Best Yoga in Atlanta
Did you know there are now over 50+ yoga studios in Atlanta? With so many options, how do you choose? Wouldn’t it be easy if there was a master list of the Top Ten Yoga Studios in Atlanta? Then it would be a piece of cake to find the best yoga in Atlanta.
So I pulled together a list of all the yoga studios I could track down and attended one morning, noon, evening and weekend class on the schedule, then looked up the universal definition of “the best yoga” and put the reviews into a top secret algorithm.
Sorry if I let you down but yoga just doesn’t work that way, there’s no algorithm, there is no ranking, there is no secret to finding your teacher, just an open mind and the willingness to be a student.
Finding Your Best Yoga
Finding the right teacher, style, studio and environment for your yoga journey is a very personal decision. The most popular studio on the block may not be everyone’s cup of tea and some incredibly experienced and knowledgeable teachers may prefer to keep a low profile and keep their gem-of-a studio under the radar or teach mostly private classes.
May I also add, that what you prefer today, may not be the kind of practice that calls to you a year from now. Your practice will evolve, your teacher will evolve, your journey is an experience it so don’t let yourself be limited by what someone else’s definition of what the “Best Yoga” is.
For most of us, the modern yogi’s journey is one of a householder. The path of the householder is someone who has a job and a family or in other words, is engaged in an earthly life, but also has a spiritual practice. (http://bootcamp.jaigopalyoga.com) These “earthly” realities can lead to some logistical challenges when it comes to figuring out where to practice.
According to a the 2016 Yoga Alliance study of Yoga In America, the main reason people choose a studio is “Cost, Convenience, and Quality of Instruction.” The reality of being a modern yoga practitioner is that you may discover a teacher who rocks your world but they live on the other side of the connector at 6:00 pm when traffic can’t get any worse. Sadly, you may have to wait for them to do a workshop on a weekend you are in town to see them.
Here is a quote that gets thrown around a lot in the yoga world:
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”- Unknown
That can be a frustrating suggestion when you are looking for your teacher at the beginning of your journey or heck even years in. My amendment to the quote, just as a suggestion friend to friend, would be something along these lines:
“While looking for your teacher, work on being a student and practice, practice, practice. Perhaps you’ll discover the teacher within.”
Resist Throwing Shade
The other beast about getting into the “Best of” game is that it brings out this ugly thing called comparison. You know, that killer of joy that your yoga teacher is always telling you to avoid.
In the past year, in both the online and in-person world I’ve noticed a rise in the number of conversations that start by suggesting yoga instructors or studios that they’ve had great experiences with (which I’m all for! by all means celebrate great yoga! tell your friends! share the good news!) but it’s not long before some of those conversations start sliding towards judgment, comparison and someone starts dogging on someone’s playlist, or starts complaining about a teacher’s voice or has less-than-positive things to say.
I actually saw a blogger who in one social media sentence went from raving about a studio class she’d just attended to comparing “all the other studios where the teachers don’t have a clue what they are doing.”
Eeek! When I heard that a little piece my heart exploded and died.
Maybe I have too much empathy for yoga teachers, but I’ve never been to a class (and I’ve been to A-LOT of different yoga classes) where I felt the teacher’s intention was malicious or that I didn’t walk away with some benefit of the yoga practice.
Of course, I do think there should be a standard for teaching yoga and that skill is acquired through experience. I also recognize there is great responsibility in being a teacher. All I am suggesting is that we have a little grace with our teachers and practice stepping out of the judging mind. In committing to taking on the role of the student instead of the critic, perhaps we’ll learn something that we wouldn’t have learned from through the judging mind (this is a reminder to myself as much as any other person out there in the world).
Sure it’s ok to prefer some classes over others, but it’s just that– a preference. A preference that may change over time. And your teachers will grow and evolve over time as well. We are on this journey together.
So, let’s stop comparing, stop judging, stop throwing shade… it’s just not yogi-like.
So yogis- in leiu of a Best Yoga in Atlanta list, we created an Atlanta yoga directory, where studios can add their website and make it easier for you to find them. Now it won’t be neatly tied up with a “Top 10” bow- but the beauty is that you can find YOUR best teacher (or teachers). And isn’t that so much better than finding someone else’s version of what’s right for you?