LA’s Best East-Side Yoga
Everyone knows about the stellar yoga to be had on the west side of Los Angeles—Vinnie Marino, Shiva Rea, and Bryan Kest draw A-list celebrities to the mat within a stone’s throw of the ocean. But the east side has its own quiet vinyasa scene going on. Here are the top spots to get flowing without hopping on the 10.
Yogala. This bright, high-ceilinged studio in Echo Park is home to a wide variety of classes ranging from kundalini to yoga nidra (great for sleep) to relaxing sound baths. My personal favorite is the Sunday morning Maha Yoga Sadhana with Serge Berliawsky, who accompanies his graceful counsel with rare vinyl of Indian chants and groovy jazz. It’s the way church should be.
YogaVibe. This Los Feliz studio is tiny but the teachers are exceptional and the price can’t be beat, especially the “Five Buck Lunch” classes that get you in and out within an hour. Most classes here use music—and you’ll be tempted to Shazam some of the amazing playlists. The instructors are young, energetic, and super-friendly.
YogaWorks Pasadena. What I consider the city’s best studio just opened a brand new location in Pasadena—in addition to their Center for Yoga in Larchmont Village. YogaWorks has power vinyasa down to a science. Their classes run pretty much nonstop and the schedule shows which ones use music. It’s the best of both worlds—a spiritual perspective plus a guaranteed sweat.
Bikram Yoga Silverlake. There are only a handful of Bikram studios in LA, and this one in the heart of Atwater Village (despite the Silverlake name) enjoys a good reputation. The Bikram drill is the same everywhere—26 postures, two pranayamas (breathing exercises), a gallon of water, and a prayer to Ganesh beforehand to spare you from heat stroke in the 105-degree room. Good luck.
Heartbeat House. Just down the street from Bikram, Heartbeat House offers all kinds of dance and fitness classes in addition to yoga, but their community flow classes with owner Kumbi Butler are worth a mention—for only $7, you get some of the best instruction on the east side that is practical and gentle, yet athletic.
Silverlake Yoga. This studio is known for its prenatal and Mommy & Me classes. They also offer a range of eastern-based practices such as tai chi and kundalini flow, a combination of kundalini and hatha.