Yoga in Playa del Carmen?
While visiting the Riviera Maya, you are going to want to fill up your days doing lots of cool stuff like whale shark swimming, snorkeling through coral reefs, and exploring Mayan ruins. But it’s also good to take some time to recharge with a yoga class (or five) while you are here.
In this post Guest Writer, Claire Summers a local yoga teacher gives us her recommendations for finding the perfect yoga class during your vacation.
If you are coming on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico you may be wondering where you can take a yoga class while here. Well, the good news is yoga in Playa del Carmen is very popular and there are many excellent teachers here offering a variety of classes. There is also always the option of having private classes with one of the local teachers.
There aren’t so many yoga retreats in Playa del Carmen, that is more of a Tulum yoga thing. And please don’t ask for Bikram Yoga Playa del Carmen, because all yoga is hot yoga in Playa del Carmen! Although if you want a really hot class try the evening Mysore class at The Yoga Loft… this is not for the faint-hearted and you will need experience to go to this class, it’s not for beginners!
The Best Yoga in Playa del Carmen
Playa Yoga Tribe
As a tourist, the number one place to take a yoga class in Playa del Carmen is Playa Yoga Tribe. The classes are based at Aventura Mexicana Hotel just off 5th Avenue. The reason I recommend this yoga studio is because they are the only yoga studio in Playa del Carmen that doesn’t have a price for locals and a price for tourists. Everyone pays what they feel the class is worth on a donation basis. The teacher takes 50% of the profits and the other half goes to the hotel.
A minimum donation of $50 pesos is advised, although I would advise giving between $100 – $200 pesos. The teachers there really do deserve it. By setting such a low minimum it enables local people earning local wages to access the classes, something most other studios don’t do. For this reason, here you will find the classes are a good mix of Mexicans, Expats, and tourists. Which you won’t find at any other studio. Students here are also very diverse in ages and abilities. Teachers will cater to the class they have so beginners are welcome in most classes (unless it says advanced).
Often the classes are small, especially if you go to the day time classes, the evening classes are another story. You will need to arrive early to get a spot as it gets packed, especially in high season. Classes take place in a palapa so there is no AC (or walls!). This does mean if it rains very heavily classes could be canceled (this happens rarely though).
Classes are a mix of English and Spanish depending on who is in the class, almost all of the teachers a bilingual. At Playa Yoga Tribe they have a good mix of classes for all levels. Just check the weekly schedule on Playa Yoga Tribe’s Facebook group. It is one of the only places you can do kundalini yoga in Playa del Carmen, and they also have power yoga, Ashtanga, lots of Vinyasa and Hatha classes.
Weekends they hold special workshops so you will need to check Facebook events to see what is happening. If you are a Yoga Teacher coming into town, get in touch with them about running a workshop or class. They always welcome traveling teachers.
p.s. It is also where I teach when I’m in town, so come say hi!
Selina is a hostel in downtown Playa del Carmen, part of a chain of hostels across Latin America whose target audience are Digital Nomads. They have great facilities including a pool, bar area, and a rooftop yoga space.
Selina also offer regular yoga classes in their space for a reasonable cost (if you aren’t a guest you will need to pay). They also have one of the best views of all of the yoga studio (you can see the sea). Classes here are all in English. Although many of the teachers are fluent in Spanish so classes may be in both languages. It is generally a younger crowd here. All classes are suitable for beginners.
Yoga By The Sea
Yoga By The Sea Playa del Carmen has (in my opinion) the best yoga shala in Playa del Carmen. It is upstairs, open-air, and a place of tranquility. I love to practice there and they have the best equipment and props of all of the studios (free to use). The studio isn’t on the beachfront (it’s a few blocks away) and it is a little too far out of downtown for some as it is on CTM. But if you love Hatha yoga it is worth the walk.
Classes are only held in the mornings with a class at 8:30am for experienced yogis and a beginners class at 10am (although do check their schedule as this may change). Ariel the owner teaches the morning class 3 days a week with different teachers taking other classes. Almost all of the teachers here have been taught by Ariel so there is a lovely consistency in the classes you won’t find at any other studios here in Playa.
All classes are taught in English, but most of the teachers are bilingual. The student here tend to be a bit more mature and classes are slower. I personally love to take class here, especially when I need to slow down a bit. The teachers really teach you here too. I know that may sound silly. But quite often I’ve taken yoga classes and been totally ignored all class, not here.
If you are interested in completing your yoga teacher training in the Caribbean they have several courses per year. I believe the course is excellent (judging from the studio teachers and knowing Areal personally).
The one downside to visiting this studio if you are a tourist is that the price you will pay is double what residents pay. I do understand why they do this, but if you are on a budget this studio isn’t for you.
Now I haven’t been here myself (yet) but I have heard nothing but good things about Yoga Company and their beautifully bright yoga studio in Playa del Carmen. Its central location makes it very easy to get to and it’s one of Kay’s favorites.
Yoga Company offers Vinyasa Flow classes throughout the week, as well as Restorative yoga, for releasing any tension (from climbing Coba, perhaps) and to help you to sink into a deep state of relaxation.
I have put Casa Ananda on this list because it is one of the best yoga studios in Playa del Carmen. But it may not be a good fit for most tourists. For starters it is quite far out of town and you will need to take a taxi there. And secondly, all classes are in Spanish.
That said, the classes and teachers are amazing. They have excellent retreats, workshops, and one of the best yoga teacher trainings in Mexico (all in Spanish). If you are an experienced yoga practitioner with a good grasp on Spanish, I would highly recommend heading over here to take a class. You can find more details here.
The Yoga Loft
I’ve put the Yoga Loft on here as it is my favorite place to take a yoga class in Playa del Carmen. But it isn’t the friendliest of places. So it may not be the best option if you want to practice in a friendly studio on your vacation.
For starters the reception staff are often very rude (mostly in the evening, in the day the manager is there and it is very different) I’ve experienced this personally, but I was warned about it so went prepared. The classes are also a lot more expensive for tourists and anyone who wants to just do a drop-in class. I’m pretty sure they do this just to put tourists off drooping in, but don’t quote me on that.
Even as a yoga teacher I found the whole process of going into the studio and booking in for a class extremely intimidating. The snarky receptionist didn’t make this any less intimidating!
So those are the bad points, but there are good points. Once you get past the front desk and find your way to the studio (don’t expect to be shown where to go, that’s too much to ask) the classes are AMAZING. Especially if you love power yoga and Ashtanga. It really is the best studio in town for these. The studios are beautiful and lovely to practice in. They take yoga seriously here and I really appreciate that. So if you are a serious yogi, then put on your brave face and take a class here. I promise once you have gotten into the studio it is a whole different experience.
If you are looking to do an Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training in Playa del Carmen do it here. The studio is owned by Michael Gannon (of Michael Gannon Yoga) and he leads regular teacher training. He also runs a monthly Mysore club on the first week of each month.
You can check out The Yoga Loft schedule here.
So that’s my lowdown on yoga in Playa del Carmen. I hope you find the perfect class to take on your vacation. If you have any questions feel free to come find me over at Claire’s Itchy Feet!
Namaste Claire x