With dozens of yoga studios all around Austin, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. Based on your location, budget, and physical and spiritual needs, there are a number of great options all around this fitness-loving city. Here’s a breakdown of some of Austin’s best yoga studios, and what you will find there.
Most Spiritual: These days, many yoga studios offer “fusion” fitness classes and focus less on the traditional aspects of yoga. If you are interested in exploring chanting, meditation, Kirtan, and more traditional aspects of yoga, look no further than studios like Yoga Illumined on South Congress and Sanctuary Yoga on South Lamar.
Yoga Illumined was started by Austin yoginis Sumukhi Kristina Lanuza and Zoe Mantarakis (who was voted best Yoga teacher by Austin Fit in 2014). With classes like Agni Hotra and Shakti Vinyasa on the schedule, expect to learn about the higher limbs of yoga at Yoga Illumined.
Sanctuary Yoga is a beautifully quaint not-for-profit studio that emphasizes Seva, or service, and donates their proceeds to the youth programs of the Amala Foundation. The space itself feels like a mini-Ashram. Go, and expect to bliss out.
Most Well-Rounded: If you’re interested in finding a studio/gym hybrid, you’ll be pleased to find Blue Honey Yoga and Castle Hill Fitness right in the heart of downtown Austin. Blue Honey Yoga is a relatively new studio that employs skilled Austin yogis as teachers, but they’ve also expanded their class offerings to Barre, run groups, boot camps, and Pilates and fusion classes with certified trainers.
Similarly, Castle Hill Fitness has been an Austin staple for all things wellness and fitness since 2009. This gym has everything from spa services to kickboxing, but their fitness expertise in no way detracts from the legit yoga being taught in their beautiful, serene spaces. Find excellent teachers and trainers and both Blue Honey and Castle Hill Fitness.
Most Convenient: Yoga chains are fantastic because they offer a variety of class times and different locations. Yoga Yoga and Black Swan Yoga both offer a variety of locations and class times, as well as styles. Whether you live North, South, East, or West, you can count on being near either of these studios to choose a class perfect for you.
Most Chill: Eastside Yoga has a reputation for being another very spiritual place. With an emphasis on gentle yoga and meditation practice, this studio is a favorite of many Austin yoga teachers. If you are a beginner, or looking to deepen your meditation practice, owners Steven Ross and Elsa Bui will guide you gently into the higher limbs of yoga.
For a more therapeutic practice, with an emphasis on anatomy and slow yoga, visit Your Yoga. It’s an undiscovered place for those looking to start a yoga practice or coming from a place of injury. Owner Dixie Metz is as fun as she is skilled. This studio offers yoga classes using skeletons as references and the teachers care deeply about educating their students about how their bodies can move safely while doing yoga.
Best Donation based: Another Eastside favorite of Austin yoga teachers is Practice Yoga Austin. Practice Yoga boasts “Absurdly high quality donation yoga”. Located on East 6th Street, this yoga studio holds a range of classes that fit easily under the “community” and “spiritual category”, but it’s a definite bang for your buck at only $5 recommended cash donation. This, plus the quality of yoga teachers at Practice, make it a worth braving I-35 at rush hour.
Best Community Feel: Sukha Yoga Austin and Hyde Park Yoga Company are the “Cheers” of Yoga Studios. When you go in, it feels like everybody knows your name. Both studios were co-founded by beloved Austin yoga teachers and super-moms. Erinn Lewis of Sukha Yoga Austin has such a pleasing and kind nature, her challenging classes feel like a gentle pat on the back. With partner Mark Herron (and Erinn’s teensy dog at the door to greet you) you’ll feel right at home.
Hyde Park Yoga Company offers yoga at all levels, but focuses on intelligently sequenced, traditional Vinyasa. Founded by yoga teacher Lilyana Fresas and husband, Aaron, this studio is another place folks enjoy as a second home. Students of both studios comment on feeling welcomed immediately and a part of a larger community.
If you’re interested in teaching, Sukha and HPYC both also offer highly praised yoga teacher training programs at the 200 hour level. For a great community space further North, visit Yoga Con Amor. They offer a variety of classes including barre fusion, Yin yoga, and Mellow Flow (with live guitar).
Uncoventional and Awesome: If you’ve always wondered what it would be like to take a yoga class in an art gallery, Black Lagoon Yoga in Hyde Park is a must-try. This family-owned space offers intimate art and yoga to match. Co-founder Singer Mayberry teaches loving restorative classes complete with props like chair and bolsters.
A restorative class is just the kind of slow paced yoga that fits at the end of a long workday. If you’d like to rejuvenate and feel a part of something unconventional, visit this artsy yoga gem.
Looking for a private teacher? Go to www.yogatrail.com to find a specific teacher. It’s like Facebook or Care.com for private yoga teachers. There, you’ll find contact info and specializations for yoga teachers in Austin, as well as helpful reviews.
Got recommendations for Yoga in Austin? Comment below.
— Contributed by Sara Kleinsmith