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New To Town? Sit Back And Relax

November 11, 2013

We’ve already divulged the myriad of outdoor activities in town to choose from—surfing, paddleboarding, hiking, cycling—but a lesser-known fact is that Newport Beach is also a haven for yogis. We might be a commuter state, but not all of us live life in the fast lane!

Here, locals save a little space and time for meditation, and you can too to keep yourself centered and relaxed during your holiday vacation.

I have been an on-again, off-again yoga practitioner for about five years now, and I still consider myself a newbie. My general sports and fitness prowess is abysmal, so one might wonder why I even bother. But, as I learned from my interview with Alysa Osvog, studio director at GRIT Yoga off Pacific Coast Highway, there’s nothing wrong with being new.

Initiated as an ‘encore’ to GRIT Cycle in Santa Ana, GRIT Yoga had its grand opening earlier this month, with approximately 400 attendees to its opening party on the 13th: their 108 Sun Salutations class had some 60 participants and about 30 participants in its kids class.

Owners Matt Bourne, Marisa Wayne, and Candice Collings partnered with local yogi and businessman Joe Pham to bring the concept of a yoga accompaniment to their business.

“With cycling, there’s such a great complement and need for yoga so it was just a natural extension to open a yoga studio,” says Alysa. “They really wanted to create a sense of community so that people could have a healthy place to go and connect besides the local bar.

When I’d asked, with all the other studios in town, “Why Newport?” she succinctly replied, “We don’t believe in competition; we believe that we are all in this together and that the only competition is the couch. We just want people to get up and get moving.”

With such a seamless and graceful answer, Alysa also managed to quiet my chief insecurity when trying something new: What if I’m not as good as everyone else? But yoga is more a lifestyle than a fitness solution; as long as you’re not morphing into the couch then you’re doing the right thing!

So, for those who aren’t adrenaline junkies visiting Newport Beach for the holidays, the city of eternal sunshine and play, sit back and relax. The city has plenty of opportunities pop into a class and unplug from the excitement of a vacation.

GRIT Yoga has a one-week pass for new students for $19, and if you’d rather be outdoors, Newport Beach has endless breathtaking backdrops for your sun salutations. How does Alysa practice when she’s outside the studio?: “I actually have a home practice, too: I do a little something every morning that involves a bit of stretching and meditation. I have my own little travel candle and everything, so no matter where I am, I can find a little yoga peace.”

This writer’s pick: Lookout Point in Corona del Mar

Written by Frances Nguyen

Frances Nguyen is an OC local who is constantly seeking opportunities to view her old haunts with fresh eyes. An ardent writer, Frances’ passions include surfing, watching European soccer, coffee, and relaxing with a glass of red wine after [her version of] a hardworkout (an athlete at heart!).

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