Last week I went to San Francisco to visit some good friends. It was a working vacation, I was helping one friend redesign his website, but the primary purpose was definitely to vacate New York for a bit. My friend had a comfy couch, my frequent flier miles were overflowing, I’m still full-time freelance = SOLD.
I got quite a few recommendations for yoga studios to check out. I didn’t go to any of them. I took my friend to a random Iyengar studio around the corner from his apartment; the other days I woke up with the late morning sun and practiced in his front rooms. A light-filled apartment was inspiring; a fight with SF’s minimal public transportation was not. A few poses we consistently practice at Abhaya sprung to mind, and I practiced on the hardwood floor, without even grabbing my travel mat. Brief meditations sealed in the morning’s quiet, and that was enough. It was a travel-sized practice, just like the little shampoo bottles; bring only what you need.
BUT there are many secrets to be learned in San Francisco, I am sure; an easier time sorting through class schedules, Google maps, and transit routes would have helped. (Yogoer SF to come!) If you stay in the Mission, you’ll have a bunch of highly recommended studios within walking distance. (I was at the top of Nob Hill, where not even the cyclists will roam.) So, here’s a short list of San Francisco studios, for traveling souls:
Yoga Tree — mentioned by EVERYONE. Multiple locations, each one with a different style. The Hayes location is more Anusara; the Valencia one has more Hatha and Yin.
Yogakula — Anusara classes, some Pilates.
Laughing Lotus — the West Coast version of New York’s most colorful studio; Dana Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi returned to their SF roots.
Bernal Yoga — tons of pre- and post-natal, but their Vinyasa yoga was highly recommended, too.
It’s good to be back.