On nearly any given Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I am entirely unreachable. Yoga trumps nearly everything on Saturday mornings, and I hate missing a class. This is rather amazing considering that I am quite the lazy bum when it comes to exercise. I do run and I hop on the elliptical at the gym, but it takes a lot of self-shaming to get me to put on the workout gear and out the door. Yoga is different for me, and it is something I got into after I moved to the Bay Area. I imagine that this about as Bay Area as I'll ever get.
You might think that I sought out yoga because I wanted to calm my type-A tendencies, but that's not it at all. I don't deal with stress any better than I did pre-yoga, but it is the best way for me to deal with the physical manifestations of my stress. The chest opener (laying over blocks) my teacher had me doing on my first night of class brought me over to the om-side, and the block-helped bridge poses made my stay permanent. I detest any sort of inversion, and I don't practice savasana as I should. My mental hamster keeps spinning on the wheel during that quiet time, but this is also probably the most at-peace my mind ever finds itself. I love pigeon pose and basically almost any sort of hip opener I have tried, and my rhomboids and shoulders are happier parts post-yoga session. And yes, I actually do home practice.
My teacher is Lauren Davis, and she is the best. She rides a Ducati [in warm weather mostly] and her off-color humor fits my temperament exactly. She explains poses in a way that my non-spiritual mind can easily grasp. I never have to wonder just how my skin is supposed to move down on its own when my hands are otherwise occupied. If you ever find yourself in the Bay Area, go to one of her classes. You can find out more at www.laurendavislive.com (when reading in your head, put an extra emphasis on "live" and say it with an "!").