Beatles Yoga at Riffs Acoustic Music La Jolla

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When one thinks of a yoga studio, typically their mind envisions a room adorned with ceiling-high mirrors on either side, dim lighting, and ambient background music. Riffs Acoustic Music La Jolla, a beautiful space in Bird Rock that serves numerous functions, vastly exceeds all of those expectations.

Riffs is one of the few outdoor yoga studios in San Diego, at least one which entails a warm wooden porch for its practice. Yoga is not the only art form practiced at Riffs, however, for the funky cottage that adjoins the “yoga yard” boasts a high-end selection of guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos, basses, and any other stringed contraption one could imagine. The studio also hosts music events frequently, offers instrument lessons and repairs, and is even kind enough to rent out their space as an outdoor event setting.

One of the main draws at Riffs is their live music yoga, in which guests practice yoga to live acoustic or electric music. At first glance, the two may seem counterproductive, as yoga is an introspective, serene practice. Not surprisingly, though, the live music aspect tends to add an ethereal element to the practice of yoga – reverberating sound waves through the structure and out of participants’ bodies.

On Saturday, July 20, La Jolla Blue Book had the privilege of experiencing “Beatles yoga” firsthand, in which members from local band The Routine┬ápeacefully chanted Beatles’ classics and rarities alike. The band’s song selection coincided extremely well with teacher Shannon Purves’ planned flow for the afternoon class, providing a constant backdrop to the near two-hour practice.

At the cost of $20 for attendance, nearly two hours worth of yoga and Beatles music is enough to keep any San Diegan entertained and spiritually sound. With both the band’s and Purves’ guidance, those practicing experienced a wide array of positive emotions. This could provide a strong argument into why the Beatles, and the practice of yoga itself, will remain timeless.

This day there seemed to be an extreme sentiment of positivity, as Purves began to ease the class into their practice, the band creeped into “Within Without You,” providing a fitting background for the commencement of a yoga class.

As the evening progressed, the band started to pick the volume up quite a good deal. They delved into stirring renditions of “Help,” “Fixing a Hole,” “I am the Walrus,” and “Here Comes the Sun,” to simply name a few. Bryan Barbarin’s soulful vocals during “Hey Jude,” at the end of the practice brought everyone in on the chorus, resonating into the salty air of the Pacific.

Since the class was almost completely full, one would hope that Beatles yoga will grace the yoga yard at Riffs Acoustic Music La Jolla this coming August.

The Routine will be playing at The Casbah in Little Italy on Sunday, July 28. Riffs Acoustic Music La Jolla is located at 5510 La Jolla Boulevard. 858.456.2477.

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Vanessa Turkeltaub
Vanessa Turkeltaub graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Communication. She has been with Blue Book Publishers for over 5 years, and has written over five-hundred La Jolla related articles. She enjoys going to concerts, art, and traveling. (

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