Like yoga in the park? Well, beware if you’re in LA

For those who haven’t guessed it — or read it plainly — we live in Los Angeles. Thus the higher than average amount of posts about things here.

Here’s one, which you could choose to ignore, although it might be a harbinger of things to come in your city.

The crux of the matter is: LA is looking to reinstate a ban on people “vending” in city parks and beaches. You might immediately get an image of someone with a pushcart (street vending is generally illegal in LA, unlike lots of other cities — thus the food truck phenomena) selling ice cream or the fruit carts that are all over town.

But it also includes yoga classes. And the LA Times piece on this highlights yoga a few times:

In recent years, people who hawked ice cream or hot dogs, taught yoga or shilled other goods and services in Los Angeles parks were effectively in the clear.

Selling their wares on city sidewalks was banned. But the city had suspended similar rules prohibiting vending in parks and beaches when the issue became entangled in two lawsuits.

Now those legal battles are over and L.A. lawmakers are poised to punish unpermitted park and beach vending once again. The City Council voted Tuesday to draw up a fresh set of rules, imposing escalating fines and even misdemeanor charges against vendors who ply their trade at parks and beaches without getting city permission.

If you go on Facebook, it won’t take you long to find any number of acro / aerial and plain old hatha yoga classes happening in city parks.

Here’s the issue that I think may have broader connotations:

Backers such as Councilman Joe Buscaino said that the reinstated rules would protect the city from being sued if someone was hurt or sickened by the wares or services sold by unlicensed park vendors. “Say someone gets hurt during an unpermitted yoga class, who would be liable?” Buscaino asked Senior Assistant City Atty. Valerie Flores.

That’s all about money — and that’s when elected leaders get serious. But how many folks are going to go through the hassle of getting the necessary permits, if it comes to that?

It’s a complicated issue, though — freedom of speech, among other things, is intertwined.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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