Yoga keeps this city girl calm, cool and collected. When about to freak, throw things or cry in fits of anger or disgust, she merely places her thumb and middle fingers together, hands resting on her knees in a cross-legged position. Breathe in, two, three, four.... Breathe out, two, three, four. She has found her inner peace, and her anger dissipates.
Well, it might not look quite like that, but yoga does really help rejuvenate me, and if I'm in a pissy mood, it helps make me feel a bit better (release the endorphins!) Now, I know you don't need much to do yoga - just a tank top, shorts and a towel at home, and you can follow along poses from a book, CD or video that cost about $10. And I do that...sometimes. I have a variety of yoga videos (mainly Yoga Zone - twenty minute segments) and a book - Yoga Workout by Barbara Currie, and a couple of audio CD's kicking around somewhere. And it's fun and refreshing. But, it really doesn't compare with going to those boutique yoga studios, now does it?
You know the ones I'm talking about. You walk through the door, and immediately your senses are calmed by some lavender concoction burning from incense sticks, or piped through the whole building. The perky and hip staff at the front counter welcome you to the studio, and ask if you need a mat, towel, water, and invite you to have a cup of organic chai tea. Lithe, toned bodies are everywhere - clad only in Lululemon attire from headbands to leggings, and you follow the heard into the exposed-brick, laminate-flooring studio, and place down your mat (not too close to the pink Lulu girl beside you though!) The sound of trickling water, or monks chanting in the distance permeates the space, and in the dim lighting the instructor begins the class with a group "Ohmmmm".
After what seems like millions of poses that had you stretching, straining, your aching, tired muscles finally get a well deserved savasana. Lying there, like a corpse, all your thoughts and worries disappear, and you wish you never, ever had to leave this safe little space, that you could sleep here forever in this lavender-scented oasis forever. But then that bloody little bell rings once, twice, three times, and the instructor intrudes on your rest. Rolling up your mat and walking out of the class, however, you realize that a little piece of practice has stayed with you, and you feel relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated.
So what if it costs $18 a pop? I don't get all that at home, thank you very much. For me, this meant a visit to Tula yoga yesterday, where all the aforementioned benefits came a plenty, but Toronto has tons of these studios all with slightly different vibes and crowds. Even though it can be pricey, there are class deals to be had and it sure beats my at-home routine. But since my expensive tastes don't jive with my student budget, it means only occasional visits for me. I got a pass for this studio from one of the daily deal sites, so MORE DAILY DEALS FOR YOGA, please and thank you. Karma will look well upon you :)