hair of the downward dog
posted: September 23, 2013
Sunday’s autumn equinox, when the seasons came into balance, felt like the perfect time to check out Nikki Koch’s Hangover Yoga session at The Cobra Club in Bushwick, Brooklyn. A gentle, restorative class with emphasis on long, slow ujjayi ocean breathing, it’s designed to help your system recover the morning after a big night before. Oh, and a Bloody Mary or Mimosa is included in the drop-in price. Yes, The Cobra Club is a bar with a yoga studio attached. Genius.
Class started at the very civilised hour of 1pm, and we settled in armed with bolsters, blocks and blankets. In fact, I wasn’t out drinking the night before, but I have had some seriously stressful deadline situations going on lately, so my system has been taxed in other ways.
Happily, there definitely wasn’t any weight-bearing or balancing poses going on. “We also avoid downward dog, for obvious reasons,” says Nikki, who opened the studio in June 2012. “Being upside-down does not feel good when you’re hungover.”
Instead, Nikki guided us through a series of slow and relaxing mat-based asanas including some seated twists, a gentle bridge (“moving your hips up and down helps settle your stomach”) and a short rest in pigeon—“really great, because you also get a light massage from your foot pressing into your stomach if you’re having any issues there.”
We finished with a long, supported savasana (read: opportunity to totally zone out while tucked up under a blanket). And all to a playlist featuring acoustic versions of classic rock records. “I love artists like Nirvana, The Misfits and Johnny Cash, and played the right way they can still help you get into that meditative state,” explains Nikki.
It all fits seamlessly with the whole Hangover Yoga ethos. “We felt it was important to have a class on the schedule that recognised we’re all human,” says Nikki. “So maybe you had a couple of drinks last night—you can come here and feel better without feeling guilty about having a social life too.”
And speaking of being guilt-free, those Bloody Marys were large, spicy, and so delicious that I had two.
Hangover Yoga is at 1pm every Sunday at The Cobra Club.
Whether it’s interviewing Lady Gaga, unveiling the latest trends in fashion, or getting under the skin of our most neurotic social trends, Ruby Warrington is at the forefront of it all. She’s a British lifestyle writer and the celebrated creator of the blog The Numinous, but best of all is that Ruby is also a feature writer for the lululemon blog.