Yoga Teacher Andrea Marcum encourages Acceptance
Yoga teacher Andrea Marcum offers classes that are known as being some of the toughest in town. I landed in her class 1000% by peer pressure. In my early days of yoga, when I could hardly hold a Warrior 2 for more than five breaths, I used to fix my gaze on Julio’s tattoos in class as a distraction. He was a regular, with beautiful full sleeves of artwork up and down his arms, a hugely punk rock attitude with a no-F’s-given vibe. In some classes, he would even stay in savasana the entire class. No kidding, the entire 90 minute class he would be in savasana, and it didn’t seem to bother the teacher one bit.
Years later, I learned that when Julio was getting sober he faced each day with torturous withdrawals and Andrea’s class was a safe haven. He knew that even if he didn’t do one downward dog, just by laying on the floor he was doing something positive and on his way to recovery. It was some of the most important mat work I’ve ever witnessed. It was also just a tiny glimpse into how life-changing Andrea’s classes could be. That level of acceptance, awakening, and ahimsa (nonviolence or compassion) is woven throughout my favorite new book, Close To Om. A book that just happens to be written by my teacher, Andrea Marcum.
What to Read in Close to Om by Andrea Marcum
If you’re trying to decide whether you want to read an autobiography, a love story, meditation guide, comedy, workout guide, or bit of a history book — look no more! You can find it all here. Andrea Marcum has created a masterpiece that flows through her life, laughs, and sun salutations. Marcum formally owned U Studio Yoga in Miracle Mile before shutting it down to travel the world as a yogi ambassador and retreat leader. She’s back in LA (when not still circumnavigating the globe in the name of yoga) teaching at YogaWorks.
Marcum describes Close to OM as, “Instruction designed more for the every person than it is for the select few who can effortlessly tie their bodies into a bow and always appear to have their shit together.” It comes with adorably accurate stick figure sequences and an online @OM companion piece that connects you to a community of readers as well as to more ideas and yoga-based challenges from Marcum.
I laughed out loud when Andrea told stories of creating space and making room for her soulmate, Dom. The Yoga Sutras 101 gave me a new level of understanding of terms like pratyahara (internal gaze or withdrawal of the senses) that are often shouted out in classes. The encouragement in every chapter helped me forgive myself for all my craziness and never being able to balance in crow…. yet!
Find out more about Close To Om and Andrea Marcum’s teaching visit: andreamarcum.com
Julie Pilat works in music and tech in Los Angeles. She also is the founder and host of The Idea Fountain: Life Changing Conversations interview series. www.theideafountain.co