diary of a 31-day challenged yogini
last year, it was the lululemon store in el segundo that posed the challenge. and not only did i meet it, but exceeded even my own expectations. but then again, with my obsessive-compulsive personality, i'm not surprised :)
click on these links to see what i posted back then --
~ rising to the challenge, part one
~ challenge survivor!
this year, i was enticed to do it once again, this time by yogaworks, who posted this on their facebook page:
Class A Day in January Challenge
Join us and take on a personal challenge with all your YogaWorks Facebook Friends here to support and encourage you!
There are no real rules – just take a class a day and write about it on this facebook page.
Classes can be taken at YogaWorks, another yoga studio, self-practice in your bedroom or with a DVD in your living room.
Take classes and – then write about it.
* Where did you take the class, who was the teacher, how’d you feel?
Grand Prize is SATISFACTION for anyone who completes the class a day challenge in January.
At the end of the month some randomly selected people who posted frequently will win prize package of “Stuff”.
with visions of "a prize package of stuff" as the dangling carrot before me, i bit and took the challenge.
here's what i ended up posting (btw, the only reason why i didn't take all the classes at YW was because the cost would have been prohibitive; i ended up cashing in a couple of one-week passes that i had stashed away for occasions such as this):
jan 1st, first class of 2010! - 2 hour anusara class with marc holzman and tiffany fraser guerillayogala.com. it's always fun to practice with friends!!
jan 2nd, day 2 - a 6-mile run, followed by power yoga with rudy mettia at power yoga west in santa monica. a good way to sweat out all of the toxins from 2009 :)
jan 3rd, day 3 - couldn't make it to a yoga studio today, so did an online restoratives/meditation at home with noah maze at yogaglo.com
jan 4th, day 4 - vinyasa flow with annie carpenter at YW main st. living up to her name, she will help build up your alignment and strength to make your practice more "easeful" :)
jan 5th, day 5 - managed to get the last open spot in vinnie marino's class today at YW main street -- his first class back from vacation. 80 students in a tuesday 9am class!?!?! don't people have 9-to-5 jobs around here anymore?
jan 6th, day 6 - since i seem to be coming down with a cold, i opted for chris stein's 1/2 iyengar at YW montana. besides, it's always good to work on the fundamentals every now and then :)
jan 7th, day 7 - vinyasa flow 2/3 with sara ivanhoe at YW main street. such a beautiful, yet sweaty, practice. found myself chanting along with KD and the others on her ipod playlist while doing the surya namaskar sequence :)
jan 8th, day 8 - relaxed deeply with aaron reed at exhale venice. this evening's vibe was even more chill than usual, only because the power supply to half the studio was inadvertently cut off by nearby construction work. so we practiced in the dark with no heat and nothing but the sound of cars whooshing by on main street...
jan 9th, day 9 - vinyasa flow with mia togo at YW montana. was so drenched in sweat by the time class ended that i wondered why i bothered to shower before class... because i was just going to hop right back in when i got home!
jan 10th, day 10 - after running a half marathon this morning, then being unable to find a nice restorative class with a time/place that would work for me, i ended up practicing bhakti yoga instead. i attended a puja, followed by a kirtan, at the new aanand saagar studio near the third street promenade.
jan 11th, day 11 - vinyasa flow with seane corn at yogaglo, a fundraiser for Y.O.G.A for youth, a non-profit whose mission is to bring yoga and meditation to at-risk youth in LA (btw, kia miller will be teaching a fundraiser for the same charity this coming saturday on main street)
jan 12th, day 12 - a much-needed yin yoga class at yogaglo with felicia tomasko, editor of LA yoga magazine, accompanied by peter sterling on harp, flute, and tibetan bowl!! harpmagic.com
jan 13th, day 13 - still recovering from the after-effects of a bad cold and sunday's half-marathon, i listened to my body and took a level 1 class at yogaglo with steven espinosa, who focused on the basics of proper alignment. stepping away from the usual vinyasa flow to revisit the basics is a great way to keep from getting sloppy in one's practice (and prevent injury!)
jan 14th, day 14 - celebrated the new moon AND solar eclipse with a powerful kundalini class at kundalini katie's home on the westside. there was some meditation, some yoga, some goal-setting, and i had lots of fun making new friends!
jan 15th, day 15 - took an intermediate/advanced anusara class with naime jezzeny and noah maze at yogaglo. you know you've picked THE class to go to when the LA anusara kula shows up in force :)
jan 16th, day 16 - took a mellow vinyasa flow class with chani nicolas at yogis anonymous, with live music provided by dorian cheah, david watts, momo loudiyi, masood ali khan, and dahveed haribol. all proceeds from the donation-based class will go to the red cross for haitian earthquake relief!
jan 17th, day 17 - another therapeutics and alignment class with naime jezzeny and noah maze at yogaglo. today's focus: hips, pelvis, sacrum and lumbar spine. we learned the finer points of aligning the spine and the legs to protect the back. now i just have to put into practice what i've learned!
jan 18th, day 18 - welcomed marc holzman to his new slot at yogaglo, where he now teaches a level 2 anusara class. today's theme was inspired by martin luther king, who said: "Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
jan 19th, day 19 - found myself doing some errands in the south bay, so i took an all-levels power yoga class with mary strong at the green yogi in manhattan beach... then had a wonderful deep tissue massage immediately afterwards at the massage spot next door! :)
jan 20th, day 20 - old navy is sponsoring FREE yoga at yogaco today and tomorrow, so i took tommy rosen's kundalini/vinyasa flow class to get my shakti fired up. sat nam!!
jan 20th, day 20 - after returning home from a yoga class this morning, i decided to go to yogaglo for more yoga and ended up taking not just one more class, but TWO!! the first was felicia tomasko's yoga for immunity class, where we stimulated our lymph nodes to get them activated, and the second was noah maze's level 2 anusara class. so one am class + two pm classes = three today! crazy...
jan 21st, day 21 - vinyasa flow class with sarah ezrin at lululemon brentwood, with all donations going to the red cross for its relief efforts in haiti. there was an amazingly good turnout, considering the wicked weather outside!
jan 22nd, day 22 - was so busy watching the hope for haiti telethon on TV that i lost track of time and was almost late for alyson khan's class -- which, by the way, was a fundraiser for an orphanage in haiti -- at bhakti yoga shala. live music was provided by moose ali khan and friends. don't know what felt better, going through the yoga poses or knowing that the money was going to a good cause!
jan 23rd, day 23 - was so inspired by the close to 80 yogis who packed the classroom at the YW main street fundraiser!! many thanks to david kim, david lynch, kathryn budig, kia miller, malachi melville, mia togo, and sara ivanhoe for the wonderful flow class... and to shayn almeida and becky kessler for providing the sweet sounds that we practiced to!
jan 24th, day 24 - the downside of having an unstable sacroiliac joint (and i haven't quite yet found an upside) is that it goes out every now and then and causes great pain. so i chose to skip my practice today to avoid tweaking it even more. but i did attend a party at u studio yoga this evening... so if chatting with a group of yogis while standing in a yoga studio counts as yoga, i'm good for today. don't buy it? ok, fine. i'll sit here and meditate on the yama of ahimsa, or non-injury :)
jan 25th, day 25 - trying to remain mindful of my SI issue, i remembered -- and hoped -- that since this was the 4th week of the month, an iyengar class would be a restorative one. not being able to find an iyengar class at YW that fit into my schedule, i headed out to the iyengar institute and took leslie peters' level 2 class, and sure enough, with the exception of handstands and headstands, the rest of our practice was restorative. nice!
jan 26th, day 26 - paid a visit to my physical therapist to see how whacked my back was. let's just say i wasn't imagining things :( so after some mobilization, some stim, and some ice, he made me promise that i would stay away from any and all yoga classes today. he didn't say anything about tomorrow, though :) so my mantra for today was: knit 1, purl 1, repeat until end of row...
jan 27th, day 27 - continuing to practice ahimsa to my spasmatic back, i showed up at truyoga in santa monica for the gentle yoga with therapeutics class. because the regular teacher couldn't make it, none of her regulars showed up -- so i ended up getting a one-on-one private with her sub, nykki hardin. their loss, my gain!
jan 28th, day 28 - one never really thinks of iyengar classes as fun, unless you happen to have the always-entertaining paul cabanis as your teacher! we had a trilingual english-spanish-french class today at YW westwood, where "periodicos" DIDN'T refer to the stuff you read :)
jan 29th, day 29 - slow start for me this morning; arrived late for marla's iyengar class, so i took birgitte kristen's yogaworks 1/2 class instead. good core sequence to help strengthen all my lazy ab muscles!
jan 30th, day 30 - another day, another fundraiser class! this time it was for yoga gives back at yogis anonymous and was taught by ally hamilton, chani nicholas, charlie samos, john sahakian, and meredith hines. we were serenaded by daniel stewart and friends during class, then treated with cookies, fruit, and acai juice after!
jan 31st, day 31 - started the day in a loopy way, so to speak, learning about the anusara energy loops with elena brower at yogaglo. then ended the day -- and the month -- with a much-deserved restorative iyengar practice with marla apt at YW montana. tomorrow's a new month... bring it on!