Confession: I’m a bit of a yoga floozie… in that I love to gym jump to studios all across the Valley (and there are a lot). Between Arcadia and North Scottsdale, yoga studios almost outnumber Starbucks. And each one has a niche: some are hot, hot, hot!; others are more into the meditative restorative thang. And because I love lists so much, here’s my rundown of my top 6…
1. The best place for restorative: Metta Yoga
Owner Zuzana Kolinkova is a yoga genius. The first time I took her class I was like, where have you been all my life? My body and mind were blown away by the intricate series of asanas she linked together in just the right way – I guarantee it’s like nothing you’ve experienced before. And all the classes at Metta have a little something special, whether you’re doing Qi-Yoga & Body Rolling with Kat or Loriee’s Master Flow Sunday at 9am (holy challenging!). Bonus: Metta classes are also offered at The Phoenician Resort – the best yoga with a view in the Valley!
2. The best downtown studio: Urban Yoga
I have a serious love affair with Urban Yoga. I love the total lack of yoga snobbery (no attitude whatsoever), I LOVE the instructors (Tara Martell, Jenn Chiarelli, Mollie Karlicek, Kate Makaroff, Emily Stooks… Amazing!) and I love all the treasures in the yoga boutique. Plus there’s a class for every yogi and mood, from Slow Flow to kick-your-butt Power Flow. Honorable mention: Sutra Midtown.
3. The best yoga bang for your buck: Hot Yoga University
When I first saw the drop-in price at Hot Yoga University in South Scottsdale, I thought it must be a mistake: a $10 drop in is unheard of in Scottsdale. But I was happily wrong. Owner Karin Ann Fellman is a yoga purist and truly believes in the yoga as “union” definition. Even better, full-time college students can get an unlimited monthly membership for $59 (no joke!). Don’t worry, the discounted price doesn’t translate to a discounted experience: the studio and classes will not disappoint.
4. The best hot yoga: True Hot Yoga
This was one tough category, but I had to pick my top: True Hot Yoga. Their True Hot Yoga class is like Bikram meets flow: it has balancing and energizing asanas, a heated/humidified room for an extra dose of detox + music. And their Scottsdale studio has a second studio for hot flow. But honorable mention goes out to Sumits Yoga and Bikram Yoga AZ.
5. The best yoga instructors: Gainey Village and The Madison Improvement Club
This was also a tough one because there are so many darn good teachers in the Valley. The Village has Beri Golding, Hillary Ryan and Danielle Campagna; The Madison has Gina Marciano, Alex Austin and Harmony Fulton. You could take a class at either and know you’re going to get an AMAZING workout and walk away with those feel-good yoga vibes surging through your system.
6. The crowd favorite: One Love Yoga at Grayhawk
In case you missed it, One Love Yoga was just voted best yoga studio in the Valley by AZFoothills’ Best of Our Valley. Bonus: as well as yoga, they offer mat-based Pilates and Latin-infused Zumba.