Yoga Vida’s whole shtick is that they make “yoga accessible and inclusive—without judgment, pressure or demands.” Not only do we love this philosophy, but it totally translates in practice. This isn’t one of those studios where you feel like you’re lesser if you haven’t reached some level of enlightenment or gone on a retreat to India (although Yoga Vida does offer those and they sound amazing!). This is just a “come as you are and practice yoga” type of place and we totally dig it.
Yoga Vida’s Union Square location offers a few different class options: basics, flow, restorative, deep flow, prenatal and postnatal. But “flow” aka open-level vinyasa flow is the most popular (and that’s the class we took). If you’re not familiar, it’s essentially 65 minutes of moving through a series of poses, with an emphasis on breath. What’s great about this class is that everyone from beginners to more seasoned yogis can join in on the fun. If you’ve never tried yoga, we recommend starting with a basics class.
Lindsay is a pro. Her self-described class style is “moderately-paced, athletic, Ashtanga-influenced.” Having taken her class, we totally agree. We would also add in the word dynamic. Her training definitely comes through in her teaching style. We flowed through an Ashtanga-inspired sequence, but stayed in some postures for five breaths—which if you haven’t tried can be quite challenging when you’re in high lunge twist. From sun salutation to savasana, Lindsay’s experience was evident: the flows were smooth, challenging yet doable for all levels.
Union Square is Yoga Vida’s OG location. The 6th floor space boasts two practice studios: small and large—both are stocked with the requisite blankets, mats and straps. There are also open cubbies in the practice studios where you can store personal belongings. And while there aren’t showers, there’s a single unisex bathroom in the front as well as a women’s bathroom and a handful of changing stalls in the back. There’s also mat storage, which you can rent monthly. And if you’re there a few minutes early, you can get in the zen zone on the couches in the back.
99 University Place @ 12th Street, New York, NY 10003 Union Square Yoga $$
Yoga Vida Union Square
Union Square Yoga, $$
99 University Place @ 12th Street, New York, NY 10003
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Fitness fans, this is the heated flow for you! Will’s style is fast-paced and athletic. Class started off with some yogi breathing, where he instructed us to draw our attention inward and refocus our energies on our practice. This was followed by some intense core work (BTW, our abs were pretty sore the next day). His energy was positive and encouraging. He took us through a series of super sweaty sequences, and pushed us to test our limits and discover deeper moments in each posture.
Kat is positive, warm, and funny, and doesn’t take herself too seriously (and we mean that in the best possible way). Her class had a lightheartedness and a playfulness to it. This isn’t to say that you won’t get a great workout, because you will! She encouraged us to try new things, like sun salutations with a pair of blocks—it was a legit game-changer. She took us through a series of poses, flowing from one movement to the next and, towards the end of class, we played with a few new variations. Class flew by, and the next thing we knew, Kat was instructing us to lay on our backs in preparation for savasana. We had totally lost ourselves in our practice—and that is the mark of a terrific teacher.