IMAGE VIA @NODAYOGA | INSTAGRAM
The Charlotte yoga scene is on fire, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for beginners and seasoned yogis to find the perfect space to roll out their mat.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging workout (“a good asana kicking”) or a way to unwind after the daily grind, this city has you covered. Here’s a list of must-try studios to help you find your flow in the Queen City.
Yoga One is a Baptiste yoga studio, which means you can expect the same flow to be taught in each class. Classes in both their Central Charlotte and Dilworth locations are heated (95–100°), the majority are taught without music (a rarity in Charlotte), and flow to the sound of your breath and the breath of those around you. Not down with the whole no music thing? Check out one of their ‘beats’ classes, where music is played throughout to get your body moving and your blood pumping. Whatever class you choose, you can expect to sweat (a lot) while strengthening your body AND your mind.
“Life is complicated. Yoga is simple”. That’s the motto at Y2. This newly-renovated studio in Cotswold has a modern design that includes daycare services and a restaurant called ‘Namastay Kitchen’, where you can grab a healthy post-yoga meal. Y2 is known for their heated power yoga class, rooted in Ashtanga and Baptiste styles, but they also offer unheated Yin and beginners classes. Don’t forget a sweat towel — this studio brings some serious heat. Oh, and soon-to-be mamas, Y2 is one of the few studios in Charlotte that offers pre-natal yoga.
Get ready to SWEAT, move, and feel ALL of the feels. Essential Thrive has, hands-down, one of the most unique and empowering yoga classes in Charlotte. Taught by Lauren McAbee, this killer workout combines yoga, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and tribal dance (often confused with twerking). And the class has a total ‘underground’ feel — the hip-hop music is loud and the lights are turned down. Seriously, don’t be surprised if you leave feeling like you just had an out-of-body experience. Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday at 6:30pm as well as Saturday mornings at 10am at Move Studio in Plaza Midwood.
VIBE5 (pronounced “VIBES”) is ready to put you to work. We’re talking yoga (heated and non-heated), strength training (yoga fusion with weights and TRX), cardio (bootcamp), and Rocket Yoga. Meanwhile, their modern studio on Governor Morrison St. is fresh and beautiful (no one’s gonna judge you if you ‘gram the bamboo wall upon entering!). This place is perfect if you’re looking to join a yoga community (first class is free) but also looking to get down with some strength training.
Ready to take flight? Check out AIR in Myers Park and South Park, Charlotte’s very own aerial yoga-dedicated studio. In these classes, you’ll work on deepening your asanas with the support of an AIR Hammock (basically, a large silk fabric that hangs from the ceiling of this basement studio). Sound sketchy? Don’t worry — these hammocks are strong enough to support your body weight and bring a different but fun element to every class. You don’t have to be a master upside-down exerciser to attend, either — new or seasoned, the classes are designed to strengthen your core and tone your body in record-breaking time.
There’s no place like home… unless you’ve been to NoDa Yoga. You’ll want this studio, with their minimal and laid-back atmosphere, to be your new home. The studio is smaller in size (meaning more hands-on assists!) and the instructors focus on restorative, Yin, and gentle yoga (non-heated) — but they also offer Power and Vinyasa classes, too. This quaint space makes its home in Charlotte’s historic arts district (above Cabo Fish Taco). So it seems only natural that you would stop for a taco on the way out.
Name sound familiar? CorePower Yoga (CPY) is a national brand that has a huge following in major US (and a ton of Fitt cities). This corporate but cool studio sticks to a similar design and class style all across the board — so if you’ve visited before you’ll know what to expect. At the Charlotte studio in Myers Park, classes range from beginner Vinyasa yoga to advanced hot yoga and their signature Yoga Sculpt (yoga + free weights). And a major plus: the first week of classes are free.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a yoga newbie or if you’re a dedicated yogi who can crow pose with the best of them, this peaceful and inclusive studio in Fort Mill has just what you’re looking for. Get a handle on the basics in their Slow Flow class, detox while you flow in their Hot Vinyasa class, or push yourself to stretch a little deeper in their Power Flow class. Sign up their $9 all-levels Happy Hour practice, and see for yourself what they’re all about.
We all know it can be hard to find the time to work out. But at STAX off Tryon St., they get it. That’s why they keep their yoga classes a convenient 50 minutes. Between their Hot Vinyasa, Vinyasa, and Deep Stretch flow, you’ll leave feeling restored, rejuvenated, and ready to take on whatever life throws at you.
Grab your mat and recharge your mind, body, and spirit at iShine in Lake Norman. Here, it’s all about learning to grow in your individual practice so you can create connections that will help you live your best life. Get in some cardio while you build strength and flexibility in their gently-heated, high-energy Power class or dig in deep and unwind in their Slow Flow Yin class. Whatever you choose, their talented instructors and supportive community will be with you through every tree pose.
Be Yoga, in both Dilworth and Carmel, is spacious studio filled with windows, allowing all of the natural light to complement your natural flow. They offer classes such as Vinyasa, Nia, Yin, and Universal. Looking to try something new? Check out one of their Aerial Yoga classes, where you’ll be guided through a variety of different asanas all while hanging from a silk or hammock attached to the ceiling. Oh, and if you’re not a big fan of the heat, be sure to visit the Dilworth location, where all classes are non-heated.
Enlighten Yoga definitely has a zen vibe to it. Occupying the second floor of a shopping center in Ballantyne, this studio offers both hot and room-temperature yoga classes ranging from Power Vinyasa and Hot LSD (Long Slow Deep, not the other thing) to Restorative and Flow. And for all of the runners, cyclists, and weightlifters looking to improve flexibility and balance, check out Enlighten’s Performance yoga class, designed specifically for athletes and ranked as one of the best athletic yoga classes in Charlotte.
South End’s Okra is a quaint space that offers a little bit of everything. For beginners, the Yoga Roots class teaches you how to follow a Vinyasa flow and build a strong practice. Looking for something a bit slower? Check out Chillax, a class geared towards improving mobility and building flexibility. Primal, Ashtanga, Yin, Deep Stretch, and Jivamukti aren’t bad looks, either. After class, relax in the coffee and tea lounge, or pop in next door to Gumbo, the studio’s clothing store, to snag some new yoga gear.
While not technically a full-on yoga studio, Budokon Academy in South End offers a dedicated yoga class and integrates the practice into their mobility and agility workout. And at Budokon, it’s all about mixing intentional movement with exercise techniques that will strengthen your body and help you move more freely.
Charlotte Yoga is the first—and one of the most popular—hot yoga studio in Charlotte (hence the name). With two locations (ParkTowne and South End) and class times ranging from 5:30am to 7pm, the folks at Charlotte Yoga make it nearly impossible to miss your yoga session. You can expect a heated Vinyasa-style flow (focus is on connecting breath to movement) led by some of the best-known instructors in Charlotte. Fitt Tip: you can decide which teacher you vibe with best by trying out their ‘New Student Special’ — 30 days unlimited yoga for $30. A killer deal, if you ask us.
Arrichion in South End is another unique studio that incorporates hot yoga and circuit training — and they mean business. They’re well known for their unique hybrid class, Tiger’s Eye, that combines hot yoga with a fighter’s strength circuit. If you’re looking to set, achieve, and conquer some serious goals, then this is the place for you. Like Charlotte Yoga, they have a rockin’ New Student Special: 20 days for $20. Though, if you’re showing up to the Tiger’s Eye, make sure to remember sneakers for the strength training portion of the class.
The Shala (Sanskrit for sacred space) is yellow, house-like building with bright orange shutters. Kick off your shoes and leave them on the large, white, wrap-around porch upon entering this South End spot. Here, you’ll find some different and unique (to Charlotte) styles of yoga in their playbook — do you know Tantra Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, and Nidra? We thought so. Class temperatures stay between 80–90°, with a big focus on using the breath to create internal heat in the body. And if you’re looking to advance your practice and gain more knowledge, be sure and check out one of the Shala’s many workshops or trainings offered.
Okay, we know what you’re thinking, but before you go assuming that this studio was accidentally added to this list — hear us out. Aside from the hardcore cycling classes they’re known for, this Brookhill spot offers the chance to bend and stretch, too. And trust us — you won’t be disappointed. Sign up for their beat-based yoga class that will have you lengthening and strengthening to the music. Or, slow things down a bit and focus on your breath during their candlelight flow. Either way, your first class definitely won’t be your last.
**Updated by Meredith Rigsby, August 2018