Ribbons, yoga on the labyrinth
Please tell me the ribbons are coming back to Yoga on the Labyrinth. Photo courtesy of aicer01.

San Francisco Yoga: VinyaSF and Yoga on the Labryinth takes your practice out of the standard studio

Beauty in breath, community and salutations with VinyaSF. Photo courtesy of Lumen Bigott.
Written by Nadia Ibanez
I’ve practiced yoga off and on for almost eight years now and I’m always looking for ways to get out of the typical, sweaty studio and into a setting that supports natural beauty and the love for community. I’m still trying to find my “yoga home” up here in San Francisco and while I haven’t locked down my favorite studio or teachers quite yet, there are a couple different spots I’ve tried out and absolutely loved. VinyaSF and Yoga on the Labyrinth are two totally off-the-beaten-path ways to get your sweat and stretch on, all while making strangers into friends.

VinyaSF blends pop-up energy, upbeat flows and cocktails into your yoga experience


VinyaSF Tara Mohtadi
Tara of VinyaSF. Photo courtesy of Lumen Bigott.

I first met Tara Mohtadi in college and have loved her spirit ever since. Tara and fellow yoga teacher, Jessica Kenny, dreamt up VinyaSF as a way for yogis to meet like-minded people, get out of the studio and practice yoga in an unsuspecting location. Think of it as the yogi version of a pop-up shop. Tara and Jessica had their first event in February at The Office near Duboce Triangle. We rocked out to music, sweated it up and challenged each other with poses and maintaining balance in our breath. After 75 minutes, yogis headed downstairs to Churchill Bar for a drink.

Photo courtesy of Lumen Bigott.

This month, VinyaSF has teamed up with Eventbright as part of The Yes Address’ 10 days of events to try something new and meet people in the City. The secret location for the second event will likely be in or near a rad bar where can yogis can belly up to afterward for cocktails. If you’re into the underground scene or just want to take your practice out of the studio and among new friends, you NEED to check these girls out.

Photo courtesy of Lumen Bigott.

The next event is on Sunday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. and all levels are welcome. For more information, visit www.VinyaSF.com.

Yoga on the Labyrinth encourages spirituality in a beautiful place


Yoga on the Labyrinth at Grace Cathedral.
Yoga on the Labyrinth at Grace Cathedral. Photo courtesy of Vimeo.

I always get a little weirded out whenever I walk into a church because I don’t follow or relate to organized religion. But Grace Cathedral in Nob Hill is home to Yoga on the Labyrinth every Tuesday night  and I could totally see myself making the weekly pilgrimage. Step foot inside the Gothic revival Christian church and set your mat on top of the Pagan labyrinth before practicing ancient Eastern yoga. The room is one huge pile of opposing ideas but it all seems to work seamlessly.

I showed up one Tuesday night – early because the church does fill up with hundreds of people – with mat and sweater in tow. You can expect a gentle flow led by yoga teacher and author, Darren Main, with live, chanting-like music. The musicians played the piano, singing bowls and chimes to create a magical sound to practice along to. I went again last night and the musician played percussion and the Esraj while chanting. It gets pretty cold in there so if you’re a sissy when it comes to temperature, bring layers. I also suggest you get a spot close to the music so you can get a true feel of the sound. But the acoustics in the church are spot on so you’ll be able to hear no matter where you are. Oh, and this is donation-based yoga so bring cash and offer a larger donation if you can.
Photo courtesy of Yoga on the Labyrinth.

There are a handful of people walking around the Labyrinth to adjust your postures and offer some extra hands-on love. You’ll see yogis from all walks of life, ethnicities and ages. (Seriously, I had a yogi practicing behind me and she must have only been eight years old. Last night two kids and a puppy got their yogi on with us.) Grace Cathedral is a beautiful space to practice regardless of your religion. Class starts at 6:15 p.m. but get there around 5:30 p.m. if you want to stake out the perfect spot. What’s unique is that right at 7 p.m., the church bells go off, which is also the same time – like a call to prayer – we started to meditate for the remainder of class.

Ribbons, yoga on the labyrinth
Please tell me the ribbons are coming back to Yoga on the Labyrinth. Photo courtesy of aicer01.

Oh, and apparently there’s a beautiful ribbon installation in the Cathedral. I’ve read that it was seen last year around the holidays, but I’m really hoping it returns soon.

Even if you don’t identify with a particular religion, Yoga on the Labyrinth will definitely incite a spiritual and sacred feel to your practice. For more information, visit www.LabyrinthYoga.com.

10Feb15 Yoga on the Labyrinth from Blake Tucker on Vimeo.

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