Simply Yoga

Yoga has exploded into a modern fitness obsession thanks to its powerful physical and mental benefits (who doesn't want lean muscles and a clear head?). Whether you're a first timer or you're an experienced yogi looking for a new place to hit the mat, consider this your guide to going om in Charlotte.

A class at Laughing Buddha demonstrates the Warrior One pose.

A class at Laughing Buddha demonstrates the Warrior One pose.

The Studio Guide

The Yoga Oasis
The Yoga Oasis attracts loyal followers of bikram—a twenty-six-pose sequence practiced in a room heated to between 100 and 105 degrees. For those whose bodies are tight and tense, this class will help: bikram is an intense practice that promotes flexibility, detoxification, and realignment of the body.
COST: Single class, $16; ten-class pass, $135
Courtyard Shopping Center 2400 Park Rd., Ste. A, 704-334-7104,

Laughing Buddha
SouthPark-based Laughing Buddha introduced Charlotte to a signature fusion class for all levels that combines vinyasa yoga, core strengthening (with five- to fifteen-pound weights), and deep stretching. This posh studio also offers invigorating power and hot yoga classes as well as family yoga.
COST: Single, $15; ten-class pass, $140
720 Governor Morrison St., Ste. E-140, 704-362-3311,

Yoga One Wellness
Yoga One's diverse mix of devotees pack the studio's power vinyasa classes to push their limits physically and mentally. The challenging classes are designed for all levels and taught in a 94-degree room. After practice, the studio's retail boutique and lounge is a relaxing spot to socialize and shop.
COST: Single class, $15; ten-class pass, $100
1111 Central Ave., Ste. 100, 704-332-9911,

Charlotte Yoga
This yogi Mecca, founded in 2002, offers power and hot yoga classes for practitioners of all levels who love to break a sweat. The studio's Hot 26 classes feature a series of poses practiced in a room heated to 95 degrees.
COST: Single class, $16; ten-class pass, $120
1730 E. Woodlawn Rd., Ste. E, 704-665-9003,

Gotta Yoga
At this Univeristy area hot spot you'll find vinyasa (power yoga), hot yoga, forty-five-minute lunch classes, and an eight-week basic yoga series for beginners. Also check out the studio's kids and prenatal yoga classes.
COST: Single class, $15 (first class free); ten-class pass, $110
9539 Pinnacle Dr., Ste. 350, 704-

Yoga Flex
This Ballantyne-based studio invites you to flex your downward dog during its energizing power and hot yoga classes. Yoga Flex also offers "Lil' Yogis" kids sessions and NIA classes, a blend of healing arts (yoga), martial arts,
and dance.
COST: Single class, $15 (first class free); ten-class pass, $110
9852 Rea Rd., Ste. D2, 704-543-8000,

Yoga for Life in Dilworth
Teachers here are certified in kripalu yoga, a style that develops deep self-awareness and focuses on each student's unique needs. Classes are also offered in chair yoga, gentle yoga, and prenatal yoga.
COST: Drop-in class $15 (first class is free); ten-class pass, $130
1920-B Cleveland Ave., 704-344-9642,

Y2 Yoga
This new studio is slated to open in Cotswold this summer. The studio will offer hot, power, basic, and ashtanga yoga classes for all levels. Ashtanga is an intense style of yoga where students practice traditional series of poses in a set sequence.
COST: Single class, $15; ten-class pass, $100
280 S. Sharon Amity Rd., 704-577-2081,

8th Street Studio
Charlotte's first yoga studio (it opened in 1993) is also where you can learn the iyengar yoga tradition, which features the use of props like belts and ropes. Students acquire increased awareness of the self, a calm and stable mind, and greater discipline and concentration.
COST: Single class, $15 to $18;
six-week series, $60 to $90
1940 E. Eighth St., 704-372-4289,

Sangati Yoga and Massage
Sangati teaches anusara yoga, a style that focuses on precise alignment principles. Sangati yoga director/co-founder Sarah Faircloth is nationally recognized for her challenging and playful teaching style, so yogis can choose from a truly relaxing class or one that challenges the body and mind.
COST: Single class, $15; eight-class pass, $96
2201 Park Rd., Ste. D, 704-334-3221,

Read about each studio's most popular class. Plus, use our interactive map to find the yoga studio closest to you.

Get Outdoors

Not all yoga has to happen in a peaceful studio. Charlotte Yoga Club's classes, which are held outside at Freedom Park and at the former Breathing Room yoga studio in South End, are often just $5, making them recession-friendly alternatives to studio classes. The club offers a variety of classes including Pilates and power yoga.