Yoga terminology (Iyengar or hatha, yin or flow) rolls as easily off our tongues as the ABC’s these days, but the trauma-sensitive kind taught by Laura Mckellin was entirely new to us. Mckellin developed her style while working with patients at the Veterans Association in Denver after obtaining a master’s in somatic counseling psychology. Nowadays, in Los Angeles, Mckellin is available for one-on-one somatic healing sessions in the comfort of your own home, or you can join her class at Light on Lotus in Mar Vista.
The Mar Vista
12249 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista
Chef-owners D. Brandon Walker and Jill Davie opened their massive, light-filled space last year, adding a much-needed restaurant to the neighborhood. It’s become a go-to for Mar Vista locals for its take on California cuisine, with a menu full of healthy veggie options like the carrot hummus with beets, arugula and frisee, and the roasted broccoli and cauliflower entrée with a sweet chili puree and almonds. Heartier dishes include a black rice and farro hot pot with black eyed peas, eggplant, and kale slaw in a shiitake mushroom broth, as well as an expertly-roasted organic half-chicken with salsa verde. The raw bar, meanwhile, offers great happy hour snacks, including shucked oysters and a scallop ceviche.
Pause Float Studio
13353 Washington Blvd., Mar Vista
You can book infrared sauna sessions at this Mar Vista studio in either thirty-minute or one-hour increments–we like the full hour, so you can take advantage of the in-room shower. The private-room lighting can be adjusted to pitch black, and the saunas themselves are high-tech enough to connect to a playlist on your phone via Bluetooth. Also cool: The main event here are the “float pods," which are personal sensory deprivation tanks you can book for an hour at a time. There’s a small parking lot in the back, plus really easy street parking at night.
Tortoise General Store
12701 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista
Taku and Keiko Shinomoto, the owners and curators of this much-loved shop, urge customers to slow down (like the animal the store is named for) and enjoy life’s small pleasures. The focus here is on everyday items, made beautiful, whether it’s gardening shears, beautiful Tenugui cloth napkins, coffee grinders, or sake pitchers. In the spring of 2018, the shop made a move from Venice to Mar Vista.
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