City of San Diego takes yoga instructor Steve Hubbard to court over size of free classes

Class sizes in PB park too big, city says

SAN DIEGO - A Pacific Beach yoga instructor appeared in court Wednesday to fight the city's efforts to shut down his free classes through tickets and fines.

The tickets issued to Steve Hubbard can cost him anywhere between $500 and $800, but that's not what he's worried about. If he has to pay those tickets, he'll also have to stop his yoga class that fills the park at the end of Law Street every weekend.

Hubbard is in the business of relaxation, but lately he has needed it.

"I was very anxious. Last night, this morning, going in, you know, almost shaking," said Hubbard.

Hubbard's donation-based -- essentially free -- weekend yoga class at the city park draws groups of people that officials say are too big.

Permits are not an option, and anything more than 49 people -- which is part of the city code -- Hubbard is issued a ticket.

"Ultimately, I don't have the right to remove people from the park that are numbers 50 and above," said Hubbard.

Several months ago, Hubbard told 10News police actually showed up at one of his classes.

Since then, he's been running things using a loophole and breaking the large group up into smaller ones.

"You can have three groups of 50 people, but you can't have 150 people. I don't think the code is serving its purpose," Hubbard said.

Hubbard said the judge won't decide the case for another 30 days.

"I'm a lot more calm … good thing I do yoga," Hubbard said.

If the city decides to shut down Hubbard's yoga class, he said the fight is not going to end there.

Hubbard calls the matter a free speech issue and plans to take that fight to any court that will hear him.

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