Finding the perfect TC yoga studio
By Jennifer Reed | Oct. 15, 2022
Yoga is an ancient practice lauded for its many health benefits, but it can be hard to know where to start with your own journey. Whether you’re new to the practice or not, showing up to a yoga studio by yourself for the first time can be intimidating.
There’s a lot to consider when searching for the perfect studio: class sizes, class offerings, pricing, location, additional amenities. There’s also the overall vibe, where you figure out if you’ll fit in with the people and the practice. The good news: You don’t need to be flexible, super strong, or have perfect balance to do yoga—you can come as you are. We tried four different studios, and each of the spaces we visited were welcoming and genuine in their belief that yoga is for everyone.
Best for Your Wallet: Change Perspective Yoga
changeperspectiveyoga. com | 818 Red Drive, Suite 100, Traverse City
Mathieu Boldron and Ashtynne Hudecz opened Change Perspective Yoga exercise (CPY) in the Commons just six months ago with the mission of making yoga “affordable for everyone, regardless of financial situation. ”
Boldron and Hudecz designed a membership system to fit a variety of financial circumstances. All, we repeat all , monthly memberships come with unlimited yoga and help to fund the rent and upkeep of the studio space. Instructors are compensated exclusively by donations plus tips so , if you’re trying yoga or CPY initially and are financially able, choose the $25 membership and tip your instructor like you would for any other service. That’s a month’s worth of unlimited classes for about the same price of the average yoga class, and you can cancel anytime. It’s the best deal we’ve been able to find. If you’re unable to pay for any reason, you are still welcome. Seriously, no judgment and no questions asked.
CPY offers breathwork classes in addition to a variety of different types of yoga classes. We personally enjoyed the hatha course, led by Siena Campo, and are looking forward to the foundation class (perfect for beginners and experienced yogis looking to revisit the particular basics). CPY is located in the small, square 818 building of the old State Hospital to the left of Spanglish. Walk up the steps and you’ll find an intimate and friendly studio room immediately to your right.
Best for All Ages: Dharamsala TC
dharamsalatc. com | 869 Robinwood Court and 319 Front Street, Traverse City
Dharamsala TC opened their doors on Robinwood Court a little over a year ago and have already added a second studio downtown. Studio owners, Kay Epple and Hilary Lee, say, “Dharamsala translates as a shelter or spiritual rest house in Sanskrit, and that’s truly what we strive to be, a respite from the busyness associated with life…our mission is to cultivate peace, connection, and community, and we do that not just through our classes but via our workshops and trainings. ”
Between the two locations, there are four studio rooms and over 50 classes on their schedule every week. The studio offers multiple types of classes, ranging from traditional hot yoga and power yoga to restorative yoga in addition to Pilates, barre, and mobility classes. We took the warm detox course, led by Tina Metropoulos, alongside Epple and Lee at their Front Street location. It was easy to feel at home with their extra comfy couches and their view of the bay.
The owners and instructors are passionate about sharing their mission with people of “all ages, abilities, bodies, plus [experience] levels, ” and have curated the class schedule that is sure to fit your goals. And when they say all ages, they mean it; we love that they have classes specifically designed for children, making them the most family-friendly from the bunch. Visit justbeeyoga. com to learn more about the kids’ classes and workshops.
Dharamsala is excited about their own 200-hour yoga teacher training, beginning in January, and their particular Introduction to Mindfulness workshop, going on this fall.
Best for a Sweaty Workout: Original Hot Yoga
originalhotyogatc. possuindo | 845 South Garfield Avenue, Traverse City
Original Hot Yoga exercises has been a part of the Traverse Town community for the last 18 years. Co-owners Amy and Brandon Kietzman say, “Our mission is to serve our local community by revealing an ancient and profound way of harmonious daily living, which is unfortunately no longer the norm…We also wish to preserve the integrity of the original 26 and two sequence for generations to come and we want to reach anyone who wishes to restore youth, find lasting peace, live longer, plus feel better! ”
What does 26 and two mean? Every time that you’re in class, you will do the same 26 postures and two breathing exercises in the same sequence for a duration of 90 minutes, working to develop strength and flexibility in every single one of your muscles. Oh, and the room will be anywhere between 105 and 110 degrees so , trust us, it’s a workout. You will be dripping in sweat, so bring the biggest water bottle you’ve got.
The intensity of the poses, the heat within the room, and the duration of the class really foster a sense of camaraderie amongst the class. Don’t be intimidated by the heat or the challenge—beginners and experienced practitioners are welcome and encouraged to take breaks and go at their own pace.
The studio is getting ready for their major Black Friday sale, but don’t miss out on their 10/$25 deal, offering 10 days worth of unlimited classes for the price of a single class.
Best for Variety: Yen Yoga & Fitness
yenyogafitness. com | 615 East Front Street, Traverse City
Yen Yoga exercise & Fitness (YYF) has been part of the TC community for the past 12 years and now has a new, permanent home inside The Delamar Traverse City hotel near downtown. Upon entering the lobby, you’ll see the YYF signs welcoming you to your left. Their new home consists of two studio spaces, comfortable lounge seating, and access to special amenities like the hotel’s two pools, sauna, and fitness facility.
YYF offers a thoughtfully curated list of over 60 classes per week, making it easy to drop in for a class. YYF leadership team members say, “Yen Yoga & Fitness was founded as a place for a community of wellness-minded people to gather. We welcome anyone and everyone who is interested in moving, sweating, stretching, strengthening and centering in a positive, uplifting way. ”
As the name suggests, YYF offers multiple types of yoga in addition to other fitness and mobility classes, and they have a variety of membership packages. We highly recommend the gentle yoga class led by Becky Kalajian. This was by far the gentlest class we tried, and the end result was an unbelievable sense of relaxation, like we’d had a spa service instead of a workout.
YYF is active outside the studio as well and is excited about the free community hikes they’re hosting this fall and winter. Jet over to their website to sign up because spots fill up fast!
Photo by Melissa Lande Creative, Dharamsala TC.