Lonely Planet Writer

Blacklight Yoga is the latest fitness craze to hit New York

Hot yoga just got cooler. When you think of a typical yoga environment, a zen and minimal space usually comes to mind. However, buzzy new Tribeca-based studio YogaSpark is aiming to eschew any preconceived notions you may have.

Blacklight yoga in New York. Image by YogaSpark

In a city that offers everything from aerial yoga to yoga set to deep house and heavy metal soundtracks, YogaSpark’s BlacklightSpark class is the Full Moon party-style flow session on every wellness enthusiast’s lips. The innovative concept brings together seasoned Yogis and beginners alike for a Bikram-style (hot) workout in a pitch black room, illuminated only by overhead UV lights. Participants are encouraged to wear white, pale, or highlighter-bright neon gear to really experience the one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

New Yorkers go for broke in the yoga studio. Image by YogaSpark

While the class will integrate traditional elements and practices, such as sun salutations and warrior poses, YogaSpark brings an innovative and modern approach to the table. The studio also offers CandlelightSpark classes, in which the dark 1000-square-foot studio is scattered with tea lights as participants backbend and downward dog to an eclectic soundtrack of old school hip hop and RnB.

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YogaSpark’s founder Lauren Porat is a former investment banker who was disillusioned with the clichè “incense and Buddha statue” vibe of every yoga studio she came across. The self-proclaimed exercise junkie was keen to bring an elevated, boutique-style yoga workout to the SoulCycle crowd who have become accustomed to paying upwards of $30 for a single class. “Yoga is a full mind-body-spirit workout, but I realized that most people are in it for the workout,” she says. Her formula works, too: participants can expect not only a cathartic mental cleanse, but an intense ‘sweat sesh’ as they vinyasa in 92 degree heat.

One thing is for sure: New Yorkers love to workout with intensity. By its very meaning, Yoga translated from Sanskrit means integration – could YogaSpark’s BlacklightSpark class be the perfect fusion of an energetic club night and a calorie torching workout all in one? Namaste to that.