This past weekend, I spent my Sunday afternoon with Stephanie Snyder for a three-hour intensive practice aimed toward opening the heart and engaging the core. As part of my intention of finding balance throughout this fall, I’ve been attending different kinds of classes and seeking out new teachers to practice with, to listen to, and ultimately to learn about how to make myself a more informed yogi.
Stephanie Snyder is a student of Sri Dharma Mittra and has also been heavily influenced by Iyengar. Her approach is heart-felt, sincere. You can tell as she makes her way around the room making nurturing assists and seems to be able to smile at everyone from the front of a packed room.
The class started out gentle, opening up the shoulders and the central channel slowly, subtly. As we graduated to the tops of our mats for over an hours worth of standing poses, the heat rose. Repetitive steps into warrior two were accompanied by new mudras and new dynamic movements from side to side, from front to back. Having a long class means that you can really sink in to your practice, for example, I believe we took ushtraasana four time and urdva dhanuraasana four times! These two poses, especially ushtraasana are very powerful heart openers, that left me grateful for being reminded of their physical and emotional benefits.
Snyder’s class was an amazing opportunity to move through a practice, receiving new and different cues — “zip up the pelvis to the belly button.” Additionally, Snyder’s intelligence about how the body moves enabled her to creatively sequence three full hours of a Vinyasa practice. Snyder teaches workshops and classes in San Francisco and the surrounding area, check out her schedule here.