It might seem like we've reached "peak yoga," but in Houston, we're not even close. The mind-body workout's increasing popularity has led to a wealth of new studios that have either opened recently or will be opening soon in the Bayou City.
"It's a great time to be in Houston in terms of the explosive growth of the yoga community and the wealth of knowledge we have right here in our city," said Hope Wills, owner of TexasYogini, a new studio which opened in January in Montrose. "We are the nation's fourth largest city so hopefully this means that for all who are seeking, there's a yoga community they can call home."
Finding the right yoga studio can be challenging, in part because yoga is such a personal practice. There are dozens of styles of yoga, and within each school, dozens of styles of teachers. In an effort to help ease that search, here is a not-exhaustive list of studios new to Houston.
Montrose Yoga Cooperative, 701 Richmond Ave.
What sets it apart: As the name implies, this studio is a co-op, democratically run by its teachers and members. The studio, which opens in September, is also dedicated to diversity and accessibility and invites new and potential students to "come as they are."
EaDo Yoga, 912 Saint Charles St.
What sets it apart: Not to be confused with Yoga EaDo, which closed late last year, EaDo Yoga's biggest asset is small class sizes. Each class is capped at 15 students, to help practitioners get more personal attention, which makes the studio great for newbies. EaDo also offers a wide variety of classes, from Pilates, barre and group fitness to various styles of yoga, including restorative and yin.
DEFINE Heights, 714 Yale St.
What Sets It Apart: Define Body & Mind has expanded in the past few years not only around Houston but around the world. Now the studio's Montrose location is closing up shop and moving to the Heights. In addition to spin, trampoline classes, hammock yoga and "body" classes (which incorporate elements from Pilates, yoga and ballet), Define will be the first boutique fitness studio in the Heights to offer child care while the parents are practicing.
Yoga Better, 751 Silver St.
What Sets It Apart: Yoga Better refers to its practice, an evolutionary style of yoga and movement based on inquiry and study. The studio's teachers, many of whom have a decade or more of experience, aim to "seek out what works and purge what doesn't," so it's a good option for those looking for a more spiritual practice as opposed to pure exercise.
Texas Yogini, 4617 Montrose Blvd.
What Sets It Apart: In addition to regular unheated studio classes, Texas Yogini wants to bring yoga to children. The studio is approved by the Texas Education Agency to bring breath work, movement and meditation to school campuses for kids as young as 4 years old. The studio also offers an after-school yoga program as well as discounts for educators and students.
Expansion Wellness Center, 3803 Bute St., Unit 6
What Sets It Apart: Expansion's classes are divided into three programs—Slim, Sane and Enlightened—which target the body, mind and spirit, respectively. The studio offers kundalini yoga, meditation and martial arts classes, but also has some interesting breakout classes, such 108 Magic, which explores a single yoga pose or move 108 times over the course of class.
Black Swan Yoga #2, 5310 Kirby Dr.
What Sets It Apart: This Austin import is already well-known for their party-like Sunday morning classes at Raven Tower. The first Houston location opened in the Heights a few years ago, and now they're coming to West University. Black Swan is a donation-based studio, so students pay what they can. Teachers are encouraged to teach from their own experience, and students and teachers both are encouraged to fully express themselves in class, which leads to a playful, upbeat atmosphere. The new location is expected to open this fall.