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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

but wait, there's more!

1422 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 899-6222
website: www.exhalespa.com

Exhale’s yoga studios are an urban oasis for the transformational experience of yoga. Our yoga experience nourishes your senses:

Taste - Enjoy a nourishing tea before class with sensual herbs and flavors
Sight - Beautiful colors, serene altars and mandalas which change according to the energy of class
Scent - Inhale the subtle aromatherapy infused through our yoga rooms (real essential oils – no incense)
Sound - The music in our classes is a curated selection of timeless grooves and chants to energize and enhance the flow of yoga
Touch - Our teachers are trained to give beneficial hands-on adjustments to take your yoga experience to the next level; our classes end an Ananda Shavasana with massage, aromatherapy and bolsters.

sometime in january of this year, sacred movement was acquired by exhale spa, an east coast-based chain of spas and yoga studios. shortly before exhale opened their second west coast location a few miles from their first, i received an email from sacred movement about the upcoming event. not only was there now another yoga studio for me to try out, but there was a great introductory offer: all classes would be FREE the first week!

this couldn't have come at a more opportune time for me -- not only was the price right for a jobless person like myself, but i could take any class, day or night, without work getting in the way (yes, i had job interviews to worry about, but i conveniently scheduled them around the yoga classes i wanted to take).

so i took as many yoga classes as possible. i took two with david romanelli, co-founder of at one yoga in the phoenix area, and another one with chappy foote, co-founder of harmony yoga in redondo beach. both belong to the yoga-with-contemporary-upbeat-music school of thought, so i specifically sought them out to see how they compared to the maha set of teachers.

i also took a core fusion class* with elisabeth halfpapp, partly because i knew nothing about core fusion, partly because elisabeth (and her husband) invented the class and had flown in from new york for the opening, and partly because i could avail myself of a $20 value for free. i had originally planned to take another class with fred devito, elisabeth's better half, but i ended up oversleeping that morning and missed it altogether...

* core fusion: "The brainchild of Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp, the Core Fusion® program has grown to over 4,000 dedicated students in one year because it is an intelligent and effective program. The class includes body shaping, sports conditioning, and injury prevention in a highly charged environment with motivating music. Core Fusion® uses your own body weight as resistance, standing barre work for alignment and posture, floor work for core and spinal strength, Pilates, yoga postures, orthopedic stretches and a savasana (relaxation session) at the conclusion. The class efficiently weaves an interval training pace with single-minded focus on detailed positioning that produce fast results."

so what was my verdict? david and chappy were mellower meditative versions of steve, tom, and matt. which is a good thing, because their varying approaches to yoga will help broaden my yoga horizons. so they're definite keepers. as for the whole core fusion thing, i think i'll pass for now, because even if i might almost be strong and flexible enough to keep up, i'm a total ab wimp, so any class that has my abs yelling and screaming for mercy is not the class for me.

by the way, i just found out not only is my sacred movement series pass valid at this location, but that for a mere $10 more, i can also use the spa facilities on the same day. tea bar, jacuzzi, sauna, showers... something to keep in mind if i have somewhere to go after class. or even if i don't, because as we know at this juncture in my life, i'm a woman of leisure (whose funds are slowly dwindling).

note to self: i need to find a job pronto before i get used to this way of life!