Jivamukti Yoga Center
404 Lafayette Street
The last time yoga was this hot, it was the first century A.D. Nowhere does this statement appear less dubious than at Jivamukti's palatial, three-studio center on the newly swank strip of Lafayette Street directly south of Astor Place. More than a dozen classes (all classes are $15) are taught here each day, yet nearly every one is filled to capacity with men and women of every color, mostly young, often tattooed, always beautiful. But not even the hectic scene at check-in and the one shower per gender can deter us from giving a big Om Shanti to David Life and Sharon Gannon's 13-year-old center, which just blows away the competition in acuity of teachers, beauty of space, and precision of workout. The balance between Jivamukti's interest in raising your spirituality quotient and their passion for making your body look amazing is perfectly struck here, and at some point -- Ganesh willing -- you'll find that the two actually do go hand in hand. A word to the wise: Newcomers should definitely begin with the small Basic I classes; the acrobatic poses in the open classes will puzzle and, more importantly, hurt you if not first explored in depth under the care of an instructor.
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