But back to the blindfold. The backbends, hip openers, and sweaty sun salutations were tough and all, but for me, the most challenging part of class was not being able to see.
While I'm no stranger to closing my eyes during yoga, I've always known I had the option of opening them—and yes, sometimes I take advantage of that option.
But in this case, opening my eyes would just lead to more blackness. Knowing this gave me quite a bit of anxiety and made me feel more restless than usual. But the experience was also a really valuable one. Because suddenly, the essential oils I could barely smell upon walking in became very potent. I could hear everything. I became so much more aware of my body, the feeling of the mat underneath me, how my hair felt on my head, and the steady rhythm of my heart beating in my chest.
"We figured that, similar to a well-balanced diet, if we fed all of our senses with the right nutrients, even if only for short increments every day, we would be able to achieve personal transformation," says Elian Zach, who founded WOOM with her partner David Shemesh and friend Francesca Bove (a favorite at New York's Laughing Lotus).
While I'm not sure whether I've achieved personal transformation just yet, everything I felt, smelled, and heard while blindfolded tells me that the founders of WOOM are on to something.
What are you waiting for? Find an eye mask and see how amazing your Warrior II feels.