Go with the flow

Trying yoga for the first time can be an intimidating experience. But that misses the point of this ancient practice that combines stretching, breath … and peace

Yoga instructor Petri Brill strikes a pose at her studio YogaSport, which provides beginners’ classes for the uninitiated. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Yoga instructor Petri Brill strikes a pose at her studio YogaSport, which provides beginners’ classes for the uninitiated. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

JEF TINGLEY  | Contributing Writer

Some do it for their mind, some do it for their body, some do it for both. But all yoga students have one thing in common: Making the first step and taking up the practice. And while this age-old combination of stretching and breathing is meant to calm the mind and strengthen the muscles, a maiden voyage into a posterior-lifting position like downward-facing dog in a room full of strangers can send one’s heart racing. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

“People new to yoga should remember that everyone in class was a beginner at one point,” says Petri Brill, manager of YogaSport Dallas on Lemmon Avenue. “Yoga is a journey, not a destination. There is no perfect practice or perfect yogi or perfect yoga body. I think people worry about they’ll look [or] feel foolish in their first down-dog [and] that they’ll be judged. Our [yoga] community is diverse, encouraging and accepting: no judgment here!”

Mary Pierce Armstrong, who teaches at MarYoga, agrees that you should always look inward. “Yoga will come to meet you no matter where you are starting from. As long as you take the breath and the breaks you need, you will be doing awesome.”

For Wendy Moore, a 44-year-old yoga newbie, has taken these words of wisdom to the mat — literally. Moore recently completed her second MarYoga class as part of her new year regime. Any inhibitions she had about the experience were dispelled during her first visit.

“[I was] concerned about my general lack of bendy-ness, and not knowing where to put what arm and leg,” she says, “but if you look around you will figure out where your limbs are supposed to be by what others are doing.” Moore has continued to work on poses between classes with some slight variations mimicked by “what her cats are able to do.”

Keith Murray, a 37-year-old registered nurse, tried yoga for the first time more than eight years ago and was immediately hooked. He was taking classes three times a week before long. “I was a little intimidated about the whole thing at first,” he says, “but after my first couple of sessions my intimidation grew into excitement.”

A busy work schedule has kept Murray from his regular routine over the years, but he is trying to change that. “I still maintain a crazy life and work routine, but building yoga back into my life has really helped me to find balance again.”

According to yoga teacher Jennifer Lawson of SYNC Yoga & Wellbeing, it’s not just busy schedules and bundled nerves that keep people from the practice of yoga; it’s also our cultural fixation on success. “There tends to be so much emphasis on achievement and perfection that many of us are becoming accustomed to playing it safe in order to avoid the possibility of shame.”

Lawson recommends coming together as a group in a class with experienced and inexperienced yogis to create an environment that emphasizes the experience and process of yoga and not the destination or end result.

For Anisha Mandol, a 42-year-old business development manager who has been practicing yoga for about two years, these words ring true. “Once you understand your expectation from practicing, no one else’s matters. The benefits of yoga are fluid and dynamic, and each person has their own unique experience. Own yours,” she says.

And so it would seem that just as the journey of a million miles begins with one step, the journey toward a yoga-filled life begins with a single stretch on the matt (and maybe a little Namaste for good measure).

………………………………………………….

SAY NAMASTE: WHERE TO GET YOUR YOGA FIX

Options are plentiful for the budding yogi looking for a class. Get your stretch on at these studios in and around the gayborhood. You can also find information on their class offerings and schedules on their websites.

Yoga Sport Dallas
4140 Lemmon Ave, Suite 280
214-520-YOGA
YogaSportDallas.com

SYNC Yoga & Wellbeing
611 N. Bishop Ave.
214-843-3372
SyncDallas.com

MarYoga at Chi Studio
807 Fletcher St.
ChiDallas.com

Sunstone Yoga
2907 Routh St. (and other locations)
214-764-2119
SunstoneYoga.com

Gaia Flow Yoga Uptown
3000 Blackburn St., Suite 140B
214-235-1153
GaiaFlowYoga.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Winter SolstiCelebration concludes tonight at COH

This is a journey into solstice

The annual Winter SolstiCelebration has gotten so big, it’s now spread across two days. In its 19th year, the event uses music, dance, ceremony and more to observe the Winter Solstice. And don’t forget the Yule Fest. Canned food and winterwear donations are encouraged.

DEETS: Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. 7 p.m. Through Saturday. $15. EarthRhythms.org.

—  Rich Lopez

‘Spring Awakening’ tonight at WaterTower

Coming of age

“This rock musical adaptation of an 1891 German play is set against the backdrop of a progressive and provincial late 19th century Germany.  Spring Awakening tells the timeless story of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality through the eyes of three teenagers.  Haunting and provocative, Spring Awakening celebrates an unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood.  The musical won multiple Tony Awards (8 awards including Best Musical).”

— from WaterTowerTheatre.org

DEETS: WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. 7:30 p.m. $20–$50. WaterTowerTheatre.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Kylie Minogue at Verizon in May

Kylie Minogue has been plugging her non-North American tour mostly, but she’s finally announced the U.S. leg of her tour with one stop in Dallas. OK, Grand Prairie to be exact. Pre-sale tix for the U.S. leg go on sale to the public Jan. 22. Her North American dates will be presented by Logo TV, so this could be the gayest concert of the year — so far.

“The reaction to Aphrodite has been absolutely incredible and has inspired me and my creative team to develop a new show that will take all of us on a euphoric journey of joy, excitement and glamour.  I can’t wait to get on the road and see all my fans in 2011,” said Minogue.

Euphoric? Whoa.

—  Rich Lopez

Shameless Journey video break: Steve Perry surfaces at Giants game 5 NLCS

Steve Perry sightings are rare, you know. Since he effectively retired from performing after Journey’s 1996 Trial By Fire album, you rarely hear from “The Voice” — or see him for that matter. Those rare sightings for Perry loyalists usually means more fantasies of him coming out of retirement. Note to the die-hards: I don’t see it happening. He (and his voice) can’t live up to expectations of 1980s SP. Just hit repeat on your MP3s and treasure that. I do.

It’s nice to see him happy and exuberant cheering on his beloved S.F. Giants with the crowd.

As far as the current iteration of Journey is concerned, the word is that a new album (with fantastic current lead singer Arnel Pineda) is going to be out in March 2011, with a world tour following. I’m a member of the Arnel Pineda fan site (he’s a really nice guy); go ahead and laugh — it’s like being 16 again, except at least there are more people in the group that are my age than I expected. The only other fan group I belong to is for L&O: SVU, so that makes two obsessions other than politics; the diversion keeps me centered if a bit eccentric. But you already knew I was a bit out of the ordinary…

So I’m putting the word out now — anyone out there who has connections to get badass concert seats (and a backstage pass) for me, you now know how to make this blogmistress really happy. :)

Related:

* Blogmistress music overload: my Journey immersion weekend
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Filmmaker Robert Camina releases trailer for documentary on Rainbow Lounge raid

On June 28, 2009, within hours of a raid by Fort Worth police officers and agents with the TABC on the newly opened Rainbow Lounge gay bar, local filmmaker Robert L. Camina was at the bar with his camera, talking to people who had witnessed the event and capturing footage of the two protest rallies — one outside the bar and one in front of the Tarrant County Courthouse.

The North Texas LGBT community — indeed, the LGBT community across the country — reacted swiftly and angrily, demanding accountability from TABC and FWPD. LGBT people and their supporters packed the next Fort Worth City Council meeting, demanding a response. And Camina was there with his camera.

Today, on the one-year anniversary of the raid, Camina has released a trailer for his documentary, “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge,” a work in progress that, Camina says, “follows the rollercoaster of a journey, showcasing the good, the bad, the ugly and the controversial.”

The trailer for the documentary is below, and you can go here to Camina’s website for more information.

—  admin