Sitting on a bench at the Manhattan Beach pier with Yoga Loft owner Genevieve Fisher one can’t envision a more serene environment. Looking to the left along Ocean Drive sits the two-story clapboard building that houses the new t location. Looking out ahead are endless miles of sand, the never-ending expanse of the Pacific Ocean and the tranquil lap of the waves against the sand. The view from this yoga studio is calm, sublime and serene, but getting Yoga Loft to this location was a great lesson in faith, love and support.
Genevieve will be the first to tell you that this year has been a bumpy ride for both her staff and students. The original location opened three years ago along 11th Street in Manhattan Beach. Genevieve always knew that the Yoga Loft family would eventually outgrow the beautiful location. The quaint, one-room studio wasn’t equipped with a reception or retail area, resulting in hassles as FedEx deliveries in the middle of class. Genevieve laughs as she recalls the craziness of it, “it certainly showed we were a mom and pop studio but it really wasn’t an ideal situation.”
Genevieve began searching around the coveted area of Manhattan Beach in pursuit of a more fitting location. Locations rarely come available in that area though and she wasn’t looking for just any kind of space, the new one had to be aesthetically pleasing, have a decent-sized asana room and of course, a reception area! At the beginning of 2007, Yoga Loft’s lease came to an end and they were given three months to pack up and move on. Genevieve began searching more fervently this time but even after three months of scouting locations, she still had not found a new home for her yoga family and was forced to temporarily rent space from a Pilates studio nearby. There was a moment towards the end of the summer when Genevieve considered closing down the studio but she couldn’t stand the thought of doing that to her students. They were the ones rallying so strongly behind her, always enduring the less-than-optimum studio conditions with a smile and words of encouragement.
When it seemed like closing was the only option, a space opened up on Ocean Drive, once again making everyone present to the mysterious ways in which the universe works. Not only was there a reception area with enough space to have a retail section, there was an extra room, which has become home to both a deep tissue therapist and Thai yoga masseuse. Most important was the beautiful, airy asana room with floor-to-ceiling windows along one wall and a sliding door opening to a balcony overlooking the coastline. Even more astonishing, several years back, before Yoga Loft was even contemplating a move, one of Genevieve’s teachers and friends, pointed to that exact building and said, “We should have a place in that space.”
These days Genevieve’s stress level has decreased significantly and she couldn’t be happier about her decision to persevere despite the many obstacles she came up against. Students love the new home and all agree that it still feels like Yoga Loft. Teachers often open the sliding doors to allow the students to indulge in the fresh, salty sea air and the quiet of savasana allows them the lullaby of the rhythmic waves. The best classes, however, are those held during sunset. Students salute the sun as it sets, dipping beneath the ocean—a perfect end to the day.