Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Carlsbad and Encinitas, California: A little yoga pilgrimage

It's midnight here in Irvine, California, where I am staying at the home of a couple of friends who are hosting me (I came down here from LA immediately after Kino's workshop last weekend). It's way past my bedtime; fortunately, tomorrow is a moon day, so I don't have to worry about getting up very early :-)

But I want to write about the little yoga pilgrimage that I undertook here in SoCal today before I go to bed. It started with my going to mysore this morning at Tim Miller's studio, the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Carlsbad. I had a little trouble finding the place; apparently, part of the road on which the shopping center in which Tim's studio is located has a different name, and my directions did not reflect that.Which threw me off for a little while, until I remembered from Tim's website that the studio is located directly above H&M (a trendy fashion store). So I asked a few locals where the H&M was (I didn't think many locals would know where the Ashtanga Yoga Center is, but H&M is a different story...), and was able to use the directions they gave me to the H&M to find Tim's studio. Isn't it interesting how you can use something that was intended for one purpose for another purpose? I can't help feeling that it was the energy of Hanuman that helped me to manifest the wisdom to find the place in this creative way.

Practice at Tim's was great. Before class started, Tim walked around chatting with people. When he got to me, he said, "We've met before. You look familiar." I then proceeded to explain to him that I had attended his workshop back in 2008 at Miami Life Center (Kino's studio). In response, Tim simply smiled serenely, and said, "Good to meet you again." It's things like this that sometimes make me wonder if I end up giving too much information to people--information that are, in some sense, not terribly essential to the encounter--when I introduce myself.

Anyway, after the introduction, I proceeded to do my practice. It was great, as I said. I did full primary and second up to Kapotasana. Through it all, I got just one adjustment from Tim (in Virabhadrasana B), but I was happy with my practice. As with many other mysore rooms that I have been in, there was something about this practice room that made me practice at a faster pace than I usually do at home (group energy?), so that by the time I got out of Kapo, I was totally winded. It was all I could do to do three backbends, and stand up from the third one. I just didn't have it in me to do dropbacks and standups. Neither Tim nor his assistant insisted either, so I just went straight to the finishing postures.

After class, I asked Tim if he would pose for a picture with me, and he agreed:

I'm guessing you know which one is Tim (Hint: Not the Chinese guy with glasses.)

After leaving Tim's studio, I stopped at a Starbuck's to have some coffee and a little bite to eat, and then proceeded to Encinitas: 

Encinitas, as many of you know, is home to many things yoga. One of them is, of course, the Jois Yoga studio:

The storefront of Jois Yoga

The Jois Yoga store in Encinitas is divided into two sections: A boutique and a studio. 

The studio space in Jois Yoga

Me standing in front of Guruji in the boutique

Besides Ashtanga, Encinitas is also home to another yoga lineage. The headquarters of the Self-Realization Fellowship is also located here in Encinitas: 

I spent half the afternoon in Encinitas. Encinitas is a beautiful little city with a certain timelessness to it; perhaps the city itself does yoga too, and is thus able to delay the effects of aging and change :-) So much so, that I also can't help wondering if Encinitas might not be the place where good American yogis go after they die. Just wondering; don't take my words too seriously, especially if you happen to be from New York or Miami. 
Anyway... I suppose I should go to bed now. I am setting out on the long journey back to Idaho tomorrow, and I probably should get some sleep before that. More later.  


  1. It was nice meeting you yesterday! Also glad you were able to take a picture with Tim. I guess you didnt get there earlier to sing the Chaleesa? wishing you safe travels today on this Moon Day! and yes, the energy in his room is unbelievable! i remember when I first moved here, I was quite overwhelmed by it, and it was difficult for me to keep my dristi since there are so many advanced students. But,I now have my dristi back!

    1. Great meeting you yesterday too! No, I didn't get there in time to sing the Chaleesa (bummer...); in fact, I almost didn't find the place, and was on the point of just giving up and turning back. It was probably Tim's Hanuman energy that kept me going till I found his place.

      Yes, I also agree that it is a bit difficult to keep drishti in Tim's studio :-)

  2. Thanks for sharing this bit of your journey with us, Nobel. I don't know what I expected the Jois Yoga studio to look like, but I never pictured it in a strip mall! I guess we're all a product of our times, huh? And Tim above the H&M? That cracks me up. Travel safely home, my friend.

    1. I think there is great significance to the fact that Tim's studio is tucked away in a little corner above the H&M in a very fancy shopping mall. For me, it seems to signify that you can always find the sublime in this mundane materialistic world, if you only know where to look :-)

    2. H and M arrived post Tim. Jois Yoga is no longer, but it is not a strip mall, but street level retail that had a back entrance/ parking and was a knock dead gorgeous, top-of-the-line space on the Historic Highway 101.

  3. Blogger needs a like button! great photo of you & Tim, but priceless photo of you photobombing Guruji while your head is surrounded by a pinkish white aura!

    1. Thanks sf. Gee, I didn't even notice the aura around my head until you pointed it out! It also looks like Guruji is somehow using his folded hands to generate that aura...

  4. The Ashtanga Yoga location looks fantastic! We provide them with wholesale yoga mats and products each year, and it's great to finally see some photos of the place! I've heard such nice things about their location and patrons.

    - JO