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Sunday, June 17, 2007

a palooza of a day, part two

only someone as adventurous as me would think it made perfect sense to drive from weho to noho by way of atwater village...

but with three hours to kill between the yogapalooza at plummer park in west hollywood (see yesterday's part one) and the grand opening celebration at yoga groove in north hollywood, i found time to take care of other business. like visiting my friend joe at his new store near griffith park, a runner's circle, so i could buy a new pair of running shoes.

joe matias, a fellow filipino, used to take care of all my running needs at top to top in marina del rey, where he was the manager for many years. when i found out that he was planning to open up his own running store in another part of town, i was very happy and excited for him. unfortunately, it also meant that i would have to find someone else at top to top who would give me the same kind of personalized service joe did. i promised to check out his new digs the next time i was in that part of town, so since i was headed out to north hollywood, which was close to toluca lake, which was close to burbank, which was close to griffith park... see? i was close by :)

joe and i chatted about all things running related -- races, training, shoes, clothing, you name it. an hour later, i walked out of his store with a new pair of brooks adrenaline 7's to replace the BA 6's that i had already worn down to the midsole. you think my training for and running three marathons since i got them had anything to do with it?

after a brief stop at a nearby starbucks to grab an iced tea and change into my third outfit of the day, i hopped on the freeway for the short trek to:

Yoga Groove
10502 Magnolia Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 508-9434
website: http://www.yogagroovestudio.com/

soft heart - sharp mind - vibrant body

with a name like "yoga groove", i half expected all their classes to be of the music flow variety, something like those taught at maha or yogahop. but apparently not. they teach a variety of classes for different levels of students: flow, non-flow, power, kundalini, family, restorative, and a specialized class called feminine elegance,

This class focuses on maintaining and increasing energetic flow in the second chakra. Perfect for the goddess in all women. All levels, Pre and Post Natal welcome.

and that was the class i showed up for that day. would it make me more feminine, more elegant? or would i turn out to be a hopeless case? :(

our class was taught by wendy obstler. i had never taken any of her classes, yet she thought she had seen me somewhere before (my evil twin, perhaps?). after comparing practices, we were almost sure that we'd seen each other in daniel stewart's sunday morning class at rising lotus (there's that rising lotus connection again -- not only does sarah isenberg from my earlier class this morning teach there, but wendy from this afternoon's class occasionally subs there, too. as large as it is, the yoga world here in LA seems to be getting smaller and smaller by the minute!)

as expected, all the students in our class were female. we came in all shapes and sizes, all ages and abilities. our focus was the second chakra, aka the pelvic/genital region. wendy explained that the asanas that zoom in on that part of the body help with fertility... which is the last thing i need to work on! however, according to an article in yogajournal.com:

Associated with the hips, sacrum, lower back, genitals, womb, bladder, and kidneys, this chakra is involved with sensuality, sexuality, emotions, intimacy, and desire. All watery things about us have to do with this chakra: circulation, urination, menstruation, orgasm, tears. Water flows, moves, and changes, and a healthy second chakra allows us to do so too.

ok. that i can deal with.

we also focused on the fourth, or heart, chakra. again, according to yogajournal.com:

The fourth is the balance point, integrating the world of matter (the lower three chakras) with the world of spirit (the upper three chakras). Through the heart chakra, we open to and connect with harmony and peace. The health of our heart center registers the quality and power of love in our life.

harmony, peace, and love. it's all good.

every now and then, i'd look around the room to take in the tastefully-decorated surroundings. more antique-like than ikea-like, the cabinets, cubbies, and seating areas of dark stained wood accent the polished wooden floors and green walls that seem to be de rigeur these days for yoga studios. soft flowing curtains screen the asana area from the street-facing front windows on one side and from the patio-facing rear door on the other. in a separate smaller room is the reception area where students can sit and sip a complimentary cup of tea. and maybe even stop to chat with karen, the owner of yoga groove, like i did.

so why "yoga groove"?, i asked her. coming from a dance background, karen related how she once had the privilege of choreographing a yoga/dance performance at the ford amphitheatre. and ever since then, she's been trying to develop a class centered around that same movement blend. when she finalizes the details of that yoga groove-like class, she'll add it to the list of offerings at her studio.

now here's the $64,000 question: can someone with two left feet like me survive a coordinated class like that? it looks like i'll have to meet that challenge to find out. and if i don't make a spectacle of myself, i might even write about it someday :)