AFM Yoga Review: Dharma Yoga
Review of Dharma Yoga, local Austin yoga studio
I was first introduced to Dharma Yoga through Lululemon’s free class offerings. Lululemon in the Domain offers free classes every Sunday at 10:45 a.m. and is a great way to try out new teachers and discover local studios (Athleta in the Domain also offers free classes at various times: http://stores.athleta.net/store-7047/). After my free class, I discovered an awesome Groupon deal that I just couldn’t resist, so I decided to give Dharma a whirl.
Dharma Yoga is locally owned and located off 31st and Guadalupe. The studio consists of a lobby and one main room. The main room is an idyllic place for tranquil meditation. Two sets of French doors and smooth rock mats separate the lobby from the main room. The warm, caramel-painted walls are lined with soft lighting and adorned with Buddha statues, wall paintings, and hanging lanterns. There are two bathrooms sectioned off by rice-paper partitions in the back of the main room. Mats, blocks, blankets, straps, and bolster pillows are freely available to use, and bottled water can be purchased at the front desk.
Classes at Dharma consist of All Levels, Gentle Hatha, Dharma Yoga, Dharma Yoga Restorative, and Vinyasa, and run from an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half. I took the All Levels, Dharma Yoga Restorative, and Gentle Hatha. I loved all three. The classes have a lively atmosphere of community and well-being. In each class, we were asked to introduce ourselves to the people around us. Class began with group meditation and involved partnering up. The Dharma Yoga Restorative and Gentle Hatha were very relaxing, with focus on stretching and meditation. I especially enjoyed the stretching in the restorative class, because it was deep and still worked my muscles. The All Levels session was a flow-based Hatha class that showed me how to appreciate postures in deeper way, by really engaging my muscles in twisting postures and then accepting the new energy as the blood rushed back into my limbs once it was released. Even though the class was physically challenging at times, I never really broke much of a sweat (this probably varies depending on the instructor).
Teachers began and ended class with a Sanskrit verse, mantra, and/or insightful poem. One thing that really impressed me about Dharma was how experienced and educated the instructors are. Their expertise and introspection really helped me deepen my practice. I also love that they didn’t have a bunch of items for sale in the main lobby. A lot of studios I encounter have clothing, equipment, and so on for sale right when you walk in, which, in my opinion, takes away from the reason I’m there. If you’re looking for a well-balanced, spiritually strengthening place to practice, then I highly recommend Dharma Yoga. They also offer yoga massage therapy and private classes.
Why You’ll Love Dharma
- Great community atmosphere
- Significant focus on meditation
- Free mat and equipment use
- Experienced, encouraging, and well-educated teachers
Why You Might Not Love Dharma
- Limited class selection: Classes are held at the same time every week, so if you can only make the 7 p.m. on Sunday, you will always be taking the same class.
- No showers
- Not enough advanced-level yoga offered
- Limited workshop offerings
Cost: $15 drop in rate; class packages and new member specials available. Class schedule changes monthly.
Location: 3110 Guadalupe