From San Francisco to Los Angeles and back, Paige made her way in search of good Yoga Interventions! spots. Pictured above, Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California was one of the most beautiful places ever! Big thanks to our friend Chris Stubbs of Santa Barbara for the tip-off. Locals continually take the sign down to keep tourists off of this beach, which is also an eco-preserve. Exotic birds can be seen sitting atop giant rocks that rise out of the rough seas.
I attempted dwi pada koundinyasana on top of one of the rocks, but it was so windy, I kept getting blown over! Not something to play around with when your 15 feet above the ground on jagged rock!
We also went to the Santa Monica, home of two world-class studios, Yoga Works and Exhale. The view of the Pier was great, although it was far too crowded for any yoga…
Annnd, finally!!! 2010—-The Year of the Handstand! Most people will tell you, I have been working on handstands relentlessly for the last year or so. The desire to master this overtook me. It got to the point that I would invert wherever I had room, once even in the aisle of the grocery store. Finally, coming up into a handstand at will is one of the best feelings ever! However, Overcoming Fear of Falling out of Handstand should be the real title of the year. Once I learned how to fall safely (I know this is an oxymoron), it enabled me to practice much more without fear of getting hurt.
In San Fran, we had all kinds of fun. We visited my friend Stew and found out about a rad Paella place…..Stew ate a baby octopus! There is a book called the Yoga of Eating. I think Stew has plans to read it after this food episode.
The Castro District of San Fran, where I frequented a great studio, Yoga Tree Castro. One of my favorite teachers in San Fran, Jill Abelson, was based here. This whole area of town featured lively murals, an eclectic group of people and lots of PRIDE flags!
Then, there was the Mission District, where we visited the locally famous Hot Cookie bakery. Apparently you get free cookies if you model the Hot Cookie gear….Hey, there’s a guy doing Adho Mukha Vrkshasana in his underwear! Talk about a Yoga Intervention!
My lovely travelling companion, Helena Pabst. She flew all the way from her home in Berlin to meet us in California!
We also went to Outside Lands Music Fest, where we saw the Strokes play, and spent most of our time trying to acquire the viking hat pictured below. The story is quite a testament to the power of the human will. We found the tent issuing the viking hats and spent 20 minutes convincing the lady at the booth to give us her last one. Despite her being dead set against it, our enthusiam and our last 6$ finally won her over. I know it may not look like it here, but Stew is actually an avid yoga student and can be quite peaceful when he puts his mind to it!
On our way to LA from San Fran, I left the viking hat in our hotel room for lack of space. Needless to say, Stew was deeply upset when he found out. The universe must have been looking out though, because upon our return a week later, to the same hotel….I found the viking hat perched on the window seat in the hallway as though it had been waiting for us all along. Either that, or Stew has some crazy powers of manifestation. Or both.
Next stop, LA, where we went to Urth Yoga, an Anusara Studio. I took a class with the delightful Jennifer Gaecke. Imagine my excitement at seeing a Level 4/5 class on the schedule. Someday, we will have these classes in Charlotte. We did the most amazing poses, including Scorpion, ashtavakrasana to mountain climber (beautiful transition) and pincha to urdva danurasana. Now that’s some crazy yoga!
I wish I had taken a picture of the studio! But check it out by clicking the link…
And, sometimes, there’s nothing more yogic than jamming to music in your car!
We did a great little driving tour of LA at night in our rental car; here is the view from Mulholland Drive. It’s a great reminder that we are tiny specs of dust in the universe, but specs of stardust nevertheless. Our brain has over 60,000 thoughts per day. What we do with them is up to us.