Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yoga Studios: A Comparative Study

I have been to two yoga studios since I moved to New York: Laughing Lotus (59 W. 19th) and Om Yoga (826 Broadway nr. Union Square). Laughing Lotus was the first studio I went to but once I found Om, I never went back to LL.

Om really is a jewel. It’s very accessible, conveniently located [for me] two blocks from Union Sq., right off the 4,5, 6, N, R, W and L trains and quite near Whole Foods, which is ideal for an after-yoga treat. It’s also really spacious for a New York City yoga studio—there are five classrooms, a sizable, very clean changing room, and numerous nooks to sit in while you wait for class to start—and the aesthetic is pleasing (lots of subdued, calming hues and no fluorescent lighting to be found!). Another really great thing about Om is the teachers. I haven't had one I really didn't like. I am particularly fond of Edward, Maja, and Sarah. A lot of people seem to like Brian and I understand why—he's friendly and he makes a concerted effort to learn each student's name but I sometimes feel like he really wants to be teaching aerobics and not yoga. And, I can’t forget to mention the class schedule, which is most ideal! There are a wide variety of classes, for all different levels/desires and at some really perfect times. The only negative thing about Om is the elevator—it’s really creepy and it feels like a miracle every time I make it to the sixth floor.

Laughing Lotus simply doesn’t measure up—it’s less accessible, very cramped with the teeniest dressing room, and there are only two classrooms which means less classes and a lesser chance you’ll find one to fit your schedule. They do leave out cookies though, so that’s nice and I did run into a friend from Sarah Lawrence there once, which was also nice. The aesthetic is okay—it’s a little too vibrant for my taste.

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