RateYourBurn | Class review of Brent Laffoon at Yoga Flow

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Yoga Flow with Brent Laffoon @ Equinox
School Girl Crush

by SkinnyMinnie on February 1, 2013

Q: What do yoga and fudge cake have in common? 
A: Go to Brent Laffoon to find out. He teaches my ideal yoga class. It's a very intense flow, offering a mix of Ashtanga and Iyengar. Like Forrest Gump eating truffles, you never know what you’re going to get. The only thing that's certain: you will sweat your ass off.

 
 
About the instructor
 
 
Green machine. Surprisingly Brent is a fairly new yoga teacher. He took his first class in June of 2010, when he was 35 years old. I had a very hard time believing that it’s been less then three years and the boy is bending it better than Gumby. Brent is a true testament to what hard work and dedication can do to a human body.
 
 
Self help. My favorite part of Brent’s class is the first 10 minutes when he explains the benefits of your practice. He talks about how yoga as a tool for dealing with life, comparing it to a Swiss Army Knife with infinite widgets to help you handle 
any situation—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. He truly believes every person on Earth can benefit by practicing some form 
of yoga. Amen.
 
 
Smart cookie, with a glass of class. Not only is Brent buff and easy on the eyes, but he also has a hamster on the wheel upstairs. He graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in Spanish literature. Brent set out to change the world joining the Peace Corps and teaching English in Mozambique. It was an eye-opening experience, but this hottie with a body didn’t stop there. He then went on to make two movies, one of which won the “Cinema for Peace” award at the Berlin Film Festival.
 
Hands-on. I really get turned on when a teacher gets technical in yoga. It's such a free-spirited workout, and I often find teachers "relaxing" a little too much during class. Brent does nothing of the sort. He makes his rounds throughout the room like a Ferrari on a Nascar track, re-positioning and re-aligning students with the technique they're practicing. I also find it refreshing that Brent tells you what you should be feeling during each pose. If you ain’t feeling it, you ain’t working it.
 
On the workout
 
 
Fast, faster, fastest. This yoga class is not for the faint of heart. The flow begins smooth and steady, but Brent builds upon each set of poses like reverse-Jenga. Within 20 minutes, you are sweating buckets and you know you haven’t even reached the halfway point. There is something about the adrenaline high you get in his classes that makes you feel like you drank the Kool-Aid, too.
 
 
Center of attention. I admit, I have a weak spot for a teacher with balls (figuratively, of course...?). I like a show off—heck, we all should. They're just fun to be around. Brent loves to be the teacher. He's delighted to demo techniques, and he always talks you though the poses showing a level 1 crow, into a level 2 headstand, into a handstand from crow, level 3 into a handstand in lotus, into level 4 pretzel-city things that don't actually seem possible. I'm not kidding, he bends like Gumby.
 
 
The electric slide. Brent loves a good ab workout. This is apparent from his chiseled core and gun show-worthy arms. He features a move I’ve coined the “electric slide" that involves moving your knee up and down your forearm in plank pose. The move not only burns your abs (literally - electricity pulsating through body) but it involves a cute little slide-action that’s almost as much fun as the original dance.
 
Tunes. Brent’s playlist tends to be a fusion of styles. He mixes tracks from almost every genre during the 90-minute class. I heard everything from Foster The People to Billy Joel.
 
 
The "it" crowd. The class is full of regulars and is always packed. It consists of seasoned yogis mixed with young celebrities. You'll likely spot someone with an IMDB profile.
 
 
The sky’s the limit. By the end of class, I realized that Brent had talked me through the pains of the normal stretching poses I’ve come to hate. Don’t pretend like you don’t know them: Pigeon pose, Simple fish, and Utthita Hasta Padangustasana. UGH. In order to conquer these, you have to allow your mind to stop fighting the pain. Unlike any other teacher I've had, Brent guides you through every single breath in each pose.
 
Bottom line
 
 
I’m not sure if I was on an oxygen high or what, but I left the class on cloud nine, eager to return for a second helping.



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