Hi, my name is Amelia, and I am a yogaphile. I love yoga. I love it in most of its shapes and forms, in it’s sweaty goodness, in it’s deep relaxation. I love it for the breath, the movement, and the philosophy. I love to explore the boundaries of my comfort zone and challenge myself to new heights of sensation and perception. In this regular column, I will share with you my experiences exploring yoga classes and teachers both in my home of San Diego, California and my travels globally.
This week, I had the pleasure of attending a class with Angelica Barrera at Hapa Yoga in San Diego. Get the deets below~
Location: Hapa Yoga
Instructor: Angelica Barrera
Class: Vinyasa Yoga (non-heated)
Day/Time: Thursdays, 12PM – 1PM
Pricing: $17 drop in, $12 military/student/senior
Membership: $88 unlimited monthly, $149 as Fitn member (check our Fitn here!)
Review: You know how sometimes you find a yoga teacher who just vibes with you? One who speaks your language and moves you the way you want to move? Yeah, I love that.
For me, Angelica Barerra is one such teacher. She is a gifted teacher, with a soothing voice, and a lovely demeanor. Trained at Mosaic in San Diego in vinyasa krama hatha yoga, she now teaches regularly at Hapa and Urban Yogi in downtown San Diego.
The class I attended was a non-heated vinyasa class in their smaller studio. One great feature about Hapa Yoga is that they offer childcare – they have a sweet little nursery inside the studio, so new moms can come get their flow on without worrying about finding a babysitter!
I arrived about five minutes before noon, and the owner of the studio greeted me and checked me in. She gave me a quick tour, pointing out the child care, larger studio, smaller studio, men and women’s locker rooms, and then sent me on my way.
The studios and locker rooms are clean and well-tended. I tossed my gear in a locker and headed into the smaller studio for class. Surprisingly, the noon session was quite full – about twenty yogis in attendance, nicely aligned mat to mat. The lighting in the room was low, a sanctuary of candlelight – an oasis from the workday grind. Settling into child’s pose, I opened myself to a new experience.
Angelica moved through the room, greeting students and providing blocks. About two minutes after the hour, she started class with a relaxing initial savasana. Though I love powerful classes, I will always be a Sivananda yogini at heart, and starting in savasana is oh-so-good for letting go of the outside world and diving within.
After a few minutes relaxing, we moved to our feet and began to flow. Angelica had sequenced a beautiful class composed of three vignettes, all building strength and flexibility in the hamstrings. She had creatively interwoven standing splits into a few parts of the flow, so by the end of the class I felt like my legs were a mile long! Though I had my eyes closed most of the time, I could feel the class flowing in unison – a mark of a good teacher is the collective energy in the room.
I particularly enjoyed the peak pose of the class – a creative variation of dancer’s pose in which we moved from a Shiva Squat – a one legged squat drawing one knee behind the opposite ankle – into reverse dancers, which was a great challenge that we had been well prepared for. The class was challenging, but accessible. I am pleasantly surprised when teachers move outside the box of over-used vinyasa flow sequences – you know the ones – warrior 2, reverse warrior, triangle – over and over and over.
All in all I was delighted to find Angelica and will definitely be making an appearance at more of her classes. I look forward to returning to Hapa Yoga for a TRX class! Yes, they do more than yoga! They also have a great selection of prenatal and postnatal classes for all the new moms out there.
Most of all, I am pleased that Hapa Yoga is part of the Fitn network. If you haven’t checked out Fitn yet, it’s a unique membership that gives access to over 150 gyms, yoga studios, barre, crossfit, and pilates – as well as specialty classes like SUP yoga, kettlebell, and TRX. Get more information about Fitn here.
That’s all for this week! Stay stoked, yogaphiles – and I’ll see you on the mat!
Tags: angelica barrera, hapa yoga, hatha yoga, san diego yoga, vinyasa flow, yoga, yoga instructor