When deciding on a name for her studio, Elizabeth Olive Bolla chose Olive not merely because it’s her middle name but also because when spoken out loud, Olive Yoga sounds like “all of yoga.”
The name suggests that when you come to take a class, you’ll be doing more than practicing postures; you’ll be learning about the deeper layers of yoga. “I want to really teach the eight limbed path,” says Elizabeth, as evidenced by the names eight limbs displayed in Sanskrit on the stairs leading up to the second floor studio.
Olive Yoga, which has been open since January 2016, offers a combination of meditation classes, stronger classes like “Core Flow” and “Power Detox,” gentler classes like “Restorative
Rejuvenation” and “Yin Fusion” and classes that represent different styles like “Kundalini Blend.”
Regardless of the style being taught, Elizabeth says she and the other teachers, “focus on alignment-based, breath-based, spiritual-based yoga.” They also like to get off their mats and walk the room while teaching, encouraging you as a student to rely less on visual feedback and instead look within and feel your practice. The large studio room allows you plenty of space to roll out your mat on the hardwood floors and find an hour to 90 minutes of inner peace.
An eclectic collection of candles and singing bowls line the ledge beneath the wide windows at the front of the room, which adds to the coziness that you feel as soon as you enter the front lobby. Hot tea and seating comfort if you choose to linger after class, and there’s even a massage therapist who operates out of an attached room.
Elizabeth has already hosted a handful of workshops and events including sound baths, ecstatic dance, and Full Moon/New Moon circles. She has plans for much more to come, notably a Friday night kirtan jam so the community can explore the devotional side of the practice. “Let’s just practice yoga,” she says, “and be present and peaceful and compassionate and loving, so we can spread it out!”
Olive Yoga, 244 Pine Ave, Long Beach
Alisha Maxine is a yoga teacher, climber, world traveler, and handstand enthusiast.