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Yoga good for wallet

Redlands couple opened yoga studio in September; hopes to keep classes donation based.

December 18, 2007|By Michael Miller

Daniel and Shawna Head, the founders of Newport Beach Power Yoga, aren’t going to let anything stand in the way of spiritual enlightenment.

Not even money.

The couple, who launched their new studio in September, offer classes four days a week with no set price tag. Participants can make donations — usually around $10 — but the owners let them in for free even if they don’t. All that’s required are a mat, appropriate clothes and the ability to hold a number of tough positions.

“It seems like most people give something, even if it’s just a couple of dollars,” said Shawna, who met her husband while studying yoga.

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Newport Beach Power Yoga resides in a small space that previously functioned as part of a consignment store next door. The Heads, who plan to relocate to Newport Beach from Redlands, repainted the room, put in bamboo floors and didn’t put in much else — except for a few candle-holders on the walls, a sketch of the human anatomy by Leonardo da Vinci and a wooden donation box on a table by the front door.

Daniel learned Power Yoga — a rigorous style of yoga that involves breathing exercises and stretches designed to tone every muscle — from Santa Monica instructor Bryan Kest in the 1990s. When he met Shawna late in 2005, the two became fast partners.

The couple’s first studio, the Yoga Room in Redlands, started out not charging admission for classes, but had to implement fees when the crowds got too big. Still, Daniel said, he hoped to keep the new studio going on donations indefinitely.

Newport Beach Power Yoga has classes Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and also hosts semi-private sessions for two to four people, which cost up to $75 per person. In January, the owners plan to extend the schedule seven days a week. So far, Daniel said, turnout has been up and down, but a few dedicated customers have made repeat visits.

Michelle Mokri, an attorney, and her friend, Ben Berger, attend the Heads’ studio about twice a week. They said they had tried other studios in the past, but liked Power Yoga because it focused on exercise more than spirituality.

“This is the only class I’ve ever stuck with,” Mokri said. “I’ve never had the feeling before like I’ve had with this one. Some of the classes, there’s so much incense, so much chanting, you don’t feel like you’re getting a workout.”

NEWPORT BEACH POWER YOGA

LOCATION: 2700 W. Coast Hwy., Suite 130, Newport Beach

OWNERS: Daniel and Shawna Head

SPECIALTY: High-energy yoga that combines focus and breathing exercises with physical exertion

CONTACT: (949) 514-4727 or www.newportbeachpoweryoga.com.


MICHAEL MILLER may be reached at (714) 966-4617 or at michael.miller@latimes.com.

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