As a native Southern Californian living in New York City, I often struggle with finding peace of mind in this whirling, insane environment. Taxis honk constantly, trucks rattle at eardrum-bursting decibels, and I now understand that zig-zagging between fellow pedestrians is a learned art form (which New Yorkers have mastered, might I add!). Okay, okay. So, I don't live in Manhattan (I live in the much-calmer borough of Brooklyn ), but I still face the daily debacle of the subway commute and even Brooklyn Heights is no Malibu.
In my search for some sort of quiet sanctuary, I stumbled upon my local Bikram yoga studio on boutique-filled Montague Street. I practiced Bikram sporadically in Los Angeles, always grumbling my way through the 90-minute, sweat-inducing class, but as much as I had to push myself, I always came out feeling on top of the world. So, I gave it a try.
The Bikram Yoga Brooklyn Heights studio (106 Montague St. between Henry St. and Hicks St., 718/797-2100) has become my weekly escape. On the second floor of a storefront apartment building, the space is more expansive and spa-like than most with two dressing rooms (one for the ladies and one for the men), tiled showers, and a boutique-like clothing rack in the front lined with spandex shorts and embroided tank tops for sale. When I'm feeling like this city is about to swallow me whole, I slip into this quiet sanctuary and lose myself in the 26 postures, and by the last savasana (pose of total relaxation), I've let my entire day go.
For a list of the top 25 yoga classes around the world, check out Travel + Leisure's latest report from Hannah Wallace: 25 Top Yoga Studios Around The World. This list is not limited to Bikram yoga and includes many branches of the yoga tree. To find out which style of yoga you'd like to get lost in, reference this list of definitions: Yoga Styles, Unwound.
No matter which class you decide on, you'll be honoring your body and your mind. Namaste.
[Image 1 thanks to stephcarter according to this license]
[Image 2 thanks to Farl according to this license.]