In April of this year, I set out to visit a number of yoga studio who were using infrared heating panels in their studios. We will be using infrared panels in our new studio (#TadasanaLehi) and I wanted to experience them for myself. In order to hit as many studios as possible in one trip (and have a little fun along the way), I headed to NYC.
I lived in New York City from 1999 to 2006. Prime “Sex and the City” years. I was single, living with my best friend in an Upper West Side apartment, and loving life in the big city. That was when I first discovered yoga and back then, the popular movement in yoga was Bikram (super-hot heat, 26-consistent poses.) But though it was growing, yoga certainly wasn’t available everywhere. From my recollection traveling from my Upper West Side apartment to my work in the Flatiron district, there were maybe a half-dozen studios in that stretch of Manhattan. And because we humans crave convenience, I wouldn’t have described it as accessible to everyone.
Now in 2018 returning to NYC to try out the infrared heat, I was amazed by the number of studios in just a few blocks from my hotel. New York is definitely evidence of the growth in popularity of yoga generally, and heated yoga particularly. If you search for “yoga studio in Manhattan” on Google Maps, you get well over 100 locations in that borough alone. I stayed near Madison Square Park in the lovely New York Edition hotel on 24th and Madison. Within easy walking distance of my hotel were nearly a dozen studios.
I had only two and a half days to experience as much as I could, so I set an ambitious schedule of 8 classes in that time period. In the end, I made it to 6, including two classes in one location (because I chose the wrong class the first time). That gave me some great insights about the infrared heat, and about a few great studios in New York City. Even better, the experience has inspired a new travel program that we’re going to start soon at Tadasana: The Yoga Scene — yoga travel in style to some great cities of the world! (If you’d like to travel to fun cities, stay in cool hotels, eat great food, and do yoga – stay tuned!)
Here were the studios I visited. They were all wonderful and you should check them out next time you’re in Manhattan. (Note that because I wasn’t planning to blog about this experience, I failed to get teacher names and some class details that you might find helpful. But I’ll improve that for next time!)
- Lyon’s Den (lyonsdenpoweryoga.com) offers two locations (Chelsea and Tribeca), and I attended an early morning class in the Chelsea location. This studio is the only Baptiste Yoga(tm) affiliate in Manhattan and the class I took offered an experience very much in line with Baron’s Journy Into Power sequence.
- Bode Yoga (bodenyc.com) has four locations in Manhattan and their primary offering is a version of Bikram, though they also offer flow classes and HIIT (high intensity interval training) style classes. I took both a Classic 90 class and a Hot HIIT class with them in their Flatiron studio and enjoyed both.
- Yoga to the People (yogatothepeople.com) offers power vinyasa and Bikram depending on the location you visit (they have 5 studios in Manhattan and others in Brooklyn, California and Arizona.) I went to the studio near my hotel on 27th.
- Y7 (y7-studio.com) offers heated power vinyasa, but in a darkened room. Candles along the walls were the only light in the room, which can either make you feel claustrophobic, or help you tune out the voice in your head that’s comparing you to the person on the mat next to you. I attended class in their Flatiron studio, one of 10 locations in NYC.
- Fierce Grace (fiercegracenyc.com) brings a fun spin to their marketing with images of old biker dudes doing yoga. I traveled a bit to get to their studio in the lower east side where their class offerings range from Bikram style to vinyasa flow, but with different names.
There are so many more studios and offerings to explore in NYC than what I have listed here. I personally love experiencing yoga in all its forms and personalities. I hope you’ll come with me the next time I make The Yoga Scene trip!