Photos: Starting With a Stretch

Melody Afgham, Nell and Catherine Brinkman, and Melanie Faye practice seated stretching at YOGASMOGA’s community yoga class. See page A9 for photos and story. 

Kicking off the new year grounded in tree pose, YOGASMOGA Malibu hosted a free community yoga class on Saturday, Jan. 2. Yogis both new and old gathered at the store and walked together to set up their mats in the grass at the Malibu Country Mart. Yoga instructor and Malibu local Melissa Ireland demonstrated yoga postures and guided the students through an hour-long class.

Although YOGASMOGA hosts complimentary yoga classes in all of its stores, this was the first community yoga class at the Malibu location.

“We didn’t know what to expect, it being the first class,” Ireland said. “This was a trial run for us to gauge interest and spread the word. I was delightfully surprised that we had moms and kids participate in the class.”

Locals and visitors stopped to watch and others joined in. With the stress of the holidays over and the new year unfolding, many people showed interest in the health benefits of yoga and inquired about upcoming classes.

“Yoga has multiple mind-body benefits,” Ireland explained. “It relieves stress, promotes relaxation, strengthens muscles, and improves circulation, flexibility, balance, and body awareness.