During the aughts, Austin exploded in yoga studios. But what's your particular brand of zen bliss, my yogis and yoginis? Here's a guide to help you navigate our town's abundant yoga variety.
With a more spiritual approach than most Austin yoga studios, Dharma Yoga offers sweet release in the middle of bustling West Campus. Sunday morning Vinyasa will appeal to the more cardio-minded yogi, while twice-a-week Dharma Restorative classes guide practitioners to deep inner serenity.
If you're a yoga veteran and ready to take things to the next level, then Breath & Body is for you. This is a more hardcore studio, with abundant "Power Flow" and Vinyasa classes. It's not Bikram, but it is a heated studio, so expect to experiment with deep stretching poses and challenging strength training.
Hot yoga and I haven't always respected each other, but Sunstone is slowly changing that. They offer classes dictated by different elements -- Fire, Water, Earth, Metal and Wood -- each of which have a different class purpose: Vitality, alignment, stamina, etc. I've only tried a few, but love the "Earth" classes: Postures here are designed to tone as well as stretch.
Like going to a personal counselor and physical therapist all in one: Sundara Yoga Therapy is more personalized that regular yoga classes, with an intent on self-healing. I attended a session for anxiety (which was wonderful), but you can also set up sessions for physical pain too, like back pain or chronic headaches.
Packed, trendy, and Internet innovative, Black Swan is THE studio de moment in Austin. With classes 'round the clock and two studios in town, chances are, you've already heard of Black Swan. But -- did you know that for a teensy, tiny monthly fee ($8), you can subscribe to Black Swan web video channels (blackswanyoga.tv)? Just fire up your computer, select your favorite instructor, and down-dog away.
In addition to packed yoga classes, what makes Eastside Yoga special is their Sunday morning meditation: A guided, 45-minute silent group meditation that is every bit as centering as Eastside's more physically rigorous offerings. Tip: After meditation, pop across the street to Blue Dahlia Bistro for brunch.
A diverse, welcoming yoga studio near campus that specializes in intimate classes, and a wide variety of classes to suit all skill levels. I recommend the donation-based "BChill" class, which is essentially yin yoga: A style of yoga that holds only a few postures, but for several minutes at a time, so that stretches penetrate through the muscle to work on opening your bones, ligaments, and joints.
Wanderlust Live is just a genius concept: Yoga in downtown Austin, paired with live music and wine after class? It's no wonder Wanderlust exploded almost as soon as it opened up: A true community hub for Austin yogis and those completely new to the practice, Wanderlust injects Austin's zest for arts and nightlife into a solid yoga practice.