When I first moved to New York, a friend told me there was a place to do free yoga. I couldn’t believe it at first. Something was free in NYC? With boutique fitness the trend, this seemed… to good to be true.
It isn’t. Unless you like space when you practice yoga that is. I fell in love with Yoga to the People (St. Mark’s studio). For months, I went every single day. Now, it is a spiritual practice that feeds off the community vibe, so being at peace with sweaty people close to you is part of it. Honestly, I got really used to it and I couldn’t imagine practicing yoga any other way. The group moving and breathing together does alleviate the spirituality of the practice in my opinion. That’s just me. If you are not a transcendalist type this may not be for you.
Yoga to the people at St. Mark’s is power flow (vinyasa) yoga, which repeats variations of sun salutations throughout the entire hour. It is a great combination of strength, stretching, cardio, and meditation in one fitness session. I have taken plenty of yoga courses worldwide and comparatively this studio offers one of the most authentic and satisfying yoga sessions I have experienced to date. The instructors vary and you never know who you will get but that is the community part of it again. This studio truly represents what yoga is. Community. Spirituality. Movement. The practice is your own.
It is not the skinny bitch in lulu lemons type of yoga studio. Although, that crowd joins in too sometimes. The crowd varies from large bulky men to college students, elderly, and … the occasional seemingly homeless guy.
Where: 12 St. Mark’s Place, 2R
Bring: No shoes for practice. Wear usual workout clothes. It gets really hot in the crowded studios, so less is more. Bring matt if you have. In traditional yoga practice, drinking water within 2 hours and during practice is not recommended, but you may not be used to the hot conditions. Available at studio: Matt rentals – $2 & Water – $1.
Cost: Suggested donations – $10. This is completely optional but please help them keep their doors open.
Benefits: One hour of strength training, stretching, and cardio plus you will leave at peace. I often walk home in a trance as I am so relaxed.