LOS ANGELES: HOT VINYASA AND DEEP THOUGHTS IN THE CITY OF ANGELS
I made it out to LA just before Thanksgiving to visit with family and friends and it was a nice getaway for sure. As some readers may have noticed, I love to try yoga in new places, it gives me a better perspective in my practice and I feel like I'm in my element. Unexpectedly, I've gotten pretty comfortable with Vinyasa over the last year, mainly because I've tried finding new adventures. But the longer I practice, the more I realize that there is a greater need to question the self.
This time, I felt something a little bit different. Something was missing. Sometimes when I travel, it can be very taxing on the body > having to wake up early, catch an Uber, wondering when the car will arrive, feeling a little hungry, having to gear up the mindset before stepping into the room. It's very difficult to find zen within all of the commotion sometimes. It can become a whole process just trying to create the time to work on my prana, or, life energy. It's hard trying to let go of useless baggage before stepping on the mat. How do I leave it all in the rearview? How do I find serenity?
Being in LA, I thought about this question in my mind a lot. Everywhere I went, I was reflecting on my life and if my focus was in the right place, if my heart was in the right place. Do I have faith in myself and am I relying too much on others for validation? What is true success? Am I growing into my full potential? I am only human. But I must reflect on these things because only I have the power to change the answers to these questions.
So as I began searching for the class I wanted, I tried objectively asking myself what type of experience I needed, what would be good for the soul today? I tend to go for classes that are challenging, allowing me to detox the stress and negativity. I always think that if I see sweat on the floor, then it means the impure thoughts and feelings have traveled out of the body! I chose Malibu Sun Yoga, the Hot Vinyasa one-hour long class.
As I started the class, I felt like it was too slow at first. Ugh! Hurry up I kept thinking, I just want to sweat it out so I can get out of here and feel good that I did my class. But as she took us through the poses, I started to feel the challenge. It was a mix of Bikram and Vinyasa, so there were a new poses I had never tried before! And slowly but surely, through each asana, I began to realize that I had underestimated the class. It humbled me. I lost balance a few times. My heart was working overtime. I started realizing that I needed to slow my roll a bit, to be in the moment and be present. Going into a class with expectations can sort of distract you from the process. The class helped me evaluate myself in a new way.
The one thing I rely on in my life as my constant healing agent is movement. I'm always moving. My friends know that I can't sit still! That is something I've got to work on. The one thing that I fail to remember is what allows me to move. In yoga, they tell us to allow the ground to uphold us as we lie down, especially during corpse pose. The ground is our stillness and I sometimes forget about how necessary it is. Stillness comes in a variety of ways, but mainly through meditation or prayer. Meditation is key in yoga, without it, there is no self-realization. It is something I must continue to work on in order to deepen my practice. I am a firm believer in energy and what you take in can affect what you put out. Sometimes when things get stressful, I have to come back to my breath and become selective with the energy that is filtered into my life. That is the magic of yoga, it pushes me to observe my own thoughts and actions, without judgement or limitation.
Each class that I take is a new experience, and it's easy to go through the motions. Being engaged from start to finish can be difficult. But during this class, I became enlightened about where I am at in my journey. I see where I need improvement and areas where I want more focus. Just knowing that is giving me the courage to keep following my own path in life.