Already having a stressful week? Breathe in, breathe out. Then go see Molly Szpara at this weekend's KarmaFest.
Szpara will be teaching an hour of yoga and supervising the yoga area on Sunday at the everything-holistic-and-generally-relaxing annual fest, held Saturday and Sunday at Oregon Ridge Park. The 23-year-old Guilford resident started practicing asana yoga after attending KarmaFest four years ago. "I danced since I was about 3, and loved the idea of moving as a form of expression," she said. Since then she has attended classes at least twice a week, underwent a work study program and frequently practices at home. She's also working on a sub chapter of Fells Point wellness nonprofit PURE that would include a yoga, nutrition and meditation project. And she'll continue to be a part of KarmaFest as long as possible. "It contains a peaceful smattering of philosophical ideals that somehow don't clash."
Before her yoga session, Szpara talked to us about her favorite yoga pose, throat singing and more.
Worst pet peeve? People sitting at green lights texting long after the light has changed.
What songs are you loving/hating right now? I can't stop listening to Nick Drake right now. It could be because of the long winter. I'm obsessed with the entirety of the album "Bryter Layter" (mostly "Poor Boy" and "Hazy Jane II"). Also loving Yip Deceiver's "Presets" and "Double Feature." Hate hate hate "Blurred Lines," because seriously? Low vibe, dude.
Last concert/gig you went to? I saw the Alash Ensemble and Sho'dekeh jamming at Towson University. Alash is a Tuvan throat-singing trio that is amazing! Sho'dekeh accompanies them with beat boxing. The two styles go very well together.
Your worst habit? Thinking out loud in the midst of unrelated conversation.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Misogyny.
Favorite/least favorite yoga position? Favorite pose is parivrtta janu sirsasana. I never thought I could do it until [Charm City Yoga's] Jess Crowley assisted me into it during a class in Fed Hill. It was so juicy and I felt like I was stretching parts of myself I didn't know existed. Least favorite pose is pigeon pose. Pigeon has always hurt one of my knees, but depending on the day, that knee changes.
Favorite way to relax? Taking lavender Epsom salt baths.
Yoga trend you'd like to see in the future? More availability at studios for classes on mantra/chanting.
Favorite and least favorite fashion statement? Favorite: power clashing. Least favorite: clothes made in sweat shops by basically slave labor in this or any country. Oh, but also sweat pants in public/pajamas worn in public in class.
Last great meal you had? From Mezze in Fells Point. Amazing tapas, and everything is half off during happy hour. Got: baba ganoush, marinated vegetables, tapenade, roasted salmon and zucchini fritters. So good.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? A toss up between Brewer's Art for beer, Grand Cru for wine or Woodberry Kitchen for cocktails. But honestly? My kitchen is the best place in B-more for a drink.
Best advice you ever got? "Do or do not. There is no try." — Master Yoda
Your favorite thing about Baltimore? That there seems to be a maximum of two degrees of separation between everyone, that people from other cities fall in love with B-more and don't leave, all the new murals. Also, the Easter Island head on Calvert and 20-somethingth Street.
AS TOLD TO JORDAN BARTEL