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15 Places to Find Hot Yoga in Columbus

Nancy Alkire Nancy Alkire 15 Places to Find Hot Yoga in Columbus
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Columbus is a great place for hot yoga! Last year, national brands Yoga Six and CorePower came to town and really raised the bar for yoga studio amenities like showers. Blue Spot Yoga opened in Bexley delivering high heat and vigorous yoga. Modo Yoga (based in Canada) opened it’s lovely studio just a mile from downtown, and all the while, Bikram Hot Yoga Columbus has been the best for Bikram in Columbus. Yoga on High and Balanced Yoga continued their excellent hot yoga programs, and there are a plethora of other “hot spots” in town. Below is listing of the top 15 hot yoga studios in Columbus based on temperature, yoga and amenities. Beyond the list, is an alphabetical commentary on studios that includes some very nice places, such as Grow Yoga and Mat Happy, which I wish could be in the Top 15.

1. Balanced Yoga
2. Blue Spot Yoga
3. Yoga on High
4. Yoga Six
5. Studio 543
6. V Power Yoga
7. Harbor Yoga
8. Thank Yoga Studio
9. PAI Yoga
10. Melt Hot Fitness
11. Modo Yoga
12. CorePower
13. Bikram Hot Yoga Columbus
14. Fierce Wellness
15. Ashtanga Yoga Columbus

Although many people find the Ashtanga yoga style daunting, there is no denying that it is a powerful workout and, once you get the hang of it, it is very meditative. Ashtanga Yoga Columbus has radiant heat panels that make the morning classes especially toasty, with temps well over 90.The internal heat of an Ashtanga practice is fierce, and several of the AYC teachers have been certified by the famous KP Jois yoga program in India.

Balanced Yoga has been a favorite of power yoga lovers for years and with the increasing number of teachers doing Baptiste Power Vinyasa at BY, things have just gotten better. Balanced is one of the few yoga studios in Columbus that uses ceiling-mounted radiant heat panels that can really jack up the temperature. They also have a mix of other yoga styles including nice Toasty Yin classes as well as an Ashtanga program which is a very good workout indeed. The makeover Leah Westwater and Nicole Klasa did when they took over Balanced made it one of the cleanest, classiest places in Columbus to practice yoga. Lucky if you live in Clintonville!

Bikram Hot Yoga Columbus is a real treasure for the Bikram-lovers in Ohio. Rebecca Morosky Hoffman spared no expense to make a modern Bikram studio with high-end amenities. I have met people from all over practicing there, and they have been very uniformly impressed with the facilities which include amazing tile work and anti-microbial carpeting. Classes are always at the regulation105 degrees, and they have big fans to use when needed.

Photo courtesy Staci McCool of Blue Spot.

Photo courtesy Staci McCool of Blue Spot.

Blue Spot Yoga in Bexley was opened by Staci Hiles MacCool in 2016 and from day one, it gave great heat and a good mix of both power and Bikram-esque yoga classes. Most of the flow yoga classes are based on the Barkan Method which has double pushups in the routine to pump up those arm muscles. Some of Cbus’s best teachers, such as Lara Falberg and Sarah Ouellett-Albano teach here. Blue Spot also has one shower on site and a cute little juice bar.

Burn Within moved from Gahanna to a nice strip-mall location off Stringtown Road in Grove City. It is a warm and welcoming space with a pleasantly lit studio room. They have hot yoga several times a week, and the temps are usually warm enough for a nice sweat.

CorePower Yoga opened its two Columbus area studios last year One is out at Easton near the Whole Foods, and in the Short North they are experimenting with the smallest studio in the chain. They have a variety of classes including a killer class with weights called Yoga Sculpt. They have high excellent bathrooms with multiple showers in each, and the Short North has covered ($5) parking at the Joseph.

Dharma House is run by Aaron King who teaches excellent flow yoga and meditation classes around town especially at PAI Yoga (see below) and Art of Yoga. From his house, Aaron has a nude yoga program that by it’s nature is in a warmly heated space. As of this writing, it is open to the public, but shortly it will be a members-only.

Yoga in Pataskala? Yes, and boy it is HOT! Fierce Wellness is a very cozy space that delivers a spot-on Bikram program at temperatures well over 100 degrees F. The padded floor threw me, but it makes balancing all the more challenging. Fierce Wellness may be expanding to other types of hot yoga in the future, too, so stay tuned.

Go Yoga is a fast-growing, local ‘chain’ of yoga studios with a lot of classes on their schedule. The hot yoga classes at their Powell and New Albany locations, I can recommend for having good heat but their other locations, especially the awkward space in Upper Arlington, are less consistent. Their flow classes are solidly rooted in power yoga in the Bryan Kest tradition, and he will be a special guest here in September.

Grow Yoga is a very nice studio that has a shower (and massage room!) on site. They have some great heated classes as well as flow sessions that generate excellent internal heat. In particular there are classes by Anne Weidinger and Sally Walsh Roberts, and an inspiring Ashtanga program. I found temperatures at Grow in the 70’s and 80’s at the start of classes, but things quickly warmed up. With it’s wood floors and loopy plants, it is a quintessential yoga studio. Great if you live in Grandview!

Harbor Yoga in Dublin has some of the hottest heat and fastest flow classes in town! I have clocked classes over 90 degrees consistently there, and their flow rockets. Also, they have some yoga-with-weights classes. The studio owners, Heidi Bell and Angie O’Brien, really reach out to give every one a good time, and their place has private changing as well as restrooms.

Mat Happy is a charming studio just over the outer belt in Hillard with large, south facing windows and soft cork floors. Teachers here have been consistently nice, and it has been warm enough for a gentle flow class. The bigger reason they are not on the top list is that they only have 2 hot classes on schedule.

MELT Hot Fitness plays some great music and their workouts are absolutely intense. Kelly Sondergren is an enthusiastic teacher who infuses her classes with warmth and mindfulness even while working students at a fast pace, and she has trained several teachers in her likeness. I have taken several friends to MELT, and they were not disappointed in either the workout or the heat.

Modo Yoga is locally-owned version of Canada’s famous Moksha Yoga. Designed to be a hot yoga studio as unlike Bikram as possible, there are not only soothing colors and lighting but only soft words are spoken here. I love their cork floor, and they have multiple showers. The teachers at Modo are all 500-hour trained, so they really know their stuff. It is so worth a drive to Grandview to go to Modo!

PAI Yoga Fitness has two locations which have several heated classes with very good teachers including lively Sara Goff and sweet Amy Lybrook. The Dublin location gets very warm indeed, and it is a pleasant place with a way above average sound system for a yoga studio. The Gahanna location is also nice and there is a good set of restrooms there. Owner Chan Hemintranont also built in spinning, barre and TRX classes at PAI.

Seven Studios has a few hot heated classes on their schedule and some very nice teachers on staff. They also have other fitness classes that generate heat and barre classes. Owner Julie Wilkes loves helping everyone out, and there is a surprising amount of parking right in front of their Third Street location downtown.

Studio 543 is such a gem! It is always toasty warm there, and their classes keep getting better and better. The yoga room is soothingly dark, and there are no mirrors. They have two showers, and oodles of free parking behind Victory’s. It also is one of the few downtown yoga studios with a nice lobby area for chit-chat and enjoying frozen grapes after a class.

Thank Yoga Studio was founded by Josie Schweitzer and she and her fabulous crew brings on some of the most fun flow yoga in town! Although not advertised as a heated studio, it is plenty warm there once a class gets going. I have found temperatures over 85 degrees very often. They also have some of the best acoustics and youngest vibe in town. This January, Josie handed the studio over to her trusted lieutenant, Melissa Petty who is doing an awesome job.

The Tracey Gardner Method is not yoga per se but she does have a fun and popular flow program in a well-heated space. Her downtown location matches her urban-grunge-angel-chic style, and her energy is boundless. TGM classes have a fun dance feel but they do exercise all the muscle groups and end with positive messages that leave you feeling good.

V Power Yoga is hot and fast! I have measured classes there at over 85 degrees consistently. The studio is pleasant and has a bathroom with a shower as well as a roomy changing room upstairs. All the classes really move, and the ever-fun Lisa Paquette and mighty-strong Sally Walsh Roberts have great sessions there.

Yoga On High is the oldest, and arguably largest, multi-style yoga studio in Columbus, and as a visitor in the lobby from Austin remarked, there is seriously good yoga here. They have a superb staff of teachers and one of the most fun and popular Hot Flow classes in town with Michelle VInbury’s Sunday morning class. Their other hot yoga classes are consistently well-taught, too. They also have the second largest Ashtanga yoga program in Cbus and that can generate a lot of internal heat. Their HVAC system was improved in 2016 so the heat in classes is improved albeit variable. Once things get moving, things get very warm though.

I truly have fantasies about living at Yoga Six. It is scrupulously clean, has excellent showers, and cozy yoga rooms with padded floors. I am ready to move in! Their yoga classes are consistently heated to the temperatures advertised, and they have a nice mix of classes there. The Yoga Six air handling system is amazing; it makes even the sweatiest class feel full of fresh air. The only reasons they aren’t higher on the list are 1) there are more challenging static and flow classes in town, and 2) I have more than once had a teacher who seemed to be in training. The UA location is conveniently near Whole Foods and has free covered parking.

Wellness Forum was the closest thing to Bikram in Columbus for years. The heat is consistent and over 100 degrees. Their program is pretty much like the old Bikram one and uses side as well as front mirrors. There are clean bathrooms with single shower in each. Note: they have a very strict rule no cell phone rule (interestingly the official Bikram studio is more relaxed about phones as long as you clear it with the teacher).

Note: Merrelli Yoga comes up on internet searches for hot yoga in Columbus, but it is currently open to men only. I talked the owner, Jimmy, into doing a session for me; it was an interesting free-form based on power yoga, dance, and other fitness moves. The studio is a pleasant, plant-full loft but it is not super heated.

My main criteria for judging hot yoga places is how likely I am to take a friend there. As such it has to be open to the general public. Also, I like going to dedicated yoga studios instead of gyms or rec centers for yoga. When those studios offer a variety of classes at many times during the day and evening that is especially good. Amenities like bathrooms where one can comfortably change and studio rooms that are screened from public view are especially nice. I want consistent heat (conventionally, 85 degrees minimum at the start of a hot yoga class) and instructors who are not only enthusiastic but also knowledgable and helpful. A good yoga session should work all the major muscle groups including the upper body. A great yoga program has mindful balance and flexibility moves with a period of relaxation at the end, often with a positive message. There are many great yoga classes in Columbus that do this. Check them out!


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