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Eric Paskel plays guitar during a class at his Electric Soul Yoga studio in L.A.
During our time on the road on the Live Be Yoga Tour, we’ve gotten to meet some incredible yoga teachers, many of whom call Los Angeles home. Los Angeles has been and continues to be a “hub” for yogis; you can find virtually any style of yoga being practiced in this city. So how does someone who’s new to L.A. or interested in trying yoga for the first time pick the right studio and the right teacher?
My approach is the same in any new city or place. First, I suggest checking out several different studios. Try a heated vinyasa flow, traditional Ashtanga, or a Kundalini class. See which style feels best to you!
When it comes to finding a teacher, ask yourself if you want someone who’s very hands-on with adjustments, or someone who delves deep into yoga philosophy in every class. Do you want to sweat and tone your body with a power vinyasa flow, or do you want to awaken your spirit with Kundalini? These questions will help point you in the right direction.
We had the pleasure of practicing with and interviewing several renowned L.A.-based yogis, all with their own distinct styles. We met Sianna Sherman and Ashely Turner, who have created the Goddess Yoga Project, which allows practitioners to call upon the creative energy of the universe and reclaim their mythic feminine power. Sianna’s classes have been known to incorporate fable-like music, drums, stories, and mantra chanting. Her classes are enlightening, juicy, and far from dull!
We practiced with the joyful former gymnast Andrea Marcum at YogaWorks in Larchmont Village. Her Ashtanga-inspired vinyasa class is a delicate balance of philosophy, muscle building, and entertaining anecdotes. In Andrea’s classes, music is minimal and long holds in poses are common. Longtime practitioners and beginners alike seem to love her style.
We met Kia Miller and Guru Jagat, both of whom are livening up communities in Venice Beach with their energizing and heat-cultivating Kundalini classes, which include a powerful mix of asana, breath, kriyas, and chanting.
If you’re looking for a more physical asana practice, Eric Paskel’s studio Electric Soul Yoga will challenge you both physically and mentally. Eric is ultra cool in his teachings, incorporating real talk and playing killer 90’s jams. This heated vinyasa class will get you moving and leave you feeling absolutely amazing.
There are so many different kinds of yoga that the only way you can possibly determine the right studio and teacher for you is to get out there and TRY them — wherever you happen to be. Most studios will offer a free introductory week, so take advantage of those offerings and try out several different studios and teachers. If you vibe with a specific studio or teacher, keep going back! Immerse yourself into that community and let yoga positively influence your entire life.
Want to follow us on the best yoga tour ever? Visit us on Facebook @LIVEBEYOGA, Instagram @LIVEBEYOGA and Twitter @LIVEBEYOGA for the latest stories from the road. Connect with us @YogaJournal and @Gaia + share your photos with #LIVEBEYOGA.