I seem to be a permanent yoga newbie. I hate sitting cross-legged, and that always gets in the way despite my yoga-fan friends' insistence that it doesn't matter. So I reluctantly agreed to try another yoga class. Yogascape, held in a room heated to about 94 degrees, lets participants escape to the water, the desert and elsewhere with sound and videos on all four walls.
Yogascape, created by Steven Metz, owner of Earth's Power Yoga, is unexpectedly down to earth and a satisfying "immersive experience" that left me tired and my skin feeling great. And I hardly had to cross my legs at all. Be prepared to seriously sweat.
Earth's Power Yoga, 7901 Melrose Ave., No. 208, www.earthspoweryoga.com
Aura: The room is hot and the lights are low; the walls are a changing series of scenes, some fairly abstract, some real. A huge moon covers much of a wall at one point; at another, there's a fire-red sky, then a huge lake, mountains, stars. Metz talks through the class, explaining the moves.
Metz is an extreme sportsman and said he got the idea for yogascape while watching sunlight play on the ocean currents while scuba diving in Mexico. We are shaped by and adapt to our environments, he said. For his students, "I want them to get to a fully blissed-out yogic immersion experience."
Effort: At first, the class seems fairly tame, but by the end of the hour I was like an overcooked noodle. Metz's style is vigorous, with almost constant movement. It was rare, until the brief meditation at the end, that a pose was held still. Most of the work could be done by a reasonably fit yoga beginner; just one pose was completely beyond me. ("After two years naked in a cave, you'll get this," he joked.) I was happy I had an experienced yogi next to me, so I could look to her to get things right.
Style: Metz is funny and doesn't take himself or the work too seriously. He gives many pointers on modifying poses, supporting the back, etc., only rarely in yoga-speak.
Cost: Single classes are $20; various packages also available.
If you have suggestions for classes, please let me know by email or Twitter, @mmacvean.