Here we go, the LONG awaited week #3 of the studio crawl. This entry is very special to me. Each of these teachers have a very special place in my yoga and life journey. We are going to review first Pablo Lucero’s Equinox class, then the LoveLife event with teachers Megan Elizabeth and Gaby Quintana, and finally the bon fire yoga event with Bianca Mestre. Let’s dive right in!
Pablo at the Equinox
Before we talk about the class, let me explain how I met Pablo. About 3 years ago, I wandered in to a yoga studio called Brickell Hot Yoga expecting a free class as was stated on Yelp. I had not done yoga in years and I was skeptical, and there were a lot of studios in the area, so I am not ashamed to say the free class is one of the reasons why I chose that studio. Pablo greeted me and then explained that they no longer offer the free class but was going to make an exception for me. Awesome!, I took the class….3 years later here we are, 200 hour RYT, life changed, and here I am taking his class again. Now coincidentally, due to scheduling changes I did not take another class of his for many years, and have only probably taken about 5 of his public classes (and 1 private which was AWESOME). But, because so much time passed between those classes, I had grown so much as a yogi, and human that I was able to learn so many new things from his classes and incorporate them in to my practice. Pablo is awesome, and if I had more time and our schedules coincided more, I would take many more of his classes (I plan to go back in a week). Thank you Pablo, you are awesome! Ok so let’s talk about my experience at his Equinox class.
So, if you are not aware, Equinox is a high end membership only gym. Pablo happens to work at the one in Coral Gables. So point of reference, if you are interested in checking him out, or Equinox, if you call them up and tell them you want to try it out, usually they can arrange a 3 day free pass (at least they did in my case). The gym itself seemed very nice (and big) with lots of equipment and options. I only stayed for Pablo’s class, so I can’t really comment on the facility otherwise, but it did look nice so if that’s your thing, check it out.
I was lead down past all the gym stuff and came to a rather large studio room. Pablo and I caught up for about 10 minutes before class, I took my place and the magic began. He started with a nice anecdotal story to break the ice, introduced himself to new students and began opening meditation. Which was great. We moved in to a warm up series, connecting with our breath and intention.
Pablo lead a very alignment based class. He didn’t spend a lot of time counting how long we would hold the pose for, and instead focused on alignment cues and keeping us present. I learned a lot of subtle adjustments to some common poses in his class. His cues were so easy to follow he didn’t need to demo anything. A class of about 40, everyone was able to follow along his words. The class was intense physically, and was never lacking. Great, creative flow. The best was savasana where I got a full adjustment where he put my arms, upper torso in to the perfect savasana. It was great. Thank you Pablo. I’ll be back for more in the next few weeks at Upstairs yoga, a different studio he teaches at (my equinox 3 day pass is up unfortunately…).
Pablo will also be opening his own studio called “OM Movement” in the gables area in September so keep a look out!
Wynnwood Walls Paradise Fund Charity Event with LoveLife
This was a very special event. The 2 teachers who led this event, Megan Elizabeth and Gaby Quintana, play a major role in my transformation to a yogi. Gaby is the first teacher who’s classes I consistently (and still do) attend. She is the one who first got me to try forearmstand which lead to my handstand obsession.
I have not taken nearly as many of Megan’s classes over the years as Gaby’s but when I do I love them. Nobody puts me in to a deep state in savasana like Megan does. More importantly, she let’s me know when I am not being the best yogi I can be. Whether it’s calling me out on complaining about something, taking something personally that I shouldn’t, or just simply letting me know when I am not being the best Brian I can be, she keeps me grounded! Thank you Megan!!!
So of course when Megan and Gaby told me about the charity event they were throwing to celebrate the grand opening of Megan’s new studio (where Gaby will be teaching Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 8pm!) called Love Life Center, I made sure to cancel my Thursday class so I could attend. And what an event it was!!!
Set with the wynwood walls as the background, silent revolution on tap, massages, food, and all sorts of socializing, the yoga event was amazing. I was waved over by some of my students who recognized me and we formed a small Brickell Hot Yoga gathering near the front. Megan and Gaby took turns leading us through a powerful vinyasa class that opened our hearts and minds. The energy was amazing and I wish it didn’t have to end. I hope they do another event like this soon.
I am very excited for the opening of Love Life Center in the heart of Wynwood. If you haven’t checked them out yet, find them on Facebook and Instagram. The teachers assembled for this center are incredible, many fellow teachers of mine from Brickell Hot Yoga, some other all-stars you’ll recognize from the Miami area. If you are in Wynwood, there is no doubt this is the studio you should call home. I’ll miss you at Brickell Hot Yoga Megan, but I am so proud and excited for you and this next chapter in your life!!!
Bonfire yoga with Bianca Mestre and LunaSol Movement
To top off the week of awesome yoga was my personal favorite, the bon fire yoga. This takes nothing away from either of the other 2 event, but this was special to me. As I grow as a yogi, I find that stepping our of the traditional classroom setting or event setting, and doing something new and interesting is the most rewarding. And when you combine that with good people, good vibes, and ample time to hang out and converse, you really can’t beat it.
First let’s talk about Bianca. Bianca’s original background is from dance. She came to yoga after being a dancer all her life. After several years of teaching she has decided to open her own studio, LunaSol Movement in the Kendall Pinecrest area. This will be a dance/movement/yoga style studio, really attributing to her personal touch and style. It will be opening very soon, and I am honored to be teaching Hot Yoga there on Tuesday’s at 6:30pm. Bianca has assembled a great team and it’s going to be amazing.
Now the best part of taking one of Bianca’s classes is her playful attitude. She doesn’t take yoga, or life too seriously. Knowing that the most important thing in our practice is to enjoy it, have fun, smile…and she makes sure we do. So while the studio is under construction she had the great idea of setting up a Bonfire yoga class. The location was kept secret until you RSVP’d. I arrived at a house in the palmetto bay area where I was led to an awesome setup. Yogi’s had placed their mats around a rectangular pool. Tiki torches surrounded us, candles, a cool DJ setup, and of course Bianca greeted us with her big smile. I immediately recognized some fellow teachers and friends (hi Megan and Erica!) and we got ready for an awesome class.
We started the class by going back to back with your neighbor and synchronizing your breathing. This was awesome. The class moved forward from there with lots of playful guidedness, some poses that didn’t have names, reminders to smile a lot, and some fun inversions. It was intense and amazing. I loved every second, especially practicing next to some of my favorite people. I think she’s doing it again (maybe0 so if you missed it make sure you go to the next one!!!
Now the best part was actually after class. There was food, and we all hung out and ate. We made s’mores by the fire. Sound bowls were played and we just had an amazing time. Words can’t do it justice. I was sad when I had to leave because I hadn’t planned to be out that late and had to get back to feed my dogs, or I would have stayed much longer!
If you are looking for dance or fun yoga check out what Bianca has to offer at LunaSol Movement when it opens in the coming weeks. And of course, all of you that I know in the South Miami area, I expect to see you at my Tuesday 6:30 class!!!
Alright that wraps that up. I could say so, ssoo much more about each event and teacher but I want to keep this short enough that you will finish reading it!
This week we are going to try and get to Gigi Diaz’s class at 360eim, Cat Haayen’s class at Dharma, and Gisele Omores’ class at Biotonic Brickell. So stay tuned for more!! And look out for more frequent blog and news posts on my site which I am updating more frequently now.