Tag Archives: yoga class

Yoga — LA Style

10 Oct
Image courtesy of Flicker user  istolethetv

Image courtesy of Flicker user istolethetv.

Until I moved to LA, my only experience with yoga took place at free classes that came with my LA Fitness membership in Pittsburgh. Why won’t lie — after a few classes I found myself to be pretty good. It’s probably worth mentioning that many of my classmates were overweight, middle-aged women, who probably used their gym membership for nothing beyond slow strolls on the treadmill. Whatever. Even with my (truthfully) sub-par yoga skills I was able to rock it out in free Pittsburgh yoga.

Fast forward to LA. I spent the first month we lived here whining that I wished the many trendy little studios in our neighborhood weren’t so pricey, while secretly scared to go anyway. Then my birthday rolls around and my husband presents me with a certificate for a month of free yoga at one of said trendy studios. Game on.

Yoga in LA

I won’t lie, I was pretty nervous for my first LA yoga class. I got dressed up in my finest yoga sweats, put some makeup on and headed out to meet the yogis of LaLa land.

The studio I go to is very LA. There’s a crazy expensive, yet totally cute, boutique in the reception room, then a couple of yoga studios off to the side. So far so good.

I walked into my “beginners yoga” class and it was H-O-T. I’m now three classes in and this is always the case, so I’m not sure if a hot yoga class goes on before mine, or if it’s just a way to weed out the weak. My second observation was the large amount of men in the class. In Pittsburgh, there were sometimes one or two super buff guys in class who were clearly shopping for women. Not the case in LA. These dudes were here for some serious planking — yoga style.

My first class started out with a loud “Oooommm.” I’m not going to lie, I found this odd. Even stranger when the class ended with one as well.

Thankfully, the rest of the class was pretty standard. No weird LA stuff. Actually I was pretty pleased that most of the poses were relatively simple. I went home and told my husband it was too easy and he suggested I go to the next level class. I considered it, then laughed. I’d rather excel in a beginners class, than risk being a dunce in a more advanced class any day. So judge me. Ooooommmm.

 

Advertisements

Back in the Saddle — My Return to Yoga Classes

27 May

My gym offers free yoga classes a few times a week. Once upon a time I used to go to these yoga classes all the time. I’m not going to lie, I loved bragging that “it’s yoga night,” or “I’m sooo sore from yoga.”

I suspect that most of the classes are structured primarily as a yoga for beginners group, but some of the instructors show us moves that are definitely not meant for yoga newbies. Some of the more “strict” instructors also like to correct you when you’re not doing the yoga poses correctly. I’m not a fan of being manhandled by strangers, so I quickly learned to avoid those classes. And then I just quit going to yoga classes altogether.

Fast forward about a year and a half to last week. My husband and I are getting ready to move to Los Angeles in a few weeks, where according to urban legend, everyone does yoga and drinks kale juice all day. Rightfully, these people are lean, toned, and look fabulous while prancing on the beach.This is a far cry from Pittsburgh where the average person’s idea of exercise is lifting an IC Light back and forth from the table to their mouth, while watching actual athletes from one of the city’s sports teams run around a field, hockey rink, or whatever.

I need to perfect my yoga poses before moving to LA.

I need to perfect my yoga poses before moving to LA.

Though I do not identify with the yinzer “couch athlete,” I decided it was time to hop back in the saddle with the yoga classes. After all, if I’m going to be a California resident, I need to brush up on my ability to bust out yoga poses in class and not look like a flaming idiot.

My Triumphant Return to Yoga Classes

I walked into my first class in a year and a half feeling excited to be at it again, but a little apprehensive. The teacher that night was someone I’ve never taken class with, and my friend who used to take classes with me has since quit going to our gym.

A few minutes into the downward dogs and forward folds though, I realized this was probably going to be pretty easy. Though I hadn’t done yoga in awhile, I had taken to doing Pilates videos at home almost daily. This turned out to be clutch.

As our hour long class went on, I was almost getting bored. Hands down this instructor was easier than some I’ve had in the past, which was kind of a good thing, but also made me wonder if it was worth going back for another class next week. Many of the people in the room seemed to be struggling with the poses, so perhaps I magically graduated from yoga for beginners?

Regardless, I was still blissfully sore the next two days, so although the yoga poses were pretty easy, they did something!

Now, should I go back next week or skip it?

Don’t Be Afraid of Yoga Class

1 Sep

I wish my yoga class was held on the beach instead of a suburban gym.

Some of my friendstake yoga classes regularly, and I’ve always been intrigued by it. I even had really good intentions of taking a yoga class one time, four years ago, and then I got scared and stuffed the mat in my loset, where it remained until this week. I have less coordination than a lind, drunk cow. As a result, I boycott every type of group fitness maginable.

My gym offers free yoga classes, and I finally ran out of xcuses as to why I was unable to ever ttend one. I even took it so far as to creepily observe the class from my lliptical one week, to ensure that this was something I thought I could andle. And it didn’t look too difficult. So I dug that four year-old, yet unused yoga mat out of the closet, rounded up my friend Emily, and went to my first yoga class.

The first few minutes of class were fantastic. We sat cross-legged on our yoga mats and listened to some N’SYNC music. What’s not to love about that? Then it got progressively harder. Each yoga position apparently has a name. There’s child’s pose, down dog, up dog, crane, plank, and I believe even a lizard mixed in there. These words are the equivalent of Chinese to an uncoordinated individual who has proudly spent 27 years avoiding group fitness.

Despite not understanding anything our instructor said, I managed to figure out what to do by staring at my friend Emily, which I’m sure she greatly appreciated. Although some of the positions were uncomfortable, most were at least partially achievable. Much to my surprise the hour-long yoga class flew by in a flash. And I felt great afterwards. Until the next day when I was so sore that I was only partially mobile. On the bright side, that’s a sign that yoga class was a real workout. As a result, I have already decided to attend next week’s class, if for no other reason than to make everyone else in the room feel better about their own yoga skills.