~ Online classes now available ~
By Daniella De Windt
Open since mid-January, Grace Yoga is the new place-to-be when it comes to yoga classes, workshops, yoga wear, local jewellery, and biodegradable products. Located next to the new Adonis Hotel in Cupecoy, the yoga studio provides serene escape to yogis from both sides of the border. This lucky girl got to try two of their popular classes – the high-energy hot yoga class on Thursday evening and the slower yin yoga on Friday morning.
Grace Yoga offers 11 different yoga styles in 19 classes per week. According to yoga teacher Juliette, “There really is something for everyone.” Are you looking to sweat, try power yoga, ashtanga, hot yoga, or yogalates? Want something with a slower pace? Check out their gentle yoga class, alignment yoga, yin yoga, or the traditional hatha practice. There is even a special class for the yogis ages 55 and up, though they might let you sneak in if you are 54.
Grace Yoga tries to accommodate yogis even further by offering classes in both French and English. Every Saturday after the regular classes, there is an opportunity to follow a workshop, such as healing or water elements. These are all open to the public and will be announced on Facebook. Sundays are reserved for special-themed classes. A teacher comes up with a theme, such as detox, crystals, or backbends, and offers a specialized class from 10:00 to 11:30am.
In addition to daily classes, Grace Yoga also provides the opportunity for private classes every weekday from 2:00 to 5:00pm. These classes can be one-on-one, but you can also come with family or friends. And because the teacher is completely devoted to you and your needs, this is a great option for those with specific injuries or personal goals.
It was 5:30pm on Thursday when I walked into the Grace Yoga studio. Immediately, a feeling of serenity engulfed me as I walked into the modern yet calming space after a long day at work. As I was having a little chat with Teacher Juliette and browsing the cute things on sale, the other students slowly made their way to the hot yoga class. We would be practicing the Bikram yoga sequence – a set sequence that is normally done in a room above 105 °F.
Since the strict Bikram yoga is not really appropriate for a laid-back island with tropical temperatures, Grace Yoga does not have a hot room and the teacher is more helpful. The class is suitable for all levels. Though the sequence is bound to make you sweat, there are no advanced postures – not even a downward dog! I had never done this particular yoga style, but I loved it and left the class feeling great. It was the perfect combination of exercise, stretching, and meditation.
The yin yoga class provided a nice contrast to the energetic Bikram class. According to Juliette, yin yoga targets the connective tissues, whereas most forms of exercise target muscles. Staying in a pose for an extended period of time (anywhere between two and six minutes) counterbalances muscle activity as it activates your deep tissues. But make no mistake, although the class is slower, it is not the same as a restorative class. Yin yoga can be quite tough if the pose is intense – hip openers, I’m talking to you! The class ended with some relaxing stretches before everyone went home feeling flexible and fantastic.
Special note: Though the yoga studio itself is closed due to COVID-19, Grace Yoga offers online classes via Facebook and YouTube so you can still feel sweet and sweaty at home.
Grace Yoga is open daily according to their class schedule. For classes and more information, call +1 (721) 580-4219 or visit www.grace.sx.