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Joy Bitonio

Joy Bitonio

Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Follow her on Instagram.

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The 8 best gyms in Los Angeles

The 8 best gyms in Los Angeles

The search for a perfectly suited gym that hits all the marks can be daunting, but it’s the necessary first step toward pursuing and crushing those lofty fitness goals. Get after it and choose a place that empowers you to take things to the next level. When free workouts in a park and only-in-L.A. fitness routines just won’t do, it’s time to commit to one of the best gyms in Los Angeles. Since July 2020, gyms in L.A. County are limited to outdoor services only. As a result, nearly all of our picks are temporarily closed.

The best yoga studios in Los Angeles

The best yoga studios in Los Angeles

A regular yoga practice is a time-tested cure for taming big city stress—be it from work, traffic, whatever—as well as a great way to stay in shape. Working out at one of the city's best gyms will sculpt your body, but yoga helps soothe the mind as well. Not sure where to find the best yoga? Los Angeles has a huge amount of studios, plus free and by donation yoga options, and even classes with adoptable cats! It can be hard to know where to begin, so we've put together this list of the 11 best yoga classes across Los Angeles to help you on your way to a healthy, healing practice that's perfect for you.

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Breakthru Fitness

Breakthru Fitness

What started as a small gym has turned now into a 14,000-square-foot fitness center. The family owned and operated institution is where Pasadena residents of all ages and fitness levels have come to get in shape for over 20 years. There's a solid array of cardio/strength equipment, Pilates reformer and group fitness classes. You can also opt for fast-tracked results through MC3, an athlete-inspired program that incorporates the gym's sports performance training center. On-site daycare and a Trader Joe’s within the same complex make it convenient for busy parents to flex their multitasking muscles.

Iron Fitness

Iron Fitness

This neighborhood gym serves efficiency-loving Westsiders in need of cardio, strength and functional equipment in an uncrowded, low key atmosphere. The gym really shines downstairs, where you'll find boxing classes programmed by a former pro heavyweight contender. Legitimate pro boxing coaches, a boxing ring, heavy bags, mitts and a cathartic release keeps men, women, and kids (age 7-16) alike coming back for more. Other amenities include lockers, showers, towels and parking.

At One Fitness

At One Fitness

This NoHo gym is a welcoming place where the average person can comfortably workout alongside the likes of bodybuilders, serious trainers and Muay Thai fighters. They have top-of-the-line strength and cardio equipment, towel service, heavy bags, a boxing ring and free parking. The fitness Muay Thai classes here offer an incredible challenge, but for those looking to gain serious skills, Muay Thai School USA awaits; it’s the only school in the U.S. that is recommended by WBC Muay Thai and the Sport Authority of Thailand, reinforcing the authentic quality of instruction that exists here.

Set & Flow

Set & Flow

Sleek, clean, and modern up the ying yang, it’s no wonder some of the best instructors in town (like the cult favorite Colin Kim) teach here. The spot features soaring ceilings and color therapy lighting throughout. Three expansive heated studios are outfitted with slip resistant, antibacterial floors that serve as the perfect stage for barefoot culture. Spa-like restrooms have self-coding lockers and showers, making it easy to flow from studio to work. Yoga is the bread and butter here, but variety is the spice of life, so options like boot camp and barre are also available, offering up the most bang for your buck under one roof. Filtered water fountains and kombucha on tap keep yogis hydrated, and mat and towel rentals are available, as is on-site parking ($2 for 90 minutes with validation). Runyon Canyon is 10 minutes away, so why not take a hike after class?

Y7

Y7

Y7 turns yoga on its head and makes it spin in this house of hip hop. Creative, challenging flows are set to bass thumpin’ beats in an infrared heated room. It’s kept dark but classes here are lit... candlelit, that is, but sans mirrors, making it less ideal for newbies to the yoga game. There are no showers, but there’s a station for filtered water, and mats ($2) and towels ($3) for rent if you forget your own. Don’t forget a sweaty post-namastizzle selfie with the inspirational wall quote on your way out. Have five minutes to spare? Walk to Melrose Place for a jolt at the O.G. Alfred’s because hey, you #earnedit. Unsurprisingly, the lack of parking here shows no chill, so arrive early for metered spots, or score free parking on Harper Ave and Sweetzer Ave, just be sure to triple check posted signs.

In Yoga Center

In Yoga Center

With 55 classes a week, there’s something for everyone here. The diversity and expertise of instructors enables students to try out different styles to find just the right fit for their individual journey, a plus for couples who want to practice at different levels under the same roof. Check out the Yoga Tune Up therapy class; it utilizes self-massage as a way to restore the body and balance out vigorous practices. A bright, airy, spacious main yoga room allows you to stretch out without restriction. Spa-like restrooms feature showers, towels and toiletries. Mat rentals are $1, and free on-site parking or free street parking make getting here a breeze.

Yoga Nest Venice

Yoga Nest Venice

Beloved for its authentic, friendly community, this is truly a beachside nest, hidden up a stairway through a back alley off a busy boulevard. The space is intimate yet uncrowded and splashed in vibrant color. All levels are welcomed with open arms by high vibe instructors like Jessica Corbin. Mats, props, towels and purified water is free, but if you can’t walk or bike, plan to come early. Finding parking on mornings and weekday nights is manageable, but allow more time on weekends. This spot are steps from the beach and a brisk swim in the ocean awaits if you’re so inclined. Otherwise, Cow’s End Cafe is right next door with a menu full of healthy smoothies that hit the spot.

Yoga at the Raven

Yoga at the Raven

Walking into the Raven is like getting ushered away from the city into a Bali-like respite with wood floors, vaulted ceilings, natural light, and fresh flower adorning the space. There’s even a chandelier. Owner and instructor Tony Giuliano has a huge following and is known for his playful yet intuitive spirit and the kind of guidance required to progress yogis beyond their expectations; here you'll learn to safely execute challenging arm balances, handstands and splits. This is where beginners and advanced alike go to be part of an inclusive community, led by seasoned instructors deeply rooted in traditional practice, and some offering a contemporary spin. Mats are available for rent ($1) and filtered water for refilling reusables. The studio is adjacent to the Raven Spa, a convenient reason to indulge in some vacation-inspired pampering after class. Free and metered street parking is manageable. Student on a budget? A current student ID gets you on the mat for $10.

Yoga House Pasadena

Yoga House Pasadena

This is the oldest and largest yoga studio in the SGV, but it shines brightest through service to the community it serves. First-time students get three free classes (valid for 10 days); 10% discounts for students and seniors, and half price community classes throughout the week. The spot offers a unique variety of classes and workshops, with everything from yoga for expectant and new mothers to kids' programs. It's also one of the few studios in L.A. with Iyengar rope walls. Therapeutic yoga is a special offering, adapted to benefit those living with challenging conditions like Multiple Sclerosis; in addition, yoga for cancer and HIV/AIDS patients are offered free. Expect a warm reception in a bright, homey environment. Mat rentals for $2; enjoy complimentary purified water and warm tea after class. Park free at off-site parking lots with a pass (via website download); otherwise, allow extra time for street spots.

Black Dog Yoga

Black Dog Yoga

Egos are left at the door at this unpretentious Valley gem. It’s where you’ll find a diverse community filled with people that won’t judge if you roll right out of bed into class. Over 80 classes a week, from traditional basics to powerful advanced are held in four vibrantly hued asana rooms. Monthly specialties like Vino and Vinyasa feature live music and a place to make friends. They walk the walk on giving back; donation yoga led by training graduates benefits NKLA, and 11th Step is a format that integrates 12 steps of AA into the practice. The military gets love too; active duty and vets flow for free. Stressed at work? Pop in for a $10 lunch flow; see schedule for times. Mats, tea and WiFi are free. The outside hall bathroom is a minor con. Parking (on-site/street) is easy for Ventura Boulevard standards.

Yogaraj

Yogaraj

No front desk, a humble, clean studio and yoga for just $10 (cash, check or square cash) at the door is a dream come true on the West side. It’s Santa Monica’s yoga gem for a legit and joyful place to practice. High caliber instructors, including owner/instructor Jay Co give their pricey counterparts a run for their money, with Vinyasa style flows in two rooms welcoming all levels to join in; one room features a floating branch set against a stone-like wall reinforcing its simple beauty. They also host workshops, including sound baths the first Friday of each month, where vibrational instruments like Himalayan singing bowls bathe participants in a healing experience. An adjacent structure makes for convenient parking for $2 with validation (free after 6pm and weekends).

EPX Elite Performance

EPX Elite Performance

Whether training for life goals or enhanced athletic performance, this is the go-to for tailored fitness programs by highly qualified coaches. The available equipment emphasizes functional movement patterns through the likes of TRX, kettlebells, weights, medicine balls, jump boxes and agility/speed training gear. The gym's impressice staff consists of professional athletes with multiple degrees, certifications and specialties. Programs are developed for all ages, levels, schedules and budgets. Single, semi-private and small group options further cater to clients' training style preferences. EPX also features a focused summer athlete program to train collegiate/youth members to excel in their chosen sport.