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Friday, February 09, 2007

two-part harmony

Harmony Yoga - Manhattan Beach
3701 Highland Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 379-6905
website: www.harmonyyoga.com

When body, breath and mind work together in harmony to achieve a spiritual goal, that is yoga. -- Baba Hari Dass

now that i've moved my center of operations, so to speak, to the south bay, i finally find myself conveniently located near all the studios in redondo beach, hermosa beach, manhattan beach, and the surrounding neighborhoods. so the first chance i got, i made a bee-line for the new manhattan beach branch of the redondo beach-based harmony yoga. since it was just down the street from the home of my friend maria, a fledgling yogini, i invited her to come join me in kimberly's flow 1/2 class last tuesday evening. she accepted and agreed to meet me after work.

harmony manhattan beach opened its doors last january 15th. by the time i visited the studio earlier this week, they already had been offering classes for almost four weeks. but unless you had heard about their new place at the corner of highland and rosecrans, there was no way you could have known that it was a yoga studio; in fact, i really don't remember seeing a sign outside their door. i'm sure the locals still think that anyone walking around the neighborhood with a yoga mat is probably headed to the bikram studio, just catty-corner from harmony.

the new studio is a small but bright space. located slightly below street level, its corner location gives it two full walls of floor-to-ceiling windows which let in lots of light (at least during the day). with pale green walls and a hardwood floor (which seems to be the standard yoga studio decor these days), it's a one-room affair with a screen that separates the front desk and the entrance from the studio itself. cubbies for students' belongings are against the wall by the front door, while mats and props can be found at the opposite end of the room.

our evening class was held in virtual darkness; i don't know if the teacher purposely kept the room dim or if the lights could only get so bright. regardless, it was a bit disconcerting not to be able to focus on any one spot in the room, especially during the more demanding balance poses. the class itself turned out to be more challenging than the typical 1/2 level flow class. kimberly said that it ended up being a level 2+ class because the energy in the class seemed to crave more. all i know is that while i gamely followed along, all i really wanted to do was to take it easy... so much for my plan to take a relaxing flow class. as for my friend, maria, she didn't know what hit her. up until that evening, she had been taking beginner level classes and was starting to enjoy them. this time, though, she struggled to keep up. at the end of the class, i told her that it was a really tough class, especially for someone as inexperienced as herself. that seemed to console her a bit, but i'm sure she'll go back to taking easier classes until she's ready to push herself harder.

harmony manhattan beach will finally be announcing their existence to the yoga world this weekend -- here's the text on their invite flyer:

Celebrate with us

We are thrilled to announce our
in the city of Manhattan Beach
3701 Highland Ave.

You can expect another beautiful, friendly and soulful
yoga center that thrives on excellence.
We are all excited to bring the Harmony spirit to
Manhattan Beach.

Please join us in celebration
Saturday, February 10
from 6:30 to 8:30


while i may not be able to make the party this weekend, i'll probably do an occasional drop-by just to try out the other teachers. after all, it sure beats fighting rush hour traffic on the 405 to get home after work...