Liberation Yoga
Rachel B. Levin
December 17, 2014

Yoga isn't just an extracurricular activity in Los Angeles—it's a way of life! Hollywood powerbrokers practice it to de-stress, while starlets swear by its strength-building moves as a way to maintain their svelte figures. But yoga's reach certainly isn't limited to Hollywood elite; it's the workout of choice for mere mortals too. Yoga mats have become the ultimate LA accessory. Don't be surprised if every other person you pass in certain chi-chi areas of the city has a yoga mat under one arm and a cold-pressed juice in the other. Some caution that the trendiness of LA yoga has diluted the sacredness of the practice, and that may be true. But some of LA's best yoga studios have taken the ancient form and injected it with modern, creative energy, whether that's with spirited soundtracks or colorful lighting. Still, you can find purist studios among these five standouts. Namaste!

Aura Yoga

Yoga gets practically psychedelic at this experimental WeHo studio. As you shift poses, the lighting colors in the room change from cobalt blues to deep reds, mirroring the intensity of the workout. The carefully calibrated color scheme is meant to open your chakras and promote a more effortless practice. Groovy!

One Down Dog

Who says yoga has to be all about silence and serenity? At this offbeat, upbeat Silver Lake studio, classes are set to funky music playlists, from classic rock and R&B to rap and reggae. Feeling too pent up while holding that downward dog pose? Try one of their yoga dance parties!

Liberation Yoga

If candlelit or commune-with-nature yoga is more your speed, then you'll find inner peace at this classic yoga center. Dark woods and flickering lights set the mood in the asana room, while the garden studio's lush trees, gurgling fountain, and ancient wood carvings transport you out of the hectic city.

Golden Bridge Yoga

Students of Kundalini yoga will find a "spiritual village" of sorts at Golden Bridge, where classes weave in meditation practice. Prenatal and "Mommy & Me" classes are also a highlight. Pick up eco-friendly yoga gear in the adjoining lifestyle store or fuel up with a natural snack at the cafe.

YogaWorks

The yoga-for-everyone mentality at this perky chain makes it accessible for novice and expert yogis alike. There are also special classes geared for children, seniors, athletes, moms-to-be, and those going through rehabilitation. Whether you prefer gentle movements or challenging body pretzels, this is an excellent place to master the fundamentals.

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