by Alia Tawil




Yoga Sutra

Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.



The door slid open and the small stream of us poured into the modest classroom, each of us flitting quietly to find a patch of hardwood floor. The room was warm from the class that had ended a few minutes before, and the atmosphere was still calm and serene. I chose a spot next to a large square pillar, allowing me some solitude as I arranged myself on my mat, then rearranged a few seconds later. It had been over a year since I had attended a formal yoga class or even practiced at home, and my posture and awareness of my body had declined to beginner proportions at best.

When the instruction began, I knew that I had left my yogic comfort zone for something entirely new. I had never attended a class where everyone chanted before, but I stifled my inner skeptic, pretended that the Sanskrit mantra made sense, and chanted along with the 15 people in the room. Surprisingly, I almost immediately felt more centered, focused, and still. The flow of the Vinyasa class continued with encouraging and witty guidance from our teacher, who stayed afterwards to help me figure out how to finally tackle a headstand. It was a great 90 minutes.

Yoga Sutra is a studio in the heart of midtown Manhattan, seated on Fifth Avenue across from the New York Public Library and down the street from Grand Central Station. The yoga studio specializes in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Iyengar yoga, and boasts a series of additional training, including yoga instruction, meditation, and Sanskrit. Yoga Sutra is devoted to the system of yoga and pursues excellence by sending its instructors to India every year to refine their study and instruction.

The studio has 2 rooms for classes and one common room that includes the front desk, a corner of merchandise and books, and two seating areas with low cushions, a closet for personal belongings, and tea service. Mats are available for rent or you may bring your own, and there’s a well-maintained changing room with showers.

Yoga Sutra is a welcoming space of dedication, growth and enlightenment. For first-timers who live in the city, your first class will be free and your experience will be worth leaving your comfort zone behind.

For more information, visit


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© Melt Magazine 2009