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Monday, January 05, 2009

living from moment to moment

unemployment is a bad news / good news kind of thing, especially when it comes to yoga.

the bad news is that i have to think long and hard about whether it's wise to pay $45 for a two-hour restorative workshop this friday. especially since this "No vinyasas, no down dogs, no sweat. Just blissful relaxation" class will be taught by a teacher known for his sweaty, oh-my-god-do-i-have-to-do-another-vinyasa-push-up? classes. yes, i'm extremely curious and am dying to take it, but not only is $45 almost THREE times the cost of the average yoga class, it will surely eat up a good chunk of my weekly unemployment check. maybe i can swing it if i give up lunch for the week... my god, has it come to this? :(

the good news is that i have an entire day at my disposal to take a yoga class. everyday. any class. any teacher. any time. anywhere. and yes, many of you reading this from your desks at the office would now like to trade places with me. well, you know how to find me :)

anyway, i woke up at around 8 this morning -- there's that good news part again -- and lay in bed, mulling about my yoga class options. some local place i can walk or bike to? or some place across town that i'd need at least half an hour to drive to? a vigorous vinyasa flow class? or a gentle iyengar class? should i try a class with a teacher i've never practiced with before? or should i go and have fun with someone i'm familiar with?

i pulled myself over to my laptop, fired it up, and checked some yoga studio websites. then i remembered a new place that brandon, another yoga-crazed friend, had told me about a month or so ago. i checked the studio's website and found a level 1 class at 11am. an accessible class at an accessible time. and it wasn't too far away. perfect.

with just over two hours to kill, i logged onto facebook to check to see what all my friends were up to. big mistake. i eventually found myself chatting with an old high school friend. we talked about how our parents were doing. and how our kids were doing. and how our jobs were not doing. we compared health issues and our current exercise habits (or lack thereof). the next thing i knew, it was 10:30, i had yet to get dressed, and the yoga studio was half an hour away. argh. i'll have to try it another time...

since i was originally looking forward to trying something new, i checked my options and ended up taking a familiar teacher's class at a new venue: david romanelli at exhale venice. ok, so maybe dave's been teaching at that studio for a while now, but the last time i took his class was when he was still teaching at exhale santa monica. and that was before they canceled ALL of their yoga classes and replaced them with core fusion classes. me, work my core? ugh.

dave's class was scheduled for 2:30 that afternoon, and since it was a community class, it was going to cost me only $10. with the money i'd be saving, i could even afford to get myself an inexpensive lunch before heading out to venice. love it!

you could say that dave and i go way back... well, at least back to the time he moved to LA from arizona and started teaching at exhale santa monica when it first opened three years ago :) his classes have always been somewhat of a treat for me, with his eclectic taste in yoga flow music and his chatty demeanor. and his ability to somehow use current events to illustrate morsels of yogic wisdom.

take today's class, for example. dave read a line by kahlil gibran:

Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.

he then talked about the big headline on the news this morning: the still-unresolved death of jett travolta, john travolta's and kelly preston's 16-year old son. and how john and kelly must have loved their son so much that they probably would gladly exchange all their wealth for the ability to have their son back in their arms. i know, it's a bit depressing thinking about death right before embarking on a vinyasa flow class, but it was food for thought, nevertheless...

dave definitely has his followers. and i don't know why it is, but almost all his students are female. attractive young ones, at that. and considering that the class was held in the middle of the afternoon on a typical work day, i was surprised at how many of them were already in line at the front desk to pay for his class when i got there. they must either love him, love his class, or love the $10 price of his class. or all three. wait... there's that love thing again. see? i learned something today :)

dave romanelli has his own yeah dave website as well as a weekly email newsletter. the stories in his e-updates are quite quirky -- sometimes funny, sometimes silly, sometimes just plain stupid (and i mean that in a good way; after all, if you can't be stupid with your friends, who else can you be stupid with?). either way, what he says always manages to amuse me, so much so that i sometimes reply back to him with equally silly (and/or stupid) comments.

now it appears that he's compiled many of his wild and wacky stories into a book that's scheduled to be published in early march. titled yeah dave's guide to livin' the moment, the book is "a lifelong dream featuring 26 stories each with a feel-good inspirational message. Yes it's another self-help book but this is a different kind of self-help book with stories ranging from evading the attempts of an HHMW (hot, horny, married woman) to my guide to Re-Gifting with style. The book's overarching message: livin' the good life is Livin' the Moment!"

he's organized a book club for all those who want an early peek at his upcoming book. it's fairly easy to join; all you have to do is send an email to yeahdave@yeahdaveyoga.com with the subject "i'm in!" and he'll take it from there.

in the meantime, you can catch him here at exhale venice or on the road at one of his yoga + chocolate (and often + wine, too) workshops around the country. and yes, i've been to at least one of those. i mean, me turn down a chance for chocolate? that wouldn't be living the moment, now, would it?