Express yoga classes

Practices for the time-pressed New Yorker.

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  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Level II Express One-Hour at Yoga High

    Level II Express One-Hour at Yoga High

  • Sweaty Express at Om Yoga Center

    Sweaty Express at Om Yoga Center

  • Yoga to the People

  • Kula Yoga Project

    Kula Yoga Project

  • Photograph: Jen Brown

    Mysore Ashtanga at Usha Veda Yoga

    Mysore Ashtanga at Usha Veda Yoga

Photograph: Zenith Richards

Level II Express One-Hour at Yoga High

Level II Express One-Hour at Yoga High

Level II Express One-Hour at Yoga High
This Lower East Side haven has a friendly, laid-back vibe: Instructor Michael McGinley's fast-paced, athletic class maintains a casual atmosphere, accompanied by a playlist of upbeat pop and rock (including the likes of Queen). He offers several options to make each posture easier or harder, and doles out plenty of compliments to boost morale as the sweat beads begin to roll. 19 Clinton St between E Houston and Stanton Sts, suite 205 (212-792-5776, yogahighnyc.com). Sat 5--6pm; $16.—Megan Gendell

Power Vinyasa Flow at Yoga to the People
While absolute beginners might feel overwhelmed by this inexpensive studio's intense, packed-to-the-gills classes, regular practitioners in need of a straightforward weekday routine will thrive here. You'll be sweating within the first 15 minutes, but instructors are trained to guide you through even the most difficult poses with grace and humor. Bonus: A 60-minute podcast is available for those who want to take their practice home. 12 St. Marks Pl between Second and Third Aves, buzzer 2R (917-573-9642, yogatothepeople.com). Suggested donation $10; Mon--Fri noon--1pm.—Alex Schechter

Sweaty Express at Om Yoga Center
This megastudio offers 25 one-hour classes each week, so there are plenty of opportunities to escape the busy streets of Union Square for a fast yoga fix. Sixty minutes doesn't leave much time for the teacher to break down poses for beginners, but the simple sequences are easy to follow for those who've done yoga before, and there's a set of core exercises partway through. Om Yoga Center, 826 Broadway at 12th St, sixth floor (212-254-9642, omyoga.com). Sat 2--3pm; $12.—MG

Vinyasa Express at Yoga & Pilates
Instructor Arletta packs in enough spinal twists and vinyasa flow sequences during this 45-minute session to make you work up some heat—but she never pushes too hard. Instead, she takes time to correct alignments and finishes with 12 minutes of restorative postures. 78 Reade St between Church St and Broadway (212-587-1099, doyogadopilates.com). Mon--Fri 12:15--1pm; $16.—AS

Kula Hour at Kula Brooklyn
If you're one of the many Williamsburgers juggling multiple freelance jobs, reboot between gigs with teacher Schuyler Grant. Grant's inventive sequencing targets specific areas of the body to warm up, and through articulate instruction and firm adjustments, she leads the class through postures to prep for the asana of the hour—which was a forearm stand when we dropped by. While you may have to elbow your way into your yogawear (the changing area is a bit small), you will be able to shower before heading back to business. 85 N 3rd St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-463-9886, kulayoga.com). Mon, Wed, Fri 12:30--1:35, 4:15--5:20pm; Tue, Thu 7--8:05am; Sat 9:30--10:35am; Sun 2:15--3:20pm . $15.—Jessica Mahler

Warm 60 at Sacred
The committed students in this clean, bright 90-degrees studio are surprisingly energetic, eager to get in an hour of hard work and shed a pound of sweat before most restaurants have opened for brunch. Owner Dara Cole's school offers Bikram-style hot yoga classes of varying lengths and temperatures: Warm 60 is the shortest and the coolest offering, but it still feels long, hot and hard. Fortunately, clear instruction and easier modifications for many poses make it a doable challenge for beginners. You won't get any music to distract you from the image of your sweaty self in the mirror, but you will get to take a shower in the spacious dressing room before you head out, detoxed and energized, to start your day. 197 Clifton Place between Bedford and Franklin Aves, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (347-715-4112, sacredbrooklyn.com). Sun 8--9am; Mon, Tue, Thu 7am; Sat 8am, noon, 4pm; Sun noon; $20.—MG

Express at Bend & Bloom
Busy Park Slopers pop into this ground-floor yoga school near the R train for an hour of fast-moving vinyasas. Teacher Summer Shirey doesn't linger too long in any one place as she leads a creative sequence that offers the option of challenging poses like headstands and handstands for experienced practitioners, but she avoids complicated poses that require detailed explanations. Recharge with free organic tea and cookies in the lobby on your way out. 708 Sackett St between Fourth and Fifth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (347-987-3162, bendandbloom.com). Sat noon--1pm; $14.—MG

Mysore Ashtanga at Usha Veda Yoga
Mysore-style classes aren't intended for the casual yogi. The instructor goes around helping each student work through the Ashtanga sequence at his or her own pace. But if you're self-motivated enough to show up at the crack of dawn each morning, and feel confident enough to experiment with a more individual practice, this could be the class for you. Students are permitted to show up anytime between 6:45 and 8:30am since the personalized pace means practice can last from about 30 to 90 minutes. Upon arrival, you'll lay down your mat, perform the opening chant (aloud or silently to yourself) and then begin working through the progression of poses. First-timers are encouraged to observe classes for a few days to acquaint themselves with this style of practice. 1104 Manhattan Ave at Clay St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-383-0901, ushavedayoga.com). Mon-Fri 6:45-9am; $18.—AS

Morning Vinyasa at Om Factory and Yoga Center
Start off your day in a light-filled studio, moving through traditional vinyasa poses like crescent lunge and awkward chair pose. Toward the second half of class, things start to heat up with a handful of one-legged balancing poses like warrior three and half moon. But instead of pushing you to the point of wobbly limbs, instructors focus on awakening different parts of the body through a steady, rhythmic, breath-conscious sequence. All poses are explained clearly, so no beginner should feel unwelcome. 265 W 37th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, 17th floor (212-616-8662, omfactorynyc.com). Mon--Fri 7:30--8:30am; $15.—AS

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