If there is as such thing as a yoga version of pick up basketball, you’ll find it in a small unassuming room with wide windows and hardwood floors in East Downtown. There is no juice bar in the lobby. There’s no designer yoga clothes for sale. There’s no partnership with Maduka mats. It’s just a gathering of people in borrowed space brought together by a common cause.
After Yoga EaDo management replaced it with a weight lifting gym, a yoga void was created in East Downtown. The displaced teachers and yogis from that gym collaborated together to create a new space for people to gather and practice. This new community is called East Side Vibes Yoga.
East Side Vibes Yoga is not a studio. It’s a project. They’re working on breaking down the walls that yoga studios inadvertently create with set schedules, teachers, fees, rules and overhead. By offering guest teacher classes on Fridays with teachers of all different types, backgrounds, and practices, East Side Vibes Yoga expands the yoga experience by letting you try out classes that you might not typically go to.
The class is held in an upstairs room above Living Designs Furniture. You actually park in the furniture store parking lot and enter through the store’s showroom. I made a visit to East Side Vibes last week and only found the space by following a couple also carrying yoga mats through a fairly unmarked door. I arrived a few minutes early and hung out in the mocked up living room sets drinking tea with some other yogis.
After the earlier class finished, we migrated upstairs to a hardwood floored room upstairs warmly lit by strands of white Christmas lights. We stored our shoes on a rack in the hallway before entering the glowing space. The front of the room was marked by an oriental rug and piles of pillows (potentially extras borrowed from the showroom downstairs). The class is obviously not heated, which for me is such a welcome change of pace from the typically hot yoga studio classes that are popular all over the city (see my rant on why #NotHotYoga is the greatest here).
I went to the Meditative Yoga class on Thursday and as we got flowing the room did eventually warm up naturally with our movement and body heat. Quite a few people attended the class, so I’m happy to see that they’re doing well! You can check out their class schedule here and follow their (slightly sassy) Instagram here! I got to talking to the founders after class and may or may not have gotten roped into teaching a guest class on a Friday. Save the date for May 5!
But hopefully you’ll visit their fantastic space sooner than that 😉