Monday, November 15, 2010

Travel. Yoga. Coffee.

Hello from Seattle!!! I'm here attending a great primary care research conference, meeting lots of people and lots of ideas. 

I love this quote and think about it whenever I travel:
"Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things - air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it." ~Cesare Pavese
For me, there are two additional essentials that I cling to while traveling: yoga and coffee. Two things that help me quickly meet people and make friends in a strange city.

I love being able to fly to a new place and immediately find an ashtanga mysore community: people that speak my language! Yesterday, I went to a led primary class at the Samarya Center (amazing place and mission), and this morning to Troy Lucero’s mysore class. 

I'm still processing everything I learned with Troy this morning (he knew I only had one day there and nicely gave me a TON of attention!). Some quick notes: 
  • Standing poses: Ground my heels so much so that I lift my toes and ball of foot (I naturally do the opposite and actually lift my heels). In Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle), work on barely touching fingers to the ground (engages legs, core, and bandhas much more). 
  • Navasana: Traditionally, navasana was paired with handstand, but for some reason this has been taken out over the years. They both work on the same thing: the core of the body. Practice going into handstand between each navasana.
  • Handstands: Wow we did a lot of handstand work this morning... handstands on a ramp, handstands on bars, handstands on a block, handstands on one block under one hand, handstands on sandbags. 
  • Acroyoga: Right before Kapotasana, Troy "flew" me in the air (he lay on the ground, his feet on my sacrum)... loosening up my back and quads to prep for the deeper backbends. Amazing. 
  • Tick-tocks: After backbends, he brought me over to the ramp and had me practice handstand to backbend and back to handstand. Really hard... need to find a ramp/hill at home and practice this on my own.
I love how he has toys all over the room like blocks, bars, ramps, straps, and how he encourages freedom to make the practice what you need it to be (the room was full of people doing things that I had never seen before). As he said while helping me with my handstands: "Yoga is really just about waking up." I definitely walked out of there feeling awake (and shaky, haha).

After practice and before heading back to the conference, it was time for some more Seattle coffee, which I just can't get enough of! It's the perfect way to both reminisce with old friends and connect with new ones (especially in the cozy rainy Seattle weather). 
My trip wouldn't be complete without a trip to the first Starbucks EVER!! 


  1. so cool! great photo! I want to go!

  2. Dear Christina
    From traditional teaching to non traditional, you've got it covered in a few blogposts. My teacher in SF and Troy studied, in the west, with the same teacher, RF.