CLOSED as of September 2014
While California abounds with superbly managed and beautifully appointed yoga studios, Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles is all that and more. It takes a village to raise people's mind/body awareness. Golden Bridge is a self-dubbed “spiritual village” housed in a 22,000-square-foot building in the heart of Hollywood's materialistic, pop cultural mire.
This yoga oasis was founded by famed Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and her husband, Gurushabad. Gurmukh was one of the first teachers to bring the teaching of pre-natal yoga into the mainstream with a clientele ranging from hundreds of everyday people to celebrities like Cindy Crawford and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. While Golden Bridge is arguably one of the world's most diversely programmed yoga studios, it is worth noting that Gurmukh and Gurushabad happen to be followers of the Sikh faith and studied for decades with the late Kundalini yoga master Yogi Bhajan.
As a multi-cultural spiritual village, Golden Bridge brims with pre-natal yoga, Jivamukti, hatha and flow yoga classes, Budokon (Cameron Shayne's empowering fusion of yoga and martial arts), as well as children's yoga for ages 3-7 and 8-12. A magnet for world-class yoga workshops, Golden Bridge attracts such profoundly experienced yoga teachers as Mark Whitwell and Buddhist author (Dharma Punx) and lecturer Noah Levine.
As the enchantingly relaxed Gurmukh puts it: “We are a hub of teacher training, and we train and then send out teachers throughout the world. We have an excellent vegan café [called the Nite Moon] through which we teach people about diet – showing people how to enjoy delicious vegetarian, healthy foods. What's We bring together all walks of life and hold exhibitions expressing the spirit – from Buddhist chanting, poetry readings, performances during New Year's Eve and holidays, Kabbalah readings, to hula hooping.” It seems only natural that California's most diverse yoga center would feature hula hooping: Golden Bridge offers superb belly dance classes and performances, as well.
What's more, says Gurmukh, “every weekend we hold various workshops at affordable rates, by experts in all fields, and cover timely issues ranging from vaccinating your children to cleansing the subconscious. At Golden Bridge, different schools of yoga as well as meditative practices of different traditions, come together under one roof, in respect and love.”
What Gurmukh fogets to mention is that the Golden Bridge performance space is ideal for concerts featuring Indian musicians, kirtan groovers such as Krishna Das, and dance performances. Be advised that the popularity of this venue means that shows frequently sell out in advance, so buy your tickets early.
Any discussion of Golden Bridge must also mention the Amrit Davaa Wellness Center & Spa. This haven offers massage, acupuncture, Reiki, Ayurvedic consultations and treatments, and healing facials featuring Epicuren products, which are top tier formulations renowned for their purity and lack of chemicals.
This writer recommends all of the skin care treatments, but holds a special place in her heart for the Refreshing Lunchtime Facial. Why? Because this involves citrus exfoliation, enzyme facial massage and a volcanic clay mask that makes you look and feel beautiful in 45 minutes and only costs $65. I defy you to find a better facial in Los Angeles. And again, imagine experiencing this before or after a yoga class, or lunch at the vegan café, or before you head back to your office…
Other highly worthwhile offerings here include speech therapy; midwifery and women's health services such as PAP smears; well women exams; home birth consulations; and Sat Nam Rasayan/Individual Meditation.
Imagine the possibilities that are open to you here. How good would it feel to have your health and skin care needs attended to and enjoy a pre-natal massage, midwifery counseling, deep tissue massage or a shiatsu treatment before or after your yoga class? Or all three! Massages range from $55 for 25 min.; $90 for 50 min. and $135 for 80 min.
Many Golden Bridge devotees also find the wellness center's osteopathic medical services highly health-enhancing. Check goldenbridgeyoga.com for descriptions and prices.
Other jewels in the Golden Bridge multicultural crown include an art gallery with exquisitely irresistable objects for sale, a boutique featuring yoga and wellness books, CDs, DVDs, jewelry and elegant yet affordable organic fiber fashions from Under the Canopy and other designers.
A separate space houses Ron Teeguarden's Dragon Herbs Chinese herbal elixir bar, which offers custom-blended energy tonics consisting of Chinese herbal extracts and natural sweeteners such as honey, immune-boosting preparations that will knock out a cold virus or, should circumstances warrant it, provide an aphrodisiac elixir. Full disclosure: the charmingly named Horny Goat Weed tonic is well worth trying on a special night…or as an afternoon delight.
In Hollywood, where disenchantment is the normal state of affairs, if not consciousness, Golden Bridge offers an enchanting place to nurture mind, body, imagination and spirit. The space is filled with intriguing events and classes and even more intriguing people. Once you enter into the vortex of Golden Bridge, you will want to “be here now” again and again and again…