us pivot our feet so Warrior I and II could face both the front and back of the room. And we clasped our hands behind the back before stepping into a lunge modification.

During the Namaskars, Eddie began his assists. He spent the duration moving between the group of us in what turned out to be our semi-private class. At first his adjustments felt gentle, like he was gauging my ability. After the warm up, his assists became firmer, guiding me towards my edge.

(Post-class I asked Eddie about his intention in assisting his students. “The nature of my assists is to assist an already good direction toward its destination, not to adjust an incorrect placement. In certain cases I avoid touching people because it could affect and confuse their own energy,” he told me.)

We continued through the sequences which included Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Revolved Twist, and Side Plank. Eddie’s teaching style went deeper, and often more subtle than the physical postures. While in Triangle, I overheard him telling another student that she needed to stand strong. “This is your root chakra and it’s about your confidence, and ability to stand on your own feet. You’ve got it within you. You don’t have to go outside for it.”

In Paschimottanasana he placed his hand on my back, and asked me to breathe into his hands as I bent forward. After a couple of rounds, my breath had deepened, and I could extend further into the pose.

The seated series included Janusirsana, Marichasana A and B, and a seated version of Big Toe.

Back bends included Locust, Camel, Bridge and Wheel. A closing sequence of Shoulderstand, Fish and Headstand was offered.

Next came a restful Savasana, a seated meditation, and one final Om. Before getting up, Eddie shared a lesson he had learned from us -- his students.

“I want to let you know that you all taught me something here today,” he said before explaining the three Gunas (or qualities of nature), and how the three of us in class had represented each one – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

“We are made of the three -- without Tamas we couldn't fall asleep. Without Rajas we couldn't wake up. And without Sattva we wouldn't be able to feel right and wrong, and couldn't enjoy or be displeased. Transcending, not bypassing, the three qualities, is the result of yoga and could lead to enlightenment.”

A little later, on the street, I ran into one of the other students. We compared notes on which Guna we represented, and both concluded that whichever one we felt like, we’d learned something about ourselves from Eddie’s class, and would gladly return.

Drop-in classes are $18. New Student Special: $29 for 1 week of classes! (NYC residents only)

-Elysha Lenkin for Yoga Sleuth


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