On the second floor of a nondescript building, just a stone’s throw away from the 16th Street BART station is the ever-popular Yoga Kula. It feels a world away from the Mission’s grit — with a wrap-around patio decorated with plants and a gorgeous city skyline that takes your mind off the work of challenging poses. The class we attended with Kavita Vora began with a lesson in paying attention and being mindful of our breath and bodies, and followed with a series of warrior poses and squats that aid with digestion, cleansing, and warding off osteoporosis. We left feeling like our hips (and eyes) were a bit more open.
Price: Drop-in for $12 to $17, three-class new student pass for $25.
Yoga Kula, 3030A 16th Street (between Mission and Wiese streets); 415-934-0000; 1700 Shattuck Ave (between Francisco and Virginia streets), Berkeley; 510-486-0264.
Set inside the luxe Fillmore Street spa International Orange is its in-house yoga lounge — a relaxing oasis away from the hustle and bustle. The light-soaked spot offers a plethora of classes that aren’t just limited to spa guests, but that everyone is able to enjoy. Kevin’s open-level Vinyasa flow course is speedy, but still a do-able pace, and is really wonderful for all types of yogis. He encourages you to attempt the poses on your own accord, while still reminding you to break through the limits of what you’re comfy with. So, it’s a well-balanced mix for advanced and newbies alike. Plus, for Shavasana he plays a dreamy, Point Reyes steamboat and wave mix. Score!
Price: Drop-in for $14 to $18.
International Orange, 2044 Fillmore Street (between California and Pine streets); 415-563-5000
A jazz club in the ‘30s, the original home of KQED, and also a Dominican chapel, the Victorian house that Yoga Garden is in has been a rich part of San Francisco for some time — you can just feel the history! And the sound quality? It’s amazing, making your oms really travel through the room. The studio is spacious — it takes up three floors and the entrance is through the back door. The curvy pathway makes Yoga Garden feel like a charming retreat. We took a class with the attentive and earthy Sonya Genel — an intense lunchtime set that we highly recommend. Trust you will sweat at this urban escape and you’ll love every second of it.
Price: Drop-in for a 28-day pass for $65, available for new students.
Yoga Garden, 286 Divisadero (between Haight and Page streets); 415-552-9644.
Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile