I was introduced, initiated I suppose, to the wonderful world of yoga back in the winter of 2006 when I was visiting NYC for a couple of weeks. My travelling companion, a young yogi, was keen to find a studio that wouldn’t break our backpacking budget but would nourish our spirits and nurture our bodies in amongst our touristical travails. So it was we found Yoga Vida and I discovered an appreciation for the ancient practice. Despite the nearly 10 years that have passed since then I am surprised and delighted to see that Yoga Vida still offers an amazingly priced introductory pass: in 2015 you can get two weeks of Unlimited Yoga for $20.
But when I was in NYC in 2013 for a multi-month stay a two-week budget stretching (but not yet breaking) pass was not really an option. While hunting for a yoga practice a local suggested I try Yoga to the People, a donation based practice, nestled in the East Village on St Marks Place. I took the local up on her suggestion and am so grateful I did; it became a small sanctuary in a sometimes stultifying city.
The St Marks studio teaches Power Vinyasa Flow – there are five other studios in New York which offer either Hot Vinyasa or Power Vinyasa Flow – all classes are suitable for all practice levels and they each abide by the following mantra:
I embraced being one of “those who seek”, one of the “able and crazy”, and am thankful to the New Yorker that pointed me in the direction of Yoga to the People. Lessons I learned, and would do well to remember:
- Set good intentions
- Let go of ego
- Contribute what you can
I really can’t recommend Yoga to the People enough, so aside from simply turning up, my pro-tips are to arrive at least 10 minutes before the class commences (as the studios are regularly filled to overflowing) and bring water (side effect of filled rooms is plenty of heat).
East Village/St Marks YTTP: Studio located on St. Marks Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Map and subway directions (for lines N, R, W; 6; and L) here.
99 University Yoga Vida: Studio located on University Place between W11th and W12th Streets. Map and subway directions (for lines 4, 5, 6; N, Q, R; L; and B, D, F, M) here.