Feeling as though her life lacked direction, Kar Lee Young took up yoga some years ago. Quickly finding new meaning in the practice, she decided to bring yoga to her community, opening Crenshaw Yoga and Dance in 2004. In its three studios, students follow the center's experienced teachers in all-level classes that cater to neophytes and veteran yogis alike. The weekly schedule also includes dance fitness classes and kids' classes that help young'uns express themselves through movement, stay active, and overcome deep-seated fears of wall-to-wall mirrors.
Sri Dharma Mittra has been honing his yoga practice for more than 50 years. It's safe to say that he enjoys it, but that isn't quite the point. His philosophy is based around altruism and acceptance, the pillars of a style called karma yoga. His devotion to tutoring others has earned him the nickname of "Teacher's Teacher," and his signature style aims to awaken the benevolent spirit within the practitioner.
Sonya Enchill Kendall takes this selfless method to heart at Dharma Yoga L.A. She and her certified staff have all studied with Sri Dharma Mittra, and they now lead classes that encompass his poses, flowing sequences, and inversions. The lessons are grouped according to skill level, with gentle classes for beginners and advanced levels for those who can balance on a beginner's head without them noticing. Enchill Kendall's overarching goal is to impart the benefits of yoga to anyone who seeks them, especially those in underserved communities. Accordingly, several classes and open-meditation sessions are donation-based.
Multiple classes in a variety of dance disciplines are available seven days a week. Start the week off with 5 p.m. yoga booty ballet, a bouncy, stretchy fusion of body-friendly natural movements, or go straight for the sweat stuff with a 7 p.m. cardio class. Your Neighborhood Studio also offers hip-hop, cardio ballet, ballet fit, and jazz classes. View a complete monthly schedule here. Dance classes run 55 to 75 minutes, and yoga sessions last 75 to 95 minutes. All classes except tango are drop-in, appeasing busy bees, wishing wells, and the commitmentphobic.
The Gym@Hayden is a loft-like, 5,500-square-foot fitness facility staffed with certified fitness professionals who are determined to help their clients feel supported along their fitness journey. Offering kickboxing, circuit-training, and boot-camp group classes, along with cardio and strength-training equipment, The Gym@Hayden strives to be a laid-back place that helps its clients get in, work out hard, and get on with their lives.
Sweat Pilates prides itself on not being a typical gym. Case in point: one of its classes involves doing cardio workouts while bouncing on a trampoline. That's just one of several classes customers can engage in to shake-up their typical workout. 75-minute CoreStretch classes combine deep stretching with Thai yoga and Pilates, allowing students to concentrate on breath work and body awareness, while the signature Sweat Pilates sessions utilize Proformer machines, which allow students to better target muscles, improve flexibility, and climb on someone else's furniture without reproof. But no matter which class students choose, Sweat Pilates is dedicated to making sure they have fun in a positive environment.