Hygge

16 Philly Studios With the Restorative Yoga Classes Your Body (and Mind!) Needs

As we move into the cold winter season, these stretching-based, prop-heavy sessions will relieve your stress.


restorative yoga

Restorative yoga classes use props and deep stretches held for several minutes to relieve your mind and body of stress. / Photograph courtesy of Tuck Barre & Yoga

This post is part of our Hygge series — activities, products, and experiences that will make you feel cozy in Philly this fall and winter. Stay tuned for more local recommendations.

For more than a decade, yoga didn’t do it for me.

I was a runner, a boxer, an indoor cyclist — in other words, a cardio junkie. My thinking was: If I wasn’t sweating, I wasn’t getting my workout’s worth, and yoga was, essentially, stretching? What good would that do me?

And then, reader, I tried it. I didn’t immediately change my tune about the exercising aspect of yoga, but the mental relief was a benefit I hadn’t expected, one that had as much value as a muscle-building session. Which meant, of course, that I had to shift my disdain elsewhere: Well, I told myself, at least I’m not doing restorative yoga, which is basically just lying on the ground under a blanket.

This year, the universe has legitimately laughed in my face. After a severe disc herniation and spinal surgery, restorative yoga classes have been the only fitness classes I’ve taken in six months. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, though, I’m grateful to have discovered the ecstasy of deep stretching and prop-supported stillness that is restorative yoga.

For one, it’s the ultimate self-care. You’re giving your body permission to do basically nothing but hold itself in postures that combat your muscle imbalances and relieve your joint stiffness. Your mind could wander, but staying in one position for minutes at a time somehow steadies it, forcing it to concentrate on the deep sensation in your limbs.

Although every studio is a little different, many restorative yoga classes are at night or on Sundays, so they easily serve as a wind down to your day or a preparation for your week ahead. Some are candlelit, adding an extra layer of ambiance and signaling your brain to start slowing down. At least one in Philly even uses weighted blankets, which have been shown to reduce anxiety, improve insomnia, and help combat depression.

All of this combines to create an environment that is decidedly hygge, especially when you’re surrounded by other people who have chosen to devote time in their frenetic days to restoring their bodies and minds. It creates this warm, safe, enveloping energy that’s difficult to recreate.

To make it easier for you to give it a try, we’ve rounded up yoga studios in Philadelphia that offer this life-giving practice. Note that these are purely restorative classes, not ones that are half restorative and half yin or vinyasa. They’re also not gentle yoga, which usually constitutes a slow flow. All are stretching-based, prop-based classes to help you sink into blissful oblivion.

Philly Yoga Studios With Restorative Classes

Everybody Movement & Wellness, 4305 Locust Street
Neighborhood: University City
Day/time: Sundays at 5 p.m.

Grace & Glory Yoga2220 Frankford Avenue
Neighborhood: Fishtown
Day/time: Wednesdays at 7:45 p.m.

Hotbox Yoga, 4163 Main Street
Neighborhood: Manayunk
Day/time: Sundays at 6:30 p.m.

Lumos Yoga & Barre, 2001 Green Street
Neighborhood: Fairmount
Day/time: Sundays at 6:30 p.m.

Magu Yoga, 6825 Germantown Avenue
Neighborhood: Mount Airy
Day/time: Sundays at 4:30 p.m.

Maha Yoga, 1700 Sansom Street
Neighborhood: Rittenhouse
Day/time: Sundays at 6 p.m.

Mama’s Wellness Joint, 1100 Pine Street
Neighborhood: Center City
Day/time: Last Saturday of the month, 5:15 p.m.

MotherHeart Yoga Sangha, 2359 East Susquehanna Avenue
Neighborhood: Fishtown
Day/time: Mondays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Philadelphia Yoga Exchange, 466 North 10th Street
Neighborhood: Spring Garden
Day/time: Fridays at 6:15 p.m.

Practice Yoga Studio, 804 South 4th Street
Neighborhood: Queen Village
Day/time: Sundays at 5 p.m.

Sanctuary Yoga, 1233 Locust Street
Neighborhood: Center City
Day/time: Monday through Thursday at 4 p.m.

Sculpere, 209 Poplar Street
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties
Day/time: Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

Tuck Barre & Yoga, multiple locations
Neighborhood: Multiple
Day/time: Northern Liberties on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.; Point Breeze on Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 6:30 p.m.; Point Breeze on Mondays at 4 p.m.; and Washington Square West on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Wake Up Yoga, multiple locations
Neighborhood: Multiple
Day/time: Once a month at each location. The next ones will be Sunday, November 3rd at 6 p.m. at the South Philly location; Sunday, November 17th at 1 p.m. at the Rittenhouse location; and Friday, November 22nd at 5:30 p.m. at the Fairmount location. Beyond that, check the schedule for specific days and times.

 

The Wellness Willow512 Bainbridge Street
Neighborhood: Queen Village
Day/time: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (Direct message the new studio on Instagram to book.)

Yoga on Main, 4227 Main Street
Neighborhood: Manayunk
Day/time: Sundays at 5 p.m.