I don’t know what must have been going through my Uptown Yoga instructor’s head when I rushed into the building, late for class. Yes, I had called ahead, but online it said to get there 10 minutes early, and here I was running late. I couldn’t find parking around the State Thomas Historic District studio, and I was frazzled.
I checked in and asked about yoga blocks. You have to rent them here. I had been surprised and frustrated when I heard about the rental charge. I’d never heard of a studio doing that, but since I need blocks to be able to do yoga, I knew I’d suck it up and pay the fee.
However, the instructor gave them to me for free this time. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because I really was late, and she wanted to start class. Or maybe she figured I’d need them when I asked about handicap parking on the phone. Either way, I scooped up the block, shoved my bag into a cubby, ran to the bathroom, then rushed into the studio.
Once I finally made it into the studio and unfurled my mat, I looked around. The space was big, bright, and airy. It was older, with an industrial chic warehouse vibe, faded red brick walls, a distressed shiplap ceiling, and barn-like white beams. The high windows let in lots of natural light and green from the trees outside. To me, it was the perfect environment to calm my frazzled mind.
There were about 30 other people in the studio, waiting for the instructor to begin (and for me to arrive). She put on a mic and got us started with our All Level Flow class. If the studio was calming, the actual class certainly was not. The pace the instructor took us through moves was shockingly fast. I couldn’t keep up, and I saw others struggling as well. There were lots of Warrior 2s, downward dogs, and three-legged dogs, which I couldn’t do. After a bit, everything blurred together.
My biggest issue was with pace is that it was a lot of up and down from the floor and repeat. I can transition from move to move if I’m in a similar position, but it’s difficult for me to get up off the ground. But as we got deeper into the class, it became more of a “take it at your own pace” session.
And the instructor was good about making modifications. She brought me a second block to use, and when she saw me struggle with pace, she came over and gave me some modifications so I wouldn’t have to get all the way on my tummy then back up standing. I watched her help others make adjustments, too, and she announced some modifications to the entire class. Like, when there was a stretch some of us couldn’t do, she gave the class a different, easier stretch we could do that would achieve the same effect.
Because of the pace, I got a much harder workout than what I was expecting. I was sweaty and gross by the end of class, and my legs buckled as I walked to my car. That’s not to say it was bad, though. For people who want a more intense class, this is a great option. But if you’re new to yoga—like me—or have mobility problems—like me—then you might want to work your way up to this session.
Phones aren’t allowed in studio, so no Instagramming here. But I really enjoyed the vibe of the space. I loved the airiness and the industrial/barn-like feel. The windows’ natural light cast a warm glow around us. If I weren’t doing yoga, I’d want to curl up with a good book here.
I wouldn’t say the majority of the moves are that hard, but the pace was exhausting. When we’d transition quickly from a lying down position to standing and back again, it was near-impossible for me to do in the allotted time.
I had mixed feelings about this studio’s accessibility. I was incredibly frustrated by the yoga blocks’ rental fee. It just is putting another barrier up for someone who needs them to be successful in the class. But I was impressed and appreciative with all the modifications the instructor made. And she encouraged us to not go all the way into a position if we couldn’t. She seemed in-tune with what each of her students needed.
The Cost of It All
A single, drop-in class is $30, but you might want to try one of the class packages to get significant savings. Uptown Yoga also has a few membership options, a loyalty reward program, and a great introductory offer (pay $60, and get unlimited classes for a month).
Would I go back?
I liked the vibe, but I think I’ll wait until I’m stronger at yoga so I can actually keep up.