Bend It Like Buddha

A guide to Seattle’s top yoga studios.

By Jessica Voelker December 10, 2010 Published in the January 2011 issue of Seattle Met

Follow the Leader
Most Seattle yoga teachers have practiced Kathleen Hunt’s signature style—vinyasa based, with some dancing and chanting sprinkled in—at Samadhi, her legendary Pike Street studio. 1205 E Pike St, Capitol Hill, 206-329-4070;

Laura DeFreitas’s well-rested following swears by her Nidra classes at Taj Yoga. 9250 14th Ave NW, Ballard, 206-782-9642;

Monday through Thursday at noon, pretzel person Troy Lucero leads students through the punishing Ashtanga series at Velocity Dance Center. 1621 12th Ave, Ste 100, Capitol Hill, 206-325-8773;

Notorious scolder Richard Schachtel has been aligning Iyengar yogis for 30 years at The Center for Yoga of Seattle. 2261 NE 65th St, Ravenna, 206-526-9642;

Keep On Moving, Don't Stop
Be Luminous
still has that new-yoga-studio smell, and the canter-paced vinyasa classes keep even the most athletic yogis on their toes. 900 Lenora St, Ste 128, South Lake Union, 206-682-9642;

Expect to skim limbs with your neighbors in packed, fast-paced classes at flow-style standard-bearer Shakti Vinyasa Yoga. 2238 NW Market St, Ballard, 206-297-9642 and 10245 Main St, Ste 104, Bellevue, 425-646-9642;

It’s no boys allowed at posh Vera Fitness in Greenlake, where teachers sprinkle traditional aerobic exercises into their energetic yoga classes. 6845 Oswego Pl NE, Greenlake, 206-453-4632 and 701 N 36th St, Ste 330, Fremont, 206-632-4900;

Bribe yourself into a challenging hatha or flow session at Urban Yoga Spa with a postworkout massage or pedicure. 1900 Fourth Ave, Downtown, 206-420-0222;

Check Out the Hotties
“Bikram” is a trademarked name that can only be used by affiliated studios, but you’ll find a very similar style at SLU’s Breathe Hot Yoga. 2230 Eighth Ave, South Lake Union, 206-682-2949;

The tattooed and sinewy sweat in fairly tight quarters at Bikram Yoga at the Sweatbox on Capitol Hill, but the Shoreline studio is spacious and has showers. 1417 10th Ave, Ste B, Capitol Hill, 206-860-9642 and 20019 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, 206-546-4900;

Strip-mall studio Bikram Yoga Bellevue has a big airy classroom so you won’t drip on your neighbors, and parking is a (much-needed) breeze. 626 120th Ave NE, Bellevue, 425-637-9642;

Take power vinyasa or hatha in the heat at Hot Yoga of ­Laurelhurst or try trendy yin, taught in cooler quarters. 3513 NE 45th St, Ste M, Laurelhurst, 206-522-5080;

Heated for Bikram-style and power sessions, The Ashram in Kirkland chills out for “cool” yoga, plus children’s classes augmented by snacks and stories. 12637 NE 85th St, Kirkland, 425-828-9642;

Neighborhood Types
Seriously gifted instructors and some of the friendliest vibes in town make Eight Limbs Yoga Centers consistent favorites in the four neighborhoods where they’re found. 500 E Pike St, Capitol Hill, 206-325-8221; 6801 Greenwood Ave N, Phinney Ridge, 206-432-9609; 7345 35th Ave NE, Wedgwood, 206-523-9722; and 4546½ California Ave SW, West Seattle, 206-933-9642;

Queen Anners sign up for gently led, soothing hatha classes in a dimly lit space called Home Yoga. 315 First Ave W, Lower Queen Anne, 206-270-9642;

Madrona mommies keep their limbs whittled at Mountain Flow Yoga, a vinyasa and power studio. 3308 E Spring St, Madrona, 206-380-2558;

Inside Yoga Centers’ naturally lit, hardwood-floored studio, owner Aadil Palkhivala watches over a soothing, all-are-welcome purna practice. 2255 140th Ave NE, Ste F, Bellevue, 425-746-7476;

Students at YogaLife tend to take classes based on their favorite teachers, whose classes run the gamut: Ashtanga, vinyasa, hatha, and restorative are all offered. 7200 Woodlawn Ave NE, Greenlake, 206-529-0581 and 8 Boston St, Queen Anne, 206-283-9642;

The gentler pace may surprise power people, but Yoga Tree’s emphasis on proper alignment helps Fremont yogis keep their practice pretty, and the butter-yellow studio is a cozy place to pass a wet weekend morning. 4250 Fremont Ave N, Fremont, 206-545-0316;

Kinder, Gentler Yoga
Sufferers of chronic pain swear by the therapeutic practice at Planet Earth north of the ship canal. 418 N 35th St, Fremont, 206-365-1997;

The $8 classes at Samarya ­Center would be a bargain even if they weren’t populated—and taught—by the warmest, most welcoming yogis in town. 1806 E Yesler Way, Central District, 206-568-8335;

The best way to bide your time until happy hour at neighboring Anchovies and Olives: check out the life-affirming Anusara practice taught at Seattle Yoga Arts, a longtime Capitol Hill favorite enjoying new modern digs inside the Pearl Apartments. 1540 15th Ave, Capitol Hill, 206-440-3191;

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