Lucky Star

You know how people say “I thank my lucky stars”? It makes sense. We wish on stars (well, I do), so why not thank them when we get what we want? You know what’s even better than getting what you want? Getting what you didn’t even know you wanted.

I write a lot about yoga and about Pure, the studio where I practice. It’s my yoga home, my happy place, my favourite place to be. But my love affair with yoga started long before Pure opened a year ago. I used to be a yoga nomad, wandering around, going to different classes at different studios.

At one particular class, a Madonna flow party, to be exact, I met Natalie. I thank my lucky stars I went to that class, on that day. Natalie is a yoga teacher who became a friend. She’s a big part of the reason I fell in love with yoga. I was already pretty into it, but practicing with Natalie felt like a perfect fit. I was challenged, I laughed, I discovered so much about myself and my practice.

Now that I practice at my happy place, I don’t see Natalie as much as I would like. She teaches at different studios. The perfect thing would be for her to teach at Pure. How happy I would be!

Today, however, I got to attend one of Natalie’s amazing ashtanga classes set to the music of Madonna. I’ve written about it before, here and here. I’m writing about it again, because it’s just so unbelivably incredible!

Imagine how open your heart is in a chair pose twist when you’re singing “open your heart to me”. I kid you not, that actually happened.

Natalie and I took a before class picture, when we all pretty and not sweaty. I wore my bow during the entire class. It got a little sweaty, but it’s the only time I get to wear a huge lace bow, so it stayed on. I brought Natalie a bow too.

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We also took an after class picture, where Natalie looks as fresh and lovely as when we started and I look like I went through a car wash. I do, however, love the way my hair ended up in a side pony. Very 80’s Madonna-ish.

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The only thing that kept this evening from being totally perfect was the fact that my friend Julie wasn’t there. We always went to these things together, but she’s busy being awesome in Abu Dhabi. Hopefully when she comes home for the summer, Natalie will have another funky Madonna flow!

Express yourself

Last night, I got to shake my groove thing and sing my heart out to the music of Madonna. Where was I, you ask? At a yoga class of course! Every few months, my favourite teacher Natalie has this amazing event called a Madonna Flow Party! Last time, my friend Julie and I dressed up, 80’s style. This time, I just went with crimped hair and a bow. (And my regular yoga clothes, obviously. I wasn’t naked or anything.)  My friend Steph came too and she wore a bow as well.

This is Natalie and I. She’s so cool.

Working the pink lace gloves.

With Steph and Julie working our bows and gloves.

Then, after all the picture taking and the warm-up dancing (I started dancing as soon as I walked in: dancing while I layed out my mat, dancing while I put my money in the donation bag, dancing while getting a block, dancing while filling up my water bottle. You get the picture.) the actual yoga started. It’s an ashtanga based class. The only ashtanga I’ve ever done is to Madonna music, so to me, it’s like a party every time!

This is easier to do when you’re singing Lucky Star.

No matter how tired I am, or how lousy a day or a week I’ve had, this class is an instant mood-booster. It’s the cupcake of yoga classes. How can you not smile while singing Like a virgin?

This is Natalie and I’s sweaty after picture. Smiling even more than in the before picture, I think!

The event is always to raise money for a charity and this time it was for the Global Seva Challenge. Megan, a yoga teacher at my second home, Pure yoga, is an ambassador for the charity. The 108 sun salutations I did last week was to raise money for the same charity.

After all the dancing and the singing and of course, the yoga, we slowed it down with a forward fold before savasana. During the forward fold, Natalie said something thst really stuck with me “Go within so you don’t have to go without.” I was thinking about this during savasana when I heard Natalie and her husband Mike, our dj, getting ready to say something. I thought they were going to chant. They did. It was “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur.” I laughed so hard I thought I might pass out.

It really was the perfect Friday night!

Madonna flow party

Picture a room full of people at a party. Talking, laughing, singing, dancing. Except that, instead of drinking, they’re doing yoga. Awesome, right? It’s not just any music either. It’s Madonna. Best party ever!

Last night, on day 12, I went to a Madonna flow party. Natalie, one of my favorite teachers, has these events every few months. She and her husband Mike, who is also the dj, lead an ashtanga class set to the music of Madonna. It’s the best yoga experience I’ve ever had! Plus, it’s always a fundraiser for a really good cause.

We showed up about 25 minutes early, because it gets pretty packed. Everyone wants to be a part of this amazingness. We ended up with our mats pretty close to our neighbours, but since it was a party, it was all good. People just kept showing up.

Julie and I have been to a few of these material girl parties, and since the music is mostly the earlier stuff, we decided to dress up. I even crimped my hair. Note to self, when crimped hair gets sweaty, it’s a disaster. But it was still worth it!

We took plenty of pictures before class started, because we knew it wouldn’t last. I did keep my hair bow and plastic bracelets on the entire time, but the earrings had to go. Julie’s leg warmers didn’t last very long either. One girl appointed herself judge and awarded us first prize for best costumes. No one else was dressed up, but it was still an honor.

This is Natalie. She’s awesome.

We started of with some sun salutations, then did some warrior 2 voguing and some Like a virgin sexy cobras. I also enjoyed the Like a prayer balancing poses, which turned into a dance session. Holding crescent lunge while singing is a lot easier than you would think. More fun, too.

On my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, number 61 is to go to a yoga-dance class. I’d say this definitely qualifies. Julie even did a flashdance pose. Not Madonna, I know, but the legwarmers could not be ignored.

I look forward to these parties for  months. The next one will be in June, but I don’t know how I’ll wait that long!