Santa Monica Training Fees Should Not Be One-Size-Fits-All: Letter To The Editor

Saturday, 14 Dec 2013, 7:55:00 AM

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

I have been taking yoga classes on the beach in Santa Monica for three years; the class led by Brad Keimach, is called Beach Yoga With Brad. It is completely donation based, never turning away anyone who cannot afford to pay. Brad has been holding these classes for six years, every Saturday and Sunday morning at 10:30 am at the south end of the beach, near Marine Street.

Unfortunately, this will all come to an end soon. The city of Santa Monica has enacted some new laws/fees that restrict all outdoor fitness classes. Brad will need to fork over $5,500 in order to continue his classes.

I know that there have been a lot of complaints regarding outdoor classes at Palisades Park and other areas in residential neighborhoods. But these issues do not apply to this class. I attend class all year round; most of the year we are the only people on the beach. We are not taking up anyone's space on the sand! And in July-October most people don't arrive at the beach until we are done with class at 12 pm. We don't block the view of any homeowners, nor do we damage any grass or property. Participants come into Santa Monica from all over Los Angeles. We pay for parking, buy coffee, go to lunch and go shopping in Santa Monica. The class brings a lot of revenue to the city.

Beach Yoga With Brad is more than a fitness class. It brings together people of all ages and fitness levels in an environment that literary changes our lives! We stand with our toes in the sand looking at the ocean, we see dolphins and pelicans. The experience makes us feel connected to the universe. We want to "Heal The Bay" and "Save The Dolphins." We want to keep our planet clean and never use plastic bags! It makes us better people.

Brad Keimach, is an amazing and inspirational man. He graduated from Julliard and has a degree in choral conducting. He is also the conductor of the Glendale Youth Orchestra, and he "conducts" his yoga classes in a very special way. His emphasis is on breathing and enjoying the environment (not on holding a pretzel pose). It is a fitness class/therapy session/spiritual experience and so much more!

Brad and several of us from his class went to The Santa Monica City Council meeting on 12/10/13. We asked that this class be grandfathered in, and exempt from the new fees. We were not on the official agenda, so the council was not able to vote on this issue; we were merely trying to get on the agenda, so that a vote could be taken later. The council denied this request.

Beach Yoga With Brad has won many awards (Best in LA, from Los Angeles Magazine etc). The class not only attracts locals, but visitors from all over the country and the world. It really is a Santa Monica institution, and it would be a shame to lose it!

Santa Monica is supposed to be the peoples beach. The city has led the country in issues such as rent control, anti-smoking laws, banning plastic bags etc. Now it seems one must be part of big business or a corporate gym in order to have the funds to be able to hold a class on the beach.

The new fees should not be "one-size-fits-all." Beach Yoga With Brad is a one-man operation, completely donation based, and held on an empty beach. There has never been a single complaint filed against this particular class. Any help to SAVE BEACH YOGA WITH BRAD would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Lauren Linett

West Los Angeles

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