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There’s a mir­a­cle around every cor­ner on the trails in the San­ta Mon­i­ca Moun­tains north­west of Los Ange­les. In June, a hik­er might have come across a group of col­or­ful­ly dressed yogis of all ages and sizes stretch­ing and pos­ing under the giant oaks at Peter Strauss Ranch.



yoga in santa monica mountains



As part of an effort to get more peo­ple to expe­ri­ence the glo­ri­ous open space right in LA’s back­yard, the San­ta Mon­i­ca Moun­tains Fund is offer­ing a series of free yoga class­es at dif­fer­ent loca­tions each month. Instruc­tor Jen­nifer Elliot leads an hour-long class suit­able for any lev­el, and par­tic­i­pants are invit­ed to meet the park rangers, learn more about the park itself, and hike on the trails before or after the events.



yoga in santa monica mountains

just a short walk away…



The series launched on June 10 at the vis­i­tor cen­ter at Peter Strauss Ranch, which is reached by a short hike from the park­ing lot across a wash. At 9:45 AM, the South­ern Cal­i­for­nia heat had­n’t yet reached this part of the moun­tains, so the shady grove of trees extend­ed an enchant­i­ng invi­ta­tion to us as we made our way down the trail.

Luck­i­ly, the shade of enor­mous old trees — between the vis­i­tor cen­ter and an aviary — pro­vid­ed enough room for every­one to spread their mats.



yoga in santa monica mountains

sun­light dances through the leaves


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There was even a baby watch­ing his par­ents from a stroller. Elliot led a sim­ple Vinyasa lev­el I‑II class, and we enjoyed breath­ing in the clear morn­ing air with each inhale. Although the park is sit­u­at­ed on Mul­hol­land High­way, with its accom­pa­ny­ing rum­ble of pass­ing traf­fic, it is the bird­song and Elliot’s calm voice that we remem­ber now. 

All class­es are free but you must reg­is­ter to hold your space. Tick­ets are lim­it­ed and “sold” out quick­ly in June, so ear­ly reg­is­tra­tion is encouraged.


Kim Tra­cy Prince is a writer and yoga-lover who lives in Agoura Hills, CA, where the San­ta Mon­i­ca Moun­tains are just out­side the front door. She pub­lish­es Agoura Hills Mom.