I have tried to like yoga so hard. And I kinda like it but I don’t love it. Or so I thought. Some of my good friends in Seattle were yoga enthusiasts and tried to get me to hang out at their favorite studio.
However, I was always too busy with work (single girl’s love número uno!), triathlon training, teaching spinning at YMCA, and escaping the city life to various hiking spots… But the thought of yoga was planted in my brain. I didn’t go to yoga studio though, but picked up some other activities from eastern cultures: Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do. I loved the discipline, I loved the strength and self confidence I gained.
Then I moved to Alaska in 2009.
The martial arts scene is Alaska is, well, not so great. I haven’t been able to find a reputable, friendly place to practice Kung Fu, and a few Tae Kwon Do places I have checked look shady. Yes, another reason to miss Lower 48, and Kim’s Tae Kwon Do in Renton, WA. No luck with martial arts, so I decided to try yoga.
I found a couple of bigger yoga studios in Anchorage. Apparently there are quite a few yogis in the area since the downtown studio was more than packed on those times I have been there. Extremely packed. The studio was like an overflowing state fair parking lot – mats were so close to each other that one could hardly place a water bottle next to the mat. No thank you, I don’t want my yoga neighbor to be sweating on my mat. Gross.
The other yoga studio, slightly outside the downtown was a lot better experience as far as the crowds go. But the friendliness of the staff and instructors has been varying quite a bit. Some of them are absolutely awesome, some …. well, represent the typical unfriendly Alaskan attitude. Yes, I want to get better at yoga but I am sorry if I don’t know you yet. I’m a paying customer and would deserve at least greetings, thanks you’s for coming, and wishes to see me again. You know, a couple of friendly words. Instead of paying monthly membership fees, I have stopped by at the yoga studio occasionally and then practiced more on my own.
This week I was
again shopping at Lululemon, mainly the running gear but one of the sales associates chitchatted with me about yoga, and it only got me to purchase a couple of yoga shirts but also recommend yoga studios in the heart of San Francisco. Timing was great. My back was aching after a box jump accident, and my thigh has a giant bruise so my muscles would definitely deserve some TLC. Because of my experiences in Alaskan yoga scene, I was hesitant to pay arm and leg for yoga classes but thought what the heck, $20 is nothing for just trying. So I looked at the schedules online and walked in.
There I am, in the world of Lululemon and prAna. Oh man, I’m gonna die, and I will, for sure, be the yogi who tips over on downward dog or something. But at least I had the Lululemon trendy gear. And I was so wrong. I was welcomed very, very warmly. Instructor made an effort to introduce herself, welcomed me to the studio. How friendly and professional! The yoga class was strenuous – 90 minutes of hot yoga kicks the butt, but awesome, fun, energizing!
I had fallen in love.
It was not the yoga that I didn’t like but bad experiences associated to yoga. I have done yoga practices every day this week in San Francisco. I am going to give another try to the Anchorage studio – maybe more self-confident yogi in me can just ignore the negativity that some people may have. And meanwhile, I count days to my next yoga retreat in California. There is a yogi in me.