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Sunday, March 26, 2006

an apres yoga treat

Jiva Yoga
15327 Sunset Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 454-7000
website: www.jivayoga.com

Jiva means "soul." Through the practice of yoga, we celebrate and honor the gift of life: body, mind, and breath. By honoring the individual self, we honor the ultimate Self, which shines within all life and all people.

it was while i was doing my usual yoga googling that i accidentally discovered another westside yoga studio that i had yet to visit. it was located in pacific palisades, a somewhat isolated community that one could liken to a very upscale version of small town america.

it's so isolated that you wouldn't normally drive through it to get from any point A to any point B; the only way to get there is to either take the long and winding drive down sunset boulevard from brentwood, or take the coast highway north from santa monica or south from malibu. you have to know it's there, know that you want to do something there, and then go out of your way to get there. which is the main reason why the locals (including some of la's wealthiest families) choose to live there.

it's very easy to feel like an outsider in the palisades. most everyone knows everyone else, either because their kids go to school together, their families worship together, or because they frequent the same stores and restaurants in the village. so when i showed up at jiva yoga this morning to sign up for a class, i was hoping that i wouldn't get the "you're not from around here, are you?" look from my fellow students. and i don't believe i did (or maybe i merely imagined that i didn't).

i had looked through the online class schedule before dropping by. william asad, part owner, was teaching a class that morning. and it just so happened that he had recently signed on to teach classes at yoga works on main street. perfect, i thought. i could check another studio off my still-growing list, and if i liked his teaching style, i wouldn't have to drive out as far to take more of his classes.

on my way to the studio, i noticed that the adjoining street was blocked off for the local farmers' market. so after registering and paying for the class, i walked over to the stalls to check out the selection. there was the usual assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, freshly-baked breads and cookies, gourmet cheeses and chocolates, and of course, free samples! but since it's recommended that yoga be practiced on an empty stomach, all that tasting had to wait until later...

william's level 2 class was appropriate for my ability. it was challenging enough, but not too difficult. he reminded us of what we needed to do to perform the pose correctly and gave options for those who wanted to take the poses a bit further. we also spent a good amount of time in headstand. luckily for me, there was enough wall space for all of us who needed the extra support. it was all good.

once the class ended, i thanked william, told him i looked forward to taking another class with him in the future, and made a beeline for those food stalls.

i was in sampling heaven! hummus. curry. chocolate. cheese. apples. pears. honey. lemonade. what a perfect way to end a wonderful yoga session!

so not only do i intend to drop by the palisades on a future sunday morning, but i also intend to plan my visits to other studios around the schedules of the farmers' markets near them!

here's a list of some farmers' markets that have yoga studios a short walk or drive away:

Atwater Village - bikram yoga silver lake (1 block), silverlake yoga
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Glendale Blvd and Brunswick Ave.

Brentwood - maha yoga
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Gretna Green Way and San Vicente Blvd.

Culver City - goda yoga (2 blocks)
Hours: 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Main St. and Culver Blvd.

Hollywood - golden bridge yoga (3 blocks)
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Ivar Ave. between Sunset Blvd. and Hollywood Blvd.

Larchmont Village - yoga works larchmont (1 block)
Hours: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Larchmont Blvd. between 1st St. and Beverly Blvd.

Melrose Place - bks iyengar yoga, city yoga west hollywood, earth's power yoga, yoga inside out
Hours: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Melrose Pl. and Melrose Ave.

Pacific Palisades - jiva yoga (1 block)
Hours: 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Location: Swarthmore Ave. and Sunset Blvd.

Pasadena Villa Park - insight yoga
Hours: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Location: East Villa St. and North Garfield Ave.

Santa Monica Pico - forrest yoga, santa monica yoga
Hours: 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Location: Pico Blvd. and Cloverfield Blvd.

Santa Monica Saturday Organic - exhale santa monica (2 blocks), power yoga east (2 blocks), power yoga west (3 blocks), shakti's elements
Hours: 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Location: Arizona Ave. and 3rd St.

Santa Monica Sunday - exhale santa monica, power yoga west, sacred movement, santa monica yoga, shakti's elements, yoga works main street (4 blocks)
Hours: 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Location: Ocean Park Blvd. and Main St.

Santa Monica Wednesday - exhale santa monica (2 blocks), power yoga east (2 blocks), power yoga west (3 blocks), shakti's elements
Hours: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Arizona Ave. and 3rd St.

South Pasadena - mission street yoga (1 block), yoga house
Hours: 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Meridian Ave. between Mission St. and El Centro St.

Studio City - mark blanchard's power yoga
Hours: 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Location: Ventura Pl. and Ventura Blvd.

Venice - sacred movement, YAS
Hours: 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Location: Venice Way and Venice Blvd.

West Hollywood - city yoga, earth's power yoga
Hours: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Plummer Park - N. Vista St. and Fountain Ave.

Westwood Village - yoga works westwood (4 blocks)
Hours: 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Weyburn Ave. and Westwood Blvd.

additional los angeles-area farmers' markets are listed on this website:

update, 4/1/06 - regarding the westwood village farmers market:
"After 12 years in Westwood Village, the market was shut down by the Fire Department on March 30th to accommodate Casden Properties' real estate development construction.
We have identified an alternate location, and am (sic) working now to secure that location."