SolYoga Trips Guide: New Yoga Studios in the East BayBy
With SolYoga’s recent relocation to the East Bay, we decided to check out some of the newly opened yoga studios in our new stomping grounds. The Bay Area has always been home to some of the best yoga around, and after visiting these studios, it seems like it just keeps getting better. Read on to hear about these amazing new places to practice and find one that jives with you. We’re definitely glad to be here.
When Katy Cryer, the owner of Square One Yoga, made the decision to open a yoga studio, she didn’t know where, when, or how this studio would operate. But she knew one thing for sure–she wanted her yoga classes to be accessible to everyone, no matter their economic status. Now, she has opened a sun-filled, adorably decorated yoga studio that stays true to her original vision of making yoga available to even the most starving of college students. Hello, $10 yoga. That’s right, the classes at Square One operate on a sliding scale, allowing you to choose the price that fits your budget. $10 yoga classes? In the Bay Area? How refreshing. Square One makes yoga available to every person not only with affordable pricing, but also by offering a wide variety of classes like Jivamukti, Restorative, Ashtanga, Yin, Prenatal, Yoga for 12-Step Recovery, and classes that are donation-based. So whether you make millions or…less than millions, practice Ashtanga every day or haven’t stepped foot on a yoga mat, the Square One community will welcome you with open arms. Finally, someone has succeeded in creating a space where we can all practice together.
The class I took at Flying Yoga was one of the most memorable classes I’ve ever been to. Before class started, the energy in the room was so high that I didn’t want to sit on my mat–I wanted to do handstands, gravity-defying arm balances, and contortionist-like back bends. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so giddy to start moving in my life. Once Laura (the studio’s owner) started teaching, my craving for movement was definitely satisfied. Her unique teaching style called CampYoga is fun, community-building, athletic, and light-hearted. You will leave this studio happier than you’ve been in weeks. Flying Yoga also offers Ashtanga, Power Yoga, and Bhakti flow as well as a variety of non-yoga classes like TRX, Zumba, and Pilates. I’ve found that sometimes when a yoga studio offers other fitness classes that the yoga can tend to get watered down, but that’s not the case at Flying Yoga. The yoga here is some of the best in the East Bay, and will satisfy your craving for physical and spiritual movement.
The name says it all: this studio offers physical, powerful classes that will make you sweat. I’m always cautious while stepping into a “hot” yoga studio–I like to brace myself for the inevitable smell of incense-masked sweat and body odor. But CorePower is different. Not only are the studios and locker rooms immaculately clean and beautiful, but upon entering the room where 25 yogis had just been sweating for the past hour, there was no post-yoga smell in the air. Must be magic (or their anti-microbial floors). The teachers and staff are friendly and welcoming, but more importantly, you can tell that they’re happy to be there. That makes CorePower a really nice place to practice. Yes, this studio focuses mainly on the physical aspects of yoga, but the teachers don’t deny or gloss over the spiritual and emotional benefits of practicing. No matter what kind of personal practice you have, this studio is definitely worth checking out. Besides, the first week is free.
The first thing you’ll notice about Loka Yoga is its welcoming vibe. Going to a new studio can sometimes come along with feelings of being the newbie, an outsider, not part of the gang– but not here. The other students are friendly, supportive, and genuinely in love with Loka Yoga. Alice, the owner of the studio, is another reason you should check this place out. She is just one of those people you want to be around. Her warm, approachable, happy, down to earth, and honest energy carries over into her yoga classes and the other teachers she has hired. Even if you hate yoga, visit this studio just to get a hug from Alice. I found myself wanting to hang out after class, just to spend more time in such a fun, colorful, sunny, laid-back, and comfortable setting. Lucky for me, Loka Yoga hosts events outside of their regularly scheduled classes as well–last week they did 108 Sun Salutations dedicated to one of the studio’s students who recently went through chemotherapy. Truly a gem–finally a yoga studio that feels like a community, not just a class.
Namaste Grand Lake
You’ve probably heard of Namaste before–you know, the studio in Rockridge that (according to yoga community gossip) is home to some of the best yoga teachers in the Bay Area. Well, now they’ve opened a brand new studio in Grand Lake that lives up to its sister studio’s high-quality reputation. The studio has a few spacious, calming practice rooms and a boutique where you can buy all of your yoga goodies. Namaste also offers wellness programs, massage, acupuncture, yoga workshops, and community events. This is the place to go if you want to learn how to take your yoga off the mat and apply it to the rest of your life. At Namaste Grand Lake you can take Prental, Hatha, Beginner’s, Forrest, Anusara, or Yin classes all lead by some of the Bay Area’s best. The teachers here are experienced, nurturing, approachable, and passionate about sharing their knowledge with the community. The classes are as intense as they are relaxing–what a well-balanced yoga class should be. If you’ve never been to Namaste, you can take three classes for $30, an affordable way to experience a high-quality yoga class.
YogaWorks Walnut Creek
When I walked into YogaWorks Walnut Creek I thought I was in the wrong place–it looks more like a high class spa than a yoga studio. The numerous practice rooms that overlook the Mount Diablo foothills are sunny, stocked with props, and spacious. After class, you can shower and change in their sparkling clean locker rooms that even I, a rather germ-conscious yogini, deem an acceptable place to walk around barefoot if you want. They also have a tea bar and lounge with free wi-fi–a perfect place to hang out if you have extra time before or after a class. With a variety of classes running nonstop from 6am to 9pm almost every day, you’ll be sure to find something at YogaWorks that you love. If you wanted, you could take an Ashtanga inspired class in the morning and then go back after work for a relaxing, restorative class to help you unwind. The teachers here are well-seasoned, all having at least 500 hours of teacher training experience. Whether you have practiced for 20 years or haven’t ever done yoga before, you will find a class at YogaWorks that fits your unique style and experience level.