“I moved here over a year ago and have been searching for a studio ever since. I did all those week and month trials, and I finally found one I am willing to pay for!”
I said this the other day to the manager of the yoga studio I adore.
It was maybe accidentally offensive.
But what I was trying to convey is that I vote with my dollars and I have wholeheartedly voted for Ekam Yoga as the best yoga studio in Orange County.
Every time I move, I have to do this yoga studio quest: I try the studio out during the free or cheap week or month, and try out the class times that work for me and hope for the best with teachers. In OC, I’ve gone everywhere within a 15-mile radius of my house, which covers Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, and even Fountain Valley (barely). I’d guess I tried 15 studios over the course of a year. I got discouraged: I’d found good places but nothing I was ready to commit my hard-earned cash towards.
Enter Ekam Yoga, which is on PCH in Newport Beach and started as part of the Grit Yoga/Cycling family but now is not. When I first looked into it then, it was too expensive. It still is expensive on a class-by-class basis, but unlimited is $89/month, which is pretty standard. I started with the $30 for 30 days trial, then immediately signed up when that ran out.
There are three main things that make Ekam a stand-out studio:
- The teachers. They are all incredible. They are all very different. They are all experienced, interesting, knowledgeable, and most of all fun. This is really all that matters—I would do yoga in a parking garage, closet, or slaughterhouse (ok maybe not) with the right instructors. And this is the first studio I’ve found in OC where all of the teachers are great. They also offer a variety of classes, heated and unheated, including restoratives. Too many studios are skimping on unheated classes and foregoing restoratives, where I think both are important.
- It’s still small. You’re not jammed in a room like sardines with sweaty toes up your nose and the instructors and staff know and welcome you.
- They provide luxury touches: chilled eucalyptus towels post-class, spearmint lifesavers, big towels, little towels, loaner mats at no charge, hair ties etc in the locker room … it’s just sweet. It makes the studio welcoming.
If you’re in OC, try a class at Ekam Yoga. It’s awesome. It’s also biking distance from my house, which I adore.
Runner-ups: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple studios around this area that are good, and I probably would have ended up joining one of them were it not for falling in love with Ekam. They are:
- Radiant Hot Yoga in Newport Beach (but close to Irvine). This is a HOT studio, as the name implies, and it is also where I tore my hamstring. Nonetheless, I have returned since because it is highly convenient to my work. Important to note that it is a Bikram-vinyasa-hybrid-only studio. There are a few good instructors, and a few ok instructors. It is a small studio and crowded in the room, as well as in the parking lot. However, it’s a solid place to go if you’re looking for a good riff on Bikram.
- CorePower Costa Mesa (on Harbor)—the chain is known for consistency, and this studio doesn’t disappoint. With a good variety of classes and good instructors, this is a good all-purpose yoga studio.