Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
Click here to view the accidental yogist's map of los angeles yoga studios in a full-size page

Thursday, October 21, 2010

accepting change

sometimes things don't always go the way you've planned.

still on my quest to meet yogaglo's challenge to take 30 yoga classes in 30 days, i mapped out an eclectic mix of teachers and locations for the rest of the week. and while i didn't end up with what i was hoping to get, i accepted the changes and happily found myself putting my growing practice in capable hands.

that's the beauty of living in LA -- where excellent yoga can be found everywhere if you just let yourself be open to the possibility!

oct 12th, class #12 - basics yoga with denise waling at the yoga place

as far as yoga teachers go, denise is definitely trying to make her mark. just having graduated from a teacher training program just a little over a year ago, she's already set up her own little yoga studio at the california market center on 9th and main, right in the middle of the busy garment district in downtown LA. her students are predominantly sales reps from the different clothing vendors in the building and their yoga experience ranges from absolute beginner ("i just happened to see the sign in the hallway") to experienced yogi ("i'm so glad i can squeeze in a yoga class during my lunch break!"). her goal has been to bring affordable yoga to as many people as possible, and so far, she's succeeding.

i had originally decided to take the big blue bus to downtown, but due to some last-minute delays and mix-ups in my schedule, i got a late start and ended up driving, thinking that if i were to take the bus, i would've gotten there half an hour late for the hour-long class at noon. as it turned out, the noontime class was a basics class; what i really wanted was the 1pm level 1/2 vinyasa flow class. oops.

not wanting to have to kill time for the more advanced class -- believe me, there was more than enough temptation from all the showrooms i walked past just to get to her classroom! -- i decided to take the earlier class. denise made sure she addressed the needs of the two other women who were just a step above beginner. i put myself in their shoes, listened to her instructions and followed along. and as simple as some of the poses were, i did manage to break into a sweat. i guess i must've been doing something right!

oct 13th, class #13 - level 2/3 power vinyasa flow with felicia tomasko at yogaglo

right around the start of the yogaglo challenge, the glo boys had gone on vacation and hung up the "gone fishing" sign outside their production studio in santa monica. but they were back this week, so i decided to pop by and get the scoop on how their trip went. and while i was at it, why not throw in a yoga class?

i thought it would be a nice challenge if i took dice iida-klein's wednesday evening level 2/3 handstand-lovers class. as it turned out, i was greeted at the door by felicia tomasko, editor of LA yoga magazine and teacher of the class that preceeded dice's. she smiled and said she'd be subbing for dice. we laughed about how she definitely had me as a captive audience this time, unlike the time i took her class online and was constantly distracted with incoming pings from my facebook and twitter friends (see day 2 of the challenge). knowing how she's more adverse to handstands than i am, i then teased her about how we'd just have to make fools of ourselves on camera and do those dreaded handstands! thankfully, she led us through a more grounded -- literally -- vinyasa flow class. and neither of us ended up falling down in class and having it witnessed by millions of yogaglo viewers :)

oct 14th, class #14 - all-levels flow class with daniel stewart at santa monica yoga

last month, i had been invited to take mckenna rowe's class at le posh yoga, a new yoga studio that soft-opened in hollywood. i thought it would be cool to include another of their classes in my 30:30 challenge, so i checked the calendar i had picked up at the time and planned my day around being there in time for stella wilkin's thursday 4:30pm class. but unbeknowst to me, le posh had decided to put all classes on hold until after their grand opening in november. so when i buzzed in at the front door, there was no response (i know, i should've checked before showing up!).

this was one time when i was glad i had gotten an iphone - i checked the mindbody yoga app to check class schedules for nearby yoga studios. for the studios not covered by mindbody, i checked their websites. and for others whose numbers were stored in my phone, i called to find out what my choices were. after weighing my options, i concluded that unless i wanted to hang around the west hollywood area for an hour or more, it looked like i was better off using that time to head back to the westside.

and that's how i ended up at daniel stewart's class at santa monica yoga. i had wanted to catch his kirtan at rising lotus yoga the next day; unfortunately, it conflicted with tickets i already had to the hollywood bowl. i'd shown up, hoping that maybe he'd chant in class and give us a little preview of his kirtan's playlist. but as my luck would have it, he forgot to bring his harmonium to class. oh well. i still ended up sweating through his delicious vinyasa flow class and loving every minute of it. daniel has so much yogic knowledge -- both asana-wise and philosophy-wise -- that every class i've taken with him has been a wonderful learning experience. and this one was definitely no different!

oct 15th, class #15 - destress yoga with chani nicholas at truyoga
this was one of those days when i had no idea how i was going to be able to squeeze in a yoga class. i overslept and realized i wouldn't be able to get to any of the mid-morning classes in time. and i couldn't take any of the late-afternoon and/or evening classes because i had to hop on an early shuttle to the hollywood bowl.

and while i was stressing over how i couldn't afford to fail that 30:30 challenge, i found the perfect class - destress yoga with chani... and it was at a yoga studio just a few blocks away from me!

i walked over to the yahoo center and popped in for chani's lunchtime class at truyoga. her class was calm and gentle, short and sweet, and exactly what i needed. if i worked anywhere nearby, i'd make it a regular weekly lunch stop. after all, who wouldn't want a little stress relief break in the middle of the work day? and best of all, it wasn't a sweaty class that would require a shower before heading back to the office :)

oct 16th, class #16 - yoga blend 1/2 with louise guzman at yogaworks valencia

i have to admit that the only thing that enticed me to drive all the way to valencia for a yoga class (mind you, i'd been putting off checking out studios in that neck of the woods only because i dreaded the drive) was a food truck festival. yes, i'm just as obsessed with eating at gourmet food trucks as i am with taking yoga classes all over town. and just as compulsive about finding them all.

yogaworks in valencia is one of the YW members-only locations in the LA area, which means that unless i purchase a monthly membership, i can only drop-in to take a class there no more than once every 30 days. which is fine with me because i can't see myself wanting to make the hour-ish drive that often anyway :)

to be honest, i picked this particular class only because it ended right around the time the truck fest started. i didn't bother to check what kind of class it was nor who was teaching it. so when i checked in at the front desk, i found out that it was a level 1/2 taught by louise guzman, who was subbing for jackie field. i knew neither teacher, but i was perfectly ok with that. it turned out to be a pretty straightforward hatha flow class. i really don't remember much about it, probably because my mind was busy planning what i was going to eat right after class. eek. i obviously wasn't being present, was i?

more on the rest of my 30:30 challenge to follow...