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4 small yoga studios that flaunt their independence

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

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!

12 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. June 30th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    My favorite indie studio is my own, Cobble Hill Yoga! I teach small group ashtanga-based vinyasa classes on the parlor floor of my Brooklyn home. Students like the individual attention and also benefit from my background as a psychotherapist, which allows me to better assess them and help them get more out of their practice. I include kirtan (chanting) in all classes, and have just released a CD called Prabhujee (www.naomijaffemusic.com) New student special is $30 for 3 classes.

  2. June 30th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Yoga Body Studio in Hamden, CT is a great studio. Friendly and professional teachers, serene space, and perfect for students of all levels. Small classes make for a very personal and welcoming practice.

  3. June 30th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Earth Yoga is great! My sister is a member and loves it. They also have free community classes on Saturdays.

  4. June 30th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I.Am.You Studio. Tucked away in a Little Italy loft, this intense class is challenging both spiritually and physically

  5. June 30th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    The “yoga collective nyc” is just a couple of months old and its fabulous!! They offer excellent classes at a great rate- some are even donation based. They also have some really intersting workshops lined up. A really sweet and welcoming community- check them out!

  6. June 30th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    My version of an independent, community building studio is the one I am just about finished building, and should be opening on July 11, 2011. Yoga & Tea Long Island (49 Atlantic Ave, Lynbrook NY http://www.yogaandtealongisland.com) ) where we will serve up fantastic yoga classes, and fantastic freshly brewed teas (hot and iced) as well as homemade lemonade and other yummy beverages (think iced chai…yum!) The studio and cafe will be open 7 days a week. Reiki Healing circles will be on Fridays at 1 after our lunchtime “Raja” yoga class. Steps away from the LIRR, folks can take an early class before getting on the train or a class after the commute home. Come try a class, or just have a cup of tea, or iced cold lemonade, or stop by to say hi!

  7. June 30th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    World Yoga Center on the Upper West Side has been offering yoga classes since 1972. It’s a lovely little place, full of love and community and fantastic teachers.

  8. July 6th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Yoga Vida NYC has two great locations, on in Union Square and a new one in NoHo. The space is really nice, big, and best of all inexpensive! I think it was like $10 or $12 for a week.
    http://yogavidanyc.com/

  9. July 7th, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Yoga High on the Lower East Side is incredible! Check it out…

    http://www.yogahighnyc.com

  10. September 27th, 2011 at 9:18 am

    [...] great places to lay your mat:1. The Members-Only Players: Pure Yoga vs. YogaWorks2. The Indies: 4 small spots we love3. Noteworthy Newcomers: Exhale launches a yoga program4. How to Spend More Time at Your Studio: [...]

  11. December 8th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    [...] holiday stress. We especially love Elena Brower’s class at Virayoga and Stacey Brass’s class at YogaMaya)4 Core (Flybarre totally rocks. This super-sculpting barre class is the perfect complement to the [...]

  12. May 2nd, 2012 at 6:00 am

    [...] yogi entrepreneur for short).In 2008, she partnered with Alan Finger to open the first ISHTA yoga studio in New York. She went on to create the Julie Wilcox Method, which combines her focus on yoga, [...]

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