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Monday, July 10, 2006

a beach bum

as much as i hate not having a full-time job with a salary decent enough for me to do what i love to do -- travel! fine dining! concerts! plays! yoga retreats! -- i have to admit that having all this free time does allow me to do things most working folk can't do. like take an uncrowded mid-day yoga class, then spend the rest of the afternoon lounging on the beach, browsing through yoga magazines to find something to blog about.

when life hands you lemons, make lemon squares and share them with your friends :)

let the sharing begin...

i landed myself another yoga work exchange opportunity, this time at santa monica yoga. i had left my name and phone number with bruce bair, the owner of SMY, and asked him to call me if anything cropped up. to my surprise, he called me less than a week later, asking if i could fill in for someone who was going on vacation. with so many things filling up my calendar -- not! -- i agreed to work all the shifts he offered except for the one that conflicted with my saturday morning run with my marathon buddies (one must always keep sight of one's priorities after all).

a week later, with the class credits i'd earned thus far, it was time to enjoy my new found yoga wealth.

while chatting with various students at SMY, some teachers' names kept popping up as the students' favorites. one of them was valerie moselle, who also happens to teach at sacred movement. let's see... i could take her class at sacred movement and use up a class credit that i paid for. or take her class at santa monica yoga and use up a class credit that i didn't pay for....

valerie's class was a mixed level class, so she catered all the poses to the beginners in the class as well as to the more advanced practitioners, giving options where possible. for example, the level 2's and 3's could go through the usual vinyasa, while the 1's could go straight to downward dog. or the less flexible could use blocks and straps while the others were welcome to go without. i tried to push myself by choosing the level 3 options, except for the time she offered push-ups during the vinyasa as an option. i opted to just hold in plank :)

since the class was small, there was ample wall space for wall work. we worked on triangle, half moon, some forward bends, some handstand prep, and some legs-up-the-wall poses. it wasn't a killer workout, by any means, but it did give me a chance to concentrate on my posture and alignment. it's funny how i also started hearing voices from past teachers telling me to move my hip this way, my shoulder that way, and smile...

at the end of class, valerie mentioned something about this week being her last week. it seemed that all her regulars knew what she was referring to, so i had to wait until i could ask her myself. it turns out that she and her husband, plus their little baby, are traveling to india and will be there for four months. her husband is going for work-related reasons, so she's going to take advantage of the situation to further her yoga-related education. lucky her.

on my way out of the studio, i picked up the latest copy of yet another yoga magazine. i tossed it on top of the growing stack of unread publications on the backseat of my car. and slowly, a plan began to emerge. it's such a beautiful summer day outside... and i have all this reading to do... and i really don't have to be anywhere anytime soon... next thing i knew, i had my swimsuit and beach towel in hand and was headed towards the beach.

i must've found a lot of interesting reading in those issues of yogi times, LA yoga, and yoga journal (including william and patti asad from jiva yoga posing for the "sex and yoga" article in YJ), because by the time i shook the sand out of my towel, i was the proud owner of an "i think i spent too much time laying prone on the beach" bum :( can you say solarcaine?

anyway, here are all the yoga deals and freebies listed in that stack of magazines, along with some additional info i picked up from the internet once i got home:

UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History Sunset Yoga Series - on the UCLA campus
Thursdays, July 13, 20, and 27 @ 7 pm
Join yogi and instructor Joan Moran for a free hour-long open session of yoga, blending hatha flow, Iyengar, and dance, on the Fowler Museum's terrace.
Bring your mat and salute the sun as it sets behind the Santa Monica Mountains.
Held in conjunction with The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama
Eighty-eight contemporary artists from around the world offer a wide range of works inspired by the messages, vision, and values of the Dalai Lama. Through September 10th. Admission is free.

Yoga House Toluca Lake's Grand Opening - 3808 Riverside Drive (the former location of the short-lived City Yoga Toluca Lake)
Join us at our Grand Opening Open House on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20. You can take a free one-hour class and take advantage of a 20% discount on class series and memberships as well as 10% off on all merchandise.
Reservations are required for free classes. We will begin taking reservations starting Saturday, July 1. To make a reservation, please call Yoga House Pasadena at (626) 403-3961.
Everyone is invited to our opening party, Saturday, August 19 at 8:00pm. Good food, good drink and... More information to follow!
Beginning Level: 10:00 and 11:30 am; 1:00 (Iyengar), 2:30 and 4:00 pm
Mixed Levels: 10:30 am and 12 o'clock, 1:30 and 3 o'clock pm

there was an ad in one of the magazines about the opening of the santa barbara lululemon store in august, but i figured that the current goings-on at the santa monica store would interest you more:

Free community events at Lululemon Santa Monica - 331 santa monica blvd, santa monica

Hip-Hop Yoga with Matthew Reyes, Eka Ekong and Kourtney Kaas of YogaHop: Sunday, July 16, 7:30-9:00pm
Please join us for Hip-Hop yoga with creator, master dj and lululemon ambassador Matthew Reyes with YogaHop teachers Eka Ekong and Kourtney Kaas. YogaHop is the home of high energy, FUN yoga. YogaHop yoga offers a celebratory twist by featuring music of the hip-hop, rock and pop worlds jamming out of booming speakers and all the energy of a dance party. The result is an East meets West yoga style that is athletically fulfilling and spiritually soothing.

Pre-Natal Yoga with Ciela Wynter of Exhale: Saturday, July 22nd, 9:00-10:00am
We invite all mothers-to-be to join us for a complimentary in-store Pre/Post-Natal yoga class with Ciela Wynter of Exhale.
The development of our consciousness begins in the belly and Ciela offers the invitation for mothers to share the blissful and artistic expression of the inner experience of yoga with their child. The unconditional love reflected by one another can heal our bodies, our minds and our spirits; renew the verve for life within our communities and ourselves as we celebrate this amazing journey together.

and there were also a bunch of new member specials:

at exhale spa - 1422 2nd st, santa monica and 245 s main st, venice
become a new member in july an enjoy a complimentary 30 minute massage or facial (expires 7/31/06)
Membership options start at $125 per month and include:
unlimited yoga classes for one month • 10% off spa therapies • five complimentary yoga class passes for friends • complimentary yoga mat rentals • complimentary organic tea • full use of healing waters sanctuary, changing rooms, showers, personal lockers + amenities

at yoga west - 1535 s robertson blvd, los angeles
july is pregnancy month at yoga west!
1st class free for all expecting mothers

- pregnancy yoga
- mommy and me yoga
- mommy and me are one: july 30th
- healthy, happy, and holy breasts: aug 6th (and i’m keeping my comments to myself)

at home simply yoga - 1547 6th st, santa monica
mention this ad (in june issue of yogitimes) and your first class is free

at bikram yoga downtown la - 700 w 1st st, downtown los angeles
bring in this ad (in june and july/aug issues of yogitimes) for a grand opening discount (according to the person who answered the phone, it’s 7 days for $20) (expires 12/1/06)

at bala yoga - 145 n la brea ave, los angeles
new students: 10 days for $20 (expires 7/15/06)

at rising lotus yoga - 13557 ventura blvd, sherman oaks
new students: 14 days of yoga for $25

at earth’s power yoga - 7901 melrose ave #208, los angeles
new students: 2 weeks unlimited for $20 with this ad (in july/aug issue of yogitimes) (expires 1/9/06?)

at yogaworks - at all los angeles locations
new students: 2 weeks of yoga for $25

at santa monica yoga - 1640 ocean park blvd, santa monica
new students: bring in this ad (in june issue of yogitimes) for one month of unlimited visits for $40

at swerve studio - 8250 w 3rd st #205, los angeles
new members: 1 month unlimited for $95

at liberation yoga - 124 s la brea ave, los angeles
40 day spiritual scholarship program for those who are financially, spiritually, and emotionally in need of a transformative journey.
Recipients are given a 40-day unlimited pass to Liberation Yoga, a set of mala beads, Thomas Ashley-Farrad’s book Healing Mantras, a packet that contains individualized mantras, mudras, and meditation techniques, as well as support and guidance. Awardees attend at least four classes weekly, practice meditation/mantra repetition daily and give back to their community through seva (selfless service).

so there you have it. and now i have to get back to moisturizing my back side so it doesn't start peeling...