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Friday, February 19, 2010

venturing off the boulevard

Urban Lily Yoga
14843 Burbank Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
(818) 782-6144
website: www.urbanlilyyoga.com

Urban Lily Yoga "Blossom where you’re grounded", the yoga wellness center of the valley, is open to the public offering its powerful blend of traditional and progressive yogic practices, with a philosophy that is both contemporary and timeless. Our center offers yoga as it is meant to be, a practice that uncovers your true nature.

Yoga is the possibility of growth. A practice, a seed if you will, which contains within it a miraculous blueprint of an astonishing life that can emerge and come into being through the everyday mindfulness of yoga leading to an intuitive illumination of consciousness which blossoms forth in the form of health, vitality and happiness.

if you live or work in the valley, you know that most everything you need is located on ventura boulevard -- the hip boutiques, the trendy cafes, the major chain stores. even the yoga studios are in the midst of all that activity, right where you can easily find them.

but a new yoga studio has sprouted in a strip mall off the beaten path, about a mile and a half north of the boulevard. hmmm... why out there?

but then again, why not? i mean, if you're going to bring yoga to the people, you might as well bring it closer to them, right?

and i must say that as far as this westsider was concerned, it definitely was closer. or at least much easier to get to.

all i had to do was drive north up the 405, exit at burbank blvd, and after crossing a few traffic lights, there i was, at urban lily yoga. it was so unlike my typical commute to most places in the valley, where i usually find myself crawling along the 101 and the surrounding surface streets, past the soccer moms driving carpool in their SUVs, the writer/producer/actor types chatting on their cell phones, and the senior citizens driving way too slowly under the speed limit.

urban lily yoga was like a little burst of sunshine in their quiet neighborhood. there were no hip and trendy people in this neck of the woods, just moms attending to their washloads at the laundromat and people picking up groceries at the corner market. a banner above the front door marked their spot among the small businesses in the building.

once inside, you could feel the sweet energy of the place, from the retail items stored in wicker baskets in the armoire to the photographs of the teaching staff on the bulletin board. all of it was clearly a work of love by elinore cohen, owner of urban lily. you could definitely feel the female touch in the decor, although that obviously didn't deter the man who walked in off the street to check out the class schedule.

i was there to take elinore's class; while we waited for the earlier class to let out, we chatted as i filled out the requisite paperwork. and since my first class was free, i didn't have to pull out my wallet. nice!

the classroom was small and welcoming. all the props were arranged neatly towards the back of the room. even the blankets were folded so perfectly that any iyengar student would feel right at home here :)

elinore led our little class of three through a mellow, yet challenging, flow class. i especially enjoyed it because after we went through the customary sun salute sequences, we moved on to prep work for harder arm balances and inversion poses. we didn't do anything crazy nor overly backbendy, so my lower back emerged unscathed and happy.

most of the classes at urban lily are vinyasa flow and hatha blend, with some gentle therapeutic classes and restorative classes for those who just want to de-stress. there are also prenatal yoga classes for the neighborhood moms so they can come meet and bond with their future PTA pals.

urban lily will be holding their grand opening celebration next week, on saturday, february 27th at 7pm. everyone's invited to come by to share in the music and the treats; i've heard about all the little details that elinore's been working on to make sure her guests have a great time, so you know i'm not missing this party!

parking: free parking available behind the building
bike racks: none
closest intersection: burbank blvd and kester ave