Granted you’re supposed to look inward during yoga practice, but who doesn’t love views and practicing in plein air? In the last couple of months, a handful of yogis have opened Brooklyn studios with amenities so rocking as to make their Manhattan compatriots hop the first F train. Yes, in the fairer borough you can down-dog on a roof deck and steady your gaze at the Williamsburg Bridge or Empire State Building.
Good Yoga, Greenpoint
The first time Flannery Foster walked into the Greenpoint warehouse turned artist’s studio, she “experienced the Kundalini.” It’s now home to goodyoga and goodcare, a holistic wellness collective. “I never imagined I would be operating a studio on this scale,” says the Vinyasa instructor about her three-studio space—that’s counting a clandestine rooftop studio (pictured above) with awesome Manhattan views and hives for 100,000 Italian Honeybees, and two indoor studios. Foster teaches many of the 60-minute classes, and Sarita Lou (of the new no-camel-toe Lululemon campaign) just joined the roster. The collective model means you’ll find Antibalas’s frontman teaching Kung Fu here, plus aerial silks lessons thanks to high ceilings, as well as Reiki, integrative health with an RN, and more. “Why not?” says Foster. “The only thing I’m dogmatic about is safe alignment and the well-being of our students.” First class is free; $25 for a week of unlimited classes for new students; www.goodyoganyc.com
YogaLocal at Toren, Ft. Greene
Ben Fleisher, built the YogaLocal iPhone app, then landed a studio space to materialize the experience in Brooklyn’s brand-new Toren condo building, which is pending gold LEED certification. The indoor studio is “a wooden womb” with 25-foot ceilings and milled-wood walls. But the 6th floor rooftop yoga lounge, opening this week, is all about expansion, and you can steady your gaze towards the Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan. Popular teachers include Denise Hopkins, Sarah Bernier, Be Murray, and Brian Williams, who form a United Nations of yoga styles from Kundalini, to Forrest, Dharma, and Core Vinyasa. The studio is also a home base for bodyworkers like Fleisher and Shandoah Goldman (look for our profile with Goldman tomorrow). First class is $10; $50 two weeks of unlimited classes for new students, www.yogalocal.com
Tara Glazier has been teaching the heart-centered practice of Anusara in Brooklyn for a few years, and just last week she opened the borough’s first studio dedicated to it. Built out by handy friends who gifted labor in exchange for yoga classes, the sixth-floor studio has unobstructed views of the Manhattan Bridge and Manhattan: In Warrior II my fingers pointed directly at the Empire State building. There is no outdoor space per se, but the studio hosts free Yoga on the Pier on Saturday at 2:00. The community that came together to “manifest the space” gives a sense of the vibe in the classes. “We want the cohesiveness of a school,” says Glazier, who’s hosting an Elena Brower workshop this weekend as well as an acupuncture–Tibetian singing bowls experience. “Everyone teaching here shares a strong dedication to alignment and a shared philosophy, which means students have the same message reinforced—that’s still super rare for a Brooklyn yoga studio.” First class is $10; www.abhayayoga.com