Yoga party: Park Slope is in its moment of Zen

Yoga party: Park Slope is in its moment of Zen
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Park Slope is the yoga capital of Brooklyn — and that’s no stretch!

A grocery store-sized yoga center will open on Seventh Avenue and Garfield Place, giving the Slope a stunning 18 relaxation stations and further cementing the neighborhood’s claim as the most yoga studio-saturated community in the borough.

Counting the yet-to-be named stretching center, Park Slope easily boasts more than twice as many as yoga studios as Williamsburg, Fort Greene and Brooklyn Heights — and community yogis say their neighbors are just getting warmed up.

“People in Park Slope are smart; they know a good thing when they see it,” said Jennifer Brilliant (yes, that’s her real name) of the Jennifer Brilliant Yoga on Seventh Avenue and Carroll Street.

With so many yoga studios, Park Slope is full of niche places for participants to get their Namaste on — including kid-specific, sauna-hot, and rock-and-roll-centric destinations.

Brilliant’s studio, for example, offers special classes for yoga teachers and folks recovering from injuries.

“Some people think, ‘Aren’t there already enough places to do yoga here?’ — but as more studios open, people seem even more interested,” she said.

The neighborhood can brag that it’s home to dozens of other niche and boutique-style classes — from the slow and spiritual to upbeat and physical:

• Pregnant yogis can try prenatal class at Bend and Bloom on Sackett Street and Fifth Avenue.

• Broke yogis can swing by a donation-only session at Brooklyn Yoga School on Sixth Avenue and Saint Marks Place.

• Sweat-lovin’ yogis can check out Bikram Yoga South Slope, a super-hot and intensely physical practice on Fifth Avenue and 15th Street.

Also on the Zen menu are sessions are private lessons, classes with a self-help vibe, or Jessica Root’s instruction Bodhisattva Yoga on Ninth Street and Seventh Avenue, which she says mixes “altruistic motivation [with] a rock-and-roll sensibility.”

And Root claims it’s not just the wide variety of studios that makes yoga special in Park Slope — it’s the attitude of its participants.

“[They’re] sincere, friendly and fun practitioners who are looking to make yoga a way of life more than simply a fitness modality,” she said.

And apparently there are lots of them — enough to frequent nearly 20 yoga destinations in the neighborhood (Park Slope boasts roughly the same number of banks, and about half as many subway stations and bike shops, respectively).

The owner of the neighborhood’s new, big yoga studio, which will replace 161 Wine and Tapas, didn’t return calls by press time. But Katurah Hutcheson, a teacher at Brooklyn Yoga School at Sixth and St. Marks avenues, says there’s plenty of room for the new guy, no matter his size.

“There’s a lot of diversity and interest in Park Slope,” she said. “If you live here and like yoga — you’re fortunate.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at [email protected] or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

Yoga capital: Jessica Root and Vivekan own Bodisattva Yoga in Park Slope, where you’ll find more yoga studios than any other Brooklyn neighborhood.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham