While in California, not only did I discover destination races are the best, but destination yoga is also a must. And considering yoga pretty much exists in every part of the world, you will not have a hard time finding a place to practice. Trust me. Or if you’re lucky (like me) and belong to a yoga community, your search practically take cares of itself. You’ll have a difficult time finding city where there isn’t a Moksha Yoga studio. Again, trust me on this. Or if you’re really, really lucky and friended all your teachers (aka Jackie Szabo) they will tell you were you need to go and who to take class from. When I told Jackie I was going to LA after my race she was nice enough to give me a comp card for my visit! Hey, vacations are expensive enough if I can take advantage of a free class I will. I was also on a mission to meet Ezmy Stavroff. Ezmy, if you’re reading this I came by to see you. Twice! I’m sad I missed you, but am really looking forward to seeing you in Costa Rica. Until then…
Yes. I’m going back to Costa Rica. For another yoga retreat.
So, during the very little preplanning Cecilley and I did for our West Coast adventure I made a list of 5 things I wanted to do: run our race (obviously!), find the Full House house, ride a San Francisco Trolley Car, drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, and take a class at Moksha Yoga LA. I did all these things and way more!
The first day Cecilley and I arrived in LA it was very late so we made the plan to visit the studio the following day for the noon class with Emily. I didn’t know it at the time, but Emily was one of the LA co-owners. The studio had a very cool and hip vibe, but the studio, according to Cecilley, isn’t located in the best part of town. But I wasn’t judging. I was in LA and practicing yoga! Where in LA exactly didn’t really matter. The practice room was funky with it’s exposed ceiling and pretty walls and hanging lights, it had a homey feel to it and I could see myself practicing there everyday. Everything was off to a good start in my books. Although I wasn’t greeted with the overwhelming welcomeness I imagined I would receive. Okay, so I may have made it a little too clear I was a Moksha-er from Moksha Downtown and that I knew Jackie – Jackie actually taught at the studio for a month not too long ago. Okay, so I may have made this very clear. But I completely understand why the receptionist and Emily did not reciprocate my over exaggerated excitement for being there. I apologize if I scared anyone. I couldn’t help it I was really happy to be there.
Emily taught a great class which was unexpectedly cut short when an gentleman in the class had a seizure. This was something I’ve never seen nor experience before. Ever. I have to commend the LA staff and the students in class, everyone acted so fast and handled the situation with professionalism and calm. It’s gotta be the yoga! Emily was also kind enough to comp everyone’s class this day which was super kind of her. I hated leaving the studio with that feeling of being on edge. I had to go back and make things right.
So, I went back to the studio the very next day to shake that feeling and start again. It was Friday and Cecilley and I had devoted this day to Venice and to the beach. But first to rekindle my Moksha LA first impression. There was a new receptionist to who was more than helpful and understanding to yesterday’s happening. Again, another excellent start. This noon class was taught by Angela, a 60 minute Moksha. Straight up Moksha is my go to for days I’m feeling off. Angela was extraordinary. Her guidance, her words, she gave the room a real sense of peace and grace (the complete opposite from the chaotic energy I felt the day before). Angela gave me that robust feeling I needed to walk away with, and then some. Having ended class with a quote – “You can’t begin the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading the last one” – it’s like she knew me. She knew exactly what I needed to hear.
And with those words Angela saved Moksha LA for me.