Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
Click here to view the accidental yogist's map of los angeles yoga studios in a full-size page

Monday, April 23, 2007

an earth-centric weekend

continuing with my theme for the past week, i spent time this weekend attending earth day events, some of which were held at yoga studios in town...

earth-friendly yoga, day seven:
earth day celebration at home simply yoga

i recently received the following invite for home simply yoga's first anniversary / earth day party:

Earth Day Celebration, Friday April 20, 2007 7:00pm

Raffle items provided by: Discovery Communications, Patagonia, One Life, Real Food Daily, Lululemon, Tara Home, Organic Interior Design, Earth Accents, Natural High Life Style, Abbot's Pizza, Santa Monica Toyota, Wild Oats, and more

Suggested donation $20
For the benefit of the Natural Resources Defense Council

a chance to win something in exchange for a donation to a worthy cause? it sounded like a very rewarding way to celebrate earth day, so i made it a point to show up at their eco-friendly studio in santa monica friday evening.

while it caused me to skip my usual after-work yoga practice, it gave me a chance to visit HSY once again and meet their students and teachers in the process.

and eat some fantastic vegetarian indian food, catered by govinda's (at the hare krishna temple in culver city).

and listen to talented members of the HSY community as they told stories, read poetry, sang songs, and talked about living green.

and, as a perfect ending to the celebration, join in the kirtan led by joey lugassy and friends.

the only thing that would have made the evening even more perfect is to have found out that i had won one of the must-have prizes. but since they were going to draw the winners after the event, i have to continue to wait patiently and hope they draw my name!

earth-friendly yoga, day eight:
celebrate earth day! yogic activism with hala khouri at exhale venice

saturday afternoon's workshop was described as follows:

This workshop is an embodied exploration of how we can extend the principles of yoga beyond ourselves and into our families and communities. Through meditation, asana, partner work, visualization, journaling and discussion we will explore the questions about and begin a process of becoming Yogic Activists in the most authentic sense.

in my mind, the terms "yogic" and "activist" were polar opposites. after all, yogis are supposed to practice ahimsa (non-violence). and activists, at least from my experience when i lived in marcos-era manila, were the force behind many of the violent student demonstrations in the '70s.

read this:


Student protests on the prevailing conditions of the country saddled the second term of Marcos in office. Large throngs of students went out into the street of Manila and other urban centers to denounce the rampant graft and corruption, human rights violations, high tuition fees, militarization and abuses of the military, the presence of the U.S. Military bases and the subservience of the Marcos Administration to U.S. interests and policies.
The most violent student demonstration took place on January 1970 when thousands of student demonstrators tried to storm the gates of Malacañang. Six students were killed and many were wounded. This event came to be know as the "Battle of Mendiola".

even if i believed in what they were fighting for, i was too non-confrontational to be an activist.

so what would it take for me to become a "yogic activist"? would i walk away from the workshop with a strong determination to preserve the environment? feed the hungry? eradicate all injustice? end all wars? would i turn into the next angelina jolie (complete with drop-dead looks and handsome beau at my side)?

we discussed, we contemplated, we wrote, we shared. then spent some time flowing through yoga asanas.

three and a half hours later, all i managed to get out of the class was that many in the group were already activists in their own right; whether they were teaching yoga to juvenile inmates and unwed mothers, spreading awareness about animal cruelty, or volunteering at homeless shelters, it sounded like they were truly driven in their quest to right the wrongs in the world.

as for me, all i want to do is find peace and happiness for myself and for all the people i love. i feel like such a slacker...

earth-friendly yoga, day nine:
flow 2/3 with heather camp at revive studios

first of all, i have to thank revive studios for including a link to my writeup about them on their website. every time i check my blog stats, i see a number of referrals from their site. and now that their studio's been featured in the april issue of whole life times, i'm getting hits through them almost on a daily basis :)

of course, that makes me feel even more guilty that i'm not visiting this ecologically-conscious studio often enough :(

despite the distance, i have to say that driving out to revive on a sunday morning can be a joy. even if it took me almost 45 minutes to get there from the westside (since it's practically over the hill and through the woods), just being able to sail up the 405 without ever having to go below the speed limit was a rare treat. unlike the last time when i drove in the dark to get there, this time it was easy to spot the rocky formations off topanga canyon, the estate-like homes along plummer, the reservoir (aka the "lake") off valley circle, and the other businesses that surround the revive property. it's amazing what you can see on a clear sunny day in LA!

it’s been months since i was last at revive, yet everything was just as i had remembered it to be. it was still the tranquil, friendly place in the middle of nowhere (or at least it seems like it for a city girl like me). after i parked my car, i had the urge to just skip the class and go for a walk around the neighborhood. i wanted to get a closer look at the reservoir. i wanted to browse through what looked to be a quaint grocery store. i wanted to check out the menu at the restaurant next door. but since i was there on a mission, i.e., to take a yoga class, i restrained those urges and headed off to the studio.

and once again, heather's class didn't disappoint. it was a nice and easy flow class, and even if it was listed as a level 2/3 on the schedule, heather kept it gentle enough to accomodate the injured, yet challenging enough to satisfy the obsessives (like me).

since all classes at revive were free that day (in honor of earth day), i headed over to their cafe after class to splurge on something for the road. from the long list of teas, coffees, and juices, i ended up selecting an iced matcha tea. yum!

finally, as a fitting end to my week-long earth day celebration, i dropped by the lululemon store in santa monica sunday evening for a free screening of the oh-so timely an inconvenient truth with free food (from RFD, aka real food daily) and free goodies (from jurlique, co-opportunity, vegin' out, sustainable works, greenopia, la weekly, plenty magazine, and exhale santa monica).

in an effort to assuage my guilt about my having driven all those miles around town for the past week, i left my car at home and took the bus to/from the lulu store (even if there was a good chance that it would rain that evening -- and it did!). it's a small step, but at least it's in the right direction...