July 21, 2019 at 10:00AM by CWC
Bay Area Bikram yoga is hot—literally. But you want to know where to go get that Bikram glow, right?
For the uninitiated, let’s talk about what it is. Bikram yoga is a series of 26 postures (asanas) and two breathing exercises (pranayama), done in a room heated to 105°F with about 40 percent humidity. Bikram is traditionally 90 minutes, but you can find some classes that are crunched into a 60-minute time slot.
We scoured the City and its surroundings for the best Bikram yoga classes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a towel.
This studio has been around for two decades. (Locals will know it by its former name, Funky Door Yoga.) Instructors don’t care what level you’re at or how “good” you are—they just want to see your smiling face in class. Also, its central Nob Hill location means you can hit up happy hour or pick up a smoothie from the nearby Whole Foods Market.
1336 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109
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The studio says it’s the first Bikram studio in the U.S., so it’s a must-visit for Bikram aficionados. This studio encourages drop-ins and classes are held in predictable time slots (9, 4:30, 6:30 Monday through Thursday, for instance), so you can go when it suits your schedule.
910 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133
Blending Latino and Indian cultures, the studio describes its artwork-covered environment as “festive and funky.” The space is large enough to fit 70 yogis, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to snag a spot. There’s also a massage and float tank space when you need to zone out. If you’re on the fence about membership, buy a 10-class “forever” package, which never expires.
2390 Mission St. #200, San Francisco, CA 94110
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Sign up for Bikram, Pilates, vinyasa, and pregnancy yoga classes here. The bells and whistles of the hot room are pretty cool: the floor is anti-microbial, insulated to stay warm, and shock-absorbing. They’ve truly thought of everything. More importantly, though, is the studio’s emphasis on building community. There’s a sense that you’re truly all in this experience together.
455 Judah St., San Francisco, CA 94112
The intimate studio in the Ingleside district offers a 60-minute Bikram style yoga, plus Inferno Hot Pilates, Vinyasa, and Fusion Yoga. Its no-muss, no-fuss style, plus a roster of well-trained teachers (all are 200- to 500-hour Yoga Alliance Certified), means that you’ll be ably guided toward your goals—whether they be body, mind, or spiritual.
1637 Ocean Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112
With four locations in the Bay Area, this family of studios gives you options. When you sign up for a membership, you have five free visits per month to its affiliated schools. The group also offers one of the more robust schedules; the Daly City location alone runs six Bikram classes per day, plus one Inferno Hot Pilates session, which is as hot (95 degrees) and humid as it sounds. (The Seacliff location is temporarily closed for renovations.)
Seacliff: 5644 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121
Daly City: 203 Southgate Ave., Daly City, CA 94015
Central Fremont: 3890 Mowry Ave., #201, Central Fremont, CA 94538
San Mateo: 1528 S. El Camino Real #200, San Mateo, CA 94402
If you’re a purist, this studio may not be for you—but if you’re attracted to the basics of Bikram and are itching for a twist on the traditional, then the “Bikyasa” class may be what you’re looking for. The 60-minute session combines traditional standing poses and vinyasa flows.
408 Ignacio Blvd., Novato, CA 94949
This studio follows the traditional Bikram method, with three to five beginner-friendly classes per day. If you’re more advanced, their devotion to Bikram as it’s traditionally practiced will appeal to you. The studio’s mission? To provide a safe, spiritual place for you to develop your own practice.
478 Santa Clara Ave., Oakland, CA 94610