When I first started this blog, almost six months ago now, I posted some brief comments about various studios in Los Angeles, including several of the Yoga Works locations. Nitipriya, a blogger who currently lives in Los Angeles and who has been going regularly to Yoga Works in Westwood, kindly offers us this more detailed, and presumably more useful, review of that studio. Thanks!
Yoga Works – Westwood Studio:
In the interest of full disclosure, I should start by saying that this is my primary yoga studio, and has been for nearly three years. I have taken more classes here than at any other studio; currently I practice at this studio 6-7 times a week. Nonetheless, I have taken classes at numerous yoga studios around the country, and have yet to find one that comes close to offering such challenging classes taught by world-class yogis.
The Westwood studio is part of the Yoga Works family, and as such offers a wide range of styles and levels. In addition to yoga, the studio offers mat, semi-private and private Pilates classes. Resident teachers and visiting yogis offer numerous workshops and intensives each month from Raw Food preparation classes to arm balance and inversion workshops, as well as prenatal classes and teacher trainings. No matter what you are looking for, you will probably find it at this studio. Yoga Works is known for producing some of the most famous names in yoga today. In my humble opinion, Los Angeles is the center of yoga in America today, and Yoga Works has set itself apart as one of the finest chain of studios in the city.
I have taken classes from a wide variety of teachers over the last couple of years, primarily in the Vinyasa Flow and “Yoga Works Blend” styles, the latter of which is a mix of Iyengar and Ashtanga. There are many other styles of classes offered, but I have not taken enough of them to speak with any authority. I know for example that some very highly qualified Iyengar teachers offer classes here, but as that is not my particular style of yoga, I will say no more about it. Instead I will focus on what I have more knowledge of, Vinyasa Flow.
For newer practitioners looking for an intense, but slower-paced class I highly recommend Kim Haegle’s bi-weekly 1/2 class. For more advanced practitioners, Joan Hyman’s Ashtanga-influenced vinyasa classes will offer an intense and sweaty workout. Raghunath teaches an advanced vinyasa class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. An incredibly talented yogi, “Raghu” sprinkles his classes with his considerable knowledge of Indian philosophy and often treats his students to a concert on his harmonium during the Sun Salutations and Savasana portions of the class. He is also an avid Raw Foodist; keep an eye out for his special 3-week raw yogi detox classes. Other yogis who I enjoy learning from include David Lynch and Krista Foster, who divide up the one-hour weekday lunch flow classes, and Brock Cahill, who teaches an intense flow class four nights a week that emphasizes inversions and arm balances. His classes in particular are for very experienced practitioners who are looking to take their practice to the next level.
The studio is in a convenient location just south of Westwood Village and UCLA at the corner of Westwood and Wilshire Boulevards. Their prices are competitive, and they offer discounts for students, members of KCRW’s Fringe Benefits program, and Blue Cross. Parking in Westwood is challenging, but Yoga Works does have a limited number of parking spaces in the rear of the studio. If you purchase a ten-dollar parking pass, you have access to those. Several local businesses also allow parking with Yoga Works validation. Residential street parking is also a good option, but read the signs carefully. Nothing kills the blissed-out post-class feeling like a parking ticket.