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Friday, July 20, 2007

homeschooling

Kamala Love Yoga
2533 Federal Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 403-8567
website: http://www.kamalalove.com/

The name Kamala means "she of the lotus" and is a common epithet of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is linked with three important and interrelated themes: prosperity and wealth, fertility and crops, and good luck during the coming year. -- from "Kamalatmika" on Wikipedia



with all the yoga DVDs, podcasts, and TV shows available today, it's easy for yoga students to take a yoga class from a qualified teacher in the privacy of their own homes.

there are many advantages to homeschooling. for example, there's no need to get dressed before heading to class; you can practice in your pajamas or in the all-together (just make sure you keep your blinds down if you're doing the latter).

also, if you yoga at home, you won't feel like you have to compete with all the young, good-looking yogis at the local studio who move effortlessly through advanced poses. not that you should be competing with them in the first place, but it's hard not to feel intimidated, if you know what i mean.

then there's also the plus of being able to practice whenever you have the time. you don't have to get up earlier than you'd like just to catch an early morning class; neither do you have to drop what you're doing at work just so you can make the last yoga class of the day at your nearby yoga studio.

and then there are some who have no choice but to homeschool; according to my unscientific survey via yogafinder, those who live in north dakota, south dakota, and wyoming should consider themselves fortunate if they live close to any of the only ten or so yoga studios listed for their entire state!

of course, there's always the financial advantage. with the cost of yoga classes averaging around $16 per group session here in LA, you can easily buy yourself a yoga DVD for the same amount of money... and maybe even have some money left over.

i understand all the reasons why people choose to practice on their own, but i still believe that there's no substitute for practicing under the watchful eye of a trained instructor. at least until you get the basics down. you're less likely to get injured, and you might actually learn some helpful tips to make it easier for you to get into the poses.

for those who just aren't into the large yoga studio scene, there's a way to take instructor-led yoga classes in the privacy of a home. but not your home, the teacher's home. not only is it more convenient for the teacher since he/she doesn't have to travel far to teach a class, but often the classes are smaller, so you get more personalized attention. the downside, though, is that the class offerings are usually pretty limited, so unless the choices jibe with your schedule, you're out of luck.

my latest discovery is the studio located in the backyard of pj haring's home in west los angeles. called kamala love yoga (and i still have to find out the "why" behind the name), it offers a variety of yoga classes, including anusara.

besides wanting to visit kamala love so i could add another studio to my list, i chose to take lauri ashworth's class because i wanted to find a source for anusara yoga here on the westside (if you're an anusara junkie, you know that it just doesn't exist west of west hollywood). i suppose you could say i was pretty eager to check out my new find -- i showed up for lauri's class at kamala love just two days after meeting her at huck hirsch's acroyoga class.

kamala love is located in a quiet residential street near the intersection of gateway and barrington. i was glad i brought a copy of the street address and driving directions with me; because there's only a small sign by the side gate, there's no way i could have found it otherwise.

except for me, everyone else in lauri's class seemed to be regulars. she knew their names, she knew their strengths and their weaknesses, she even knew what was going on in their lives. the fact that they kept coming back was a good sign; either they liked the intimate setting or lauri's friendly teaching style or both. while i may never end up showing up as consistently as they do, at least i now know that i don't have to drive east of the 405 to satisfy a craving for anusara yoga during the week (i should add that steven espinosa teaches an anusara-inspired level 1 class on saturday mornings at sacred movement in venice).

of course, since kamala love is located at pj haring's home, pj teaches there as well. in fact, he teaches donation-based classes on tuesday and thursday evenings (in addition to his other classes at both kamala love and sacred movement). since the only other donation-based classes on the westside are taught at bryan kest's power yoga studio in santa monica, pj's level 1 "community" class is probably the more gentle and affordable option for beginners who aren't quite ready for the more demanding power classes.

by the way, there are other excellent teachers in LA who offer regularly-scheduled drop-in classes at their home-based studios:
~ gurutej in the miracle mile (blessings center)
~ larry payne in marina del rey (samata yoga center)
~ stefan and diana storace in woodland hills (garden of yoga)

i'm sure there are others that i have yet to hear about, so if you know of any, i'd appreciate hearing from you!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go check out certified anusara teacher Chris Chavez (chris@chrischavez.com). He practices at his home and at Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills. LA Weekly called him one of the three best hidden yoga classes in LA. He rocks!

2:16 PM  
Blogger joni said...

good to know... i'll have to check it out!

3:00 PM  

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