There many places to do yoga in Los Angeles. You can do yoga at a gym, a studio, or in the privacy of your own home with a private teacher. I prefer studios; gym yoga classes tend to be less serious and less rigorous, and private lessons can be REALLY expensive.
There are a lot of great studios in L.A., but I’ve always had a hard time finding out what other people think about these places. I thought it might be a good idea for people to share their thoughts here on what studios and teachers they like, and why. I can comment on a few, and if other people want to add on, please do!
Liberation Yoga: Very cool vibe at this place. The owner is super nice and exudes positive energy, and there is a strong sense of community here. This is a pretty new studio (about three years old I think), but it seems to be building a decent following. One downside is that the schedule is quite limited, so if you can’t find something you like, you’re out of luck. Also, if your schedule can’t work with the classes you want, you’re out of luck. Oh, fyi, parking is a pain on and around La Brea.
Bala Yoga: What a beautiful space! This is really a well designed studio. It’s is also a relative new studio, and, also like Liberation, Bala Yoga is located right on La Brea. The parking situation is great here though, since they have their own garage (entrance is through the back alley). I haven’t been here in a few months, so things may have changed, but my experience has been very small classes (i.e. 4-8 people usually), which can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on what you want in a class. Also, this studio seems to have very high teacher turnover, which, I found, detracts from the development of any kind of sense of community.
Yoga Works (Main Street): Wonderful world-renowned teachers, packed sweaty classes, very dedicated students, and strong yoga. What else is there to say? Oh, parking is a bit tough at times, but if you can walk a few blocks, park away from the beach and arrive 15 minutes early.
Yoga Works (Montana): Some very good teachers here as well, but a bit spottier than the Main Street studio. The students here are very different though than at any of the other Yogaworks studios. A lot of Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica types come here, and sometimes they seem to forget that it’s a yoga studio, not a country club or a health spa…
Yoga Works (Larchmont): You’d have a hard time believing that this studio is part of the same chain as the other Yoga Works studios. I’ve had nothing but mediocre to bad experiences here. I don’t want to talk too badly about the place though, since, in truth, I’ve only gone a handful of times. Give it a shot and see what you think for yourself. Personally, I didn’t find the classes very challenging or well sequenced.
Yoga Works (Westwood): I’ve been going to this one since it was LA Yoga run by Mark Stephens (what a kick ass place it used to be!). This is still a pretty good studio, especially for students who are newer to yoga. There are also some very good 2/3 teachers here. With such a full schedule, you’d be hard-pressed not to find at least one or two classes that meet your needs. By the way, there is a decent amount of parking here, but the lot still gets NUTS sometimes.
Golden Bridge: Okay, so I’ve only been here once really, but I felt compelled to say something about it. Goldenbridge is by far the most beautiful and awe-inspiring yoga space I have ever seen in my life. Apparently, just about everything in it, including the floorboards, was shipped in from India. I’ve also heard that this studio is known to the larger Kundalini community as the “gateway” between the East and West, or something to that effect. There’s also a great little cafe in Goldenbridge. Unfortunately, I can’t say all that much about the yoga offered there, since I’ve only been once, but if Kundalini is your thing, you should check it out. And even if Kundalini is not, just go and check it out anyway!