Rant: What's with people on Yelp saying, "I've been doing yoga for six months, and only at this place, but I am confident it is the best yoga in the city"? Not that newbies can't have useful opinions ("The students were welcoming but their basics classes aren't basic enough"), but if you'd only ever eaten at one restaurant in your life, would you proclaim that it was the best ever?
Maybe you would. I saw a review for The Popover Cafe that complained that they'd never had a popover before, but the one they had there was far too eggy. Mayhaps they should have looked into what a popover was before trying one. End rant.
So, anyway, I'm looking for a studio here in Manhattan. My friends back in Nashville gave me some good recommendations, and of course there are about a million options here, so the task is a little daunting. (Especially if a studio has a ton of different teachers, "trying it" doesn't mean going to just one class.)
The first studio I tried was not mentioned to me by anyone, but it is conveniently located on the UWS. (It seems like all the suggested studios are downtown, which is a serious commute.) NY Loves Yoga is very new, although it rose from the ashes of another studio in the same location, which may be one reason its name didn't come up.
In its favor, the space is nice, and the studio isn't too crowded - none of the mat-to-mat stuff you hear about in the celebrity studios. In fact, the vibe and class size are similar to what you'd find back in Nashville. The owner is a really nice guy, too. Most of the teachers seem pretty good, making corrections, giving students individual attention, and acting like nice human beings.
The studio itself seems to have a heavy Iyengar influence - every class seems to ask you to grab several blankets, a couple of blocks, a strap, and maybe a bolster. Iyengar isn't really my thing, though. And I've found that most the classes are more beginner-oriented than I would like, even those labeled level 2-3 (out of 3 levels). I'm really a vinyasa girl, and most of their vinyasa classes are at lunch (which doesn't work with my teaching schedule) and only an hour long. What this means is that while I think this is a good studio, I don't think it's really my flavor; I like my yoga a little crazier. However, I would definitely recommend it to folks as a good studio that offers quality yoga without hassles.
Next up? A studio offering $100 for a month of all-you-can-eat yoga. I don't think they know yet what a fiscal disaster that's going to be for them.