Posted by: Hil | January 15, 2009

Salads and Sun Salutations

I had a day of salads yesterday.  The judge took us out to lunch, where I acquired a perfectly respectable mixed green salad with spiced chicken and blackberries.  But dinner was the real excitement…


I only got one shot before my camera ran out of batteries, but please take my word for it that this salad was amazing.  This was my first time eating at this restaurant, and it was wonderful.  The menu is short, but healthy, delicious, and relatively inexpensive.  If you want a hot meal, you can take one of four options from the grill:  flank steak, herbed chicken, seared tuna, or mixed grilled veggies.  You can have your grilled stuff three ways:  with a giant, fresh, delicious salad, on focaccia bread as part of a sandwich (with side salad), or as part of a hot plate with mashed potatoes and side salad of your choice.  I ordered a flank steak salad with butter lettuce, beets, radishes, and horseradish vinaigrette.  This was a very, very, very good salad.  Lettuce is a very delicious thing when it is truly fresh, and butter lettuce is my favorite of them all.  The salad was dressed perfectly…just enough to coat the leaves and impart some flavor, but not so much that the salad becomes gloppy or weighed down.  The Lemonator had a hot plate, which he was very pleased with.  This will definitely go on our rotation of healthy, affordable places to eat out.

After dinner, I headed to yoga.  I decided to go with a beginner class, since I’m a bit out of practice and that was the time that made the most sense for me.  The studio space was nice, if small, and the instructor really took care to make sure that everyone was comfortable and had appropriate modifications if they had trouble with a move.  The atmosphere was very nonjudgmental and supportive.  The class was very gentle and relaxing.

This was a true beginners class…something that I never experienced when I was first starting.  This class seemed geared toward people who were completely new to yoga, don’t know the basic sun salutation, or lack the flexibility and strength to keep up in a normal yoga class.  My reaction to that was mixed.  On the one hand, I’m really glad that there’s a place for new and inflexible people to get acclimated to yoga.  It’s the sort of class where I would feel totally comfortable bringing the Lemonator.  There were a range of ages and fitness levels in the class and lots of men, which was nice.

The thing is, even though I’m out of practice, I want something more challenging than this.  Yes, I’m a bit wobbly, and I have a lot of stored up tension in my back, hips and hamstrings.  But I know the basic asanas, and I am perfectly capable of executing a sun salutation, tree, or plough.  While the class did some of the elements of the sun salutation, we never linked them together.  At one point, we were doing a sort of pre-shoulderstand/plough pose, and I flipped the rest of the way over, and the instructor told me not to.  This class was a very nice warmup, but isn’t going to work for me in the long run.

It’s funny, because I’m typically a fan of gentle, pleasant exercise, but with yoga, I prefer to have my butt kicked.  With yoga, I want to be pushed out of my comfort zone and I want to leave exhausted, but deeply relaxed.  I’m going to try one of the more advanced classes soon, but the times are a lot less convenient.  There is no shortage of yoga studios in Los Angeles, but this one is at a very convenient location for me, and I do love the nonjudgmental, work at your own pace atmosphere.  So hopefully I will be able to find something that works.



  1. I also like to be pushed in yoga, I get more out of it that way. Slow paced classes with alot of “instruction” leave me frustrated and needing more. I hope you find a more suitable class!

  2. Mmmmm that salad sounds great!

    I’m just like you with yoga… I think it’s my need to feel a little sore so I know I worked hard and am improving. I love when you get to that point that the once difficult poses become second nature. So rewarding. Best of luck with your search for your class. I’m right there avec toi!

  3. Good luck with the yoga. It’s so exciting to find healthy restaurants!

  4. Ya know, sometimes restaurant salad can be v. disappointing. Brown lettuce and all that yucka. So, I definitely understand your excitement.

    I know it’s frustrating when you really want a tough class and it’s kind of … easy. I always just try to remember that I always need practice feeling the poses and working on my alignment. I am sure you will find something more challenging though!

  5. sorry yoga was disappointing—i’m surprised that the instructor told you not to modify the pose to suite your needs. I sometimes like a more beginner/slower practice because it allows me to really focus on my alignment and get really deep into a pose and I always go a little further if I feel comfortable. it seems like this isnt the case with this class though, so definitely keep looking for one that works better for you!

  6. Awh, sorry to hear things didn’t go too well with yoga. Great eats, and I’m glad you had a delicious time! The salad does look amazing!

  7. pray tell, at what restaurant did you find that delicious salad?

    have you tried hot yoga? I was totally anti-yoga forever — I’ve always been a runner — but i got hooked on hot yoga. it kicks my @$$. now i’m hooked. i only have time to do it once a week, but it’s a nice change from the regular workout routine.

  8. […] I  blogged a couple months back about my decision to venture back into yoga and some of my struggles with finding the right class.  For the last several weeks, I’ve been attending class […]

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