A Yoga Home in the Concrete Jungle: Cyndi Lee’s Om Yoga studio.
by Leah Beltran
Fresh on the New York scene with a school load that can keep me up for days, I turned to elephant journal and Waylon Lewis for recommendations on yoga studios and teachers in the City. I’m in the market to invest (precious time and energy), in a teacher, space, and community that will nurture my yoga practice.
The past 6½ years I’ve spent loving and dancing in Boulder, Colorado—blessed to be inspired by and under the guide of Onye Ozuzu, respected choreographer and teacher. Focusing on breath, we’d explore asanas in our daily warm up, and occasionally I would indulge in the yummy culture at Richard Freeman’s Yoga Workshop.
Then comes now, and I’m walking the busy streets and packed rooms in New York City. And because today is the first day of the rest of my life, I chose to start with Cyndi Lee’s Om Yoga. There’s no excuse not to make my first steps be in the right direction!
OM yoga provides students with a solid foundation in alignment. Like many New Yorkers, I leave my apartment carrying all my belongings for the day. I can stretch all I want, but over time the heavy bags will make my right shoulder compensate for my left, altering my posture, my breath and my attitude. At OM, you’re reminded of your body and its parts, and most importantly their place and function. What direction are my feet facing? Are they in line with my knees? Where’s my pelvis, my spine, my shoulders? Though this is something that I should always be aware of, my teachers didn’t hesitate to remind me. Together we made an anatomical assessment of my structure. From this point I can feel my breath, my heartbeat, my intestines working to digest my food. With this groundwork in place, a student of OM yoga can create their own healthy practice and continue to serve their body even off the mat.
Cyndi Lee, OM yoga’s founder, teaches classes and workshops around the country as well as in her studio in New York. She is kind, witty and gentle, willing to offer assistance when need be. Her background is in dance and Buddhist studies. Cyndi leads guided meditation classes weekly as well as provides space for monthly workshops and Dharma talks.
For yoga basics, Cyndi Lee recommended class with Frank Mauro, director of the OM yoga Beginner’s Program. His class was great in a spacious and full of intention kind of way…reminding me, somehow, of jazz music. And for intermediate and advanced level classes there’s Christie Clark, Sarah Trelease and Joe Miller, to name a few. All the instructors love what they do and have dedicated their life to learning and understanding the body.
Spacious and clean, gently lit hallways connect six individual practice studios. All visitors are led to a small room near the door where they leave their shoes before changing for class. Extremely affordable, OM yoga offers monthly specials like February’s 5 classes for $75! Drop in classes are $18 and if your in a hurry you can take an hour express class for $12. Unlimited memberships are also available at $195 for one month, $490 for three months, and $775 for 6 months! OM yoga caters to all budgets and provides and peaceful oasis in the city and faithful teachers to guide you in your yoga practice!
OM yoga is a treat! Faithful teachers in a large, clean, and peaceful environment ready to serve weary, speedy New Yorkers. Go to omyoga.com to find a full schedule and list of events.