By Sean Chambers
Yoga Noir is an unusual way to stretch limbs and find your center. Instructor and creator Jacquie Roach made sure that there wasn't just one thing about these classes that make them special, but a slew of little cool things.
First of all, it takes place in a coffee shop.
Aileen Liptak, the owner and manager of Undergrounds Coffeehaus happily had Roach set up shop in this eclectic, artsy, and caffeine-fueled environment. Roach says she was "drawn to the idea of a modernized alternative class of yoga," which would be "more geared to people who may be hesitant to actually try yoga out at a studio." And it gave her a chance to add her own flair to this ancient practice.
Roach choses music you wouldn't expect to guide contorting participants, like New Wave and alt rock. Instead of tablas or tribal sounds, you'll hear the likes of the Clash, Eurythmics, or even Green Day. She believes this makes a difference to the students, that it creates a more pleasant atmosphere that lets them actually relax. It encourages a sense of community and sharing of musical preferences.
The main focus of these classes is on inclusion. They are open to both beginners and more advanced students and practitioners. Yoga Noir is exactly what you want your yoga classes to be: comfortable and comforting.
Roach offers her own form of gentle Hatha yoga. She advises smaller classes and not packed places when beginning yoga. In a full room, she says, the student "may not get individualized attention and clarity of communication" they need. Roach thinks Yoga Noir is a solid spot for newbies because it offers more one-on-one time to help "correctly complete asanas." If you don't know what that is, you can ask her tonight.
"Many students just really like to sit back and have me instruct whatever I feel necessary because they are beginners, while more experienced students may have suggestions as to what they'd like to experience such as a guided meditation," she explains. "No request is really odd to me, I maintain professionalism while still enjoying and interacting with my peers."
Although Roach will conclude her teachings at Yoga Noir within several weeks, she believes it will continue to evolve under a new instructor. "Hopefully the future brings me peace, and the continuation of love and happiness," she reflects. "Whatever lies ahead of me, I'm ready for it and I cannot wait to continue to blossom within the yoga community." Follow her yogic progression at her website The Foxy Yogi.
Yoga Noir takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., at Undergrounds Coffeehaus, 3020 N. Federal Hwy., 5A Fort Lauderdale. It's $10, and bring a mat. Call 954-630-1900, or visit undergroundscoffeehouse.com.
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