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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

yo ho, yo ho, a surfer's life for me

The Pilates Room and Yoga Lounge
3205 Manhattan Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 376-6242
website: http://www.thepilatesroom.com/

Perfect for the serene to extreme athlete -- Improve your strength, flexibility, posture, and spirit

i received a call from dee at the pilates room earlier this afternoon. she thanked me for taking a class there last week, wanted to know if i had any questions, and hoped i'd find another chance to pay their hermosa beach studio another visit, especially since i lived all the way out in santa monica.

i was pleasantly surprised. after all, it's not often that someone from a yoga studio takes the time to go through the list of new students to thank them for their patronage. maybe that's the kind of personalized attention you get from a small studio. or should expect to get from one. either way, it was a nice touch.

i had found the pilates room and yoga lounge by accident two saturdays ago. it was less than a week after my last marathon and i had decided to skip my usual saturday morning run. my aching legs seemed to prefer sofia meyen's disco yoga class at yogasofia, so that's where i went. granted, it was all the way out in hermosa beach, but the thought of trying out yet another type of music flow class sounded appealing.

maybe it was the recurring 80's flashbacks during the class, but instead of hopping right away on the freeway after leaving yogasofia, i found myself cruising through hermosa beach and manhattan beach to take in what was turning out to be a beautiful summer day. and while driving through a residential area, i spotted a red awning with the big letters Y-O-G-A. was i actually seeing what i just thought i saw? knowing that there were no mind-altering drugs involved in the disco scene i had just left, i turned my car around to investigate.

shelley williams was in the process of locking up; her saturday morning class had just ended. she handed me a schedule, and among the short list of class offerings were two yoga for surfing classes -- tuesday evenings with kirsten hansen and thursday evenings with shelley. i'll be back, i promised her, as i walked back to my car.

and true to my word, i was back that thursday. it was easy to find the classroom -- the pilates room was busy with students going through their routines on the reformers, while the yoga lounge was more sedate with students setting up their mats on the floor. half expecting a room full of surfer types, what i found instead was a room full of what looked to be "regular folk" like me. but no matter; after all, who couldn't get something out of a class that "is a challenging, heat generating class designed to increase strength, flexibility, and agility while opening shoulders, neck, and low back. Enhances focus and deepens breath..."?

shelley started us in a brief meditation, where we lay quietly with our eyes closed and pictured ourselves floating on the blue pacific (ok, so maybe it's not that blue out here), feeling the sun and the gentle breezes. since the beach was only a block or two away, it's too bad we had to settle for imagining being outside rather than actually being there...

continuing with the sand and surf theme, we transitioned into a gentle warm-up, observing the marine life as we swayed from side to side then moved in circles, first to the right, then to the left. eventually, the movement became more and more physical as we found ourselves in warrior poses, backbends, and ultimately, arm balances and handstands. while i can't say we did anything that simulated riding the waves atop a surfboard, it was a great class, especially since it didn't involve doing faceplants in the sand nor swallowing mouthfuls of salt water :)

while i would love to go back and check out more classes, there aren't many to choose from; according to their current schedule, they only teach one yoga class a day, and only on mondays, tuesdays, thursdays, and saturdays. that's four classes a week, with two of them being the yoga for surfing class. there's another class taught there that's not on the schedule: it's a 9am class on thursdays, taught by genevieve fischer from yoga loft manhattan beach. thanks to shelley williams and page sieffert, owners of the pilates room, the temporarily displaced yoga loft has found another space to hold classes.

while all their classes are currently held indoors in their yoga lounge, there's a chance that they may also hold a class or two on the beach over the summer. and now that i'm on their mailing list, i'll find out the moment that happens. and so will you.


Blogger Lauren said...

Apologies for the last comment, I didn't see this post. I'm glad you liked the studio! I teach the Monday night class and agree that the studio, Shelley, Page and the whole crew make that few hours that I'm teaching, the best part of my week! Hope to see you in soon! ~Lauren

4:12 PM  
Blogger joni said...

hi lauren --

no worries, with all the stuff i write, it's easy to miss things :)

anyway, i may see you one of these days; i have a friend who's new to yoga and i'd like to have her try out your beginner class!

4:33 PM  

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