Yoga and Yoga World brings Peace into your Daily Life

Feb 28, 2010 by Lindsay Pullin

When it comes to choosing a Yoga studio, the amount of options available to choose from may be overwhelming.  A studio should be chosen according to the type of yoga taught , but more so, by the theme and vibe of the studio, as well as the teachers who can teach what you want to learn. 

Most people want teachers and instructors who are experienced in practicing, and being able to teach yoga effectively.

Yoga World

As well, the teacher should be able to offer various classes which meet different student’s skill levels, experience, and be able to have the classes both enjoyable and comfortable.

Yoga World, has two locations in Long Beach and has a cool vibe, and a large variety of yoga classes in the Hatha style.

Gabriel Hall and his wife, Michelle Hall, are the owners of Yoga World Studios. They started in 1996, and as they added more classes and attracted more and more students, they then opened their own studio. 

Yoga World first opened in Los Altos, and afterward, opened their second location in Long Beach (often referred to as the "downtown studio").

For those unfamiliar with Hatha yoga, it’s the category of yoga practice, that most people think of when they think of yoga. 
It’s a series of postures and breathing exercises when completed, help its adherents achieve a balance between both the mental and the physical inner and outer selves.

Yoga World’s classes all fall into the genre of Hatha, but span the complete spectrum of what Hatha entails–from slow and gentle therapeutic yoga, flow yoga, and intense and strong yoga. Each class offers something specifically different.

Welcome to Yoga World

[Full disclosure] I’m a regular to Gabriel Hall’s intermediate classes, and here’s why:

Hall’s style of yoga is an evolution of influences, which has become a hybrid of Hatha, and mixes various forms of Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, and Viniyoga Yoga. It also delves into strength training.

For Yoga World’s founder, Hall, he’s found a way to make the breathing and sweating inherent in the Yoga experience–original and evolutionary for each individual class. This allows for students to enjoy and remain in the classes, even through sometimes impossible chaturangas (think push-ups), or confusing descriptions that sound incredible (he will break it down for you). 

Expect the class to laugh sometimes, which is in a way, encouraging and uniting, when you feel alone in your challenge.

Another hip element to Hall’s classes is his use of contemporary music to compliment the movements.  In one class, students might hear The Beatles, Radiohead, or the Velvet Underground.  The music accompanying these classes is another evolution to Hall’s style. In many other classes, more new age type music is used, but Hall found it was getting a little stale and borrowed a note from Yogi Steve Ross. Thus, he took inspiration and meditation from music that many people can relate to.

Some of the tunes were familiar to people, and offered a cross generational appeal. (For instance) the lyrics in the Beatles music is very yogic, written under the influence of yoga, (and helps people) get deeper into the experience.

Yoga World has since grown, and now offers approximately 75 classes every week between the two studios, and has a staff of over 15 different teachers.  Pilate’s classes are also offered, as well as a free meditation class one Sunday every month. 

Some upcoming events include:

"Integrating Meditation with the Healing Process" on March 6th (with Suzanne Toro Schafer), "Finding Joy through Movement with Live Music" on March 13th (with Michelle Libeu and musician Marti Walker), and "Yoga: The Essentials" with Gabriel Hall on March 27th (these events are purchased separately and must be pre-registered). 

Yoga World's Gabriel Hall

Hall also offers Thai Yoga Therapy, which he learned from his own teacher and mentor, Saul David Ray. Thai Yoga Therapy includes twisting and stretching your body’s routine. Its ethos and roots lie in yoga in order to heal your body, while releasing tension.

Don’t have a yoga mat? Not a problem. If it’s your first yoga class, just show up wearing loose clothes with an open attitude, as there’s no need to preregister. Mats are available to borrow in the back of the room, as well as straps, blocks, blankets, foam rollers, tennis and medicine balls, and anything else that you’ll need to stretch, meditate, or relax into yoga. 

Show up 15 minutes before each class starts to ensure a spot for your mat, and if you must bring your cell phone into the studio, make sure it’s turned off.  I can only recall one time that a cell phone rang during a class–needless to say it was startling and stressful, and not at all yogic.

Yoga World offers a list of Student Tips, if you’re unsure of what to expect during a yoga class, such as:

"Please inform your teacher of any injury of special conditions you may have prior to class" and "Accept where you are. Avoid over stretching or straining. No experience or flexibility is needed. Always honor your own needs and limitations."

For the complete list of Yoga World’s classes, skill levels, and times, click here

Most classes end with a savasana, or a meditation period that may start–guided or unguided– to allow your body to relax from the stress of the class and the day. Generally silent, it’s usually completed in the "corpse pose," (this words are are pretty self explanatory), as a way to transition back into the outside world.

I firmly believe that Yoga is an accessible form of bringing inner peace into your daily life. 

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