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Friday, July 27, 2007

what, me relax?

i can't believe i skipped my yoga class last sunday morning just because i thought it would be nice to sit back and relax for a change. the way i looked at it, if i took only one of the two classes i had originally planned to take, i'd survive. besides, i think i'm getting a bit too compulsive about my yoga practice :(

so instead of driving out to west hollywood to do the yogapalooza thing with the crunch crowd, i ended up spending sunday morning pampering myself, all in the name of community service.

how so?

first, i got waxed at a place across from westminster elementary in venice called, appropriately enough, get waxed. elisha reverby, owner and esthetician extraordinaire, recently sent out an email about her latest promotion:

Get Waxed, Plant a Tree!

With every visit to Get Waxed during the month of July, $1 will be donated to American Forests (www.americanforests.org) and one tree will be planted.
So, 50 clients, 50 trees, and so on...

American Forests works to protect, restore, and enhance the natural capital of trees and forests. Healthy forests filter water, remove air pollution, sequester carbon, and provide homes for wildlife. Help plant trees to restore areas damaged by wildfire, where critical wildlife habitat has been lost, and to clean our air and water.

Who says you can't make a difference?

compared to where i used to go, every visit i've made to get waxed has been a happy experience.

i no longer have to drive out to beverly hills and put up with all the stoplights (and rubbernecking tourist drivers) along the way. nor do i have to wait while a harried receptionist answers phone calls, takes payment, and searches for the next client before she can check me in. and best of all, there are no more pretentious wanna-bes who give me "that look" when i show up in old navy shorts and inexpensive flipflops.

these days, things are so much simpler. getting to elisha's place off abbot kinney is a breeze (parking can be tricky; luckily, i know where to look). when i get there, her front door's either open or closed. if it's open, she's ready for me and i walk right in. if it's closed, she's busy with another client; i just sit and wait outside until they're done. and i can show up in yoga wear, beach wear, whatever; it's fine with her. as it should be.

so while elisha was busy working away at the business end of the table, we were having an animated discussion about -- what else -- yoga. like where she should go to take gentle yoga classes to help ease up the tension in her back (which we both agreed was work-related). and how hot both saul and anthony looked in the photo spread in the latest yogitimes magazine (yes, we're well aware of their loving wives and children). and how it seemed interesting that many of her clients are regular yoga students (after all, we have to keep our, ahem, well-chiseled bodies perfectly groomed).

when we were done, elisha reminded me that i had just caused another tree to be planted. yay!

(just to show you how dedicated elisha is to preserving and protecting the environment, she also organizes a venice beach clean-up group on monday and tuesday mornings at 7am. so if you're in the neighborhood and up that early, give her a call so you can get help her pick trash off the beach. or better yet, call her to make an appointment so that you, too, can get waxed. and maybe even add another tree to the forest.)

after that, it was on to main street in santa monica. i was going to get my nails done at the main attraction nail spa; they were having a fundraiser for operation smile, an international organization that performs surgeries on children with facial deformities.

2nd Annual Styles for Smiles

Main Attraction Nail Spa will donate all salon sales to Operation Smile for their 2nd Annual Styles for Smiles weekend

Enjoy hors d’oeuvres courtesy of La Vecchia Cucina, wine, champagne, raffle prizes and more while treating yourself to the best therapy in Santa Monica. Susan Thai, owner of Main Attraction Nail Spa, hosts the benefit weekend, and will donate all salon sales to Operation Smile.

On July 21st and 22nd, every penny you use to pamper yourself will make a child smile. Bring your family and friends, because doing a great thing for kids around the world has never been this easy and felt so good!!

i had never been there before, but when i found out about the event and how much a mani-pedi in a spa chair cost (only $20 -- a deal in this part of town!), i just had to do it. besides, it was almost lunchtime and they had a table full of food catered by the italian restaurant next door. so while i waited for a seat to open up, i feasted on pizza, quiche, and mini-calzones. yum!

the pair of manicurists who worked on me were very efficient; it didn't take them longer than 30 minutes to trim, file, and polish all my fingers and toes. by the time i left the salon, i had a set of freshly manicured nails, i had eaten lunch, and i had helped bring a smile to a child. and all for twenty bucks plus a generous tip. not bad.

pleased that i had done not just one but two good deeds for the day, it was time for my planned afternoon yoga class. i drove back home to change, then walked over to truyoga for kathryn budig's sama yoga class. strangely enough, with the way things turned out that weekend, it would be the third time i'd see her in two days! considering that i had never taken her class in the over two years i'd been going to yogaworks, i found that very amusing.

according to kathryn, the sanskrit word sama means balance. so she had us working on arm balances and inversions, which as you probably know by now, are the weakest part of my practice :(

it's bad enough that i still can't execute bakasana (crow) nor a headstand away from the wall, but to spend the majority of the class working on those plus revolved bakasana, "flying pigeon", forearm stand, and of course, handstand made me just want to stop and cry. or laugh hysterically. but since there were only three of us in the class, with one perfectly able to do most of the difficult poses without assistance, kathryn spent a good amount of time spotting two of us, providing "crash pads" and a lending a helping hand as needed.

i can honestly say that her personalized attention helped me make another baby step forward. and when i finally learn to relax through those balance poses, i know i'll be able to do them!