I am writing happily from snowy Boston right now! We got some snow in Boston today and I was totally delighted to be here for the year's first big snow. (The news kept calling it a "blizzard" but it is definitely not that bad, and it seems a bit warmer than it was a couple days ago.)
This week has felt long and PACKED, and it's been awesome. I guess the last time I wrote was late on Tuesday night when Mei and I had just returned to my house after our road trip to San Francisco. We got up early on Wednesday, packed up our things, and drove down to LA for a couple of classes at Headquarters. We took the 10:30am as a "warm-up" for the advanced class, and it turned out to be FANTASTIC. A woman named Francesca (spelling?! no idea) taught, and she was incredible. I'd seen her in classes in LA before, and had no idea she was such a powerhouse. She had this beautiful, strong, melodic voice with a British-sounding accent (I'm really bad at identifying accents), and her class was a just a treat. She was powerful when she needed to be and comforting when she needed to be, and she definitely carried me through.
We went straight into advanced class after that, which started at about 12:15 with Emmy. It was a pretty full class, with lots of familiar faces and strong yogis - both of this year's SoCal champions were there, along with Esak Garcia and his wife Stephanie (who is also a champion and was spell-binding to watch). There were probably about 30 of us, and the guys were proud that they NEARLY outnumbered the girls this time. Not sure if they were counting Emmy. Girls - ahem - I know there are some of you from LA who read this - you'd better come and represent next time before they take over!!
My advanced practice was, uhh, passable. I've barely done it at all this fall! So sad. One of my goals for next year is to do advanced series once a week again, preferably with Emmy! But it felt good to take my body through that range of motion again. Some parts were predictably uncomfortable (like the super deep backbends that I hadn't done in ages), and others were unexpectedly great. (I did the best "short man" of my life, totally out of the blue, balancing without a problem until I felt ready to come out. Weirdly enough, so did Mei.) But even when my personal practice is not at its peak, I always really enjoy being in the room with Emmy and sharing the great energy with all the other dedicated yogis. And I accidentally set myself up directly in Emmy's line of vision, so that earned me a couple of corrections, which was good, too!
After class, we made an ill-fated attempt to get lunch at Govinda's buffet (which was closed by the time we got there!), had some cheap Indian food, then turned around and went to THE SPA. Olympic Spa in Koreatown is one of my favorite spots in LA. It's a traditional all-female Korean style bathhouse. The day pass is $15 and gives you access to all the pools and saunas. So we recovered from our many hours of yoga and 900 miles of driving (!!) by soaking in the REALLY COLD and REALLY HOT tubs, sweating a little in the saunas and steam rooms (I didn't steam for very long, but they have the best steam room EVER there), drinking lots of water and free tea, lounging on the couches, and napping in savasana on the warmed floors. It was lovely. By the time we had dinner and headed to my friend's house to sleep for the night, we were ridiculously wiped out, but feeling goooooood.
I woke up late on Thursday and made my flight out of LAX by the skin of my teeth (so to speak). Spent the flight from LA to Denver chatting with a sweet guy next to me from El Salvador who was heading to Arkansas to see his sister. Planned to spend the flight from Denver to Boston reading a book; I got three pages in and then passed out asleep, woke up on the descent with a crick in my neck. Whoops!! Here's the highlight of the day: I was taking the subway into the city after I left the airport, and at 7:30pm I was passing through South Station, right around the corner from my original yoga studio, and I thought: "Hey, what time is the last yoga class today? Isn't it... 7:45?" So I hopped off the train, with backpack, bag, and suitcase in tow, and rolled down the block to Bikram Yoga Boston in Chinatown, where a good friend of mine was getting ready to teach the 7:45 class! Hooray!! I took her class and it felt amazing. Incidentally, this gave me a great idea: yoga studios in airports! Travel would be infinitely improved!! Anyway, we went out for Pho in Chinatown after class and had a great time catching up. It was such great luck to catch her like that. Couldn't have been better if I'd planned it!
Much more on Boston later, but I'll leave it here for now...