Note: This studio is currently closed due to the Hurricane Sandy power outage.
Going to Lauren Imparato’s Little Italy yoga studio makes you feel like you’ve gotten into a super cool, exclusive New York party.
After dodging tourists and a million men on Mulberry Street asking you to consider their Italian restaurant for dinner, you enter the spacious loft that’s full of exposed brick, reclaimed wood, and modern art.
Imparato’s teaching style is part rhythm and music, part easy-to-access spirituality, and part grueling workout.
We started class with a few Oms and some call-and-response chanting, followed by a dharma talk about letting go that involved Imparato losing her cell phone. After a brief period of seated meditation and kalabati breathing, we launched into an incredibly fast-paced flow.
Imparato’s sequencing was refreshingly creative, so you don’t get lazy moving through Warrior poses you could do in your sleep, and she throws in challenging poses throughout—like lots of crossed-ankle chatarungas. Mats are placed so close to each other they almost touch, which is intimate, but can also be inconvenient when you flip your dog.
The playlist keeps it all of stitched together perfectly (and not minding your neighbors as much), with resident mixologist vintaj weaving Spin Doctors songs seamlessly into African and Indian beats.
Classes are mostly 90 minutes (except on Wednesday nights), so don’t expect to fit this in before an early dinner, and there are only four classes per week. (Often there are even less, as Imparato is a frequent traveler.)
Who’s it for: Yogis with downtown edge, those who have to have great music to practice to and like a challenging, creative flow.
Book it or skip it: Book it.
132 Mulberry St., between Hester and Grand Sts., Apt. 6E, $25 per class, includes mat and towel, www.iamyoustudio.com