Yoga and Meditation Studios: Where to Get Away in NYC

Yoga and Meditation Studios: Where to Get Away in NYC

While yoga dates back 5,000 years in India, and meditation can be traced to the 1st millennium BC in India and China, these practices didn’t begin to develop a following in America until the 20th century.

The seed that was planted by Swami Vivekananda—who came to America in the 1800s to spread peace and spirituality—finally began to take root in the 20th century. Richard Hittleman, who studied under Ramana Maharshi in India, returned to America in the 1950s to begin teaching yoga in New York.

Presenting yoga in a non-religious manner while extolling its physical benefits, Hittleman hoped Americans would be inspired to eventually seek deeper meaning in the philosophy of yoga and the practice of meditation.

With yoga and meditation now in the American mainstream, more and more studios are cropping up every year—from small towns to major cities across America. New York City is no exception.

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With so many wonderful yoga and meditation studios in Manhattan appealing to many different personal preferences and techniques, here are a few of NYC’s most notable.

Golden Bridge Yoga

After studying under Yogi Bhajan (a legendary Master of Kundalini Yoga) for many years, two of his students—Gurmukh and Gurushabd—opened their own Golden Bridge Yoga studios in California before expanding to New York City.

Kundalini yoga is a practice that raises energy within the body through a combination of yoga postures, breathing, and repeating montras. At Golden Bridge Yoga’s inviting Soho studio, both novices and experts are welcome to participate in one of their many classes and workshops. They also offer teacher training and special private and group lessons for healing or to celebrate special occasions.

Pure Yoga

This international franchise which claims to have become “the leader in yoga across Asia” before opening their NYC studios in the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, offers something for everyone

Pure Yoga features 350 weekly classes in a variety of both traditional and innovative yoga styles such as hot yoga, ivengar, Figure 4 Barre, PXT Conditioning, and more.

Highly-regarded instructors teach both group classes, and also private sessions. Members can relax in Pure Yoga’s serene lounge, and take advantage of their luxurious facilities including large showers, steam rooms, towels, and economically-friendly locker areas equipped with skin and hair care products from Kiehl’s. They also offer trial classes for non-members.

Yoga Union

Yoga Union in NYC’s Flatiron district is a well-respected yoga studio and center for scoliosis treatment and back care. Yoga for the treatment of scoliosis and back pain has gained acceptance by the American College of Physicians (ACP), according to this NBC News segment in which Yoga Union is featured.

Yoga Union is committed to consciousness in all they do and offer to their clients, whether they are practicing as a student or training to be an instructor.

This studio offer sessions centered around specific back care and prevention of scoliosis and herniation through traditional poses as well as special classes using ropes & slings. Director Alison West’s trademarked Liquid Steel® yoga classes are for those advanced students who are physically able and desire an intense workout to “heat the body and cool the mind.”


Aimed at making meditation easy and accessible to everyone, MNDFL claims to make believers out of those who think they “can’t meditate.” With its ultra-peaceful surroundings, comfy cushions, low introductory prices and wide variety of meditative intentions, it’s the perfect place to meditate.

Stop in for a 30, 45, or 60-minute class to sleep better, reduce stress, control your emotions, boost your energy, become more compassionate, be more present, focus your breathing, and more.

MNDFL also offers special events, kids classes, on-site meditation services, and will even customize your private event in their incredible space.


For the ultimate  meditation and relaxation experience, enter Inscape. Their other-worldly room designs (The Dome and The Alcove) totaling 5,000 square feet, create an “immersive” environment of audio, lights, scent and comfort to calm the senses and increase focus. Inscape is the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Both Meditative & Relaxation sessions are customized to suit your preferences. Meditations are audio-guided, and through your desired technique (focus, mindfulness, mantra, visualization), breathing and subtle movement, the perfect setting is offered to restore balance and alignment with your inner self.

Immersive relaxation sessions can be customized as well. Choose from several different techniques (sound, deep breath, deep rest) as you lie down to stimulate the “relaxation response” which slows the heart rate and breath.

Modrn Sanctuary

Offering a well-balanced “luxury health and wellness center,” Modrn Sanctuary in the city’s NoMad section practices a holistic approach to wellness for both the body and mind. This balance is reflected throughout the studio from the fusion of modern and antique furnishings and artwork, to the variety of practitioners, and array of traditional and contemporary healing and restorative techniques.

Along with meditation sessions, Modrn Sanctuary offers specialized services such as: Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Reiki, Hypnotherapy, Acupuncture, Chiropractics, Past Life Regression, Physical Therapy, and more.

The studio’s all-in-one approach is further augmented with crystal light bed therapy, a Himalayan salt room, and a Somadome meditation pod.

Seek And You Shall Find

Regardless of experience, those seeking to raise their consciousness and quiet their noisy minds have an abundance of studios and creative spaces to choose from.

Despite the rush of traffic, pedestrians, and sometimes aggressive energy of Manhattan, there are hundreds of quiet sanctuaries close by in which to seek refuge.


Look for next week’s blog, “Marmara’s Turkish Hammam.”