Laura recommends you:
LA: the new Yoga Mecca
The city known for #Hollywood stars has redefined the concept of #yoga and has embraced the activity into its daily #lifestyle. With world famous yoga studios and frequent retreats in Joshua Tree National Park, #nature, I chose to see the transformation for myself, and to visit #LA while experiencing a new kind of awakened #culture out on the West Coast. Breath-taking scenery, good #food and yoga; perfect! #VisittheUSA
Constantly hearing about the City of Stars while growing up on the East Coast, had always made me eager to visit and experience the magic for myself. The first thing Los Angeles brings to mind is Hollywood glamour, and yet I found that there also coexists in the city a unique duality of materialism and spirituality. Yoga is no longer just seen as an extracurricular activity, but has become ingrained in the daily LA culture, which is as usual, ahead of the curve when it comes to self-improvement and wellness. Detox juice bars in LA are now as common a site as hot dog stands in NY. This shift in lifestyle is also seen in their fashion, abundant fine dining vegan restaurants, and chic eco-friendly accommodations. Being a yoga practitioner myself, I figured I might as well visit the big city while immersing into the unique LA yogi lifestyle.
LA offers an abundance of chic, 100% sustainable boutique hotels. I was exceptionally pleased after my first two nights stay at the historic, Mediterranean boutique hotel called La Casa Del Camino.
Hotel La Casa Del Camino
LA Beer Hop
Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons
The hotel sits in the heart of Laguna beach, a famous coast among surfers, artists and many of Hollywood’s elite. I found the sustainability concept to be completely encompassed into the hotel’s business model and décor, from bamboo towels for the beach to organic beers and vodkas for the aperitif!
For my first lunch in the city, I made reservations at the hidden gem Shojin, a vegan, and gluten free Japanese restaurant on Washington boulevard. I treated myself to a dynamite and purple treasure roll, and left the restaurant with a whole new elevated standard for Japanese cuisine!
After lunch, I strolled around peeking at the trendy boutiques, and finished out the day immersing myself in the colors, tastes and smells of the eclectic, local Santa Monica Market, which was not a far walk from a delicious local juice bar called Nektar Juicery.
... immersing myself in the colors, tastes and smells of the eclectic, local Santa Monica Market
I spent the next couple of days visiting LA’s most famous yoga studios, Bikram Yoga College of India and Black Dog yoga, but after the bustle of the city, I needed a well deserved change of atmosphere. I headed for my highly anticipated next activity:
A famous five day yoga retreat with Salt Room Yoga in Southern California’s most sacred natural beauty, Joshua Tree National Park.
Five day yoga retreat
Beans & Bites Bicycle Tour in Victoria
Point Doughty Kayak Trip in Orcas Island
The park is a unique dessert that remains mostly untouched since its inhabitants of the native Serrano tribe over two centuries ago. Logged in a serene location, the retreat not only had us do twice-daily Ashtanga practices, but also showed us the best hiking routes through the Park’s cactus gardens and hidden oases.
My predetermined idea of glamorous Los Angeles had taken on a whole new meaning. Seeing it through the eyes of the locals, allowed me to feel the rawness of the city and experience what it is actually like to be a Southern Cali girl.