By Melanie Camp
The sun hangs low in the sky and Venice Beach is bathed in a milky light. A balmy summer breeze blows, the sand, still holding heat from the day, is warm between toes.
It’s a perfect evening for yoga.
People begin to arrive, they find their place, and stretch on the sand in preparation for the class. Each person is given a warm welcome from class teacher Rose Pelosi.
Pelosi explains her motivation behind starting Body Love Yoga, a series of free summer yoga classes that run three times a week at 6:30 pm each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
“I wanted to take away the intimidation,” says Pelosi. “Yoga is for all people. I just want people to feel better about themselves, confident, and strong.”
The structure of the class gives students flexibility, allowing someone to drop in once or come as often as they like.
Isabella Plomp is visiting Venice from Amsterdam.
“I do yoga once a week back home,” says Plomp. “I saw the sign, and I always go by signs,” she smiles, explaining that she had been taking a walk and decided to drop into the class for a one-off yoga session.
Venice local, Venessa Davey, takes the class on a more regular basis.
“I pretty much come Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” says Davey. “It just makes me feel better all around. I find it very healing and calming to be out on the beach like this.”
Another plus for Davey is the fact she doesn’t have to buy a membership.
“I don’t want money to be a reason not to do yoga,” says Pelosi. “I’m helping guide people to a place of strength and power that already exists within them. The more yoga the better.”
While the classes are free, Pelosi will accept a donation.
“Accepted but never obligated,” says Pelosi. “I’ve always taught for free and always provided my own space. I love the beach, and doing yoga outside, metaphysically and physically the walls come down. You feel a little more free, a little more connected to the planet.”
Pelosi grew up a long way from yoga and the beach.
“In a pizza restaurant in Nashville,” she explains.
She says she discovered yoga because of a boy.
“I was in high school and wanted to get in shape because I had a crush on a boy,” she says. While the crush didn’t last, her love for Yoga blossomed.
From Nashville, Pelosi’s mother moved her and her sister, their two dogs and three cats across the country to northern California in a 22 foot school bus.
“My Mom was a world traveler and hippie at heart,” says Pelosi.
Having taught yoga now for four years, Pelosi recently made the move from northern California to Venice, bringing her love for yoga with her.
Pelosi explains the uplifting effects of her craft.
“The better you feel about yourself, the better you treat the rest of the world around you,” says Pelosi.
As the music wafts in the late afternoon breeze, and Pelosi continues to guide the class through their moves, it’s certainly pretty easy to feel good.
The Body Love Yoga free beach classes meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:30 pm on the sand in front of Ocean Front Walk at Thornton Ave., just follow the signs.
For more information, visit facebook.com/cuzeverybodyneedslove.