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Amazing Yoga in Pittsburgh, PA

amazing yoga sign

Amazing Yoga is a popular yoga studio with three locations around Pittsburgh – Shadyside, Southside, and Wexford.

One day I walked in, signed up for the $25 new student special (two weeks of unlimited classes,) and the rest is history.

My first ever class at Amazing Yoga was on Valentine’s Day of all days. It was a Friday evening class, with music, but not just any music – they had a Valentine’s Day themed soundtrack featuring love songs from different genres!

That class had a great instructor (Catherine,) a super fun atmosphere, and 90 minutes of fast-paced yoga that kicked my butt! I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was an insane workout. It would have been tough, even if I had not gone XC skiing and rock climbing beforehand.

It probably wasn’t the brightest idea for my first yoga session at a new studio! After not even being in a yoga studio for a few years, it was like jumping in the deep end. It really caught me off guard – I didn’t even take a towel! Bad idea!

If you’re going to be sweating for 90 minutes in a room that’s heated to 90 degrees, you might want to take a towel (or two.) My mat got so slick that I couldn’t even hold myself steady in the most basic poses. (Yeah, too bad I didn’t read this.)

Not all classes are like that, though. I took a Sunday morning class with Brandon that was tough and challenging, yet refreshing and invigorating. I left feeling better than when I went in. That’s what I think of when I think yoga.

And not all my experiences were so memorable. At least, not in a good way. There was the Saturday afternoon I couldn’t find parking until 4:55… for a 5:00 class. Since I didn’t know how to walk to the studio from where I ended up parking, I definitely wasn’t going to get into the classroom on time, so I just went straight home (wasting 30 minutes of time, driving, and gas.) Ugh.

The Amazing Yoga Studios

I visited all three studios during my membership.

Shadyside

Amazing Yoga’s Shadyside studio is upstairs from Starbucks. If you didn’t know it was there, you could walk right by it. (I actually walked past the door once, even after I knew where the studio was!)

This one has a really nice set up with lots of space. When you walk inside, you go upstairs and into a lobby that serves as a good spot to hang out and get ready. Then you walk through a separate door into the actual heated room. The room is nice, well-organized, and uses a horizontal layout, which I like. It is nearly windowless, making it best suited for tough workouts (similar to the ambiance of an off-season interval workout on the trainer in the basement, but with even more puddles of sweat.)

The best part is that they run about seven classes per day, with start times from 6:30am to 7:15pm. There’s going to be something for everyone. (The other studios only do about 3 sessions per day.)

The problem is, the Walnut Street area in Shadyside is super busy, and parking is limited. Most streets are permit parking only, and there are just three tiny lots nearby. Good luck getting a spot at a normal hour. Plus, the meters run till 8:00pm so you can’t avoid them! (I’d suggest walking or learning the side streets off the side streets.)

amazing yoga southside

Southside

The Southside studio is easy to find on East Carson Street. You walk in the door and go upstairs, but there’s just one room, so you’re hit with the heat right away! That’s not such a bad thing, it was just shocking the first day.

There’s limited space, and it’s a little awkward when you walk in. You go to the back to check in, but then have to walk up to the front of classroom to put your stuff in a cubby hole. It felt like I was walking in on a class already in progress.

One nice touch is that due to the limited space, they put markings on the floor to designate where to put your mat corners.

I didn’t care for the long, vertical layout as much as the wider, horizontal layout in the Shadyside studio, but I love the big window up front! If you’re up front, you get to look across Carson St, and seeing the big light up “whiskey” sign is surprisingly motivating. Even better, the window lets in lots of natural light. At the lunch hour classes, the light just floods in. After you experience that, you don’t want to go back to the other studios!

amazing yoga southside window view

Parking is a bit easier and more straightforward here. If you can’t get a spot near the studio, you just keep driving down Carson Street. The meters only run till 6pm, not 8pm, and quite a few side streets offer free parking.

You also have the Amazing Cafe right next door, which offers juices and smoothies, as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches. Their menu changes frequently, depending on what is being harvested from local organic farms.

Wexford

Wexford is about 12 miles north of Pittsburgh, so you won’t be walking there from the city, but it’s only about a 15-20 minute drive up the highway.

amazing yoga wexford

The studio is located in a strip mall with a huge parking lot. That means no trouble finding parking, and it’s all free. And if you need a tanning salon, beer distributor, or Eat N Park, they are all right there! (Even better, across the street you’ll find Soergel Orchards, home of amazing food, pumpkin butter, and the best apple cider ever!)

When you walk inside, there is a nice relaxing area to check in and get changed. It’s a lot like the Shadyside studio feel, since there are two separate rooms, but the heated room is long and deep like the Southside one. The alignment of the windows allows for a little more light than at Shadyside, but not as much as Southside.

It’s the Amazing Yoga experience outside of the city limits.

The Amazing Yoga Teachers

Amazing Yoga has a lot of teachers, and most of them rotate around to where they teach at different studios. Here’s what I can tell you about a few of them.

Catherine Gignac

Catherine is fun, enthusiastic, and upbeat. I got some good pointers in her Power Vinyasa Basics class and totally loved her Power Yoga with Music class. Though good all around, she’s much more suited for the active, fast-paced classes – the “Power Yoga with Music” ones or their special neon and glow sticks yoga parties. That seems to fit her personality!

Lisa Friday

Lisa was recommended to me by a close friend, so I managed to get into one of her classes in Wexford. I instantly liked her because she reminded me of Kiki from The OC. And as the class went on, I really started to like her style. She led a very good class, and she was really, really good at explaining how to do everything. If you need to work on your form, definitely try to get in a class with Lisa.

Brandon Cecil

Brandon offers a good, soothing voice, good class structure, and he’s a nice guy, which all makes for a calming presence in the classroom. His classes just resonated with me for some reason. Turns out, he’s a triathlete! According to his bio, “when I’m not working, I am training for Ironman-distance triathlons and also marathons.”

I would definitely encourage all endurance athletes to go to his classes!

Those are just three of the many teachers – I count 20 of them right now – so it’s likely you’ll find one you like. It’s all personal preference, so I’d encourage you to try as many instructors as possible.

Pricing, Memberships, and Specials

Yoga is expensive. There’s no denying that. Amazing Yoga’s rates are comparable to other studios.

For a regular drop in class, it’s $15.

You can also buy class passes. For example, a 20 Class Pass is $200, which works out to $10 per class.

If you are totally dedicated to yoga, and plan to do it at least 3x week, month after month, you can get an Unlimited Yoga package on auto-renew for $95/month.

If you happen to be a full-time college student, you can go to any class for $9.

The cheapest class is the $7 Power Yoga class. These are taught by teachers-in-training.

Finally, the biggest discounts are the new student specials. As of January 1, 2015, they have an amazing deal for new students. You can get unlimited yoga for 7 days, for just $7. And if you like it, you can extend that to a 60 day unlimited membership for only $60.

What sets Amazing Yoga apart from other yoga studios?

There are numerous yoga studios in and around Pittsburgh. And it seems like Yoga Flow is right next door to all the Amazing Yoga locations. (In Shadyside, it’s literally right around the corner! But there’s also a Lululemon right there so it shouldn’t be surprising.)

With all the competition, why might you choose Amazing Yoga?

Yoga podcasts.

You can download recorded yoga classes as podcasts. This will give you an idea of the classes before you actually attend one.

The best teachers.

That’s subjective, but they have so many different teachers, it’s quite possible they have the best teacher for you.

Intense classes.

From what I’ve heard, they have the most intense classes around. It’s yoga, but it’s definitely a serious workout. Take the “Basics” class for example. They go a little slower, so you can keep your composure, but you still get into tough poses. It’s just that the relaxed pace lets you concentrate on getting into these poses and holding them in a controlled manner. It’s not gentle yoga by any means.

(On the flip side, this is NOT the place for you if you’re looking to meditate or relax.)

The best variety of classes.

Since they have three locations, numerous class times, and so many teachers, you can’t beat the variety. While all the classes are going to be at least fairly intense, they’re all intense in different ways.

For example, the Friday night yoga + music class with Catherine was just about the polar opposite of the Sunday morning class with Brandon.

 

Bottom line – there are lots of good yoga studios in Pittsburgh. LOTS of them!

Just off the top of my head, there’s Amazing Yoga, Yoga Flow, Yoga Innovations, The Yoga Hive, Schoolhouse Yoga, Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh, and South Hills Power Yoga.

Since yoga is important for mountain bikers and great for all athletes, try it out. Somewhere.

I really liked this place, so if you’re in the Pittsburgh area, and want yoga that’s also a crazy aerobic workout, check it out! All the info is at www.amazingyoga.net.

 

Where do you do yoga? Any other suggestions for me?

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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