Self-care is not only a vibe, but it’s necessary.

With many people tapping into what it means to engage in self-care, the concept has manifested itself in many forms. One of the ways people have historically engaged in self-care is through yoga. And WalkGood Yard provides spaces for yoga enthusiasts of all levels.

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According to LA List, the foundation of WalkGood began when Etienne Maurice, his sister Ivy Maurice, and his cousin, Marley Ralph, a yoga instructor – organized a march at the height of the social unrest centered around the death of George Floyd. Soon after the march, Etienne began hosting wellness events around the greater Los Angeles area, and the wellness nonprofit WalkGood LA was born.

During its inception, Etienne would host weekly yoga sessions at a local park on Sundays. The events would attract around 450 people, with a primary goal of offering safe spaces for BIPOC individuals who have been impacted by racism. Four years and many wellness events and activations later, Etienne has opened the WalkGood Yard as a safe and communal space for all who enter.

WalkGood Yard, located near Etienne’s childhood home and L.A. Memorial Park, is where WalkGood LA began. For him, this location has a sense of home, but it’s also special because of its rich history for Black homeowners and business owners. Being in the area is a reclamation of that rich heritage.

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“Here we are, years later, a Black-owned organization, a Black-owned building trying to bring that same spirit of entrepreneurship, but with healing attached to it,” Etienne said to LA List. “I think this is going to be the start of something that I’ve really envisioned for the city of L.A. to make some real change in this community.”

Situated on Pico Boulevard in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, visitors are greeted with the iconic sounds of 90s R&B and the vibrant colors of Etienne’s Jamaican heritage.

As the son of actress Sheryl Lee Ralph; the studio also has pictures of him and his family across the walls.

“It reminds me of home, and for me, home is Los Angeles by the way of Jamaica,” Etienne said.

Interested patrons are encouraged to become members to consistently enjoy the wellness options WalkGood Yard offers. People can explore three membership tiers, but the studio will offer the “You Good” Black men’s healing circle before opening.

With the range of options and intentional location, people are excited to tap in with WalkGood Yard. Yoga participant Eira Schwyzer experienced the studio soon after the grand opening and is already locked in.

“I believe that this is what we need to be investing in,” Schwyzer stated per LA List. “Now I feel like I can go to a place that is for people like me, Afro-Indigenous Latino people, who need something to be able to go to, connect with our community, and focus on our mental and physical well-being. This is a place where we can elevate our community and inspire people to do the same.”