The Class: Handstand & Straight Arm Basics class
The Appeal: In my personal practice, I’ve been working on my handstand and headstand. A 45-minute class dedicated to attaining a solid base sounded like the push I needed to advance my inversion poses.
The Instructor: Brian Johnson is a clinical exercise physiologist with a broad background in Olympic lifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, martial arts, and nutrition. I appreciated his calm, kind demeanor and the way he broke down the science behind each necessary movement we practiced.
The Space: Located on arguably the hippest block of Lower Greenville, Plum boasts a large store front/tea room filled with delicious smells, gorgeous gear, and beautiful accessories. From the T-We teas (with hilarious names like “Lakewood DILF”) to the artisanal apothecary products, you’ll want to leave plenty of time for sipping and shopping after class. The studios are separated by discipline, East and West. The East room is large, warm, and mirrorless, with the original exposed-brick wall and a few windows for natural light. The West room is smaller and has more of a “gym” feel with rings hanging from the ceiling and a mirrored wall.
Who’s There: This was a small group of fit guys and girls dressed in casual gym attire.
How It Went: We started by stretching our fingers, then worked our way up the arms and down through the torso and legs. With each move, Johnson talked to us about the importance of building strength in every muscle and offered feedback to help us achieve the perfect line. Light pop and rock music played while we held a few rounds of plank, then made our way to the walls for handstand practice. We paired off so each person could take a turn while their partner stood by to spot them. My partner was hilariously aloof and ignored instruction, so I went with it and did my own thing with Johnson stopping by to help me every few minutes. By the end of class, I was holding (3 seconds counts, right?) my handstand just inches from the wall with no support. I left a little dizzy but determined to come back and try again.
The Aftermath: My shoulders and core ached for days.
Loved: The friendly, laid-back vibe and social space. I would go by just to sip tea and shop.
Hated: After checking out the huge, dreamy East room, the West room felt a little cramped and plain.
Cost: Right now, try 10 days of unlimited classes for $10. Once you’re hooked, you can sign up for a monthly membership at $145 ($190 for couples) and enjoy the perks, or pick up packs of 5 ($85), 10 ($165), or 20 ($300) classes.
Difficulty Level: This class is open to beginners, but I suggest you go in with a bit of plank practice under your belt.
Bottom Line: Plum is a one-stop shop with its traditional “eastern” practices, creative “western” classes, and unique retail/tea room. Catch a class, sip tea, and shop. Welcome to your new favorite place to yoga.