5 Yoga Classes Guaranteed to Win Over Even the Most Skeptical of Yoga Skeptics

DIG Yoga // Photo via Facebook

DIG Yoga // Photo via Facebook

Yoga is my favorite form of exercise, but whenever I try to get anyone to go to a yoga class with me, they stare at me like I just offered them Spam-flavored ice cream and say “Yoga isn’t my thing.” When I ask why — not because I’m the nosiest human alive, but because it’s kind of my job to ask these things — the most common reasons I find people steer clear of yoga studios like they’re death chambers are: the weird music, the uncomfortably quiet vibes and the fact that “yoga just isn’t a hard enough workout.”

Whenever I hear these reasons, I want to scream, “Noooooo! Not all yoga is like that! There are so many great classes you’d love that don’t require any ‘om’ sounds and play awesome music and are hard! Like really hard!” But I don’t, because then no one would ever talk to me again. So instead, I put it in a blog post. Below, five classes that will win over even the most skeptical of yoga skeptics.

If you’re not into the slow pace …
What: Iron Maiden Futurism
Where: Palo Santo Wellness Boutique, 1707 East Passyunk Avenue, South Philly

Ticket editor Josh Middleton attends this class on the regular and he describes it as a “yoga/burpees/prison-workout hybrid.” So, yeah, not your typical yoga class. The class, taught by Abi Galloza, combines calisthenics — think: burpees, squats, and more — with traditional yoga postures for a practice that will stretch you out and strengthen your muscles at a pace that doesn’t allow for daydreaming.

If you’re not into the quiet vibe …
What: Amplified Hot Flow
Where: Amrita Yoga and Wellness, 1204 Frankford Avenue, Fishtown

It’s not often you find a yoga class that features blaring music, but this one does. This hot yoga class, heated to 95 degrees, leads you through a killer practice with energizing beats that keep you alive and upright when you feel like you just might faint onto your neighbor’s mat if you have to do one more sun salutation.

If you think yoga isn’t a hard enough workout … 
What: Mariel Freeman’s class
Where: DIG Yoga, 410 Monroe Street, Queen Village

If you’ve made it to any of the Be Well Philly’s Summer Yoga Flow sessions led by Mariel Freeman, the owner of DIG Yoga, then you know: She does not mess around. You will leave her class shaking like a leaf, with your abs and shoulders on fire, cursing yourself for thinking yoga was just stretching followed by more stretching.

If you’re not into dark studios … 
What: Yoga on the Pier
Where: Race Street Pier, Race Street and North Columbus Boulevard, the Delaware Waterfront

It’s really hard not to have a good time when you’re getting your downward dog on in the sunshine — without the sounds of “yoga music” in the background, might I add — for free, right down the street from Morgan’s Pier, where you know an ice cold margarita is waiting for you once the class ends.

If you just don’t have time for a 75-minute workout …
What: Fleet!
Where: Nava Yoga Center, 1200 Constitution Avenue, South Philly

I get it: Why spend your time in a 75-minute — or, god forbid, 90-minute — yoga class when you can squeeze a four-mile run plus a good amount of squats and push-ups into just 45 minutes? But not all yoga classes take up your entire evening (though, I will certainly admit, some of them do): At Nava Yoga Center, they offer a condensed version of their all-levels flow class that will have you in and out of the studio in 45 minutes flat.

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