BY PAULINE ADAMEK
In these troubling times of economic crisis, many of us look towards simplifying our lives and distilling what is truly important in one’s life. Some even look inwards, towards strengthening our spirits and resolve in the face of harsh circumstances.
Some find solace in forging true friendships with like-minded souls. An excellent place to obtain a sense of unity and the comfort of belonging is Rising Lotus Yoga, a sunny yoga studio located in Sherman Oaks.
Co-owners Claire Hartley and Daniel Stewart have built a true community in the three years since they opened their studio in the Valley. Offering a wide range of classes and special workshops, Rising Lotus feels like a sanctuary. This humble yoga studio is a place of deep nourishment, not only physical but also emotional and spiritual.
While most attendees are local, many students drive from as far as Santa Monica to practice yoga here. Seven days a week, day and early evening, the studio offers all levels of classes, so there is definitely something for everyone, from children to grandparents. Rising Lotus Yoga has just added a second asana room to their studio, as well as a host of new classes.
One initiative Claire and Daniel created was the 100-day challenge, which dared students to commit to practice a class of yoga 100 days in a row. This year the 100-day challenge commenced with President Obama’s inauguration day and it was intended to help show how a dedicated practice often can impact the quality of one’s life in much the same way that Obama is committed to rebuilding our country every single day he is in office.
Once a month the studio holds Kirtan evenings. Kirtan is a joyous celebration of life through devotional music and song, usually employing a “call and response” of musical meditation and chanting. There is no singing experience needed, only a willingness to open your heart to the joy. These evenings are led by Daniel Stewart and held every second Friday of the month, following the 6pm yoga class. They continue to draw an ever-growing crowd of happy, like-minded locals.
These days most people are scaling back their spending on fashion and expensive hand bags and things that they don’t need. If you are coming to the realization that taking care of body and soul is of paramount importance, then Rising Lotus Yoga studio may be a place of solace and good health for you.
Rising Lotus Yoga 13557 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks (818) 990-0282
Check out their class schedule, class descriptions and upcoming events:
Pauline Adamek is a Hollywood-based film, theater, and food critic who writes for FilmInk Australia, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Sun Community Newspapers, as well as various websites under the “nom du net” Max Million. www.paulineadamek.com