Simply Yoga: Best Yoga Classes in Charlotte

We told you about all of Charlotte’s yoga studios. Now here’s a guide to each studio’s best (and most popular) classes. (See interactive map for studio locations.)

Laughing Buddha

The Class: Fusion

This is ideal for athletic types who seek yoga-based activity without the traditional emphasis on its meditative aspects. Thirty minutes of straightforward (but challenging!) flow, including sun salutations and balance sequences, are followed by forty-five minutes of core strengthening and weight lifting with dumbbells and resistance bands. With upbeat music playing throughout, this class was a great workout that should satisfy the yoga-wary looking to mix up their exercise routine.

Schedule: Varies from week to week, but the fusion class is offered seven days a week, MWF 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m., TTh 9:15 a.m. to 10:30am, 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and Sunday 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Teacher: Betsie Maner

Yoga One Wellness

The Class: All Levels Vinyasa- Hour

The earthy vibe and sweltering heat of the 94-degree main studio at Yoga One sets the tone for this very challenging and intensely meditative practice for those who like a good sweat while pushing body and mind. Instructor Johnna Smith’s powerful voice, combined with the sound of the entire class breathing deeply, helps yogis focus on their breath and intention while moving through series of sun salutations, balancing poses, inversions, and twists in a constant flow. Cold-scented towels provided for savasana at the end are the perfect reward after working as hard as you will in this class.

Schedule: Vinyasa is Yoga One’s staple class and is offered every day, classes varying from sixty to 120 minutes. Check yogaonewellness.com for times.

Teacher: Johnna Smith

Charlotte Yoga

The Class: Power Mixed

This challenging class is definitely not for beginners, but will impress experienced yogis looking for a good power class. Instructor Amity Whalen’s voice helps you to maintain your focus on breath and intention while leading the class through variations on sun salutations and repetitions of short sequences of holding poses as a mix of R&B and pop music plays in the background. Those looking for an intense power yoga experience in a laid-back environment will enjoy this up-tempo class.

Schedule: Offered T W Th Sat 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., T 7:05 p.m.  to 8:30 p.m., and Sun from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Teacher: Amity Whalen

Yoga Oasis

The Class: Yin Yoga

The cool darkness of the large, carpeted studio at Yoga Oasis provides the essential atmosphere for this very calming class. But don’t arrive expecting an hour-long snooze: holding deep stretch poses for three to six minutes is more challenging than it seems. Owner/instructor Elaine Parker shows that working to stay still in poses that open tight muscles and restore joints requires focus and intention. This class is the perfect complement to more strenuous yoga or other kinds of physical activity. Athletes and yogis alike will appreciate the different kind of challenge that yin yoga offers and will benefit from this soothing and renewing class.

Schedule: Offered M-F, Sun 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., T Th from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and Sun 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Teacher: Elaine Parker

YogaFlex

The Class: Power Mixed

This popular power yoga class is definitely worth the drive for yogis coming from uptown Charlotte and a must for those who live close to Ballantyne. Expect a combination of well-paced flow and holding classics such as half moon, triangle, crescent lunges, and tree. Instructor Mara Healy’s wonderfully calm instruction is essential to the accessibility of this challenging but restorative class. Interesting hip openers and unexpected flow sequences set this class apart from the rest.

Schedule: Varies from week to week, but offered every day but Sunday. M W F 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., M 9:10 a.m. to10:30 a.m., M T W 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m., W T F Sat 10:45 a.m. to -12 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. T F

Teacher: Mara Healy

8th Street Studio

The Class: Level II, Iyengar yoga

This funky and relaxed neighborhood studio is unique in its teaching of the Iynegar style of yoga, known for using props like belts and blocks and focusing on body alignment. The first fifteen minutes of class were spent talking about the philosophy behind the practice as well as chanting. The majority of the time, though, was spent doing wall balances and deep backbends, which was a definite plus, compared to more intense or crowded classes that don’t allow for much experimentation or wall space. The deep stretching involved was both relaxing and surprisingly challenging. Expect to leave feeling refreshed and flexible.

Schedule: Offered M 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Teacher: Phyllis Rollins

Gotta Yoga

The Class: Vinyasa (9:30 a.m. to10:45 a.m.)

Looking for a challenging but uplifting class? Look to Gotta Yoga. Gisela’s vinyasa class is lighthearted and accessible but definitely fits the bill for yogis wanting to expand their practice. Ten minutes of chanting and singing set a positive tone for the class, although it may have been a little much for those skeptical of the spiritual aspects of yoga. The slow but steady pace of the class and the playful atmosphere allowed for opportunities for experimenting, especially with interesting balancing poses (think firefly and crow).

Schedule: Offered every day, check web site for times. Varies from sixty- to seventy-five-, to ninety-minute classes and hot vinyasa.

Teacher: Gisela

Yoga for Life

The Class: Yoga I

This is a great class for beginners or seasoned practitioners alike who want to chill out and stretch. The low-key and welcoming atmosphere allows for a relaxed practice that explores the fundamentals of breathing and poses. Lots of movement sets this class apart from other lower-level classes; swaying, rocking and shaking are all encouraged. Instructor Hampton Htrower’s warmth is inviting and creates a soothing and mellow presence that is especially helpful for those new to yoga.

Schedule: M 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:45 p.m., T 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., 6 to 7:15 p.m., W 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Th 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., F 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Sat 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Teacher: Hampton Thrower

Sangati Healing Arts

The Class: Mixed

Sangati’s mixed class is both fun and challenging. The relaxed but focused atmosphere creates room for improvement, as instructor Sarah Faircloth is sure to include interesting poses such as handstands against the walls and transitioning in scissors and crow. A power hatha class that includes some vinyasa flow, this class has a great pace and a welcoming feel. Those who attend should expect to work hard with twists and backbends but feel uplifted and renewed both throughout the class and long afterwards.

Schedule: T Th 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., W 6 p.m. to 7:20 p.m., Th 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Sat 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Sun 9 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

 

Teacher: Sarah Faircloth 

Laughing Buddha

The Class: Fusion

This is ideal for athletic types who seek yoga-based activity without the traditional emphasis on its meditative aspects. Thirty minutes of straightforward (but challenging!) flow, including sun salutations and balance sequences, are followed by forty-five minutes of core strengthening and weight lifting with dumbbells and resistance bands. With upbeat music playing throughout, this class was a great workout that should satisfy the yoga-wary looking to mix up their exercise routine.

Schedule: Varies from week to week, but the fusion class is offered seven days a week, MWF 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m., TTh 9:15 a.m. to 10:30am, 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and Sunday 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Teacher: Betsie Maner

Yoga One Wellness

The Class: All Levels Vinyasa- Hour

The earthy vibe and sweltering heat of the 94-degree main studio at Yoga One sets the tone for this very challenging and intensely meditative practice for those who like a good sweat while pushing body and mind. Instructor Johnna Smith’s powerful voice, combined with the sound of the entire class breathing deeply, helps yogis focus on their breath and intention while moving through series of sun salutations, balancing poses, inversions, and twists in a constant flow. Cold-scented towels provided for savasana at the end are the perfect reward after working as hard as you will in this class.

Schedule: Vinyasa is Yoga One’s staple class and is offered every day, classes varying from sixty to 120 minutes. Check yogaonewellness.com for times.

Teacher: Johnna Smith

Charlotte Yoga

The Class: Power Mixed

This challenging class is definitely not for beginners, but will impress experienced yogis looking for a good power class. Instructor Amity Whalen’s voice helps you to maintain your focus on breath and intention while leading the class through variations on sun salutations and repetitions of short sequences of holding poses as a mix of R&B and pop music plays in the background. Those looking for an intense power yoga experience in a laid-back environment will enjoy this up-tempo class.

Schedule: Offered T W Th Sat 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., T 7:05 p.m.  to 8:30 p.m., and Sun from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Teacher: Amity Whalen

Yoga Oasis

The Class: Yin Yoga

The cool darkness of the large, carpeted studio at Yoga Oasis provides the essential atmosphere for this very calming class. But don’t arrive expecting an hour-long snooze: holding deep stretch poses for three to six minutes is more challenging than it seems. Owner/instructor Elaine Parker shows that working to stay still in poses that open tight muscles and restore joints requires focus and intention. This class is the perfect complement to more strenuous yoga or other kinds of physical activity. Athletes and yogis alike will appreciate the different kind of challenge that yin yoga offers and will benefit from this soothing and renewing class.

Schedule: Offered M-F, Sun 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., T Th from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and Sun 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Teacher: Elaine Parker

YogaFlex

The Class: Power Mixed

This popular power yoga class is definitely worth the drive for yogis coming from uptown Charlotte and a must for those who live close to Ballantyne. Expect a combination of well-paced flow and holding classics such as half moon, triangle, crescent lunges, and tree. Instructor Mara Healy’s wonderfully calm instruction is essential to the accessibility of this challenging but restorative class. Interesting hip openers and unexpected flow sequences set this class apart from the rest.

Schedule: Varies from week to week, but offered every day but Sunday. M W F 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., M 9:10 a.m. to10:30 a.m., M T W 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m., W T F Sat 10:45 a.m. to -12 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. T F

Teacher: Mara Healy

8th Street Studio

The Class: Level II, Iyengar yoga

This funky and relaxed neighborhood studio is unique in its teaching of the Iynegar style of yoga, known for using props like belts and blocks and focusing on body alignment. The first fifteen minutes of class were spent talking about the philosophy behind the practice as well as chanting. The majority of the time, though, was spent doing wall balances and deep backbends, which was a definite plus, compared to more intense or crowded classes that don’t allow for much experimentation or wall space. The deep stretching involved was both relaxing and surprisingly challenging. Expect to leave feeling refreshed and flexible.

Schedule: Offered M 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Teacher: Phyllis Rollins

Gotta Yoga

The Class: Vinyasa (9:30 a.m. to10:45 a.m.)

Looking for a challenging but uplifting class? Look to Gotta Yoga. Gisela’s vinyasa class is lighthearted and accessible but definitely fits the bill for yogis wanting to expand their practice. Ten minutes of chanting and singing set a positive tone for the class, although it may have been a little much for those skeptical of the spiritual aspects of yoga. The slow but steady pace of the class and the playful atmosphere allowed for opportunities for experimenting, especially with interesting balancing poses (think firefly and crow).

Schedule: Offered every day, check web site for times. Varies from sixty- to seventy-five-, to ninety-minute classes and hot vinyasa.

Teacher: Gisela

Yoga for Life

The Class: Yoga I

This is a great class for beginners or seasoned practitioners alike who want to chill out and stretch. The low-key and welcoming atmosphere allows for a relaxed practice that explores the fundamentals of breathing and poses. Lots of movement sets this class apart from other lower-level classes; swaying, rocking and shaking are all encouraged. Instructor Hampton Htrower’s warmth is inviting and creates a soothing and mellow presence that is especially helpful for those new to yoga.

Schedule: M 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:45 p.m., T 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., 6 to 7:15 p.m., W 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Th 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., F 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Sat 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Teacher: Hampton Thrower

Sangati Healing Arts

The Class: Mixed

Sangati’s mixed class is both fun and challenging. The relaxed but focused atmosphere creates room for improvement, as instructor Sarah Faircloth is sure to include interesting poses such as handstands against the walls and transitioning in scissors and crow. A power hatha class that includes some vinyasa flow, this class has a great pace and a welcoming feel. Those who attend should expect to work hard with twists and backbends but feel uplifted and renewed both throughout the class and long afterwards.

Schedule: T Th 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., W 6 p.m. to 7:20 p.m., Th 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Sat 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Sun 9 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.


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