Health & Fitness

By Erika Chassner

As I sit and write this review, I am still conscious of every muscle fiber in my body having been utilized and challenged during the Nalini Method class at the Upper West Side’s Pure Yoga Studio. An amalgam of yoga, Pilates, resistance training and ballet, this hour long workout is sure to leave you feeling energized, stronger and more centered than before you entered the room.

Dubbed “Yoga for the Type A Personality” by founder Rupa Mehta, the class starts with free-weights and a floor mat where you exert your upper body to its max. Resistance bands, weights and exercise balls are utilized throughout the class. Gradually, you work your way over to the ballet bar where Rupa reminds you to be mindful of your core and positioning while engaging in an intense lower body workout. The class ends with floor work, ensuring you hit every muscle group. Rupa ensures no class is exactly the same by offering a special new ‘gift’ each class so that regulars remain challenged.

The small class environment and personal attention that the gifted teacher, Rupa, has infused into her class makes it feel like a personal training session that left me radiating with endorphins and pining for the next class. Rupa’s infectious energy and enthusiasm carries you through all 60 minutes of the challenging workout. As my muscles trembled and thoughts of “I can’t do this” entered my mind, Rupa was there to direct much needed words of encouragement my way and help me regain my focus. Why the Nalini Method you ask, well regular practice promises a sculpted, leaner, stronger physique, enhanced flexibility and balance, improved endurance and increased posture and alignment.

The Nalini Method is named after founder Rupa’s mother and is a combination of Eastern and Western philosophies. Nalini means Lotus flower and is symbolic in Hinduism and Buddhism, as it is known to rise to the waters surface from the origins of muck and dirt at the bottom of the pond. Although Rupa speaks a lot about the spiritual importance of balance and connection outside of class, she manages to allow just enough of it to permeate the room in an organic way. If an engaging and inspiring workout for both the body and soul is what you seek, I challenge you to try the Nalini Method. You won’t be disappointed!

The Nalini Method classes are offered only at Pure Yoga on the Upper West side, for more information visit: http://www.nalinimethod.com/ and pureyoga.com. Pure Yoga West:
204 W. 77th St. @ Amsterdam Ave., 212.877.2025

Originally published December 2010
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