Celebrating One Year at Lyons Den: How the Dream Team Has Made it Happen, By Alison Feller

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in On Our Blog

Celebrating One Year at Lyons Den: How the Dream Team Has Made it Happen, By Alison Feller

If you’ve taken class with Bethany, or you’ve taken class with John, or — major bonus — you’ve been in a class they’ve co-taught, you know that they bring the magic individually, and together they’re downright explosive. But there’s so much more to this power couple than their ability to ferociously and enthusiastically kick students’ asanas inside the studio. As co-founders, the husband and wife team are also business partners. On the one-year anniversary of Lyons Den Power Yoga (!!!), what better way to honor the studio’s roots than by getting the inside scoop straight from the dream team? Read on to hear about their highs, lows, and the time John locked himself out of the studio…barefoot. Take us back to the very beginning. Where did the idea to open the studio come from? Is this a lifelong dream being realized? Bethany: It had been brewing for several years, but I had such great opportunities coming into my world from so many different angles and directions that I was honestly a bit scattered. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and be my own boss. I also really wanted a Baptiste-dedicated studio in the city I love. So this was not a split-second decision at all, but a process, and it ended up happening at exactly the right time. Getting John on board to do this with me was clutch — he is an invaluable partner. Once he was in, it was game on. John: After I went to my first Baptiste teacher training, I came back and knew she was right on the money. Baptiste yoga is exactly what New York City needed. We set the intention to find the right space, and the rest is history. When you found the space at 279 Church Street, did you know right away that was your spot? John: No. I saw the raw space, but I couldn’t see it. But I looked at Bethany’s face as her eyes moved along the space, and I knew she had a vision. It was at that moment I knew we had found the home of our first studio. Bethany: No! I ran away screaming (inside I was screaming) the first time I saw it. The building is old, with a very shady history. (Looking for a brothel, anyone? No, really…) And the build-out was daunting. It needed to be gut-renovated. But when we saw it again a year later and met with the landlord, I could just see it. I knew TriBeCa was where we needed to be, and after walking around the broken down floorboards, the vision appeared. At that point, I had zero doubts. What were your biggest fears about opening the studio? John: That no one would find us. I knew Bethany had a strong community, but for us to be able to stay open, we needed to reach complete...

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My Year at Lyons Den – by student, Alison Feller

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in On Our Blog

My Year at Lyons Den – by student, Alison Feller

You know that feeling when you’re eating your morning oatmeal, and it’s good, but then one day you decide to throw in a few chocolate chips and it’s suddenly so much better? Those chocolate chips were everything you didn’t know you were missing. Lyons Den Power Yoga is the handful of chocolate chips to my morning oatmeal. I’ve been attending classes at LDPY since day one (really — I was there for the first-ever Thursday 7:15 PM class with Bethany), and every day I walk in and out of the studio is a day my life is further enriched, enhanced, and invigorated. I know the reality is that Bethany and John opened the studio at the time that was right for them. But on a purely selfish (and, OK, delusional) level, I believe that they opened this studio just for me. In June 2013, I was in a bad place. I had spent the bulk of the past year mostly bedridden (and bathroom-ridden, if we’re being honest here) on account of Crohn’s disease. My illness left me on medical leave from my job, and unable to leave my apartment. I knew Bethany from Crunch, and then from SoulCycle. She quickly became my favorite instructor, and I missed her classes terribly when I was too sick to get to them. Somehow, Bethany noticed my absence from class, and insisted on making a house call. I was hesitant to allow visitors because I was sick and depressed and didn’t want to answer the “How are you feeling?” question with the truth, which was “awful, miserable, and sad.” But, one Wednesday night that month, I let Bethany into my apartment. She came bearing gifts — an outfit, a candle, a playlist, and a great attitude. We talked for an hour or two, and that was the night she told me she and John were planning to open a yoga studio. I woke up the next day with a new outlook. I was ready to fight. I was ready to get better. I was ready to work my way out of my depression, even if my body didn’t immediately follow suit. By the time Lyons Den opened, I was still sick, but was regaining my old strength. I’m a runner — a marathoner — and I wasn’t able to run at the time. Yoga seemed easier. Gentler. More attainable. There was a bathroom in the studio, so some of my fears were soothed, and I knew that with Bethany leading the pack, I would be OK. (We’ll get to the “easier” part shortly.) That first class kicked me so hard in the very best way. I was never a regular practitioner of yoga, but I was hooked to the Baptiste style right away. I loved how athletic it was, and how I felt like I was getting an incredible workout without leaving my...

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Taking Flight in 5 Easy Steps: How to Master Crow Pose

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in On Our Blog

Taking Flight in 5 Easy Steps: How to Master Crow Pose

Watching a seasoned yogi take flight into bakasana—crow pose—is a beautiful thing. It looks so simple, so effortless. And while this arm balance may look tricky, even scary, it’s entirely attainable for all levels. All you need to get off your feet and onto your hands is a little confidence and this five-step guide from Lyons Den instructor Sara Packard. Read on, and get ready for takeoff. 1.    Be confident. When you go into any new experience with confidence, it makes for a stronger start. Even if you’re not confident you’ll “master” the pose, have confidence that you’ll learn something new about yourself. 2.    Start on a block. Any master of anything knows nothing is ever achieved without a little help. A great—and readily available—tool is your yoga block. Place the block on your mat and bring your feet on top of it. This will offer your body a bit more room to get your legs and hips up where they need to be. Even for someone who has already mastered crow, getting back on the block can be a great reminder, and can help take your pose to new heights—literally. 3.    Feel your hands. In crow pose, our foundation is our hands. Give yourself the strongest foundation possible. Spread your fingers wide and really root down through the triads of the hands (the space between the forefinger and thumb). Really feel the support of the floor underneath them and use it. When we begin to work into any arm balance or inversion, we start to notice a direct relationship between our hands and our core; when we plug into one, we instinctually plug into the other. 4.    Hug in. From the pit of the belly to the legs and feet, squeeze in toward your midline. Often we look at crow pose as coming from arm strength, but really it’s more about finding balance by being strong, and letting go at the same time. The strength of this pose comes by pulling up and in at the center of your body, so that the weight distribution is forward and up. Speaking of forward… 5.    Look—and think—forward. This is the scary part for most of us, but the idea is that we go where we see ourselves, literally. By taking the eyes to a point in front of you, the body tends to follow. And where the eyes go, the heart goes. Since we are always working toward finding an open heart, this is important. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to fall. Fear is the biggest thing that holds us back from trying anything new. While it’s perfectly OK to be afraid to try, that doesn’t mean it should stop you. Whenever I teach any arm balance or inversion and the student falls, I see it as such a positive thing! Once you fall out of something, it gives you...

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