Yogis Brave Winter for Fireside Yoga

For the first time in two years, Back Bay Yoga hosted two yoga classes at the Harvard Club.

Fireside yoga

Fireside yoga at the historic Harvard Club. Photo by Stephanie Cohn.

They trekked through snow, ice, and puddles of slosh, all in pursuit of some zen. Then, the yogis filled the historic Harvard Club of Boston (in the middle of yet another winter storm) for two special yoga classes (vinyasa flow and hip-hop).

It’d been two years since Back Bay Yoga had hosted a class at the Harvard Club, and the first time they did it was a mistake. “We had to do some construction to work on our buildings so we had classes at [The Harvard Club] temporarily for a little bit,” Back Bay Yoga owner and yoga instructor Lynne Begier says. Ever since, she’s been getting requests to hold another class at the club. Two years later, she decided to give it another go.

The class was held in Harvard Hall, a grand wooden room with two large fireplaces on either end and three ornate chandeliers. The opulent room collided perfectly with earthy nature of yoga. “It’s nice to have that giant room that people can enjoy an oversized yoga class in and not feel too packed,” Begier says. The first class, a vinyasa flow, featured live music which seemed to vibrate throughout the room. “The music can flow better with the energy of the class rather then just pressing a button on a tape,” she says.

The live music provided some additional motivation to the intense class that started with an ab workout. After holding a crunch through what seemed like a hundred breaths, Begier told the participants “moving quickly won’t do you any favors in yoga.” The class was centered on experiencing each position deeply, something that was both painful and empowering. The two fireplaces on both sides of the room created a warm glow in addition to being a natural form of heated yoga.

The vinyasa class ended with a typical savasana, and after an intense 75 minutes of stretching and strengthening, the mediation period felt especially well deserved. As we exited the room feeling refreshed, the lobby was filled with another crop of students ready for some hip-hop yoga. “I think people were excited; it’s a one time thing so if they wanted to come like it was their last chance,” Begier says.

Hopefully it won’t be another two years before Back Bay Yoga hosts another Harvard Club class, and Begier would agree. “I think it’d be nice to do it every February to give people something to look forward to in the middle of winter when people are feeling gray,” she says.