Meditation in Motor City: Detroit's Top Yoga Studios
In Detroit, yoga just came one step closer to being a basic human right. In 2014, the city announced a multi-year “Live the Riverfront” program as part of an initiative to get residents excited about wellness and physical fitness. Among the programs: free moonlight yoga classes, where participants can stretch and bend with glow-in-the-dark gear and lighted batons. The nocturnal classes only occur once or twice a year; but luckily, there are plenty of yoga studios in Detroit to help residents stay flexible and fit year-round.
1. Be Nice Yoga
As its name suggests, this studio is a space to be kind to others, but just as importantly, to yourself. Find your center in a variety of yoga classes that inspire mindfulness and a heightened sense of inner peace and calm: those new to yoga might try the slow flow or moonlight classes, which warm the body through a series of gentle, interconnected poses.
2. Yoga Shelter
At Yoga Shelter’s Midtown location, community reigns. The friendly teachers make themselves available for questions and give hands-on adjustments throughout the classes, which are all open to students of all experience levels. Class types, meanwhile, range from slow flow and yin yoga to sweat-inducing, fast-paced vinyasa held in a heated room.
3. Citizen Yoga
Not every yogi wants the same thing out of every class—and this studio gets that. For a fast-paced, more physically intense workout, students can try vinyasa classes, where they flow through a variety of postures while linking breath with movement. Meanwhile, slow burn classes let students move deeper into poses and really focus on their breathwork. Try the blend class for the best of both.
The stand-out feature in this studio is its therapeutic flooring, which helps to gently cushion students’ joints and help them relax. That considerate touch shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Balance Yoga also offers yoga therapy classes to help those looking to overcome injuries or recover from the emotional stress of anxiety or depression.
5. Namaste Yoga
The class offerings at this studio are varied and many, from energetic flow to meditation or Pilates and yoga fusion. This all-inclusive vibe extends to the students and teachers as well: the studio welcomes everyone to practice yoga, no matter their age, size, or skill level.
Following the Bikram tradition, each class here features a 90-minute series of 26 postures combined with two breathing exercises, all done in a hot room. Don’t be intimidated—although it’s challenging, it’s still a beginners class, designed to be therapeutic and invigorating.
The classes here aren’t offered according to beginner or advanced levels. Instead, yoga is viewed as an always changing and evolving practice, so students can pick a class based on their energy levels, needs, or mood that particular day.
8. UpDog Yoga
Thanks to skylights, light pours into this open, spacious studio, where instructors lead a wide variety of yoga classes. New students can start with the intro to yoga series or a basic level 1 class to gain confidence and familiarity with postures and techniques. Vinyasa, slow flow, and yin yoga are also available to keep things interesting and challenging for more experienced students.
9. Karma Yoga
The yoga performed here is more than just a physical practice. Early morning spiritual classes—called sadhana—are offered, along with a variety of yoga styles that focus on movement, breath, and meditation for a heightened mind-body-spirit connection. Students can also expect traditional music paired with classes, and workshops with live music are also offered.
10. Yoga 4 Peace
Southgate - Downriver
This nonprofit studio believes that yoga should be shared with everyone. It’s a mission the studio takes seriously, with classes for all skill levels, sizes, and ages, including kids. And as a nonprofit, classes are priced based on suggested donations, so people can practice regardless of their ability to pay.