To be honest, when I originally moved out from NYC to Los Angeles, I was not that thrilled. But my boyfriend had a great job opportunity and so I went with him. I was so used to practicing yoga in my city and I felt so at home and spoiled, that I just assumed nothing would ever be able to compare to it. Would Los Angeles be able to live up to all my great teachers in the Village and Union Square?
You bet they have! I must say I am quite impressed with what is going on in the Los Angeles yoga community. The vast amount of teachers and studios to train with is almost like being in India. Well, not exactly but I will say that many of the Eastern gurus have made their way out to La La Land and from what I hear, more are coming. It seems as though Los Angeles has become a new mecca of sorts for yoga.
In the last year alone over fifty new yoga studios have opened up in Los Angeles. As I drive by one street I literally see three studios all in one corner. I thought to myself, "There is no way each one will be able to sustain themselves." But as I poke my head inside I clearly see that they are all full! I could not believe it. I felt like I was back at Union Square in NYC where I had eight studios to choose from in a two block radius.
And most importantly, the quality of teaching that is going on is actually quite impressive. It's funny because I recently read this article on Huffington Post about who has the best classes in LA. Honestly, I am not hear to talk about some grading or rating system as this is completely subjective. But what I do want to point out is the vast amount of teaching that is taking place.
Any student can immerse themselves in the community and quickly learn so many styles and approaches to yoga. Honestly I was one of those "creature of comfort" type of people where I generally stuck to a couple of teachers and that was it. But after living in Los Angeles for the last couple of years, I have taken so many types of classes with completely different types of teachers. It definitely took me out of my comfort zone.
I also recently took a Los Angeles yoga certification program where it totally kicked my butt. I thought I would be ready for this coming from a "tougher" city. But I must say I have never been challenged like this. I think because so many people now in LA are studying and practicing (and many are now teachers themselves) it seems as though the bar is being raised in this area. I personally think this is great as it creates a hub of advanced yogis.
So if you are interested in furthering your practice but can't afford a ticket to the East, check out what is going on in Los Angeles. You might be quite surprised at what is taking shape.