Bringing yoga to LA’s Eastside

If you think there is a lot — maybe too much — yoga on the Eastside of Los Angeles, well, you just don’t understand LA geography.

You don’t have to feel too bad about that. It’s a pretty common mistake. People in Silver Lake and Echo Park love to think they are on the Eastside. But check a map. Both are north and west of Downtown LA.

Not to mention west of the LA River, the classic way to define east from west.

(This whole where is the Eastside is a fun little LA argument. Which I’m right about, but still.)

Now, there finally is yoga on the Eastside — a part of town underserved on almost all fronts, including the meditative. The LA Times has the story, complete with headline that will annoy a few of you:

The 50-year-old joined dozens of Angelenos, most of them novices, at this week’s opening of People’s Yoga, the first studio east of the Los Angeles River dedicated entirely to the practice.

Located in a strip mall at the end of the Metro Gold Line, the small, no-frills center is hoping to grow a new crop of yogis: grandparents, working mothers and young adults — most of them Latino and from the surrounding neighborhood.

“We want people to learn and create their own experience,” co-founder Leah Gallegos said. “It can be physical, spiritual, whatever feels good to them.”

Gallegos and her friend Lauren Quan-Madrid launched the business with help from the community.

The certified yoga instructors used to travel to Echo Park and Silver Lake to take classes because options were so limited on the Eastside. A few years ago, they began to offer their own courses at centers and schools around Boyle Heights and East L.A.

“People were always very excited and welcoming,” Quan-Madrid said. “We knew we needed to expand somehow.”

The two started an online funding drive and raised $10,000 in two months. They leased a space upstairs from a hair salon and a check-cashing business. Family and friends helped knock down walls and install smooth Pergo flooring.

This is the most positive yoga news, especially here in Los Angeles, I’ve heard in a while.

Posted by Steve

Published by


Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s