Sunday, November 29, 2009

yoga tourism -- YAS in Venice CA

My husband and I are visiting relatives in SoCal for Thanksgiving, and yesterday were meeting some friends in Venice. I had wanted to do a yoga class on the beach but it wasn't being held this weekend. So my friend suggested YAS yoga where a friend of his teaches.

"No granola, no Sanscrit, no chanting" is the motto, and indeed this studio focuses on the physical side of yoga in a class called Yoga from Athletes. We took a class from the founder Kimberley herself. She has an interesting backstory -- she was diagnosed with a golf ball sized brain tumor. The doctors wanted to take it out but it would mean she would lose her sight and be partially paralyzed. She said no thanks, and had a friend carry her home from the hospital. She did her own self-healing program with a lot of yoga. She recovered (which is clear from the photo you can see at left, and even more so in person) and evidently years later the tumor is still there in her head, not causing problems. (I would love more detail on exactly what she did to recover, since of course I'm interested in tales of miraculous healing and how to beat tumors, but this is all I could glean from the articles posted in the studio, and when she greeted us after the class it didn't feel right to suddenly start quizzing her about that.)

The class was an excellent workout, I was definitely sweating. Also a businessperson I was also impressed by the packaging of the whole place, in terms of concept, graphics, colors, supporting materials etc. She is franchising, and either she is very good at branding or has hired someone who is. I love seeing successful female entrepreneurs. The whole place was also very LA-ish so and the people watching was good, so was a fun tourist kind of experience too.

Going to an in-person class was a great change of pace since we normally do yoga at home off of DVDs. Somehow the teacher right there pushes you to try harder. So we are thinking about scoping out some of the yoga studios near where we live, or even a less expensive gym that offers classes. (We just moved a little over a year ago, and live in the hills so it's a bit of a drive to get to anything, but to keep our workouts fresh it's probably necessary, also I had been thinking of joining a gym because I want to do weights again...)

However I've also added the Yoga for AthletesDVD to my wish list, as I think it would be a good addition to our home practice.

After the class grabbed some healthy food from J's Kitchen down the street --- authentic Japanese macrobiotic food, the branch of a store from Japan.

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