They say summer bodies are made in the winter. But, if you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t started working out…AT ALL.
Working out is one of my least favorite things to do. But, in a time where we could use a mental escape— and let’s face it, I’m trying to stunt on the gram in a bikini in Cuba real soon— I’ve found solace in hot yoga.
To be honest, my first class was overwhelming. It was hotter than a 1 train with a broken AC in the summer and filled with a ton of half naked strangers. But after a couple weeks of going to hot yoga consistently not only did I look better, I felt better mentally and physically.
For those curious about hot yoga or looking for a new yoga studio, here are some of my favorite and most affordable yoga spots in the city!
I tried unlimited vinyasa yoga at Unity Yoga in Harlem for a month for only $60! The studio’s calming candlelit atmosphere and helpful instructors made me fall in love. In some yoga studios, the instructors aren’t hands on and aren’t necessarily focused on helping you through the poses. During my time at Unity Yoga, I noticed the instructors actually cared about each of their students and guided them through the breathing and poses— which made it easier to practice at home.
Hot Yoga Tip #1: You will sweat out your hair!
Whether you’re a natural girl or relaxed, putting your hair in a bun or even rocking a few twists are your best bet. Any style that keeps your hair out of your face should be your yoga go-to!
90 minutes in a room with the temperature rising above 90 degrees filled with 20 people sound like your kind of fun? If so, Bikram Yoga is definitely for you. With multiple locations all over NY, Bikram Yoga is one of the more notable studios. Last year, I took unlimited classes at Bikram Yoga Harlem for a month for $30. After a couple of days getting used to being surrounded by half naked people and increasing my water intake, it became easy to me (and my skin looked great). The studio is currently offering a $20 unlimited week for new students!
Hot Yoga Tip #2: Yoga is a body positive safe space! Relax!
My first time at Birkam yoga, I arrived in my typical basketball shorts and oversized tee in an attempt to hide the things I was trying to burn off. But when I entered the room, I saw women and men of all sizes in bikinis, speedos, boyshorts and more. At that point, I realized yoga studios are a safe space. No one is thinking about me and my imperfections. So, don’t be scared to whip out your bikini the next time you hit your yoga class!
I’ve been frequenting Brahman Yoga off and on for about two years and it has been one of my all time favorite yoga studios. Not only is it extremely affordable—only $8 per class— but the studio has an extremely flexible schedule with its last class beginning at 9PM! Brahman also offers one donation based class everyday.
Tip #3: Free Yoga Classes Are Your Friend!
Free yoga classes are easy to find. Alot of studios and companies like We Work, Nike, or Athleta offer free yoga and other workout classes. Doing a quick search for “free yoga” on Eventbrite could save you a couple of dollars!
Yes, yoga at The Y! Nothing’s better than doing yoga to the sounds of Jill Scott’s “Golden” while being surrounded by the people of your community! I took yoga at my local YMCA right after college. Not only did I feel more comfortable because I wasn’t the only black girl, but I was able to take as many classes as I wanted in one day — shoutout to the family plan! Check out your local YMCA or community center for yoga classes!
Tip #4: Just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s for you!
I tried yoga at the popular hip-hop studio Y7 for two weeks and hated it. Not only did me hitting my downward dog to Busta Rhymes not make me relaxed, but air of the entire studio felt stuck up. A $20 late fee was charged if you missed a class. The flows were very fast paced which was new to me when it came to yoga. The instructors rarely guided us through the workout and it was rare for me to even see an instructor do the flow— which sucks if you’re a visual learner like me. So word to the wise: just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean it’s for you!
Yoga to the People is another staple in NYC’s yoga community. Though my first experience at the midtown location was less than pleasant (think about tea tree trying to cover the smell of must…), YTTP has many different locations in the city and Brooklyn which offer different classes and are all donation based. You may find a studio to call your new yoga home!
Tip#5: Drink More Water…Seriously.
If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day— not just a couple hours before class— you may get nauseous or pass out during your class. Don’t be like me.
Where are some of your favorite yoga studios? Let me know in the comment section!