Yoga Classes in New York City

yoga classes

Whether you’re looking for turned-up hot yoga sessions or tranquil spaces, New York City has it all. From hip-opening movements to breathing exercises, a range of yoga classes are available, from the low key ‘Yin & Meditation’ class to a live music Karma Class that benefits local and global nonprofits.


Stretching during yoga is a great way to release tension from your neck and upper back muscles, hips and legs. It also helps you become stronger and more mind-body connected.

You can even incorporate simple stretching exercises into your daily fitness routine. One of our favorites is the knee-to-chest stretch, which releases tension in the hamstrings, hips, and lower back. Lie on the floor and bring your right leg up to rest over your body, then bend it up toward your chest. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

The difference between yoga and stretching is that yoga usually has more of a mind-body connection, from centering your breath to purposeful breathing technique. It may also have a flow to it, with poses moving quickly from one to the next.


Incorporating breathing exercises during yoga enhances the mind-body connection, improves balance and coordination, and increases strength. Deep, yogic breathing also reduces stress and relaxes the body.

Yoga and breathing exercises (pranayama) are relaxing, calming and centering practices that shift autonomic nervous system balance from sympathetic to parasympathetic activity. This practice improves mood and lowers catecholamine and cortisol levels, as well as blood pressure and indices of vascular activation in response to psychological stress.

Regularly practicing yogic breathing promotes a gradual change in the natural (involuntary) rhythm of your breath, improving the length of time you spend exhaling and the depth of your inhales. This type of breathing enables you to better filter the air you breathe, which may help strengthen your immunity and boost energy.


Stress is a normal reaction to life’s demands but high levels of chronic stress can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Relaxation techniques can help lower physiological stress and arousal by slowing your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure while bringing healthy circulation to your brain, muscles and other organs.

Yoga and meditation are considered mind-body approaches and are known to trigger the relaxation response in the body. Regular practice of these techniques can decrease anxiety, fatigue and depression and improve sleep and overall mental and physical health.

Many yoga classes incorporate a breath work component that is designed to calm the mind and encourage relaxation. If you are new to yoga, find a beginner class under the guidance of a certified instructor to avoid injury and ensure that your body can participate.


Yoga improves strength and balance while reducing back and neck pain, as well as lowering stress levels. It also helps you sleep better and may reduce chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis.

Yoga poses and breathing exercises can help you build physical vitality, sooth and calm the nervous system, improve balance and expand consciousness. A regular practice can also increase body awareness, allowing you to spot problems early and take preventive action.

While yoga classes typically incorporate some strengthening movements, they often focus on poses that involve “pushing,” while neglecting muscles that require pulling, such as the biceps and shoulder stabilizing muscles. As a result, many yogis lack sufficient strength in these areas. Yoga can also improve posture and overall strength, including core and leg muscles.


Yoga incorporates meditation techniques and is truly a mind-body practice. Practicing yoga can help ease mental health concerns such as anxiety, stress and depression by improving interoceptive awareness, which helps you be more in tune with your body’s signals and how it feels throughout the day.

In a yoga class, the body moves through activating and relaxing poses to encourage a healthy nervous system. This can calm the sympathetic nervous system that triggers a fight-or-flight response and improve basic concentration.

If you’re new to meditation, a gentle or restorative yoga class is the best option. You can start with slow stretches and longer holds of poses to help you get in a relaxed state. Then you can meditate and build your meditation skills over time.