If you decide to make Spot Yoga your go-to studio for plank and pigeon pose, you definitely won’t have to worry about getting sick of staring at the same exposed brick wall or Ganesha mural.
The yoga concept, launched in July by finance guys Ben Brenner and Mike Lundberg, is a roving New York City studio of sorts with a mission “to bring yoga away from traditional studios and into the most stunning private spaces in Manhattan.” Think STK’s rooftop in the Meatpacking District, the Halo Penthouse rooftop at the Ink 48 hotel, and inside Studio 450, a chandelier-decorated Chelsea event space with sweeping views.
The duo seems to know just how much New Yorkers love yoga in cool places. “It’s difficult to actually realize the aesthetics of a city when you’re on the ground floor being overwhelmed by skyscrapers and the chaotic hustle and bustle on the streets,” says Lundberg. “So the opportunity for people to meditate and decompress through a workout atop one of those skyscrapers or rooftops is a surreal experience that we’re proud to promote and be a part of.”
I showed up at the Wyndham Garden Hotel on the Bowery in Chinatown for a Monday night class and found myself doubting I was in the right place until I stepped off the elevator and saw a trendy La Vie Boheme yoga mat set out for me, facing an all-glass wall that framed the sky turning pink, as the sun set behind the Empire State Building.
Classes are generally some version of a power vinyasa session set to music, and instructors rotate. Mine, Caley Joyner, was an LA-based yogi dropping in, and she led a seriously athletic, dig-deep flow, with time to work on handstands and a long, let-it-all-go savasana at the end.
It was definitely difficult, and I was dripping sweat after, but Brenner says the morning classes (typically held around 7:00 a.m) are less intense since there are no showers for those headed to work.
It’s one of many thoughtful considerations you’ll find at Spot, like spare Manduka mats for those who don’t find the artful La Vie ones sticky enough, water and a towel waiting for you, and post-class beverage perks.
There are currently just four weekly classes, but they’re planning on expanding, allowing more New Yorkers to experience the sweet peace found atop a city so well known for exerting its pressures on the ground below. —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.spotyogastudios.com
(Photos: Spot Yoga)