No, not the kind where someone shows you half of their butt! C’mon, people. I mean half moon, like the yoga pose.
And also, like the new yoga and art studio that I visited recently. I went to Half Moon Studios for a little candlelight Yin yoga, a restorative practice I’d never tried before. Full disclosure, someone from the studio contacted me and offered me a free class, but a free class does not buy a positive opinion, so rest assured you’re getting an honest review. In fact, you’ll find that most fitness establishments of any kind will give first-time visitors a free, trial class.
Anyway, back to Half Moon Studios:
Here’s the view from the street. Pretty, huh? I’m a sucker for good graphics, so the signage gave me a nice vibe from the get go. The studio is in an area of Denver that’s a little more industrial, and it was slightly tricky for me to find. Here’s where I stress the fact that I am a navigational idiot (ask my dad), so my experience may not be indicative of normal circumstances.
Inside, the studio lived up to the pretty sign:
That’s a photo I took, while there for my class. The next two were provided to me by the studio.
The unique spin on this yoga studio is that it also serves as an exhibition space for emerging artists; as well as an art studio with classes, open studio events, and creative workshops, among other things. People are often intimidated by both art and yoga, so you might think that putting them together in the same space would feel a little hands-off-ish. Actually it had a calming and organic feel. The art on exhibit changes frequently, and I love the idea of seeing new installations when I head to class.
More important than the space, though, is the quality of classes and instructors. I only attended one class, so I can’t speak to the instructor roster as a whole, but Elise, the owner, and instructor of the class I took, was awesome. She had a calming presence, a nice voice, and she paced the class well.
For those of you in the Santa Fe area of Denver, I’d definitely recommend trying a class at Half Moon Studios. For those of you in other areas, you might be interested in a little more info about Yin yoga in general.
Like I said, it was the first time I’d taken a Yin class, which is much slower (though no less intense) than such widely known classes as Vinyasa, Hatha or Power yoga. Yin (or Restorative yoga, as I’ve also seen it called), focuses on stretching the body’s deep, connective tissue, called fascia. Poses are held for 3-5 minutes, and there is an element of meditation while holding each pose.
Because my hip/back problems have made my usual yoga practice a bit problematic for me, I thought the Yin class might be more manageable. I was right to some extent. While more vigorous yoga has a lot of standing poses with forward flexion (bending at the waist), the Yin class was limited to seated and kneeling poses. This offered more support for my back, but proved a little difficult for my hip in some instances. Still, I felt like I could make any needed adaptations easier than during a class with faster-paced flows.
So for people who need to be extra mindful of their movements, and are looking for something a little slower and more relaxing, give Yin yoga a try. I’ve seen Yin, Restorative or similar classes on most yoga schedules. Also, Elise clued me in to an intriguing new yoga resource that I’m researching. Once I’ve had a chance to see and do, I’ll share with you.
Have a relaxtastic weekend.