Two years ago, an increase in anxiety led me to the mat.
I tried out a yoga studio nestled in the building that I worked at downtown, but it was big, and there were so many people that I often found myself only a few centimeters away from foreign bodies dripping sweat onto my mat. It became a challenge to sweep to mountain pose without rubbing slippery, sweaty arms with my neighbor’s. And because of the 105-degree temperature, I spent the entire 60-minute class staring at the door and imagining the cool air outside. I wasn’t relaxed. In a sea of Lululemon and sculpted bodies that focused on achieving the best handstand, I didn’t fit.
Fortunately, Capitol Hill has enough yoga studios to accommodate a multitude of yogis. Whether the goal is a competitive fitness studio or a place where the physical meets the mental, options don’t run out.
Seattle Yoga Arts
The warm peach-colored walls, the tapestries, and the bulbous paper lanterns that hang from the ceiling make this studio an inviting place to practice. Located on 15th and Pine, you’ll hear the occasional car pass by, but foot and vehicle traffic isn’t loud enough to interrupt class. You can expect a brief period of chanting at the beginning of the Essentials class, followed by a powerful, collective “om” at the end. Meg’s Essentials class does not offer music; instead, you’ll be guided through poses with an acute focus on your posture and position.
Seattle Yoga Arts offers a variety of classes, ranging from an “Essentials” class that introduces the foundations of yoga, to an interactive “Align/Refine” class of hands-on bodywork from the instructors.
Drop in: $18
One-month unlimited: $140
1540 15th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
Capitol Hill is Core Power’s 79th location. Walking into the lobby, there are two couches in front of a fireplace. Core Power has a small store in the lobby where they sell mats and clothing. They have a sign-up kiosk if you haven’t been before, and they give you a complimentary week to try as many classes as you want. The studio, dimly lit and covered with mirrors on every wall, feels like a club. For people looking for fitness-geared yoga with competitive undertones, this is an ideal studio. In Linnea’s C2 class, you can expect a lot of sweat, faster cues, and some Bon Iver and Massive Attack to keep you moving.
Core Power classes range from a beginner level (C1) to an advanced level (C2). Additionally, they offer a “Hot Power Fusion” class as well as a “Power Sculpt” class with weights.
One-month unlimited: $179
501 Broadway East, Seattle, WA 98102
For an intense workout routine with a rigorous flow in a hot studio, Breathe is a good place to start. The studio’s south-facing wall is covered with mirrors, giving participants the opportunity to tweak their poses. The studio feels modern, with exposed metal pipes along the ceiling and a grey, rubbery floor. The outside noise is mild, with the occasional hum of traffic along Madison. Like Core Power, the studio is at ground level, in plain view of pedestrians walking past. There is no music in Breathe – just the instructor’s cues to focus on poses and remember to breathe.
Classes range from “Cali Yoga,” a basic vinyasa class, to “Yoga Asana 90,” a 90-minute flow that welcomes all levels.
One month unlimited: $115
1818 East Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98122
The Grinning Yogi
Nestled in between Subway and Remedy Tea on 15th and Harrison, The Grinning Yogi offers power vinyasa classes that focus on participants experiencing themselves as they are – not the person who got the pose right, but the person who is showed up smiling. During the most intertwined eagle, Owner Jamie Silverstein reminds the class to turn the corners of its mouth up and grin.
The music accompanying the flow is anything from Neil Young to the Beatles to Backstreet Boys. Jamie finishes the flow with an adjustment (short head/neck massage) during the peaceful savasana, followed by a collective “om” at the end.
Classes are themed flows, ranging from “Chillin Flow,” half flow/half restorative, to “Rockin’ Flow,” a more intense power flow.
One month unlimited: $115
345 15th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112
8 Limbs is located next to Sun Liquor on Pike. The studio is upstairs, and the wall of south-facing windows lets a lot of light in during practice. The flow has a more traditional feel, unlike the fitness-geared vibe at Breathe or Core Power. Participants might hear the steady sound of traffic on Pike or, if the window is open, a bro talking about football on his way to happy hour next door. In the Level 2 Flow with Cobey Mandarino, he’ll begin by asking for requests for poses. Class finishes off with a challenging yet rewarding flow with a small adjustment from Cobey during savasana.
8 Limbs offers classes ranging from “All Levels Flow” to “Level 2-3 Flow,” a class that features live music with Stephen Fandri.
Drop-in: $14 – $20
One month unlimited: $115 – $130
500 East Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122