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Saturday, October 21, 2006

alphabet soup

suffering from a case of writer's block the other day (me, with nothing to say?), i found myself staring at my blogsite, wondering what i could do to make it more useful. and at first glance, i couldn't think of anything else that i could throw in.

after all, i already have a lot of stuff out there:

for those who can't make it to yoga classes, there's the yoga podcasts section that lists sites with downloadable audio.

for those who want to learn more about yoga and want to read what the "experts" have to say, there's the yoga reads section with links to informative websites.

for those who want to find out what the other yoga bloggers are writing about, there's the yoga blogs section.

for those who'd like to find things to buy for their yoga practice, whether it be equipment or clothing, there's the yoga props and yoga shops sections.

and for those who are new to yoga, new to town, or just curious about what's out there, there's the oh-so-useful platial map at the top of the page that pinpoints exactly where every yoga studio is. pick an area on the map, zoom in, and you'll instantly find out which yoga studios are in that general vicinity. while i've been diligently blogging about my yogic discoveries, i've been religiously updating the map with all the places i've been to. and just as my blog is a work in progress, so are the capabilities of the platial tool; each time i find my map needing a new feature, the kind folks at platial have been right there with me, trying to figure out how to get around a limitation (thanks, tracy!). my map has gotten so large and so bizarre that if there's any bug in the software, i'm bound to find it. in fact, if you check out the entry for body mind & spirit, the studio's listed at the right address, but the marker insists on showing up 3 miles west. and yes, we're all working on getting that fixed.

eventually, i focused my attention on my studio list -- 67 studios in los angeles where i've taken at least one class (although only 66 actually exist today; yogamatt has been replaced by yummy yoga and matt reyes has moved to yogahop). the list continues to get longer and longer. and if i were looking at it at the first time, i'd be overwhelmed. so many to choose from, which one to visit?

and that's when it dawned on me: why not indicate what kind of classes are taught at each studio? sure, some places are self-explanatory, based on their names. you can take bikram classes at bikram yoga downtown and bikram's yoga college. and iyengar at the bks iyengar institute. and power yoga at the places with "power" in their names (earth's power, inner power, progressive power, and santa monica power). but how about the places with more generic names like black dog yoga, city yoga, and yoga house?

hence, the new codes that i've added after the studio names. it's fairly straightforward; all the studios teach some form of hatha yoga. but some teach more specialized versions. so for starters, using the styles that were listed in one of my previous blogs, i've indicated what's offered where using these letter codes:

A - Ashtanga
B - Bikram
I - Iyengar
N - Anusara (since "A" was already taken)
R - Restorative

and because i thought these are just as specialized, i've added in:

K - Kundalini
M - Meditation

so there you have it. now that you know which studios you can get to and which ones teach what, you have no excuse not to try a new place!