Good Sweat

Monday, January 2, 2012

New York City’s most beautiful yoga studios

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Let's just come out and say it: Pretty yoga studios matter.

Sure, it’s really all about inner reflection, but when a space feels sacred, so does your practice.

Design details, after all—like the amount of light in a room or a deep, warm wall color—are vibe inducing, easily soothing the mind or energizing the spirit.

We rounded up the nine most beautiful yoga studios in the city, from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side, many of which sprang up (recession-be-damned) in just the past year. —Lisa Elaine Held

(Pictured: Left: Yoga Union, Homepage: YogaWorks Soho)
Yogamaya

Yogamaya was an industrial printing facility for 20 years before Stacey Brass and Bryn Chrisman transformed its rotting floors and exposed wires into a temple-like studio.

The pair imported handcrafted doors and window screens from India, and vintage lithographs depicting Hindu deities hang on the walls.

Sunlight pouring in from skylights overhead completes the holy (moly) design vibe.

135 W. 20th St., btwn 6th and 7th Aves., 6th Floor, Chelsea, www.yogamayanewyork.com
YogaWorks Soho

Most of YogaWorks’ locations are understated and nothing to write home about, but the brand enlisted spa-designer Clodagh for the Soho location, and it shows.

Instead of shutting out the city, giant arched windows let natural light into the main studio.

Eco-chic materials like bamboo allow the lobby to expertly straddle the line between chic and comfortable.

And the spa-like locker rooms with floating mirrors make us linger there a little longer.

459 Broadway, btwn Howard and Grand Sts., Soho, www.yogaworks.com
Yo Yoga!

Whitewashed industrial chic. That’s what Yo Yoga! feels like with its exposed pipes and paper lanterns, nestled under the 59th Street Bridge.

The Midtown studio’s colorful geometric logo and matching shapes like bright pink triangles and orange circles playfully (and judiciously) punctuate the ethereal white.

And the cherry on top is its 1,300-square-foot roof deck—with potted plants framing the Astroturf practice space.

344 East 59th St., btwn. 1st and 2nd Aves., 3rd Floor, Midtown West, www.yoyoganyc.com

 
Pure Yoga West 

It’s the luxury spa of yoga studios.

Pure’s Upper West Side studio is a windowless sanctuary where not one modern detail is amiss beyond its gleaming glass façade on West 77th Street.

Soft color-therapy lighting changes color with the flow of each class, faux candles are carefully placed in corners, and lots of lounges line the halls, with warm, colorful throw pillows.

Even the amenity-laden locker rooms and showers are inviting and gorgeous.

204 W. 77th St., at Amsterdam Ave., Upper West Side, www.pureyoga.com

 
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Yoga Union

It’s not every studio that uses glittery gold paint. But it gives Alison West’s brand-new studio a certain energetic je ne sais quoi.

Accents like gilded sun-shaped mirrors and a carved wooden table catch your eye right off the elevator.

Inside, it feels airy and open, thanks to an abundance of light wood and mirrors.

And the beauty is more than wall-deep—before the rope-wall panels were nailed into place, West painted gold Om’s beneath each one so that yogic energy would continuously emanate.

37 West 28th St., btwn. 6th Ave. and Broadway, Flatiron, www.yogaunion.com

 
Bija Yoga

Good things comes in small (and pretty) packages.

The new studio on the Union Square scene is tiny compared to most of its neighbors—but it was carefully crafted.

Sliding doors, made of transparent silvery Plexiglass, stretch from floor to super-high ceiling, giving it a loft-like feel. And about 90 percent of the wood work in the space was salvaged.

In the lobby, you can lounge on a bright window seat or on colorful floor pillows.

20 East 17th St., btwn Broadway and 5th Ave., Union Square, www.bijayoganyc.com

(Photo: JT Liss Photography for Social Change)

 
Dharma Yoga Brooklyn

This Park Slope studio is donation-based only, but that doesn’t mean the owners skimped on design.

The studio, on the second floor of an 1850’s brownstone, has a curved glass wall with striking stained-glass windows.

It’s framed by cheerful burnt orange walls and pressed-tin ceilings.

And the charming Brooklyn vibe is cemented by the studio’s commitment to not display merchandise.

82 Sixth Ave., at St. Mark’s, Park Slope, www.brooklynyogaschool.com

 
Bend & Bloom Yoga 

The lack of clutter makes you calmer.

The street-level space, with a warm Scandinavian vibe, has a sweet lobby, with trendy branches-and-birds wallpaper and a modular, low-slung sofa.

But the design piece de resistance is a gorgeous outsize studio with bamboo floors, super-high ceilings, and a skylight.

That no one can stash their yoga mat here helps contribute to the pristine quality (and aroma).

708 Sackett St., btwn 4th and 5th Aves., Park Slope, 347-987-3162, www.bendandbloom.com

 
Yoga Vida

There just aren’t a ton of studios that have two long walls of windows that let the daylight (or summer breezes) in.

That’s our favorite of the three practice spaces at the Yoga Vida studio in Noho.

The studio finishings aren’t all that—but they’re brand new and look it.

And the storage for mats and personal belongings could not be more copious.

666 Broadway at Bond, 3rd fl., Noho, 212-845-9973, www.yogavida.com

 
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