Between Bikram, Vinyasa, Hatha, and prenatal, the Los Angeles yoga
menu offers an eclectic assortment of styles. With an estimated 20 million practicing yogis in the U.S.
, and with yoga studios popping up all over town, finding the perfect instructor can take some time. Our list of L.A.’s best yoga instructors will leave you chanting ‘Om’ with your perfect guru.
1) Paul Teodo
If you thought your shavasana couldn’t get any more relaxing, think again. Yogis settle down to the gentle sound of rain music paired with Paul’s acoustic guitar strumming – the perfect shavasanic symphony after a grueling hour of alignment and breath-focused flow. Paul’s calm demeanor welcomes newcomers, but he isn’t afraid to test his students’ strength. Challenging sequences set to uplifting music energize the room. Paul considers mindfulness as important as physical asana, which is why he dedicates a small portion of his classes to absolute quiet meditation. Trained under senior trainers David Kim and Jesse Schein, Teodo earned his 200-hour certification and now teaches most weeknights and Sundays at Power Yoga in Santa Monica, in addition to Yoga Collective in Venice.
Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga, 1410 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA, USA, +1 310 458 9510
Courtesy of Paul Teodo
Courtesy of Paul Teodo
2) Sean Gray
Bring an extra towel and a full bottle of water to this class, because Sean Gray’s rigorous Vinyasa Flow heats up like a Bikram studio. A self-proclaimed former ‘gym guy,’ Sean abandoned his iron-pumping to test his strength on the mat. Teaching mostly immediate and advanced flow classes in a variety of locations, Sean’s approach isn’t for the faint of heart. Gray’s Vinyasa Flows are perfect for yogis looking to deepen their practice and push their limits through invigorating breath work and rigorous sequences.
3) Molly O’Neill
Whether looking to heat up their practice or wind it down, Molly O’Neill’s Vinyasa Flows and Restorative Yoga classes are perfect for yogis at all stages. With the belief that yoga should be fun, Molly ensures that all of her students feel safe and fulfilled by focusing on basic alignment and what she calls a more ‘joyful approach’ to challenging poses. She offers classes at different studios in Hollywood, Downtown, and Silverlake, so L.A. yogis can check out one of her classes no matter which side of town they live. Can’t make it to one of her studio teachings? On occasion, Molly hosts workshops and even accommodates students with private and corporate classes.
4) Mia Togo
Understanding that yoga is as much a physical journey as it is spiritual, Mia helps her students develop their practices for deep healing and transformation. Through mindful sequences that emphasize alignment and the synchronization of breath and movement, students of all levels are encouraged to find and express themselves with their practice. Mia’s goal of inspiring others makes her ultra-aware of her students’ levels and needs, encouraging them with gentle adjustments. In addition to being an iPEC Certified Life Coach and regular teacher at the YogaWorks Santa Monica-Main location, Mia also leads destination retreats, teacher trainings, and private instruction.
5) Rudy Mettia
‘Yoga Warriors’ is the term coined by this L.A.-based teacher to describe yogis who use their practice as a weapon against weakness, sickness, and fears. While Rudy‘s classes definitely create Yoga Warriors in the physical sense, he holds the viewpoint that students must also mindfully change the intention of their practice to gain real strength; thus, he teaches the importance of one’s mindset in each pose. Rudy breaks down every movement in his online classes with Udaya, but students of all levels can also challenge body and mind with Rudy’s in-person instruction at Power Yoga in Santa Monica.
6) Andrea Marcum
Featured in Shape, the L.A. Times, and The Huffington Post, Andrea is definitely one of the best the city has to offer – but this L.A.-based yogi isn’t exclusively available just for city dwellers. If popping into the studio isn’t convenient, Andrea offers online classes at My Yoga on Gaia so students can keep up their practice wherever they are. Andrea likes her classes to involve challenge as well as humor, and she tackles her sweaty Vinyasa poses with lighthearted laughter. Dedicated to sharing her knowledge and experience, she writes for sites like Elephant Journal and MindBodyGreen, as well as teaching at national and international retreats.
7) Carolina Goldberg
In addition to teaching over 20 hours of yoga a week in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Studio City, and Larchmont Village, Carolina is also an expert in body and mind energy in dietary regards, leading various successful detox seminars. Her approach is very nurturing and gentle, making the Prenatal Module in her teacher trainings and private prenatal classes ideal for expecting mothers. This dynamic yogi offers fun and lighthearted 1/2 level classes but also builds subtle strength with her level 2/3 flows, and her specialty with alignment-focused yoga is great for anyone with back pain or injury.
Steven 'Earth' Metz
8) Steven ‘Earth’ Metz
Can’t afford a destination yoga retreat but want to get away? Take a journey of the senses with this yogi’s unique setting of instruction. Steven ‘Earth’ Metz, a yogi with over 18 years of experience including studying world renowned Gurus in India and Thailand, is the inventor of ‘YogaScape,’ a full sensory experience created in a heated room with music and video projections on all four walls. With knowledgeable insight into medical science, Metz has an understanding of sports-related injuries and is experienced in using the practice of yoga to bring healing. If in doubt, drop in on one of Metz’s classes at his studio in West Hollywood and find out for yourself. Metz makes a personal promise to refund your money if it isn’t the best yoga and meditation class.
Earth’s Power Yoga, 7901 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 323 655 9642
Photos provided by Steven Metz