Bernal Heights’ small, upstairs Pilates studio is where San Franciscans enter as asymmetrical lumps and exit as reproductions of a lithe Greek sculpture. Pilates Heights is also a healing space for people recovering from serious injuries and others merely looking to strengthen their core and elongate their spines. The mixed-level classes, ease of dropping in and pragmatic focus on what regular people are looking for – namely: flat stomachs, toned arms, firm legs – make this cheery space a standout in a neighborhood that’s seemingly overloaded with other options for those with a fetish for morning stretches. The tall, long rooms come stuffed with a variety of necessary athletic accoutrement, from yoga balls to freestanding reformers – and plenty of soft, cushiony mats, of course.
If Bernal Heights is San Francisco's capital of yoga, then Bernal Yoga on Cortland Avenue is its epicenter. A studio for just about every style and sub-heading one can practice, this juggernaut of mindfulness runs the gamut from morning vinyasa to restorative flow to prenatal yoga, and while the cost of a single drop-in session might sometimes be high, Bernal Yoga draws in stressed or misaligned souls with superb medium- and long-term classes that help with spinal health and general wellness alike. Who knew that a simple four-walled room with hardwood floors would be the beating heart of the community, or that more than a dozen different instructors could work together to help change the health of an entire neighborhood?
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 30?60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Free street parking
Pro Tip: Wear comfortable clothes: sweatpants, etc. No yoga mat needed.
Sometimes the biggest deterrent to starting a healthy exercise regimen is a reluctance to leave the house. Yogatailor aims to absolve its clients of this difficulty by providing customizable online yoga videos. Students select how much time they have, what their expertise level is, and whether they're experiencing any back pain or are pregnant, and the site constructs an appropriate video for them almost instantaneously. Each time students return, the site remembers their progress level and which clips they've already seen so that it can adapt videos to suit their needs.
The ancient teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda guide Integral Yoga Institute's certified instructors, imbuing each leader with a spirit of encouragement. Swami Satchidananda created Integral Yoga's six-branch approach to the practice, infusing each class with different physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects to "bring about a complete and harmonious development of the individual." Eight class styles vary in difficulty to accommodate stretchers and self-aware saltwater taffy of all experience levels. Situated inside a stately Victorian home with views of downtown San Francisco, Integral Yoga Institute edifies pupils in various yoga modalities, relaxation techniques, and chants.
Today's Groupon treats you and a friend to 10 Bikram yoga classes on 10 consecutive days for just $20. That's one dollar a pop for the two of you—less than the cost of a bottle of water or an authentic Revolutionary War baseball cap. Grab this Groupon and head to Fluid Yoga, a steamy meditation oasis, for 10 classes over 10 days with a yoga-friend (must activate with another human being). Become synchronized yogis, harnessing your vibratory frequencies to unlock the seven floating shift-cities and liberate them from Karnok the Mindscraper. Or take classes separately as your schedules may demand, leaving the battle for another day.Ice Yoga: The contortions of Ice Yoga—invented by the miniature frost giants who settled in Minnesota in the 1850s—were originally developed as a technique for the giants to disguise themselves as snowdrifts or frost-covered yurts while waiting in silence for a passing elk to spook and devour.