Madonna sings, “Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.”
With yoga, there actually is something to the poses.
By Hope S. Philbrick
I had never practiced or even tried to strike a yoga pose before agreeing to attend three foundation classes led by Jennifer Smith. I decided to try yoga on a whim since many people I know swear by it.
Jennifer’s foundation classes are great for beginners: The class is focused on the basics. She demonstrates some poses plus offers helpful tips to vary poses based on level of experience. Throughout the class, she walks around between yoga mats to help students tweak positioning as needed for safety and improved results.
As encouragement, Jennifer and some friendly students in her classes said that I was doing a good job. That came as a total surprise. I felt clumsy not graceful, and yet I did manage not to fall down. Nobody did actually fall down, but it still feels like an accomplishment since some moves required standing on one leg with all other limbs outstretched while hovering on a block of foam. Kindness and friendliness are key ingredients to helping a new student feel welcome to the group, and they were here in abundance.
With yoga, you get out what you put in. It’s possible to fake it, pretending to work at some funky positions by striking the poses (or some imitation of them) without strenuous effort. Or you can really put yourself into it and, presumably, over time notice results. In just three classes I felt like my skills were improving: Each session I felt a bit more comfortable, flexible and I now know there are at least three warrior poses plus the difference between “happy baby” and “child’s pose” and “downward dog.” Continued learning seems guaranteed with each future lesson.
The effects of yoga sneak up on you. I left each class feeling more awake and stretched than I had before it, but without any noticeable twinges in my muscles. A couple of days later, I’d feel that my leg muscles had been worked—no pain, but I definitely became aware of muscles I’d ignored before.
Jennifer Smith has been practicing Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow yoga for over 14 years, and has been teaching for more than 13 years. Her passion for yoga is clear and her enthusiasm infectious.
Three classes and you may get hooked on a new routine.
Jennifer Smith Yoga
Classes taught at…
1376 Dresden Drive
Atlanta, GA 30319
– Photos courtesy Jennifer Smith Yoga
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