By Anne Jones
I despise working out. Running? Boooorring. Weight-training? Why lift heavy objects? 30-Day Shread? Jillian became my nemesis and I left a loser. The hip hop class that I became the guinea pig for during a previous article was more humiliating than gratifying. I was forced into yoga out of desperation. I work in the media industry and often put in 60-hour weeks; and while I love what I do, I was becoming a giant ball of stress (the story of so many New Yorkers). One afternoon at the office, I found myself in the bathroom stall with my head in my hands searching for a moment of peace, and thought about those yoga people.
That next day I met with Michelle Demus, the director of Pure Yoga (who is gorgeous, inside and out) a former professional ballet dancer who welcomed me to the studio as if it were her own home. I later learn that her kindness and consideration radiate throughout Pure, with each instructor. Whether it’s taught or contagious-it’s certainly felt. There’s as wide of a variety of instructor personality, as there are classes here. You’ll find the adorable former mountain biker that hails from Colorado and plays Indie and hip hop, there’s the instructor that was dubbed the “Antonio Bandera’s of Yoga,” the native New York entertainment lawyer who teaches a martial arts of yoga, a couple of crunchy hippies and some of the most power women in the practice. I’ve certainly found my favorites, but when this studio swept into the city, they swept up the best to teach.
Until now, Pure was exclusive to Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei. The Upper East Side home is the first and only U.S. location. The expansive 3 floor studio houses 4 large practice rooms and 2 private rooms. There’s a restful lounging area where you’ll often see members tucked into a book and sipping tea. There are 19 different styles of yoga and over 100 classes per week, meaning you can have your yoga hot, restorative or Bollywood style if you so desire (only to name only a few). The studio also offers a host of events. I was invited to attend a yoga and organic wine tasting with Jordan (an incredible instructor) and his sommelier/yogi friend. It’s rare for me to turn down free booze and I was actually beginning to like this whole yoga business, so I accepted. The detox and retox concept certainly is a good one.
Finally, one of the best perks of Pure is the oversized rain showers with posh products and better-than-average lockers rooms. Plush towels, salon hair dryers, and organic products make getting ready away from home, anything but a hassle.
And for me? I planned on a few leisurely downward dogs a week with hopes to feel a bit of stress relief. I had no idea what workout yoga could be (like, dripping with sweat and my arms looking more toned already) and how much it would take a hold of me. Not only is my stress wearing away, but my attitude is changing. I’m also known to leave work early to take a class…on a Friday night! I’m in a much better place (especially when you’re comparing the bathroom stall).
203 E. 86th St. at 3rd Ave