I had to share my latest and interesting yoga adventure…
In downtown LA, a new little art gallery called “Peace” has opened up and offers yoga classes. I’ve been meaning to find a place downtown I can go to weekly during lunch to get in some practice. They conduct their yoga classes in the basement. One of the problems with the basement is that…well, it’s a basement and a little dungeon-like. And there are about half a dozen very large square columns which obstruct your view. Peace gets around this by setting up yoga students in a circle in the middle of the room, where there is a bit more room between the columns.
Our teacher, Cherie, a buff-bod gal and former competitive figure skater, just about crushed my bones in an enthusiastic bear hug. This lady is overflowing with enthusiasm and fire! While I love someone with some personality instead of the wussy, washed-out “la la la la namaste” space cadet types, I wasn’t quite prepared for her teaching style, which involved swearing like a sailor. “F**k yeah, man! Doesn’t that s**t f**king feel GOOD, man?!!” I mean, it was a bit shocking but kinda funny. I didn’t mind and it cracked me up, but I would definitely have to be in the mood for it. Even the business cards swear at you “Kick Ass Yoga!” I guess I myself would never dream of addressing customers/students that way…but that is what is beautiful about yoga. There is a place for quiet contemplation and there is a place for joyful humor, too. The practice was definitely very advanced and it certainly challenged me…it was a bit much for the other folks there, who seemed to be a lot more green to yoga. It kicked my butt, and one woman who was there for the second time was complaining of bad shoulder pain….maybe a little too kick butt?
I also have to say I do no care to be suddenly SIT on. While technically speaking, someone can carefully sit on you a bit when you’re in the right position to help put some more stretch into your spine, this is never something that should be done without ASKING first. I have a lower back condition that I need to be careful with, and it was definitely touchy for the rest of the day after that.
Nice practice overall, despite the expletives. Peace also needs to work on running a little more efficiently with the schedule, because the class that was supposed to be 12-1 ended up going from 12:06-1:40…oops. it’s cool though–I was probably the only person who was on an actual schedule of any kind.
They have a tiny but cool collection of techno-psychadelic art there with the running themes of feminine power and chakras. If I’m not back for yoga some time again soon, I’ll at least be back for another organic young thai coconut and one of the offerings from their little raw snack/juice bar. You get a free coconut after your first class. I will say it was sweet, fresh and tasty and probably the best f**ing part of the whole adventure. Ha ha!