This week’s thought: I recently read something about what separates wealthy people from poor people that I found very interesting. It said that wealthy people spend their time thinking about ideas, whereas less wealthy people spend their time thinking about other people. In a spiritual perspective, we might be able to take that even further and say the difference between enlightened people is that they spend their time giving to others, while less enlightened people spend their time taking from others. Whether it’s a smile, a favor, or a kind word—we always have something to offer others. Namaste.
Inching further away from my comfort zone and nearing closer toward downtown, I thought Yoga Loka might be a good place to hit next. This studio features Hot Yoga, and it seems that it’s all in the “B” style, with the same series of postures and all that funny breathing at the beginning and end. Like always, I had no preconceived notions of what the studio would be like or what kind of experience I might have.
I was greeted by a long, lanky man with stark white hair who was on the phone, but still smiled warmly and invited me in. He looked like he’d lived in a yoga studio and the tropics, alternatively, his whole life. I would later learn it was Bill, who owns the place along with his wife, Sandy.
A Lovely, soft spoken Asian woman named Jihong was instructing. She was much different than other instructors I’ve had who teach this style of hot yoga. I’m serious here when I tell you that I once had a hot yoga 26-pose person scold me when she caught me looking at the person next to me in the mirror. I also got in trouble once for wiping sweat off my upper lip. Well, this instructor was nothing like that, and I was glad.
As the class proceeded and we assumed the poses, every now and then, the lovely instructor would say, “nice and beautiful,” in a soft Chinese accent. I smiled when she said it, hoping she was talking to me. I have to admit, I really liked all the mirrors. I find that I can hold balancing postures better when I can use my own nose in the mirror as a focal point. What? Is that weird? Anyway, I can always tell when my practice is having the desired effect when I forget external things that have been on my mind, like why does the IRS hate me so much, what should I fix for dinner, and God am I glad I didn’t wear my stretchy star pants to this studio.
“Beautiful and nice.” There is was again. I wanted to see who she was talking to, but the sweat was in my eyes. So, I decided to pretend she was talking to me each time she said it. Never mind the 25 other students who were also working and pouring with sweat. Balance, however, seemed to elude me when it came time to fly like a bird—or rather, stand like an Eagle. This is the pose where we work 14 different joints. I am fairly sure I do not have that many joints, but according to Mr. B, I do. Anyway, just as nice and beautiful Jihong was kindly requesting we our raise our beaks and lower our behinds, I came completely out of pose. The eagle had landed.
The studio is huge, bright, and amply mirrored. I’m guessing the blonde wood floor has surely seen its share of second chakras, based on the white tape lines that have somewhat worn off. I like the idea of tape lines so I know exactly where to put my mat. If I’d been feeling a little more rebellious, I’d have placed it right in the middle of the tape line, you know, just to see if I got in trouble or anything, ‘drop to your knees and give me a Lion’s Pose.’
It’s an older building, tiny lobby, and clearly has a list of dedicated clientele. Plus, I think they have Pilates next door, so I’ll be visiting here again. Besides, it’s nice and beautiful.
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