Soulful Yoga

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions years ago because I found I was often setting myself up for failure. Resolution seems like such an ominous word. Now I see the beginning of the new year as an opportune time to try out an idea I have been mulling over during the previous year(s) or perhaps taking advantage of an new opportunity. Hence this blog and a brand new yoga studio.


Some time ago Ben and I took a Hot 26 class at Hot Yoga of East Nashville. We really liked the teacher, Cindy Lunsford and spoke to her after the class. Cindy mentioned she was planning on opening a studio near 8th and Wedgewood and low and behold, she did. The studio Yogasoul offers a variety of classes including Hot 26. Although there are a number of studios in the Music Row and 12 South area, none of them, as far as I know, offer Hot 26 classes.

What’s the class like?

Doing the challenge gave me the opportunity to try out a variety of classes. What I love about this studio is the range of heated and unheated yoga classes.  I love a good sweat but at this age I detox most nights and don’t always want the self inflicted drenching. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, be grateful! Below is a list of the classes of I’ve taken. This is not a complete list of classes offered but I believe a good overview.

Yin Yoga

I’ve taken Yin from both Cindy and Nick Major. It is the perfect class for anyone desiring a deep stretch and some relaxation. I find it meditative as the stretches are held for what  sometimes seems like an uncomfortable amount of time. It gives me the opportunity to once again focus on my breath. The Sunday night class is sometimes followed by a 30 minute donation based guided meditation.

Hot 26

A series of 26 postures starting and ending with a breathing exercise in a 105 – 110 degree Fahrenheit room. The first part is a series of standing postures and the second a series of floor postures. The format is usually exactly the same no matter the teacher. Classes are 60, 75 or 90 minutes long. When they say hot, they mean hot! Imagine a summer day in India or Nashville in August.  If you can, go to this class for the first time with a friend and do not compete. Let me repeat, yoga is not a competition and anytime you feel like you need to take a break, take one! Lie down, head towards the mirror and keep your eyes open. If it feels at times you might die, I promise you won’t, but you will get an endorphin rush afterwards because you will feel as if you escaped death! In all seriousness, if you are curious try a class. I jumped on the Hot 26 bandwagon late and probably don’t take it enough to receive the full benefits but I truly never regret taking a Hot 26 class.

Heated/Unheated Vinyasa

Vinyasa classes seem to be offered in most studios. Yogasoul offers both heated and unheated. The classes are similar but depending on the teacher and class level, sequence and intensity will differ. In these classes yogi’s flow through a variety of poses which may or may not include child’s pose, cat/cow, warrior poses, balancing poses, back bends and balancing poses. Often these poses are connected with a “vinyasa” which means to flow through high plank to low plank (Chaturanga Dandasana), cobra or upward facing dog, then pushing back into down dog before returning to mountain pose. Each movement is performed with instruction to inhale which helps focus the mind on the breath.

Hot Barkan Vinyasa Flow

I took my first Hot Barkan class today. A combination of  Vinyasa and Hot 26 in a slightly “cooler” room at only 95-100 degrees. I found it very challenging but like Hot 26 I’m told the series of poses stays the same no matter the teacher. I will go again, but not tomorrow.

Kundalini Yoga

When I first moved to Nashville my roommate Edie, who by the way is a fantastic artist,, had a Kundalini DVD. I remember it being quite different from the other yoga classes I’d taken, with more breathing exercises and repetition of different postures. The one class I’ve taken at Yogasoul was very similar to what I remembered from that DVD.  Along with pranayama breathing and rhythmic movements the practice also includes chanting of mantras and meditation. I find this class a nice change from other practices and good for people looking to expand their yoga experience. It can still be challenging and good not only for the body but also for the mind.

Soul Flow

This class is taught by Kenny Frisby who is a recent Nashville transplant as well as a new father! It was a mixture of vinyasa, some chanting, opportunity to play with handstands and arm balances accompanied by some “soulful’ music. Not all yoga classes incorporate music and I was hoping to hear some Aretha, Al and Marvin but alas, it was a different kind of soul.  Ben and I both enjoyed it and would definitely take it his class again.

yogasoul logo

How much does a class cost?

Yogasoul offers a 30 days for $30 introductory membership. Since it is January and pretty much every studio, gym or class is full of “resolutioners” I decided this would be a good time to try out a new place and some new classes. Often at the beginning of the year studios offer a 30 day challenge. For every 10 days of classes I take at Yogasoul during the challenge I believe I get a free class. Hey, I am the frugal yogi! So far I’ve gone almost everyday minus my volunteer days at Small World Yoga and a trip to South Beach.

I haven’t taken it yet but a community yoga class is currently scheduled on Thursdays (5:30) and Sundays (1pm) as a $5 unheated Community Vinyasa class.  It is always best to check their website or call before going.

For information on Yogasoul’s regular rates and memberships click here.



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