Austerity often goes hand in hand with spiritual enlightenment, all the better to help you focus on your inner life, not creature comforts. But some city yoga studios are taking advantage of this Eastern mindset by providing way too much sensory suffering. Armpit aromatherapy is hard to bear, and even harder to do something about. When I requested a fan be turned on at packed class at a popular Union Square studio, I was told it was “bad for vatas.” Well, the pittas are getting pissed off. No one wants to feel like they’re doing yoga in a wet running shoe, as a flexible friend said me the other day.
But that’s the way of all NYC yoga studios, filled as they are with ambitious practitioners and way too ample stanky mat storage. (You can take them home and wash them from time to time, people.) So via Facebook we polled yogis for studios that smell like a field of flowers, freshly laundered linens, and the hair of a newborn. And while we didn’t get any leads there, we did learn about a handful that might actually clean up thoroughly and often, and not make us suffer through stench in the name of spirituality. Here are the studios that practice the mantra, you don’t have to go without to go within. Om Shanti!
Lucky Lotus, Ft. Greene: Barbara R. says it actually “smells nice”
Yoga People, Brooklyn Heights: Julia B. is a triathlete (that’s three times the sweat), so we trust her when she says this place is neat as a pin and clean as a whistle
Virayoga, Soho: Deb S. is a workout machine and a believer in regular and frequent hand-washing, so you can take her word on the level of studio hygiene at this Anusara studio
Kula Yoga Project, near City Hall: Judy R. says the brand-new studio on the third floor will change our nose-holding opinion of one of the ripest (and toughest) studios in town. Though she “prefers the feeling at Kula to the antiseptic vibe at Pure.”
Yoga Works Soho, Beth B. finds the brand-new Clodagh-designed studio to be incredibly “spa-like,” scent included, but the membership rates a bit high
Also not offending our noses: The Shala, not a surprise considering the clean-cut crew of yogis here
Go to a yoga studio that doesn’t stink? Tell us, here!