An antidote to life’s rigors, yoga rejuvenates body and brain. Nowhere is this more needed than in New York City, where stress and anxiety seem to rule, crowned by unending horn honking, delayed subway rides and people-packed streets. If “om” is your idea of “ahhhh,” make your way to these havens of repose.
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Jaya Yoga Center
2902 Ft. Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11218
Immaculate and tranquil, Jaya’s Kensington and Park Slope locations are known for high-quality, personalized instruction and a wide range of classes, from kid’s yoga to prenatal and restorative. Early morning meditation sessions are well-attended and free. A cornerstone of the community, Jaya’s patrons rave about the eclectic music choices which accompany each class and the bright, sunny space.
265 W. 37 St., 17th Floor
New York, NY 10018
A West Side institution with two locations, OMFactory features a multitude of disciplines but is best known for its aerial yoga classes, a favorite of yogis throughout the city. A combination of acrobatic movement and classical asanas, OM’s aerial yoga classes are appropriate for all skill levels, including a restorative, mellow flow version perfect for beginners and a kids class. Other popular classes include martial arts-focused Budokon and AcroYoga, which incorporates elements of Thai massage and acrobatics.
322 E. 39th St.
New York, NY 10016
Mang’Oh’s delightful mommy and toddler classes give harried moms and energetic tots a much-needed break from the gimmes and I want’s. Mommy and baby classes are a great way to start almost-walkers off on the right foot, plus whip post-pregnancy bodies and brains back into shape. Other beloved Mang’Oh workshops include seasonal Aryuvedic explorations, sunrise core and candlelight yoga.
203 E. 86th St.
New York, NY 10028
A membership studio with over 350 weekly classes, Pure Yoga offers dedicated rooms for private instruction, a dance-inspired yoga barre program incorporating elements of weight-bearing exercise and strength training, and a variety of hot yoga classes appropriate for all skill levels. Hot yoga denizens gravitate toward detoxifying Hot Power Yoga and Hot Vinyasa classes. Two locations, one on the UWS and one on the UES, assure you’re never all that far away from your next, much-needed asana.
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33-02 Broadway, 2nd Floor
Astoria, NY 11106
Yes, it’s crowded, but not only for its affordability and non-membership, but also its casual approach to yoga. This clean and well-run studio’s wildly popular, 75-minute Vinyasa Flow classes for $5 a pop are compassionately run with a deep understanding of varying skill levels and goals. If you’re looking for an “I’m in with the in crowd” mentality, go somewhere else. Yoga Agora’s instructors promote an attitude of joy, tranquility and egalitarianism.
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Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.