Seattle – New York – Portland – Los Angeles – Studio Reviews

The reviews here are based solely on my experiences at these studios. We all like and look for different things in a yoga studio, these are my impressions.

Want to get your studio reviewed or change my mind about one? I’d love to hear from you! Get to me at littlewindmillyoga@gmail.com

Seattle, Washington

Haute Yoga Queen Anne

A hot yoga studio in upper queen anne. This studio is very community based, and the staff is very nice and welcoming. HYQA does many workshops (including teacher trainings) and community events. The floors are hardwood and the studio is small but accomedating. There is no locker room or changing area, so living nearby or having a car is a must. Unfortunately, the studio is sandwiched between a burger joint and a bar, which made me crave fast food through the entire two hour class. The smell of french fries strongly permeates through my will power, but don’t let that stop you from trying out this neighborhood gem.

Teachers I recommend: Silvia, Jennifer Lynn, Leah, Casey, Emily

Amenities: cubbies, mat storage, towels, water, blocks/straps

Home Yoga Queen Anne

Home Yoga is a quaint, community oriented studio in lower queen anne. They offer hatha, prenatal, postnatal, and vinyasa classes 4-5 times a day. This studio is very affordable and has food-donation specials to lower your rate as well. It is not as pristinely clean as larger studios, but the classes usually only have 3-7 people in them so you’ll have lots of hands-on instruction.

Teachers I recommend: Frances

Amenities: Mats, blocks, bolsters

Hot Yoga Inc., Federal Way

Hot Yoga Inc. is a chain of studios throughout seattle/tacoma/the eastside teaching Baptiste style Power Vinyasa, Hatha, and a couple of ‘sculpt’ and yin classes. They heat the room to 105° for all styles. They offer their first ten classes for only $10, which is unheard of! Very nice staff at the Federal Way location. It’s a bit dusty, and some of the teachers can be a bit ‘drill sergeanty,’ but for the yogi on a budget, the price is right!

Amenities: towels for rent, showers, NO rental mats

FlyWheel/FlyBarre

This new, super high-tech studio in South Lake Union offers barre method classes and spinning classes, both in the ‘Fly’ style of really loud music and frighteningly hyped up instructors. I will start by saying spinning is just not my cup of tea.But if it was-this is a high power class with really loud music and various intensity levels. The instructor switched it up from high to low resistance and sprints, etc.

FlyBarre is different from any other barre method class I have taken in that it’s all set to loud music and very…dancey. Each movement is to tempo and there’s dance routines including dumbbells. We did use the traditional straps, bar, dodge balls, mats, etc. used in other barre classes. The instructor was scary energetic, but I will be honest and say that is the sorest I’ve been in quite some time. That makes me think that I’ve really worked some neglected muscles, so that makes me happy.

Teachers I recommend: Kristen(FlyWheel)

Amenities: Lockers, cycling shoes, mats, dumbbells, balls, straps, etc.

Lab5 Fitness

Yesterday I tried aerial conditioning at Lab5 Fitness in Capitol Hill. This studio offers Pilates, aerial conditioning, barre, and TRX, which I plan on trying. In aerial conditioning, you basically perform core strengthening moves supported by long, non-stretchy straps suspended from the ceiling. This intensifies a lot of regular exercises. A longer explanation of my experiences here. The studio was beautiful, well organized, and the staff was very nice. Although it is small, they made good use of their space and make things accessible and safe even for newbies.

Amenities: storage, props, etc.

Pure Barre

This is a sort-of barre method/pilates fusion studio in Queen Anne. They use weights, straps, cushy mats, the bar, and little red dodge-balls. My favorite thing about this class was that after fatiguing a certain muscle group for several minutes, we immediately stretched out that muscle, which felt very good. For the most part I see these types of things as yoga rip-offs, with modified bridge poses, boat poses, and abdominal exercises. I can see how this type of thing would appeal to a certain demographic of women with a background of aerobics and pilates. The really pumped up the inspirational top 40’s remix playlist. The next day my triceps and core felt really worked. The first class is free, give it a go!

Amenities: Storage, boutique, all props free for class use

Salt Room Yoga 

Salt Room Yoga is a brand new studio, and the only one in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. The space is beautiful- high ceilings, exposed brick, and an interesting location.  I was greeted by Sammy, the most welcoming puppy receptionist of any yoga studio, who quietly sat on her mat while we did a 90 minute Ashtanga class. Owner Rhonda skillfully lead us through a traditional Ashtanga sequence complete with amazing adjustments and enhancements. If you are an Ashtanga yoga fan in Seattle, you’re probably wandering lost and alone with nowhere to turn in this nearly Ashtanga-less city. Salt Room Yoga to the rescue!

Teachers I recommend: Rhonda, Emily

Amenities: Storage, blocks/straps/changing rooms

Seattle Yoga Arts

A beautiful studio with incredibly nice instructors and staff. Seattle Yoga Arts focuses of Anusara basics in a traditional setting. They offer levels I-III, Essentials, Deepening, and Expansion.

Amenities: Storage, mats, all props free for class use

Shakti a popular Baptiste style studio on Market street in Ballard. They offer all levels Power Vinyasa flow classes. The room is heated to 80 degrees, so it’s not hot yoga…and also not regular yoga. There are no windows in the long room used as the studio. Both teachers I had were good but I don’t remember being inspired or particularly impressed.

Amenities: mat storage, water, one shower

Samadhi Yoga

An urban studio nestled in Capitol Hill. They offer Vinyasa yoga labeled as levels I-III and then one gentle/restorative class a week. The studio is beautiful, high ceilings and a beautiful, homey boutique set up. Because it’s an old renovated building in capitol hill, it’s echoey hard wood and very loud and creaky. I wasn’t particularly fond of the teacher I had, but if I attended more classes I think I would find a good fit. I really like how the classes are typically 90 minutes long.

Amenities: storage cubbies, changing rooms, free mats, blocks, straps

Spira Power Yoga

Spira Yoga is the go-to small studio in west Seattle, located right on California Ave SW. I went to a flow class, which is gently heated to 75-80ish degrees. It’s small, but the practice room is large and open, with high ceilings and happy yellow walls. It was a great flow class, with creative sequences and Hummingbird as the peak pose, which was fun to try. I’m very sure the teacher meant well, but she more than once ‘called people out’ by name and ability. This really brought down the energy in the room and felt really inappropriate. It felt discouraging not only to the students who aren’t yet there in their practice, but people who may be new and the teacher doesn’t know by name. Had that not happened, this studio would definitely receive a better review.

Amenities: storage cubbies, one bathroom/changing room, one shower, free mats and props

Troy Lucero: Ashtanga Yoga

Troy Lucero is a nationally acclaimed ashtanga yoga master who has been practicing yoga for twenty years. He mostly offers yoga Mysore style, with three instructed classes a week. His class guides you through a 10-15 minutes meditation, along with sun salutation a, b, and other poses from the primary series. His adjustments are advanced, and his knowledge of the body is amazing. A review of his ‘Mysore style’ class to come.

Urban Yoga Spa

A hot yoga studio centrally located in downtown Seattle. Urban yoga spa has perfected the creation of an atmosphere for hot yoga. The entire studio is very clean, well lit, and inviting. The modern, simple space is designed by Olson Kundig Architects and provides a wonderful setting for clearing your mind of clutter. UYS offers Power Vinyasa, Hatha, and Yin classes. Their hatha class is similar to Bikram but the sequence is better and the teachers are  nicer. The power vinyasa classes are very intense cardiovascular classes. There are two studios classes at 6am, 10am, 12pm, 4pm, 515pm, 530pm, 645pm, and 7pm. Be warned- Hatha AND power vinyasa classes are both heated to 105 degrees. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Teachers I reccomend: Kathy, Cassandra, Gordy, Jo

Amenities: showers, lockers with locks provided, water, towels, mat storage, blocks/straps

Vera Whole Health/Fitness- Fremont

I took a wonderful vinyasa/alignment based yoga fusion class here. It’s a beautiful, clean studio with nice natural light on a quiet corner in Fremont. They also offer kinesis(which i love!) and corporate health programs. I like the idea of corporations building preventative fitness into their health care plans. My only criticism is that it was freezing in there! Turn up the heat!

Teachers I recommend: Michelle

Amenities: Free mats, towels, all props, changing rooms

Village Yoga

Village Yoga is a small studio in Magnolia. It is a small studio with small class sizes, similar to Home Yoga in Queen Anne. Our teacher seemed uneasy about having my friend and I in the class, she tried intensifying for us to modifying for other students and everyone ended up somewhere in the middle. She used several incorrect names for poses which was confusing. The great things about this studio is the variety of classes they offer. While I would not choose this as my home studio, I would definitely consider it if I had a growing family. The offer parent and baby yoga, kids yoga, family yoga, and prenatal. The also offer viniyoga and gentle yoga for seniors.

Amenities:  Free mats, towels, blocks, bolsters, wedges, straps

YogaLife Queen Anne

A small studio on the top floor of the Queen Anne Ave/Boston building. YogaLife is a small, one room studio offering hatha, vinyasa, and variants. Similar to Home Yoga, the teacher acts as the front desk and facilitator when you are there. It is a very welcoming, inviting studio with friendly students and teachers. In our hour-long vinyasa class, we meditated, stretched, and flowed. Nothing too creative went on, and for the most part I thought the teacher spoke to us like we were a kindergarden class. I walked out feeling good, but not at all worked.

Amenities: Free mats, towels, blocks, bolsters, wedges, straps

8 Limbs – Capitol Hill

A fun, urban studio in capitol hill. 8 Limbs offers a $10 community class that I attend weekly. It’s a great, homey, studio with a friendly staff and teachers who are always willing to help and answer questions. There have always been at least six students in class when I’ve gone, but it’s never gotten too crowded or felt like we were a herd of sheep. The studios are spacious with high ceilings with street noise from outside. I thought that the street noise would bother me but I found it nice, like the city’s version of ocean waves. If I lived in the neighborhood I would surely be a regular.

Teachers I recommend: Andreas, Tim

Amenities: Free mats, blankets, bolsters, blocks, straps

5Focus Studio

This fitness studio offers Kinesis and children’s yoga classes. They define Kinesis as “bringing balance to your body through movement.” I hadn’t heard of this style of class before, so I’m happy to finally be able to give a rough explanation. The ‘on the wall’ part of class is a station of ‘cable resistance machines,’ which are basically different varieties of pully systems with adjustable weights. The ‘off the wall’ part of class is on mats using various props such as mats, weighted pilates balls, and those half ball squishy balance things. Every station in the circuit is performed for an interval and then you move onto the next exercise. Sound complex? Yeah, I thought it would be too. But once you get into the swing of the intervals, it becomes fun to move from one thing to the next so quickly and the hour flies by. This particular instructor was nice, challenging and motivating. It’s quite an experience, I really got my sweat on and had fun. Try it!

Teachers I recommend: Laura

Amenities: Free storage, water, tea, towels, all equipment

Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn Yoga School

A beautiful by-donation yoga school in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. This gem is perched on the corner of sixth with windows looking out on downtown Park Slope. The space is small, but cozy. The flow class is a great way to start the day, moderate intensity, ending with the teacher playing a calming, serene song on the harmonium. It was one of my favorite yoga memories. The energy in a packed studio in the middle of a New York winter was empowering and beautiful. They offer levels I-II and also Kirtan classes. If I lived in the Park Slope area I would most definitely be a regular.

Teachers I recommend: Katurah, Lily

Amenities: Mats, towels, bolsters, blocks, all by donation

Park Slope Yoga

A great, homey, fun yoga studio on union street in Park Slope. The studio is bright from skylights, windows, and hanging plants which made my morning practice rejuvenating. The classes are small and the teacher gets in your face about all of the little things you fudge on. Much to my dismay she worked with me for a good ten minutes on keeping my stance wide enough in downward facing dog even though I couldn’t lower my heels as far. Little things like that. It’s a little dusty.

Teachers I recommend: Erin

Amenities: mats, towels, blocks

For those who are familiar with Iyengar Yoga, this is definitely what you would expect from a certified studio. At one point during supta baddha konasana we were using seven props. Seven. Two bolsters, four blocks, and a strap. But hey-who am I to argue with the methods of BKS Iyengar? The level I-II classes focus mainly on alignment and breath in poses. There are many hands on adjustments and props to enhance each pose. The studio is wood floor to ceiling and clean.

Teachers I recommend: Rachel

Amenities: changing rooms, blocks, bolsters, wedges, straps

Tacoma, Washington

Expand Yoga

Expand Yoga is a fairly new Bikram studio on Pacific Avenue in downtown tacoma. I took the 90 minute “Original Hot” class when I was fairly new to hot yoga, and was thrown straight into the deep end of Bikram. I was scolded when I went to take water before eagle pose and tried to shut my eyes in belly down savasana, it was brutally hot in the room and the teacher was ruthless about alignment. It was the one and only time I experienced tunnel vision and extreme nausea during yoga/hot yoga. The studio itself is beautiful, a long room with clean hardwood floors and sound proof frosted windows to outside. The people are friendly(the instructor gave me a free water as I didn’t have any cash with me) It is very affordable and think that people who embrace the discipline and rigidity of Bikram would enjoy it very much.

Amenities: water, towels, cash only

Three Trees Yoga

Los Angeles, California

Runyon Canyon Yoga

Wonderful power vinyasa classes taught in Runyon Canyon Park in LA. The classes are taught by local teachers and the scenery and energy is great. People roll out anything from mats, to towels, to blankets to get their practice on. The experience reminded me of all the bells and whistles you can do without in Yoga. Yoga only takes one thing, you. You don’t need those $90 LuLuLemon pants, that Manduka mat or those fancy Gaiam props. All it takes to make these classes great is a sunny day and a group of people to flow with.

Hot 8 Yoga

Portland, Oregon

Yoga Pearl

Beautiful, enormous studio complete with a boutique, café, and spa/wellness center. The Saturday morning vinyasa class was comfortably heated to ninety degrees, and was a peaceful atmosphere despite the buzzing lobby. They offer a variety of classes all day long; power vinyasa, hatha, restorative, pilates, pre-natal, yin, and more. It is certainly not a community studio, but if I lived in the area I would love its convenience and high quality accommodations. It was a tough, powerful class, and I loved the teacher’s extensive knowledge of anatomy and alignment. A wonderful way to start the weekend.

Teachers I recommend: Dena

Amenities: Water, food, spa, mats and towels for first time students only

– Bad time

– Not all bad

– A good class, but I’m not eager to come back

– A great class, I am eager to come back

– This will be my new regular studio

3 thoughts on “Seattle – New York – Portland – Los Angeles – Studio Reviews

  1. […] let's talk yoga – seattle studio reviews […]

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