yes, i'm still here...
work has been so crazed that i've had to skip my evening yoga practice a number of times, not so much because i was exhausted -- although, truly, i was -- but because by the time i walked out of the office, there was no way i could get to any yoga studio in time to catch their last class of the day :(
on the days that i did manage to escape the confines of my desk, i was busy taking advantage of the summertime yoga offerings around town. like yoga out on the beach. or yoga within the walls of a museum. or saluting the summer solstice with an auspicious 108. or dancing with wild abandon to the beat of tribal drums. you know, stuff like that...
there was tuesday last week when i rode the big blue (hmmm...) to the westwood art forum for vytas baskauskas' power yoga class. i managed to muster up enough power to keep up with him despite being mentally drained... then promptly rewarded myself after class by buying half a dozen brownies at diddy riese (i mean, who can resist their "six for $2.50" deal?). needless to say, the calories i consumed far exceeded the calories i burned.
then on wednesday, i met up with aaron reed for the first of his series of summer beach yoga classes on venice beach. joining him were guest instructors denise kaufman, lynda carre, and dearbhla kelly. practicing in the outdoors with aaron's crew was more like playing outdoors, only because we got to use everything around us as props -- we swayed with the wind, we ran in and out of the waves, and we burrowed ourselves into the sand -- while dolphins frolicked before us in the surf.
thursday was an especially hectic day at work, so much so that right after i turned off my computer, all i wanted to do was go home and sleep. so i did.
on friday, i had hoped to catch thomas taubman's candlelight yoga class at your neighborhood studio in culver city, but even if the friday evening traffic flow had been ideal -- and it rarely is -- there was no way i could catch a 6:30pm class if i was still standing in a parking lot in torrance at 6:20pm. sigh.
ah, but then came the weekend. and despite the heat wave, the obsessive-compulsive in me wanted to make up for slacking off the previous two days.
so i ran a five-mile loop up temescal canyon on saturday, through the palisades to rustic canyon, and back. at 9am, after the cloud cover had burned off and it was already in the 80's outside. yes, call me crazy.
then after making a brief appearance at a potluck picnic organized by my running friends, i rushed out to yoga works south bay in el segundo to put myself through a two-and-a-half hour sun salutation workshop with leeann carey. and mind you, she didn't have us just doing 108 surya A's. or even B's. that would have been too... predictable. leeann ratched up the difficulty and had us doing 108 asana sequences, broken down into 27 sun salutations, followed by 27 standing sequences, followed by 27 seated sequences, followed by 27 backbend/twist sequences. and while i was plugging away, trying to follow along with the sometimes-confusing combinations, i could feel my heart beating in cadence to the live drumming that was going on in the back of the classroom. when it was all over, i was so drained that i could've sworn i heard myself snoring during savasana. argh.
you'd think that after saturday's madness, i would've curled myself up into a ball and slept all of the next day. but no, not me.
early sunday morning found me riding the bus once again, this time headed for exhale in venice for micheline berry's level 2/3 flow class with guest percussionists craig kohland and jim mcgrath of shaman's dream. oh. my. god. there's nothing more stimulating than moving mindlessly and energetically in time to furious drumming. or more cleansing than sweating profusely while the temperature in the room continues to rise from all the movement. if i were half-asleep when i arrived at the studio, i was definitely wide awake by the time i left!
after a short respite at the nearby santa monica farmers' market, where i camped out on the grass while grazing on cherries, cheese bread, and goji berry lemonade, i hopped back on the bus for home.
and a mere two hours later, i was back on the bus once more; this time, it was on the shuttle to the hollywood bowl for the first KCRW world music night of the season. on stage for the evening were frederico aubele from argentina, los amigos invisibles from venezuela, bebel gilberto from brazil, and thievery corporation from the US (whose music is a creative amalgam of global electronica -- indian, middle eastern, reggae, and brazilian). it was exhilarating... i could have danced all night!
so was i exhausted yet? you bet i was. but did i stop there? not a chance.
monday was more beach yoga, this time with stephanie wilson on a small patch of grass overlooking the ocean in santa monica. the class was one in a series of weekly fundraisers for the west la/malibu surfrider foundation; all donations dropped into the collection box -- no matter the size -- went entirely to supporting the cause. unlike aaron's fun on the sand class, stephanie's class was surprisingly demanding. there were times when i was tempted to just drop into child pose and wait until it was all over. but no, type-A me just had to keep going.
thankfully, tuesday came, and i got exactly what i needed: a good hour or so of meditation, this time with jamie elmer at the westwood art forum once again. and i finally found myself consciously breathing out and breathing in. breathing out hyperactivity and breathing in calmness. breathing out insanity and breathing in sanity. just breathing and being still.
and so now, yes, i'm still... here. it's about time.