What makes a perfect hot yoga studio? Good airflow, just the right amount of heat, safe flooring, attractive spaces and amenities like showers, changing rooms and cubbies, of course. But what really elevates a hot yoga studio above the rest are its nurturing and knowledgeable instructors. Here are our picks for the nation’s best hot yoga studios. (Don’t worry—you’ll get a chance to tell us about yours below!)
Cleveland Yoga—Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Yoga offers classes in the Power Vinyasa Yoga tradition, founded by teacher Baron Baptiste, which incorporates a strong Vinyasa flow practice in a heated environment. Located in Beachwood, Ohio, the studio is owned by senior teacher and teacher trainer Tami Schneider, who has appeared in two of Baptiste’s recent yoga practice DVDs. The studio features two practice spaces with varying heat levels. The hot room is set to 87 degrees for power yoga classes, and the Slow Flow studio is set to 75 degrees for slow flow, power yoga basics and power Vinyasa classes. The studio has a state-of-the-art heating and air system, showers, changing rooms, cubbies and a well-stocked boutique.
Bikram Tysons Hot Yoga—McLean, Virginia
Bikram Tysons Hot Yoga, located outside Washington, DC, is home to two practice rooms, spacious changing areas and showers, and hallways filled with benches that welcome students to stop and chat. With 40 90-minute Bikram classes per week—one every two hours—in rooms that feature carbon dioxide sensors, humidity control, an energy-efficient ventilation system and anti-microbial floors, Bikram Tysons Hot Yoga is safe, clean and a pleasure to practice in.
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Bikram Yoga Charleston—Charleston, South Carolina
Bikram Yoga Charleston began with a light and airy Mount Pleasant, SC, location and recently added a downtown studio to increase its class offerings to more than 50 per week. The downtown studio exudes a luxury spa vibe mixed with old world, Southern charm, and both spaces are staffed by lively, knowledgeable teachers. The locker rooms feature complimentary locks, plastic bags for wet clothes, and showers stocked with soap. The studio’s owner, David Kiser, is a Bikram teacher trainer, and teacher Griffin Peddicord is a past winner of the International Yoga Asana Championship.
Red Dragon Yoga—Mill Valley and San Rafael, California
Red Dragon Yoga has two Marin County studios—Mill Valley and San Rafael—totaling 60-plus classes per week. Owned by one of Bikram yoga’s most senior teachersStephanie Schreiber, Red Dragon offers Bikram and power yoga classes, as well as massage and reflexology in the San Rafael studio. Both locations are equipped with non-absorbent, non-slip, recycled rubber floors that are steam-cleaned daily. The heating and ventilation system swaps stale, indoor air for fresh, outside air. Both locations have several showers, an inviting lounge area and mini lockers for safekeeping.
Bikram Yoga Birmingham—Birmingham, Alabama
Bikram Yoga Birmingham’s walls are painted an invigorating eggshell blue from the lobby to the locker rooms, which feature clean showers and plenty of space to stow belongings. The studio is outfitted with the latest in heating and ventilation technology, as well as antimicrobial floors and three walls of mirrors for ultimate posture perfection. The lobby features a wall of hot yoga merchandise, and through the back door, the patio offers a quiet, creek-side retreat.
Expand Yoga—Tacoma, Washington
Expand Yoga greets Tacoma, Washington, yogis with a friendly vibe and affordable prices. With a drop-in class rate of $10-$12, the studio offers yoga at half the customary price. The contemporary, minimalist space features a wall of windows that faces the street and another of mirrors to help practitioners polish their alignment. Two class types are offered at convenient times throughout the day. Original hot echoes Bikram yoga’s 26 poses, and hot Vinyasa brings a flowing, athletic style to the heated room.