Welcome to a new week, friends! I’m excited to share with you all about my recent experience at Winc Yoga here in Little Rock! If you aren’t familiar, Winc is a lash and beauty bar in the Heights that provides skincare services and products to the public in the cutest space ever. They have built into the space above the store and that’s where yoga is held. It’s a small and intimate setting which I really loved and made me feel less intimidated than in larger yoga studios I have visited in the past.
Before I tell you more about the class, I want to give you a brief history of my yoga experience. As I mentioned before in this post, I’m naturally drawn to higher intensity workouts. I prefer a fast pace pretty much in all aspects of life and I often have trouble slowing down and being present in classes that highlight the mind-body connection. I have been to a few different thematic yoga classes (which I plan to tell you more about in the future!) but I have only been to a handful of basic yoga practices and have never felt comfortable or really enjoyed my experience in the past. I’m not a flexible human- this is my own fault for neglecting daily stretches for a LOT of years. I have flat feet and terrible balance. This trifecta makes me intimidated of yoga in general from the get go. I’m also not familiar with a lot of the terms and poses beyond good ol’ child’s pose and downward dog. In classes I’ve attended in the past, when I’ve been asked to “focus on my breath” my mind has raced and I’ve wondered if I’m breathing too shallow or too deeply and then the dreaded “open your mouth and sigh it out”….I always feel like I lose the who-can-sigh-the-loudest-competition. I mean it is difficult to make that much noise with an exhale! I realize all of this may make me sound neurotic, but I’m just wanting to give you my honest opinion of basic yoga practice before I went into this class at Winc.
Winc Yoga is led by Anna Serpente. Yoga instructor is just one of many hats she wears and I met her a while ago through mutual friends. Being familiar with her eased my pre-class anticipation and then once I saw the space we would be practicing in, I became even less intimidated. I was one of three class participants and Anna had her mat at the front of the room beneath a long window displaying displaying beautiful green leaves from a tree outside. The atmosphere was serene but casual and Anna told us she was going to start off by sharing with us some of what she had been reading that week and journaling about on her own time. She went on to talk about how we have a tendency to be forward thinkers and always going from one thing to the next and then she recited this quote: “Discontentment is the illusion that there can be something else in the moment. There isn’t and there can’t be. The moment is complete.” DING!!! It’s like she knew I was coming to class, she knew how I had felt about yoga in the past, and she knew the words I needed to hear to open up my mind to this new and different experience. When she said these words that I was clearly meant to hear, I didn’t feel shame or guilt for my forward-thinking ways. I simply agreed with her in my mind and made a mental effort to commit to staying present at least for this one hour class.
Class was exactly what I – Haley, the yogi beginner/ naive in terms, poses, and skill- needed. It was a slow paced class and Anna did the entire class with us providing demonstration and modifications throughout. It was challenging enough in that there were times I was unable to achieve a pose or I had to resort to a resting position simply because my body was tired, but not so challenging that I felt defeated. Everything she asked of us was attainable for a beginner it just might take a few tries before getting it. She told us the names of the poses while we were in them as well as what muscle groups we were working on as we moved. During shavasana she came around to each of us giving us a mini massage on our temple and forehead after putting bergamot-scented essential oil on her hands. It was divine! Her music was chill but not like spa vibes you might hear on a massage table. Everything had a little beat to it and I was quick to ask her if I could follow her on Spotify after class!
I felt SO good after class. Class was 7:15-8:15 PM and I felt relaxed enough to head home and get ready for bed, but also like I had just moved my body in a way that challenged and strengthened it. This was the first time I understood all the chatter about how yoga is so great. This Winc Yoga class literally was SO great. I’ve mentioned before that I am always looking for exercise opportunities I think my husband would enjoy that we could possibly do together. He loves to stretch and does so every single day before work. In the past I have thought he might enjoy yoga- since it is essentially a full body stretch- but wanted to find the right setting that he would feel comfortable in. I am definitely taking him to Winc Yoga before anything else. I think he will love it as much as I did and I know Anna will be patient with him as a beginner just as she was with me.
Before wrapping this post up, I want to say something about Anna Serpente as a human. Like I said, I have known her through mutual friends for a while but since launching The Bold Condition I have had the opportunity to get to know her better. She has been supportive of me and this project in a way that can only be attributed to the heart she has. She took the time before class to introduce me to the ladies on the mat beside me and helped make mutual connections there as well. She’s passionate about people. She knows a lot about a lot and is openly eager to continue her education in anything and everything. She is genuine and loving and even if you don’t get the chance to try Winc Yoga, I hope for you to be able to know her in some way. Everyone should.
If you would like to try out Winc Yoga, your first class is free! You can sign up on the free Mind Body app. Classes are typically Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:15-8:15 PM. It is a pop-up class so schedules are subject to change. After your first class single classes are $18 and there are class package options for 3,6, 12, and 24 classes! I am so grateful for this experience at Winc Yoga and so happy that I have finally found a yoga practice that is a good fit for me! Namaste