I walked out of an incredible yoga class tonight and thought, why don’t I do this more?
Running, as you probably already know, is an integral part of my life. It has become so habitual that I don’t really need to think about the act, I just do it, like brushing my teeth. And if I skipped it, I’d feel icky. It’s a no-brainer. Running is what I do.
I also love yoga. It’s amazing. I need it in my life but I have to rally to get my butt out the door and into a yoga studio. It has yet to become second nature to me like running has.
After a good yoga sesh, I feel lighter, more relaxed and my body feels like it’s been wrung out in the best of ways. Yoga is like getting a massage and a workout in at the same time. My dilemma is finding a good class that is worth my while because let’s be honest, time spent doing yoga could also be spent running.
As a runner who lives in a place that is saturated with yoga studios, I have the ability to be pretty picky. No, I’m not a high maintenance diva by any means, but I do have a few criteria that will make me fall in love with a studio, such as:
- A strong focus on alignment and anatomy
- A variety in movement and class sequencing to support progression (this is why I’m not a fan of Bikram)
- Inspiring teachers that make me want to come to class time and time again
- An explanation of the benefits of each pose (AKA, why am I here?)
- A warm and welcoming vibe upon entering
- Instructors who understand runners’ needs and limitations (this one’s HUGE!)
I’ve found a handful of studios that fit all of those criteria (go San Diego!) and luckily one of them is just a few miles from home. YogaSix has been one of my long time favorites here in San Diego and now that I’ve moved, it’s also my closest favorite. Even if you’re not in the San Diego area, look them up. They have studios across the U.S.
YogaSix is great for a runner like myself who wants more yoga in their life but also wants a guaranteed good time. I was told to take Ashton’s class by a friend of mine and that’s what hooked me. Initially, I was sold on the amenities and beautiful facilities of YogaSix but his class sealed the deal.
Ashton is covered in tattoos with long hair tied up in a man bun. He gives off a total hippie vibe but once he starts talking you realize he’s more than just peace, love and incense. He is extremely well versed in the human body and gives his full attention to the alignment of his students. He’s actually surprisingly silly and you don’t have to worry about being uber serious the whole time. Thank god!
And he plays really great music which totally makes me want to come back for more. I also LOVE hands-on adjustments and there’s no shortage with this guy.
When I take a yoga class, I absolutely need my instructor to understand that I am an endurance athlete and I will never get my heels on the ground in downward dog or look a damn thing like Kathryn Budig in her naked ToeSox ads. I wish! Instructors like Ashton totally get that and don’t try to push inflexible students (like me) into difficult postures. Instead, they focus on making sure you’re getting the benefits of the pose in a way that doesn’t risk injury.
Considering I have the optimal yoga studio just a few miles from home, I need to make a conscious effort to take advantage of it. Lucky for me, Ashleigh (my running partner in crime) is totally game for incorporating more yoga into her training and she’s a huge YogaSix fan too. While completely blissed out after class last night, we agreed we definitely need more of that goodness in our lives.
|high on savasana|
What do you look for in a studio or instructor?