I turned 23 this past week and decided to celebrate by taking a road trip with my best friend through California. Of course we did this yoga style! So in this blog post, you will find all of my FAVORITE yoga studios I practiced at PLUS great adventures and food I ate along the way!
Hot Yoga w/ Alexis Blair Penney– Los Angeles
A yoga mentor of mine once said:
“You cannot hate hot yoga until you’ve taken at least three hot yoga classes.”
So I did just that and Alexis’s class happened to be my third hot yoga class. I actually LOVED it, which I am surprised to say as hot yoga isn’t always my jam. Alexis’s teaching style is caring and he wants you to do well for YOU. That means if you can’t do the full pose today, then you work from where you’re currently at and love yourself through that journey. When your body is ready to grow into the pose, it will tell you. What I REALLY loved though, is the anatomy specific teachings he brought into his class. As a yoga teacher I love this, but I love it even more as the student. When I am taught from the anatomic perspective, I understand more, thus my practice grows too! Alexis is currently teaching at Bikram Yoga in downtown Los Angeles, but he’s opening an AWESOME donation based community yoga studio that you HAVE to check out!
Rocket Yoga w/ Sara Schwartz– Los Angeles
One of my goals in my practice is to be challenged. Well Sara’s class definitely did that! We went upside down many times and laughed if we fell out of a pose, because that’s part of the fun! What I LOVED about her class was her teaching style. There are poses that I have practiced and practiced and could not fully get myself into. Then I took Sara’s class and after watching and listening, I was all of a sudden in a challenging pose I never thought I could do. I think THAT is when we really appreciate our bodies and the practice. I don’t know if it’s the feeling of accomplishment or the feeling of oneness with the self or maybe it’s the feeling right before Savasana. When all the emotions slowly flow off the body and we are left with ourselves. Nothing else. No thoughts to distract us or the never-ending to-do lists of the day. We face ourselves and in return our self is mirrored back to us. The class ended with the ringing of a Tibetan singing bowl. Then the real yoga began.
If you follow my journey, I am sure you know how much I love my home studio, YTTP. I’m sure we all have a love like nothing else for our home studios. So that feeling of being home in my yoga practice and on my mat is everything to me. It’s something I crave everyday. I never got the chance to practice at the SF location until this past week. It may sound silly, but what I miss most about YTTP is no matter what studio I’m at, I have to climb a bunch of stairs to get to the actual studio. I love it. So once I got to the top, my jaw dropped. The view of San Francisco is incredible, but nothing compares to the studio space itself. It’s beautiful and the light shines gorgeously through the windows. Then the instructor said child’s pose and that’s all my body needed to hear. The hour went by so fast and I smiled the entire time. What I love even more about the yoga at YTTP is the “One breath, One Movement.” Once learning a warrior or two, we move through it at our own pace with our own breath.
Inhale. I move.
Exhale. I move again.
Then maybe, I close my eyes on the second side just to see the difference.
Yoga to the People is a donation based yoga studio with locations in SF, Berkeley, NYC, and Tempe.
More FANTASTIC places to check out:
Shangri-La Vegan– An all organic vegan restaurant in Oakland. I recommend the split pea soup!
The Santa Monica Pier– Go here with your bestie. Walk on the beach, do yoga, watch the sunset, and maybe even ride the Ferris Wheel.
Take a stroll through downtown LA with your friends– Get some lemonade at Blue Bottle Coffee then head on over to Gingerly Witty for some afternoon boutique shopping (check out the beautiful windows), and after, definitely eat avocado toast for lunch at Dinette. Then end your lovely afternoon strolling adventure at Echo Park.
After 75 minutes of rocket yoga, I put my legs up the wall, resting one hand on my heart and one hand on my abdomen, I felt my emotions slowly fall to the floor. I had finally learned what this trip was about. It was about releasing everything and anyone that no longer served me and making room for everything and everyone that does.
That’s what yoga is. It’s universal. A community. A family. And that’s something to always carry with us no matter where we are. As traveling yogis, the world is our yoga mat. So practice on it, be open to the adventures it offers, and love. Be love, show love, make love, and be an example of love to every person you meet on your journey. You never know the life changing connections you could make along the road. You never know the people you could meet or the amazing yoga you could practice. So make the world your yoga mat and never stop dreaming!
The light in me sees and honors the beautiful light within you!
Happy traveling my loves!
Are you planning an epic yoga adventure, but don’t know where to begin? I would LOVE to be of help! Feel free to send me an email and we’ll make that dream trip happen!
Want to check out more yoga studios, but don’t know where to practice? Read about my favorite Five Fabulous Yoga Studios here.