Last month I was back in NYC to enjoy American Thanksgiving . It also gave me a great opportunity to check out new yoga studios in this awesome yoga capital!
The ‘Nylon connection' (New York & London) means inhabitants of these two great cities can find themselves filtering back & forth between the two. So I think it is only natural that London yogis might want to learn more about know where they can hit the mat in the Big Apple!
In 2011, I briefly lived in NYC but was downtown (West Village and Soho) so I got to know some great downtown yoga studios.
Highlights from Summer 2011?
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A powerful vinyasa class accompanied by a live Cello player at The Shala (adding live music to yoga classes is also becoming popular now in London!)
This time around it was a little different since I was staying on the Upper East Side. So I took the opportunity to explore a different variety of studios.
Highlight from this trip? My favourite class was at yogaworks westside. The teacher, Lisa Zagola (see her full yoga website here) was amazing! I even emailed her to let her know 🙂
All studios were slightly different so something for everyone..places I visited listed below. Click on each to read more:
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Three years ago I visited Pure on the Upper Westso it wasn’t an entirely new experience. Pure has a reputation as quite a pricey studio so I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the £10 community classes they now offer!
The class itself was a bit slower than what I am used to but for $10 - no complaints!
If you’ve not been to Pure yet (there are 2 locations, both Upper East and Upper West) it feels more about ambiance and amenities than just yoga. I have to admit it, it does feel pretty nice to be in such a pampered changing area, complete with a steam room attached.
Well worth dropping in for a community class to check it out & see if you can see yourself flowing in this beautiful space!
Cost: $10 community class (otherwise pricey!)
Highs: The beautiful changing room
Lows: No windows (I love the openness it brings!) & I would need to try more classes
2. YOGAWORKS (for the yoga-holic):
Next up was Yogaworks on the Upper East Side. This was a slightly different experience than what I felt at the Soho location.
It was incredibly busy for a 9:30am Monday morning! I always forgot that half the NYC workforce seems to run on random hours!
There were probably 60 people in this particular class! This sounds crazy to a Londoner and you probably immediately shiver in horror of how overcrowded it would be. But it wasn’t at all.
The studio space was very big so plenty of space to stretch out, layout your props and one side was bright windows along the entire wall. I love a studio with lots of windows!
The best part? As mentioned above, Lisa Zagloa was an AMAZING teacher. She was so knowledgeable and taught a fantastic Vinyasa Flow class. I would be following her around NYC if I lived here! If you ever have a chance to flow in her class, I strongly recommend it!
Cost: 1 free week (need a NYC address!)
Highs: The yoga classes are amazing - or at least the one I went to was.
Lows: Nothing major. Maybe its a bit generic and factory feeling? But high quality teaching so I didn't mind!
3. EXHALE (for the spa lovin’ yogi):
Next up was Exhale, another Upper East Side studio and in one of the poshest areas of the city. On Madison Ave its situated overlooking the Carlyle Hotel so you definitely know you’re in the ritzy part of town. Its a bit hard to find since its upstairs in a corporate-style building (no sign from the street so not easy to find!). This studio also has full range of spa offerings.
The lack of signage left me running a bit late but I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly the receptionist was and she kindly comped the class when I told her why I was there!
The class was listed as an advanced flow class but I found the class wasn't as 'flowy' as other flow classes I've been to and I am now used to flow classes being with music and this class was not. I could tell many of the others were regulars so there was a definite following but on a personal level it was not the right class for me that morning . But overall a great space and I was very impressed with the staff & availability of services.
Cost: 1 drop in yoga class is not cheap - $26 but monthly classes are similar to other NYC studios. I had a generous offer of a trial given why I was there. A kind gesture!
Highs: The studio is a nice space, friendly staff and full spa treatments if you want to treat yourself!
Lows: Expensive. It was a little too spa-like for me because I am just about the yoga but I’d need to do a few more yoga classes to know for sure if the studio was right for me. In a swanky area so definitely geared towards an upscale market.
4. NEW YORK CITY YOGA (for the heat-loving yogi):
This is a no fuss studio with a small entrance area and basic small studio space and changing room. I came to a class here on Thanksgiving morning and thought I might be the only one going to a yoga class that day but that was not the case! There were many regular yogis who obviously were hot-yogi junkies who wanted a fix of sweaty vinyasas before the big turkey meal!
Cost: The deal is £99 for first month but I was only there for 1 day and they charged me the full rate and extra for mat so I paid over $30!!
Highs: You get what you expect - hot yoga. No frills. Just yoga.
Lows:Not as nice a space to practice in. Small room and not beautiful
A few places on my wishlist which I unfortunately couldn’t make it to (due to time constraints to get to studios outside my area)...but will be trying out next time!
Laughing Lotus - More than a few people have told me this is a great studio.
Lyons Den Power Yoga- The first Power Yoga studio in NYC! Based on Baron Baptise
Harlem Yoga -This studio is very cool for offering yoga at more affordable prices. Community classes are BY Donation (pay what you can and suggested donation is only $6!) Obviously its nice to pay more if you can so others who cannot will benefit from this offering!
For more tips from a fellow yogi & friend: Check out these ‘3 top NYC yoga studio’!
If you want to see my ‘Best NYC Intro Deals‘ click here.