Yoga Loft

The Yoga Loft, the homey studio near lower Haight founded by Jane Dobson and Meg Whitbread, just celebrated its two-year anniversary. Students are welcomed to the former dance studio by a floor mat that reads "happy inside" which is presumably what awaits you at the top of the stairs. The layout of the second story space feels much like a typical San Francisco flat, with a tight waiting area decorated with small works of art. Two large rooms with hardwood floors and tall windows are home to about 10 classes per day. Because of the variety of teaching styles and the relatively small class size (average class has 12 -15 students), The Loft is a great place for beginners to find the practice that fits and to receive individualized attention. Instructors lead classes in either Iyengar, a form of yoga that emphasizes a preciseness of postures or Ashtanga Vinyasa, which incorporates breathing with a series of postures that flow into one another.

- by Lisa Butterworth