yes, i'm still here!
while i've been continuing to update my list of recession-busting yoga classes in town (and if you haven't looked at that recently, click here to see the latest version), all i've managed to crank out are rough drafts of posts i've been meaning to finish. like the second half of my attempt to save money during the month of july while maintaining an almost-daily yoga practice (and since the first half is almost ancient history by now, you can click here to refresh your memory). or how practicing at yogaglo has put a whole new spin on my practice (which you'll read about soon, i hope). or my recounting of the craziness of the hot dog death march last june. or my visit to the new yogi tree yoga studio back last may (which, of course, will no longer be new by the time i get around to posting that story!).
as i look around my room, i see stacks of CDs and books, piles of paper, and gobs of freebies strewn about. just to give you an idea of how busy my life has been just in the past few weeks, i'm going to randomly pick up items and talk about how i ended up with them...
CD - jesca hoop, kismet
i got this from the freebie basket at the recent KCRW pledge drive. one of the perks of being a volunteer at the drive, besides having an endless supply of food to keep us busy during the slow times, is being able to pick a CD from the freebie bin. i never know what i'll find; sometimes it's a CD that i've been dying to have, and sometimes it's a CD from a group i've never heard from before. either way, it's a great way to get my hands on some new music :)
CD - venice, home grown
this came from last thursday's twilight dance series concert on the santa monica pier. luckily for me, i had somehow managed to finagle an invite to the VIP tent. so while i was noshing on a salad near the stage while the bands were swapping out, i caught sight of the bass guitar player. and i realized that he was mark harris, a friend of mine from my running group! what a small world! i gave him a quick hug and confessed that i had totally forgotten that he told me years ago about how he played with this venice-based band (hence the group name). so not only did i hang around long enough to listen to their entire set, but i also made it a point to buy one of their CDs. hoping maybe that it'll keep reminding me of which group he plays with!
CD - the noisettes, never forget you (single)
this was given to me when i checked in at a recent yoga on the pier class with yoga teachers lori rischer and joan hyman. it was on one of those crazy saturday mornings when i went for a quick run in santa monica with the LA leggers, ran down to the pier for the FREE yoga class sponsored by STAR 98.7, biked over to venice to try out the food at the bool BBQ food truck, then barely had enough time to rest and shower before heading out to volunteer at a fundraiser at yogaglo for off the mat, into the world and the new documentary the cove, which talks about the slaughter of dolphins in japan. so now do you have an idea of how busy my days can get?
CD - dave stringer, japa
i know i got this as a freebie from an event i attended; the scary thing is that i can't remember which event it was! all i know is that i have to get dave to autograph this the next time i see him. which will probably be at the 3-day bhaktifest next month on september 11th thru 13th in joshua tree... where not only dave but almost everyone who's anyone in the kirtan world will be performing -- jai uttal, wade imre morissette, shyamdas, wah!, mc yogi, donna de lory, govindas & radha, temple bhajan band, larisa stow & shakti tribe, girish, gaura vani & as kindred spirits, sean johnson & the wild lotus band, and more -- and where i'll be volunteering (but of course!). speaking of bhaktifest, there have been a number of pre-bhaktifest kirtans held around town that have spotlighted various bhaktifest performers (and yes, i think i've been to all of them); the last one will be held at narayan mandir, 1668 rising glen road in the hollywood hills next sunday and will feature gaura vani and the kindred spirits, the temple bhajan band, wah!, and govindas & radha. you know you want to be there...
book - enlightenment for idiots by anne cushman
anne's publisher sent me this book after i agreed to review it. and while i still haven't gotten around to writing that review (sorry, anne!), i have to say that i loved it! unlike eat, pray, love where the author wrote about traveling from country to country in search of herself, enlightenment for idiots has the main character, amanda, traveling around india in search of sources of enlightenment for a book she was hired to write. all i can say is that it's a quick and fun read; if you get your hands on it now, you'll probably finish it before i get around to writing my review :)
book - bhagavad gita, as it is by a.c. bhaktivedanta swami prabhupada
this was given to me at the recent festival of chariots, a joyous procession of the hare krishna community down main street in santa monica, through the venice boardwalk, ending at an all-day food and music festival on the beach. after pulling one of the chariots the entire length of the parade, i had stopped at the book center to see what they had; next thing i knew, some nice guy was handing me this book in exchange for a small donation. i thought it was a great deal, considering that it's been on my must-read list for a long time now. i also stopped at the boutique, where they had all kinds of merchandise on sale, including a couple of scarves that i ended up putting to good use later in the day when i had to protect my head and shoulders from the intense sunshine while listening to a kirtan with jai uttal, gaura vani, and the mayapuris. i just love how all this is so accessible to us yogis here in LA!
book - saltwater buddha, a surfers quest to find zen on the sea by jaimal yogis
i picked up this book just yesterday at a book-signing event in malibu. i had wanted to meet jaimal for a long time now; he had written to me back in february, asking if i'd be willing to review his new book. all he could send me at the time was a .pdf copy, so i glanced through it, liked what i read, and said that i would as soon as i got my hands on an actual copy (only because i like to thumb through the pages rather than scroll down through them). well, not only was i able to get a copy, but i was able to meet jaimal, listen to the tail end of his bookreading session at the diesel book store (i got stuck in traffic on PCH getting there), and was treated to some sweet music by the up-and-coming garage band (and friends of his), nine pound shadow.
gift basket containing health and beauty treats, courtesy of whole foods market
i won this at a raffle at a recent networking event in west hollywood. organized by kris willey, the women of the green generation is a group of professional women who are actively involved in the green movement. at the networking events scheduled once a month, they all get together to share their latest ideas, projects, and business leads. at this particular event, i managed to chat with many interesting women, including kelly layne from whole foods santa monica, val bisharat from clif bar, felicia tomasko from LA yoga magazine, kayoko mitsumatsu from yoga gives back, and khatija dadabhoy from ghalia organic desserts (who provided some of the treats that evening). i was extended an invite when i ran into kris a few days earlier at a yogi lunch at govinda's vegetarian buffet at the hare krishna temple in culver city; i knew kris from her stints as the coconut bliss ice cream scooper at various events around town. in fact, i just saw her again yesterday at the co-opportunity block party yesterday...
goodie bag from the la leggers
the 2009-2010 season of the la legger marathon training group started in late july. when the season started, we weren't quite exactly sure which marathon we were training for, especially since the plans of the LA marathon were still up in the air. no one knew when it would be held (it was historically run on a sunday in march but was moved to memorial day in 2009 for political reasons) or even where it would be run (the organizers were trying to push for a new course that would end in santa monica). anyway, long story short, with the support of all the runners who showed up at numerous city council meetings, we finally have a definite training goal -- a stadium-to-the-sea marathon (that is, dodger stadium to the pacific ocean) that will be held on sunday, march 21st. yay! although i just heard this weekend that the entry fee will be raised to a whopping $125 for the upcoming race, with no early bird discounts. and NO bike tour. boo!
flyer from coolhaus ice cream truck
if you live in LA, you've probably heard about the buzz about the latest craze to hit the streets: food trucks! i suppose you could say they were there all along; many of us fondly remember eating grease-laden breakfast burritos off those lunchtime roach coaches. but ever since the kogi truck came on the scene with its korean tacos and twitter updates, food trucks suddenly replaced four-star restaurants as THE place to eat. and honestly, with everyone scrambling to find their next job (or to keep their current one), it makes perfect sense to spend less on gourmet meals and valet parking and more on reasonably-priced good food to stay within a tight budget. as for me, it's become an obsession of sorts to find and try out each and every one of these trucks. so far, i've had tofu tacos at kogibbq, the mother trucker veggie burger at green truck, all kinds of wonderful ice cream sandwich delights at coolhaus, a ceviche at border grill truck, a torakku tofu patty at marked5, a variety of syrups and toppings on shaved ice at getshaved, temari and sushi rolls at fishlips, grilled shrimp tacos at calbibbq, a chicken pastel at bool bbq, a chocolate-dipped soft serve cone at king kone, a loco moco plate at chef on wheels bbq, a masala dosa at dosa truck, shrimp chow fun at don chow tacos, a beef bbq slider at barbiesq, a paneer frankie at india jones, a chicken teriyaki bowl at skewers on wheels, a chicken bbq sandwich at LA BBQ guy, and a lemongrass tofu bahn mi at nom nom. and i managed to bike to 15 of those 18 food truck visits! did i happen to mention that i was obsessed?
flyers for two upcoming art shows: joyride at the bicycle film festival and without a car in the world at the 18th street arts center
these were just two of the items i received in the goodie bag at last saturday's tour da arts. sponsored by the santa monica museum of art and C.I.C.L.E. (cyclists inciting change through live exchange), this 9-mile bike ride had us stopping at various art venues around town. starting with a flag-making activity at the museum itself, the course brought us to an african drumming and dancing performance with francis awe at the broad stage, a chance to practice our swing dancing skills (or lack thereof) with the big cats swing band at the miles memorial playhouse, and a number of art exhibits at the 18th street arts center. i spent most of the time riding with kelly from whole foods and val from clif bar (also from the green women networking event), who both had generously provided snacks for the riders at every stop. you can clearly tell the kind of people i like to hang around with!
nianna bray's summer yoga schedule
nianna was one of the teachers assisting aaron reed at his summer beach yoga series in venice. there was a big turnout for the last class of the series last wednesday. as usual, we got to frolic in the sand and the water. sadly, the early-setting sun and the cool evening temperature was a reminder that the summer is quickly coming to an end. sigh... regardless, beach yoga will continue in santa monica on the sand at marine street with brad keimach on saturday and sunday mornings at 10:30am. in the meantime, i need to check out nianna bray's yoga in the park classes (also in santa monica at palisades park at alta) on mondays at 2pm and fridays at noon to see if i should add it to the list of affordable yoga classes on my yoga on a budget link.
a class schedule for yogaco in santa monica
there's a slew of donation-based yoga studios that have been popping up recently around the third street promenade in santa monica: bhakti yoga shala, which opened in june, then yogaco in august, and now yogis anonymous, which is scheduled to open in september. while each studio is run by yoga instructors who trace their teaching roots back to bryan kest's donation-based power yoga studio just down the street, they all have their distinct identity. govindas and radha's bhakti yoga shala is a warm and cozy space that provides not only classes in the physical yoga practice known to all, but also holds weekly kirtans to draw in the community to the bhakti practice as well. tamal dodge's yogaco presents itself as the affordable version of the boutique yoga studio, with an inviting reception area, two large yoga classrooms, a small classroom for private lessons, a retail store, and separate his and hers restrooms. and while i haven't been able to check out ally hamilton's still-to-be-opened studio, all i know is that it will feature an eclectic mix of yoga teachers, including annmarie solo, dave romanelli, brock cahill, jorgen christiansson, felicia tomasko, and many more.
poster for the global mala yoga for peace event
in addition to volunteering at the bhaktifest and every other yoga event that comes to LA (or so it seems), i'm volunteering to help publicize the yogamonth event which will be held on september 20th (yes, the week after bhaktifest!) at the HAX hangar in hawthorne off the 105 freeway (not far from LAX). this FREE yoga health festival will feature yoga classes, musical performances, wellness exhibits, and family fun throughout the day, with the highlight being the 108 sun salutations led by mariel hemingway, sara ivanhoe, saul david raye, krishna kaur, beth shaw, hemalayaa, hala khouri, kia miller, and more. proceeds will go towards funding yoga health education in schools. my bike basket is full of flyers that i have to post and hand out as i ride around town; so if you want some, just let me know!
welcome to my busy schedule... all i can say is -- so much done, so much to look forward to!!!