12 Birmingham yoga studios you need to know about including Areo Joe’s aerial yoga

Birmingham yoga classes Alabama
It’s nice to have you in Birmingham yoga classes. This guide will prevent you from feeling upside down and overwhelmed by the area’s offerings. Photo by Rachel Callahan

I know it can be intimidating to walk into a new yoga class, whether you’re a long-time practitioner trying a different studio or a first timer. I’ve practiced yoga regularly since 2011 and have taught since 2014, but I still get nervous when I try someplace new! But the guide to Birmingham yoga classes is here to help.

Let’s start with some basics: Many studios and teachers come up with their own course names and descriptions. We love seeing creativity in action! But it can become confusing for a new student. Look for these common terms to help you understand what to expect in a class:

  • Flow or vinyasa: This common style is often more physical, with frequent movement from one pose to another. Even so, there can be a range of difficulty. “Slow flow” classes may appeal to everyone, as you’ll move between poses slowly enough for a newcomer to follow along. But you may also hold poses longer, which can be challenging.
  • Ashtanga: This school of yoga utilizes a set sequence of movement. Ashtanga’s mysore classes involve students practicing a set sequence at their own speed without teacher guidance.
  • Hot, or Bikram, yoga: Most of the time, when people refer to hot yoga, they mean a Bikram-style class. This style is named for its founder, Bikram Choudhury, and involves a sequence of 26 poses performed twice each in a 105-degree room.
  • Kundalini: These classes will typically involve chanting and repeating or holding postures for extended periods of time.
  • Restorative or yin yoga: Ready to say ahhhhhhhhh? Restorative classes help slow the body and mind through gentle postures held for a long time.

Once you’ve got some of the basics down, it’s time to look for a class. Birmingham’s growing yoga scene means it’s easier than ever to find a class near you. Here’s a rundown of some area studios. Class packages vary, but we’ve included the cost of a single drop-in to get you started. Be sure to check in with the studios themselves; many offer beginner specials!

Overwhelmed? Consider choosing a studio that’s convenient to you, and then narrowing your options by reading the class descriptions and teacher bios. If it’s not love at first sight, try again! The local yoga community is welcoming, and most teachers would be happy to help you find your home.

Birmingham yoga classes Alabama
Nancy Rhodes emphasizes body positivity at Abundance Yoga. Photo courtesy of Abundance Yoga
Abundance Yoga

611 Doug Baker Blvd, Suite 116

205-540-5842

  • Neighborhood: Lee Branch
  • Drop-in cost: $15
  • Specialties: Abundance aims to make yoga accessible to all body types. Owner Nancy Rhodes’ Fat Girl Yoga specifically welcomes people who have felt out of place trying yoga, but that mentality carries throughout the schedule, regardless of the style of class.
Aero Joe Pilates

2805 Second Ave. S., Suite 100

205-202-5758

  • Neighborhood: Forest Park
  • Drop-in cost: $25
  • Specialties: It’s right there in the name: Aero Joe invites you to fly in its aerial yoga classes.
Birmingham Yoga

605 37th St. S.

205-637-4228

  • Neighborhood: Avondale
  • Drop-in cost: $15
  • Specialties: Birmingham Yoga classes emphasize ashtanga and kundalini classes.
Birmingham yoga classes, Body Shop Yoga
Body Shop Yoga owner Beth Ryan wanted to bring yoga to her hometown, Leeds. She’s done so by offering classes in a former auto shop. Photo courtesy of Body Shop Yoga
Body Shop Yoga

8236 Parkway Drive

205-352-9103

  • Neighborhood: Leeds
  • Drop-in cost: $8-$10
  • Specialties: Body Shop Yoga has built a community in Leeds. It’s housed within a former automotive shop, and its classes are as accessible as its location.

Conscious Body Healing Arts Center

300 Office Park Drive, Suite 205

205-783-1070

  • Neighborhood: Mountain Brook (U.S. 280)
  • Drop-in cost: $17
  • Specialties: Conscious Body offers yoga classes in a small, cozy setting, massage, Reiki energy work and special events.
Embody Birmingham

3918 Montclair Road, Suite 100

205-637-0299

  • Neighborhood: Crestline
  • Drop-in cost: $15
  • Specialties: In addition to a variety of yoga, Embody offers other healing practices such as massage, Tai Chi and organic movement classes.
Kind Roots Yoga 

825 39th St. S

  • Neighborhood: Forest Park
  • Drop-in cost: $15, $12 children
  • Specialties: Kind Roots aims to provide accessible classes for people of all backgrounds and ages, including kids. You’ll also find chair yoga and Pilates on the schedule.
Birmingham yoga classes Alabama
Kiva Hot Yoga offers the Bikram yoga sequence in a room heated to 105 degrees. Photo courtesy of Kiva Hot Yoga
Kiva Hot Yoga

300 Olde Towne Road

205-824-2626

  • Neighborhood: Vestavia Hills
  • Drop-in cost: $25
  • Specialties: Kiva offers a range of classes, but it’s known for its hot yoga. (It’s in the name, after all!) You’ll find the Bikram experience you’ve heard about here.
pH Balanced Fitness
3325 Rocky Ridge Plaza Suite 211

533-9421

  • Neighborhood: Vestavia Hills
  • Drop-in cost: $5-$8
  • Specialties: The schedule includes a variety of classes, ranging from more restorative styles to BUTI Yoga’s high-intensity cardio breaks.
Pura Vida Healing Arts

3940 Grants Mill Road, second floor

334-300-6952

  • Neighborhood: Irondale
  • Drop-in cost: $15
  • Specialties: Pura Vida aims to take a holistic approach to healing its clients’ minds and bodies. To that end, classes are designed so they’re accessible to people of all ability levels.
Birmingham yoga classes Alabama
Annie Damsky leads a yoga class at Villager Yoga. The studio also specializes in kids and family yoga classes. Photo by Rachel & Noah Ray Photography
Villager Yoga

3150 Overton Road

205-262-2012

  • Neighborhood: Mountain Brook/Cahaba Heights
  • Drop-in cost: $15
  • Specialties: In addition to a full array of adult classes, Villager offers yoga for kids and families.
Birmingham yoga classes Alabama
The Yoga Circle is known for its variety of class styles. Photo courtesy of The Yoga Circle
The Yoga Circle

1425 Richard Arrington Blvd. S.

205-266-7547

  • Neighborhood: Southside
  • Drop-in cost: $15
  • Specialties: The Yoga Circle is known for its wide variety of classes. Visit TYC, and you can get a taste of most popular styles. They’ve also got classes scheduled through June 1 at the downtown wellness space Forma.
More Birmingham Yoga Classes

And hey, yoga isn’t limited to studios. Look for classes throughout the community, starting with Bham Now’s calendar. Area nonprofits such as Aldridge Gardens and Birmingham Museum of Art periodically host yoga classes, and it’s a popular fundraiser for special events. Brewery yoga is also a popular option; check with your favorite brewery to see if they’ve currently got classes on the calendar.

Birmingham yoga classes Alabama cat yoga
Cat yoga became a frequent site at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society beginning in 2016. Photo by Jeff Hamilton

Community classes are often an inexpensive way to check out yoga.  Enjoy free classes, thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield, in Railroad Park at 6 p.m. Thursdays. Vestavia Hills and Homewood libraries have yoga series on the summer calendar. And for a purrfectly relaxing experience, keep an eye on cat yoga at Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

Author: Carla Jean Whitley

One of Carla Jean Whitley's prized possessions is a postcard from Birmingham's long-gone Terminal Station. That's because she's a proud Magic City native who reflects on the city's imperfect past while embracing its present-day progress. Carla Jean is the author of "Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City," "Balancing Act: Yoga Essays" and "Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music." Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @inkstainedlife.