Yoga Studio Hunt
Are any of you having trouble trying to find a good yoga studio? We know that when it comes to buying things or looking for services, the best source is often a friend’s recommendation. But what if your friend knows nothing about your area and has never been to a yoga studio in your city? If that’s the case, there are several things you could try, but it’s going to take a bit of effort.
One way is to get a stranger’s recommendation from Yelp! However, while Yelp! is a good site for finding restaurants and good eats, I have to say that in my opinion the search for a yoga studio falls a bit short. But that’s to be expected, I guess, since most of us tend to eat and fewer of us do yoga (hehe, what?!) Anyway, when I searched on the Yelp! site for “yoga” and entered a zip code, a list came up with star ratings and comments. At a glance, I could see that the average number of reviews is about 10 per studio in a big city, which I think is hardly enough to decide. The good part about this site, however, is that occasionally a reviewer will kindly offer information that may not be found elsewhere, such as tips on where to park, their opinion about the instructor, the ambiance of the place, personal comparisons of studios they’ve tried, the location of the closest restaurant to dine at after yoga, etc.
But after reading through some comments, you are still only at the starting point. Maybe you now have some idea of where to spend your hard-earned dollar on a yoga membership, so you either decide to go for that or you do a little more digging. And since my city is not in a densely populated area like LA, I decided to search some more.
Several months ago, when I looked for a yoga class near me, I must have spent at least an hour online. During my search, I came across YogaFinder.com, which claims to be “the largest yoga directory on the internet”. Unfortunately, I found that you cannot easily search by zip code on their home page. I entered the info and the result came back “zero”. So I went back, entered a more popular city, and still came up with “zero”. Then I spelt out “Los Angeles” and that finally produced results. And guess what? On the page where the results are shown, there is a button that lets you search by zip. A step too late, I think. Once on the page, however, there is a pretty good list with the basic info, studio name, address, website link, phone number, and a small blurb. No reviews though. Also, I should warn that if you do try this site, you may find that the bright orange background is harsh on the eyes.
The directory that produced a better listing for my city was yoga.com. It provided seven columns of info: studio contact info, contact person, styles of yoga offered, levels, cost, certification and distance from your city. Unfortunately, they don’t have a website link.
In the end, it all boils down to where the instructor chooses to list their studio, how the directory lists their info and how many yoga practitioners decide to add a studio into a review site so that it shows up in a search. You must do your best to gather the info, even if it means spending quite a lot of time. Too bad there isn’t one comprehensive place with a good search engine and great results. (If you find one, contact YogaHub, as we’d like to talk to them.)
In the end, I chose a studio, which I found by googling “yoga + city”. I just judged the testimonials, teacher descriptions and classes offered on the studio’s website.
On the plus side, you could just wing it; most studios offer the first class for free anyhow. So you could just take all the free classes in your area and decide afterwards! Have fun.
[tags]yoga search, find a yoga studio, yoga studio recommendations, yoga studio reviews, yoga class[/tags]