This beautifully radiant yogini led us through slow, deep, safe stretches, which made her knowledge and understanding of the body apparent.
InYoga Center, 5142 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village
Claudine Penedo's Breathe & Stretch class at InYoga Center in Valley Village is the perfect antidote for weary travelers, newbies, or those of us who are a bit off of our yoga game. This beautifully radiant yogini led us through slow, deep, safe stretches, which made her knowledge and understanding of the body apparent (it helps that she's also a certified massage therapist). The particular class we went to had hanumanasana (AKA the splits) as its peak pose, so all of the poses she instructed worked towards that grand finale of an asana. She even weaved in the story of Hanuman and his giant leap into her class for inspiration. Claudine had us use the wall as a prop for most of the poses that she taught. Even though it's not a flow class and the room is typically filled with mostly beginners – don't assume that you won't break a sweat. In fact, deepening into hanumanasana on side one had us shaking and sweating. We didn't think we'd be able to walk post-splits, but after class we had so much spaciousness in our hips and hamstrings that we practically floated out of the studio.