On a special Saturday in May, the Black Swan Yoga team collaborated with Lone Star Court and it was the hippest thing to come to Austin since McConaughey moved back to Texas in 2012.
Lone Star Court is a retro-chic hotel on the southeast side of Austin’s premier retail district, The Domain. With units arranged around a central court, the concept makes Lone Star Court a natural for outdoor events.
Decades ago, you could expect a motor court to include a classic car with shiny hubcaps, a neon sign with lights pointing in an arrow shape, and rocking chairs sitting porchfront, watching over the action in the center court.
Today at Lone Star Court, you can expect all of these nostalgic touches. The classic car sits in front of the lobby entrance. The sign directs you inside. The rocking chair is where you sip your Lone Star beer as you people-watch families in the pool, kids playing cornhole, open-air diners at the Water Trough, and — on a special May Saturday — upwards of 50 people doing yoga on the lawn.
To bring a hip flavor of yoga to the retro roundabout, Lone Star Court partnered with Black Swan Yoga. Founded in 2009, Black Swan Yoga is a donation-based hot yoga studio that brings the City of Austin (and now, also, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Denver) community yoga classes, as well as 200-hour+ yoga teacher trainings. The studio proudly champions “No hidden fees. Just yoga. For everyone.”
As the DJ prepared a sound booth with speakers large enough to entertain a SXSW crowd, the hip Black Swan yoga instructor swayed with expectant energy. Waiting were yogis of all levels, from barely-touching-their-toes beginners to spiritual gangsters, doing ujjayi breath before class even began.
The Vinyasa Flow practice was a steady flow of sun salutations, lunges, half-splits, side planks, and hip openers, set to a soothing soundtrack of world beats. In “The Perfection Detox,” author Petra Kolber describes “flow” as being in a state where the activity you are doing and your awareness of it merge together to create a liberating sweet spot of hyper-focus where nothing else matters. With the ideal low-70s weather, breeze in the face, soothing music, pleasant tone to the instructor’s voice, and seamless transition from asana to asana, it was easy to enter a state of flow. This was all topped off with a savasana (corpse pose) finish, where the Black Swan Yoga team traveled from mat to mat, providing neck and shoulder massages to those with a hand on their belly, indicating they were down with it.
For those new to yoga, there can be an intimidation factor, wondering if there’s a certain way you should dress or type of yoga mat you need for your first sesh. At this event, all was a go. There were people in tee-shirts with original sticky mats and others sporting designer yoga pants and environmentally-friendly cork mats. I vibed right in the middle, sporting WOD Bottom athletic apparel (a portion of every sale goes to DAIS: Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) and an eco-friendly para rubber Hugger Mugger mat. As a typical rule of thumb, when it’s community yoga, just come as you are and you’ll be in good company.
Of the multitude of venues in the fabulous ATX, we had to know why Black Swan Yoga decided to “ta-dah”sana at Lone Star Court. “Lone Star Court has a funky and personal feel that makes you feel like a movie star from the 1960s,” says BSY’s General Manager, Patsy Montoya. Move over, John Wayne and Julie Andrews; four dozen yogis were shining on center stage.
Although May 15 was the first collaborative event between Black Swan Yoga and Lone Star Court, it won’t be the last as they are offering yoga in the courtyard every Saturday at 9:30am, beginning June 5. Follow @lonestarcourt and @blackswanyogaaustin on Instagram and check out the BSY events page to register.
Lone Star Court is pleased to welcome overnight yogi guests. Although community yoga on Saturday mornings with Black Swan Yoga does not require a stay at Lone Star Court, wouldn’t it be nice? Picture it: you roll right out of your down comforter-topped bed, sip a cup of coffee on the rocking chair out front of your room, and watch the sunrise as you rock, sip, pray, meditate… and eventually grab your mat and walk to the class. We’re weekend-vibing just thinking about it!
Pro tip: Mats are not provided for yoga, so be sure to BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat).
(On the southeast side of The Domain, across from Macy’s.)
Cover photo courtesy Free Flow Fotography
Brook Benten Jimenez, M.Ed., is an Austin-based fitness expert who was named “Austin’s Fittest Fitness Professional” in 2012. She travels Texas and beyond, seeking wellness adventures worth storytelling. Gallivant with Brook on Instagram @BrookBenten.