Miss Part 1? Read it here.
The next few weeks were a flurry of activity. I had flights to book. I needed a place to stay. I needed to take time off work and find someone to sub my classes while I was gone. But mostly, I needed to freak out a little bit. Because this was happening.
Somehow, I made it. Thanks to a few yoga connections and the open hearts of
some amazing friends of friends, I found a free place to stay just blocks from the studio. I got some great deals on my flights. And I had an outpouring of love and support of my amazing Birmingham yoga community.
The day came, and unbelievably, both of my flights arrived to their destinations early. (Namaste, U.S. Airways!) I landed in NYC, made my way to my overnight accommodations, had a nerve-calming meditation session, and waited for Wednesday morning to arrive.
My first morning at Veria studios, I was amazed at how relaxed, open, and friendly the atmosphere was. I spent the morning in the green room, chatting with my fellow cast mates who had shown up for filming that day. We drank tea and warmed up with a few Sun Salutations. There was a monitor in the green room where we could watch Sadie film other segments for the show. Around 10:30am, our fabulous casting director, Holly, came and got us to film the first episode.
I adored the set from the minute I set foot on it. It was bright, vibrant, and really energizing. The director briefed us on what we’d be doing and told us to be natural, be ourselves, and have a great time. And just like that, we were off
and running. Or rather, practicing.
The show is filmed in five segments of about eight minutes each. Before each segment, Sadie briefed us on what poses we’d be doing. We didn’t rehearse or practice beforehand. The cameras started rolling, Sadie started teaching, and we practiced, just like we would in class. In between segments, we took a break for a few minutes and got notes from the director and producers. The vibe was very natural and off-the-cuff. If somebody fell or messed up, we kept rolling. Nothing was stage-y or perfect. It was like Sadie had invited a bunch of friends over to do yoga, and we were all just having a good time.
Each show had a theme that the practice was based around. I loved some of the themes I got to be part of: “Just Breathe,” “Be a Yoga Ninja,” and “Yoga Melt”
(about burning fat and finding relaxation) were a few. During the segments, Sadie asked us questions related to the theme, such as, “So, Melissa, how are you a yoga ninja in your life?” It was fun coming up with answers and getting to joke around with Sadie on camera.
During the Yoga Ninja episode, the producer suggested that Sadie say she and I were “Ginger Ninjas.” (Gotta love a redhead!) The next day, I realized I had some Ginger tea in my bag, so I made Sadie some “Ginger Ninja” tea to help her start her day. She taped it up on the wall of her dressing room. I felt like I made my mark behind the scenes.
On Thursday afternoon, which was supposed to be my last day of filming, casting director Holly approached me and asked if I’d be willing to stay another day to film two more episodes. I was floored. She said, “We just like you so much, we’d like to have you in more episodes.” I was supposed to leave in a couple of hours to take a train to Connecticut to see friends, but who can say no to an offer like that? So I flew into a flurry of activity to change my plans. I called my friends in CT and called Amtrak to change my train to the next day. The only thing I needed was a place to stay.
Will I find a place to stay in NYC so I can film another day? Find out in part 3!