4 small yoga studios that flaunt their independence

For Independence Day, we salute indie studios who pulled themselves up by their yoga straps to live the American yogic dream—a studio in New York City.
New York City yoga
(Photo: The Daily Obsession)

Big studio, small studio, we love them all. But there’s no arguing the fact that the city’s larger, older yoga studios get more play in the press.

The Kula Yoga Project, with its splashy sibling Wanderlust, and old-school mainstay Jivamukti garner tons of ink. Pure Yoga and YogaWorks dominate in terms of locations, design, and variety of class offerings.

So, in honor of Independence Day, we asked our readers for their favorite smaller yoga studios—outfits that pulled themselves up by their yoga straps to live the American yogic dream—a studio in New York City. Here are four we salute this Independence Day weekend.

Yogamaya is both deep and pretty, say readers

Pretty Deep

Yogamaya is “the best studio for all things yoga,” commented one reader, summing up the feeling that this one-year-old studio is not just about getting a few sun salutations in and heading home. Readers cited the abundant kirtan, workshops, and “teachings beyond the physical”—and also raved about the “prettiness of the studio.” 135 W. 20th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Aves.), Chelsea. Single class: $18, www.yogamayanewyork.com

Small Studio, Big Name

Although it was founded by famed Yoga Master Alan Finger, ISHTA yoga has retained a small-studio vibe. The “teachers are solid,” and it has “a focus on helping you find your own practice,” said one reader. And the newly-opened Upper East Side location will also have small classes to accomplish that goal. 56 E. 11th Street (between Broadway and University Pl.), Union Square; 1026 Third Avenue (between 60th and 61st), Upper East Side. Single class: $22, www.ishtayoga.com

Earth Yoga
Earth Yoga (Photo: Popsugar)

Hot Yoga in a Warm Studio

Described by a reader as “unassuming and intimate,” Earth Yoga is a haven for Upper East Siders who don’t feel “at home in the neighborhood’s swankier studios.” It’s also unique because of its focus on non-Bikram hot yoga. “It’s my go-to studio when I know I need an intense, heart-rate-pumping class with a warm (literally!) vibe,” said a devotee. 328 East 61st Street (between First and Second Avenue), Upper East Side. Single Class: $25, www.earthyoganyc.com

The Yoga U.N.

Yoga People is a neighborhood mainstay that’s been around since long before yoga mats became a must-have accessory. The Brooklyn Heights’ studio is “unpretentious with a strong community vibe,” commented one reader. “The practitioners are primarily from the neighborhood, which adds to that feeling of community.” It’s also a United Nations of yoga, with a wide variety of styles offered, from Anusara and Ashtanga to Iyengar and vinyasa. 160 Montague St. (between Henry and Clinton Sts.), Brooklyn Heights. Single Class: $20, www.yoga-people.com

Got a favorite indie yoga studio? Tell us about yours in the Comments section, below!

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