My husband is a big fan of the Combat workout videos. They feature intense aerobic martial arts based workouts with upbeat music and trainers with strong, commanding voices. Now imagine the upbeat music, strong commanding voice and substitute in an intense yoga workout and that is what a class with Kevin Ng is like.
Last night, Hot Feet Fitness hosted Kevin Ng for a Power Vinyasa Flow and Mindfulness session. The 60 minute class began like a typical power vinyasa class by starting in Child’s Pose during which Kevin introduced the theme of the duality of winter and summer. From there, the sequence focused on a flow of Sun Salutations with Crescent Lunges to Dancing Warriors. The vinyasa flow was strong, quick and aerobic in nature. Throughout the class Kevin interspersed intense plank and core moves amongst the yoga. I think this is the first yoga class where I have done Mountain Climber multiple times (although I must admit I chose to do a slower version of mountain climber than Kevin suggested). The mood was light, fun and all of the students seemed to be enjoying the challenge presented to them.
A true gem of the class was Kevin’s use of music. The song were well-timed with the sequencing and upbeat mix kept the pace moving. Furthermore, the songs Kevin used just fit with the style of his class and although I cannot recall exactly what songs he used, I do remember thinking that as each one started that it was just the right song for that moment.
After the class, we sat in the lobby area and discussed maintaining mindfulness outside of yoga. Kevin Ng’s theory is influenced heavily by Alan Watts and Brene Brown. One topic we discussed that stuck with me is the idea Kevin discussed of ‘Work Life Integration’ as opposed to ‘Work Life Balance’. We tend to think we need to balance our work self with our home self as if they are separate identities in our life, when in reality we should be focusing on integrating our true self into our work and our home life to achieve a more holistic approach to our modern life. I thought that was a powerful concept.
Another topic we discussed was the identity of Busy. We are so busy being ‘busy’ that we are not mindful of the moment. Susan Hyatt wrote a great article about the Busy Shield where she believes it is a tool we use to avoid feeling an emotion such as loneliness, unloved or unworthy. I know that when I worked in BioTech I frequently cited being Busy as an excuse for a lot of things: not calling people back, not reaching out to people, not taking time to breathe. The identity of Busy prevents us from connecting with the moment.
Kevin’s style is unorthodox in Power Vinyasa, but if you find some yoga styles to be too spiritual or too serious, I would definitely recommend that you attend one of Kevin’s classes. Due to the pace of his sequencing, I would suggest this class is not well suited for students unfamiliar with yoga postures as the flow is too quick to explore proper alignment.
If you would like to try something really fun, there is an upcoming Charity Yoga Cruise and Party that Kevin is co-hosting with David Wilson that looks like a lot of fun! You can buy tickets to it here.