When I was in high school, sometime around my junior year, the school started offering yoga as a PE option. My Midwestern mother was horrified and forbade me to take it. There was no way, she said, that her daughter was going to turn into one of those “flaky Californians.” After yoga would come tofu, then astrology, and this was a slope she was not going to see me slip down. I laughed, signed up, and found myself being taught, from a book, by the same elderly woman who taught badminton and volleyball. I did not get the point of yoga from her classes, to my mother’s relief.
But this is California, after all, and I eventually found the real thing. Rusty Wells is his name. Tall and lanky, with a sleepy smile and a Southern drawl he teaches a difficult class that anyone, at any level, can be comfortable in. His classes are sweaty and hard and meditative and fun and all of this because of the strength of the guide. He creates an experience, makes the bliss of yoga accessible to anyone who is willing to show up and try. He’s a real San Francisco treasure, as evidenced by the classes that fill to capacity nearly every day of the week.
Now, I’m aware that I might be writing to a few experienced yogis and yoginis out there. I feel your skepticism and to it I say, just give him a try. You’re probably looking for a nice class to take when you’re here with us anyway, so what’s there to lose? Maybe it’ll be the good enough, though not quite authentically perfect, thing you wanted. I kind of think it’ll blow your mind, but who am I?
To everyone else, I say, this is a real California treat to give to yourself. It’s accessible and powerful, a strong experience to break up the dullness of business travel.
He teaches at different places in the city, the best thing to do is visit his website: rustywells.com. Maybe I’ll see you there!