Best Yoga Studio - 2003
Big Bend Yoga Center
As encouraging as this year's bumper crop of yoga spots has been for stretch-and-sweat enthusiasts (particularly the debuts of the Pilates Center of St. Louis in Dogtown and Lafayette Square's much-needed Marbles Yoga Studio, which shares its space with an art gallery), the Big Bend Yoga Center has set the local standard for close to a decade now. Big Bend's students are devoutly loyal, some driving an hour each way for an hour of class. Housed in a converted garage, the studio's layout and design rank it above the rest: floors are padded, and when the still-intact garage doors are opened to let the sunshine in, getting to that "circle of life" place becomes a spiritual pleasure, not just another task to scratch off today's to-do list. Though Big Bend's an old swami in yoga-studio years, they keep up with the latest Eastern-inspired trends, like Kundalini yoga and Feldenkrais classes. Om, mama!