Sid McNairy, founder of Sid Yoga in Towson, sits behind his desk as I take in the paintings (his own) placed throughout the bright, open space. Next off, Sid Yoga spokesperson Coral Pross gives me some rather abstract details about the inner quest and vision quest McNairy hopes to help students achieve.
How It Works on paper (the abbreviated version): “From the West, someone can look inside themselves, learn the lessons from the Bear of going within,” Pross says, referring to McNairy’s study of the Energy Circle. “In the Energy Circle, we also give thanks to the creator …”
How It Works physically: Armed with a water bottle and towel, I make my way into the 90-degree room that will bring me to a grueling sweat but into deep gratitude over the next 60 minutes. It quickly swells with young women and men, regulars—McNairy recognizes each face. Gentle music begins and we are off.
We move through a synchrony of traditional poses and flows—downward-facing dog, child’s pose, warrior I—that are straightforward enough for a newcomer like me to follow. As the tempo of the music picks up, so does the practice. Soon I’m sweating through my tank top and starting to feel more confident.
Thanks to McNairy, the room takes on an energy all its own, and by the end, the space feels like one I will return to. Through bends, twists, shoulder stands and headstands, my body and mind come alive in movement and community.
What I Love: Sid Yoga is fun and welcoming. Next day, I’m not keeling over in pain, but I feel the abdominal burn.
What I Don’t: As a newbie, the theoretical Energy Circle and the workout feel like separate things, but I’m very keen to return and discover the mystery—there is no doubt a magic in McNairy’s way.