Day 3: Relax & Restore
Background: Happy-U Yoga is a community-oriented yoga oasis nestled in Ocean Beach. The acronym HAPPY stands for the Holistic Approach to Positive Psychology & Yoga. All levels of practice are welcome, and the goal of each class is growth, love, and connection. The space is non-heated, non-reflective (no mirrors), and non-intimidating. For a transformative experience and endless good vibes, check out Happy-U Yoga here.
Now this was RIGHT up my alley.
That’s right — low cardio, minimal sweating, and we’re encouraged to lay on the ground and do nothing. If you are not familiar with this glorious pose it is Savasana [pronounced sha-VAH-suh-nuh] and I suggest you try it immediately.
Dylan called the studio ahead to make sure we would come prepared, but it turns out you don’t need to bring anything at all. Happy-U has everything for your practice: mats, blocks, straps, blankets — even eye masks!
We chose to take the community yoga class and headed to the studio. This class is $5 to attend and offered at 4 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Walking in was like walking into a Balinese spa. Warm air mixed with sounds of rain and an intoxicating scent wafted through the air. A friendly face greeted us at the counter who turned out to also be the studio owner, Karson. After learning how limited our experience with yoga was, she assured us we had come to the right place.
She was right.
Happy U is an interactive experience designed to make each class work for each person. Our instructor, Liz, was fantastic. She helped us set up the equipment which was all new to us. Then she asked what we were hoping to work on that day and if we had experienced any injuries. Dylan explained how his lower back had been bothering him from playing basketball. Acting on the information, she integrated poses into the class that help ease lower back pain.
She also checked in often during the class. If we appeared to be struggling to get into a pose, she recommended modifications that would help. Beyond that, she showed us several ways to do each pose using the blocks or bolsters. We both definitely had sore legs from moving around in a new way, but ended the session feeling good.
Then in all its glory — the Savasana. Dylan and I spend a lot of time on our computers, and it’s amazing what 5 minutes to completely relax can do. Liz offered us eye masks to black out the light and then asked if we were open to an adjustment. We weren’t exactly sure what that meant, but next thing you know we are having scented oils dabbed on us.
We will absolutely return.
Meet the Instructor:
Liz Smith: @smithelizz
What is your favorite thing about yoga?
My favorite thing about yoga is the feeling after you practice. The feeling of being connected to your purest highest self.
If you were to meet someone new to yoga who was hesitant to try it, what advice would you give?
I would say that if you are new to yoga, know that the purpose of yoga is to calm the fluctuations of the mind. The poses aren’t everything. You can be seated the entire time, and as long as you are breathing and your mind is somewhat calm, you are practicing yoga.
What are the benefits of yoga for exercisers who do high-intensity workouts like spin?
For people doing more cardio-focused workouts, yoga is a perfect quiet point in your week. Going one or two times a week is great for stretching, especially if you are able to take a restorative class. There are really nice evening classes; some have candles lit and slow flows which are relaxing and restorative. Above all, it is an opportunity to check in with yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically.
What’s your favorite pre-workout jam?
Right now I’m jonesing on Drake’s new album, so probably a little Nice For What!
Share your experience with the hashtag #100VizerDays or meet us at the studio to join in on the fun! Up next is BoxFit in North Park!