Intimidated to take a yoga class because you don’t have experience? Feel like your joints will snap off if you attempt to reach your toes? Instructors at The Yoga Mat OC will ease you into the practice, allowing you to move at your own pace.
The small studios in Orange and downtown Anaheim were started by best friends Natalie Ostad and Courtney Short. The passion they have for yoga is evident. “We started the studio with our own money, without any outside investors, and we did it while working our full-time jobs—the same ones we have today,” Short says. “When you come in you’ll feel welcomed and you won’t feel like you’re being judged.”
The Yoga Mat offers 14 classes, including beginners, body sculpting, relaxation and spiritual growth, and even some in which you learn to balance yourself on your head. Classes are $14 for a single lesson; $5 happy hour classes, discount packages, and occasional free lessons are also offered.
Yoga is a practice that people can learn to be great at; don’t expect to start off as a yoga superstar. If you are intimidated by a first-time visit, be patient and know that everyone moves at their own pace. The 26 instructors—from many walks of life—will share their passion for the art and teach you to leave your ego at the door.