First Person: At Yoga to the People

_MG_9151Courtesy Al Kavadlo The author strikes the Warrior II pose.

Community contributor Al Kavadlo, a personal fitness trainer, offers his perspective on Yoga to the People.

I’ve done yoga on and off for nearly a decade and made my living as a
personal trainer in this neighborhood for almost as long. I’ve walked by
Yoga to the People countless times over the last several years, but never
attended a class until recently, when my curiosity, coupled with the
fact that I’d recently been neglecting my yoga practice, finally got me into the old pre-war walk-up to sweat it out.

The vibe inside was welcoming, and the instructor was friendly and
professional, yet there were some negative aspects to the experience. Most yoga studios that I’ve encountered in the city are typically crowded, but I’d never before seen this many people in one room.

Though the classrooms are not heated in summer, with 50 people squeezed into a relatively small room, it gets hot — so come ready to sweat! The St. Marks location offers a “power vinyasa flow” class, which I found to be an enjoyable style of yoga.

While pleasant to listen to, the instructor didn’t demonstrate the various poses or offer any individual attention to students. Beginners might have a hard time keeping up, though people are encouraged to go at their own pace and take breaks as needed.

Another lousy thing about having so many people in one room is that someone is inevitably going to leave their cellphone on and get a call. This happened more than once during the class I attended. Please don’t be that person!

It’s not perfect, but if you’re looking for a friendly place to practice
yoga and you don’t mind the crowds, Yoga to the People is worth the
suggested donation of $10.

Yoga to the People 12 St. Marks Place, Second Floor, 917-573-9642 Yoga to the People-New York Studio

Al Kavadlo is a personal trainer, freelance writer and author of the book, “We’re Working Out! A Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness” (Muscle-up Publications, 2010).  For more information visit

This post has been changed to correct information in the caption of the photograph.