Santa Fe Favorites
Yoga is an ancient set of practices first developed in India more than 5,000 years ago. Traditional yoga, whose philosophy involves integrating the body, mind and spirit to achieve harmony in life, involves breath work and meditation as well as physical exercises.
Increased flexibility is a major physical benefit of yoga, and the reason many people are drawn to it. But it doesn’t stop there. Practicing yoga brings increased strength, fitness and balance to the body. Other benefits can include relief from stress and a more peaceful mind. Though yoga is not a religion, traditional yoga is a path to deeper spirituality.
Many of Santa Fe’s gyms offer yoga classes as part of their programs. These classes tend to focus on the physical aspect of yoga, moving through a series of postures (called asanas). Yoga studios also hold classes in Hatha Yoga—the “yoga of postures.” Many integrate breath work and chanting into their classes and also offer classes in meditation and other spiritual practices. Here in Santa Fe, where it is estimated that there is one yoga teacher for every ten people, the wealth of choices ensures that you will find the kind of yoga that is right for you.
333 Cordova Road
In recent years, Body of Santa Fe has become a popular meeting spot for health-conscious Santa Feans. Their studio offers a variety of yoga classes for all levels, including pre- and post-natal and children’s classes. The Body studio also offers classes in Nia, a movement practice that integrates jazz dance, aerobics, martial arts and yoga. Their lovely facility includes a café, spa, and boutique, as well as offering child care. Body was voted Best Yoga Studio in the 2008 Santa Fe Reporter poll.
Iyengar Yoga is a popular type of Hatha Yoga developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, a living yoga master from India. This method involves using props—straps, blocks, blankets—to assist students in achieving the postures.
901 W. San Mateo, Suite Y
Among studios offering traditional yoga, Yoga Source is the largest and best known. Founded by Tias and Surya Little, YogaSource holds many classes throughout the day in traditional Iyengar Hatha Yoga at all levels—from gentle beginning classes to advanced classes for those seeking a more demanding practice, as well as a variety of intermediate levels. Vinyasa classes, in which one moves fluidly from posture to posture, is also offered, along with pre- and post-natal, gentle restorative, and classes focused on breath work (pranayama).
1701 Callejon Emilia
Gail Ackerman’s White Iris Yoga also offers Iyengar yoga at beginning and intermediate levels in her sunny west-side studio. Classes are held most mornings and some evenings, and also include therapeutic (for those recovering from injuries) and meditation classes.
83 Placita de Oro
At Yoga One Studio, also on the west side, Susan Vorhees offers eight Iyengar classes each week at beginning, intermediate and mixed levels. A good choice for the budget conscious, Yoga One’s classes are less expensive than those of most local studios.
1310 Monterey Drive
“Hot-style” Hatha yoga is offered at the Bikram College of Santa Fe. Developed by Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury, founder of the Yoga College of India, Bikram’s Yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga performed in a room heated to 105o to increase flexibility and guard against injury. Morning and late afternoon classes are offered daily, with evening classes available most weeknights. Massage is also available here. An introductory discount rate is available for New Mexico residents.
1501 Llano Street
Kundalini Yoga and Meditation-Shakti Whole Life Center offers Kundalini yoga, a type of yoga which is practiced at a more relaxing pace and focuses on spiritual awakening. Classes are offered daily. Tai Chi classes are also offered.
540 Cordova Road W.
Dahn Yoga is a type of yoga developed in Korea which incorporates martial arts into the yoga practice. Classes consist of stretching, breathing and relaxation techniques, meditation, martial arts and energy work. Three classes are offered daily (except Sunday). A Tai Chi class is also offered here.
815-A Early Street
Anusara is a form of yoga developed by American yoga master John Friend. Also practiced in a hot room, Anusara’s philosophy “unifies a Tantric philosophy of intrinsic Goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment™.” At Spandarama, four classes at various levels are offered each day. Private instruction and restorative sessions are also available.
825 Early Street, Suite C
Rima Miller’s Yoga Moves, in addition to a variety of traditional yoga classes, offers workshops and classes in Inversion Swing, in which yoga postures are practiced on low swings. Safe for all levels, Inversion Swing is especially helpful for back and neck ailments and is popular with runners and cyclists. Pilates mat, trapeze, and dance and movement classes are also offered. Rima is an accomplished performer and also holds classes in acting, clowning, improvisation and comedy theater at her Early Street studio.
Rt. 74 Avenida de Melodia #3
Tanya Kerns teaches belly dancing and personal fitness in addition to yoga. Private and group classes are offered at your home or at her Tesuque studio.