|image via pinterest|
Yoga is all about strength and stability. Here's my problem: I was a dancer most of my life, so my feet and hips naturally turn out. I had to learn to force my body to remain parallel in all positions. Since I was a dancer you'd think my balance would be wonderful, but you'd be wrong. So "finding my center" and trying to stay balanced in certain poses is another component I had to work on when I first began practicing. Over time as I've gotten better, I've gotten stronger and developed some arm strength for literally the first time in my life. I also find the practice of yoga to be incredibly calming--I can walk into a class feeling stressed out, and walk out feeling recharged and powerful.
My friend Lauren, who takes most of my outfit photos for me, recently became a certified yoga instructor so I'm also constantly learning new things from her. Here are some places around town I love for a yoga fix.
Omkar 108 Ashtanga Yoga- this is my favorite place. You must take a class with Gary; he always takes the time in his classes to ensure every single person is practicing correctly. Anytime I'm struggling with a pose, he comes to work with me one-on-one until I feel comfortable with it. He's also a veteran and such an interesting person to talk to.
Equinox-although it's crowded, all the instructors here understand the practice incredibly well. I had a three-month membership there last year so I was going pretty much every day. I learned most of the basics here.
Your Neighborhood Studio- I used to take a class here called Yoga Booty Ballet, which I'll get into another time. I took a couple early morning yoga classes here as well and loved them. The classes are small and the instructors are very calming and spend a lot of time stretching at the end of the class.
Santa Monica Power Yoga- this is a donation-based class, so it is packed. This place is definitely for the more advanced, but if you're looking for a challenge this is a great place. The classes I've taken are power yoga, so all movements are very fluid as opposed to holding poses for a long period of time. Personally, I prefer the morning classes to the evening ones.
Laughing Frog Yoga- another place for smaller classes. I really loved the space and the way the instructor moved through the poses, although the music selection wasn't my favorite (the instructor I took played popular music which I found odd and it threw my concentration off). This is a good place for some more concentrated ab work.
Have a healthy week, everyone!