Living, working, and loving together, a community is a group of people who share the joys of neighborhood harmony. Southern California buzzes with business and it can be difficult to find a place away from the bustle, but in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, South Pasadena has everything one needs to settle down and call home. As one of the last community oriented cities of the area, South Pasadena is quaint and pleasant with weekend foot traffic seen only in movies today. Browse the charming stores as you stroll down the streets to find yourself peering through the inviting windows of Mission Street Yoga.
Seeking a gentler life away from the fast paced lifestyle of Los Angeles, Mara Trafficante and Stuart Hanna of Mission Street Yoga found themselves raising a family, and a yoga studio, in a city that felt just right. They once lead lives working with film and corporate software, but the journey to self-discovery and spiritual growth brought them together to embrace the lifestyle of a true yogi.Fast forward three years after the founding of Mission Street Yoga, and here Mara and Stuart are today, beaming with happiness in the success of not the studio, but of the unity from the neighborhood.
Mara and Stuart specialize in Anusara yoga, the Hatha yoga blend of goodness and alignment originated by John Friend. When asked why they chose to dedicate the studio to Anusara, it was readily agreed that it was Anusara that chose them. Its philosophy of celebration of the heart and the organization of a tightly knit community are life-affirming beliefs that remarkably aligned with the non-duelist nature of both husband and wife. The loving community of South Pasadena welcomes this idea of unity, and each class resonates with love for neighbors and friends. Having children of their own, Mara and Stuart recognize the importance of family and the inclusion of everyone, young and old, in the yoga classroom. Their eyes lit up as they spoke of their children classes, and of the delightful commotion the kids programs bring. No energy is stifled at Mission Street, where during class time, children are allowed to laugh, enjoy, and develop as young yogis. Parents at heart, Mara and Stuart are kid-friendly and welcomes students of all ages, shapes, and sizes, and have classes for children as young as three.
At Mission Street Yoga, Mara and Stuart are “all about the teachers.” The right teachers, the right students, the right class, at the right place and time, are all part of the formula for the success of a yoga studio. Teachers are chosen for their energy and dedication, but mostly their overall compatibility with the values of Anusara and Mission Street. Harmony within the classroom transmits as harmony in the students’ lives, and mara honors and praises their instructors for reaching out to their students, sparking positive energy for each and every class. With different levels and several certified teachers at the studio to choose from, even beginners can feel they are a part of the Mission Street Yoga family.
“The nicest students in the city” are found at the studio, though not every yogi is from South Pasadena. Students hail from cities around the neighborhood to find a safe environment to grow spiritually amongst friends.
A lot of dedication went into the building of the studio, but the growth and development of Mission Street Yoga never really ends. “Like a pose,” says Mara, it is always being refined, evolving with the students and teachers. They lovingly call the four walls a living organism, alive and breathing with its own personality.
Mission Street Yoga’s bright orange walls radiates with vitality matched only by the bright smiles on every student’s face. The peaceful learning environment, the attentive support from friends, and the positive energy that glows from every body make you feel just right at home.
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