When it’s this easy to get carried away with the endless events and activities at your fingertips in New York City, finding downtime is no small feat. A few moments in savasana might just be the solution to this fast-paced lifestyle. However, with hundreds of local yoga studios to choose from, it’s difficult to find the one that best suits your needs. We profile 10 outstanding yoga studios in NYC, with suggestions for every type of practitioner.
One of the largest and oldest yoga centers in the United States, the New York branch of Jivamukti marked the beginning of an international chain of yoga schools. Situated just steps from the chaos of Union Square, Jivamukti is an eco-friendly haven, complete with a vegan café where the Olsen twins are rumored to get takeout. Promoting ethical lifestyle choices, chanting and music as well as a proper understanding of yoga teachings, Jivamukti is for those who carry their practice through every aspect of their lives. Jivamukti | Image Courtesy of Jivamukti Yoga School NYC
Founded shortly after September 11, 2001, Kula Yoga offers a place for peace in an area that was struck by tragedy. This space focuses on healing and rebuilding through a variety of classes. ‘Kula Hour’ gives you a break from your workday with a vinyasa flow, or you can opt for ‘Release the Beast’, which is a form of deep-tissue massage through self-bodywork. Additional offerings include classes with yin, iyengar, and qi gong techniques. Open to all ages and levels, this is a place for solace and rejuvenation.
Bhakti refers to the practice of devotion; a shared community value that lies at the center of this non-profit studio. Focusing on group studies and cultural understanding, The Bhakti Center offers yoga, meditation, kirtan and workshops to help you get in touch with your inner divinity. Also under the same roof is a store and café, run by a team of volunteers. This is a space for those who truly want to learn about the philosophy of yoga and its origin within the context of Hindu mythology. The Bhakti Center | Image Courtesy of The Bhakti Center
Pure Yoga is both a yoga studio and a revolution waiting to happen. Under the Equinox umbrella, this internationally recognized studio is for the super chic. Aiming to reinvent the experience of yoga with a focus on community, knowledge of the practice and hardcore classes, Pure Yoga offers a variety of styles in impeccable studios with full amenities and equipment to maximize your experience.
Candle-lit vinyasa classes set to the pace of The Weekend and Frank Ocean make Y7 incredibly trendy as it combines the ancient practice of yoga with a modern twist. The class is slightly heated and instructors guide you through a sequence of postures and then allow you to flow at your own pace, giving you freedom in your practice. Once you’re done, you can step outside into their stylish lobby, get a juice from their in-house shop, and settle into a high-back armchair as you sink your feet into a fur rug. Epitomizing New York’s love of the color black, this is the future of yoga.
Rooted in Kundalini yoga – the practice of releasing dormant energy at the base of the spine – Golden Bridge Yoga works to combine postures, breath and mantra chants. Classes are held upstairs while the ground level offers a boutique filled with must-have jewelry and books for every yogi-in-training. Classes are both posture-based and, alternatively, cleansing through sound and meditation. The teachers are knowledgeable and generous enough to explain the philosophy of each movement so you can join in with intention.
This one is for the tree-climbers, wishful dancers and experimental yogis. In a stunning, high-ceiling classroom, you are invited to climb into a silk hammock for a gravity-defying experience. Aerial yoga, the latest trend in the yoga world, is one of the most popular classes at Om Factory. Once you get used to being off the ground, the calming swing of the hammock, combined with the thrill of the inversion portion of the class, will keep you on a high. They also offer acro-yoga, which uses body balance to get into partner-led postures. If neither of those is for you, this studio also offers vinyasa, ashtanga, budokon and restorative classes, as well as aerial classes for kids.
Housed in a beautiful brownstone, the Integral Yoga Institute is both an ashram and a spiritual center. Classes teach not only yoga but also nutrition, meditation and music. Founded through disciples of a guru from India, this direct lineage is a mark of the distinction for this institute. There is an importance placed on karmic action and values as well as studying scripture. Students learn how to apply yogic philosophies to different parts of their lives and see how it can be a healing force in the face of illness. Focused on the concept of holistic living, this is a place for those looking for a thorough transformation.
An ex-Morgan Stanley employee teaches busy New Yorkers how to slow down at I.AM.YOU. in an open loft with wooden floors and large windows. You will be guided through challenging vinyasa flows to the soundtrack of the Jackson 5, Frank Sinatra and Notorious B.I.G. Class begins with a little chanting and then moves rapidly for the next 50 minutes until you find yourself thankful for stillness once again in the last five minutes. Categorized as ‘athletic yoga,’ this is for those who want to slow down mentally, but not physically. I.AM.YOU. | Image courtesy of I.AM.YOU.
Established in 1999, this certified and recognized brand of yoga boasts a chain of locations and a strong following. Bikram Yoga is equipped with environmentally friendly heating systems and high-tech anti-microbial flooring to make you as comfortable as possible in the heated rooms. One of the most demanding types of yoga, bikram follows a series of 26 postures in the same sequence every time. The benefits of this added intensity are that muscles are more prone to flexibility when warm and you can gauge your progress through repetition. With more than 10 classes per day, it isn’t hard to find a time that works for you at this studio and it often becomes addictive.