My friend, Claire, arranged a free pass for me to try out one of the yoga classes at California Yoga and Fitness Centre. We arrived about 7 minutes before the class, and the mats were almost fully booked out! Exactly like a cinema seating set up, you choose a numbered mat, and they hand you a ticket with your number. This was fascinating – it shows that the classes are so popular that they have to use a first come-first serve seating system!
The class started off and ended with super long Aum chants – like seriously, how do you even Aum that long? The teacher, Manish, was great, his timing of “inhale, exhale” was perfectly in sync to my breath. He’d remind specific students to straighten their spine, with a smile. He’d walked around correcting students and assisting students to move deeper into their pose, where he could see that the student had the potential. He even went so far as to touch some students’ feet to their hands and move students from Standing Back Bend (Anuvittasana) into a bridge!
It was a Gentle Yoga class, but there was so much sweat and intensity. At one intense point in a series of Superman poses (Viparita Shalabhasana), people were really struggling, and someone flopped to the ground creating a loud thud and everyone burst out with laughter!
With an entire floor dedicated to Yoga (hence the name of the gym), 8 Yoga classes a day and 14 (fourteen!) different types of yoga classes led by Indian teachers, is it necessary to say that I joined the gym (yes, me!) in time for the next class?