A good balance
Dotty Molt’s Power Yoga
I’ve often remarked the key to a yoga class getting into Filet of Soul is savasana. Savasana is the more-or-less guided meditation that comes at the end of the hour or longer yoga class. While a lot happens in your head during class, without savasana, yoga is only a physical practice.
I’ve been to yoga practices that did not lead to savasana, or that momentarily assumed the corpse pose, in which savasana is practiced, with no meditation, and there’s a funny feeling at the conclusion, a feeling of expectation—waiting for the second shoe to drop—that never gets released.
Don’t get me wrong. Yoga, as only a means of exercise, has huge benefits. Just having a certain amount of flexibility makes a person feel better. The poses, particularly the assumption of poses that you don’t reach in everyday life or the repetition of a series, give the practitioner the kind of gentle strength that may last a lifetime.
So what happens when you’re in a yoga practice that appears by its name “Power Yoga,” and its strenuous exercise to be primarily a physical practice, but after a seven-minute savasana, you leave with a calm mind—that yogic bliss—and sleep comes quickly and lasts all night? Well, plainly, it requires some Soul Filleting.
The instructor to the class I’m referring to is Dotty Molt at SportsWest Athletic Club. I’m a member, but drop-in fees for non-members are $20. She also does personal training and yoga instruction at Montreux Fitness Center. I attended the 6:30 p.m. class at SportsWest Monday night, but I’ve also attended her Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime classes.
I’ll tell you right up front, I’m not a big fan of yoga in gymnasium settings. I find the surroundings distracting, just lots of things—dumbbells, racks and step-aerobic equipment—scattered about. The music is rarely as meditative, perhaps because of the echoing from the empty space, and the temperature is not as tightly controlled as in a yoga studio.
But somehow Molt gets beyond that stuff. It’s not the most strenuous yoga I’ve done. (And, as many regular readers know, I have moderate skills at best.) There are few that can compete with Bikram yoga for strenuous yoga, but sometimes I pour out sweat in her class. Last night’s class was far and away the most difficult I’ve had with her.
Molt’s style is aerobic in many ways, in the hour and 15 minute class, there are very few resting asanas, with each move going immediately into the next. I guess it could loosely be defined as ashtanga-style, in that breathing in synchronization with movements is important. But more than just the physical style of the practice, she’s got the mental-calming aspects down. That comes straight out of her attitude.
The Boca Raton transplant has a mellow vibe that doesn’t distract by being too demanding. For nearly every position, she offers variations that let people of lesser or greater skills continue to move throughout the class. She’s not one of those teachers that distract you so you can’t find a centered headspace. In other words, you do your best, she adjusts for the more egregious of postures, but the flow takes precedence over the moments of greatest effort or stretch or rest.
“I think because I teach in gyms, I’m looking for more of a happy medium,” she said. “When you go to a yoga studio, you have more meditation, maybe more chanting, more spirituality. For the general public, they feel more comfortable coming in when it’s more about working the body and, at the end, letting the mind just rest and be quiet. They work really hard, they focus for such a long time, they’ve kept their center with a few laughs here and there, and at the end, they can just lay there and release.”