RECOMMENDED: Fitness guide to NYC
Aerial Yoga at Yoga Sutra NYC
After a thorough stretch on mats, instructor Megan Hornaday leads the small group—no more than a dozen people—in ab and arm exercises using the fabrics that hang from the ceiling. Unlike other aerial yoga classes, this one incorporates vertical silks—in place of a looped sling—so that students can learn to climb and wrap themselves in the stretchy material. You'll pick up gravity-defying, circus-style skills, all of which are tailored to your personal level of strength, experience and bravery. The weary can take a break by reclining in upside-down, passive versions of various yoga poses, allowing the fabric itself to do the heavy lifting. 6 E 39th St between Fifth and Madison Aves, second floor (212-490-1443, yogasutranyc.com). Tue 4--5pm, Sat 3--4:15pm; single class for members $20, single class for non-members $25.
Asana for Athletes atVirayoga
Whatever your athletic pursuits—and instructor Holly Lynn Horvath counts navigating NYC sidewalks—this class will complement them. Teaching you to use your muscles in a balanced way, Horvath combines anusara alignment principles with extensive knowledge of biomechanics and a sharp eye. It's almost as if she sees the action of every muscle and the location of every bone in her students' bodies—and she knows which moves will alleviate which problems. 580 Broadway between W Houston and Prince Sts, second floor (212-334-9960, virayoga.com) Thu 10--11:30am; single class $20, ten-class package $170.
Flow at Yoga Vida NYC
This busy yoga center's addition of this Saturday-morning class is timed perfectly for the prebrunch set. After moving through the usual asanas, the fast-paced vinyasa-style session takes you through a Pilates-esque ab sequence that will provide the excuse you need to scarf down that extra croissant come 2pm. Instructor Hilaria Thomas's no-nonsense approach also caters to the chanting-averse crowd, choosing to focus on inner strength over inner peace. Yoga Vida NYC, 99 University Pl at 12th St, sixth floor (212-995-5553, yogavidanyc.com). Sat 10--11:05am; single class $10, with student ID $5.
Gentle Yoga at Force and Flow
Inside her homey brownstone studio, Ophra Wolf weaves together elements of hatha, Iyengar, kundalini and ashtanga to help students gradually release tension from every part of their bodies. Keeping the poses simple and the pace slow, she tailors moves to the individual yogi's hobbies, preferences and goals; ski buffs, for example, focus on leg-strengthening maneuvers. Wolf also draws on her own bodywork practice to give particularly insightful adjustments that promote energy flow. Force and Flow, 1102 Dean St between Bedford and Franklin Aves, no. 4, Crown Heights, Brooklyn (646-644-9743, forceandflow.com). Mon 7:30--8:30pm; single class $16, five classes $75, ten-class package $135.
Hatha Vinyasa at Yoga Local Studio at Toren
This evening offering was developed for students looking to fit in some yoga after a long day at work. Danielle DiCamillo takes a hands-off approach, allowing experienced practitioners to learn from their own bodies. Newcomers might feel lost, but the unpretentious environment means no one will be looking at you sideways—at least not in the figurative sense—if you stumble. 150 Myrtle Ave at Flatbush Ave, Downtown Brooklyn (yogalocal.com). Wed 8--9:30pm; single class $10.
Kula Hour atKula Yoga Project
Reclaimed wood from an upstate farmhouse lines this new multistudio yoga center, an offshoot of the Tribeca flagship. The midday hour-long class, in this instance taught by co-owner Nikki Vilella, is not for the office worker on a lunch break: Many students are yoga teachers themselves, here for a sweaty hour of challenging vinyasa that incorporates center-of-the-room inversions, lots of leg balances, and intelligent, game-changing asana variations. Relief is offered via deft adjustments that combine deep realignment and blissful massage—with Vilella, you know you're in the hands of a master. 85 North 3rd St at Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-463-9886, kulayoga.com). Mon--Fri 12:30--1:35pm; single class $15, ten-class package $130.
Multi-demensional Yoga atPrinting House Fitness and Racquet Club
This vinyasa class is just vigorous enough to break a sweat. Rather than give detailed physical guidance, instructor Thomas Pickarski taps into a more spiritual dimension, asking students to let go of their judgments and honor every movement they make. His approach lets you to focus on improving your technique—instead of trying to outbend Gumby. You can go back to being your hyper-analytical New York self after class. 421 Hudson St at St. Lukes Pl (212-243-7600, ext 2; printinghousegym.com). Sat 10:30am--12pm; single class $25.
Open vinyasa class atJaya Yoga Center
The Park Slope studio recently opened a spacious second branch, where advanced yogis are welcome to the invigorating Sunday-morning class. The seasoned instructor, Judy Atrubin, wakes students up with sun salutations, and her class culminates in forward bends and quieter poses with plenty of variations: Some students lie with their legs up against the wall, while others attempt supported handstands. Don't be surprised if another practitioner busts out a peacock, crow pose or some other fancy trick. 2902 Fort Hamilton Pkwy at 4th St, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn (917-740-5292, jayayogacenter.com). Sun 11am--12:30pm; single class $15, ten-class package $125.
Open yoga at Abhyasa Yoga Center
At some studios, "open" is code for "killer, but you can take it easy." At this neighborhood studio, everyone is truly welcome. Rooted in hatha practice, the class begins with simple movement exercises intended to connect students' actions with their respiration. From there, teacher Leah Thomas guides pupils into more active flows and standing poses. She continually reminds them to engage their ujjayi breath, a method that involves regulating breath with oceanlike sounds and adds a deeper sense of calm to the entire experience. 628 Metropolitan Ave between Leonard and Lorimer Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-8272, abhyasayogacenter.com). Thu 8:15--9:30pm; single class $17.
Relax at Strala Yoga
Studio owner Tara Stiles leads a gentle yet thorough vinyasa session in a roomy, loftlike space. Ample variations on standard poses allow students to challenge themselves while maintaining a steady breath. You'll release mental and physical stress, but your wallet also gets a break here: The cost of any class is just a Hamilton. 632 Broadway between Bleecker and W Houston Sts (917-488-7195, stralayoga.com). Sun 4:30--5:45pm; single class $10.