When I moved to San Francisco, I thought there would be a plethora of yoga studios surrounding me and that I would easily find one that I could call my home studio. Unfortunately, all the studios within a mile radius is a bikram studio. I really like Yoga to the People but walking/taking public transportation to that studio adds almost 1.5 hours that I have to set aside to get to/from the studio.
I was sitting at home and really wanted a yoga session. I looked around and realized I had no furniture yet and beautiful hardwood floors. Clearly the perfect opportunity to take advantage of another free trial of online yoga classes. I found a coupon code for MyYogaOnline and got started. I was giddy when I unrolled my mat and I felt so free from the chatter and the judgement that often accompanies my practice. This was something that I really needed and the need allowed me to fully immerse myself in my practice. I even had a mini emotional breakthrough during one of the classes, which has only happened twice before in my practice.
So I say that this is sort of a review because I was only able to go through two classes. I did spend some time browsing the site and looking at video previews and overall, I felt that the site had so much more going on than just videos. There were community forums, health and wellness articles and resources, pre-determined programs for specific interests, and even music. In terms of what I was looking for, this was a bit much and made the site a bit overwhelming at first. But if you like a one-stop-shop deal, then check this out. Under the video tab, you will find some of the same filters as other sites, including style, teachers, duration, level, and even studio. So from the two classes I did and the few others that I previewed, MyYogaOnline classes are not filmed at one main studio like Yogaglo but on location such as the actual studio representing the teacher participating or a class during a yoga festival. One of the classes I took was with Faith Hunter at the Hanuman Festival earlier this summer and while it was a great class, there were some sound distortions throughout the video that made it a little distracting. There are a ton of teachers listed on the site and while I recognized a handful of names, many of those teachers didn’t have classes with the time duration I was looking for so I just went ahead and tried two random teachers. In addition to Faith Hunter, I took a class from Pedro Franco and I enjoyed it. That class combined elements of capoeira and Qigong into the practice, something I probably would have never experienced if there was a CorePower Yoga right around the corner. Overall, the site seemed a little too busy for me but in terms of quality, I enjoyed the two classes I took.
For the free trial, check out retailmenot for a coupon codes on introductory deals or just enter ‘tsfb1week’ for just the free week. The nice thing about the one week free trial is that when you sign up, you simply enter the code and you can start. With some of the other sites, you need to enter your credit card information first and then remember to cancel the trial service or you will be automatically charged the monthly amount (unless of course you want to continue with the service).
Came across this list last night. Free or cheap/donation-based yoga opportunities with some tips on navigating the studios. Check it out here.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I don’t buy lululemon anymore since they are so damn expensive but also, I dislike the company’s exclusionary and cult-like culture. You can check out one of their most recent controversies at one of my favorite yoga blogs – YogaDork. However, my blog is not about my feelings towards a company but about sharing resources to make your yoga, running, and health lifestyle more accessible. With that said, lululemon is having a three day warehouse sale in downtown Los Angeles. It’s THIS weekend starting Friday, September 13 and ends Sunday, September 15. Doors open from 8 am to 8 pm. Not sure what kind of deals they have but if you want your lulu at a discount, check out their site for more information. Whatever you do, make sure you bring a friend to check for sheerness!
Moving to San Francisco and starting work right away has kept me busy and stressed. We are still living out of boxes and not sure where everything is, sitting in folding chairs or in bed since we sold all of our furniture, and walking around constantly with shoes on since we can’t quite clean the floors with the boxes still everywhere. I spend most of my evenings looking for parking and then when I actually get home, I’m doing a lot of web shopping for furniture and compiling a list of things needed around the apartment (this list never seems to stop growing!).
With all that being said, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to look for yoga in the city. After a week of not working out, I could feel the stress building up in my body. I decided the easiest and cheapest way to get back into things was running. I had been on a break for about a year but signed up for a race in October as a motivator to start again but starting over has been so hard! And starting over on the hills of SF has been even more demoralizing when I look at my watch and see how slowly I’m going. It took me two years to get to my peak race time so I’m constantly having to remind myself of that and accept that this is where my body and training is at right now. At least with the hills, I’m able to enjoy ridiculously gorgeous views of the city when I finally huff and puff my way to the top.
I was still craving my yoga and this past weekend, had a moment to look up yoga studios in the city. I was looking for three things: vinyasa/flow classes, good reviews on yelp, and introductory deals for new students. I found deals and great reviews but the majority of the studios within a mile radius were all hot yoga/bikram style classes. A friend of mine who was in my teacher training program had moved to SF a couple of months prior to me moving (and coincidentally living two blocks away – so freaking awesome!) told me about Yoga to the People and invited me to come to class with her. A short walk/BART ride and five flights of stairs later, I arrive to the largest studio space I’ve been in. The room is expansive and all you see is shiny hardwood floors. There are windows everywhere and with it being early evening, the setting sun created beautiful lighting for the practice. All the classes at the SF location are power vinyasa classes (!!!) for all levels. The instructor had a microphone attached to her and she could be heard clearly throughout the entire room. One of the things that really caught my attention was the lack of lululemon in the room. I loved that it didn’t dominate the room like many of the other studios I’ve been to (disclaimer – I own some lululemon clothing that I bought a few years ago and still wear it because it was so damn expensive in the first place. I used to love some running shorts they made but recent updates have made me feel more exposed).
Yoga to the People is all about the yoga. They don’t even list the instructor’s name with the class. No emails, no sign ups, no sales pitches. And best of all, it’s donation based! It already costs me $3.50 for roundtrip BART fare so being able to pay what I can afford is very nice. This is a great studio and I’ll be visiting again but I’m still on the lookout for a vinyasa studio north of Market.
Yoga to the People Mantra
Which means…free yoga!
Celebrate by checking out the Yoga Health Foundation for information on events happening around the country as well as how you can get one free week of yoga at participating studios. It was quite annoying how slow the site was so I wasn’t able to get a whole lot of information. Yoga Journal’s blog has picked out a few ways to participate, including a few free online yoga classes offered by Athleta and Yogaglo (go to the YJ link for those free classes).
I plan on trying again later to see what’s available near me.