Photo and post above from Yoga Echo Park’s Facebook page
When swap meet and food vendors have swarmed over the lawns and pathways surrounding Echo Park Lake, there’s usually an outcry about the improper or illegal use of public space. Now, the same complaint is being heard once again. But this time it’s about yoga.
Since the lake and park reopened to the public this summer, one of the few relatively flat grassy areas of the park near the corner of Echo Park and Park avenues has hosted Yoga Echo Park, a series of regularly scheduled day and evening classes organized by instructor Steven Arcos. The Yoga Echo Park Facebook page says:
Yoga Echo Park 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.
But are these yoga classes, which has attracted 25 students, taking up too much room? On the Echo Elysian Forum, one resident observed that a “good sized hunk of the northeast lawn” had been taken over by the class:
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. How do we stop this?
The yoga classes are not part of a city’s Recreation & Parks Department program but it’s not clear if permits are needed. As others have noted, the city’s Recreation and Parks Department often requires permits for private group activities. The Eastsider has contacted Arcos for details about the classes and about the permit issue.
Arcos does not charge for the classes but there is “a minimum $5 donation suggested,” according to his Facebook page.
Update: Arcos said that as far as he could tell a city permit is not required for this type of activity.
” We started at the end of July and since then have had about 100 people come to classes with an average of about 20 people per class (Thursdays usually 1 or 3 people),” Arcos said via email. “Having grown up around Echo Park, I remember when the park was frequented by gang members and derelicts. I wanted to make sure that the park never returned to this so I came up with this class.”