It isn’t, really, and that’s why yoga instructor Jake Ferree is taking his vinyasa-flow classes out of the studio and into the sky on Wednesday nights in West Hollywood this summer. For several of those weeks, his class will also be set to live music by Volkan Can Canbolat, also known as Volkan the violinist.
Vinyasa & Violin is still in Los Angeles at rush hour, honking horns and wailing sirens and all, but when you’re breathing deeply to violin music as the sun sets, life can’t help but feel pretty peaceful.
Setting your mat on the roof of the Palihouse hotel, you’ll probably feel relaxed before class even starts. At 6:30 p.m., the breeze is light and the sun is in that ideal position where you feel its warmth but aren’t blinded by its brightness. It also doesn’t hurt that while a lot of people are still in traffic, you’re eye level with the tops of palm trees.
From Santa Monica and La Cienega boulevards, you’re overlooking some of the city’s more exclusive venues — like the Beverly Center and the Mondrian Los Angeles hotel — but Ferree’s vibe is friendly and welcoming. And whether you’re a regular or brand new, he’ll likely greet you with a hug.
Like many yoga classes, Ferree’s is as easy or as difficult as you make it. Most people on the roof can hold a strong plank and have the physiques to prove it, but the class is suited to all experience levels.
In vinyasa flow, you move relatively swiftly through both stretching and strengthening poses and use your breath to guide you. If you find your arms quaking from one too many chaturangas, you always have the option to chill out in child’s pose.
While Ferree walks between mats and adjusts form, Volkan performs along as mellow pop songs, like Sia’s “Bird Set Free” and “Let Me Go” by Hailee Steinfeld and Alesso, play softly from a speaker. He might even throw in an uplifting Disney anthem or two. Unsurprisingly, listening to “Circle of Life” on violin does great things for your Warrior 2.
Sign up online for $15 in advance or $20 on the day of class. Palihouse has $10 valet parking, and there are metered spots on the surrounding streets. The class supplies free bottled water and limited yoga mats.
Vinyasa & Violin / rooftop yoga
What: Volkan the violinist will return on July 11 and again for the first three weeks in August. Ferree will teach every Wednesday through Oct. 24. Check his website for upcoming classes, themes and guests.
When: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays
Where: Palihouse rooftop, 8465 Holloway Dr., West Hollywood.