When you’re on the road and away from your local studio, it’s always a treat to find a place where you can do some yoga and maybe even make a few friends. Easton Yoga in Easton, PA, is one such place. When I’m not in a major city, I usually don’t even make an effort anymore to try out the local yoga offerings, because I have been so consistently disappointed in the past. In fact, my first visit to Easton Yoga wasn’t to practice yoga, but simply to purchase a gift for my father. But when I walked into the studio and had a look at their schedule and the space, I started to have a feeling that it might be a place worth trying out. The next day, I came for an Ashtanga Primary Series class, and was pleasantly surprised to find a decently challenging class led by a very knowledgeable and helpful instructor.
The vibe at Easton Yoga reminds me a lot of the old LA Yoga studio near UCLA (previously owned by Mark Stephens, but now part of the Yoga Works mega-chain) and Liberation Yoga (privately owned by two Yoga Works defectors) on La Brea in Los Angeles. There’s something about these small studios which are owned and operated by dedicated yogis/yoginis that creates a strong sense of community and positive energy that you can really sense as soon as you walk through the door. It’s really the little things that add up to making this difference, I think. For instance, Easton Yoga sells a lot of yoga products, like any other yoga studio, but it seems like the vast majority of their merchandise is either made locally or by smaller, independent companies. Also, from looking at their website and the various flyers and notices in their studio, I could tell that the owners of Easton Yoga really make an effort to be active members of their local community. This is something wholly missing from some of these yoga businesses in New York and LA, which is really pretty sad, given that a big part of yoga, at least for me, is about connecting with other people and taking my practice into the world, so to speak.
Although Easton Yoga is a small operation trying to attract yoga students in a part of the country that doesn’t (yet) have tons of dedicated yogis and yoginis, I can tell they are on the right path, and expect to find myself dropping by for a class whenever I’m in the area. In addition to vinyasa flow classes, they also have some limited offerings in Kripalu, Kundalini, Anusara, Tai Chi, and (I think this is right) belly dancing. You can also make arrangements through Easton Yoga for various massage and Ayurvedic services.