say cheese! :)
my front teeth were too big for my face and my hair was fine and stringy. i couldn't figure out how to smile naturally without showing my teeth. nor how to make my hair look bigger than it actually was. and when i got a perm to solve that problem, it just seemed to make things worse :(
which is why whenever my sisters unearth more old family pictures, i always seemed to be missing in action. and no, it wasn't because i was out socializing; i was actually very much a homebody back then. and the same thing was true while i was with my friends. i'd offer to take the pictures just so i had an excuse NOT to be in them.
thinking back, it's a good thing my dad wasn't into home movies, otherwise i probably would have spent most of my weekends hiding in a closet!
so who would have guessed that i'm the same person who finds her face plastered all over friends' facebook pages, on food truck websites, and in yoga studio videos? makes me wonder if aliens actually took over my body sometime between then and now...
the yoga video thing started back when yogaglo was in its infancy. i had first heard about derik and ryan mills' yoga video production biz through steven espinosa, who knew about my blog and my quest to find every yoga studio in LA. steven gave me derik's phone number and told me to give him a call. before i knew it, i was a regular attendee at the glo classes in santa monica (which happens to be conveniently located around the corner from where i live). it didn't matter if i was feeling fat and bloated, or if my muscles were still stiff from running a marathon. they needed students for their streamed classes and i needed an affordable source of yoga (honestly, you really can't beat $18 a month!). besides, the glo boys are the sweetest guys around -- not to mention the cutest -- so i was more than happy to be there for them, even if it meant having to end up with unflattering views of my rear end streamed to hundreds of homes around the world...
in fact, someone approached me recently after a class at yogaglo and said: "i think i know you... you're the joni who's in many of the yogaglo videos, aren't you? i keep hearing teachers calling you by name in class. but i didn't realize you were so tiny!" oh great. now everyone thinks i'm twenty pounds heavier than i actually am!
it took a while before i mustered up the courage to watch myself on video for the first time. and the more i watched, the more critical i became of myself. i saw how i leaned over to one side as i stood. and how i slouched while i sat in meditation. and how i'd raise one leg straight out but the other off to the side. and it's like i could finally SEE what all my teachers had been trying to point out to me... this video yoga class thing was turning out to be the best alignment aid ever invented! in fact, one teacher had actually commented that my form was so much better than the last time i'd taken her class -- granted, i go for long periods between classes with most teachers, so, mind you, this didn't happen overnight :)
recently, other yoga studios have decided to put their classes on video to make them available to students who live outside the yoga mecca known as los angeles. yogis anonymous has livestreamed at least a handful of classes -- click here for YA's video classes -- and i've been in two of them so far. if you can't seem to find me, it's a me-not-you thing; i arrived late both times and stayed out of camera range just so people didn't catch me walking in late. oops.
after a test video run two weeks ago, bryan kest aired his first live power yoga class earlier this afternoon. and yes, i was there both times, sweating profusely while trying to look peaceful and serene. i have no clue how i ended up looking; all i know is that bryan kept walking past my yoga mat as he made his way around the classroom, so with my luck, everyone now knows how uncoordinated i can be. argh.
but sometimes ending up on video can be spontaneous, if not downright fun. i'm going to leave you now with a flash mob-style video taken at the third street promenade in santa monica a few weeks ago by a renegade group of teachers and students from yogis anonymous. filmed by dorian cheah, it starts out with chani nicholas stopping to take in the beautiful spring day. she is soon joined by ally hamilton and her son dylan, and many more, including yours truly. click here to view that video (you'll need a facebook account, though, to view it).