On Saturday morning, at the perfectly reasonable hour of 11am, I was standing in front of a non-descript door in Little Italy wondering just what I had signed up for. I had been hearing amazing things about I.AM.YOU studio for awhile, but have been so wary of signing up for it since every description seemed just too cool for me- and I honestly thought it just couldn’t live up to the hype. I was so wrong.
To get up to the studio, you get onto a creaky elevator that opens directly onto the street and then drops you off in front of a large metal door. I was one of the first to arrive but the hall was quickly filled with a ridiculously attractive crowd, who were all very serious about their I.AM.YOU class. When the doors finally opened, a few of us were new and had to sign in so the crowd behind us surged around, since people really wanted to snag their favorite spots. I ended up in the back row with the two other newbies to the studio – which was nice because I could scope out the studio before the class started. I.AM.YOU is in a gorgeous, open loft and all of the black mats were laid out before all of the students arrived. I LOVE not having to bring a mat to class and when they are already out so there isn’t that weird moment of trying to fit in somewhere. Saturday’s class, though, had more people than expected, so there was a little shifting around of rows. Everyone was reminded to always RSVP so the class count is right and starting class goes smoothly.
The class starts off with a 10 minute section of visualization and chanting. I really hate chanting usually, as those of you who have read my previous posts know, it just completely sets me on edge. But this class was the first time that wasn’t the case. Lauren Imparato has a deep, sexy, melodic voice that was just amazing to listen to – the chanting sounded more like singing. Even when people answered her, they tried to match the melody of it and it was absolutely beautiful. Lauren then told us a wonderful, relatable story about intention and learning before putting on the music and beginning the flow portion of the class. The first song that came on was a rap song and you just knew you were in for a VERY different kind of yoga experience. I.AM.YOU’s flow is challenging, non-stop and so very, very good, set to an amazing, energizing playlist. Good music always helps me in a challenging class and this class was really challenging. I loved every minute of it even though it was hard. Lauren’s adjustments were so sure and helpful – you just knew you were in good hands. By the end of class I was wiped out and blissful and fully in love with the I.AM.YOU experience.
Lauren and the I.AM.YOU studio really are just as good as everyone has said. For the first time in ages, I have found a yoga class that I can’t wait to go back to and I am grateful for that.
(photo: via I.AM.YOU website)