I began practising yoga in a gym setting. Fitness First, to be exact. Two of the teachers there really got me grounded, one in Ashtanga and the other in basic yoga, although the latter was pretty grounded in Ashtanga as well. There were a few other great teachers there, but many of them just did not suit me. Then I went for a Yoga Festival and was introduced to Deepak Kumar, or Deep Yoga Instructor.
His classes were so good that I did not attend any other sessions. The poses were not hard and yet many times, I experienced a taste of that bliss that yoga can give. Now, Deep focuses mainly on teacher training although he does have classes at a few commercial gyms. When he has workshops or interesting charity classes, I go down to his studio in Country Heights, Kajang.
Still a gym member, I did go to a few yoga classes, but only one teacher, Jean, managed to capture my attention as much as the two initial teachers who got me interested. Later on, I discovered that all three of them practice at Manasa Yoga School. I took a look at their workshop schedule and discovered that there was one on the Natarajasana. The philosophy revealed in that workshop was life changing, so incredibly beautiful. From then on, I signed up for classes and went at least three times a week.
Manasa School of Yoga‘s guru is Manoj Khaimal and his classes are incredible. After three months, I decided to sit for the yoga teacher training under him. With his rich and deep philosophy integrated into the asanas, I can think of no better place you can go to locally for teacher training or just classes. Great support from Manoj, Sandhya, resident teachers at Manasa, as well as Manasa students comes with attending classes there.
So if you can, drop into Manasa, if the style of philosophy and asana integration is what interests you.
Nowadays, I also practice at Yoga Dynamics. Partly, this is due to scheduling of my work and logistics, partly because I would like to go deeper into the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition. Practice there is an incredible sweaty mindful experience! Ganesh and Iling are great, along with senior Ashtangis who help out during the Mysore sessions. What I especially love about this is learning from them the hands-on adjustments in the Ashtanga vinyasa poses.
And to be honest, Mysore is really convenient because you go when you go, practice and get corrected (and learn), then leave when you leave. No rush to reach class on time, find parking etc. Still… Because of my schedule, I ended up attending Richard’s Hatha and Vinyasa classes, which are pretty awesome as well. I use up a lot of towels and have to use a skidless towel whenever I attend a Yoga Dynamics session.
Saying all this, I prefer a more traditional approach to yoga. I have been to the BKS Iyengar Yoga Shala and I do hope to drop in again (and also to the Swarupa Iyengar Yoga Studio). I feel that the modern schools of yoga are interesting and have a lot to teach, but for my own personal practice, I am more comfortable with the traditional.
So here are just a few recommendations for you. However, there are many excellent yoga studios out there, with more popping up everyday. Be adventurous and go where your heart leads you!