Friday, April 19, 2013

Hotel California

The title of this blog is appropriate because I'm sitting in my hotel... you guessed it... in California! I flew to San Diego yesterday from Toronto, and took the lovely short drive up to Encinitas. It's my third year coming here for a week of Ashtanga practice with Sharath and Saraswati at the Jois Yoga Shala. Every year when they finish teaching their season at the Shala in Mysore India, they do a world tour, teaching classes and giving conferences. They visit the Jois Shala in Conneticut (closer to me, but not as lovely a vacation!) and they visit New York also. BUT, if I'm getting on a plane, it's going to be to somewhere hot and sunny with a beach, an ocean and some palm trees. It's one of those places that is starting to feel like home to me now, that I come back here 'every year' (I hope to continue this tradition!). I'm staying in the same hotel, Days Inn, a very humble but clean and well equipped hotel, cheap as dirt in my opinion, and walking distance from the yoga shala, the beach, and the main strip of shops, cafes and restaurants. Perfect for me!

This year I flew in with two friends, which is different and fun, Emma: amazing yogini and yoga teacher, and Lidia: one of my students who is basically just being thrown into the deep end here! Led Primary series with Sharath... Whoa! I'm excited for her, she's ready.

Yesterday we all went to the opening blessing ceremony, the Puja. The same priest from Mysore India was there, as was there last year. There were flower offerings, fruit, food, fire, incense, chanting, singing, the priest talking on his cell phone in the middle of the ceremony... LOL! All of the usual Puja goings on. Here's a photo of Ganesha being adorned, removing obstacles for the studio, the practitioners, the teachers...
So now I'm up early, woke myself at 5am (really feels like 8am for me because of the time change so it's no biggie), made chai tea, a small little cup of oatmeal (you're not supposed to eat before practicing yoga but I HAVE to! I've tried everything and I just feel ill and miserable and distracted if my belly is totally empty. Hits me about half way through, right at Marichasana... anyways). I'm showered, dressed, and about to go knock on Lidia's door to walk to the Shala together as the sun comes up. Emma opted for the 830-10am class.. LAZY GIRL! Just kidding. I get it. Sleep is nice. I just don't want any when I'm in such a lovely place. I want to be done my practice by 8am so I have the whole day to enjoy the beauty that is this place. 

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