There was a time when finding a good happy hour was essential. Discovering the perfect combination of under $5 drinks with half-priced Buffalo wings was like finding a unicorn. Now that I'm a little older my priorities have changed and not to mention my body is more susceptible to break. These days, more than two drinks can result waking up with a life-ache, which is massively worse than a headache. Isn't getting older fun?
I moved to LA about three years ago from New York. Being in a new city with a new job I was constantly going out, meeting people, and of course -- finding some rather impressive watering holes. But it got old quickly. Indulging in too much booze was losing its appeal. I couldn't stumble into a cab or use my beloved NYC subway system -- the whole car factor makes a huge difference when it comes to going out. I had to find a new happy hour. Having been a gym-rat and a newly retired dancer, staying in shape has always been a priority. So I started going to yoga. I dabbled but I had never gone consistently. I slowly became obsessed. Similar to mastering a headstand or side crow, it happened over time. I tried out a few studios before finding one that was a good fit. I couldn’t get enough of this new physical, mental, and emotional cocktail that made me feel so good. I anticipated with great excitement seeing my favorite teachers and being a part of their transformative classes. I started seeing familiar faces at the studio and people knew my name and I knew theirs. It felt like my own personal "Cheers" bar. I started inviting friends to class, versus meeting at a bar. Tuning into my breath and sweating my brains out felt better than trying to squeeze in like a sardine at a crowded bar. Instead of taking shots, I was taking vinyasas.
I eventually got certified and started teaching. It took everything to a whole new level -- my body, my attitude, and my ability to know that I can survive anything thrown my way -- on or off the mat. Yoga had become my new happy hour. I had found my new high. And the best part was there was no such thing as consuming too much yoga. Don't get me wrong, I'll always be a sucker for a charming bar with character that has cheap wings, (I recommend the wings at Ye Rustic Inn on Hillhurst in Los Feliz. They're really saucy!) Although, lately there's nothing quite like the energy created in a yoga room that makes me feel alive and connected to myself and the world around me. There's nothing like the community created at a yoga studio, nothing like my yoga happy hour. Just like the theme song says, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.