Breweries, beaches and those epic West Coast sunsets … Yep, I had some expectations of San Diego when I moved here, but I must say I was surprised by the expansive yoga community. Two days after landing, my boyfriend and I were blown away to find an acro jam literally right under our noses on Ocean Beach as we were job hunting from a second-story restaurant. Perfect. We knew we found our new home.
Upon exploring the Ocean Beach neighborhood a little bit more, I found Happy-U Namaste, a yoga studio just a few blocks from the sand. It sits next to a local craft brewery, Mike Hess Brewing, and across the street from Pirate’s Cove Tiki Port, a drive-thru and walk-up coffee and acai bowl shop.
Happy-U is a fairly traditional, single-room yoga studio, advertising “no mirrors” and “no heat” on its flyers. It offers 18 classes a week, from kundalini yoga & meditation to a level 2/3 core vinyasa class. I took three 75-minute classes during my first week of unlimited yoga ($20 for new, local students).
Mellow hatha is an all-levels class. I found it to be restorative and calming, with the sound of crystal bowls and gongs guiding the students through our slow movements. We focused on breath, alignment and relaxing into our poses, followed by a nice, long savasana.
Yoga dance flow was a chance to leave alignment behind and certainly forget about self-consciousness for a while. We began the class with open movement, jogging, skipping, sliding and shuffling around the room, practicing our choice of twists and cat-cow movements intermittently. This yoga dance class was far from the dynamic, choreographed routine I learned in Bali, but it was a beautiful way to flow with a small group and offer various mudras as we moved to soothing music.
For the strong hatha class, students set up in two lines along two of the studio’s walls so we could all face the center of the room. The focus of the class was on lengthening the side body and neutralizing the spine. Throughout the flow, we practiced chaturanga pushups, dancing warrior, bending tree pose, and, towards the end of class, forearm stands and handstands.
Happy-U offers descriptions of all its classes here.
The studio offers water and tea before you head into class. You can grab a mat, blocks, straps, bolsters and blankets at no charge, and there’s mat spray to use post-class.
Drop-in classes are $18, but new members can take a week of unlimited classes for $20. Monthly passes are $99, with discounts for Happy-U’s workshops and special events. See more about pricing here.
In addition to yoga teacher training, Happy-U schedules special events all the time. Upcoming workshops in May include acroyoga, yoga of trust, handstands and advanced adjustments for teachers.
Check out the Happy-U website for current scheduled events.
Happy-U Namaste is in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego. It’s a quick walk from the beach and Robb Field. For a detailed map and directions, click here.