I've hit you with a BONUS episode of Sober Yoga Girl Podcast!
I had to tell you the story of Los Angeles - what happened and how I stayed calm.
If you saw on Instagram... I was in an airport delay after the Mexico Yoga Retreat which made me miss a flight to Australia. But what happened next really tested my spirituality and required me to stand in my spirituality.
In this episode I want to share with you what happened, and three practices that you can use anywhere, at any time, to stay calm in moments of anxiety.
My next 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training starts online on July 9. If you want to really go deep into these tools with me...join us!
Hi, friend. This is Alex Mcrobs, founder of The Mindful Life Practice, and you're listening to the Sober Yoga Girl podcast. I'm a Canadian who moved across the world to the Middle East at age 23, and I never went back. I got sober in 2019, and I now live full-time in Bali, Indonesia. I've made it my mission to help other women around the world stop drinking, start yoga, and change their lives through my online Sober Girls Yoga community. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.
Hello. Good morning, everyone. Happy Wednesday, July fifth from Bali. It is 9:00 in the morning. I just got back here after this whirlwind trip around literally the world. I left Bali in May, right after a yoga teacher training ended. I did a little day stop over in Kuala Lumpur, went to Maldives for a week with my yoga student, one of my YTT grads, Lauren. And then we went to... No, we didn't go. After the Maldives, I went to the United Air of Emirates. I led a yoga retreat there. It was incredible. Then I did a little day stop over in Amsterdam.
I visited Canada for three weeks, spent time with my friends and family, had a little retreat there. And then I flew down to Mexico, did the Mindful Life Practice Mexico retreat. And then on the way back to Mexico, I was supposed to have a stopover in Sydney, Australia, before making it back to Bali. And my plans got a little hectic on the way. Now I made a one video on... It was a three minute video on TikTok where I was going to tell the story of what happened in Los Angeles, and then the video actually ended up being... So it was a three minute video. I was like, Okay, I'm going to do a part two. And then the story ended up being so long that it was a five-part video. And I thought I would make a podcast episode where I would just tell the story from start to finish so it's not like an a million five-part video. So I was leaving the Cabo Airport around two o'clock p. M. On whatever day it was, Saturday. And first of all, the journey to get to the Cabo Airport was a little bit wild because I had booked a rental car, but I didn't have Google Maps on my phone.
I'm a super visual person. I didn't have data. I had a couple of my clients in the car. We missed a turn. Things got a little crazy as we were driving through Cabo. I think they were a little worried about us being late and I didn't feel that comfortable driving with people in the car. It just got a little bit hectic. Anyway, we finally arrived at the Cabo Airport. We got all checked in. I had a snack, I had a coffee, and I was all ready to get on my flight. My flight started boarding at two o'clock PM for 2:40. We get on the plane and we're literally about to take off and the pilot or whoever comes on and says that there's a technical issue, they're trying to fix it themselves, that doesn't work. They're not able to fix it. So they bring on a flight technician. Meanwhile, they keep updating us saying, We're working on it. We're working on it. Just hang tight, relax. I think, Was I on Wi-Fi on my phone? What was I doing to underneath myself in this time? I have no idea. But anyway, I don't think I had Wi-Fi.
I think I was just chilling. Actually, I think I did because I was messaging people updates. Anyway, the point is we're on the plane. We're there for three hours, and it finally hits the point where they basically say, We can't fix this, so we're going to have to disembark the plane. So people are pissed at this point. Mind you, it's supposed to be a two-hour flight to L. A. From Cabo. We've already been on the tarmac longer than the flight was supposed to be. And I was joking saying honestly, so Cabo itself, I was not in Cabo. I do my yoga routines in Toto, San Jose, which is an hour and a half outside of Cabo. Cabo is like a party place. People go there to party at all inclusive resorts. And people were drunk getting on the plane. I could tell. I even heard some people saying that they were drinking or that they were drunk. Glad I'm not the only drunk one on the plane. And first of all, I was super grateful that I was sober because I feel like I was able to handle the situation a lot more calmly with my sobriety.
But also coming from a yoga retreat, my tank was really, really full of calm and groundedness and perspective and peace. And so when I entered this stressful situation, I was pulling on that tank that I had filled up that week. And so I was able to just sit with it and be like, Okay, this is just what it is. This is uncomfortable, but this is what it is. So anyway, we end up disembarking the plane. We get back to... Because I guess someone behind me was saying you can't stay on a plane for more than three hours without them having to disembark you. So they bring the plane all the way back to the airport. Oh, by the way, there isn't even a tunnel for us to climb out. So we literally have to get on a bus and be bused back to the airport. So we get into the airport and they're saying, Hang tight, there's going to be important announcements. So everyone thinks that we're going to be staying the night in Cabo at this point. And I had a six-hour layover in Los Angeles and was supposed to be flying to Australia that night with Air New Zealand.
But the flights were booked in separate itineraries, which was a huge mistake in the end. But anyway, so I end up sitting in the airport, they end up saying, We're giving you guys a food voucher to make up for it. It's a $12 food voucher, which I'm like, This is a joke. Because what can $12 get you? Then I end up going up to the food court and the only thing that is applicable in the food voucher is slices of pizza. You can't get salad, you can't get water. Anyway, at this point, I seriously wanted to get a drink. I was just like, I just want to numb myself out from this chaos. I'm so glad I didn't. I just was like, You know what, Alex? That would make everything worse. That would not make it better. I sat down. I had Wi-Fi on my phone at this point. I have this service where I can make calls. I'm on the phone to Air New Zealand to me like, Hey, I'm going to miss my flight to Australia this night. As I'm doing this, and by the way, the Cabo Airport is virtually empty except for people on my plane.
I'm pretty sure there's no flights out of Cabo after 3:00 PM. It's literally just the people on my plane in the airport in the food court. I see people starting to move towards the gate. I'm like, Oh, my God. I think they're boarding the plane again. I keep the Air New Zealand woman on the phone and she's saying, We can move you. It's fine. We can put you on the 11:00 PM flight. I'm making my way now down the escalator, down to the gate. They are boarding the plane. I'm saying to the Air New Zealand lady, I think I'm going to bank my flight. I think I'm going to go to Sydney tonight. She's like, Great. So get on the plane and the plane actually takes off and people are thrilled at this point. Now, the plane lands after two hours in Los Angeles, but because we are so delayed, like we're six, seven hours late at this point, our gate is being used by another plane. And so there's no available gate for us to get off on. So the plane literally sits for over an hour on the Los Angeles tarmac. So now it's almost midnight.
We've been traveling for 12 hours at this point to get between Cabo and Los Angeles. People are losing their shit. There's people on the plane calling and threatening Jet Blue, threatening to sue them. There's a guy who's trying to get a group of us together to storm the plane because we're being held against our will. And I'm just like, Oh, my God. These people have not been on a yoga retreat. But anyway, at this point in time, I was texting one of my friends being like, I just can't believe how much people are struggling to stay calm in this scenario. He said to me, Be a bit less judgmental because you teach this for a living. You teach yoga, you teach meditation, you teach mindfulness for a full-time job. You have a lot more resources and a lot of people just don't have these resources. I was like, You know what? You make a really good point. I need to be less judgmental. The interesting thing is that later, what happens next in LA really, really tests me. But just at this point, I'm feeling calm. I'm like, Whatever, it's going to be great. I'm going to explore Los Angeles.
What should I do in LA? Santa Monica Pier? I've never been to LA before, so I'm like, Okay, there could be some good stuff in this scenario. So anyway, I get off the plane, takes me two hours through customs. When I get through customs, there is no listing for my jet blue flight at all on the screen. So I'm just like, Okay, I don't see my flight of January. So I pull over a security guard and he says to me, he's like, JetBlue doesn't even come into this terminal. I'm like, Okay, well, I physically got into this terminal, so obviously, JetBlue must have landed here. And he's like, Yeah, we don't know where your bag is. I'm like, Oh, M. G. So anyway, I end up finding another really helpful security guard who ends up somehow finding it. I think he went on the walk and talked to me and was like, Where is it? I end up finding my bag. It's basically almost midnight at this point. It's probably 11:30. I'm walking along looking for customer service and I don't see any customer service. I see this amazing security guard. This is the thing that I want to say.
When you look back on these bad experiences, it's easy to remember all the negative people because I met some negative people later on in the night. But there's also always people that help in times of stress and in times of chaos. I reminded myself this as time went on like, Think about all the people that helped you along the way in that scenario. And she was one of them. She's so sweet, so comforting. She said to me, Look, I don't recommend that you go over to JetBlue desk. They're probably not going to help you. And Virgin... What was it? It was not Virgin. It was Air New Zealand that I was supposed to be flying on. She says, Air New Zealand office is probably closed at this point. Their last flight went out at 11:00. So if I were you, I would just get an airport hotel and then call them in the morning. I'm like, Okay, that's a really good plan. I walk out to the main airport and I'm looking at some options on booking. Com. And first of all, everything... Okay, I find it shocking how everything in North America is outragesly expensive or what you end up getting from it.
First of all, every airport hotel is like $300. I'm like, What am I getting from this hotel? For someone who's lived in Bali and lived in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, things are expensive, but at least they're wonderful experiences and you got well taken care of and there's great hospitality and people are really nice, the food is great and blah, blah, blah. In Bali, things are pretty affordable and the hospitality is amazing. The things might not be that beautiful. But I'm never disappointed. But this happened to me before where I end up in North America at an airport hotel and I'm like, I can't believe that this airport hotel is going to be $300. There's not even breakfast that has food that isn't frozen, being served to me. But anyway, I end up paying whatever it was, like 300 US dollars on Bucky. Com for the four points by Sheraton. And oh yeah, I forgot to say one thing is that the security lady said to me that the airport shuttels won't often stop for you unless you jump up and down and wave. And so I'm like, okay, awesome. This is a great start.
I'm going to be jumping up and down and waving and trying to recruit this airport shuttle to stop for me. Anyway, one of my friends said to me, he was like, Do not use Uber. And I'm like, I don't know why at this point. I had committed to taking the shuttle, so I don't know why I didn't think I should just get an Uber. But anyway, point is I had committed in my mind to taking the shuttle. I was like, I'm going to take the shuttle. So I take the airport shuttle and I'm going along. I think I waited for half an hour at this point. It's probably 12:30 at night. I'm going along and I see the Four Points by Sheraton sign as we're turning off the highway. I thought that my shuttle, because all the shuttles had one hotel listed on them, so I thought that this shuttle was only going to the Four Points by Sheraton. I didn't even ask, Is this a Four Points by Sheraton? I just got off the shuttle. I joined the queue at check-in. There were five other people in the queue. I get to the front of the check-in and I say, Hey, I just booked this room half an hour ago.
She goes, Can I see your booking? I showed her and she's like, This isn't Four Points by Sheraton. This is whatever it was, the Sona or something. I'm like, Okay, so where is the Four Points by Sheraton? She says it's like a 10-minute walk away. Or I could wait for the airport tunnel. I'm like, You know what? I'm a strong, independent woman. Normally at night when I'm walking alone, I do get scared, but I'm normally like, Okay, I can run pretty fast. I have pretty long legs. I'm fine. But in this case, what made me feel really anxious was that I have this huge suitcase that I've been traveling around the world with that's literally 23 kilograms. It's the maximum weight that you can carry and a pretty heavy carryon. So I have a huge amount of stuff in my possession. And if someone tried to grab me off the street, it would be really hard for me to run away. I would have to drop all my stuff and run. And it just wouldn't be like if I just had a purse on my shoulder. You know what I mean? I'm walking along. To get to the Four Points, I have to walk through this creepy parking lot.
There's an above ground parking lot, under ground parking lot. Everyone around it just looks really scary. It just doesn't seem like a welcoming place. I get through this parking lot and I turn and I see the four points, but it's four blocks with no other people on the street. It's decently well lit, but there's no one on the street. I just have this really spooky gut feeling of like, This is not safe. Which I later saw one of my clients who lives in Orange County, and she drove down to see me when she saw my post and I was stranded in L. A. And she said she was like, Yeah, you do not want to be there alone at night. She was like, I cannot believe they sent you alone at night as a woman walking through that area. But anyway, I had the wits about me to be like, This isn't safe. So I turned around and went back to whatever the hotel was called, the Sonoma or whatever I was. The lady said to me, What happened? And I was like, I got too scared walking alone. And she said, Okay, the shuttle was back in 15 minutes.
I'm waiting outside and this is the point where I'm at my breaking point. It's almost 1:00 AM. I'm about to cry. I'm in the wrong hotel. I don't even know why I didn't book an Uber. It seems honestly idiotic, but I think I was just so tired that I just wasn't even thinking. The shuttle finally comes around, it opens up. I see the guy, Hey, are you going to Four Points by Sheraton? He goes, No, sorry, I was just there. I look at him with these eyes of about to burst into tears. I said to him, I've come to the wrong hotel. I'm so tired. I've been sitting here for half an hour. I need to go to the Four Points. He closes the door. Then two minutes later, he opens it and he says, I can take you if you tip me. I said to him, Look, I don't have any US dollars. I just bought here. I can't pay for this. Can you please take me? He so kindly took me. Again, this is one of the people that really was really kind in this scenario because this was like off his bus route.
He didn't have to take me, but he takes me to the Four Points, and I arrive. When the bus stops, I look at my wallet and I'm like, Okay, these are my options. I have money from the Philippines. I have some money from Indonesia. I have some money from the United Arab Emirates. What do you want? I give him 150, whatever it was, pesos from the Philippines. I have no idea how much money that was. But he was happy. I was happy that I could give him something to acknowledge him. I finally get off and get into the Four Points. I'm just like, Oh, my God. I'm so excited to get into bed. It's almost 1:00 AM. So I walk over to reception and say, Hey, I just booked this room. I'm checking in for the night. They say, Can we see your booking? I show them. And they go, Oh, yeah, this is for July second. Sorry, you don't have a booking tonight. We're overbooked. And I look at them like my jaw drops. And then this couple beside me says, Yeah, we're in the exact same scenario. We booked this room for tomorrow night, July second.
And I'm like, I don't understand how this happens. And they said, If you book anything after midnight, it books you for the next day. So because I had booked for the next day, it meant that I didn't have a room that night. And at this point, I'm like, Oh, my God. So they say to me, There might be some rooms across the street at the Hilton. I think it's like the Hilton Embassy Suites at this point. So I didn't even look at my phone. I didn't even question them. I was just so desperate to get to bed that I just walked straight out of the hotel and cross the street to go to the Hilton Embassy Suites. I'm now walking alone at night again in this industrial part of L. A. But this one wasn't as scary because it was just across a busy intersection. I didn't have to walk several blocks. The other one, I had to walk four blocks. I was like, Okay, I'll be fine. So I cross the street to the embassy suite. I go in and I say, Hey, I want to book a room for tonight. And basically they say to me that they won't take my debit card.
They have one room, it's going to be a thousand US dollars. I'm just like, at this point, I'm just like, Fine, I don't even care. That's ridiculously expensive, but I need to sleep, so fine, I'll take it. They basically won't take my debit card and they will only take my credit card. My credit card, I like to keep my credit card at a really low limit. The reason why I keep my credit card at a really low limit is because I previously used to live with credit card debt. I would be walking around with $3,000, $4,000 in debt, and I felt this constant sense of doom of like, I'm in debt. I'm in debt. I'm in debt. I'm in debt. I'm in debt. So I keep my credit card limits really low so that I don't overspend. I had been using my credit card in Mexico and I hadn't paid it off yet because I had literally just landed from Mexico to LA that day. And so I said to him, I can't put this on my credit card right now. I'll try, but I don't think I have any space. And I said, Look, I have this debit card from Canada.
I have this debit card from the UAE. I have money in this Wise account. I can use Apple Pay. I have a card here in Apple Pay, which links to my wise account to any of these work. And the guy is like, Honestly, it felt like he was laughing at me. And he said, No, nothing would work. And I'm like, Okay, well, my parents are asleep in Canada right now, but if I call my parents, can I put on my parents' credit card? And the guy says, No, you have to have a physical card. And I'm just like, This is mind-blowing to me that you cannot work with... This policy of having a physical card in front of you is more important than a single woman's safety in a city at 2:00 in the morning in Los Angeles. I could not fathom what was going on. And the thing is, I'm used to people bending over backwards to take care of you. I live in Bali, Indonesia, where I don't think this would happen. If I was in a scenario of I need somewhere to stay the night and I'm having issues, can you work with me?
I really think that they would find a way to make it work for me to have a safe place to stay. And I was like, I just can't believe this is happening. So anyway, I said, Okay, can you give me your Wi-Fi in the hotel? I'm just going to sit in the lobby and try to sort things out. I'm trying to transfer money into different accounts on the WiFi, on my phone to pay my credit card. But I'm like, The money is not going to come in. It's a long weekend in Canada. It's a long weekend in the United States. It's July first and July fourth. I don't think that this deposit is going to be able to come through in time to pay for this room. I'm starting to get really scared thinking, Okay, what are my options? Am I going to sit outside on the street all night in L. A, or I'm going to go back to the airport and sleep on the floor at the airport? I think this was the only time in my life where I've ever not known where I'm going to sleep. So then it becomes 2:00 in the morning.
And the guy says, Hey, we're closing the reception. We're going to have to kick you out. And I literally look at him and I'm like, I cannot believe that this is happening. Oh, my goodness. I'm going to be sleeping on the street of Los Angeles. I cannot believe that this is happening. So I look at my phone and I just happen to check my four points by Sheraton Reservation... I'm going to do it one more time, and I pull up my email, and the booking that I made was for July first. It was never for July second. It was for July first. And I think because I had come in, because I got lost, I ended up at the wrong hotel, it was late coming in, I think the reception is probably so used to this happening in the middle of the night that they didn't even check my booking and just turn me away without even looking. But I'm like, Holy shit, they were wrong. And they just sent a young woman alone at 2:00 in the morning walking through the industrial parts of L. A. Anyway, it's been so hectic for me, like traveling that I haven't had a chance to draft an email.
But I did get the manager's email and I was like, This needs to be reported what happened here because it's unacceptable that this happened. But anyway, I go across the street back to the Four Points by Sheraton, walk in the door. I'm like, Hey, your receptionist just said that I had a booking for July second. It's a booking for July first. I see it on my phone right here. You need to give me a room. And the receptionists were in the back at this point. And the manager, I was speaking to the manager, he said, Oh, my goodness, I'm so sorry we're going to get you sorted out. And again, he's one of these people that sticks out to me as an angel in this moment of just making sure that I was safe and had a place to sleep and was taken care of. And he got me a room. And now we're talking 3:00 in the morning in Los Angeles. And I literally... I honestly think it might have been one of the worst days of my life. And I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was that I had a bed to sleep on.
I'm going up to my room at 3:00 in the morning and this is the weird thing that happened next. In the hallway, the way that this hotel was set up, there were no windows in the actual rooms that went to the outside. It was like a hallway. And then each room had a window which went into the hallway. I don't know if you can picture this, but it was almost like it had been an outdoor hallway at one point that they had then enclosed to make it indoor. But there were still windows going out towards the outside. So all the lights are on and I'm walking along and looking at all of these windows because I'm at the very end of the hallway, and every room is empty. In every room along this hallway, the room is empty, the bed is made, the light is on, and I am just in disbelief. Number one, because I can't believe that the reception told me that this hotel was overbooked. I was in room 357 at this point, so I'm like 50 rooms down the hallway and every room is empty. And the second thing that just blows my mind is like, okay, so now I've had this really scary, unsafe experience where for hours I'm walking around in Los Angeles alone at night.
And now I'm in a hallway alone where no one is in any room around me. And something about me just really did not feel good. And I'm a solo woman traveler. I've been to almost 50 countries in the world. I just spent a week camping with a tent that didn't lock on the beach in Mexico. I've done a lot of things that feel a little bit crazy, a little bit on the wild side of traveling. And this night, I did not feel safe in this hotel room. And so anyway, I ended up sleeping for maybe four hours on and off. I barely slept. I just had this underlying feeling of scared. Anyway, I woke up in the morning. I was like, You know what? I need to find a studio and go to a Yola class because that's what you need. That's the thing. It's like our spiritual practice. So many of us just do spirituality. We just do the things when we're feeling well. We do the meditation when we're well. We do the yoga when we're well. We do it when we have time for it. And when things are not going well, that is when you need it the most.
That is when you need to sit on your meditation cushion. That's when you need to sit on your yoga mat. That's when you need to get into that practice of intentionality and stillness and really anchor yourself in the present and support yourself through all of this. And so I'm like, Okay, my priority is to get a yoga, find a yoga class. I go online and I think I'm going to go down to Venice Beach or Santa Monica, and then I find the nearest studio to me. It's this cute little one-room studio. I read the Google reviews and they spoke so highly of this woman. So I went and I just want to give them a shout out. Gosh, what was the studio name? I think it's Bliss Yoga LA. Anyway, the teacher was incredible. It was such a good class, such a lovely community feel. I think there were 12 people in the room. She gave an amazing assist. I ended up chatting with her for half an hour after class. It was just one of those moments. We connected on Instagram, really connected well, knew some of the same yoga teachers that lived in L.
A. That then moved to Bali. It was one of those things where I was like, Okay, this layover happened for a reason so that I could meet this person because I never would have met her if this all hadn't happened. Anyway, I asked them what to do and they said, There's a farmer's market in town. You should go to San Monica, go to Venice Beach. That's what I ended up doing. I walked back to my hotel, which was about a half hour walk. I had ubert on the way there. I did this little walk back down to the hotel. When I talked to Reception, I said, I'm checking out. Can you guys keep my luggage? I was just wondering if you could give me the management's email address because I did speak to the night manager who was super helpful, but I just really feel like this scenario needs to be reported to the management of this hotel that they were not doing their job because they didn't read my reservation properly and they sent a young woman alone on the streets, walking alone at night and 3:00 in the morning looking for a hotel room to stay in when the hotel had plenty of rooms, as I saw later on.
And I just feel like what happened to me was unacceptable. And I still have not written the report because I literally just landed in Bali today, and I haven't even had time to sort out. I have so many things to do. I have to pay my taxes in Bali. I have to sort out all of this stuff for this yoga teacher training that I'm doing today. And I just haven't even gotten to like, Okay, I need to complain to Jet Blue Airlines and I need to complain to this hotel. But anyway, I'm safe. I'm well. I had an amazing time in Los Angeles. I love the Santa Monica Pier. I walked forever in Venice Beach. And then I have to tell you the highlight of my time in L. A, which Sarah Ashworth, if you are listening to this podcast, I need to give you a shout out in this podcast. I post a photo of me in Santa Monica Pier, and then I stop and eat some fish and chips and have a Heineken zero, and I get a message from Sarah Ashworth. And she was on this ball yoga retreat that I taught on in April.
And she's actually a student in one of my yoga teacher trainings online. And I had completely forgot that she lives in Orange County, which is like an hour away from Los Angeles. So she sends me a DM and she's like, Alex, you're in Los Angeles. How long are you here for? And I'm like, My flight is at 10:00 PM. She goes, Okay, I'm supposed to have plans, but let me see if I can cancel them. And she literally cancels her plans and drives for an hour to Los Angeles, picks me up, takes me out for coffee, buys me my coffee, buys me a treat, drives me back to the airport and gets me onboard my next flight. And I have to say again, you can focus on all the negative things that happened, or you can just be like, Wow, there are some incredible people that really stepped up and showed kindness in a moment of my life that was chaotic, and this was one of them. And it was so special, so thoughtful. And I'm going to remember this forever as something that was so special to me. So Sarah Drops at the airport, get checked in.
Things are going smoothly. I'm on my way to Australia, which by the way, I had to buy myself a second flight to Australia because I did not book these flights in one itinerary. So JetBlue has done nothing to help me in this scenario. So I also need to make a complaint to JetBlue. But anyway, that's a separate thing. So I get to... I finally get to Sydney. Instead of having a couple of days in Sydney, I end up having one day. I go for a jet boat ride around Sydney Harbor. It's amazing. And I've flown a ballie. I've arrived just in time for my yoga teacher training, which starts tomorrow. So yeah, that is the story. That is a Los Angeles debacle. And I have to say that it really has made me think a lot about how important it is to have a spiritual practice. And I know our lives are so hectic, so busy, and if you're working full-time, maybe you're a parent, you have lots of other responsibilities and commitments, showing up for yourself feels like the last thing to do. But I really strongly believe that because I had done so much of my spiritual practice in the week leading up to this day, I was able to handle it with a lot more calm and a lot more groundedness and a place of peace and just lean into the detours and see things from a different perspective.
I'm like, Okay, this obstacle is a detour, and it's happening on purpose. I have to say, at the end of the day, I enjoyed my time in Sydney, but I really feel like Los Angeles has soul, and I feel like I really got to experience that soul. Whereas with Sydney, I had a great time, but I really feel like L. A. Is somewhere I could go back to and spend some time. So I really feel like it was almost meant to be for me to feel and experience what that city is like. Now, I want to give you some practical tools because these life experiences happen whether or not you're coming off a yoga retreat in Votosantos, right? And so if you're someone that's not full up, full up with these resource banks to turn to, you might find yourself in a chaotic situation like this and you're like, How do I relax my nervous system? How do I get from sympathetic nervous system arousal to parasympathetic nervous system arousal? How do I shift myself from chaos into calm? And so I want to give you a few different practices. So the first is a breathing practice.
So breathing practices can help our anxiety symptoms by shifting our breath from short and choppy and constricted to smooth and rhythmic. And they also trigger the relaxation response. And the benefits of yogic breathing can be instantaneous and immediate, but they can also be long term because when we practice our breathing, that can make calm breathing a habit. So the best thing we can do is really focus on the exhalation because that's the calming and soothing part of the breath, and it helps you with cooling, with grounding and centeredness. So you could focus on your exhale, you could gently lengthen it. For example, you could do an inhale to a count of four, and then exhale to a count of four, and then exhale to a count of five, and then six, and keep it until your exhale gets longer than the inhale. So in yoga philosophy, the exhale is controlled by apana, and this is downward-flowing energy. So this is downward-rooting, and it really helps you get connected to your root chakra. So focus on the exhale, gradually lengthen your exhale. You could even softly make sound on the exhale, and you could pause after the exhale.
And that's a really beautiful breath practice to turn to in a moment of chaos. The second thing I want to mention is present moment awareness. So these are three different strategies to help you in a moment with anxiety. The first is a lengthening exhale. The second is practicing present moment awareness. So this is to help you anchor into the present moment. And anxiety is often future-focused, right? So people on that plane, when the plane was delayed, were probably like, Oh, my God, I'm going to miss my flight. This is going to cost me so much money. How am I going to get a taxi? What am I going to do? Whereas if you just focus on, Okay, this is this moment. I'm sitting on this plane in this moment. What do I hear in this moment? What do I feel in this moment? What do I sense in this moment? Awareness of the moment can help you reduce symptoms of anxiety, just keeping your mind focused on what's happening now. An awareness of the body and mind can help you begin to recognize the first signs of anxiety and intervene. So this practice of present moment awareness can help you bring awareness into the present moment.
And you could even put on a meditation practice. I am a huge fan of Gabby Bernstein meditations. I also have several meditations on the Mindful Life Practice app that are free, so you could download my app and pull up one of my meditations. And another thing I want to share is that yoga philosophy or spiritual practices can really help you and relieve anxiety symptoms, so the yamas and the niamas. And there's actually been a study, which I referenced in my yoga teacher trainings, that says that a spiritual practice can help you find meaning in your life situation, and that can lower stress. I teach about yoga philosophy in my 200-hour yoga teacher trainings. You could also put on a podcast, learn about it, listen to it, try to apply it to your scenario. Like, for example, in this case, just coming back to a hymnsah, having love and kindness for everyone and understanding these people are stressed and they probably just don't have the tools to manage the stress that they're feeling. And how can I have love and kindness for them rather than be judgmental towards them? That practice of yoga philosophy, the present moment awareness practices and meditation, and then also breath work.
These can all help you in a moment of anxiety. Anyway, this is my story. At the end of the day, I am super grateful to have the life that I do to be running my business, being able to travel for my business. And for the most part, I don't really have this many travel issues. I don't think I've missed a flight and I can't remember. I actually don't think I've ever missed a flight until this one. Actually, I did miss a few last year, probably. Short little one-hour flights, which were easily rescheduled. But the point is, look for the benefit in it. I've been traveling a lot this year, and this is the only chaotic moment I've had. And also just... Just be grateful and be grateful for the fact that I am so privileged that I'm able to have a job where I get to travel. It's pretty amazing and unreal. And these setbacks are just opportunities to test you and see, Okay, how deep am I in my spiritual practice? How connected am I to my spirituality? Because your spirituality doesn't happen on your yoga mat. It doesn't happen on your meditation cushion.
Your spirituality happens in these moments where you're tested, and that's where you have to stand in it. And so can you stand in it in these moments? Those are my takeaways. That's what I learned. This is the full Los Angeles debacle. Let me know, have you had travel experiences like this? What happened? How did you navigate it? Just let me know in the Facebook group or on my Instagram or whatever. I would love to connect with you and just hear your stories as well. If you are hoping to get a regular yoga practice in your life, I just wanted to pop one more thing, which is that big thing this weekend is that my newest programs are starting with the Mindful Life Practice online. I have two different options for you. Number one, if you want to go really deep... Actually, there really is three options. Okay, so if you want to go really, really deep, I have a 200-hour yoga teacher training that starts on Sunday, July ninth. It runs from 6:00 to 8:00 a. M. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday mornings, that's on Zoom. There's also some on-demand content that you're going to watch afterwards.
And that's 11:00 a. M. To 1:00 p. M. For those in the UK. That's 2:00 p. M. To 4:00 p. M. For those in Dubai. That's 6:00 to 8:00 p. M. For those in Singapore, Perth, Bali. And if you don't know what time it is, I tried to just give you a few different time zones so that you could figure out for you if that works or doesn't work. But I teach you everything from yoga philosophy, history, yoga ethics, respiratory anatomy, running women's circles. It really is a full practice and it's a beautiful opportunity. It's an eight-month program. It's going to help you stay committed to yoga, to sobriety, to community. So if you want to jump into that 200-hour yoga teacher training, we have a few spots left I would love for you to join. I'm going to pop the link below. If the 200 hour feels like too much, but you do still want to get involved, I have a 100-hour program and that's the first half of the program. So you start in July, you go into, I believe it's October, it's four months. You do the first two modules of my teacher training and you learn how to run sober circles and women circles and lead meditations.
That is an amazing opportunity as well. If you're like, Alex, I don't want to do teacher training. I don't want to go that deep. That's too much. I also just have summer yoga on Zoom starting with me. Now I do 8:00 AM Toronto time on Saturdays and Sundays. I also have a 9:00 AM Toronto time, sober girls club on Sundays. And that's where we have a rotation of speakers from our community coming to share their story. And finally, I do have something for those of you in the Europe, Australia time zone, Europe, Australia, Asia, which is I think it's 9:00 AM London time on Saturdays. It's a yoga. It's a sober, curious yoga class for men and women. So I would love to have you join. The booking deadline for that is in a couple of days just so I can get everything confirmed, see who the numbers are, and really excited to connect community with all of you. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. It was really good for me to sit down and tell the whole story from start to finish. I really appreciate having you guys as open-minded supporters.
Even if I haven't met some of you, I know I've met many of you that listen to the show. And if I haven't met you, I just would really love to connect as well in the Sober Girls Yoga Facebook group or even just pop me a DM and say hi. Have a wonderful, wonderful Wednesday and looking forward to connecting with you soon.