18 Jul

Today I made a fabulous discovery – downtown Venice! I was off today to the Venice Yogaworks studio to take class with Shiva Rea today and was charmed by Main Street. As commercial as downtown Santa Monica is, this section of Venice (is that an actual city, or just a neighborhood?) was sporting a pretty hippie vibe. Not a Berkeley hippie vibe as in I don’t shave my armpits, but an “I eat organic food/drive a hybrid/buy expensive vintage clothing vibe. Anyway, I had lunch at the urthcafe, outside on the patio. It was gorgeous.

Off to Venice beach for me. I was going to read, being so vata-influenced, I don’t do well in cold water – but, I was seduced into the water and where I swam with the dolphins! Actually, I swam and watched the dolphins off in the distance. Pretty cool. The beaches were pristine, the sun was shining and I was in heaven. I watched the surf academy teach groups of kids how to swim, and missed my little buddies at home. They would SO enjoy surf academy.

In the afternoon, I was lucky enough to catch Shiva Rea in town. I’d taken her trance dance workshop in SF a year ago and loved it, but never an asana class with her. There were so many things that I loved about the class – Shiva is so unrehearsed, yet so smooth in her teaching. Class started with a little spontaneous tribal dance and then full prostration. We moved into a back-bending class and it wasn’t until after class that I realized that we did no typical vinyasa – ie: chaturanga, up-dog, down-dog. No chaturanga! Imagine.

Anyway, I learned new things, and it’s great to soak up Shiva’s vibe. She’s pretty steeped in her knowledge of yoga in the purest form and I somehow soaked up a ton from her. FUN!

Wednesday I was back in Venice for another class – and as lovely has the teacher was, it just didn’t click for me. It was all I could do to just make it to savasana. Let me sum up the class by saying – there was no flow, and the sweet, lovely teacher was a slooow taaalker. She reminded me of being a kid in church and being confused by how all of the adults put on brand new voices trying to sound spiritual or appropriate or something. Cue the slow new age music and imagine: “Raise your leeeg high in to doooownward-faaacing-daaawwwwg.” ¬†Wednesday was the day for me to realize that my yoga was to simply stay put on my mat and embrace what was happening. For me, it became enjoyable as I started to laugh about it and plan how I could use that slow-talking technique in my own classes!

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