:: DESTINATION :: Yoga Journal Conference San Francisco :: Part I
A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend Yoga Journal Conference at the Hyatt hotel near the waterfront in San Francisco, California. The drive to the bay from Santa Cruz is about an hour and half so I left the night before after I got off work. I stayed with one of my best friends, Jen. She lives in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland which is about a 15 minute BART ride to the conference. I had a photo shoot scheduled with the talented, Neil Gandhi at 9am Friday morning so I was up early. Neil is one of the official photographers for Yoga Journal Conference and I was honored he asked to schedule a shoot with me. We had a blast on location at the Palace of Fine Arts.
To be completely honest, I was a little bummed about my yoga skills during the shoot and the conference. I have had a lumbar spine and hamstring injury since November of 2014 that has severely affected my yoga practice. Neil was great to work with though, because he was completely understanding about my limitations. All the poses I was able to do during the shoot are just a reflection of where I am at in my physical yoga practice. The greatest lesson I've learned from my injury is that true yoga is not about the shape of my body, it is about my state of mind. Remaining positive during my injury has been one of the most humbling periods of my life. Since my yoga postures are limited, the shoot ended up with me simply hamming it up for the camera. (Go figure.)
After the shoot I headed to the conference where I met up with a close friend, Sheena. She is a fellow yoga instructor and a massage therapist based in The City. We had a great time walking around the event and catching up. Sheena recently moved back to the States after living in Japan and she always has the most adventurous (and hilarious) stories. While we were roaming around the conference, the wonderful women at the Teeki booth gifted us both a pair of their amazing leggings. Teeki apparel is made from recycled water bottles, but you wouldn't be able to tell based on how gorgeous and comfy their clothing looks and feels. We ended up wearing our pants all day and were excited to rock them at the photo booth Yoga Journal Conference had set up.
Every night of the conference Yoga Journal hosts a free happy hour called, "Vino & Vinyasa," which I think is comical as well as dangerous. But hey, yogis like to party too! Sheena and I loaded up on hummus and veggies then headed over to the hammock village where we planned out our Friday night in The City by the Bay. Since it is Sheena and me, you can bet that our plans included more vino and a little bit of house music. Sheena's girlfriend is a resident DJ at the W Hotel in downtown SF and she happened to be playing that night. If you ever have a chance to go to a W Hotel, order the brussels sprouts - they are a serious game changer.
We spent the night dancing and eating. I am a serious foodie and I was stoked on everything we ordered. The sweet potato fries, ahi salad, and the brussels sprouts were all delicious. Since Sheena had to wake up early the next morning, we left the club around 9pm. She drove us back to her house on the back of her moped in the rain. Scooting around the city while the rain drops sprinkled on my helmet was a major highlight of my trip. This sensation is now cemented in my mind as one of my most treasured memories. After we got back to Sheena's we changed into warm clothes, snuggled with her adorable dogs, and watched Desperate Housewives until we fell asleep. ;)
Thank you for reading! Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of my SF adventure. xx