Sunday Stretch: A Blissful Way to Start a New Week

Relax, restore and completely reboot with yoga at Ace Hotel.




photo by john altdorfer

 

Somewhere along the way, my creative juices had learned to flow most freely when I'm hunched over my keyboard like some squinty-eyed Quasimodo. In response, my easily agitated joints were rioting. After a particularly hectic week spent basking in the blue glow of my laptop under an avalanche of deadlines, it was time to stage a self-inflicted intervention.

Chalk it up to hormonal disturbances — or a “Bah Humbug” response to a holiday that has become more stressful and expensive with every passing year of adulthood — but what I desperately needed was to uncoil: mentally, physically and emotionally.

Out of the blue, an email arrived promoting physical activities hosted by Ace Hotel in East Liberty. While getting pelted in the head with rapid-fire dodge balls was a pass, six words in bold, capital letters mesmerized me.

RELAX + RESTORE. SUNDAY YOGA STRETCH.

I set off that week but had a demoralizing revelation en route: the class started at 10 a.m., not 10:30, which meant I was going to be 15 minutes late.

A very quiet second-floor ballroom and Felicia Lane Savage, our radiantly warm instructor, greeted me without judgment.

“Find a relaxing position,” she said, as the sound of Native American bamboo flutes gently massaged our eardrums. “This class is all about you. It’s meant to be restorative, not stressful.”

Slow inhales … slow exhales … rolling our knees to the left … then the right. Back to center. Gently breathing, eyes closed, jaw unclenched, hands open. No pretzel-like positions, no death-defying shoulder stands. Surrounding me were retirees, hipsters and a pregnant woman about to pop. Everyone seemed to be entranced.

“Would you like an eye pillow filled with joy?” Felicia asked, approaching softly with an organic satchel of geranium, coriander, jasmine and rose. Yes, eye pillow filled with joy, please.

“It’s to relax your eyelids and muscles, to help you switch off and surrender to the Earth. Taking sight away forces you to become aware of your body,” she explained before tiptoeing away.

My soul feels as if it’s getting a Swedish massage. Gentle, fluid movement. Easy breathing. Tranquil meditation. Body, mind, heart simply still.

“People need to be restored, not over-stimulated,” Felicia said as class came to an end. “This is a time they can switch off, surrender and submit to the earth. And most importantly, heal.”

Verdict: Bliss.
Details: Sunday mornings from 10-11 a.m. Free to the public, although a $5 donation is suggested. No reservations needed. Mats are provided.  

Ace Hotel, 120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty; 412/361-3300, acehotel.com/pittsburgh
 

Eat This Month

Plant-Based Proteins
“Protein doesn’t have to be meat. There are many benefits to [eating] beans, nuts or legumes. Not only are they low in fat but they provide fiber and other vitamins and minerals,” says registered dietitian Nick Fischer of Fischer Nutrition LLC. Cut your weight in half to determine the number of grams of protein you need daily. Fischer also suggests tofu as it is a quality source of protein, contains fiber and easily is marinated, baked or grilled. “Mash it with nutritional yeast, and it tastes like scrambled eggs,” he says.
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: Local Beverly's Birthdays Gets National Attention

Watch: Local Beverly's Birthdays Gets National Attention

NBC Nightly News profiled Megs Yunn of Irwin, who doles out birthday cheer 365 days a year.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Meet the Federal Galley Chefs

Meet the Federal Galley Chefs

We have the lowdown on who is cooking what in the new North Side food hall from the operators of Smallman Galley.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


King Arthur's Sword Turns a Spot in Baldwin Into an Entertainment Destination

King Arthur's Sword Turns a Spot in Baldwin Into an Entertainment Destination

IQ Escape's new South Hills escape rooms elevate Crafthouse Stage & Grill and Legacy Lanes.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Encouraging Start Only a Start for The Steelers

Encouraging Start Only a Start for The Steelers

The season's first two victories were notched against mediocre competition. Eventually, the degree of difficulty is going to ratchet up considerably.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Kingsman Sequel Leans Into the Crazy (And Turns Out Fun)

Kingsman Sequel Leans Into the Crazy (And Turns Out Fun)

Reviews of "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," "Friend Request" and "Brad's Status," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Mad Libs Adds Laughs and Advice to Pittsburgh Wedding

Mad Libs Adds Laughs and Advice to Pittsburgh Wedding

Wedding guests were asked to bring their creativity to the couple’s big day.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Tour Chatham Village, Pittsburgh’s Own Secret Garden

Tour Chatham Village, Pittsburgh’s Own Secret Garden

The home and garden tour in the historic planned garden community in the heart of Mt. Washington takes place next week.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module