Yoga with the Isla Vista Food Co-op


Andrew Delvasto
Staff Writer

Sun salutations, warrior I (and II), and downward facing dog. If none of these terms sound familiar, it is because they come from the world of yoga. This ever-popular hobby has found a home in Isla Vista and is embraced by the community. This past Sunday, the IV Co-op hosted its Beach Brunch Yoga at Pelican Park where it offered a morning of free yoga followed by a complementary light brunch.

Usually hosted on the third Sunday of every month, the Co-op’s Beach Front Yoga has become a local favorite. Although I did not attend the earlier sessions, I decided to attend the last one before spring quarter ends. After signing the waiver, I mingled with other yogis (or proficient yoga goers). Everybody seemed to be in a great mood. At 10 a.m. we made the walk to Pelican Park and set up the mats. Pelican Park is the ideal location: a grass field at the cliff’s edge overlooks the ocean and the waves crashing below adds to the atmosphere. Altogether it was a very enjoyable experience.

IV Co-op Outreach Manager Marissa Bragstad helped organize the event.

“We put on this event so our community can come together to feed their minds, bodies, and souls,” Bragstad said. “We also want to introduce people to yoga and Yoga Isla Vista which is located right here in I.V. above Silvergreens. We also get to introduce people to the Co-op and feeding people our delicious produce and healthy food is a great way to do so.”

The session was led by Ida Taghavi. Taghavi, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, got involved with Beach Brunch Yoga because she was a teacher at Yoga Isla Vista. “I think Beach Brunch Yoga is a wonderful because it brings the Isla Vista community together through health and wellness. I love that we can connect through the practice of yoga and afterwards enjoy local, organic food together at the co-op’s patio — such a fun way to unite,” she said.

Bragstad also wanted to thank all of those who made the event possible, especially the shoppers at the IV co-op. “Co-ops exist to serve the community they are in so whatever profit is generated, we put it back into the store and back into the community through outreach, education, donations, free events (including Beach Brunch Yoga), community partnerships, and also fair wages for staff,” Bragstad said.

She also hopes to be able to bring events like these to more people. “If everyone spent $1-2 more than they normally do each shopping trip, that could truly game change what we are able to do for the community and expand it well beyond what we are able to do now,” Bragstad said. “We do so much great work in the community and our end goal is always to provide for our community in whatever way we can!”