5 great Mumbai yoga studios

5 great Mumbai yoga studios

It's not just the celebrity endorsements that make these Mumbai yoga studios a great way to start the new year

Over the last two years yoga has taken over Mumbai. Private instructors have been coming to our homes for Rs 500-800 a session, Lower Parel Iyengar classes have three-month waiting lists, many more fitness centers are incorporating Ashtanga in their membership packages and schools are making space for it in their curriculums. 

One Bandra class even alternates Hatha yoga with a South Indian martial art called Kalaripayattu. 

Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor achieves her so-called zero digit figure based on a rigorous yoga routine and drew national attention for it, while copies of Shilpa Shetty's yoga DVD sold like ... well, a Shilpa Shetty yoga video. 

In 2011 the mind-body science is all set to be less of an exercise and more of a lifestyle choice.

But if you're new to it all, where do you begin? 

A yoga studio would be a good introductory step. They're cheaper than private training sessions, their timings have adjusted more to suit Mumbai's working professionals and a few have some really hard-to-ignore fringe benefits.    

YogaSutra

YogaSutraLook out for the Quantum Yoga series conducted by Lara Baumann here in January.While there are numerous reasons to join this studio the primary one is that Shaleen Parekh has made good yoga an any-time, any-day offering. 

In a deviation from the usual pre-scheduled format, YogaSutra allows you to purchase either a single class or multiple classes (for example a 16 pack) which you can attend at your convenience.

Small groups of 10-12 focus on everything from Hatha yoga to Ashtanga in a lovely little Breach Candy studio with hardwood floors. 

The studio also has “Yoga Kids” for under fours and an in-house physiotherapist who combines principles of alignment, anatomy and yoga therapy.

Look out for the Quantum Yoga series conducted by Lara Baumann in January. These are a Vinyasa (flow)-based series that use Ayurvedic concepts and asana practices to identify and balance your body type.

C-4, Chinoy Mansion, B. Desai Road; +91 (0) 22 3210 7067; www.yogasutra.co.in

Yogacara

YogaCaraA healing arts, yoga, meditation and massage center guided by traditional physical and mental disciplines.Located in an old bungalow near Mahalaxmi Mandir, Radhika Vachani's Yogacara is a little piece of paradise in Mumbai. 

Quiet, and with a view of both the sea and the green, this is a seriously beautiful studio.

Vachani, whose classes have a strong bent towards Hatha yoga, wants to promote an authentic and traditional approach toward healing the mind, body and energies. 

For that reason all yoga sessions are limited to 10 people at a time and the studio offers various massage therapy methods from Shiatsu to Balinese massages and foot reflexology. 

Rewa House Bungalow, Bhulabhai Desai Road, opposite National Garage and next to Mahalaxmi temple; +91 98331 98371; www.yogacara.in

Bharat Thakur's Artistic Yoga

Artistic YogaBharat Thakur, founder of artistic yoga, travels around the world conducting yoga and meditation workshops.Bharat Thakur, renowned for innovating an unconventional new yoga style, is responsible for a unique brand of yoga that has taken off with die-hard yogis in Cuffe Parade.

Accommodating up to 20 people, this South Mumbai studio located in a posh residential building has wooden flooring, mirrors on one wall and a garden-facing view. 

Thakur, who has studied the practice intensively, ensures that while the basic format of Artistic Yoga is followed at his classes, the sequence of postures is different every day.

The idea is to constantly surprise the body by working on different muscle groups and pushing the body in different ways.

Call +91 99302 21420; www.artisticyoga.com

Bikram Hot Yoga Studio at True Fitness

Bikram Yoga MumbaiLady Gaga is into Bikram Yoga too, <a href="http://www.celebritydietdoctor.com/lady-gaga-is-into-bikram-yoga" target="_blank">read more</a>. Mumbai's big-daddy of Bikram Yoga -- a fashionable style practiced mainly in the West -- can be found in Andheri. 

True Fitness, the swanky health and fitness center in the suburbs, is home to the city’s first “Hot Yoga Studio."

Here, yogis practice a fixed sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises lasting 90 minutes in a studio heated to a minimum of 41 degrees.

The heat from the work-out is meant to promote detoxification through sweating and supposedly limits the effects of ageing.

The deal: 4,000 square feet, 35 classes a week, 1 hot yoga studio and 1 personal training studio, a members' relaxation lounge, day lockers, steam, sauna and shower facilities for men and women. 

The True Spa offers services such as face and body treatments, body massages, body polish, and even a hair-salon by the legendary Hakim’s Aalim.

Crystal Point Mall 3rd & 4th floor, CTS No.: 834, Plot C, off Village Ambivali, New Andheri Link Road, Andheri (W); +91 (0) 22 6784 6784; www.truefitness.in

Cosmic Fusion

Cosmic FusionThis colorful, fragrant studio in Khar exudes warmth from the minute you walk in.

From the complimentary green tea and medicated wet wipes to the spacious kriya room and steam room, Payal and Manish Tiwari wanted to create "a space that was more than just a place to go and exercise."

The studio, which opened in January 2010, has a maximum in-studio capacity of 12 students.

Yin n Yang yoga for couples, pre and post-natal yoga and kids yoga make this a great place for families.

The Tiwaris believe that one can undoubtedly change the shape of ones body through yoga -- and they've managed to convince Bollywood biggies like Kareena Kapoor of the same.

A/2 wing, 101 Lok Nirman Towers, Ambedkar Rd, Khar (West); +91 22 2648 8055/56; www.cosmicfusion.in

 

A Bombay-born writer, Alisha Patel has travelled the world in quest of all she dreams to write about - people, places, culture, food and design.
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