My yoga practice began on New Year’s Day a few years ago when I walked by City Yoga in West Hollywood and took a ninety-minute class. The teacher was Linda Eifer and she began the class with a short meditation on being open to possibilities. Before the class was out, Linda had assisted me in a headstand and a handstand and I left exhilarated. Soon I was taking classes from Linda at SimchaYoga, a safe and hospitable environment ideally suited to helping me navigate the beginner’s path in poses and postures.
Linda’s gifts as a teacher extend beyond the yoga practice to her ability to bring people together and form community. In the intimate and blissful setting of her backyard studio, I constantly met interesting people, from a thirty year old to a ninety year old. At one social gathering, Linda treated us to some of the most amazing desserts I’ve ever had, lending credence to the ethos and enjoyment of balance in body, mind and spirit!
Episcopal priest and teacher of the inner path
I hold Linda in the highest regard, as she is true to her work and beliefs. Linda’s dedication to the field of yoga is distinct, as she is constantly bringing new and innovative work to her students. Linda is unique in that she can teach to the advanced practitioner at the same time to a beginning student of asana. Linda has helped me in my recovery from a shoulder injury and I continually recommend her for asana practice.
I have been Linda’s student for the past 2 years, and the deepening of my practice under her instruction has been a revelation. She is a gifted teacher; inspiring, detailed in her knowledge of body alignment, and historical continuity — she infuses “story” into asanas which adds to the flow. It has taught me patience with myself, and that it all starts with breath. I often experience a sense of grace on the mat, which I am now adept enough to translate into my daily life. I am a more grounded person because of my practice, her commitment by example, her kindness, and because I am now part of a broader community.
Here’s what is special about Linda and her teaching: she embraces a humanistic approach; she is a skilled pro who loves to share her experience; and she is willing to work with students “where they are at,” gently moving them to the next level. Along the way, she is the best cheerleader, explaining different ways to approach poses and how to ensure every movement is done safely. Every class session brings new surprises. Some days we work on breathing, others on shoulder and hip openers, still others on twists, sun salutations, back bends, foot strengthening, you name it! And above all, we continually work on integrating our practice.
If you are looking for a safe and supportive environment, one that allows your body and mind to open up, try a class. You will meet interesting like-minded people who also are looking to experience a more balanced and harmonious life.
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When I first came to Los Angeles, I’d already spent almost a decade practicing yoga. I wanted a teacher with deep knowledge of body mechanics, who would teach with the real aim of improving health and expanding consciousness, not for the purpose of doing impressive, athletic poses or burning calories.
As the editor-in-chief of a healthy living publication, I began attending classes all over Los Angeles, with some of the city’s best-known teachers. But again and again, I found that instructors gave poses that I knew were risky. As a last effort, I walked into the next class that fit my schedule. Fortunately for me, it was Linda Eifer’s class.
I knew immediately that this was the wise teacher I’d been seeking. Whereas many teachers rattle off a set patter, Linda spoke to her class as their friend. She opened class with seemingly light chat—which I quickly realized held profound yogic observations and life lessons. My mood rose instantly during the first five minutes. Then came asana. Fine, minute adjustments transformed poses I’d been doing “well enough” for years, into glorious expressions. Halfway through that all-levels class, Linda taught handstands, and everyone was able to safely participate, and succeed.
I’ve now been Linda’s student for several years, and her instruction has dramatically opened up my practice. I can do many of the “show-off” poses I’d thought were limited to “Level III” classes; I learned them one gentle adjustment and opening at a time. In Linda’s class, I am safe to learn and to challenge myself.
Writer and Editor
Alternative therapies and doctors felt they could no longer help as well. I could not walk or stand up straight. I was hopeless. As a final resort I decided to try yoga. That’s when I met Linda. Linda has the most beautiful private studio that made me feel so comfortable right away, as starting a yoga class was far outside my comfort zone.
She is warm, patient and kind and helped me feel comfortable right away. I love that she incorporates lessons from culture, movies, books, all aspects of life and applies them to our daily yoga practice. I learn in every class. I also love that she is very attentive and makes sure we are doing the poses correctly, and are always aligned correctly, to prevent injuries. The environment is very friendly and I always feel at ease to ask questions. The best part is my back has healed and I never had to have surgery. I have been pain free for two years now!
Into my forties I was very active and athletic in competitive sports and other activities. Then a series of injuries, combined with the chronic muscle pain of Fibromyalgia, slowly reduced my mobility, and worse, my willingness to move. Every effort at different exercise programs only increased the pain and scared me away from trying again. My goals were very simple—less pain, and a return to a stronger, more flexible me.
A friend introduced me to Linda for which I will be forever grateful. I decided to give it a try knowing that a “good result” would to be not paralyzed with pain for a week afterward. Linda was gradual and gentle in each session and helped me listen to my body as she listened to me. That listening guides her adjustments to each day’s practice—she does not have a set routine that she repeats over and over. No two classes ever remotely resemble each other.
She creates a loving, comfortable, non-judgmental, safe environment that is about making gentle steps forward. While she is both passionate and compassionate, she loves to have fun and laugh while she guides you. Linda honors where you are—your body, your state of mind—in that moment. And then she gives you a gentle nudge to move past that state to stretch and grow into a new place.
Her excitement and sheer joy when you break a barrier inspires you towards the next new step, especially knowing that her every guidance is about you and your safety and health and correct alignment—not achieving some fancy contortion. Her studio may be in Beverly Hills but there is nothing about it that requires matching yoga outfits or the perfect “bendy twisty” poses before you can even participate. She teaches your brain with the ‘why’ of every move while artfully showing you the ‘how’ in every class. I look forward to every class—and my Fibromyalgia pain is slowly diminishing!
Over 20 years, there were many reasons for my inability to stick with yoga longer than 1 or 2 classes. There was only 1 overarching reason for the change in this routine – Linda Eifer.
Physically strong, but with limited flexibility, I struggled with even basic poses like “downdog”. Linda smiled and assured me that with practice, it would come. She followed this with “achieving a perfect downdog will not make you a better person”. This was the first time I experienced this kind of physical challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a humiliating confirmation of my inadequacy.
That was 5 years ago and I am still practicing. Her adherence to the credo of balanced action has helped me work on a number of orthopedic issues I believed would never be better.
Linda does not limit her instruction to a series of poses, but emphasizes that yoga stresses balance in all things: between the physical and spiritual, between the individual and the community. She has worked to create that sense of community in her home studio. As her student,you get the sense of a real yogi,not a drill instructor. She draws from basic body mechanics and Thai massage to enhance her ability to help those of us with previous injuries.
Her classes are a fusion of traditional yoga themes and western sensibility. She is not intimidated by questions and is equally comfortable working with 12 year old and 80 year old students. Even my always skeptical husband has been coming to sessions!
At first I think it was out of curiosity, but now the sessions have grown into a fullblown commitment.
I began to practice yoga a year after I’d had some foot surgery that proved to be of limited benefit. My foot still hurt. And because of that pain, I think I was walking in an unbalanced way. Pretty soon my knees starting hurting, then my hips, then my lower back. I felt crippled! With some trepidation, I decided to try yoga, and –lucky for me– my first yoga class was with Linda. Her warmth and compassion immediately reassured me. But it was her utter conviction that yoga could help me feel better that gave me hope. And she was right. Little by little I did start to walk better, stand better, and feel better. Linda has the unique ability to focus on each student’s particular needs, while creating a group experience that is fun, inspiring and full of joy. I always leave Linda’s class feeling brighter in every way!
Linda Eifer is a lovely human being, and an amazing yoga instructor, as well.
We met at City Yoga, in West Hollywood. When Linda started teaching Basics 101, I wanted to be supportive, and found a teacher like no other.
Her knowledge and heart always shows me something new. My plan to “take it easy” in a more remedial class did not happen. She challenges you according to your strengths and less-than-strengths, letting you know that yoga is for everyone, regardless of age, size, or in my case, attitude.
Part of my yoga is sharing the experience with anybody who’ll listen. So I’m very proud to be the author of the slogan on the flyers for Linda’s Sunday 11 a.m., gathering:
“If you can make it up the stairs, you can make it through the class!”
And she makes a pretty mean cookie, as well. Thanks, Linda.
It’s hard to have a body that doesn’t want to work right. Mine’s never worked right. Nothing major or life-threatening, but my joints weren’t well-formed when I was born. Eight years of ballet when I was a kid didn’t help like the doctor thought they would. I’ve always been active, though—lots of walking, sports, dancing. Arthritis started in my 40’s. About the same time, a workout buddy talked me into going to a yoga class with her. I loved the idea of yoga, but it was so hard, and being in a big class, I never felt like I could get the hang of it. It was also intimidating—all of these beautiful, young Hollywood people who took their yoga VERY seriously. Then I met Linda. There was no doubt she was very passionate about yoga, but she LAUGHED. She introduced an element of playfulness that erased the feelings of intimidation and gave me confidence. Her descriptions of poses—and, more importantly, how they were supposed to feel—were easy to follow. I started to push myself harder than I ever had. I FINALLY touched my hands to the ground in a forward bend at 48. I never thought that would ever happen. No big deal for most people, but Linda celebrated it with me as if I’d just climbed Mount Everest. I’ve been taking a mixed class with her for about 4 years now. I can’t do some of the poses the other yogis can do, but I’m okay with that. So is Linda—and it’s that gentle compassion, love, support—and bit of a silly streak—that will keep me coming back for a long, long time.
I have been practicing yoga with Linda since 2007. She is a great teacher in that she understands the foundation of yoga poses and ensures that everyone in her class is getting the right experience and not just a sweat. She takes the time necessary with every student, even if it is after class to ensure you understand the correct pose and it feels right for your body. I very much enjoy my practice with Linda.
Amazing teacher! Linda, is ALWAYS concerned with ones form and makes sure that your form is correct so you don’t hurt yourself and enjoy doing the yoga. I never really liked yoga before I took a class with Linda. Now I am much more flexible and look forward every week to taking the class!
I want to let everybody know that Linda is great. My wife and I started taking yoga lessons at City Yoga where Linda was our first teacher and five years later we have her to thank for getting us started. We think the world of her and highly recommend her. Thanks for all the great classes and stories.
Dave and Sara R