Bikram Yoga St. Augustine, when she was visiting Cape Cod last summer; she took my class at Bikram Yoga Brewster. She told me about her studio- how there were lots of fun instructors and students, how they train for competition together, and how they all hang out a lot. She said the town is awesome, the studio being on an island with a great beach, everyone driving scooters and surfing.
A place I never would have known, and it was sounding good!
Six months later, Kate was set to host the Florida Regional Asana Competition in St. Augustine and open her second studio, and needless to say, needed some extra help! We connected on Facebook and she invited me out. The timing was perfect with where my plans extended to so I came to St. Augustine.
The first weekend I was there was busy busy busy! Senior teachers and judges were in town so I got to take classes from them and get to know some of them better outside the room. I watched a competition for the first time which was very inspiring. I hadn’t ever been part of a yoga community where competition was important to them.
The unique thing about Kate’s students is that they have had their studio for over a decade, so many of them have been practicing much longer than me. They have had good instruction and therefore have good determination and “etiquette.” Their openness to me combined with where I have reached in my teaching made the studio experience a perfect fit.
One problem with traveling a lot is that it is difficult for me to meet friends. Sometimes there are a couple other yoga teachers or students to hang out with but I still seem to be hanging out with just myself a lot. The “gang” here really felt like a family. The other teachers and the students and their families were such a fun group to spend time with. We had potlucks and parties, went to concerts and festivals, yoga seminars, and even hung out at the studio sometimes. And the group was a wide range of ages, with some people coming and going as St. Augustine tends to be a transient place. Everyone seemed to be healthy minded and free spirited. Being around them helped me to discover that within myself too.
Kate set me up with an amazing room at Brittney’s house just down the street from the studio. Brittney is a world traveler, raw food expert, and gypsy yogini. She teaches Ashtanga yoga in her house, which was a pivotal part of my yoga journey as well. I really opened my practice and my heart to Ashtanga yoga and was receiving excellent instruction from her. I had only done a few Ashtanga/Vinyasa classes in the past and knew that good teachers are hard to find and crucial to the practice. Brittney let me ask her questions about yoga, cooking, and traveling all the time. We had intellectual conversation and she was a big part of my personal shift that happened while I was in St. Augustine.
I also finally had the privilege of a proper kitchen fully equipped with juicer, food processor, dehydrator, blender, spices, cookbooks, and SPACE so for the first time in my life I took up cooking. Wow did I have so much to learn! I became a regular at the farmer’s market and health food store and slowly made my way from recipes to a bit of improvising. I once thought there was no hope for me in the kitchen but I believe I am well on my way!