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The Studios

as ever, this list is a work in progress (58 studios and counting)…

  1. Om Yoga Center (closed) –   Vinyasa style yoga located in the Union Square area of Manhattan. Founder – Cyndi Lee
  2. Jivamukti Yoga School – Vinyasa style yoga, meditation, seminars, trainings and a sweet cafe located in the Union Square area of Manhattan. Founders – David Life and Sharon Gannon
  3. Sankalpah (closed) – Vigorous Vinyasa was located in Flat Iron. Founder – Isaac Pena
  4. Yoga Works –   Yoga goliath offering most styles and a lot of heavy weight teachers. Soho location is definitely the nicests, but I heard they got rid of the sauna…bummer. Located in several places in New York, and across the country. (2 studios visited)
  5. Kundalini East – Standard Kundalini weirdness as propagated by Sat Jivan Singh and Sat Jivan Khalsa (founders). Most certainly an interesting experience and the $30/30 days beginner special is super worth while. Located near Union Square.
  6. Golden Bridge Yoga – Located in NYC and in California…offers more Kundalini madness. The tea is definitely not as good as Kundalini East.
  7. Yoga Sutra NYC  (closed) – Previously located in Philadelphia and NYC. Offered Vinyasa, Iyengar and Ashtanga. Had some great teachers, and a superior training program.
  8. The Yoga School NY – a superior training program from Guta Hedewig in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.
  9. Bend and  Bloom – Standard vinyasa flow stuff in the heart of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Has (predictably) lots of pre-natal and mom and baby classes. Pretty cute space…but small and occasionally over packed.
  10. Brooklyn Yoga School –  founded  by two senior students of Sri Dharma Mittra, Lily Cushman and Jeremy Frindel. A very tiny studio in northern Park Slope. Really good vibe, and great vinyasa flow classes. Nice community oriented Kirtan at night time.
  11. Dharma Yoga – very distinct Vinyasa flow as taught by Sri Dharma Mittra and very determined disciples. Dharma creates a cult of personality, but for sure leads a challenging vinyasa flow class. Things can get preachy here, and at times verge on culty. Two locations, one on east and one on west 23rd Street in Manhattan. (visited both East and West studios)
  12. Om Factory –  interesting spot in the Garment district of NYC. Classes include standard vinyasa classes and also “aerial yoga.” Recently OM Factory acquired my favorite Ashtanga duo: Arthur and Constanza Roldan.
  13. The Shala – Another Union Square yoga spot. Highlights are a Mysore program (which I haven’t tried) and Conquering Lion yoga.
  14. Ashtanga Yoga New York –  Eddie Stern’s legendary Ashtanga Yoga Shala  in Soho. Lots of celebs, and a price that explains why this is.
  15. Strala Yoga –  Despite the fact that this place is run by the media darling, Tara Stiles, the asana classes are not bad. Tara herself, despite what she is doing to yoga, is actually quite nice. Located near Washington Square Park.
  16. Istha Yoga – Alan Finger is a NYC yoga mainstay and Ishta is his most recent studio iteration located near Union Square. The classes are less vigorous and less flowing…getting closer to traditional hatha practice here. The meditation with Finger is great, but pricey. They have a great first time special and I highly recommend.
  17. Yoga To the People –  YTTP is an explosive organization with studios around the country. They were only on St. Marks in the E.Ville but now they’re everywhere. I have to say, despite the immense popularity (probably because it is free or cheap), I do NOT recommend YTTP at all. I had a brief fascination during which tried to make heads or tails of what was going on here…don’t bother.
  18. Integral Yoga Institute –  I love this place. This is like a 70’s style yoga colony hanging out in the West Village. This space was started in the late 70s by Swami Satchidananda’s group.  Good hippy types…also has a grocery, a stuff shop and a vitamin shop.
  19. Sivananda Yoga Center –   Sivananda yoga is another old-head yoga in NYC. Their center is located in the West Village and is currently overseen by a lovely swami who has the great ability to entertain with music. They’re one of the more strict and reverent yoga spots in town, and I have to say I didn’t love my first experience there but I do like the organization and have had great trips to their Ashrams.
  20. Sivananda Yoga Ranch –  ASHRAMS! This is Sivananda’s Ashram in the Catskills. The Catskills are just bizarre, but the Ashram has been so lovely both times I’ve been. I do not hesitate to recommend this lovely retreat, easily accessible by public transportation.
  21. Sivananda Yoga Farm –  This was the place where I had my first Ashram experience…and I loved it. A very welcoming environment with GREAT food. If you’re in the “gold rush” area, definitely check this place for a few days.
  22.  Bikram NYC –  This was my first yoga “home”and where Dharma Chameleon was essentially born. Bikram NYC has 4 studios, conveniently located in Flatiron, Midtown, Upper West and Upper East Sides. I’ve been to all studios and most strenuously recommend that if you are going to do Bikram that you do it at either Bikram NYC’s flatiron location or their UES location. Take Ben Balfour’s class if at all possible. :) (visted all 4 studios)
  23. Atmananda Yoga – It’s a sequence…probably based off the Ashtanga sequence but I only went to one class. The studio was located in the Soho area, but it has since moved to Gramercy.
  24. Pure Yoga –   I think it is safe to say that corporate yoga has its good and bad aspects. Pure is owned by Equinox so the facilities are posh and beautiful -essentially it is a spa with yoga. Also, because Equinox is a money machine Pure Yoga attracts all of the best teachers. Safe to say, if you can afford this place then you will get good yoga.
  25. Exhale – Definitely more spa yoga here, and at a price that is generally out of reach for most peeps. Exhale has a few different locations, but the one I’ve gone to a few times is on Central Park South, near Columbus Circle. Lots of different types of yoga here, and they  have they money to secure good teachers.
  26. Laughing Lotus –  Like me, they’ve got one foot in NYC and the other in SF. I think the similarities end there though…I didn’t love LL yoga. It was too crowded and too flamboyant. I can see how others might like it though. They need to reinvent their space and then talk to me.
  27. Yoga Sole –  A small, quiet Windsor Terrace yoga studio.
  28. Jaya Yoga – Another small, quiet Windsor Terrace/ South Slope yoga studio.
  29. Bodhisattava Yoga – A teeny tiny and quite controversial yoga space in Park Slope. Generally it offers vinyasa classes with a dose of MADNESS from its owner Vivekan.
  30. Shambhala Yoga –   I have yet to go to their new space, but I hear it is lovely and a big upgrade. This studio is located in Prospect Heights and offers many flavors of yoga…and dance.
  31. Yoga Effects (closed) – Does it matter what I thought? It’s closed now. I know the owner, Liz Mandarano. She is a lovely teacher, and I believe she’s at Sacred Sounds now.
  32. Earth Yoga – Eh, it’s like a hot  yoga w/o the Bikram. Basically a hot vinyasa, if you’re into that.  I followed Steven Cheng there.
  33. Yogasana Center –  A north Slope Iyengar based studio…happens to house one of my favorite teachers of all time, Rachel Lynch-John. Among other classes, I hear she teaches an addictive prenatal class. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it.
  34. Abhyasa  Yoga – I was enticed to visit this Williamsburg yoga studio because it claimed to be in the same lineage that I studied. I did find some similarities to the TKV Desikachar lineage…but not too many. Anyway, it was a nice class. I took with J. Brown, the owner of the studio.
  35. Greenpoint Yoga – A new studio in Greenpoint off the Greenpoint Ave stop. It’s pretty bare bones, but has a very authentic feel. It’s owned by a good friend and co-trainee, Fabrice Carrier. Also, many good teachers are there. I highly recommend Jason Ganitis’s class.
  36. Simha Yoga –  This is Steven Cheng’s yoga op. Generally, he’s teaching at studios, but back in the day he was teaching a 3-hour dharma style class in a rented space. It was rad.
  37. Three Jewels –  A strange space in the Union Square/ E.Vill area. It is a tibetan buddhist study group cum yoga space…that said, a girl named Lisa was teaching there and she was Conquering Lion trained, so the class was enjoyable.
  38. Tulaa Yoga –  this is a strip mall yoga place in Wilmington, DE off the Concord Pike (rt. 202). The hours are weird but if you can catch a class it will most likely be a positive experience.
  39. Empowered Yoga – Easily the most popular and consistent studio in Wilmington, DE. Studio is located off of Delaware avenue. I think most of the classes are lightly heated and either vinyasa or a bikram knock off.
  40. Pure Yoga and Pilates –  Delaware’s one stop shopping for mind-body well being, apparently. Located in Trolley Square in downtown Wilmington.
  41. Bala Vinayasa Yoga – Once upon a time, I went to Naples, Florida…where old people live. If you’re not over 70, then you can try some semi heated vinyasa at Bala based on the Baron Baptiste style.
  42. Bija Yoga- A small, quiet strip mall oasis in Naples, FL. I tried Yin Yoga for the first time (and only) time there.
  43. Love Yoga Center – I have no idea if I have  been to this Naples, FL yoga spot. It seems to be located where I once did a nice yoga class with a teacher called Missy Balsam but Missy isn’t teaching there and I can’t remember it being called something cheesy like “Love.” The pictures look like the same space though…
  44.  Jai Yoga Arts –  cute single room studio in grimy Bushwick. The owner is a bit nuts. I had some friends who used to teach here…key word…used to.
  45. Bikram Yoga Williamsburg –  Gross. If I didn’t really like some of the teachers, namely Luke Strandquist and Sarah Yurich I would totally say don’t EVER go there. I almost never did Bikram Yoga again.
  46. Mala Yoga – I like this Cobble Hill yoga studio enough to try and teach there…but that would have required being a regular…and with a list like this going it is tough to be a regular anywhere.
  47. Area Yoga –  A nice cobble hill vinyasa experience.
  48. Park Slope Yoga –  two studios right across the street from each other on Union Street in Park Slope host a variety of teachers and styles. It has a nice, homey, neighborhoody feel.
  49. Bikram Yoga South Slope – the South Slope edition of Bikram Yoga Park Slope was my preference for Bikram. It was never brutally hot and the facilities were nice. That said, it was a little out of my way, so I hardly ever got there.
  50. Prospect Park YMCA – Technically not a yoga studio, but its my “gym” in Park Slope. I do not like machines so I only do classes. I’ve done two yoga classes. I’m going to say they vary greatly…They seem to offer mostly old school hatha or vinyasa.
  51. Samadhi Yoga -I almost completely forgot that I stalked yoga while in Seattle! I wasn’t that good at it, apparently, because I only got to one studio. I remember that the practice was fine, and I got sweaty. I also recall they had a loose affiliation with Jivamukti – for better or worse.
  52. Yoga Tree (Stanyan)-  The closest studios to my house are Iyengar and Bikram…so about a mile away by bike lies Yoga Tree on Stanyan. This is one of several studios in the bay area and seems like a nice one to potentially call home. Teachers range in styles and background. Environment is welcoming and clean.
  53. Healing Yoga Foundation (closed) –  This is an “off beat” yoga studio,located in the Marina,  in the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya. While they offer hardly any asana classes, they do have world class training and workshops. I am sure I will be spending a lot of my time here.  :)
  54. Yoga Tree (Hayes) – Located in the lovely Hayes Valley neighborhood and I get the feeling (unverified) that this is perhaps the flagship location for Yoga Tree. Good environment and a solid roster of well-known teachers.
  55. Yoga Garden – This lovely studio is located on Divisadero at Page and seems to have a little something for everyone – even Mysore! Try the $65 unlimited monthly for sure if you’re a newbie (I did.)
  56. Planet Granite (San Francisco) – This is a very cool space…but it is mostly a rock climbing gym and I would have to say that their yoga program caters to the rock climbing population. Yes, power yoga predominately for your average rock hard, powerful rock climber. They let me teach here, but my softer style wasn’t really well received. Eh, well, I’ll probably still practice here because I have a membership. The odd power yoga class probably won’t kill me. :)
  57. Satori – A good downtown yoga spot located on 1st between Market and Mission. Beautiful studio, and friendly staff/owner/teachers.  Seems to have a good mix of class offerings and a half way decent beginners’ special of 3 classes for $35; good for a month.
  58. Yoga Mayu – A nice, spacious one room studio in the Mission. I went for an off peak class, but there was a pretty decent following regardless. All offerings are some sort of vinyasa (as far as I can tell).
  59. Yoga Beach – A small studio in the Outer Sunset with a focus on community. Class offerings include vinyasa flow classes as well as something new to me called FitFlow. There are lots of medicine balls and kettle bells there and I must say I’m intrigued.
  60. Ocean Beach Yoga – I’ve been remiss in my updates. I visited this studio a while ago and was planning on making a regular thing of it, then didn’t. The studio is cute, and simple and located in the Outer Sunset on Judah in a commercial district that includes Judalicious (delicious vegan and raw foods) and a quaint coop Other Avenues. It has a good offering of vinyasa flow classes, but I’d recommend pre-registration or showing up a bit early because the studio is very small and seemingly popular amongst the locals.
  61. Tea & Yoga Society – Jennifer Durand operates a small home studio where she teaches a few group classes for women only, and private clients. She teaches group classes in the tradition of Mr. Desikachar and teaches specialized alignment classes on Thursdays at 1:30. This was a very refreshing experience for me.
  62. Sonoma Aquatic Club – Ok, so it isn’t really a yoga studio, but it is a collection of mineral fed swimming pools where you can find water yoga classes. As you might imagine, water yoga, like its predecessor water aerobics is very popular with the older folk but I thought it was wonderful. It’s easy on the bod, mindful, fun and if you put your mind to it you can actually get a good work out.

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