Trying to practice yoga when you’re on the road and traveling is not always easy. I’ve written in the past on how to choose a yoga studio while you’re globetrotting, and I thought it would also be worth writing a little about my experiences at various yoga studios around the world.
In June, I relocated to San Francisco for work and was faced with having to find a new yoga studio, one that I loved as much as The Yoga Room back home in Hong Kong. I ended up looking at Satori Yoga Studio after reading a few reviews online and also for its proximity to my flat and office (it’s literally a ten minute walk door-to-door). Up until this week, I would visit Satori somewhere between three to six times a week, but am spending the month of October at the Yoga Garden for the RYT-200 teacher training program (stay tuned for more on that!)
I love the teachers at Satori and will definitely be back, and would highly recommend the studio to anyone looking for somewhere to practice yoga in San Francisco.
Note: all the photos from this post are from Satori’s website here: http://satoriyogastudio.com/
The studio is located in the heart of the city and easily accessible if you’re staying around Union Square, SoMa or the Financial District. It’s also a block away from the BART – long story short, it’s in a very convenient location. The studio space is beautiful with high ceilings and wooden floors; there are two studio rooms, one which is larger that is very airy with massive windows, and a smaller one for smaller classes (typically six to ten people, in my experience) which I’ve had some great restorative classes in.
The studio provides mats (you can also store your own here), blocks, straps, blankets and so on, and there are four changing rooms and two bathrooms. There are no showers at this studio, and while I initially thought that this might be a problem given my propensity to sweat, I live close enough to home that I prefer to head straight back after an evening class. The studio also offers aromatherapy oil-infused hot towels to freshen up and they smell, simply put, delightful.
The class offering at Satori is diverse and they have a great timetable with plenty of classes during the week and two classes per day on the weekends. The studio also hosts workshops throughout the year. Since moving to San Francisco and practicing at Satori, I can honestly say that I feel like my practice and alignment have improved and I’m able to see visible progress – hello, tripod headstand! I’ve had classes with Raquel, Dastan, Stephanie, Atosa and Rebecca, and everyone is extremely friendly and approachable; in my experience, teachers here are good at balancing challenging you to progress in a pose, whilst also offering alternatives and modifications if you don’t quite feel ready yet.
What keeps me coming back is not just the challenging (but fun) classes that make me feel energized but relaxed afterwards, but the vibe at Satori; it is unpretentious and the staff and teachers are genuine, warm and knowledgeable. (Fun story: I once left my Cartier bracelet on the studio floor after a class and didn’t realize until the day after. The very lovely Dastan answered my very frantic phone call the next morning and searched the studio high and low and found it under the speakers, safe and sound. What a lifesaver. I may or may not have attacked him with a massive hug.)
The studio also regularly hosts workshops: I recently finished up a seven-week, twice-weekly “strength and poise” workshop with Raquel and she did an amazing job of breaking down difficult poses to help all of us work towards a pose. I never quite understood (or liked) using props but we used straps, blankets, chairs and blocks in ways I hadn’t experienced previously: doing pikes using a blanket is tough! The workshop was a great way to meet other yogis in the community and we did some fun partner work, which is amazing because I’m still terrified of kicking up into a handstand without someone there to catch me.
Pricing is slightly on the higher end of the scale, but on par with other studios in the area. When I was trying out different studios at the beginning, I took advantage of an introductory offer and paid $45 for 3 classes but went with the $199 a month plan which for me personally, was well worth it given the number of times I visited every week. Satori has lots of different pricing options – drop in, class cards, student rates, referral rates and also offer community class rates. You can book and pay for classes via the MindBody Connect app or their website.
“Yoga adds years to your life and life to your years.”- Alan Finger