Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
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Sunday, August 20, 2006

the third time's the charm?

Yoga House Toluca Lake
3808 Riverside Drive, Suite 101
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 567-0471

Yoga House is an eclectic studio offering a wide variety of levels and styles of yoga for everyone from complete beginners to extremely advanced practitioners. Please check out our Pasadena schedule of classes for an idea of what we will be offering, on a smaller scale, at Yoga House Toluca Lake. (We'd also like to point out that as a student at our new Toluca Lake studio, you'll be able to use your classes or membership at our Pasadena location whenever you like. We've clocked the drive and it's only 15 minutes from door to door.)

We are so excited to be opening a second location in Toluca Lake and look forward to establishing the same kind of full-service, community-based yoga studio in our new neighborhood.

in the short span of time since i've gotten involved in the yoga scene here in los angeles, i've seen a number of yoga studios open and close. and some do manage to re-open, but usually under a new name and/or new management.

one such place is the new yoga studio at 3808 riverside drive in burbank.

originally, it was called yoga body and spirit. looking at the google cached version of its former website, yoga body served the burbank community from 1998 to 2004. at the time, it was run by guin lyster. i'm not sure when it closed; all i know is that guin now teaches on the westside at santa monica yoga.

sometime in late 2005 / early 2006, city yoga in west hollywood took over the space and called it city yoga toluca lake. only three months after it opened, it closed for business. i still regret having waited too long to visit the new city yoga satellite location; it shut down even before i got around to generating mapquest driving directions. while i never really found out the real reason why it closed so suddenly, what was even more puzzling to me was how the studio suddenly ended up at 3808 riverside, toluca lake while the other tenants in the same building claimed to be at 3808 riverside, burbank.

and now the folks at yoga house in pasadena have decided to try their hand at attracting the burbank, oops, toluca lake yoga community. what's curious is that while they call the new studio yoga house toluca lake, their street address is now back to 3808 riverside drive, burbank. interestingly, i just found out that the building is called the toluca lake center. talk about trying to be somewhere you're not...

anyway, learning from my city yoga toluca lake missed opportunity, the moment i heard about yoga house toluca lake's grand opening festivities, i cleared my calendar to make sure i'd be there to visit the studio and take advantage of at least one free class. and of course, i wasn't going to miss out on the "food, drink, music, and merriment featuring DJ Gabriel Diggs of KCRW (who) will be spinning Thievery Corporation, DJ Cheb I Sabbah, Anoushka Shanakar, Fela Kuti and other funky artists from around the globe."

as it turned out, a good running friend of mine decided to schedule his 50th birthday bash on the same evening (he obviously wasn't planning on attending the yoga studio party), so instead of eating, drinking, enjoying music, and making merry in burbank, i revised my plans so i would be doing the same at the other end of the san fernando valley. with people i actually knew rather than people i'd probably never see again.

but i still had the afternoon free, so i confirmed my reservation for the free mixed level class at 2:30pm on saturday afternoon.

our class was taught by john sovec, a regular at yoga house pasadena. i was pleased to find out that music plays a big part in his classes; like matt reyes, steve ross, dave romanelli, and all the other "music men" on the westside, he has his students "rock out" while doing their yoga asanas. however, unlike some of them, he actually spends some time giving out detailed instructions on proper alignment; we didn't move into the next pose until he was satisfied that we were all doing things correctly (or close to it).

the open house class was a short 60 minutes, but it was a good intro to the studio and to the teacher. and maybe even the students. i had a chance to chat with some of them; one used to practice in the same room back when it was still yoga body, and a few others were regulars from yoga house pasadena who were checking out the new place. i'm sure many of them will be back for more.

as i left the studio, i took one last look around the lobby and the boutique. only then did i notice the sanskrit beautifully handpainted high up on the walls near the ceiling.

it read:

Om saha naavavatu
Saha nau bhunaktu
Saha viiryan karavaavahai
Tejasvi naavadhiitamastu
Maa vidvishhaavahai
Om shaantih shaantih shaantih


May we be protected together
May we be nourished together
May we work together with great vigor
May our study be enlightening
May no obstacle arise between us
Om peace, peace, peace
-- The Shanti Mantras, Krishna Yajurveda Taittiriya Upanishad 2.2.2


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard that this yoga studio is closing, effective August 1st. If you have any class series you can either get a refund or use them at their Pasadena location.
I do believe that one of the reasons for the unsuccess of this studio is they never really knew where they were. Located in Burbank but never referring to themselves as a Burbank studio, left me cold and pondering. Was Burbank too un-hip and not quite cool enough for them I would wonder? They never seemed to ever be a part of the community, perhaps a reflection of being part of a chain? In addition, Burbank has a great Yoga studio (Yoga Blend) newly renovated and offering a wide variety of classes and really embraces it's community. On saying that, it is always sad when any business fails and I hope that the students of yoga House Toluca Lake will be able to find another yoga home to meet their needs.

8:39 AM  

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