Community: New Doors PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Felicia M. Tomasko, RN & Joyce Dvoren   

Wear Your Positive Thoughts

Byron Davenport and Casey Murray
Byron Davenport and Casey Murray

Byron Davenport and Casey Murray are the cofounders of POSITIVE THOUGHT BRAND. Davenport came up with the logo of a radiant person and a line of apparel emphasizing the positive impact of the words we say and wear. Their shirts have a long list of messages and affirmations, including “Feel the Love,” “Trust the Universe.” They’re sweatshop-free and printed on a variety of soft fabrics, including sustainable hemp, bamboo and organic cotton. Since September, 2007, they’ve been frequent visitors to green festivals, Yoga conferences, food events and more, where their shirts have had a wide appeal – revealing there are many people who believe in the power of the word. The dynamic duo are always sporting s positive thoughts along with friendly and welcoming attitudes, making them the best advertisement for their wares. For now, they have a storefront in Laguna Beach and they’ll be there through December at least. Call first for hours and even if you don’t make it in person, look for their booth at shows or visit them online. Positive Thought Brand, 1751 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA. 92651. (866) 567 5957. postitivethoughtbrand.com –– FMT

Westside Ray of Kundalini Light

Eva Michel (Dharamjeet Kaur)
Eva Michel (Dharamjeet Kaur)

With all the studios currently on the Westside, there's a scarcity of Kundalini practices offered in this part of town. Eva Michel (Dharamjeet Kaur) the founder of YOGA RAYS, is now offering more of this Yogic technology near the ocean with. Kundalini Yoga is a powerful practice and Eva knows this first-hand. After thirty years in the medical field training doctors in new medical practices, a buildup of mental, emotional and physical stress was causing her to fall seriously ill. After a great deal of searching, it was Kundalini Yoga that allowed her to return to heath. Convinced and inspired by this ancient practice, she has become a Certified International Aquarian Kundalini Yoga Teacher dedicated to building a Community Wellness Center in the area.

She began sharing the practice out of her home and then starting teaching out of an adorable courtyard building two blocks from the beach. Students came, drawn by the fact that Kundalini Yoga offers an empowering way to take charge of one's own health. Along with Eva, other Certified Kundalini Yoga Teachers offer classes and various workshops in health empowerment for the community, including "Bring Your Own Baby" classes, soon to come Prenatal yoga, Reiki healing certification, sound therapy, counseling , Ayurveda and more. The first class is free. Yoga Rays, 3007 Washington Blvd, #205, Marina del Rey, CA. 90292 (310) 365 - 6911. Yogarays.com –– FMT

It’s Great to Be Green

Mary Strong, Founder of The Green Yogi
Mary Strong, Founder of The Green Yogi

Manhattan Beach native Mary Strong, founder of THE GREEN YOGI, grew up playing volleyball on the local beaches. Volleyball is only one of a long list of her talents, which include Yoga teaching, sports broadcasting and interior design. She designed this eye-catching “eco-chic” studio to be inviting for a wide range of students allowing the practice to be accessible to all. One of the welcoming features of the space is the entryway that winds around the side of the building to an outdoor living room suitable for visiting and creating community before and after class amidst water features and lounge-y décor.

The Green Yogi celebrated their opening October 15, teachers mingled with the effervescent hostess Mary and with students and community members (including the mayor and some Yoga newbies ). Veggie Gril provided delicious fare, while Izze and Fey Wine served up spritzes and spirits.

The studio’s regular schedule features a wide range of classes from Yin and restorative to power Yoga challenging vinyasa flow. Well-loved South Bay teacher’s teacher Julie Rader teaches Monday nights . The Green Yogi, 3504 Highland Avenue, Manhattan
Beach, CA 90266. (310) 546 - YOGI. thegreenyogi.com –– FMT

Healing in Culver City

Apinya Pokachaiyapat
Apinya Pokachaiyapat

RAKSA, which mean “to heal” in Thai, will launch its eco-conscious wellness center down the street from Sony Studios in Culver City, in mid-December. Founder Apinya Pokachaiyapat has gathered a group of dedicated, experienced teachers and healers who share her commitment to “serve with pure love, to live in the modern world while maintaining the wisdom of our ancient traditions.” Eclectic offerings include movement classes (Yoga and Tai Chi), workshops, healing arts and a café featuring organic, Thai influenced dishes. Like her studio, Apinya’s background is a study in diversity. Born in Thailand (she came to the US to attend school at age twelve), she holds degrees in mathematics, civil engineering and creative writing. She is also a long-time Vipassana meditator, Reiki practitioner who received her Yoga teacher training from Yoga Works (while pursuing a MFA in writing). Her mentors include Jeanne Heileman, Annie Carpenter and Birgitte Kristen. “My path has led me to these teachers and healers and to learn about various modalities. They helped me to connect more deeply with my true self, so RakSa was created to share the gems I've been blessed with in my life,” says Apinya.

RakSa strives to create a toxic-free, eco-friendly environment with bamboo floors, zero-VOC paints, energy efficient lighting and appliances and biodegradable café products. Join RakSa for its grand opening celebration in January and check the website for up-to-date info. RakSa, 10846 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 559 - 7200. raksasala.com –– Joyce Dvoren

 
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