Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NYC's Finest- Schyuler and Elena Two, One of a KInd.

I would go as far as calling these two women the best yoga teacher's in the world.
Friends, Major Faculty members at Wonderlust Music/Yoga Festival, New York City Yoga Studio Owners, and two BIG Personalities.

At the same time the two couldn't be more different

Elena Brower has, in the last year, emerged as not only the first lady of Anusara Yoga but the Face of Yoga [for women?]. She carries herself like a superstar: she walks into a class, literally, one minute late, slips off her coat and scarf then goes on to teach a well prepared class in her jeans.

On Tuesday, Elena was back in NYC after a Bali retreat. Her class was fresh and compelling, both in sequencing and themeing. She managed to make me feel special - as she always does - even with a room capped at 80-plus. She threw out words like Shit and Fuck to exaggerate strong points but always in an appropriate context; her teaching layered with poetry, emotionality, and basic asana. She chose poses for their ability to annoy and then dedicated them to the self haters in the room. She gracefully went through her notes and pointed out that "how you invite something into your life is exactly how it arrives", linking that to instructions of breathing-in and deepening the challenging poses.

Elena may just be the most relevant yoga teacher on the globe today. She gets it like a New Yorker, whose round-the-clock schedule asks her to preach 'taking a moment'.

Schuyler Grant couldn't be more different.

She may just be the best yoga teacher that no one has heard of, at least outside of New York. In NYC, she just opened her second studio in Williamsberg, that's where I was for her midday Wednesday class. Around 20 people did the creative, unconventional flowy flow that weaves an intelligent alignment with rhythmic movement.

What Grant does, no one else does. She calls her style "Kula Flow", a well thought out yogic movement that is unorthodox at times. She would never admit to enjoying the "shiny happy people approach" of Anusara Yoga, but when you take her class, her alignment is as precise, only you don't notice it because her rhythm is so perfect - she can get you to do anything, It ended up feeling like a dance without it ever leaking into Shiva Rea land of liquid, it was a powerful class throughout.

Her lack of spiritual theming is very honest to her love for keeping it simple. It is obvious her prep is in re-creating the practice. Schuyler is a creative athlete whose sequence is compelling. It captivates all your senses, by conditioning a natural pull towards the next pose. This is a pilgrimage for your body.

Her message is closer to home than Elena's, Schuyler lives in New York, and reeks of it. There's a smidge of tough guy in her attitude that makes her straightforward and inspiring. Her class is advanced and, therefore, limits her ability to reach the level of students that Elena can, but there is no doubt she is Next Level.

For a Spiritual Sweat Schyuler, for an Emotional Journey Elena - these two are Masters of what they do. New York has the two best drop-in yoga classes in the world, as New York Would.

www.Virayoga.com Rock-Om rating of 7 out of 5 yes!!!
www.kulayoga.com Rock-Om rating of 6 out of 5 yup!


  1. These are definitely two of my top 5 favorite teachers of all time, all places, even though I have only had the opportunity to take very few classes with them. Both resonated with me, both physically challenged me, & both uplifted my heart & spirit. Your posting is spot on!! Miss you!

  2. These two teachers look special, feel different, sound like different way of teaching. They are gorgeous, an art of dance, to go with the flow...