Stretch it out: Exhale Santa Monica

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At my last check up, I told my doctor about the mysterious headaches that I was getting. I’m not migraine-prone, so I wasn’t sure what this new pain was all about. My guess was computer eyestrain, but after attempting to roll my head around (a tug of war with my doctor saying, “Relax” and me replying, “I am relaxed. This is me relaxed.”), doc noticed that I couldn’t touch my chin to my chest, which apparently is not normal for a thirty-something woman (Note: my almost seventy-something mom has no problem with this exercise). Doc recommended that I start taking yoga classes immediately to limber up my neck muscles and prevent the tightening that was giving me headaches. Now, I’m not exactly an exercise enthusiast (although I have been trying to hike more—I live in Los Angeles most of the time now, I might as well take advantage of it), so I put off the yoga prescription. But then Exhale Santa Monica started offering yoga classes with a complimentary first class, so I figured I would give it a try today…

Exhale’s free class promotion was for the first week of January (1/1-8: sorry, today was the last day) and I tried the noon Exhale Flow class with instructor Kate. Let me tell you, this class was tough! As a total yoga newbie with a very inflexible body, I was a bit confused about what I was doing at first, but Kate’s teaching style repeats poses throughout the class, so I was able to familiarize myself somewhat (and not look totally ridiculous, I hope) by the end of the hour.

I think that one of the big reasons that I’m not an exercise enthusiast is that I always get so ravenous after a workout that I eat everything in sight (a habit that stems from all the Jack in the Box drive-thru pilgrimages after swimming in the summertime with my dad and brother)—so inevitably, I end up gaining weight instead of losing. This time, I treated myself to lunch at Fig, the sunny restaurant next to Exhale in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (where Exhale is located). While Fig doesn’t offer it’s delicious baguettes with garlic parsley butter anymore (such a shame!), they do have these delicious parker house-like mini rolls with homemade French butter that are totally worth the splurge. I’m totally going to get fat doing yoga…