December 30, 2010

What Do You Look For in a Yoga Studio?

I used the last class on my yoga studio card late last week. When the girl asked me if I wanted to renew, I sadly told her, “No, I’m moving to Brooklyn.”

My studio on the Upper West Side, a mere six blocks from me, is awesome. I love doing a back bend and gazing at the fairy lights glowing through the fogged up window. The very sight of the paper lanterns softly casting pink light on the plaster ceiling makes me feel grateful for the opportunity to practice. I can say namaste with all sincerity after a challenging practice from the former dancer Amanda, the dimpled and endlessly detailed Danielle, and the exacting April.

A year and a half ago I was sitting in my first class going “Oh my God, what is this chanting? Is this a cult?” Now I feel the vibration from 20 voices collide with my om and smile to myself. It helps that each class is accompanied by smell of fresh baked bread from the bakery below.

More practically, it’s got two studios which means I can pop in for a class at hour intervals. This place is it.

I’m giving Life in Motion – that’s the name of it – a glowing review here, but honestly, I have no idea what a good studio really is. I’m fortunate enough to be very happy with one ten blocks away from me. But now that I’m moving to a neighborhood called Ditmas Park in Brooklyn, I’m a bit lost. Before that I practiced above my University’s basketball court. I am a yoga baby.

Here is my question to you, dear Ele readers: What do you look for in a studio?

What kind of questions should I ask? Are there red flags that I should watch out for when I take a first class? Are there deal breakers? On the flip side, is there something that makes you say to yourself, “This place is it!” And what’s a reasonable rate for a class or a ten-class card? How far would you go for the perfect studio?

Hopefully, with your help, I can pick out the perfect studio to help me down my yoga path to awesome inversions and ego-less living.


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