When it comes to yoga, there's a big gap between studios focused on physical fitness and those offering "spiritual enlightenment." Tangerine’s strength-based hot yoga classes are definitely a workout, yet they still manage to go against the fitness-obsessed culture that misinterprets the original context of yoga: a practice to train the mind and body to become more aware of ourselves, and to cultivate discernment, awareness, and higher consciousness through intentional movement.
At this cozy Brooklyn studio, the interpretation is traditionally-rooted, with a modern twist: chill out and quit being jerks. Meaning, the classes focus heavily on your mental experience, which helps you connect more calmly with the physical (a 90-degree room full of sweat-drenched, wobbly bodies). The music is so low-key you hardly notice it, and the instructors manage to be knowledgeable and totally unpretentious. For what they lack in hands-on instruction, they make up for in humor.
As for the types of classes, if you’re a pro, you’ll probably want to opt for the Tangerine Flow+ or the Slow Burn over the basic flow. While still great, the moves in the flow class are very much entry to intermediate level, and there isn’t a lot of time or space created for inversions and personal practice. In either class though, you can expect a good amount of attention paid to all the core muscle groups: abs, arms, and legs.
Inside the studio, your mats will be laid out for you, and blocks and towels are provided. The mats have pretty good traction, though you can pay to rent a special non-stick towel if you need it. As for the temperature, 90-degrees is warm, but the radiant heating panels, which simulate the heat of the sun, actually feel kinda great. It’s like a taking a tropical vacation in the middle of winter.
The space itself is small and often overpacked. During peak times, expect to be two inches away from your neighbor. The sense of community is palpable; we just wish they would cap classes instead of maximizing every square inch.
We think Tangerine’s delightful blend of modern LA crunchiness and traditional yogic teachings is worth the trek, just keep in mind the whole hot-yoga-no-shower thing. Our recommendation is to take a class on a weekend, sweat out the night before, and then head to Mile End or Shelsky’s for a quality bagel.
— Photo Credit: Active Spaces