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A Yoga Inspiration: Tamal Dodge

18 Oct, 2011 By: Angelique Flores

I went to one of the most unique — and probably most fulfilling — DVD release parties in my seven years at HMM.

This past Sunday night, yogi Tamal Dodge hosted the gathering for his own DVD, Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners (Anchor Bay Entertainment), which recently was released.

The evening started with a yoga class at the Yoga Collective in Santa Monica, Calif., a studio Tamal (pictured at right) opened three years ago. He led the class, which was quite rigorous, and ended it singing his own song with what sounded like a ukele (I couldn’t see because my eyes were supposed to remain closed in meditation).

Following the class, Tamal offered hot tea from Teatulia, a heavenly assortment of dark chocolates and music.

Only 26, Tamal’s been practicing yoga his entire life and teaching for 10 years. He was raised on his family’s ashram in Hawaii. He wrote and performed the songs for the DVD, which, if they’re anything like the song he sang during class, are sure to be soothing and beautiful.

I should note this was my very first yoga class. (I’m not counting the yoga DVDs I’ve done.) I also should note, I had a preconceived notion that yoga studios were these annoyingly quiet Zen-like places devoid of humor and filled with people in bright-colored spandex pants and pretty, matching bra tops with no fat to hide. And after a workout with their bodies glistening, not sweaty, they go out for a vegan sandwich and a smoothie. Meanwhile, I’m the kind of girl who shows up to a workout in old loose T-shirts and shorts. I sweat enough to lose the weight of a small baby, and afterward I go home and make myself chorizo tacos. Talk about bull in a china shop; at least, that’s what I expected.

So I found my nice black spandex pants and a decent tank top, and I was pleasantly surprised by my experience. Even though I don’t have other classes to compare to, Tamal had a soothing energy, an honest smile and a refreshing sense of humor, which is most welcome when you’re bending upside down, muscles shaking and sweat blinding your eyes (or maybe that was just me). I left relaxed and invigorated and ready to start the week.

I can’t imagine how the DVD will capture all of Tamal’s energy, but I surely plan to try it out.

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