Los Angeles has an obsession over exercise. As I walk around my Hollywood neighborhood, there are plenty of ladies and men in their yoga pants, Puma sneakers, and pony tails rushing around to catch their next class at the gym or trail run. Los Angeles really has it all, hiking at the trendy Runyon Canyon, Cardio-Barre for the long lean look, Soul Cycle for that cardio with celebrities. The most popular form of exercise on a consistent basis is yoga. There are also various kinds of yoga practice, Kundulini, Hatha, Bikram, Iyengar. I have a mommy friend that practices yoga five times a week without fail. It keeps her sane. My daughter practices yoga at school and she has been very helpful in telling me I need to stretch and move my body since after work, making dinner, and cleaning up dishes all I want to do is lay on the couch. Therefore due to my my kid’s cajoling, I will lift my head out of the ground hole I’ve dug for myself and venture out to the exercise world. Yoga sounds good. It’s a time for a spiritual practice, a time to reflect and breathe and be present for myself. It’s a time for reflection all the while moving my body and connecting. I will be different this time from my past exercise failures. I will commit. I will come to it with an open heart, a large set of black workout pants, and a tank top with a picture of either Neil Diamond or Duran Duran on it ready to go.
Learning from my past experience, I come to the table braced for the typical LA yoga class. There are rules and I am not an amateur to this scene. One must be prepared and not deviate, because one false move and you will get a one way ticket to the yoga hall of shame never to be seen again until months later when the class has shifted to a new instructor and you can show your face again with dignity and promise to pose another day. Let me share my words of wisdom and help those who are looking to venture out in Los Angeles for their first time practicing yoga.
These are the hard and fast rules for Los Angeles yoga.
- Wear high-waisted pants. There is nothing worse than bending over for over 90 minutes with the awareness that your ass crack is on display. This will nullify all that you came to yoga for creating a aggravating experience of self consciousness.
- Always arrive 30 minutes early. You do not want to be the last one to put down your yoga mat after 50 people go in ahead of you. Once seated, the Yogonians will not let you squish in and you have to very politely ask someone to move over, which is never well received. It starts off class on a bad note. Aside: Do not arrive late. Meaning, do not arrive on time. On time is late. One time I arrived to class on time and was not allowed in class because on time is really ten minutes early and on time is late. Confused? I was.
- Never and I mean never forget your yoga mat. Do you really want to borrow one? Have you seen the sweat of these people after class? Enough said
- Don’t even try to hide in the back. This is a rookie mistake. LA yoga instructors will find you. There is no hiding from them. They are swift and come to you quickly to point out all your wrong moves. They will mock your efforts, have you do the pose over and over again until you get it right or your until back goes out. This is a key step to follow.
- If you cannot stick a particular yoga pose, move right into child’s pose. You don’t want to be seen out there struggling in the wind. Fighting for your life to keep a pose. The yoga class is very competitive, a natural selection process. Only the strong will survive. Don’t even try to compete, you will obtain respect going into child’s pose immediately.
- If you are insecure about your body stay away from HOT YOGA. Hot Yoga may sound enticing since you are supposed to be burning more calories from the heat, however, every Angeleno in the class will be 120 pounds or thinner including the men. This will make the experience an unhappy experience, therefore skip this altogether.
- If Step 6 is your issue, go to a Pre-Natal yoga class. It is very relaxing with the expecting mommies and everyone is very accepting.
There you have it. This is a go to 7 step tutorial for the LA yoga scene. As you can read, there is much to retain before getting in touch with yourself and remaining present. It takes effort but for those who endure the possibilities are endless. This has got me ready, ready to get out there and start this journey. But before I begin, I better stream a couple of Yoga classes on Netflix and limber up for a few days before I head over to the Yoga Studio just to make sure I have everything down. I guess that should be step 1. Oh well. Namaste.