Yoga challenges the mind and body without the violence and hurt feelings of full-contact chess. Steer clear of overaggressive pawns with today's Groupon: for $19, you get one month of unlimited yoga classes at Yasa Yoga (a $170 value).
Helmed by a husband-and-wife team of E-RYT 500 and RYT 500 certified yoga instructors, Yasa Yoga bequeaths benders of all experience levels with a schedule of nine yoga sessions that incorporates classic and signature stretches. The 80-minute Yasa Basics course implores wannabe rubber bands to twist into fundamental yoga poses and exercise corporeal air bags with breathing patterns and bagpipe routines. Intermediate and experienced yogis can step into the moderately warm Yasa Flow studio for 80 minutes of sweat-powered stretching amid toe-tapping music or test Yasa’s signature class, Core Fusion Vinyasa, in which students can develop a sense of lightness, build core strength, and more. After each class, limbs and cores will emerge from yoga cocoons feeling thoroughly stretched and perfectly in tune with the mind, which encourages clear thinking and successful games of intrabody charades. Housed in what was once the Flying A Production Company’s building, Yasa Yoga surrounds stretchers in magnificent arches, chic wooden floors, and cinematic nostalgia tinged with the memories of Charlie Chaplin, who once lived and practiced ancient Bikram mustache poses on the studio’s top floor.
Yasa Yoga’s name comes from the Sanskrit words for “good-hearted,” a reflection of the studio’s noncompetitive, welcoming community of yogis and instructors. They gather to practice in a red-tiled, Mission-style building originally constructed in 1912. Husband-and-wife duo Ryan and Stephanie Besler lead a majority of the classes, accommodating students of all skill levels with a variety of yoga styles. During Yasa Basics classes, students absorb foundational yoga poses and breathing techniques in a naturally lit practice space with 20-foot arched ceilings. Yasa Flow yoga instructors crank up the room temperature to bolster flexibility and teach challenging, inverted moves during workouts suited to intermediate stretchers. Students also gather inside the building—Charlie Chaplin’s former home and production studio—for a variety of other classes such as prenatal, deep-stretch, and flow-style sessions.
Though each course strengthens core muscles and focuses the brain, students also calm their minds with meditation or revel in the camaraderie of like-minded classmates as they learn to control their breathing or tendency to constantly blurt out their credit-card numbers.