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Meet Kari J. and Ry Toast of Beats Balance Flow in West LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kari J. and Ry Toast.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kari and Ry. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
We met in December of 2013. Ry had just moved to LA and the first yoga class at the first studio she went to, I was teaching. Within seconds of talking to each other after class, it was clear that a new friendship was born. Ry is also a yoga teacher and we got to know each other through that community, very quickly building a close relationship. Before we knew it, I was a staple on the dance floor at her Blind Barber residency. We spent lots of time together, taking hikes, talking shit, pondering about life, maintaining accountability and keeping the other on their toes by demanding constant leveling-up. Our friendship developed into something much greater, we had created a sisterhood. Both being creatives and driven by inspiration, we knew we wanted to work together, we just hadn’t quite figured out what that looked like yet.

When I was approached to teach at Lightning in a Bottle Festival, I asked Ry if she wanted to be my plus one. Without missing a beat, she was like “duh, how bout I DJ for you?!?” This was it! The opportunity to create together was right at our fingertips. We got to work. We started sequencing music to movement and carefully crafted our class. It made sense to do a dress rehearsal and make sure we had our shit together. So we invited some homies over to Ry’s house for a little yoga session.

I just wanna set the tone here. Ry’s garage is this half covered, half open decently sized space that is encapsulated once the gate closes. Because its open aired, you can see the trees hanging over the space and hear the leaves as they rustle when the wind blows. There is beautiful foliage coming over the side walls and the birds are always chirping. Once inside and dropped in, you forget you’re in the hustle and bustle of Pico/Robertson.

Anyway, our eight friends arrived for class and we prepped with candles, sage and tuning forks to set the mood, and we had fresh watermelon ready for after. Class started in savasana, the music dropped, Ry and I looked at each other knowing magic was about to take place. Beats Balance Flow was born.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road to making magic is never paved smoothly. Internally, between us, we operate silky smooth, like butta baby. This is because we communicate and are honest with each other. Externally, we both have an assortment of projects on our plates with various responsibilities, loved ones who count on us, friendships to nurture, and of course self-care is a must!

The struggles are no different than what everyone else experiences when you are creating a life that may be considered unconventional. We are both our own bosses, so time management can be a huge struggle. Feelings of not moving or creating fast enough, or not making enough money can trickle to the top. The things to note in those moments are committing to the best we can do at that specific moment, and re-affirming that we are exactly where we need to be. Thankfully we have each other, to be held accountable but also to be reminded that it’s ok to ease up and not be so hard on self. The more we can find the balance between those two components, the less we struggle with all the little nuances. That’s kind of a basic rule for life.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Beats Balance Flow story. Tell us more about the business.
At Beats Balance Flow, we curate music to movement. We bring high energy vibes and dope music to conscious spaces. We’ve offered 4 BBF classes in Ry’s magical garage space, with our last garage event selling out. We’ve started to bring in other types of healers and vendors. From theta brain wave healing, to vintage shopping, to fresh homemade salsa, tea and conscious conversation, we really offer an opportunity for our communities to come together, share space and interact with like-minded people. We just had our first event at a larger location which has allowed us to grow with other vendors who are inspiring and adding value to the conscious community. It’s also been really dope to get out into the various corners of the community and bring Beats Balance Flow as a class. Once we got LIB under our belt, we knew the festival market was ready for us. We got to share our craft with the youngest members of the community and hold a kids class at Disclosurefest in June, and now we have Camp Yoga on the horizon in October and other special events to come.

I’m most proud of our ability to communicate. There’s something about Kari. Maybe it’s our shared Jersey roots, maybe it’s because we’ve both gone so deep into Bikram Yoga and come out the other end, maybe it’s because we connected instantly but still took our time building a truly special relationship. Either way, I know I can tell her anything. Our friendship has total transparency.

Balancing multiple ventures is daunting, and you have to have honesty, occasionally uncomfortable conversations about what you can realistically take on. Sometimes I worry that I won’t be able to do it all. In those moments, she reminds me that I actually CAN handle it, or offers support by taking something off my plate. She has also taught me that it’s much healthier to have these conversations rather than avoiding them, which was a pattern of mine. This has had a positive ripple effect on all other areas of my life.

I think it’s this clean connection, plus pure love for each other and what we do that makes our partnership so powerful. Sometimes we get together in the morning and work on BBF til 10 or 11 at night. We get sooooo excited planning out these experiences for people! Creating sequences, discovering new music, eating vegan snacks, and hanging out with your best friend… What could be better?! When we connect, we get into this zone. The frequency shifts, the vibration lifts, and we blast off into our own galaxy. Anything created from this place is going to be pretty fucking awesome. People pick up on the energy whether they are conscious of it or not, and it has an impact. I believe it is this very element that sets us apart from other DJ/Yoga teacher duos. When we hold BBF events, we get to bring others to our world, and hopefully remind them of how magical, medicinal, and loved they are.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I think it’s safe to say that neither of us really believe in luck. Truth is we each hold all of the power. So do you. It’s quite simple. Thoughts become realities. When you speak something out loud, that is the infancy stage of your creation. The universe can hear you loud and clear. So be precise about what you want. It’s ok to be clear about who you are and own all of your shit, the trick is to not become overly attached to it. Stay present because the journey will always have challenges. It’s in the allowing of these moments of challenge to be teachers, where transformation happens. In many ways, we can each create exactly the life we want. But in the end, it will likely never look how you expected, often times being grander than you ever dreamed of.

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 8025786180
  • Email:
  • Instagram: beatsbalanceflow

Image Credit:

Jamal Damon @jaydamon, Adrianne Trujillo @adrianne_healthcoach, Tony Barnes @tonybarnesjr.visuals

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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