Monday, April 11, 2011

The Big Sur - "The Greatest Meeting of Land & Sea"

Today we drove up The Big Sur (The Big South Country), which is the scenic highway approximately 300 miles north of LA and 150 miles south of San Fransisco (our final destination).

It is 90 miles of rugged, beautiful coastline and the views were stunning. Some if it was as I had imagined CA but I did think it would be more sandy. (I guess if I'd spent more time updating my American geography I would know to expect more than palm trees and sandy beaches!)

Each corner gave way to even more spectatcular views than the last and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, so it was a perfect day, though still pretty chilly.

Along the way we saw a colony of sealions, and of course at each rest stop were the ever present Squirrels - always fun to watch.

We finished today's drive at Monterey Bay (just south of San Fran) and went for a look around the Penninsula which is famous for the golf course where the US Golf Open was held in 2010. (I say that like I knew it, but I have to admit to reading it in the brochure :-)

The Pennisula is also a playground for the rich and richer and the drive around their homes is a tourist attraction in itself. Its hard for me to even comprehend what life with that kind of wealth would be like....... Maybe next time around? I wonder if it would only prove that money doesn't buy happiness?

Plan is to start tomorrow with a Bikram class and then head up to San Fransisco. Really looking forward to looking around there as have heard great things about the city.

Less than a week now till TT. Oh man..........

Yoga in Monterey Bay

Got up this morning and did a 9am class at Bikram Monterey Bay. A nice relaxing start for the morning as there are no 6am classes available. Oh bummer...... :-) We were warmly welcomed by William the Studio Manager and instructor for our class who gave us complimentary passes which is always nice for travelling yogis on a budget like us. Again, the room was really hot, but no humidity which just makes breathing SO much easier. I had a really strong class and didn't feel too stiff considering how many hours we've been sitting in the car for the past few days. I got complimented on several of my postures which is always nice, and after my Standing Head to Knee William asked if I had competed in the last comp! Something I had never considered as have enough on my plate with getting my head around TT etc, but what a wonderful compliment.
Now, I know your yoga should be just about the journey and staying present with each posture as it happens. About not having any expectations, and especially about not comparing yourself to others or practicing with ego etc, so it shouldn't matter whether anyone notices any of your postures or not, but I have to admit to being pretty chuffed about it. Its nice to have someone recognise your hard work.

Anyway, incase I let it go to my head too much, I then feel out of both sides of Bow which is the very next posture. LOL Nothing like being grounded again eh! For the Seperate Leg Stretching / Head to Knee Poses and Triangle they had us turn and face the side mirrors so that we were standing length ways along the mat. Something we don't do in Oz or in AK but the studio in LA did it also. It means you can't see yourself in the front mirror to check your alignment so you have to really feel where you are in the posture. An added bonus is that you don't end up dripping sweat on your neighbours mats which is prob something newcomers freak out about but after years of sweating together with fellow yogis for 90 mins every day I have to admit you fail to even notice a bit of sweat.

For Triangle they had us turn our heads first so that the profile of our face was visible to the side mirror, THEN move both our arms. (hmmm, maybe some of that dialogue is sticking in there after all?) That felt really different but did help to get your chin to your shoulder. The class finished with a very quiet subtle Kapalbhati breathing which I found very calming. Then a short prayer of thanks and several hits on a large gong which made a lovely tone and was a really nice way to close off everything.

So then it was back into the cold and time to get out onto the road to head for San Fransisco.