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June 2020
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Saturday Invigorate with Daniela Vuckovic
The Giving Tree Yoga Studio
2256 31st Street
Queens, NY 11105

Sat, 10:15 AM To 11:45 AM

Daniela Vuckovic is known for her intense Weekend Wakeup class at this brightly-colored Queens studio. Her Saturday morning class involves long, intense and intricate creative sequencing - a rejuvenating and energizing way to kick off the weekend.

Daniela began class having us seated in Virasana with a block or two for support, and encouraging us to watch the breath. "It's important that you don't just give, give, give or take, take, take. With the breath, it's a natural flow of give and take." Even though it was Valentine's Day, Daniela did not pick up the obvious theme of love for the day and instead focused on Asana and the breath.

To wake us up and get us moving, we began with some fast-paced Sun Salutations, coupled with Breath of Joy in our Utkatasanas. Daniela had us balance on our tiptoes with our hands back behind us in Diver's Pose. Adding in extra intensity, within a few Vinyasa flows, Daniella also encouraged us to take one-legged Plank. This then transitioned into a series of vinyasas that built up over several flows.

From Warrior 1 we tipped forward into Warrior 3 for a few breaths, then glided back to Warrior 1. With our hands clasped behind our backs we let the head and spine dip forward into a Devotional Warrior. Keeping our hands clasped we then turned our torsos to the side before letting our arms burst open into a Triangle Pose. Bending the front knee, we then came into Extended Side Angle which later evolved into a half bind. As each vinyasa progressively became more difficult, Daniela added in Skandasana to Ardha Chandrasana to Standing Split to attempting to hop up into Handstand. All the while, Daniela kept reminding us to focus on the breath.

Adding in some twists, we practiced a Twisted Lunge into Twisted Utkatasana to Twisted Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. Working on standing balances, we then wrapped our arms and legs up into Eagle followed by Shiva Nataraj. This time in between vinyasas, Daniela had us practice Vashistasana followed by Rock Star Pose.

Slowing the pace of the class down, floor work commenced with Seated Spinal Twist, Pigeon Preparation, Supine Twist, and Gomukhasana. Our final pose of the class was Paschimottasana.

With only a few minutes left, we held a brief Savasana. We exited class, covered in sweat, and shocked by the cold February day, as this intense, sweaty class may have convinced some that momentarily we were on a tropical island.

Drop-in classes are $17 with $1 mat rental.

-Marie Carter for Yoga Sleuth

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