Moksha Yoga Teacher Training Day #14

Friday was day 14 and that means it was our second day off!

Jackie, Morgan, Krista, Mere, and I (hi, Jackie, Morgan, Krista, and Mere!) – I was staying in a Full House. No joke! – all drove to Santa Monica to take Bryan Kest’s power yoga class. I know, you’d think having a day off from yoga that going to yoga would be the last thing I’d want to do. But when you’re living (temporarily) in a city full of amazing and ¬†well known yogis, you need to take their classes when the opportunity rises.

We arrived in Santa Monica, with the sun shining and the smell of the ocean in the distance. This moment reminded me of Cecilley (Cecilley, I miss you!). The studio was tucked away in a beautiful space on the second floor of a rather old looking building. But the space had character. Right away I was pumped to be there and even more excited I was not doing Moksha! Sorry, Mokshis. But after class I ate my words. Power flow doesn’t justify what Bryan had us doing. We focused on our own body weight and held challenging plank poses, lunges. Upper body strength, here I come.

Although Bryan’s instructions were intense, there was a softness to his tone. I’m going to hurt tomorrow. I love Bryan’s humour. Being able to laugh at yourself while doing yoga is a powerful tool to keep in your toolbox. Don’t take it (or yourself) too seriously. Bryan makes this easy and I can see why students have been taking is class for 15+ years!

Look at me! I'm such a yogi. Here I am in Bryan's studio!

Look at me! I’m such a yogi. Here I am in Bryan’s studio!

After class we all went to a favourite lunch spot of Morgans, Tender Greens where we ate lunch and drank all the lemonade we could bargain for. Then it was beach time! After several hours of soaking in the sun, we walked the streets and made our way to Real Food Daily for dinner. Delicious! Apparently the West Hollywood location is a good celebrity sighting spot. Thanks for the tip, Ted!

What a great day, but I am exhausted. 6:30am practice is going to come way to soon. That’s two days off down only one left to go. That is, if I make it to next Friday…

Marathon Training Day #26: Power hour

My pictures are getting increasingly terrible. It's like I'm not even trying anymore.

My pictures are getting increasingly terrible. It’s like I’m not even trying anymore.

I enjoy any and all power hours, whether they are of the athletic or alcoholic. Today, my pal Sarah (hi Sarah!) and I met up for a yoga-doing and Fresh-eating date. The 7pm power class at Kula is my all-time favourite class. I love the challenging sequence and am warming up to the new Friday night teacher, Donna. High fives all around on this one.

I forgot my towel today, though, and by the end my mat was so wet I couldn’t do downward dog without slipping. Note to self for next time!

 

Power up at Kula

 

What: Power Yoga
When: Friday at noon
Where: Kula Annex (304 Brunswick Avenue)
Who: Christi-an

Kula (aka my favourite studio and one Jill is slowly warming up to) just started offering Power Yoga classes! The best part? For the month of April, your first Power Yoga class is free! How could we say no to that?

See? Who would say no to this?

 

I haven’t done any “power” yoga since I abandoned my favourite ashtanga class for running. Translation? I was scared. JK, Jill and I agreed to give the power yoga class a go on Good Friday. I NEEDED some yoga that day. The day before, I weirdly busted out in a fever and chills (at the same time!) at work. I looked like a moron wearing two sweaters, wrapped in a blanket and sweating profusely. I also got a migraine (my second ever — I am not liking this trend), left work early, crashed at 5pm and didn’t wake up until 9am. My body had a lot of issues that needed to be worked through.

Christi-an was teaching, so we knew it would be fun and playful, but challenging. In this class, we were constantly moving, building from easier poses to harder ones. Since the class was packed (and it was most attendee’s first power yoga class), Christi-an thoughtfully threw in an extra child’s pose or two. Thank you, Christi-an!

I love Christi-an because she doesn’t overwhelm the class with “feelings”, plays fun but not intrusive music and encourages students to have fun with their practice. She was in her element in this power class, as some of the poses were DIFFICULT. But that’s the point, isn’t it? To build on your practice so the day you finally pop-up into that side-plank/dancer hybrid (which JK and Jill could do, but I could not!), you feel on top of the world. The other point of yoga is to have fun. And Christi-an made that easy.

It will be interesting to see how other teachers at Kula tackle this new offering. It’s very different from the other classes at Kula. I liked that Christi-an said the sequences would change from month to month, so the power offering won’t get boring, but will offer a consistency through which you can improve.

I won’t be taking power yoga every week. But I do plan to add it to my regular yoga routine. It was exactly the kind of yoga I need every now and then.

Take this class if: you want to push your practice to the next level — but have fun doing so.