Buddhi Yoga is a bustling and energetic yoga studio located in the heart of La Jolla. It has won La Jolla Reader’s “Best Yoga Studio” for the past four years, a testament to Buddhi Yoga’s dedicated, loyal community and skilled, experienced teachers. The upbeat studio is a favorite among affluent La Jolla residents of all ages who enjoy a wide variety of classes from Prenatal, Kids and Tween Yoga to Vinyasa, Yin and Kundalini styles of practice. Unwind, connect and blissfully move through your flow in Buddhi Yoga’s bright studio overlooking a Pinterest-worthy succulent garden.
Buddhi Yoga offers a wide and diverse schedule of group, private, corporate and even online streaming classes. We took one of the studio’s signature classes, Buddhi Flow, which is a highly creative and challenging 75-minute Vinyasa style flow taught by the the studio’s two owners, Amanda and Carolina. It’s technically an all-levels class, but as the transitions and pace were quick, the studio recommends having some yoga experience before attending. Buddhi Flow is especially enjoyable for yoga instructors who may lean on the class as a source of inspiration and creativity for picking up new sequences, transitions and adjustments. When we took the class, there ended up being a sub for Amanda and Carolina, but nonetheless we still found the class to be a very interesting and unique class.
Jenna Zabrosky is a friendly and skilled yoga instructor with an inviting and authentic teaching style. We had taken class with Jenna many months ago, and were surprised she still remembered our faces considering the hundreds of students she must have taught since we first met. We were even more impressed that she took the time to say hello and to learn our names. As students started to trickle in, it became obvious that Jenna is a favorite among them, as many smiling class-goers warmly greeted her. Her sequence was immensely creative, taking us through many different variations and layers of postures we had never encountered before (which says a lot, as we practice yoga more days than not). We found her flow to be refreshing and light, with an emphasis on strength and mobility: a perfect combo. The pace was quick but not impossible, and her cues were effortlessly delivered in a very down-to-earth and relatable way, despite the fact that many of her unique transitions required detailed explanations. To top it all off, we loved how she used her adjustments to gently accentuate length or depth in her student’s postures rather than correcting misalignments. Jenna makes her students feel welcomed, cared for, and confident. We’d recommend without a doubt that yogis of all levels take class with her.
Buddhi Yoga can be difficult to find if you’re new to the studio, as its second story location is not visible from the street. Keep an eye out for a sandwich board on the sidewalk just outside the stairs directing students up to the studio. The lobby (also coined the Shade Boutique) is small and can get quite cramped as classes are transitioning. There’s a retail space filled with lots of trendy and cute yoga apparel and accessories. There’s also a changing room with a few cubbies. The studio could benefit from increased storage for students’ personal belongings as many of the cubbies were quickly claimed. The restroom is on the second floor but detached from the studio itself. The highlight of the studio is the sun-drenched studio space. Instead of a wall of mirrors, there are floor-to-ceiling glass windows that stretch the entire length of the room, looking out to a courtyard filled with succulents and adorable patio furniture. The practice space is very large, but can be split into two rooms with a folding wall. Despite it being a busy class, we still felt comfortable and not cramped. Note: We’d recommend arriving early to claim a front row spot where the natural light cascades around you, and gives you unobstructed views of the plants, creating a very serene class experience.
7843 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037 La Jolla Yoga $$$
La Jolla Yoga, $$$
7843 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
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Yin and Reiki is a 60-minute class at Buddhi Yoga marrying Yin Yoga with Reiki energy healing – a match made in heaven in our opinion. Yin Yoga is a relatively newer, but increasingly popular style of yoga designed to gently stretch the connective tissue around the joints. It’s a VERY slow and introspective practice filled with seated, supine and prone postures. You can expect to use a wide array of yoga props during class, including blankets, bolsters and blocks while you hold postures for up to 5 minutes at a time. While you are softening into the postures, the instructor goes around the room offering Reiki to students one at a time. If you are unfamiliar with Reiki, it is a form of Japanese energy healing conducted by the practitioner placing or hovering his/her hands on or above your your body, respectively. The energy transfer encourages deep relaxation, in addition to emotional or physical healing. We wouldn’t call this class a workout, but instead an incredible compliment to all the intense spin, HIIT and weight lifting classes we tend to put ourselves through weekly. Yin and Reiki is the perfect way for students of all levels to truly unplug and relax.
Kelli Martin’s is a very experienced and grounded Yin Yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner. She has a calm and inviting demeanour about her that immediately allows you to feel relaxed and rooted in her class. Throughout class she took the time and care to make sure all of her students had enough props and were able to use them in a way that allowed their body’s to release and surrender. When it came time to transition between postures, she provided us with enough explanation and demonstration, but delivered is such a way as to not disrupt us from our sleepy state. We also really loved how Kelli embellished her class with essential oils and oracle cards. Those little touches help to set more of a magical and soothing vibe. One thing that really struck us with Kelli was how at the end of class she encouraged and showed us all how to access Reiki energy on our own and how we can be our own healers. If you’re looking to add a little love, light and relaxation to your day, definitely check out Kelli’s class.
Slow Flow is ideal for beginners or people with limited mobility. A slower paced vinyasa flow class, this 60-minute class focuses heavily on proper alignment and pairing breath to movement, laying a strong foundation for a vinyasa practice. While faster paced than Yin Yoga, during Slow Flow you’ll only encounter a handful of postures and will experience the same posture and flow multiple times with the intent of mastering the basics. The class size tends to be on the smaller side, so you can expect lots of personal attention and hands on adjustments. We would have given this class five stars, but had to deduct as star as our class was scheduled at the same time as FlowLIFT, the studio’s bootcamp/sculpt style class, which took place in the studio immediately adjacent to ours. It was quite difficult to find our zen and focus while J-Kwon’s “Everybody In The Club Get Tipsy” was on full blast just on the other side of the wall. This seemed like a major oversight by the studio to schedule these two class formats at the same time. We recommend double checking what other classes are scheduled at the same time as Slow Flow before making your reservation.
Linda is a sweet and patient yoga instructor who carefully encourages her students to understand the basics of yoga. Throughout class, she took her time to safely guide students in and out of postures, while being mindful to not over explain each movement to a beginner audience. She provided lots of personalized and hands-on assistance to her class, showing students how to come into proper alignment with each posture. Her instruction was provided in gentle a way that allowed students feel cared for versus insecure. Additionally, her playlist was very soothing and calming; perfect for a zen start to the day. If you are new to yoga, Linda’s class provides a perfect, inviting atmosphere for you to take things slow and to learn at your own pace.
Kundalini is a unique yoga practice that integrates movement, breathework, meditation and mantra into one class format. A style of yoga that has increased dramatically in popularity among new age followers and spiritual seekers, Kundalini seeks to ignite the chakras and “nerve centers” along the spine to awaken the your soul body and true identity, ultimately leaving you feeling energized and joyful with a heightened sense of awareness. If all of that sounds a bit out in space for you, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect in class. The 75-minute class will be filled with at times, intense breathwork often paired with simple movements or static postures, but not the type of movements you expect in a traditional vinyasa class. The only way we can think to explain it is like a faster-paced Tai Chi. The breathwork and movements are then layered with Sanskrit mantras and deep meditation. There are also brief pauses between each movement where you allow what you just experienced to integrate energetically or when the instructor will provide explanations or anecdotes for deeper introspection. The class also incorporates Gong sound healing near the end. Kundalini at Buddhi Yoga is suitable for all skill levels, but we would say this is more of a mental and spiritual workout than a physical one. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, make sure to arrive with an open mind and heart!
Sheel and her Kundalini class at Buddhi Yoga have a strong, dedicated following. After experiencing a Saturday morning with Sheel, we completely understand why. Sheel takes a very contemporary and relatable spin on what some could perceive as very “woo-woo” style of practice. At the start of class she went around offering to drop essential oil on our heads to open the crown chakra, while encouraging newer students to move to the front so they could better see and hear her. Throughout class, she took the time to breakdown the breathwork, movements and mantras so even as a beginner, it was easy to follow the class. Her playlist was comprised of modern-day tracks instead of the traditional Hindu chants and song, which made the class more fun and comfortable. What we loved most about her class was the way she effortlessly departed wisdom and anecdotes on her students, encouraging them to introspect more deeply and profoundly. We find her classes to be especially enlightening after large astrological shifts such as new or full moons. If you’ve never tried Kundalini before, or perhaps have tried Kundalini but didn’t enjoy your first experience, we strongly suggest seeking out one of Sheel’s classes.