Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
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Saturday, February 03, 2007

moving forward

on january 31st, 2007, two yoga studios officially closed their doors.

for illumination yoga in tarzana, the closure will be temporary, as outlined in this recent email from joa:

Crina and I are very proud to have sold our yoga business to the most wonderful couple: Quentin and Sasha. Quentin has taught yoga for many years, and let me tell you, he has the "ju ju". He lives the yoga. He is a pure joy to connect with. Sasha is a CPA who will keep the business financially straight. Crina and I just didn't have that kind of experience, but we still loved our time with you, and wouldn't trade it for the world. We are so pleased to announce that Quinten and Sasha's approach to yoga is very spiritual and loving. Thus, it appears the Illumination tradition shall continue!

Anyway, please stay tuned as in our next newsletter we will be informing you about an upcomming party for saying goodbye to us and welcoming the new owners. I suspect there will be food, music and dancing.

the new owners are in the process of getting the new illumination yoga studio up and running; it will reopen on monday, february 12th.

as for the second studio, forrest yoga institute in santa monica, the closure appears to be permanent. ana forrest and her husband jonathan bowra made a special appearance at the closing ceremonies held last wednesday. the restricted attendee list was composed of forrest teachers, forrest students, forrest supporters, and after some last-minute finagling, yours truly.

compared to the opening ceremony that was held at this new location almost exactly a year ago, the evening's gathering was more low-key. there was no yoga demonstration by ana and jonathan, no pipe ceremony by a native american ceremonialist, no hors d'oeuvres, no drinks, no raffle, no entertainment.

instead, the guests quietly filed into the studio and positioned themselves around the two groupings of candles placed on the floor. once everyone was settled down, ana and jonathan walked into the room and led the assembly of familiar faces through what could be considered a group therapy session.

first, ana led us through a recapitulation exercise. its purpose: to cleanse, to release old baggage, and to grow. while thinking about the different aspects of the issues that were uppermost on our minds (in most cases, that would be the studio's closing), we rhythmically turned our heads right and left while following the beat of ana's and jonathan's drums. as for me, while i shook my head, i found myself thinking: no... no more... i'm letting go... i'm dealing with it... i really don't want to dwell on this anymore... i'm getting dizzy...

and if it that weren't enough to physically shake the somber thoughts out of our minds, we were then asked to take out the pens and notebooks that were were instructed to bring with us; we were going to start writing.

ana had us elaborate on paper our thoughts and plans for the future, specifically as it related to forrest yoga. how would we continue the style of yoga that stresses "deep breathing, active feet, and a relaxed neck"? were we going to seek out ana and take her workshops as she traveled around the world? or were we going to seek out the other forrest teachers as they moved on to other studios around LA?

more importantly, since our lives weren't (and shouldn't be) ruled entirely by our yoga practice, ana posed questions about our lives outside of forrest yoga. did we know what our mission in life was? how we were going to deepen our connection to it? the questions and our initial answers were likely intended to keep us thinking and moving forward as we left the premises for the last time.

as i walked past the front desk, i picked up a few of the flyers that were placed there by the forrest teachers. here's where you'll find some of them, starting february 1st (updates will be posted at the forrest teacher bio page):

brian campbell www.bodyworkyoga.com
shakti's elements, santa monica
shiatsu massage school, santa monica

ben fritz www.deserthealer.com
progressive power yoga, brentwood
truyoga, santa monica
shakti's elements, santa monica

dearbhla kelly dearbhla_k@hotmail.com
yummy yoga, los feliz
goda yoga, culver city

heather onori heatheronori@earthlink.net
yogahop, santa monica
shakti's elements, santa monica

sasha popovich www.sashapopovich.com
home simply yoga, santa monica
yoga world, long beach

shayna reid www.shaynareid.com
santa monica yoga, santa monica
shakti's elements, santa monica
back for yoga, el segundo

and while the forrest community was mourning the closing of their beloved studio and the possible separation from their friends, i was undergoing similar feelings due to my own personal changes.

january 31st, 2007 marked the end of my consulting job in the valley. luckily for me, i was about to segue right into a new contract position the very next day. and while it was hard to say goodbye to the familiar people, places, and routines, i was looking forward to meeting new people, discovering new lunch hangouts, and more importantly, getting involved in an industry that was totally unrelated to the one i had just left (and no, it still has nothing to do with yoga).

and since my new commute will now require me to drive south to torrance instead of north to woodland hills, my usual weekday evening yoga class options will change. instead of being able to drop by black dog and rising lotus after work, i'll now have to find studios in the south bay with classes late enough in the day to accomodate my work schedule. which studios will i end up frequenting? i'll find out soon enough...