Photo Credit: locallygrownyoga.com
It's safe to say that New York City is the mecca of the boutique fitness scene, and here in NYC we like to turn it up just a little bit; the temperature that is. Hot yoga is a current craze dominating the fitness world, and the big apple is home to some of the most sweat-generating, beat-bumping studios. There are two hot yoga practices New Yorkers sign up to sweat for; Bikram Yoga and Hot Power Yoga. Bikram Yoga involves the same series of 26 poses accompanied by intense breathing exercises to effectively acclimate your body to the temperature of the room. Each pose is performed twice within the 90 minute time constraint and the room is heated to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. A full body detox, poses are said to help with such things as digestion and overall body circulation. Unfortunately, with the constant repetition there is not much variation in class structure nor instructor performance. On the other hand, the repetition allows for effective tracking of improvement and overall stamina. Bikram Yoga NYC has four different locations throughout Manhattan; Flatiron, Midtown, Upper East Side, and Upper West Side.

A practice with more room for creativity, experimentation, and instructor individuality is Hot Power Yoga. This class is driven by a flow of poses, both standing and seated, that increase your heart rate, challenge your equilibrium, and test your flexibility. Power Yoga is based on the belief that you must work with yourself, and not against yourself. The flow of the class is guided by the instructor-cued pairing of breath and flow, used to calm the body through sequencing and ensure engagement of your core throughout. Many of New York’s trendiest studios pair their flow with upbeat music and notable ambiance; perfect for the transitioning cardio junkie who craves contagious energy yet wants to find their way onto the mat. Here are my top three choices to power through the NYC Power Yoga scene:  

 

1. Y7 Studio

Flatiron, Soho, and Williamsburg

This hip-hop infused practice is at the forefront of the NYC yoga scene. Driven by the beat of the music, the 60 minutes you spend on your mat are sure to challenge both mind and body. Instructors guide you through flow sequences while also allowing time for experimentation in the sequence on your own. This forces you to be present and engaged in your practice and not distracted by matters outside the studio. The room is dark, the candles are lit, and the music is perfection. With three locations around the city, all studios provide complimentary products to help you freshen up after your workout. Priced at just $25/ class this #tribecalledsweat is calling you onto the mat. If you’re in town for a bit longer, they have two New Client Specials; $45 for two weeks unlimited and $99 for one month unlimited.

2. I.AM.YOU Studio

Little Italy People cannot get enough of owner and now author, Lauren Imparato’s beautifully decorated loft space on Mulberry St. The birthplace of her ideas in her #1 Best Selling novel, Retox, IAMYOU has an inspirational atmosphere accompanied by knowledgeable instructors. As put best by IAMYOU themselves, this “kick-your-ass yoga experience that will rock your mind” is priced at $30/ class including mat and towel. Look out for their live DJ classes that will be sure to invigorate your practice.

3. Lyon’s Den Power Yoga

Tribeca Lyon’s Den is a clean and welcoming place for the NY yogi. It is a small studio with exposed brick in the front of the room, giving it a classic NYC feel. The teachers are helpful and attentive to the practice of each individual in the room. They provide lockers with digital locks, two showers, and products for your post-workout needs. It is $24/ class and they offer a First-Time New Student special for $89 of 30-days of unlimited yoga.