The first and most important love story you will ever play a part in is the one with yourself.
Oscar Wilde definitely knew what he was talking about when he said “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. There is nothing quite like self love and no better way to begin this oh-so-important courtship than with a good sweat at yoga practice.
Yoga is an excellent practice of self love — enter: Love Story Yoga: helping to release tension, get stronger, clear your mind, sweat out the extra mimosa you had at brunch, etc. In a busy, stressful city like San Francisco, where so many things demand your time, it is particularly important to have a practice that helps you re-fall in love with yourself by strengthening your body and mind. There are many yoga studios in the city, being are almost as ubiquitous as hipster coffee shops and startups, and new ones seem to pop up everyday. One of these beacons of self love, as well as community love, is Love Story Yoga, a new studio in the Mission.
Founded by Stephanie Snyder and David Acker, Love Story Yoga opened on Valencia street in early January with the goal of offering an “elevated experience of traditional yoga to San Francisco's busy, creative, and dynamic yogis”. Even though they are just around the corner from Yoga to the People and down the street from Yoga Tree, this new studio is making a name for itself amongst the locals and offers more the 30 classes a week. The large frosted windows with the minimalistic logo open up into a lobby with a wide welcome desk where you can check in with one of the teachers, or owners. To the right are cubbies for shoes and some cushions forming a friendly circle inviting you to chat with fellow yogis under a banner featuring Snyder and Acker’s mission statement. To the left is a little shop space where you can purchase your “Love Story Yoga” Lululemon leggings and sweatshirts, all displayed on the minimal, industrial racks synonymous with SF contemporary design.
The classroom where you participate in an hour to an hour and a half of vinyasa flows of varying levels is very large with unassuming white walls and wooden floors. The room is heated, but not too hot, just enough to really get your blood pumping and sweat glands activated. Each class is taught by a different instructor and in a slightly different way, so each one is guaranteed to give you an original experience, but all are beneficial and end in a much deserved savasana (corpse pose, i.e. “nap time”). They offer three levels of classes: one for yogis of all levels, one for beginners to vinyasa, and one for a well seasoned downward dog do-er. If you want something a bit more “workout” like, you can go to a “yoga skills and drills” class. Whichever class you choose, once savasana is done and you’ve all namasate’d, make sure to write a little love note at the front desk before going on with your day.
Treat yourself to the practice of self love at Love Story Yoga, because taking time for you is always 100% worth it.
// 473 Valencia St, San Francisco, lovestoryyoga.com, Classes are $22 for a drop in, or can be purchased in packages or monthly memberships.