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Monday, May 28, 2007

when in san pedro...

Yoga Bindu
718 South Weymouth Avenue
San Pedro, CA 90732
(310) 521-9555
website: www.yoga-bindu.com

My wish for Yoga Bindu is for you to discover through practice the path to nourishment, strength, happiness, prosperity, and healing: healing of diseases and dis-eases, physically and emotionally, healing from loneliness, labels, and fear. I want Yoga Bindu to be seen as a gathering place where we are all welcome and 'everybody knows your name.'

I honor that place in you where God resides; and when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us. Namaste and Sat Nam!

once again, in my quest for more yoga studios to conquer, i happened upon yoga bindu in san pedro, a community located in the southern section of LA county. according to the class listing posted on their website, most of their classes are of the hatha/flow style, with a few kundalini sessions thrown into the mix. rosie good umano is the owner and director of yoga bindu, and since no other teacher is listed anywhere on the schedule, it looks like she teaches all the classes. if so, that's dedication!

perhaps unconsciously, in reaction to the rigid structure of the last bikram class i took, i found myself being drawn to a kundalini class -- a form of yoga composed of exercise sets so random that every class ends up being a total surprise... at least to me. and though it's totally possible to work up a sweat with the vigorous movement that the kriyas require, the room is usually kept at a comfortable temperature. in fact, i've noticed that many students are more modestly dressed during their practice (in stark contrast to the half-naked bikram crowd).

since it was a relatively short distance from my office, i chose to drop by one evening after work. planning to make the 7:45pm class, i left my desk shortly before 7pm to accommodate the usual rush hour mess on the 405 and 110 freeways. it turns out that i gave myself more than enough time to get there; i ended up sitting in my car for half an hour because there was no separate place to wait while the previous class was in session.

eventually, as the prior students made their way out the door, i made my way in. the studio itself is a one-room affair (two if you count the tiny bathroom at the back). the reception area is by the entrance and is separated from the asana area by the cubbies where the yoga props and students' belongings are stored. the only natural light comes in through the front window and is filtered by the window shade that offers the students some privacy from the sidewalk outside.

i placed my mat on the carpeted floor closest to the window to take advantage of what little sunshine there was left streaming into the room. over at the other end of the room where rosie was seated, there was an altar with an assortment of hindu deities as well as a virgin mary. an odd combination, i thought, but if it works, why not?

once we got settled, we started by chanting ong namo guru dev namo, then moving through some warm-up exercises. rosie then flipped through her collection of CD's, queued one up on the stereo system, and we started on our yoga set adventure.

after numerous iterations of waving our arms forward and back, up and down, and all around, then sitting down and standing right back up over and over again, plus a variety of other moves -- all the time quietly chanting wahe guru or sat nam or doing breath of fire breathing -- we finally settled back down into a brief meditation before flipping onto our backs for savasana. by then, the room was pitch dark; i could barely make out where all my belongings were as i gathered them up before leaving.

as i left, i thanked rosie and promised her that i'd drop by again if i were ever in the area. and now that i've just found out that gary smith, a local running coach, teaches a power yoga class there on tuesday evenings, i have that perfect reason to return!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi joni, yoga bindu sounds like a very cosy studio, where one would find instant calm upon entering it.

likewise, if i ever go to LA, i shall look you up :)

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living in Pasadena, driving all over the city for yoga classes, when Gary Smith iintroduced me to Yoga Bindu, I was pleasantly suprised. Rosie's Friday night restorative class is the bomb. As a multi-sport athlete and coach, a great restorative class can be just what the body, mind and spirit ordered.

Gary's Tuesday night Power Yoga class is fantastic too. I'll drive from Pasadena for this one. A bit unconventional for some, Gary realizes the union of breath, movement and the inner and outer strength associated with it. We work up a good sweat and you can get all the power you need. In fact, it is a class usually attended by more men than women, imagine that for a change. All levels are seen in this challlenging class. Namaste - Steve Mackel

1:09 PM  
Blogger joni said...

hi steve --

speaking of restorative classes, i just got back from running the rock 'n' roll marathon in san diego, but because there were no restorative classes in my neck of the woods this evening, i ended up staying home and playing couch potato because i didn't have the energy for any kind of strenuous class :( oh well, it's good to pamper ourselves every now and then, isn't it?

8:15 PM  

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