Inhaling & Exhaling: Courage & Grace Day Five

our lovely vegan cake celebration of our week together before we chanted each other's names as we collected our diplomas

our lovely vegan cake celebration of our week together before we chanted each other’s names as we collected our diplomas

dancing to keith's kirtan

dancing to keith’s kirtan

As tends to happen with these trainings, the question on the last day is about integration. For five days, we had inspiration at our fingertips with master classes in both the mornings and afternoons, chanting right after lunch, and one-on-one mentorship from two of the best teachers I know. You may notice at this point that I have italicized the in in the words that contain it in this post thus far (sorry for being redundant; I was an English major and linguistics fascinate me!). When I taught fifteen minutes of a class to teachers I have utmost respect for in the afternoon on our last day, I centered the practice around a quote I read years ago from a rather funny source: The Burlesque Handbook:

Inspiration means ‘to breathe in.’

And so this week we did a lot of inhaling. Upon leaving this training, I learned quickly, it was time to exhale the knowledge we gained and to harness it! I left with my heart feeling full and abundant and grateful and with concrete ways to integrate this practice into all my affairs. It was time to allow for the expansiveness of the exhale.

Pratayahara & Amtrak: Courage & Grace Day Four

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Today, our focus was on Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. Naturally, for my limb-du-jour (I know that sounds strange), I chose pratayahara, the withdrawing of the senses. To be honest, I think that this was such a natural choice for me because I had just arrived in the West Coast from NYC, a place where my senses were constantly on overload. 

When I think of pratayahara I think mainly of being in transit. This summer, when I was really overwhelmed with a teaching job, I would take the long subway ride home in NYC. I would get on the train, put in my headphones (physically blocking off one of my senses and connections to the sounds outside myself), and close my eyes for the duration of the ride. I needed to go in, in order to move outward. 

Recently, I became obsessed with a new program Amtrak (the train company) offers: a writer’s residency. From their website:

Amtrak Residency was designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will have use of a private sleeping roomette, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Onboard meals will also be offered to all residents in the dining car aboard the train.

There is so much we can accomplish when in that liminal space…so much creativity we can harness when we go inward (inside a train car, a subway track, a plane) and withdraw temporarily from the outside world with all its demands. This real-life application of this ancient yogic limb was my “little nugget,” as Jasmine says, that carried my Dharma Talk through.

Progress was being made.

Reclaiming SF & Bhakti: Courage & Grace Day Three

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Today, the theme that Keith wove into our morning practice and that we were expected to weave into the afternoon practice was Bhakti, the Yoga of Devotion. I did a whole Bhakti training at Laughing Lotus NYC, but the bhav (devotional mood) was inherently different in this training. That is because Keith’s voice provided one of my first experiences of Bhakti. 

Two summers ago, I spent a very challenging and uncomfortable summer in San Francisco. My first time in a new city by myself, I was honestly shocked by the transition from having a sheer abundance of friends in school to having only a couple in a city that felt totally foreign to me. One night, feeling particularly lost, I walked into a kirtan at Laughing Lotus with Keith Borden and the Soul Sangha. I was so surprised when Keith’s rendition of the Maha Mantra made my heart swell in a way I did not know was even possible. 

Today, after lunch, Keith welcomed us back to the Shambhala Center with mantra…with that mantra and my heart swelled in that familiar yet breathtaking way and I was reminded of why I teach in the first place: to give the space for the feeling of wholeness that can come as a result of the multitude of practices Yoga encompasses. 

Universality & Accessibility: Courage & Grace Day Two

Well, apparently I can be hella skeptical in my uttkatasana...

(apparently, I can be hella skeptical in my uttkatasana…)

Today, Jasmine talked a lot about “finding that one little nugget,” which sets off our internal fire and that the class revolves around. The “one little nugget” that sticks with me from the other leader of this training, Keith Borden, is the idea of being a great teacher via teaching through equivalents. This speaks to the beauty of using metaphor, rather than revealing what the concept itself is. It goes back to the idea of not alienating anyone or preaching and accessibility to all potential practitioners of yoga. This requires a lot more creativity on the part of the teacher (why yoga is an art, but also a science, which was emphasized a lot in training). 

It’s one thing to teach at Laughing Lotus and it is another thing entirely to teach to people who have never practiced yoga before at a dance room at a public school in Queens, NY (my previous Monday) or at a community school garden in Portland, OR (my future). Yet the teachings can be the same, just expressed differently; we never have to name the specificities of the teaching (be it chakras or the Gita or pranayama) because they are universal themes of life. And that is the first little nugget from this gorgeously inspiring training that blew my mind.

Namaste, B.K.S Iyengar. RITP: Rest in our Tree Poses

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To be honest, without this most recent training, I do not know if I would have much to say about the passing of Sri B.K.S. Iyengar. Yet, throughout last week, his name was brought up probably ten times per day. For the training, I read and had on hand at all times Light On Yoga and Tree of Yoga, one text more seminal than the other. Light On Yoga is the classic textbook for almost every single yoga teacher. Iyengar’s then young and lithe body broke down every pose that would naturally come to mind (and many that seem quite unnatural) using photographs of himself and precision of language and cuing. His body was truly his laboratory as he twisted and turned in a myriad of ways that beforehand most people did not know a human body could twist and turn into. Then, as I am now learning, he realized that his ways of moving were not accessible to all (nor to his aging body) and thus Iyengar Yoga was founded and continuously re-appropriated to fit new back-care populations in the West.

My first experience of Mr. Iyengar was through Iyengar yoga classes that I took and honestly disdained. The precision just got to me and felt like an uncomfortable authority figure, like a parent who says that the towel was hung askew in the bathroom even though you, the teenager, think that if the towel is hung up that should just be good enough. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized that Mr. Iyengar himself found props after he found hot, heated, fast, and challenging yoga. And that is the way it goes for many of us anyways…speed tends to lead to a tender sort of slowing-down.

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Since arriving in Portland, I have taken two classes at the BhaktiShop where we chanted the Guru Mantra in honor of Iyengar’s passing. Every second of each class was wholly dedicated to him, taking us through sequences that he thought up. Last night, over beers at Victory Bar, I met a girl who does yoga at Reed who said that she gets frustrated by the “misappropriation” of yoga in the West. Today, I picked up Light On Yoga and found my many answers to that one question that stumps those who seek to find authenticity in a practice they feel they cannot own. He writes,

Bhauma means the world; ‘sarva’ means all. Yoga is a universal culture. Just as it works on the whole of the individual, so it is meant for the development of the whole of mankind on the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual levels. Two thousand five hundred years ago Patanjali did not divide East from West. Why should we do so today?

And speaking of bringing East to West and West to East. I highly recommend the New York Times’ obituary published the evening of Iyengar’s death. It gives a beautiful historical context as well as photographs that document the sheer santosha (contentment) this man had for life and living.

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Arrive & Dive: Courage & Grace, Day One

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written at little t baker next to bhaktishop in portland, or

It is interesting for me to write about Arriving and Diving right now, as I sit at a “local” (I have yet to find permanent housing so “local” is a relative term) bakery/cafe on Division in Portland, OR. Here, I am landing, not diving quite yet. I have yet to take public transportation and am being really gentle with myself concerning the fact that I have only been to areas within walking distance of where I am staying. After this training and after San Francisco, that seems like the gentle path to take. And the West Coast is progressively along this journey more and more about taking the gentle path.

But on my first day of training, I did what we called in Yoga School “Arriving and Diving.” Last Wednesday, upon circulating our introductions to one another, Keith mentioned that he has been “arriving and diving” a lot lately. The nods around the room were almost unanimous with identification. Mine certainly so. I arrived off a flight from JFK to SFO (a trip I hadn’t made in just over two years). L picked me up at the airport (thank Goddess), drove us to the beach. From the beach, we went to the orientation for the training at the Shambhala Center and from Shambhala we went to Yoga Garden SF for L’s amazing vinyasa class. Oh, and I’m not done…from there, we went to Marin where we stayed (slept only) for the next week with L’s amazing, caring, pampering family. Arriving and diving? That’s an understatement!

It is so important to land gracefully in our yoga practice and outside of it. The ability to simply arrive, to enter a room, a space, step on a mat, step into life, requires deep courage. Even if diving feels inevitable (and I seem to always be busy so it usually is), it is still important to take the time to simply be. During our first master class in this training, Keith took us through a sequence that I lost myself in…in the best way. Later, when we broke it down, I confessed that I would not know how to describe the sequence to him if I tried. It is that full being into the present mOMent that the asana practice teaches us to practice that takes my breath away and returns it every time I take the time to simply arrive. 

Balancing Out the Training

sometimes, ya just can't escape the Yoga (taken at a bar in PDX during our Street Yoga training)

sometimes, ya just can’t escape the Yoga (taken at a bar in PDX during our Street Yoga training)

As is fairly evident on this blog at this point, I spent the past week in the Bay Area with my “yogi partner in crime,” L. L and I coined two terms for ourselves, “yogi partner in crime” being one of them and “balancing out the training” being another. These two terms are related because sometimes, in “balancing out” the plethora of yoga teacher trainings we do together, we feel a bit like yogi criminals as we go clubbing after meditating and before having to wake up at 4:30am ashram-style. Yet we also find that doing so is far from criminal. Rather, it is vital because it takes yoga way off the mat and all the way into real life and the real world where people and situations and art gets messy and fun and jubilant, showing us that there’s more to it than kale chips and down dog, which are really only the path, not the destinations on the way. 

But I digress. 

This post is about revealing the ways in which we have balanced out our many trainings over the years. And hot damn, we’ve had a lot of fun along the way! 

Without further adieu, we’ve balanced out yoga trainings by…

  • dancing at a bar with the corporate team for Honest Tea after Wanderlust Tahoe
  • going to a 90’s club in Portland, OR during our Street Yoga training
  • sipping beer and wine at the Portland, OR vegan pub the Bye and Bye
  • seeing Reckless Kelly and Mickey and the Motorcycles at a country music concert and Pomona County, California and
  • following that up with watching Nashville on Hulu to get our minds off the chakras and how our doshas might not be totally balanced
  • hearing the Rooks live at a bar in the East Village in NYC
  • getting burritos post-Kirtan

Sometimes, we need to balance out all the spiritual with, well, the spirituality that takes place in our day-to-day messy, worldly prakriti-filled lives (I know, I can’t stop the Sanskrit). 

So tell me, when everything gets all yoga-world, how do you bring it into the “outside” world?

Best Last (for now) NYC Weekend EVER

As I’m sure I’ve made common knowledge on this blog, I am shipping off to the West Coast this week…first to the Bay Area for teacher training and then for Portland, OR on a more permanent basis. As of now, I have no plans to return to my beloved home of New York City for about a whole year. And for this born and raised (and oh-so-proud) New Yorker, this is fairly radical.

So I decided to go out with a bang. Here is what I did during my last weekend in NYC for now. Click on the links to find out how you too can take advantage of all the amazing-ness this city I call hOMe has to offer (i.e. use these posts as tried-and-true resources!!).

Friday

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Goodbye to All That

The weekend appropriately began with reading an anthology of essays written by the best of the New York literati, with a title that is an ode to Joan Didion’s essay, which I read for my Writing Creative Nonfiction course earlier this year. I picked this book up a week ago at The Strand popup in the back of Toby’s Estate Coffee (the one near Laughing Lotus, while waiting for Sheri’s class to begin). I identified with the first essay I read in the anthology and with Joan Didion’s essay in ways that made my heart swell with both love and frustration for my city. Continuing this book on the subway was a highlight of this weekend.

Work
The day got off to the best start during my professional development meeting with the organization I’ve been working for this summer. We met with the founder of an organization I have idolized for its feminist activism + youth development work (a winning combination), the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. Through work this summer, I truly have met some of the most amazing leaders. Some of the PHENOMENAL organizations I have become acquainted with that use the mind-body connection to promote personal and professional growth amongst underprivileged teens (expect a blog post just on these + their impact on youth development real soon) include: Dream NYC Dream, Stoked, and SNLP. This woman was infinitely inspiring; her job description included the following:

listening to different people speak about what they need in their community
a culture of urgency and a culture of growth and excitement
thoughtful decision-making with groups of people working together, everyone aligned along a set of values
personal meeting the political; young women’s leadership; their activism matters

Her advice?

Leadership can be in all forms. The simplest guide of values and structures can fortify an organization right away.
The key to the success of a fantastic organization is a deep understanding of what the organization stands for.

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Harlem Yoga Shakes

I taught my “farewell for now” class at HYS on Friday as well and am so grateful for the friends that came to share in the bittersweet goodbye and in all of those dancing chairs.

Saturday

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Summer Streets
I have been looking forward to this all summer. I woke up, put on some red lipstick to match my new red hair, slapped on a helmet and rode my bike all the way Park Avenue with other bikers (and NO CARS!), through the Park Avenue tunnel (which was also shut down just for bikers) and back around to head on home. There is one more Summer Streets day (this coming Saturday) and it is so important to take advantage of the opportunity. I also got to take pleasure out of feeling like I was preparing for Portlandia a bit by being my biker self, an identity I truly hope to develop and hone skills in on the West Coast.
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Governor’s Island
My stepmom had me mark this date in my calendar about two months in advance as Family Day. For Family Day, we took the ferry to Governor’s Island where we walked around, went to an exhibit on Victorian dresses that were taken out of museums and then put on display at this brief getaway from NYC in a show called “Tattered.” We followed that with a walk to the Figment Festival, which showcased an elaborate treehouse little sister E and I played in and a mini golf course we all took part in. We followed the mini golf with a trip to the wide variety of food trucks Governor’s Island has, and then we went to the music festival before renting a four-person bike-cart (it was a day of biking) and visiting the Brooklyn Public Library popup, where I found this:

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I am desperate to get this book for my job this year!

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Vosges
Earlier this summer, I bought a GiltCity voucher for Vosges chocolate that gave me a $50 credit for just $25. Vosges seriously has the most amazing chocolate I have ever tasted and I am a mega-sucker for the branding. The luxury. The lushness. The purple! I actually started purchasing Vosges chocolate once a month (during “that time,” if ya know what I mean) at the Whole Foods in Glastonbury, CT while I was in college. I read the story of the owner/creator in Cooking Up A Business: Lessons from Food Lovers who Turned their Passion into a Career – and How You Can Too. The branding – and company – is all about imbuing a simple daily-life pleasure (chocolate) with global, cosmopolitan flavors and stories. Anyways, I went because my other sister’s birthday is on Wednesday so I got her the variety pack and a truffle for myself to have while I took a holy pause during a very busy day and sat at the gorgeous wooden table at the “chocolate boutique,” nibbling on my small truffle and sipping lemon water. Get it while it’s hot, no?

El Charro
We had family in town so we finished the day with a leisurely dinner at El Charro (reportedly having – and we found this is true – the best service of all the restaurants in NYC). We had paella for six and the contentment that comes with being in the West Village on a Saturday night.

Sunday

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Smorgasburg
My housemates from school were in town (well, one will always be here now, the other one visiting from Boston) so this morning, we went first for coffee at Gregory’s and then down to Borough Hall for Smorgasburg at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Every time I go to Smorgasburg (and this was my first time this year), I am convinced that there are more and more food trucks and options. I settled on the spring rolls (delish) and this much-needed coconut water, which should be a prerequisite on a NYC summer day in mid-August.

Washington Square Park
After Smorgasburg, I met up with a dear friend from school (also working in the nonprofit sector this year), R, for a stroll and brief sit-down in Washington Sq Park. We caught up, basked in this city we both love but will soon not live in, and talked about community organizing, what we want in work environments, and excitement and nervousness for the future. Sheer bliss (and much needed).

Peter Pan
The day culminated with my littlest sister’s drama camp performance of Peter Pan (can you say “adorable” ten times fast?) followed by a goodbye/birthday dinner for the other sister at Tamarind, an utterly delectable Indian food restaurant in TriBeCa.

NYC, I am – for now – leaving you with the fondest of memories.

Namaste,
Shira

Back to SF: Courage & Grace Advanced Teacher Training Preview

me at LLSF three summers ago

me at LLSF three summers ago; photo cred to hannah cressy

Laughing Lotus San Francisco was my safe haven during a very intense summer (my first summer not living at home in NYC or with a specific led program). With a sublet that was inconveniently out of the city, this space truly did become my hOMe away from home. I am simply elated to return there next week (less than a week, actually, Oh My Goddess) for an advanced teacher training with Keith and Jasmine. This training feels like a dream come true and like the perfect transition to adult life in PDX. Time to nourish that spirit before entering a year of AmeriCorps service!

You can be sure that I will blog the sh*** out of this training, but in the meantime, I wanted to provide some meaningful answers to the application questions on this blog.

What inspires you to immerse yourself in this training at this time?

I want to immerse myself in my practice at this time because I am at a crossroads, a transition point. A week ago today, I graduated college where I was the most experienced yoga teacher in a sea of undergraduates (and keep in mind I had only three years of teaching experience). Now, out of college and seeking to continue to pursue teaching, I am reminded of all that I do not know and have yet to learn. Now, this transition time, seems ideal to start learning more and to expand my knowledge base by completing a 300-hour with Laughing Lotus.

What draws you to Laughing Lotus Yoga? What excites you about learning and understanding the architecture and freedom of Lotus Flow Yoga?

This is a fantastic question because I honestly believe that I found freedom on the mat through Lotus Flow and at Laughing Lotus. I began practicing Lotus Flow during my 200-hour training, but I pursued it seriously when I lived in San Francisco for a summer and was a karma there. Lotus Flow busted open what I previously thought of as asana. Through Lotus Flow sequencing, I felt complete with my practice and I learned to use boundaries to inspire even more creativity. I also found that the more creative I was on the mat, the more creative I became off the mat as well, as a teacher, student, and writer.

“Lost in the spirit of the dance I found a path, a dancing path, that took me to the deepest, most alive place I had ever known.” Gabrielle Roth. Have you found a path for yourself? What is it for you?

My path is teaching. I feel alive when I am of service in a classroom or a yoga studio. I am studying to become a public school teacher, but it was through being a yoga teacher first that I learned to feel alive while instructing others to reach their fullest potential. It is exhilarating to know I can make an impact in that way and it forces me to dig down deep.

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What training(s) have you done and/or where have practiced yoga for the last four years?

My 200-hour teacher training was with Three Sisters Yoga at the Yoga Collective in NYC. I also did a Street Yoga training in Portland, OR. For the past year, I have been collecting 50-hour trainings from Laughing Lotus NY in FLY Skool, Hands-On, Bhakti, and Ayurveda. When I wasn’t practicing at Wesleyan University, I practiced at Laughing Lotus and occasionally Yoga Vida.

What aspects of the practice do you want to focus on? How can we serve and support you in this Immersion?

I want to focus on the holes in my own practice and teaching – primarily the bandhas and pranayama. I want to learn how to incorporate these into my practice and teaching so that the poses have more integrity and presence within them. I would also love to focus on how to teach to multiple abilities in one room and the sheer poetry that is Lotus Flow sequencing.

How does yoga allow you to celebrate your life?

In setting an intention when I stand in tadasana at the front of my mat in the morning, I celebrate my life. And by “celebrate my life,” I mean that yoga allows me to close the gap between the type of person that I want to be and who I already am. That, for me, is where the transformation lies. It allows me to celebrate possibility and potential.

What does being a yogi mean to you and share how you carry your yoga into the world?

To me, being a yogi means being a healer. Being a yogi means I heal myself first and then can heal others. It means that I move through the world with integrity and with sacred pauses between thought and action. I am able to be mindful with mind, body, and spirit. I carry that into the world by sharing my own experiences and strength with others. I also help others cultivate it themselves. I try to give my world and actions mindful meaning as I speak, converse, and write. I actively practice ahimsa by being of service in the world around me and most of all, being a yogi means that when I don’t do those things, I don’t beat myself up; I practice sacred gentleness.

Describe an element of the practice (asana, meditation, mantra, etc.) which was difficult for you, but with persistent effort you experienced a shift.

Before and during my teacher training, meditation was challenging for me. Externally and internally, I talk fast. Sitting down and being alone with my thoughts made me feel like a failure in a practice I so wanted to embody. Then, during my 200-hour, I learned Metta – lovingkindness – meditation. That practice enabled me to go inward and outward at the same time and provided me with a service-driven internal drishti that transformed my meditation practice into something deeply nourishing and that moves me away from the realm of “right” and “wrong.”

D.C. Metro Area Weekend Yoga Tour

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Last weekend, I stayed in Bethesda, MD with my friend, WesBAM! co-founder, and fantastic wellness entrepreneur R. Working at a camp/summer school makes it challenging for me to make it to yoga classes during the week. Thus, Friday, Saturday and Sunday hold as serious priorities yoga classes (i.e. I obsessively plan the rest of my days around them).

Now, let me clear on something as well: R and I are friends, but we are also co-workers/colleagues in this beautiful field of wellness entrepreneurship. Three years ago, we started WesBAM! (read about how and why we did that here) and last weekend, we reconvened in order to accomplish the bittersweet task of passing it on to our capable successors (i.e. we sat across from one another at the Le Pain Quotidien a mere walking distance from the hot yoga studio we practiced at beforehand simultaneously typing away on GoogleDoc). Here is that weekend summed up so that if you’re ever in the D.C./Maryland area, you won’t be remiss for activity on and off the mat!

FRIDAY
My Bolt Bus (shocker) arrived late to Union Station. I timed it so that I was on that bus from the minute I got out of work straight up until I’d have to get on the Metro to make it to my workshop at Tranquil Space Dupont Circle. I wrote about that workshop in this blog post, but now I would like to take a holy moment to talk about its setting.

TRANQUIL SPACE

image via theseventhdistrict.com

I have been reading about Tranquil Space for the past three years. I am not ashamed to admit that I have read every single blog post Kimberly Wilson (owner) has ever written for Tranquility du Jour. Yet arriving in this space off the interwebs felt truly, deeply magical. The staff there was absolutely fantastic (which I figured because earlier that day I received a loving email from the studio manager reminding me of the workshop and to bring a pen and journal and because when I called from Bolt Bus telling them I might be a half hour late, I was greeted with warmth and a welcoming-no-matter-what attitude). When I arrived, I was not rushed into the workshop I was already late for. No, instead I was given a welcome packet that was stamped with Tranquil Space’s adorable logo and filled with a bag of yogi tea, a studio schedule, postcard detailing Tranquil Space’s mission, and little pamphlet about yoga etiquette. Someone who worked there gave me a tour of this rather large space, which, unlike NYC yoga studios resembles more of a house/three-story cottage than an apartment or set of offices.

Everything in Tranquil Space has a place. There is a tea bar/lounge with comfy couches and cushions, a very large boutique when you first enter that has TranquiliT clothing items and more. The space where the workshop itself was held was their “lab room.” It used to be the studio’s spa, but honestly, when I entered, I thought this concept of yoga studios having “labs” for more intimate scholarly settings was genius! If our mats are supposed to be small individual laboratories for life, why can’t a studio be a large communal one? And not only that – there was a little fireplace in the front and, having grown up in New York wanting what I do not have in my beloved city, fireplaces enamor me and instantly make me feel cozy and warm from the outside in. Tranquil Space immediately felt like home and I look forward to returning one day to its welcome arms.

SATURDAY
Spartan Race

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Let’s just say that Saturday was the opposite of Friday in terms of physical activity and focus. R competed in the Spartan Race (i.e. a glorified obstacle course) somewhere in Maryland a few hours outside D.C. The race was a whole new world of fitness for achievement and community, but still a far cry from what I know yoga to be like (well, to be fair, it never claimed to be anything like yoga so…)

COREPOWER


Okay, so this was about the polar opposite of Tranquil Space. CorePower in Bethesda was located on the second floor of a corporate building with an elevator down that deposits you inside a Petco. CorePower itself is rather corporate and the last time I went to a CorePower class was when I first got my tattoo and I had to leave because of the heat, but this time, the corporate simplicity of Ashtanga was kind of just what I needed. While CorePower brands itself as heated yoga, the Ashtanga consistency (just what I like when I travel) was real and the studio staff was warm, even in a rather corporate space, which is not my usual yoga studio taste. Oh, and the plus with going to CorePower in another city? The first week is FREE!

SUNDAY
DOWN DOG YOGA CENTER

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R reserved this day with me from the get-go. We planned to go to the 11am class (whoohoo sleeping in!) since I planned this D.C. yoga trip. R works at this yoga studio as a karmi so I immeditately felt the friendly atmosphere when I walked in. The front desk staff was great and you could totally tell that there was a thriving cOMmunity inside this very small space. It actually reminded me A LOT of the Modo Yoga (formerly known as Moksha) in NYC that I once did a month at; they are small, eco-friendly, personal, have a very particular way of doing things, are heated, and rigorous and vigorous. The class was packed (which I always love) and we MOVED (which again, I always love). The vinyasa was fast-paced, also a bit of an Ashtanga-style, and we OMed without any preface or dharma talk. It was urban yoga, busy yoga, and cathartic yoga. I highly recommend this center to anyone in the area, especially for busy travelers who need to move before getting on a bus for five hours…

Puree Juice Bar

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We followed class with green juice from this fantastic place – the alkaline nutrients of the juice definitely prolonged that post-savasana bliss as far as I’m concerned.

So that concludes my 72-hour guide to yoga and pre-yoga and post-yoga in the D.C. metro area. Enjoy!

Namaste,
Shira