Once a week Beerasana rides across town to Tony Nenov’s house in Gulfport for 90 minutes of trying to do impossible things. Tony greets us and inquires about our new or chronic aches and pains. Then we stand at the top of our mats and Tony says, “Inhale.” We inhale for what feels like forever. “Exhale,” he allows at last, and continues to cue every breath for the duration of class. After my first couple of sessions with Tony I was sore just from breathing.
Some call Tony “the teachers’ teacher,” and this small room is full of yoga instructors. Cindy Mastry is the most flexible. Shila Tirabassi nails the handstands and jump-throughs. “Textbook!” Tony says, in his Eastern European accent. Katelyn’s good, too. In this company, my practice looks its age, and for a change I’m the greenest. Again and again, Tony implores us to find our cores, our backs, to expand, to suck it in. Every week I resolve to shed some pounds to make this easier.
Between efforts we sit on our heels to rest while Tony drops some yoga philosophy. I don’t always understand what he’s saying, but when I do he’s either being wise or funny, and sometimes on purpose. And then we’re back in a slow flow, and up on our hands again, with Tony’s help, piking softly out of handstands, or transitioning from Galavasana to One-Legged Crow to Eka Pada Koundinyasana. He seems to make up sequences in mid-air. Tony’s very-hands-on assists are like stepping stones between impossible, ugly, and textbook.
It’s great. Every week Katelyn and I race out of there to teach our respective classes, re-energized and psyched on practice. I don’t know what Tony’s session at Etc. is going to be like, but I think he’s going to talk about the Sutras some, and then work us out. I’m recommending this class to anyone who’s semi-serious about their yogas and loves arm balances or strong men with accents. Or if you’re a name-dropper, you can say you took a class from a guy who studied with A.G. Mohan. Space is limited so call 727-644-4554 to reserve your spot.