Isaac Pena grew up in New York City during the early ’80s. Initially inspired by the prolific ’70s film icon, Bruce Lee, Isaac began martial arts by the age of 7, starting with Japanese styles and eventually incorporating Zen meditation. Fast forward to the mid-late ’90s, Isaac found himself on the doorstep of the 2nd Avenue Jivamukti Yoga Center, a decision that would lay the foundation not only for his lifestyle, but his livelihood. Fueled by the same passion he had for martial arts, it wasn’t rare to see Isaac at Jivamukti, Dharma Mittra’s Yoga Center, the Iyengar Institute of NY and Alan Finger’s ISHTA Yoga studio all in the same week. Consequently, by practicing regularly in all of these schools at the same time (and gaining meaningful exposure to several styles of Chinese martial arts, capoeira, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Gyrotonic, hand balancing and Contortion over the years that followed), it’s only natural that Isaac has cultivated his own unique style. By encouraging the utilization of breath and movement as a personal health system, Isaac’s classes offer the opportunity to tailor each and every practice to best suit your individual body and needs.
When we were children, we were fearless and just did things; sometimes it worked out... other times ehhh, not so much! This class will borrow from many disciplines, including yoga, acrobatics and simply being a kid on the playground. Together we will discover the right mix of thoughtful warm-up, intelligent preparation and applicable skill development, and, perhaps most importantly, a lesson in how to get out of your own way. While going upside down can bring both physical and psychological breakthroughs, let’s not forget the original reason we want to do most things: it's fun!!!
This class will begin with a thorough warm up that facilitates spinal movement in all directions. We will then break down the practice by moving into different sections of the spine (upper,middle,lower) and speaking about how to apply the bandhas (specific “core” isolations) to make back bending more pleasant and ultimately liberate the body to access deeper shapes. (All levels)
In this class we will be using some traditional asana and applying modern athletic training principles to go a bit further. Through specifically addressing the shoulders and hips, we can move into deeper forms of back bending without asking so much from the back itself. (All levels)
This journey towards the splits we will combine mobility drills from acrobatics and martial arts with the progressive vinyasa philosophy of repeating and adding on. We will cover the full range of preparatory actions to much deeper stretches so that you can simultaneously feel where you’re at as well as know where you’re going past this class. This is an all levels class.