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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

yoga + dinner = a yoga date!

going on a date can be lots of fun, especially if it starts out with good company, good conversation, and better yet, good food. and if things turn out really well, it could also involve some good physical activity, if you know what i mean...

as for me, my recent escapades have been quite similar, except that things have been happening in reverse. barely after we've said hello to each other, we find ourselves getting all hot and sweaty. then only after we've had a chance to put our clothes back on do we find ourselves unwinding over dinner and exchanging pleasantries.

(and if my mother's reading this, she's probably madly reaching for her rosary beads so that she can pray for the redemption of my soul.)

don't worry, mom; i'm only doing what any good catholic girl would do... on a yoga date, that is :)

it started a couple of months ago, once my buddy BDB decided that his ailing shoulder was back in business. after a few restorative classes with karen byers at city yoga to test the waters, so to speak, we were off and running.

in true macho fashion, B decided to pick up from where he left off almost a year ago -- at one of tom morley's level 2/3 classes at maha yoga. i was surprised that he was willing to push himself that hard that soon, but if that's what he wanted to do, so be it. sure enough, by the time class was over, i had to practically peel him off the floor to get him out of the way of the students coming in for the next class. not surprisingly, he didn't care where we had dinner; he just wanted to get something into his system before he passed out.

the next time we got together, we decided to pay a visit to our mutual friend matt reyes at yogahop. once again, we found ourselves in a level 2/3 class. this time, B fared much better, although there were times when it looked like he needed CPR to get him through some of the tougher sequences. thankfully, the savasana at the end of class worked its magic; we were able to walk to father's office a few blocks down the street for the best gourmet burger-and-beer meal in town.

it was at this point that i convinced B that he needed to try out some of the other teachers in town, as well as some restaurants he'd never been to before.

since he expressed an interest in getting back to practicing handstands, i suggested taking a guerilla yoga class. we showed up at tiffany fraser's anusara class at the woman's club of hollywood one evening, where not only did he end up doing the handstands he'd been itching to do, but a few more inversions and arm balances, too. we capped off the evening with a pan-asian dinner in a restored trolley car at the formosa cafe, an old-time celebrity hangout with a bar that seemed surprisingly busy for a school night. but then again, we were in hollywood...

then there was the time we both took bryan kest's power yoga class at his studio above the radio shack on santa monica blvd. B finally experienced what it was like to stand in the line of yogis that snaked out of the building and around the corner AND be the object of puzzled stares from all who passed by. despite being drenched in sweat after class, he pronounced it was "just what i needed", then happily followed me to the real food daily (better known as RFD) next door for an organic vegan meal.

there was also the friday evening when we were both suffering from aching backs; we opted to take aaron reed's relax deeply class at sacred movement. after an hour and a half of much-needed gentle stretching, we drove out to mao's kitchen a mile away and joined the late-night crowd for some inexpensive "communist" chinese food. not only was it good, but it was also fairly healthy (except perhaps for all those fried wonton strips dipped in sweet-and-sour sauce that we practically inhaled while waiting for our dinner to arrive).

just the other day, i received this note from truyoga:

Rudy "THE YOGA WARRIOR" Mettia will be teaching a donation-based Power Yoga class from 7:15-8:45PM. Afterwards we will enjoy our post-yoga-glow with some wine, cheese, tea, fruit, etc. No need to RSVP just show up. Yes…this is the infamous Rudy that also teaches Power Yoga on 2nd Street . This is more of a workout than a yoga class, so come prepared to sweat.

i immediately forwarded the message to B, and as i expected, once he read the words "warrior" and "power" combined with "wine" and "cheese", he was in. and apparently, so were many of rudy's groupies, because there were more bodies in that class than at most of the classes i'd taken at truyoga! it turned out to be a wonderfully satisfying evening, and the light repast that followed was just as delightful as the class itself.

so what's next?

how about this: we're off to france next week, not only for more yoga and wine and cheese, but also for the fabulous music, art, and architecture! ooh la la!

we're still working on last-minute plans, so stay tuned...


Blogger Yogadawg said...

That's hot! You go girl...:)

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought you ay enjoy this....

Hot date with my yogini……

Ok, Saturday afternoon and Grandma is picking up the kids. Not returning them until Sunday afternoon. We love our kids, trust me we do. But an afternoon, and an evening, then a night, AND a morning-after without them; sounded pretty good.

So what’s the plan…


Walmart and Perkins?

Last week's Sopranos again and take-out?

Ashtanga in New York and dinner in Littly Italy?

As there was no Saturday-night-yoga-death-matches scheduled, you’ve probably guessed Ashtanga and dinner in Littly Italy it was.

This was truly a titillating itinerary for my wife and me. She is truly is a wonderful woman and spectacular yogini, and after 17 years, her Urdhva Upavistaha Konasa still makes me blush like a school boy. And introducing me to yoga to 22 months ago, is yet another on a long list reasons, I am eternally indebted and madly in love. but i digress....

Although my wife is a fairly accomplished Ashtangi, and although most of the yoga we both do is Ashtanga-based, daily Ashtanga practitioners we are not. And when I say "we" and "yoga" in the same sentence, to be fair I mean; my wife, about whom people exclaim ... "wow, she is as elegant and flowing as a heren" ...or .... "look, she just levitated!"...or "how will she get that elbow OUT of her ear?"; and me, about which hushed tones express things like "that fat guy is doing something that sort of resembles yoga"... or .... "look at the 227 pound crow!"...or " if that Natarajasana were to tip over, I need to find a doorway".

Point is, it could be argued that a full Ashtahga class was beyond and inaccessible to me. And this potential inability is probably why I have been critical of some Ashtanga dogmas such as the ritualistic DAILY practice, and full mastery of the primary series before "being allowed" to do other asanas. Asanas that I like to do because I CAN ACCESS THEM.

What did I learned about my preconceived Ashtanga notions? And as importantly, what did I learned about the (down)dogmas and coupling of post-savasana Sangiovese and fra Diablo?

Well, I had a few important pearls of wisdom:

1) The the ritualistic daily practice of Ashtanga is perhaps not a dogma at all. Just a practicality. As I ackwardly rolled-through the endless series of seated postures into vinyasas and back - it was clear - you cannot NOT practice this everyday and expect to be able to do it.

2) Ankle flexibility. Perhaps the reason you HAVE TO learn and master the primary series first, is because if you do not develop the necessary ankle flexibilty prior to extensivley working on other standing balances, you will develop too much ankle muscle .... and not enough ankle flexibility ... and you may miss the chance to access many things entirely.

3) Fra Diablo, which is so bad at all Jersey strip-mall Italian restauarants. is always incredible at Angelo's on Mulberry street. Not to mention the novelty of living in a Sapronos episode for a few hours.

4) If your date is really only going to drink a half a glass of wine, perhaps ordering THE BOTTLE of Sangiovese is not the best idea. Post-savasana or otherwise.

5) Yogasutra NYC is worth the trip. Check it out.

6) Three words: mulabandha, mulabandha, mulabandha

Until next time.....


6:53 AM  
Blogger joni said...

hey yogadawg --
i'm definitely looking forward to trying it a la francaise :)

10:50 AM  
Blogger joni said...

hi yogablogger --

i can somewhat understand going to perkins on date night, but WALMART? hmmm... maybe i've been missing out on something? i need to check that out when i get back!

10:59 AM  

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