At the age of 14 I had my first taste of California on a family trip. I had no idea at the time how defining the vacation would be for my direction of my life. I told my mom I would move to California when I ‘grew up’ near the close of our trip. She smiled and said “I know…”. I was in awe of everything about the west coast. I remember seeing people practicing yoga and Tai Chi in their tiny yards and in the parks, finding it both strange and fascinating that people would practice movement in such a very public way. I was intrigued by the simultaneous bustle and the seeming calm people found in the urban grind.
To move from a small hometown – population 700 – to cities like Detroit, D.C. and eventually Los Angeles is a big deal. I am the quintessential small town girl living in a very big city. I’m the first to admit there are days I forget my roots, getting wrapped up in Los Angeles and all it has to offer. It’s when I realize I’m forgetting that I stive to put my feet on the earth, my toes in the grass or simply sit by the ocean and watch the waves crash. The need to stay grounded and humbled is ever-present. It’s a privilege to be here in this city and on this earth; to soak in this energy and to have the chance to make each day a little sweeter.
When I see tourists and visitors I feel a connection to their curiosity. The awe of watching residents here simply go about their day, doing perfectly, seemingly normal things like working out oceanside and grabbing food from a truck before peddling away on a beach cruiser. It gives me pause and brings me to a place of reflection to think about the things I once thought novel – like yoga in a park or on a pier – as an normal part of my daily life.
“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.”
- Chef, Personality & Author Andrew Zimmern
Nearing 30 is causing me to slow, think and be more grateful for where my life is now. I’m just beginning to feel like a resident and not a tourist in my own life. Growing into my skin, if you will. Not waiting for what I will be but experiencing what I am each day. I hope you will join me for the next 11×30 challenge, practicing yoga daily. If you get up and stretch in a down dog one morning or try a more advanced practice - or even simply try yoga for the first time – I would love to hear from you.
The photos for this post are from more recent yoga-in-the-park and yoga-on-the-pier experiences. Bringing my workout outdoors has been pure joy. Thank you to Wanderlust for assembling a team that kept us focused on our flow and life with Yoga in the City. And to PureWow for their collaboration with Yogaworks’ instructors Alyssa and Calvin to create a peaceful beachside flow over the past weekend.
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