Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sandy Downdogging: Aaron Reed's Sunset Beach Yoga Class

I have been in quite the vacation mode for the last month...first literally, for just over 2 weeks adventuring among Mayan ruins and Caribbean waters (Belize and Guatemala) at the beginning of the month, and then spending the last 2 weeks accomplishing the mellow mindset of a prolonged, post-vacation high--but not accomplishing much else (ahem, hence the one month blog break)

Anyway, today I did my part to cling onto that after-vacation buzz by taking a free sunset beach yoga class. I found the flyer after my flow yoga class with music (more Jack Johnson and Sade, less New Agey gong & sitar music) at exhale spa earlier in the week (Monday's activity to simulate a vacation mindset).

The idea of downdogging while watching the sunset sounded lovely. So did the $0 cost. (Vacationing more than working has its price)

View While Downdog'ing

Kristy and I arrived to the yoga 'studio' at the patch of sand where Rose Ave meets the ocean in Venice at 7:30pm. Taking advantage of the beachy elements, instructor Aaron Reed had our 30 person group of beachside yoga'ers start with light stretching on our beach towels, folowed by back and forth pacing along the water's edge while inhaling and exhaling to the rhythm of the waves' ebb and flow, practicing basic poses such as pigeon and triangle pose while utilizing the incline of the sand to help aid our postures and picking up sand and dribbling it between our fingertips while performing sun salutations.

At the mercy of Mother Nature, a few of us got our legs wet when caught out in downdog pose by a big, fast-moving wave and the class ended prematurely just before 8:30pm when the fading last light disappeared after sundown.

Although you can choose to cool down with a night ocean swim, since we didn't exactly work up a sweat during the class--it's more a scenic mental break with body movements for an hour than a tough workout session--Kristy and I skipped out on the post-yoga skinny-dipping session and grabbed dinner instead (Musha--yummy Japanese pub-style food on Santa Monica & 5th).

The beachy environment was a beautiful way to enjoy yoga, and the class definitely gave me enough of a mental holiday to stretch out my waning vacation high for one more day.

You too can enjoy practicing sun salutations to the actual sun while watching it sink into the Pacific! There are two more classes this summer for Aaron's 5th annual Beach Yoga summer series.

Thursday, June 29th, 7:30pm-last light
Wednesday, July 19th, 7:30pm-last light

Just show up at the water's edge at the intersection of Rose Ave and the Pacific Ocean in Venice. No yoga mats necessary, bring a beach towel to sit on so sand doesn't go in uncomfy places as you stretch, a hoodie to counteract the chilly beach breeze and an optional bathing suit underneath your regular yoga outfit--prepare or go bare.

For more info, you can contact

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