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Yoga Classes Held At Newly Renovated Echo Park Become Controversial

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(credit: Facebook/Yoga Echo Park)

(credit: Facebook/Yoga Echo Park)

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textalerts180 Yoga Classes Held At Newly Renovated Echo Park Become Controversial

ECHO PARK (CBSLA.com) — Yoga classes organized in Echo Park have become controversial in the community.

Yoga Echo Park was started by Steven Arcos at the newly renovated park at 1632 Bellevue Ave.

It “is designed for those that love being outside, being active, and obviously doing yoga. Whether you are new to yoga are a card-holding yogi, you’ll enjoy the newly renovated Echo Park while moving through fun vinyasa flows and relaxing with some gentle meditation. Expect to sweat, laugh, grow, or discover something new about yourself,” according to the YEP Facebook page.

On Monday, a woman posted on the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Forum criticizing the amount of space the class took up.

“A physical trainer took over a good sized hunk of the north east lawn this morning (about half-tennis court size) and spread out about ten mats, set up a table with a basket and other stuff.  When I passed by a short time later, at least a dozen people were synchronized to the trainer’s instructions. This person is probably charging while using prime lawn space at the park.  This is just as bad as the guys on blankets selling used clothing,” Judith Raskin wrote.

Arcos responded Tuesday:

“I was told that you did not need a permit or reservation at this time to use this space. I have every intention of doing this the right way so please let me know who I should contact. I am really saddened that people seem to be accusing me of doing something so terrible and malicious. It really is just a simple yoga class that everyone can enjoy.”

The conversation was then picked up by the popular Eastsider LA blog, which has 65 comments, including responses to particular complaints from Arcos.

“Get a permit and pay taxes. Some days there are 2 and 3 events scheduled. Looks like he’s working the system,” Ruth wrote.

“Ruth, we only meet three times a week: Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. When the space has been occupied by other events, such as the Lotus Preservation Society event, we have used another space or cancelled. This is meant to be a positive, community, experience, something that promotes health and happiness,” Arcos responded.

According to the YEP Facebook page the classes are free, but there is a minimum $5 donation suggested for the 60-70 minute flow classes.

Arcos took to his personal Facebook page to respond to the recent criticism.

Can’t help but feel a little shaken up after people criticized my character and questioned the influence and impact of the outdoor community yoga classes I have been organizing. As much as I appreciate and respect people’s opinions, I don’t like feeling like I need to justify or explain myself to people that know nothing about me or what I am doing. As part of being a yoga instructor you do things that are good for your community or sangha without expecting to get anything in return. I am a person who is trying to grow along spiritual lines and in doing so inspire those around me to be better people. Yoga is generally not cheap, and I feel like I have created a place where yoga is accessible to everyone who would like to participate. I love what I do and love that I make people feel good about themselves. I realize that I have put myself in a position to receive criticism, but I just wish that more people would focus on the positive. At this point all I can do is continue to focus my energy on being a better person as well as encourage people to feel better about themselves through yoga. I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me and Yoga Echo Park. Just knowing that I have your support makes me feel so much better. Thank you!doing. As part of being a yoga instructor you do things that are good for your community or sangha without expecting to get anything in return. I am a person who is trying to grow along spiritual lines and in doing so inspire those around me to be better people. Yoga is generally not cheap, and I feel like I have created a place where yoga is accessible to everyone who would like to participate. I love what I do and love that I make people feel good about themselves. I realize that I have put myself in a position to receive criticism, but I just wish that more people would focus on the positive. At this point all I can do is continue to focus my energy on being a better person as well as encourage people to feel better about themselves through yoga. I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me and Yoga Echo Park. Just knowing that I have your support makes me feel so much better. Thank you!

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