Today I’m reflecting on my goal of “Go to 100 yoga classes before my next birthday.”
That’s a lot of yoga, but I actually don’t think it’s enough. Practicing yoga went from something I added into my exercise regime to something that if I don’t do it, it affects my mood and life.
And with Lent in mind, on Ash Wednesday I attended both mass at St. Agnes and Aromatherapy Flow at Yoga Garden. Guess which I left feeling more spiritually fulfilled? (Don’t go down the rabbit hole of googling Catholicism and yoga, it’s some nasty stuff. C’mon Pope Francis! Can’t you clear this up by leading a Vinyasa class in St. Peter’s Square?!)
I sometimes laugh right along with everyone else at myself “moving to San Francisco and getting into yoga.” What a cliché! But the truth is, I started enjoying the practice back in my Milwaukee days at The Wisconsin Athletic Club. However, in those days, there were only a few instructors, it often got lumped in with pilates, and limited times/days to go. I can’t actually believe that I regularly went to class at 6 a.m.!
When I started settling in here I realized that like Farmers Markets, yoga in San Francisco wasn’t limited to a handful of locations, a handful of times a week (or season). Yoga studios here are like Starbucks or Walgreens, there’s at least one in almost every neighborhood.
Lucky for me, my nearest studio, Yoga Garden, doesn’t just offer a small class size, variety of practices and a packed weeklong schedule from morning to evening, but also a wonderful community. It’s a place where the instructors know your name and your injuries/limitations, and you see the same familiar faces more often than not.
The practice pushes you, but you always leave feeling rewarded. Wow, no wonder the Church is a little freaked out. I don’t really understand how the meditation and discernment built into yoga should be poo-pooed though. In fact, I think there’s a lot Western religion could borrow from it. Well, their loss I guess. I’m happy to continue to balance (pun intended) both!
And the side effects of toned shoulders (where did those come from?!) doesn’t hurt either.