On Saturday morning, I ventured out to the Washington Monument on the National Mall for Yoga on the Mall Day. I ended up going all alone because friends had previous engagements (or they flaked out on me in the morning -- whomp whomp). It happens!
If you're a regular reader, you know that I can sometimes get a little nervous when it comes to group workouts with strangers. I usually end up getting over it, but I can still be a wuss up until that point. Bending and stretching in tight clothing in the middle of the National Mall at the sunniest, hottest point in the day, with strangers... I'd say it was a little fear inducing, to say the least. Fortunately, yogis are super nice (probably by virtue of practicing yoga), so I wasn't so petrified once I claimed out a spot.
Now... about that spot...
We were stationed between the Washington Monument and the Sylvan Theatre stage, which is where they instructors were positioned. Now, one thing that most people probably don't realize is that there are sprinklers along the National Mall. You don't usually see them, which is probably why it came as a shock after I set up my mat and all of my gear, and heard screaming, and felt a blast of water hit me in the butt. Dang it.
As we know, my wet yoga butt was not my first wardrobe malfunction, and it certainly won't be the last. Needless to say, it was annoying, and after one of the volunteer yoga instructors covered it, I moved out of range to another spot where I could still see the stage.
Then, the inevitable happened... again. AGAIN I was sprayed by a daggone sprinkler! What the fudge, National Mall?! Good grief!
|Lex = Not Amused.|
|A lot of freestyling going on in between segments.|
Finally, it was time for the yoga to begin! I wasn't sure what to expect, since we had 90 minutes left, and there were a lot of yoga instructors on stage. The first instructor led the group through what was supposed to be a beginner's practice. Apparently the expectation is that beginners are Gumby, because the things that lady had us doing WERE NOT easy! I was definitely sweating and getting jacked up all over my yoga mat after those 30 minutes!
I really enjoyed the second instructor, Marcus Less, the best. He took us through a flow, which I think was Vinyasa Yoga (my favorite style). I really felt some of my tight, running muscles loosening up, but I could also feel the burn. With the sun out in full view, and the temperature cranking up at least 10 degrees, I was definitely getting my sweat on. Marcus was funny because he was making snarky comments, but he made it a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this segment.
The final instructor was Brittanie DeChino. She was pretty good, though her style was teetering on the edge of my comfort zone. She sort of chanted, which was something I hadn't really experienced during yoga previously. It was different. She, of course, got us into everyone's favorite pose: Savasana. It felt amazing to lay down in the middle of the Mall with the sun beating down on me. AMAZING!
Having no additional plans for the afternoon, I decided to be a tourist in my own city. It's one of my favorite things to do when I'm not rushing in between places. There was a lot of hustle and bustle around the Mall, and lots of people watching to take in. I stopped by the South Lawn of the White House and snapped a photo, and also saw a Falun Dafa celebration. I walked to the Metro Center station, and headed towards home. Once I arrived at the Silver Spring Metro, I realized I was wicked hungry (oops... forgot breakfast again. Dang it!), so I stopped by sweetgreen for the first time, and had an absolutely scrumptious salad with a pun for a name. So good!
All in all, it was a great day for some R&R. In the end, I was actually happy I got to spend a day by myself. I got some serious reflecting done, and just felt totally at peace by the time I arrived home. I showered, passed out, woke up briefly, then slept some more. ELEVEN HOURS OF SLEEP! I don't even know how I did it, to be honest, but I'm happy I did!
I would definitely do yoga with a large group of strangers again. Everyone was so nice, and people were helping each other with the poses. I didn't feel like I was being judged when I was messing up half of the poses, and instead felt quite at ease. It was all very zen.
Have you ever tried yoga with a group larger than a regular yoga class? Were you at Yoga on the Mall? Have you ever been sprayed by a sprinkler on the Mall?