*This is another installment of the ‘Traveling Yogini’ series. Written by the charming guest blogger, Erin Grotheer (my roommate and soul sister)…
When in Rome, do Ashtanga yoga.
Or, ya know, when in Kansas City do Ashtanga yoga. Several weeks ago I went to Kansas City for a few days to see a friend and to putter around the city. I told myself that my days would be spent working on cover letters for potential real lawyer jobs post law school. I did make it to a coffee shop. I opened my laptop and instinctively directed my mouse to the internet. I, after all, had to keep up on my tres importante emails (mostly consisting of Philly’s Best Cheesesteak coupons). While on the intertubes, I figured I’d google some yoga studios in Kansas City. Low and behold, Maya yoga.
I picked Maya yoga because from looking at the google map it was the easiest to find. Also, their website had some neat photos. Sophisticated system of discerning quality yoga, I know. What a perfect segue into my theme from Kansas City: Say “yes” to the universe, make choices with ease and let yourself be surprised with the outcome. Because let me tell you, I was thoroughly pleasantly surprised with Maya yoga, a studio I had absolutely no preconceived notions about.
I took two classes at Maya yoga, both introductory flows through the Ashtanga series. I was completely green, yet eager to get a glimpse at the series. I f’in loved it. I want more Ashtanga. That want to foster a sense of community and interconnectedness in a yoga class? Ya, that’s a given with Ashtanga. Once you get the gist of the order of poses, you just let go. You can truly go inwards and shut the mind faucet off because you’re just a wave in the Ashtanga ocean. I’m excited to read more about Ashtanga, especially the chants associated with the greeting and closing.
There’s also something to be said for the physical build up of an Ashtanga series. I know this sounds naïve, especially considering this is primarily why people get hooked to Ashtanga in the first place. But you find yourself easing into more difficult poses better than you have before in a, say, vinyasa style class. I know that in every style, you perform poses in an order to warm up your body and prepare you for difficulties to come. Something about Ashtanga, though, just makes that goal more of a reality. If you’re ever in Kansas City, go to Maya Yoga! I took a class with Samantha, who was a peach (!), and with Kathleen, who is the co-owner of the studio. Both of these women were vibrant, beautiful, and calming.
Thank you Maya Yoga for making me feel at home, for letting me bring my huge suitcase into the studio, and for discreetly whispering to me when I was doing the wrong pose.