Crenshaw Yoga finds new opportunities

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With its twinkling lights and brightly lit sign, Crenshaw Yoga and Dance brings light to a dull street in the heart of Crenshaw Boulevard, full of wrought iron bars and unkept storefronts. The owner says she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

And neither would her students.

“Oh I love this studio. It’s the only yoga studio I know of in my area. We live in North Inglewood and it’s the only thing that’s around,” said student Nina Harawa.

Owner Kar Lee Young commutes from the South Bay to Crenshaw everyday. She bought the space so that people in the area would not have to travel far from home for yoga.

“People in the west side they have the benefits you know? They go and experience yoga and I didn’t see people have that experience, so that’s why I brought it over here,” said Young.

Young’s was not the first yoga studio to open in Crenshaw, but it is the only one that remains open today, almost 10 years later. Young only offers two to three classes in the evening.

Young runs the studio and does yoga practice each night, but by day she is a research nurse working and 8-hour hospital shift. She’s been a nurse for 30 years. She trained in England and does prenatal and blood chemistry research.

“Well I’m not coming in to the yoga studio thinking I’m making a big profit or making money. I just offer the service, so people come here and they experience it and like it they come back. I’m not expecting to come in and make major money,” said Young.

Yoga is her hobby. She discovered its value after facing personal struggles in her life. A year after she started she found the benefits to be so tremendous that she needed to share it with others.

“Well I had personally some kind of difficulty in my life and in my marriage and I tried yoga and I find yoga is very useful and very helpful,” said Young.

Despite her busy schedule, yoga keeps Young from getting stressed. And that’s why she wants to bring the practice of yoga to those who are facing physical or mental health problems.

“I want to implement the yoga into the caring and the healing of a patient. I think that would help. I want to bring instructors to the hospital just to teach nurses and doctors that you have to relieve the pressure,” said Young.

Young’s classes are also helping to relieve the stress in peoples’ pockets. The classes are only 10 dollars, something one instructor thinks is unheard of.

“Yeah I’ve been to other yoga studios, but the problem is it costs too much money. I haven’t ever been to a class outside of this area that costs less than 20 dollars,” said instructor Adrienne Smith.

But what’s most special about Crenshaw Yoga, she says, is owner Young.

“Kar Lee is special for one thing. Everything she plants blooms, grows. Everthing. She’s wonderful,” said Smith.

While her yoga studio has already grown in popularity since it first open, she hopes to keep it growing for the people in the community. Young hopes to expand her studio to be open for the community to rent, and is working on new classes.

She already offers senior citizen yoga classes to help with mobility and rehabilitation, candlelight yoga for women, West African drumming, and warm yoga instead of hot. She hopes to get feedback from the students now, and include more unique classes to Crenshaw Yoga in the future.

Crenshaw Yoga and Dance is located at 5426 Crenshaw Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90043