Where: Equinox, 568 Broadway, New York, NY
Johan: You Put a Spell on Me (With Your Sweet French Rapping)
A practical, light hearted, fun approach to yoga. He won't chant at you, or preach about divine beings, or tell you to breathe like fire. But your workout will absolutely fly by just because he is so pleasant to be around. The dude is hilarious. And adorbs.
[Click here to review Johan's class yourself, or check out his RateYourBurn profile here.]
- Johan is the bomb. He is incredibly comical - in a cool, very French kinda way.
- Absolutely adorable. And stylish. And married to "the love of his life" with children (d'oh).
- He's French, but he looks more Spanish. He plays the language thing well, stumbling, sometimes hilariously missing key words of idiomatic expressions, or creating his own.
Funny moments(there were many):
- I've realized ever since the Leah Kohl review that all yoga classes at Soho are generally set up so that each half of the class faces the midline. At one point, Johan had us all in Utkatasana, creating a row of students with their hands high. He jogged through the aisle with glee. "it's like I'm getting married!"
- Later, Johan was giving a quick stream of directions - he spoke faster and faster and then actually broke out into a French rap. Since everything French people do is funny to Americans, the room erupted in loud laughter.
- At the beginning, he asked, "is anyone sick? If you're ever sick you should just do yoga... and take a wellness remedy. It's made up of lots of good things mixed together. It's great." Hahahaha, what?! Johan has a way of providing comical relief by purposefully omitting important chunks of information from his stream of consciousness.
- Later, someone coughed, and Johan jumped up. "YOU'RE SICK! See, you were lying. I knew there was at least one."
- At one point (I didn't see who he was talking to) he goes, "why that's a beautiful tongue, but you should put it back in your mouth.." AHAHAHA.
Johan apparently cast a spell on me.
How do I know this? His references to food were not only tolerated, they were enjoyed. As many of you know, I can't deal with anything food-related in class. Here's how it went [on a Sunday]:
Johan: "Work hard - you're doing this so you can eat dessert later. Well, you know, brunch isn't really a meal where you have dessert. [...pause]. But, today, before I came, I did have some dessert. I had a strawberry crumble with icecream, shared it with my daughter. It was quite nice, the ice cream was melting on the crumble, you know how it does. I thought, I know my class is going to work hard so I can have this for them."
I suppose that first of all, a strawberry crumble is an innocent food (don't test me by talking about your cheesy bratwurst, Johan) but besides that, it was charming, funny, and we were all like, "why is he telling us this?"
His stories are so well-timed that even though they seem irrelevant, they're actually additive to the class. Part of the fun is, "what random shit will he talk about next?
On the class:
- Interesting: first 10 minutes were like an non-yoga abs class. Then we flipped over and did 5 minutes of "abs for the back". Such a funny way to put it: Like crunches, for your backside.
- The sequence was creative and there was a really nice balance series on each side.
- Hit all my faves - standing split, pigeon (for over a minute on each side), dancing shiva.
- Lots of pushups. At one point he had us doing plain-old pushups, but pretending it was yoga by yelling, "Chaturanga! Plank! Chaturanga! Plank! Chaturanga!" Nice try, Johan.
- We flipped our dog onto our neighbors mat, as Johan chided, "Yup, onto their mat you go. You're going to have to share, people."
- As class began, Johan said, "great! not too crowded today". What? The mats were like one inch away from one another. How many people are USUALLY in this class? Johan is apparently Mr. Popular, isn't he? (Yup, he is. With good reason).
- I was surprised at how nice everyone was. Like oddly and noticeably nice for New York. We smacked one another often; I actually tasted my neighbor's toe-cheese; but we all giggled and forgave our way through. I credit Johan. A laid-back environment makes for laid-back students.
- In the balance sequence, Johan suggested that we could just grab onto our neighbor if we felt unsteady. What's with the teacher dropping jokes on us when we're trying to balance? I always crack up and fall. But it was worth it. Haha.
Music was great.
A chilled out mix of laid-back tunes. Great. Plus his little MC Solaar rap. I am obsessed with MC Solaar BTW.
Johan stayed around and packed up to leave, putting on a bright-colored punky cap, stylish tapered pants and some sweet Nikes. This mec was looking hip.
I giggled silently as a doting student lingered around the Montij post-yoga, making awkward conversation and shamelessly putting on the moves. Honey, dude's got a daughter who he shared a strawberry crumble with this morning. Not gonna happen.
Nothing but love. This guy is an instant classic.
From Johan’s website: Originally from La Seyne Sur Mer in France, Johan traveled his way through St. Tropez, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Tokyo, Miami, Los Angeles to eventually New York City where he has lived since 2000. Since arriving in the city that never sleeps he has managed to keep his french accent (despite his attempts in losing it), married the love of his life, started a family, discovered Yoga and has been captivated by the practice ever since.Johan has been practicing Yoga for the past 5 years and in 2007 he became certified to teach Yoga through theYogaWorks Teacher Training program where he has successfully completed 500hr Teacher Training. He was inspired to become a teacher when he noticed the positive transformation that his practice had triggered– transforming him physically, mentally and spiritually. Teaching has enabled Johan to share his passion for anatomy and eastern philosphy through yoga. His mission is to give Yoga to his students, guide and inspire them to reconnect with their Self.
Find out more about Equinox at www.equinox .com
Find out more about Johan Montijano on his website
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