RateYourBurn | CLASS REVIEW: PranaVayu Beginner/Intermediate with Meredith Smith @ Exhale Spa

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CLASS REVIEW: PranaVayu Beginner/Intermediate with Meredith Smith @ Exhale Spa

Where: Exhale Spa, 28 Arlington St., Boston, MA

'Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good'

After a few days of intense workouts, a good ol' stretch and sweat session sounded like the perfect way to get my body going before Sunday Funday. I've been meaning to get to Meredith's classes for a while now, as she seems to be a PranaVayu staple on Exhale's schedule.


[Review Meredith's class yourself, or check out her RateYourBurn profile.]

On Meredith

  • As soon as Meredith started instructing us on some anuloma mudra breathing, I couldn't help but wonder, "Do I hear a Southern twang? Really? That never happens in Boston. OK, concentrate. Quiet the mind, quiet the mind. DOES SHE HAVE A SOUTHERN ACCENT?" Upon some online research, yes, Meredith is from Kentucky. Yoga concentration fail.
  • It's clear from the get-go that Meredith is strong. Just from her casual demos, it's obvious this girl has some enviable musculature and flexibility.
  • After more googling, it appears that Meredith EATS PIZZA FOR A LIVING. Seriously? How much yoga does the girl have to do to burn off all that pizza?! Life is so unfair sometimes. 
  • I couldn't stop trying to figure out Meredith's French brain situation. Again, yoga chic. It seems like I have a strange obsession with yoga hair recently.

On the class

PranaVayu yoga is a bit different than other styles of vinyasa. It's actually quite methodical and described as "American-style" vinyasa. The sequencing, including the beginning pranayama breathing and longer-than-average meditation/sivasana weren't a surprise.

  • No messing around. As soon as we were done with our funky nostril breathing exercise, we got straight into down dog and began to build heat with sun salutations, spinal twists, warriors, and other poses. 
  • Advanced modifications. Even though this was a beginner/intermediate class, I was psyched that a few arm balances and inversions were cued as options. There were also some up-modifications for all of the ex-gymnasts out there (um, why haven't my hips ever experienced half pigeon with a prayer twist before?!).
  • The flow. Flows and poses weren't really anything out of the ordinary, although the eagle pose into airplane (keeping eagle arms) was challenging and almost resulted into an awkward-toppling-into-wall pose.
  • Meditation. Class ended with a 12-minute-long-ish meditation; Meredith guided us through the relaxation of each part, including great visualizations like, "The tension in your shoulders is crumbling like sand."

Meredith started and ended class with a quote by Voltaire: "Perfect is the enemy of good." That really resonated. For someone like myself, who is often trying to be perfect, it was a nice reminder that sometimes, "good" is A-OK. Don't be so hard on yourself! 

Meredith Smith_Exhale Spa_Pranavayu Yoga


So, before I started my Sunday Funday, Meredith's class satisfied my need for stretch and sweat. Next time I be looking for some stretch satisfaction in Back Bay, I'll definitely keep Meredith's class in mind.

Read more about Exhale Spa at www.exhalespa.com.

Find Meredith on facebook, and follower her on twitter.


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