ClassPass is great because it gives you the chance to try new studios. For me, one of those studios is Atmananda Yoga. It is conveniently located (for me, anyway) near Gramercy Park. The studio is welcoming but just not to my taste.
They are located on the second floor of an office building on Irving Place. Stepping off the elevator the check-in counter is ahead of you with some private studios to your right. There is an area for shoes and coats to your immediate left. The thing that distinguishes Atmananda from other yoga is the mat. Don’t bring your own, they have mats to rent for $2. They are marked to help with alignment and the teacher will call out where to place your foot based on those markings. Without the mat, you will be a little lost.
The space opens up to the right with some benches for sitting and a full kitchen – I think it’s for teachers and those going through training but I’m not sure. There is also a small store where you can buy mats, clothes and accessories. There are two small spaces sectioned off to change clothes and two bathrooms.
Most classes are given in a large room just past the changing area. It’s a lovely space that I can explain as purple, calming and softly lit. I have taken basic and flow classes as well as one that focuses on core muscles. I am not a fan of the kitchen – it makes me feel like I am in an ashram. But the classes themselves don’t do it for me either. I think it is the focus on the mat. I understand that the markings are there to help with alignment and that is very important, of course. But the constant calling out of lines makes it hard to get in to any kind of flow. It is also a barrier for anyone who didn’t realize how much of the class relies on these markings.
I took a class with the Founder/Director Jhon Tamayo – he focused on the mat more than anyone else. He spent a good 15 minutes having two of his regulars (one tall, one short) show how you can so easily get out of alignment and how the mat helps and that he is in conversations with Nike to produce his mat but we can buy it today for the low, low price of $100.
While it isn’t for me, there are a lot of regulars and the space is inviting. I would say – give it a shot – you never know. And if you don’t like it, the beauty of practicing in NYC is that there are 10,000,000 other studios to visit.