Sunday, December 28, 2003

I’ve drowsed through the last few days. To recap: naps, sleeping, reading, movies, yoga.

I took another yoga field trip with a friend yesterday. We practiced at Yoga Works (or Yoga Place, I can’t remember which) in Laguna Beach. I know, I know: it was Saturday, which is usually my off day, but I figured, why not check out a new place?

The studio was much more typical of modern Western yoga studios than Tim’s – there was retail space in front, and several separate studio rooms in back. You can’t begrudge a yoga studio for trying to stay in business, but it’s still a bit of culture shock, after having practiced at Tim’s for a while.

Suzie was the woman running the Mysore room, which began at 6:30. It was a nice space: hardwood floors and low lighting, so low I could barely make out the features of the people across from me.

The most unnerving detail of the room, though: no pictures, drawings, or decorations of any sort on the walls – they were barren. It gave the room a closed-in, box-like feeling.

I imagine the studio’s owners wanted to be as “non-denominational” as possible, and want the place as icon-free as possible. But surely some photos of asanas wouldn’t hurt?

Practice was excellent, as per usual. I sampled cappuccino prior to practicing, but I was pretty tired from lack of sleep the night before, so it didn’t really take effect.

(It’s strange that no one ever mentioned to me that cappuccino tastes like utter shite. When you’re a kid, you imagine all the adult drinks taste really great: beer, wine, coffee, espresso. And then you get older and drink coffee – which always smelled so good! – and you discover it’s absolute crap. What’s all this about “acquired taste”? Cheated again!)

Suzie is a brilliant adjuster. Chiefly, I noticed she gives long adjustments, which really lets you breathe and relax into a posture.

This morning, I opted for chai before practice. Mistake! The dairy in the chai put up a pretty good fight in my stomach for the first half of practice before my digestive process gained the upper hand.

But, as per usual for Sundays, it was good – the late start time (10:00) and heat gives my body time to warm up and really start moving – I felt like I could push into handstand from padmasana.

My friend Sherrie said to me after class: “Were those your hips I heard when Tim was adjusting you baddha konasana?” She was almost 10 feet away from during practice. Regretfully, I said yes.

In baddha konasana, Tim uses gravity and his considerable body weight to squash me; the adjustment is usually accompanied by the sound of grinding sand, which emanates from the area between my legs. He’ll usually say something like “Resistance is futile,” or “Moksha is coming.”

After several breaths of increasing relaxation, my knees and face hit the floor, and then I can even extend outward. At some point, though, I’m hoping I can start generating the movement on my own. There's still a strong lump of resistance percolating in my hips.

I always wonder on Sundays: who in here is sweating off a hangover?

After class, at St. Germain’s (Only the best smoothie spot in Southern California. Check into the Local’s Lunch – it’s got almonds), I ran into Melissa, a woman who’s been practicing at Tim’s for a while. She attends Yale or Princeton (I forget which), and only visits Encinitas during summer or holiday breaks.

Unfortunately her mom, her sole reason to visit California, has moved back to the East Coast. She has no reason to come out here anymore.

“I’m still going to come to Encinitas, though,” she said. “It’s just that Tim’s so, y’know … incredible. I’ll always try to come back.”

Very true.