Surely one of Sayulita’s finest yoga instructors is Graziella Jones, who teaches the highly precise style of yoga called Iyengar, named after the originator of the style, the Indian B.K.S. Iyengar. Graziella also calls her practice restorative yoga. In its concentration on detail, precision, and careful alignment of the spine and body, it is indeed restorative.
One thing that differentiates Iyengar from other types of yoga is the use of props or tools, including blocks, belts, and rolled-up blankets, which are employed as aids in the correct performance of asanas, or postures. These props enable students who might otherwise be unable to perform the asanas correctly, without injury or strain.
Observing Graziella take her class through a single pose, one can sense the importance of getting the body placement exactly right. She works, hands on, with each student, making sure their bodies, especially their spines, are positioned correctly to maximize the restorative benefits of the asana. These, slow, precise yoga moves and positions are far different from the kind of movement-oriented power yoga one sees in many of the classes around town; it feels more meditative, even therapeutic.
The point is realignment, keeping the spine supple, to “end bad habits and learn to move from a different area”, as Graziella puts it. Her classes are designed for the specific students signed up for them, meaning she works hands on with every student, working through their personal physical issues on an individual basis.
Graziella has been teaching Iyengar yoga for the past six years, and makes trips to Guadalajara every year for further instruction in the practice. She offers classes in a palapa-roofed studio above the Tanana Gallery and Tacos on the street on Revolucion, just north of the bridge. Her classes take place from 6-7 Tuesday evenings, and 9-10:30 Thursday and Saturday mornings. $150 pesos per class, or 700 pesos for a month of 3 classes per week.
She will help you realign your body, and in doing so, perhaps do something more for you as well. As she puts it, “You are only as young as your spine.”