I perennially resolve to lead a simpler, cleaner life, and that includes doing more yoga. But my chaotic life makes implementing that resolution difficult. I hesitate signing up for a class because I often work late and would miss half of them. Buying a monthly pass to a yoga studio doesn’t work either.
Bee Yoga Fusion, Gretchen Schock’s mobile yoga studio, has solved that dilemma by offering an affordable and convenient Monday night drop-in, donation-based yoga class at the Greenbelt Community Church on Hillside Road. Finally — a yoga class where I don’t commit to and pay up front for classes that I won’t use!
Schock’s adult classes are styled as Vinyasa flow yoga, a sequence of fluid poses that are synchronized with breathing. More than just stretches, the movements resemble a dance routine. Schock explained how the poses lead to other more complicated movements. For example, the crane pose — in which one balances in a crouching position supported by one’s hands — eventually leads into a handstand. Another complicated seated pose — the pigeon — leads into a split.
The sequence known as the Sun Salutation — which is, perhaps, the life and soul of Vinyasa — leads from a stretching push-up-like position to a bent-over position (downward facing dog) to a lunge, and then to a standing position (the mountain), before going into a final position with outstretched arms greeting the sun. The sequence fuses movement and breathing.
Throughout the one-hour class, Schock encouraged everyone to breathe, reminded them of the counts, and made students laugh with her easy repartee. She sometimes wandered into the rows to assist someone in a pose. Blocks of movements were grouped in fours, because Schock admitted a fascination with the symmetry of the number four.
Having practiced for 15 years and taught for the last two, Schock structures the class for all abilities. Students are encouraged to stretch, but not strain. Few were able to accomplish headstands or even balance in the crane position, but — as she reminded us — the class is not a competition; rather it is a journey, in which each explores at their own pace.
At the end, Schock suggested ways of incorporating yoga practice in everyday life and reminded students to “think good thoughts, speak good thoughts, do good thoughts," — an excellent start to the week!
Bee Fusion Yoga classes are Monday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the . The suggested donation is $10.