Kori Strobl, Nicolette David and Shina Chen Share How They Created This Popular Yoga Studio
Written By: Erica Johnson
Photographed By: Randi Slusher
Experts: Kori Strobl, Nicolette David and Shina Chen
Credentials: Owners of HB Yoga Collective
Q: HB Yoga Collective offers many services including yoga. How did the idea come about for it to be “collective”?
Kori Strobl: As yoga students and teachers, we have come to understand that yoga was never intended to be a complete ‘workout.’ While you can certainly get that lovely curve of muscle at your shoulder or slimmer legs in many of the classes we offer, our focus is on supporting our clients with their overall health and well-being. We created a diverse schedule in order to help meet the needs of our clients so they could have a complete experience with one membership.
Q: How did you make the transition from practicing yoga to teaching yoga?
KS: All three partners have very different stories. I practiced yoga for many years before deciding that I needed to share the benefits of yoga with as many people as possible. I was driven by my own story of overcoming a physical ailment that was ‘incurable’ and wanted to help others know their own potential to overcome challenges through yoga. Nicolette started practicing and teaching yoga almost simultaneously. Upon returning from serving in the Peace Corp she took her first yoga class, fell in love with it and quickly signed up for the studio’s teacher training. She has gone on to take a variety of trainings and become a much sought after trainer herself, especially because of the skillful way she brings anatomy to life for her students! Shina is a dedicated yoga practitioner, has taken several teacher trainings and is a talented Ayurvedic practitioner and chef. Despite all of her extensive training, she does not teach…yet.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who has never taken yoga before?
KS: Be adventurous and try it! If you don’t like it, try it again, with a different teacher and/or different style. The long-term benefits of yoga are only now beginning to be studied, documented and measured across many different demographics. Yoga is for everyone, although every style or teacher is not. There is a place to start for everyone and the benefits of yoga do not discriminate. When you arrive at a new studio, like HBYC, it’s good to let the front desk staff know you are new so they can show you around and possibly introduce you to the teacher. Don’t eat for at least an hour before you practice, if possible. And bring a friend! It will help you relax, make it more fun and give you someone to talk, laugh and zen-out with about your shared experience. Feel free to look around the room if you don’t understand an instruction. Do your best not to compare yourself to people who might have been practicing much longer than you. While one of the many benefits of yoga is increased flexibility, it is not a prerequisite to be flexible to start yoga.
Q: What inspired you to open HB Yoga Collective?
KS: After the former studio closed its doors, there was a distraught community of yoga students that felt lost and really disappointed that their beloved community was being dispersed. These members ran with it when I pondered out loud that maybe I would take over the space. They started writing checks to me personally before the corporation was formed or the business plan was written. These same members are the ambassadors for the studio, shouting its praises wherever they are and celebrating and welcoming every new face like a missing piece of our community. Volunteers from the community helped us renovate the studio and continue to be a key aspect of our studio and staffing. We might be the ‘owners’ but the studio is most definitely a collective effort created and sustained by and for the community.
Q: You have a lovely boutique in addition to the classes. What kinds of goods do you offer?
KS: To us, the collective means supporting not only our community of clients by offering them products we believe in and use, but also backing the greater community. Our products are locally sourced and produced by companies like Third Eye Thread in Encinitas, Brooke Taylor’s Yoga from Huntington Beach, the Lil’ Green Wagon from San Juan Capistrano, Fermentation Farm in Costa Mesa and Rasa Eats from Laguna Beach, to name a few. We choose our clothing vendors by looking for beautiful yoga inspired clothing that is sustainably produced, often with uplifting messages. We sell organic vegan snacks, local brew kombucha, local honey and homemade home cleansers, laundry wash, mat cleaner and more. We also feature and sell art from local artists that revolve every two to three months.
Q: What are the benefits of meditation and why should someone try it?
KS: The benefits of meditation are numerous but here are some of the scientifically measured benefits of a regular meditation practice: lessens worry and anxiety, increases optimism, relaxation and awareness, reduces blood pressure and many more. The list of benefits speaks for itself and certainly provides enough reasons why someone should try it. That being said, being new to meditation can be intimidating and daunting. Having a teacher or practicing guided meditation with either a live teacher or recorded teacher can be very helpful to create a good and positive experience that brings a person back to meditating until it eventually becomes a daily practice you don’t want to live without.
HB Yoga Collective
301 Main St, Ste 109
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
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