Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ashtanga Road Trip - Round 2

Chip and Amy at Cosmic Cafe
I had an amazing weekend of yoga with some equally amazing friends. Unlike last weekend's whirlwind trip to Dallas for an Ashtanga class and workshop and then back to Nac in the same day, we were able to stay in Dallas on Saturday night. We left Nac around 12:30pm on Saturday. Six of us (Amy, Eralda, Arrie, Chrissy, Cyndra, and myself) packed into a big Tahoe and headed for the Crown Plaza Hotel. After a rough time checking in to the hotel, we all had a beer in the hotel bar. After that, we met Ricky Tran at the King Spa and Sauna in Dallas. He was a great host and invited us to the spa and to dinner afterwards.

King Spa and Sauna was incredible. Whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, ice baths, and various rooms with different minerals, soils, aromas, and oxygen make up the spa. For 18 dollars, you get a 24 hour pass to go to the vast majority of things that the spa offers. It was a very relaxing evening. A major yogic breakthrough for me was a better understanding of my breathing. Ricky led us through multiple rounds of 25 breaths in the steam room. What helped me to slow down and gain better control of my breathing was how much it burns the inside of your nose to breath in a steam room that's 157 degrees. For me, the very beginning of the inhalation is the hardest part to control. I was able to notice that in the steam room. And after we left there, I was able to pay more attention to suspending my breath in between inhalation and exhalation. There's an interesting sensation when suspending the breath. It's a balance between panic and control. Panic from the idea of not breathing and control for being in charge of the most vital thing that we do.

Learning from Ricky
After the spa, we went to Spiral Diner for dinner. I had a delicious hummus and avocado wrap and a cup of raw tomato red pepper soup. It was all so delicious. I also bought a vegan chocolate chip cookie that I ate the next day. Yum!!

After an excellent night of sleep, I woke up for a quick one mile run, breakfast at the hotel, and then a drive to the ATA Martial Arts Studio in Addison, TX. Ricky led us in an awesome two hour Ashtanga class. There were at least 20 people in there. It was great. After that, the Ashtanga workshop began and it we broke down certain poses learning specific placement of the body, Sanskrit names, and when to breathe during the pose. It was awesome to learn more about the practice than just the poses. The philosophy is so fascinating. It's something that I think I could listen to all day without ever stepping into a pose. The idea of Ashtanga practice is really interesting to me because it's so regimented and fluid. It's definitely something I'd like to practice more. This Sunday is the final workshop of the series.

NacogYogis on a big
ass wooden chair
After a one mile run and five hours of yoga, I was so hungry. We ate at the Cosmic Cafe for lunch. I had an Herban Renewal which is avocado, cream cheese, spinach mushrooms, mozzarella, and herbs on nan. I also had a beer, some tomato soup, a chai tea, and a piece of vegan vanilla chai cake to go. Delicious!!

Perhaps the best part of the whole weekend was getting to spend time with the yogis that I love. We somehow got named the "NacogYogis" because we all traveled together from Nacogdoches for Ricky's class. It was a great car ride there and back, and I got to learn more about these wonderful people. I'm enjoying and soaking up every ounce of these last yoga classes, coffee dates, and one last road trip for more Ashtanga with Ricky.


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