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Written by Melissa Chua   

YAS in Silverlake

YAS FITNESS CENTER, the seven-year-old yoga and spinning center founded by Kimberly Fowler (pictured, left) with a schedule that includes classes geared for athletes is opening a new location in Silverlake. The new location’s general manager Lauren Henjum says that Silverlake is similar in “vibe and demographics” to Venice, YAS’s birthplace.

According to owner James Williams, “YAS offers a type of yoga complimented with indoor cycling, so you can get your cardio and yoga in a format and style that doesn’t exist here, the home base of what’s new, hip and cool,” Modeled after the original Venice location, YAS in Silverlake offers many of the same classes for men and women of all ages and fitness levels.

YAS Fitness Center, 1932 Hyperion Ave. Silverlake, CA. (323) 913 - 1991; go2yas.com

Yas Fitness Center
Yas Fitness Center

Thai Spa Goes Green

The Studio City eco-friendly sanctuary BAMBU THAI SPA will urge you to take off your shoes and relax in a surrounding of soothing music, calming hues of bamboo colors and recycled wooden flooring. With twelve years of massage therapy experience, spa owner Mark Bedard (pictured) wanted to create a more personal space that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. The spa offers anything from a vegan facial to a restorative foot massage based on reflexology. The bamboo fusion service, or customized massage, caters exactly to your body and its injuries, aches and pains. Each service comes with fruit and tea served in paper cups made from a sugarcane byproduct. All the products used are organic and vegan certified. “If you can’t get yourself to a yoga class, get yourself a Thai massage,” says Bedard.

Bambu Thai Spa, 12412 Ventura Blvd. #4, Studio City, CA. 91604. (818) 980 - 2262; bambuthaispa.com

Mark Bedard of Bambu Thai Spa
Mark Bedard of Bambu Thai Spa


Vegan Shopping in Venice

EKO ZONE offers a wide variety of completely vegan cruelty-free goods from clothing and body care products to accessories including hats, bags and jewelry. “Eko Zone is a store where conscious people can shop comfortably without having to worry about which items are vegan,” says owner Keith Byrnes. The quaint multi-purpose store located on the beachside in Venice carries many items containing organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. “Shopping at Eko Zone promotes a good environment for us and for animals,” says Byrnes, “The main thing is to get nice clothing and shoes without using any animal products.”

Eko Zone, 1718 South Main St. Venice, CA. 90291. ekozone.net

Eko Zone
Eko Zone

Healing Sherman Oaks

GOLDEN MONKEY HEALING offers yoga in addition to Qigong, Tai Chi and meditation, with a holistic clinic and herb pharmacy
providing acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition. “We focus on the medicinal side of things using the moving arts to create a balance in the body rather than as an exercise routine, so essentially, we try to create a healing space here,” says owner Matt Schwartz (pictured). The Taoist yoga class, becoming a hit among valley students, is described by Schwartz as a unique blend of movement designed to allow students to progress through a full range of motion creating a fluid joint structure allowing for uninterrupted movement of breath and prana through energetic channels. But Schwartz’s favorite is his shadow yoga class, which is a mix of Ayurveda, Hatha yoga, martial arts and cultural Indian dance. All classes are by donation.

Golden Monkey Healing, 13259 Moorpark St. Sherman Oaks, CA. 91423. (818) 430 - 1906; goldenmonkeyhealing.com

Matt Schwartz of Golden Monkey Healing
Matt Schwartz of Golden Monkey Healing

Seed Sprouts in Venice

What better place to sprout a healthy life than at SEED, a casual new café in Venice featuring freshly-prepared vegan, macrobiotic cuisine. The Seed menu has a little bit of everything from soups and salads to burgers and paninis inspired by a French and Japanese fusion, says owner and chef, Eric Lechasseur (pictured, right). Seed’s fast-growing favorite among customers is the southwest burger. If you’re new to vegan or macrobiotic food, Lechasseur recommends his seitan pepper steak, which will please any meat lover’s palette. Seed also offers three types of curry that tantalize the taste buds: Indian, Japanese and Thai. But your meal doesn’t end there, seed features desserts including green tea cupcakes and wheat-free coconut and banana or chocolate mousse. Using filtered water, biodegradable packaging and locally-grown, organic produce whenever possible, Seed is dedicated to ecological sustainability and responsible business practices.

Seed, 1604 Pacific Ave. on the corner of Windward and Pacific, Venice, CA. 90291. (310) 396 - 1604; seedkitchen.com

Seed Cafe
Seed Cafe

All New Doors by Melissa Chua

 
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