The first thing I noticed when I walked into Dallas Yoga Center’s Candlelight Flow were the battery-operated candles. You can be disappointed, but you also can’t begrudge the studio’s fire safety.
But, even with their tiny bulbs, the clusters of battery candles throughout the room cast a comforting glow around the studio space. Warm golden light filled the space as I unfurled my mat parallel to the mirror and grabbed blocks from an equipment closet. Soft, instrumental music was playing, complete with breathy oohs and aahs from a vocalist.
I signed up for the slow flow class at the last minute, needing to relax after a stressful week and wanting to check out the studio’s new Douglas Court location above Gloria’s. I wasn’t the only one. The class was packed. The center cluster of candles had to be broken up to make more room for yoga mats.
When class started, they switched the warm golden lights for black lights. The instructor—who had a very soothing, calming voice but actually said words—asked us to start with our legs crossed. We practiced our breath, and focused on intentional movement and breathing. There were big belly breaths, and sometimes she’d have us do a big, audible, sharp sigh (with a “ha!”) to let out tension.
While sitting crisscrossed, she had us roll our necks and then circle our whole upper bodies around to literally “unwind” from the day. Then we switched legs and crossed the other one forward. She warned that it would be uncomfortable—it wasn’t the “leg you chose”—but to she wanted us to “sit” with that uncomfortable feeling.
Early in the class, the instructor had us all introduce ourselves. We said our names and how we were feeling that day. (“Catherine, eager.”) I’m normally not a big audience participation person in these classes, but this wasn’t too awkward.
The class was slow and laid back. During most of yoga classes I’ve taken, the instructor led us through quick combinations, with lots of ups and downs that forced me to awkwardly scramble to and fro. Here, the focus was the flow. We did a lot of moving back and forth from one position, like tabletop, to its opposite, like child’s pose. I liked these movements. It was meditative, and I got a great stretch.
We did a lot of stretching throughout the session, which relieved plenty tension. My back felt great the next day. We also were constantly rolling our shoulders, necks, and backs and doing cat-cows and downward-facing dog.
Near the end of class, the instructor pulled out a sound bowl. The ringing began faintly. Then it got louder and louder until it felt like it was echoing through my body. It was a circular sound, sometimes calming, occasionally jarring. At one point, the instructor began to sing along with the bowl. Admittedly, this pulled me out of the mood for a brief moment. But her voice was nice, and the song was about finding peace; think about the score during one of the slower moments of Lord of the Rings. After the song, she read a poem to us—same theme—and we sat up and the class was over. I walked out into the rain feeling calm and rejuvenated.
The Lemmon Dallas Yoga Center location was still new when I visited. That means paper on the doors. They hadn’t installed a water fountain yet. But it looked exactly what you’d expect a yoga to look like. The lobby had intricately carved wooden doors. The cubby space had draped sheets hanging from the ceiling, which gave tent vibes. The big studio room had a gong, a Hindu statue, and lit-up mandala (their logo) projected on the wall. For the Candlelight Flow, there were battery operated candles clustered all over the room, casting a warm glow that was accented by moody overhead lighting. Soft instrumental music played, too, making the whole night a very Zen experience but hard to photograph.
This wasn’t a hard class, nor is it intended to be. The gentle flow is intended to help you unwind (literally) and relieve tension through slow movement. I could do most of the positions, which doesn’t often happen, and that was refreshing after a long workday.
The instructor didn’t ask for injuries, but she put out a disclaimer at the beginning: listen to your bodies and do what your bodies felt comfortable doing. The studio has blocks and blankets available. Throughout, she’d guide us into a position, then offer a modification or a harder move for more advanced yogis. She also came around to help adjust our bodies’ positions if we needed it, asking permission first. It’s also worth noting this studio is on the second level of the strip mall, three floors up from the underground garage, but there is an elevator.
The Cost of It All
A single class at either studio is $25. A 10-class pack is $200. Dallas Yoga Center is also offering two New Year’s membership specials right now: $89 a month (normally $120 a month) or $899 for a full year (normally $1,200).
Would I Go Back?
Yes. I’d like to try other classes here, but I see another relaxing Candlelight Flow in my future around tax season.