Yoga mat in hand, we followed our fellow namaste seekers to the Bus Shed on Thursday night for YogaPop, a yoga-meets-DJ-fueled event. The Yoga Village, which was really just a bunch of vendors and yogis, was bustling as people searched for places to put their mats and begin stretching.
Hilary Johnson, event organizer, welcomed us and about 100 others to the inaugural event, before giving the stage to instructor Bethany Bubenzer and DJ Moo Moo. Bubenzer went through the yoga basics and let us know there’d be other instructors floating through the crowds to help us with any poses. There were also two ladies on top of two platforms demonstrating every move.
Without further ado, we started, and everything was fine at first. We stretched into the downward dog and the child pose — heck, we even did a few warrior poses. But then we did the cat-cow pose. In one of the cow poses (with our backs arched), Bubenzer told us we should “moo” for Moo Moo. And people obliged. But we couldn’t. In fact, we were cringing. As our neighbors mooed away, we just prayed that the instructor would guide us to a new pose.
The rest of the 60-minute yoga portion went along smoothly, until we had to get intimate with our neighbors and hold their feet. With our leg outstretched, foot perched on our neighbors hands, we did feel strong, but we also felt bad that a stranger was holding our foot — and we didn’t really like holding theirs either. Despite the awkward bovine calls and that whole foot fetish thing, the first YogaPop was actually fun and relaxing. Plus, there was beer and wine waiting for us after our chi was centered.
Event-goers roamed the Village stopping to check out jewelry and shirts (we may have stayed too long at the Artisan Tees stall) or nom-noming on tofu dogs from Bay Street Biergarten or salads from Verde. Soon, we were called back toward the stage for a performance from Flight of Phoenix, a trio of girls who perform yoga poses to dance music. And while their routine required skills and strength that we do not — and probably never will — obtain, it went on for slightly too long. The ladies acrobatically posed and transitioned from one beat to another to another for about five minutes. The crowd loved it.
After Flight of Phoenix, Lectra Lust, an ’80s-inspired band, took the stage, but not before a conga line emerged. It was a sad attempt with less than 10 people joining in, and it dissolved after only 30 seconds. In fact, the forced dance line was bad enough for the band to comment on how briefly it lasted. But it was soon forgotten as Lectra Lust began rocking out. A few brave souls started a dance party while others opted to grab another glass of wine. We stuck around for a little, but the amount of people were dwindling so we took it as our cue to head home.
Friday night found us at Limeblue Gallery on Queen Street for a showing of artist Kristen Solecki’s pieces. Standing in the courtyard, we spoke with Solecki, who let us know that artists need deadlines too. Phew — glad it’s not just us. Our favorite was the painting of an image with two pairs of legs turned toward each other in Buddy Holly-era clothing. The khaki-panted man and skirt-wearing lady hinted at a budding romance. We went back outside to the courtyard and watched as guests came and went, but we soon left to rest up for the Bridge Run.
Bright and early on Saturday, we lined up with 40,000 others as we prepared for the Cooper River Bridge Run. Having signed up late, we were in one of the last corrals to go, and the Ethiopian champion had long finished by the time we even started. Musicians lined the course to help provide the participants with some jams. We were fond of white rapper Shadower, but there were a few too many Creed-like bands for our taste, although it probably helped our time since we ran little faster to get away from them.
Finishing up in Marion Square, it was a little overwhelming to be crammed in with so many people, so we grabbed our free fruit and water and moved to the bars because, let’s face it, that’s what half the run is about. We stopped in for a few beers on the Mellow Mushroom patio, and the weather was perfect. Everyone was in good spirits and happy to be out in the sunshine.
After our pizza, we decided to head toward Upper King. Along the way we found a group of preppy bar crawlers and had a few drinks with them, but the bars were much emptier than we had expected. We didn’t really mind, but it was a different kind of Bridge Day experience from the teeming East Bay bars that we’re used to. Instead, AC’s, Closed for Business, Republic Reign, and Warehouse had room for everyone to move and talk and enjoy the festive environment. But after a few rounds, we needed to get out of our race day attire and call it a day.