The 3 Best Yoga Studios in Santa Monica and Venice

As one would expect from the sunshine, health-loving state, California has lots of Yoga studios. But I've come to realize that each studio, though they may look or sound a like, can be so different from the other.

When I first moved to Venice from Boston I was pretty nervous I was not going to find another yoga community that I enjoyed as much as Beacon Hill's Health Yoga Life, but thankfully after numerous "intro passes," I was able to find what I think are the best studios around the Santa Monica / Venice area.


1. Sweat Yoga

This studio is my favorite and was ultimately where I decided to set up a continuous monthly membership. Appropriately named, Sweat Yoga is not for the person looking to do casual yoga. It's hot yoga, and it's where you go to get an intense, "I look like I jumped in a pool" workout. Equipped with spunky teachers, pumping music (with the best playlists) and infrared heaters, it's easy to get into the groove and get your body flowing. Basically, when a friend visits or anyone asks for a hot yoga studio, I tell them to go to here. 

Additional perks:
New students get 2 weeks unlimited for just $45.
Metered parking outside the studio is almost always available.
You can workout and go shopping at their in-studio shop. They sell super cute yoga apparel from local brands like Alo Yoga and Electric & Rose.
Showers and a large locker room.


2. Bikram Yoga, Marina del Rey (just over the Venice border)

Bikram is certainly not for the faint of heart, but I decided to give it a go. Before I stumbled upon Sweat Yoga I was desperate for a hot yoga studio and was having trouble finding one in my radius. I settled on Bikram and found it to be a pretty good experience. The first day was so hard I didn't think I'd make it out alive, but little by little it got easier. I kept up with my introductory package (1 month unlimited for $50) and the classes taught me a lot about concentration, meditation and stillness. While I only stop in here every once in a while now, I will say this studio is really great, especially if you are looking for a more quiet, meditative practice. 

Additional perks:
New students get one month unlimited for $50.
Spa-quality steam room, showers and locker room.
You sweat and detox your brains out.
Free parking in their private adjacent lot.
They host $5 Saturday classes at 5pm.


3. Love Yoga

You may have already heard of Love Yoga since noteworthy publications like Vogue, Goop, and Well & Good have already given the studio and it's owners, Kyle Miller and Sia Gordon, some serious praise. Like its original Montauk location, the Venice studio caters to the bohemian yogi, someone that flocks to an uber hip studio filled with crystals and natural light. I myself loved the aesthetics (though the Diptyque candals Goop mentioned were no where to be found) but found it was harder to get in the zone with the lack of continuous music and heat. Their classes, however, are great for someone looking for a gentler practice, especially on a morning before work or a Sunday evening.

Additional perks:
They offer some of the coolest and most unique workshops I've seen to date like cosmic sound baths, yoga/art therapy, and astrology-related classes. 
You will probably discover a style muse in the class.
You'll be able to say that you have the same yoga teacher as Mary-Kate and Ashley.
New students get 3 classes for $30.

These are the yoga studios I found worked best for me. Like I said before, the Los Angeles area has so many wonderful studios and I'm sure I may have even missed some near me that would also fit my "I like to sweat" yoga criteria. The most important thing to remember is try them all out! Take advantage of ClassPass, Groupons, introductory specials and workshops that allow you to peek new studios and discover what works for you.

Namaste. Just kidding.

(images 1, 2, 3, 4)