Sky Ting Yoga

As promised guys, I have been trying lots of new studios so I can give you guys the inside scoop and I can begin to catch up on all the workout action in New York City. As you know, while I was living in Switzerland there were only two studios I visited, one was a seasonal spin studio and the other was my favorite yoga studio.

It’s so fun to be back in New York City and taking advantage of the boutique fitness scene. While it can be very expensive, I’m trying many of these studios through ClassPass or leveraging their new student specials!

It seems like every few weeks a new yoga studio opens in New York City.  Often it’s hard to understand what sets each apart from the other. On Yelp there are over 1,000 studios in the area and on ClassPass and FitReserve alone, there are over 100 studios in New York City!

But, when Well+Good, one of my favorite outlet’s for all things health and wellness, raved about Sky Ting Yoga, I knew I had to check it out!IMG_2357

Located on the edge of Chinatown, Sky Ting isn’t exactly easy to reach for most people. But, as soon as you walk through the studio, you are transported to a peaceful world filled with light, mellow music, friendly staff and an incredible yoga space. The staff was friendlier than most studios, making me feel at home and welcome even when I arrived sweaty and out of breath. Unlike many studios, Sky Ting includes mats and towels, so students don’t have to worry about lugging theirs or shelling out extra cash to rent.

Apart from the space and the friendly space, the primary thing that sets Sky Ting apart from the rest is the yoga space. After checking in you head back outside and ascend an outdoor staircase to the fifth floor studio.

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Skylights and large windows allow light to flow through and illuminate the bright white walls and wood floor. The only thing that fills the space other than light is a tall giraffe, which provides levity to any yoga class.

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The owners Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan who both previously taught at Yoga Vida, teach a unique yoga style known as Katonah yoga. The method brings together traditional hatha yoga, pranayama breathing techniques and strong vinyasa sequences. This mix allowed me to go from sweating and breathless to calm within just moments when I took Chloe’s class last week. Her yoga style and epic playlist quickly helped me realize why after only two weeks, the yoga studio is filling the Monday night class to capacity.

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The only thing I must point out, is that even though I enjoyed the class and left feeling less stressed and standing a bit taller, is that I didn’t feel that I fit in. This sounds silly as New York City is filled with all types of yogis. But, in this Monday evening class, I felt as if I was at a modeling or actress audition. The majority of women in the class were taller, slimmer and tanner than me while having a California cool persona. Don’t get me wrong, that won’t keep me from going back to Sky Ting but it’s something I do feel I should point out in case that isn’t your crowd or style.

Their schedule includes both 60 and 90 minute classes at just about any hour you could want! They have six classes Monday through Friday and three classes on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re in town on a weekend, I’ve heard that their Saturday and Sunday duo instructor classes with the founders, Krissy and Chloe, are wonderful!

Each class costs $20 though there are packages which reduce it down to $16. Make sure to take advantage of their new student special –  two weeks of unlimited classes for just $20!

Want to read more? Check out what Elle, Well + Good and Vogue had to say about Sky Ting!

Cost: $20 though packages can reduce prices to $16  Address: 55 Chrystie Street (at Canal Street) 4th Floor, New York City  What to wear: Your favorite yoga gear and a bottle of water will do just fine but don’t worry about lugging mats as they provide them!

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New York’s Best New Yoga Class

Since moving back to New York City, one of my goals is to ensure that I balance out the hustle and bustle with fresh air and relaxation. It’s easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed in a city like New York City, but at the same time, it’s easy to get away from it all.

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A new yoga class wants to ensure locals allow themselves time to relax and enjoy savasana under the clouds. SpotYoga has partnered with hotels and clubs to bring yoga to their rooftop spaces during the early morning hours when the regular club goers are fast asleep.

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Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to try one of their classes firsthand. The Friday morning yoga class took place on a penthouse terrace at Ink48, a Kimpton Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen.  The 60-minute Tuesday morning class left me energized and ready to take on the day while also being far more relaxed than I normally find myself. Savasana under blue sky and clouds left me feeling more relaxed and renewed than the typical dark room. I kept forgetting that I was in the middle of Manhattan, just 17 stories above the hustle and bustle of the morning commute. 

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Each of SpotYoga’s 60 minute Vinyasa classes includes mat, props, towels and fresh Liquiteria juice for participants. Many of the hotel and lounge locations will offer extra benefits such as breakfast or discounts for future hotel spa or rooftop use. The classes are currently priced at $34 per class, which makes it about $10 more than the average boutique yoga class in NYC. But, the founders stress that it’s important to think about what this includes, as with SpotYoga there are no hidden costs such as fees for mats, towels or water.  The only other thing I wish they offered was iced coffee post class, but that’d just be too perfect!

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There are six classes scheduled during July, each beginning at 7 am and taking place on a spectacular rooftop. Their list of partner hotel and clubs includes City View at the Wyndham, Halo Penthouse, Studio 450, The DL Rooftop, The Veranda at the Eventi, and STK Rooftop!

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During their launch, you can use the code WELCOMETOSUMMER to get $10 off any class!  Head over to their site or Classpass to book your first New York City rooftop yoga class!

SpotYoga: Cost: $34 which includes props, towels, mat and juice – Address: All around town at various rooftop locations. – What to wear: Wear your favorite yoga attire though make sure to dress for the weather. If it’s a warmer morning, shorts are probably better than leggings.  Would I pay for it myself? Yes, I think this could be a great monthly activity with friends before work!

Thank you to SpotYoga for the complimentary class and the wonderful pictures.

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Yoga in The Shard

When Charlie asked me what I wanted to do during my final London weekend, I had no idea. There are so many wonderful things to see and do in London that it’s tough to choose just one activity.  Quite the London expert, Charlie chose the perfect activity to kick off our weekend of fun – Yoga in The Shard, London’s tallest building. 

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The class started at 8:30, quite early for a Saturday but they have to complete the yoga class before the viewing area opens to other visitors. Charlie and I arrived at The Shard around 8 am, not knowing whether we’d have to wait in line. Once going through security and the two different elevators lifts, gorgeous floor to ceiling views of London greeted us! Charlie and I arrived earlier than most, which allowed us front row mats, paired with gorgeous views of the miniature size London below us. Even though the weather was, unfortunately, overcast, we could still see St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The Gherkin and other famous London sights.

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While enjoying the views, I couldn’t believe that we were going to practice yoga on the 68th floor, 1,016 feet above London! This is the most memorable yoga space I’ve visited!

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At 8:30 exactly, everyone was asked to take their place on the mats provided by Yogasphere. The teacher quickly introduced herself and asked the forty students whether there were injuries or anyone new to yoga. I appreciated that while it was such a large class, wrapping fully around the viewing room, she did her best to move around during class. Also, a second person, stationed towards the back of the class, helped those people who couldn’t view the primary teacher. Thanks to the instructors’ microphone everyone, regardless their mat position,  could hear the soothing music and her instructions.

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The hour-long class, which is open to all-levels, combined a mix of faster-paced flow in between a relaxing and restorative first and last ten minutes of class. There were people, men and women alike, of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. They tailor the class so anyone can follow, whether a practiced yogi who wants to do inversions and deepen the moves or a total beginner. I appreciated that the teachers took time to provide adjustments during a few of the binds and twists.

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After the class, Charlie and I took advantage of the 15-minute viewing time to take pictures and practice poses with the unbelievable background.

Whether you’re visiting London or a local, I recommend booking a Saturday yoga class in the shard. It’s a relaxing class and perfect way to enjoy the views from The Shard. While the 40-pound price isn’t cheap, tickets to the shard are typically 25 pounds just to go to the viewing deck, this is a great deal! If you’re a local, classes are also included on SoMuchMore London, a local fitness booking site.

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Y7 Yoga Studio

After a long flight I often try to book time at a local yoga studio to unwind the knots that 15 hours of traveling imposes on my neck and shoulders. While I have a few favorite New York City studios, I knew that this time I wanted to try Y7 Yoga.

Since their Flatiron location opened in April, I’ve read countless positive, rave reviews on the studio and it’s unique vibe. Friday morning Theodora and I flowed through the 60 minutes of poses, loosening the stress of our weeks.

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As I climbed the stairs of their Flatiron location, I knew I was in for a refreshing experiences.

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Their stairs greet each participant with inspirational Drake lyrics reminding them that they’ve made progress just by choosing to walk up the stairs towards an hour long yoga practice.    IMG_0815

Once inside I was greeted by a fresh, bright space including a check-in desk, storage cubicles, yoga mats, towels, a seating area as well as two bathrooms. The bathrooms feature an adorable “I woke up like this” area which allows yogis to go from sweaty to office-ready with dry shampoo, deodorant, blow dryers and large mirrors. While I always hope for a shower, this is a great backup option.

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There are four key things that separate Y7 from other yoga studios I’ve frequented in NYC – heat, light and music.

  • HeatEach class is practiced in a studio which is warmed by infrared heat. Infrared heat is different from space heaters or radiators because it heats objects versus just heating the air. According to Y7 co-founder, the benefits include increased calorie burn, improved skin tone, lower cortisol levels and more. Now while there isn’t much to support these claims, I will say that the heat was warm and calming versus the stifling and stinky heat experienced in many hot yoga classes.  Evidently Y7 is also the first studio in New York to offer full-spectrum infrared heating. I recommend bringing an extra towel, or two, to make sure you don’t slip in your sweat. The studio also rents YogiToes towels for $2.
  • Light, or lack of light – Class is practiced in a dark studio, only lit with small candles. Initially I was worried that this would negatively affect my practice; now allowing me to watch the instructor. I quickly realized that this had the completely opposite affect. Instead of spending class being intimidated by other yogis or trying to push beyond my limits, I found myself focusing inward and calmed by the candle light. For this reason and do to the intensity of the class, I would not recommend it for beginners who may get lost with only verbal cues.
  • Music – This studio bucks the norm by blasting hip hop music throughout the class versus the traditional yoga chants. Who knew that one could get so relaxed while listening to JayZ, Sam Smith, Notorious B.I.G but our 60 minute flowed perfectly in time to the beat of each song.
  • Free Flow – After going through each flow sequence three to four times as a group, the instructor gave us a few minutes or one song of free flow. During two of the free flows I did the yoga sequence on my own, but the third one I took my warm muscles through inversion practice. I loved that the instructor was on hand to help anyone who was working on inversions, holding legs or spotting us into position.

Would I go again? Heck yes! In fact, I wish I could go to this week’s WeFlowHard Hip Hop Vinyasa – Nicki Minaj vs Lil Wayne!

Cost: You can book individual sessions at $22 per single class or buy a package which can reduce rates down to $16. You can also book a spot at any of their locations using ClassPass.

Address: I went to the Flatiron location, located at 25 West 23rd Street, 4th floor. However, there are 3 locations, Williamsburg, SoHo & Flatiron.

What to wear: Be prepared to sweat! Most people wore tank tops, sports bras and shorts or light crop pants.

Have you practiced yoga in the dark before?

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