Whether you have built up a yoga practice over several years or you’re a first-timer who doesn’t know your asanas from your savasanas, you can find a home at SD Yoga Center. It is an inclusive community where you’ll receive caring support from the instructors and staff members, and also from fellow yoga students as you pursue a lifestyle focused on a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Conveniently located at Grossmont Center since 2011, SD Yoga Center is locally owned by Anthony Burkart and Charlene Ohri and their studio has developed a loyal following over the years. “Our studio is known for its variety of classes and teachers, our down-to earth and friendly environment, and our ability to offer classes for all levels of students at affordable prices,” Ohri says.
Ohri emphasizes that SD Yoga Center is open to all, welcoming people of any age, fitness level or lifestyle. To help make yoga accessible to everyone, SD Yoga Center schedules classes from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. so you’re sure to find a class that meets your scheduling needs. In addition to a wide variety of class times, there are also more than 20 instructors at the studio who all bring something different and new to each class offering.
That variety also extends to the kinds of yoga taught at the studio. Devotees swear by the hot yoga classes that is SD Yoga Center’s signature class. “We’ve been known for our hot yoga classes for many years, even before we opened in Grossmont Center,” Ohri says. “It sounds crazy, but the heated classes give you a great workout and are suitable for all ages and physical capabilities”.
For those who haven’t experienced it yet, hot yoga is practiced in a heated room. As you run through the series of poses, your body becomes warm, which helps the muscles stretch and tone, while the perspiration detoxifies your body—by the end of class, you feel rejuvenated and reinvigorated.
If hot yoga sounds intimidating to you, don’t let it! What many people find after trying it once is that they can’t imagine yoga any other way. SD Yoga Center offers a comprehensive introduction to hot yoga, with a class tailored to beginners. They also provide information on how to prepare for your first visit—including tips on how to hydrate and what to bring and wear. This information can be found on their studio website. New students can also take advantage of a special Introductory Week offer of unlimited yoga for seven consecutive days for just only $25!.
Once your practice has a firm foundation, you can move on to the advanced class, which adds on to the 26 poses done in beginner classes and is about two hours long. The studio owners are happy to counsel with you about your practice and make sure you are ready to move forward—it’s a level of personalized support and attention that is hard to find at studios that are part of a large chain.
While SD Yoga Center built its sterling reputation on hot yoga, there is much more the studio offers. More recently, it has introduced non-heated yoga styles in Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga, and Deep Stretch/Slow Flow classes. Vinyasa Flow syncs poses to your breath in a continuous flow that boosts your cardio, flexibility, and stress reduction. If you want a taste of hot yoga, without quite as much heat, Vinyasa Burn offers Vinyasa Flow classes in a warm room. Yin Yoga moves at a slower pace, focusing on joint flexibility, while in Deep Stretch/Slow Flow the poses are held longer to really open up the muscles for a truly satisfying release and sense of calming relaxation.
If you’re a newcomer to yoga, you don’t have to worry about how you look in your yoga pants or that you can’t hold a crow pose. When you attend a class at SD Yoga Center, the attention is on your own practice and what you are doing for your health and well-being. It’s a nurturing, accepting atmosphere perfect for anyone interested in beginning to practice yoga. “Many people who come are well into their 50s, 60s and 70s,” Ohri says. “Many are also new to yoga and male. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Yoga is a great stress reliever and also a great way to get into shape. Give a week of classes a try for just $25—you have nothing to lose and everything to gain”!
Ohri adds that the studio’s Grossmont Center site is a central location that makes it a cinch for students to get to. “Parking is always easy and FREE, and they are able to do other shopping in the mall before or after class,” she says.
The studio is also an important part of the Grossmont Center tenant community. Like many other businesses here, SD Yoga Center hosts special events to celebrate and give back to its clientele. Every September, the studio holds its Anniversary Event with sales and giveaways as a special way of saying ‘thank-you’ to its customers for their support. There is also an annual Free Yoga Weekend in June, which Ohri says is a great way to try a class at no cost. For more information on the SD Yoga Center studio events, visit their website.
That customer connection is one of the main reasons Ohri enjoys being a small business owner. “I love the freedom to provide our customers a unique experience that they’ll only get at the SD Yoga Center. What we provide is based on the feedback we get from the community.” She adds that it’s also important to her that the studio provides a health service to the community, as well as a number of jobs.
When you attend a class at SD Yoga Center, you are doing your part to “shop local”—to give your business to stores, restaurants, and service providers who are dedicated to serving and giving back to the community they are based in. When you buy local, you help create a thriving economy that is a boon to La Mesa and its residents. So, go to a class at SD Yoga Center—you’ll feel good, and also be doing good. As Ohri says, “Support your local businesses—see you in the yoga room!”