Nestled among lakes, state forests, gorges and vineyards, Ithaca, New York is a retreat in itself and the perfect weekend get away for couples or individuals seeking reprieve from their day-to-day hustle. Naturally, the city is well known for its food – especially among the health conscious and plant-based eaters. Along with that come some incredible options for yoga practice, my favorite being The Yoga School located in Downtown Ithaca, referred to by locals as “The Commons,” just a few minutes from both Cornell University and Ithaca College.
Lennessa Shantaya and her partner, Mikey, run the school. They offer extremely valuable insight during the classes which can help tremendously if you are at a particular difficult time in your life. Lennessa might even grab a bite with you at the tapas joint down the street from the studio after class. The Yoga School can serve as a critical healing tool.
The classes impressively catered to all skill levels in the room while remaining challenging and instructive. In just a few classes, you can notice that your skills improve significantly. My favorite part about each class is how it remains true to traditional yoga practice. It is not tainted by commercialism in the slightest, which allows to get the most out of each class both spiritually and mentally while learning more about yoga tradition and its origins.
The ambiance is fantastic. Dark wood paneling, large windows beaming with sunlight, earthly tones and plant life make the room perfectly relaxing to fully lose yourself into your practice. The school offers classes in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Mysore, Prenatal, various workshops and instructor training. The rates are standard: $15 for a drop in with student discounts and packages available. I highly recommend stopping by for a class should you find yourself in “Gorges” Ithaca.