phoenix, arizona / by vanessa

Well kids, the game is over. As you may remember, about a year ago, my roommate requested that I codename her for these here pages. Hence, Dre was born. But now, said roommate has joined society's underbelly: The Blogosphere. Not once, mind you, but TWICE. I can only take this brazen debut as a cry for celebrity, since getting airtime on this blog is tantamount to fame. Oh, and her name is Renee. Dre = Renee.

Anyway, so the second one she's writing with Christine. Which means that if blogging is anything like housework, Christine will be writing the blog. That's only mildly unfair since we now have a maid but whatever -- I'm looking forward to it. Check it: http://westside2davillage.blogspot.com/

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W-O-W. Should you find yourself in LA and wanting to take a yoga class, definitely take Anthony Benenati's class at City Yoga. Today I plunked down 50-exceptionally-well-spent bucks for four hours of handstands, forearm balances (including scorpion!), INSANE backbends, and intense hip-openers. Eight minute headstand. WHO does that?! Have you every taken one of those classes where you're actually getting sore *while* you're still IN the class? Yup. One of those. But, apropos of the workshop name, "Breakthrough", I actually had some of my own. A couple of light bulbs:

1. Full vinyasa and handstand on our fingertips: Why, you might ask? Because it's hard as hell, that's why. And it's good for the core, of course, and also for developing strength in the hands and wrists. I had no idea that my hyper-extended fingers and elbows are actually the result of poor muscle development.

2. Warrior II shoulders: not 'down and back', rather 'in and up'. What's cool about this is that it engages the lats and takes the strain out of the neck. Also he stressed that the fingertips should be natural - the queue he gave was "extend through the fingertips." Subtle stuff, but these are the kind of changes in my practice that keep it so exciting.

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Yay Mizzou!! Now, on to Oklahoma.