Hot Yoga in Columbus
Newcomers to Columbus sometimes voice frustration sussing out the hot yoga scene to find which hot yoga studio is best for them. Bikram Hot Yoga and Melt Hot Fitness are obvious, but there is a wealth of high quality hot yoga happening at GIVE Yoga, Harbor Yoga and so many others that will help you discover the benefits of yoga. The rise of Modo Yoga in Columbus and appearance in 2018 of newcomers like LIT are noteworthy. 2018 saw much re-shuffling in the Columbus yoga scene, but if you have hot yoga on your to do list for 2019, we’ve put together a list of the top hot yoga studios with the reasons why.
Top Hot Yoga Studios in Columbus Ohio for 2019
GIVE Yoga (formerly Balanced Yoga) continues to improve and expand. Their hot yoga space will more than triple when their new 130-mat room opens later this year. Currently, their Baptiste Power Vinyasa classes provide a wonderful balance of heat, challenging poses, and mental refreshment. The flagship GIVE Yoga studio in Clintonville consistently has hot yoga classes that start at 85 degrees. The German Village branch is not as warm, but has a wonderful atmosphere (and some off-street parking). Also at the GIVE Yoga Clintonville are two other classrooms for Kundalini, Yin and other yoga styles when you are not in a hot power mood. When finished, the Clintonville location will have six showers! GIVE also has non-profit foundation that is especially interested in yoga for school children in conjunction with the Youth Yoga Project here in town.
Modo Yoga has been one of the most pleasant yoga success stories in Columbus. In 2015, Chad Underwood brought Modo Yoga to Columbus from Cincinnati. Founded by Canadians who wanted a gentler, more nurturing hot yoga than Bikram, Modo classes are held in generously heated rooms in environmentally-friendly buildings. Since opening, Modo Yoga in Columbus has steadily increased the number and types of classes they offer. Starting January 22 they will have non-heated and prenatal yoga available. Modo has also forged a great community and is doing many wonderful works, especially for local rescue animals. Also the regular teachers at Modo are 500 hour certified, and that training shows in the strong leadership most Modo classes have. Modo Yoga in Columbus also has multiple showers, a gender-neutral restroom, and now offers massage on-site.
Bluespot Yoga at the time of this writing is moving to a new studio which should open in early 2019. Based on past performance and owner Staci Hiles McCool’s promises, they will have the same high heat as their prior studio in Bexley. Bluespot has an array of hot yoga flow classes based on the Barkan method and does a classic 26 version modified by the owner to be “The McCool Method.” The new studio should have lots of natural light and a much improved “hang out” area, also.
Yoga Squad with its multiple showers, amenity-filled changing rooms, and superb HVAC system, is one of the most pleasant studio experiences in Columbus. While they are one of the priciest places for yoga in Columbus, you get lots of niceties here. Although many people do not like practicing in front of mirrors, the instructors try and have students use them for good. Now that yoga Squad is outside the Yoga Six system, the staff including long-time Columbus fitness pro Laurel Hodory, are exploring new programs. If you travel to Chicago or Milwaukee and have a Yoga Squad pass, you can also practice at four Chicago locations and their Milwaukee location.
Harbor Yoga consistently has high heat, high octane classes. I routinely find the classroom temperature in the high 80s before classes start. Even though the classes move fast, the instructors are on the watch to give modifications to students. Their playlists really rock and the sound system is way above average. Harbor Yoga also presents yoga classes at MESH Fitness.
Yoga on High has so many excellent yoga teachers and programs including a non-profit foundation which does a great variety of good works. There are two Yoga on High locations and the Short North location has a bit more heat per square foot. Yoga on High has several hot yoga classes scheduled every week and once or twice daily Ashtanga yoga classes which have nice heat. The evening and afternoon classes in the Short North have lots of natural light and they have gender neutral restrooms. As the oldest all-purpose yoga studio in Columbus, Yoga on High has many other yoga classes including Urban Zen and Sekoia for when you want to do something different.
LIT Life + Yoga is one of the jewels in the Columbus yoga scene. Founded by entrepreneur Deb Penzone, it has not only casual elegance in every square inch, but also some of the most impressive, innovative yoga classes in Columbus. It is where you often see yoga teachers taking classes! Not only is the temperature pleasingly warm but the floor can be heated and the windows opened for fresh air during savasana. Classes by a cast of luminaries work you in unexpected ways and the sound system is extraordinary. They are also one of only two studios in Columbus to offer aerial yoga classes.
Go Yoga has come a long way since it started in a dojo years ago. Now with seven locations in Columbus, they are arguably the largest yoga studio presence in the city. GoYoga is also a more affordable yoga studio system and regularly offers dynamic pricing on the MindBody app. Every year they have improved their heat and most of the classes advertised as heated start at over 80 degrees. The New Albany, Powell and Worthington locations have especially warm classes, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the good heat and fun vibes at their newest location at 715 S. Pearl in the Brewery District. That location is also next to Seventh Son’s new brewery, Antiques on High, if you need another way to de-stress.
Engage Higher Degree Fitness is full of great heat and cozy darkness. The classes rock and are lead by experienced teachers such as Karine Wascher (who led Yoga with Sloths at the Zoo last year) and Jill Gigliotti. They only have one studio room, though, and the only reason they aren’t higher on the hot yoga list is that they have relatively few yoga classes compared with places such as Modo and others.
In 2018, Bikram Yoga Hot Yoga Columbus started holding a variety of other classes including Buti and Yin yoga. They are also experimenting with holding vinyasa flow classes. Owner Rebecca Morosky Hoffman hosts many visiting teachers who all say we are lucky to have such a stellar facility as hers. “Bikram yoga is a system that works,” Becky says, and BIkram yoga classes there are always at 105 degrees and follow the script. Bikram Hot Yoga Columbus also has super-nice bathrooms with showers so you can get to work or whatever after a class.
Fierce Wellness has so much going for it that it can be worth a trip to Pataskala. They have great heat, a clean, cushy floor, and fun little community. Like Columbus’ Bikram studio, they have also branched out into different fitness classes including a great Hot Pilates that is a special treat when A&F model Trey Griley teaches it.
Melt Hot Fitness has Westerville and Dublin locations offering not only hot yoga, but also spinning, barre and other fitness classes. The heat is excellent and the rooms are dark enough not to be self-conscious while sweating. Kelly Sondergren and her teachers conduct challenging yoga classes which focus on building calmness as well as strength.
Studio 543 is a little gem. It has good heat and a pleasing darkness in the studio as well as a comfy wooden floor. They also have two showers and multiple restrooms. Classes there are affordable and there is plenty of parking in the Victory’s lot West of High Street.
V Power Yoga is a place I think more people should take yoga visitors to Columbus. The location on the 4th floor of a Warehouse District building has superb views of Downtown and tons of natural light from large East and West windows. Classes are uniformly well-taught and really move. With its white walls and wooden floors, it is a very pleasant atmosphere. One of the original power yoga programs in Columbus, V Power has trained many students and Owner Lisa Paquette likes to make sure that every student has a good class.
PAI Yoga has long had some great yoga teachers and fun hot yoga classes. Someone should declare Kara Lough a national treasure; many of her classes are very warm without being advertised as hot. PAI has two locations, the original in Dublin and another off Hamilton between New Albany and Gahanna. Both also offer spinning, barre and other fitness options.
Ashtanga Yoga Columbus is controversial to put on a hot yoga list, but it deserves mention. For one thing, Ashtanga yoga is the origin of power yoga, and it builds serious strength in a regular practioner. An Ashtanga practice also generates serious heat. I have seen thermometers go up six degrees in 60 minutes from a group of Ashtanga yogis at practice. Also, owner Taylor Hunt at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus installed radiant heat panels and keeps his studio toasty warm.
Namaste in Love is a newbie on the Columbus yoga scene, but it has a lot going for it. Owner Trish Hoffman put many elegant finishing touches into the studio and being in the Creekside Complex means there is covered parking in inclement weather. It may not be as hot as some yoga studios but Hoffman leads classes which will generate internal heat well. She also holds regular Ashtanga classes (see above) which are great all over work outs.
CorePower Yoga has awesome amenities (rivaled only by Yoga Squad and Bikram until GIVE Yoga’s expansion comes online) in Columbus. I wish that their scheduling app was friendlier, though. Being a very large chain of yoga studios, if you have a pass at CorePower you can practice at hundreds of CorePowers if you travel a lot. I visited two CorePowers besides the one in Columbus’ Short North and they were consistent. There is covered parking available in the Joseph’s parking garage behind them.
Heartfelt Yoga is so adorable! It is cozy without being claustrophobic and has a totally fun vibe. With it’s springy wood floor and exposed wood ceiling, it is like being inside acoustic guitar. Music played during class sounds especially well and classes are fun and casual. It may not always be super hot, but you can raise your heart rate well here.
Burn Within is a nifty little place in a Grove City strip mall that has warm classes and a groovy atmosphere. You can get a nice stretch and some fun core work here at a good price.
The Space is the latest studio from Josie Schweitzer (formerly of Thank Yoga). Schweitzer does classes with innovative, heat-generating, moves learned from some of the best modern yoga teachers in NYC. The Space is near the new brewery on Parsons and Comune, a plant-centered restaurant, at 677 Parsons Ave. south of Children’s.
Seven Studios is one of the most affordable yoga options in Columbus and Owner Julie Wilkes loves doing many helpful community projects, such as teaching yoga to inmates and helping the homeless. They also have barre, pound and other fitness classes.
Some other notes: Bexley Yoga deserves a shout out for starting up some heated sculpting classes and hosting Michael Love’s Ashtanga yoga class which is a serious work out. Spirit Elevation/L Yoga Flow has a weekly Ashtanga yoga class and a few 80 degree classes a week. Wellness Forum hosts hot yoga sessions and has clean showers available; note that they are not on MindBody and have a strict no cell phone policy. Rise Yoga in Grove City has a Classic 26 class on most Saturday mornings; they do not schedule on MindBody. Merrelli Yoga comes up with internet searches for hot yoga; although interesting it is not extra heated and it is only for men. Tracey Gardner no longer does hot workouts but has restarted her TGM program at the New Albany Ballet Co.
Yoga classes are usually considered hot if they are held in a room heated to 85 degrees Fahrenheit at the start of class. The Baptiste classes at GIVE Yoga and heated classes at Modo Yoga are excellent examples. Bikram classes are traditionally held in classrooms heated to 105 degrees and Bikram Hot Yoga Columbus does a superb job here in town. Besides considering the temperatures of the classrooms, other things such as accessibility (ease of scheduling, parking, friendly front desk), amenities (nice bathrooms and especially showers), and affordability (basically yoga minutes per dollar spent) figure into the above rankings. Also, important is how likely I would be to recommend a place to a friend. There are many, many wonderful yoga classes in Columbus, heated or not, for you to try in 2019.