Astronauts regularly practice yoga to stay limber, modulate their breathing, and control their crippling fear of being eaten by the moon. Emulate the habits of cosmic pioneers with today’s Groupon: for $39, you get 12 classes at Shafa Yoga (a $120 value). All classes must be used within 45 days of the first session attended.
Founder Newsha Sarafha shares her passion for therapeutic yoga with students of all skill levels during yoga sessions that combine physical exertion and introspective meditation. The studio’s schedule divvies up attendees by experience, including in the Hatha yoga classes, which enlist invigorating sequences of asanas to help bolster strength and posture before drawing focus inward with mindful meditation and candle-snuffing breath control. Instructors cap class attendance at 12 in order to ensure personalized attention and quality high-fives for each aspiring yogi, safely introducing Level 1 students to posture fundamentals and guiding the continuing students at Level 2 classes through poses intended to open the hips and shoulders. Abs Yoga modifies the traditional sun salutation into a regimen of straightforward exercises that tighten core muscles. Although instructors recommend that students stretch out atop their own mats, the studio does stockpile yoga mats that guests can rent ($1), buy ($15+), or adopt if they pass a rigorous background check.
Shafa Yoga borrows its name from a Persian word that translates into “healing, remedy, and recovery.” The studio’s founder, Newsha Mobin, chose this moniker because of her life and studio’s devotion to the therapeutic benefits of yoga practice. Her own journey of healing began in Tehran, Iran, where she studied alternative and holistic medicine. Newsha's semiprivate classes share the fruits of that inquiry by promoting an intimate working relationship between students and instructors, like the relationship between runway models and things people will never wear.
The staff conducts sessions in a tranquil environment with drawn window shades, dark mocha flooring, and earth tones set in relief by red walls. In addition to regular classes, the studio plays host to workshops, Yoga Alliance–approved teacher training, and private sessions of Yumeiho yoga therapy.