Surrounded by the city of concrete jungle, one has to appreciate the village feel that Bushwick constantly produces… The people here know each other and you learn about things by the word of mouth or from cheaply printed flyers in cafes… So I felt when I was walking underneath the J train tracks, so deep in Bushwick that even the people living off the Bushwick portion of the L train don’t come here too often.
I was headed to a community yoga class in a loft at 1089 Broadway, right above the Lone Wolf bar. I learned about the yoga classes from my friend Zuska who actually lives in the loft with her eclectic roommates, John and Kristin. While approaching the yellow Lone Wolf sign with the yoga mat under my arm, I realized that also Linda Thach from Little Skips was talking about the donation-based community yoga classes in the neighborhood. The flier on the door said you have to call Kristin or John to be let in, because there are no doorbells. Naturally, the J train started to roar above my head the very second Kristin picked up the phone (and this has been the case ever since then…☺).
It was a Monday and that’s when Buffie teaches Hatha Yoga for beginners. I recognized the faces of at least of half of the people attending the class. Some I knew from Little Skips, other from galleries… I saw Louvain, a Bushwick Frenchie, who came wearing jeans, and I meet him at least once a day every day. “You are also here?” he asked me. “Naturally.” I replied laughing.
Buffie teaches yoga in a very gentle manner, ensuring that your 1st yoga steps (or should I say asanas) will be a pleasurable experience.
Kristin Mirabelle, thin and flexible as a twiggy, was saluting her sun in the first row. I stayed to chat with her and her boyfriend John Kazar after the class was over, to realize how passionate they both were about yoga, spirituality and their service to the Bushwick community. They both were thrilled by all the ideas and the plans for new classes of meditation, home-made cosmetics, all kinds of yoga, and all that, asking only for a modest donation in return. Kristin is a make up artists by day and was in yoga school at that time. John, who is a photographer by day, traveled the world, and was part of sacred rituals in South America. They are both very proud of their space at 1089 Broadway, which is a large photo-studio by day and a place with a genuinely magical vibe.
Recently, Kristin started to teach yoga every Tuesdays, after years of yoga study and meditation practice. I couldn’t miss it, and after an email blast I went to check it out.
Kristin is determined to provide her students with more than just a work out and her class really is something different. It is a full spiritual experience. She calls it Ayurvedic Based Hatha Vinyasa Flow and she’s not afraid to instruct the class to chant mantras with her. I was a bit hesitant in the beginning, but praising the moon and the sun energy by the candlelight of Kristin and John’s loft, really has something to it. Tuesday classes are intermediate, and can be pretty challenging at times, but in return you will find yourself in positions you barely dreamed of, because Kristin individually looks after each of her students and actually makes you go one level up.
While she walks around the class fixing your neck with aromatic oils, John plays drums and other Native American instruments to create amazingly relaxing atmosphere. When the final meditation was over, my mind was peaceful and nothing could possibly change it…
Where: At Boutique Studios at 1089 Broadway, Bushwick, Brooklyn
When: Monday, Tuesday at 8pm and newly at McCarren Park, rooftop or other outdoor locations
Newletter: Definitely sign up at [email protected]. You will get updates on locations, new classes etc.