Studio Reviews

Just Yoga Studio Review

Just Yoga Studio Review

Vancouver Yoga Review was recently invited to experience Just Yoga, a local yoga studio in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Since opening earlier this year, they’ve attracted many loyal yogis and yoginis with their down-to-earth approach to yoga and wellness. Just Yoga provides mindful, authentic and accessible yoga classes in Vancouver – it’s yoga with heart and soul!

The following is our team member Kat Wong’s lovely experience at Just Yoga:

It was pouring rain and as the day dimmed before supper, I was really in need of some comfort.  I stopped into Just Yoga studio on Broadway and Quebec St.  The owner, Jeni, who was very pleasant and friendly, greeted me as soon as I stepped inside.  It was warm and cozy and carried an ancient aroma.  She showed me around her studio and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Bali.  The studio floor is absolutely gorgeous and I was very surprised about how spacious it was.  It’s evident that a lot of love and care went into create a beautiful and peaceful space.  I was led through a very relaxing Yin class, led by Beverly and was reminded that all bodies are unique and that I should listen to my own.  Just Yoga is a wonderful space to practice yoga.  They make it very accommodating for all levels and welcome everyone to practice.  I had a lovely experience and would definitely practice there again.  It really was like a small vacation for me.

For further information about the wonderful Just Yoga studio, including class times, visit their website www.justyoga.ca, connect with them on Twitter @JustYogaVan and Facebook.

Just Yoga
53 East Broadway (@ Quebec Street)
Vancouver, BC
Tel: 604 709 9642 (YOGA)

Fall in Love with Flying at che baba’s Yogasilks!

Fall in Love with Flying at che baba’s Yogasilks!

Recently, I had the outstanding pleasure of attending a 2hr Sunday session of “Yogasilks” at che baba, yoga and cantina, 603 Kinsgway in Vancouver. It was the most fun I have had in a yoga class since I tried my first partner yoga class last year and got the taste for “flying” poses.

And fly you will! Led by the uber-talented kiwi-born Vancouver teacher, Yogasilks founder and long-time yogi, Ross Howatson, this class hosted 10 fresh-faced and excited beginners to Yogasilks and we had an absolute blast.

Suspended from “silks” – think: long, stretchy, silky sheets tied at two corners –  suspended from the ceiling, students are led through a series of yoga poses ranging from Warrior 1, Trikonasana, hip openers, heart openers, core strengtheners to breathing exercises, relaxation and gentle inversions.

With an adventuresome group ready to take on the thrill of the silks, we were challenged with a few fun and crazy cirque-de-soleil-esque moves: fallen angel (sees you threading through and dropping out of the silks – safely though!), handstand (with legs threaded through the silks – what an amazing experience!) and a few more inversions (think Sukasana, easy pose, but upside down and dangling). Ending class coccooned sweetly in the silks with a guided relaxation, I left feeling settled and grounded. Not to mention, my hips, legs and back felt amazing all week!

Ross did a brilliant job of encouraging, humouring and challenging the Yogasilks students. I would strongly recommend this 2hr workshop to anyone who loves hanging around, playing, having fun and trying something new in your yoga practice.  I fully intend to be back on a regular basis!

After the workshop, the participants all enjoyed tapas at the attached cantina. The food is simply incredible. A sweet little spot, che baba was started by a young local couple, Allison and Stephan, who love sharing yoga, great food, and creating community.

Try Yogasilks. Seriously. Bring your friends. You will fall in love with Ross, the silks, che baba and the whole experience.

Che baba runs 2hr workshops on Sundays (first two weeks of August cancelled for trainings), which are a great introduction for beginners. The studio runs a regular Yogasilks drop-in class during the week, which will start back in the fall. In the meantime, che baba also touts a full drop-in schedule of other classes, which would be a great excuse to do some yoga before enjoying a meal at the cantina!

Love the idea and want to get teaching it? Yogasilks classes are currently in development at other studios and teachers will be needed! Che baba only has a few spots available for Yogasilks Teacher Training, Aug 11-12, 9am-5pm (delicious lunch provided by the cantina), $640+hst. For more information please contact Ross Howatson at [email protected]

Make time for Yogasilks in September and enjoy flying and hanging around! Please comment below if you have already attended a session and let me know about your experiences!

Bikram Yoga Cambie

Bikram Yoga Cambie

I must admit.  I am a little biased.  I have been a Bikram yoga teacher for the past 7 years.  I first started practicing at Bikram Yoga Cambie many years ago.  Naturally, I was very excited when the doors to the new Cambie studio opened on Sunday.

I have taken 2 classes there now.  I have to say…the heat is perfect!   Even though it can get really steamy in the room, you never feel like you don’t have enough air.  They have a state of the art heat/oxygen exchange system. The bonus, there are 6 showers for women.  No more big line ups after class waiting for the shower.

Go check it out for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed.  Located in City Square Mall on the corner of Cambie and 12th.  You get free parking for 2 hours.  If you need more time, you can go purchase some fruit after class and get an extra hour for free.

Namaste.

Bikram Yoga Cambie
City Square Mall
#22 – 555 West 12th Ave.
Vancouver, BC
www.bikramyogavancouver.com

Jennifer – Steveston Village Yoga

If you are looking for a change from your chain yoga studios?  Try Steveston Village Yoga.  Tucked behind Alegria Cafe in the heart of Steveston Village is this lovely, quaint yoga studio.

I go for Jennifer’s Tuesday 7pm Yin class.  I am greeted with a warm and inviting atmosphere.  The space has a real Zen feel.  I take my spot on a mat provided, which is decked out with all the props:  eye shade, 2 blocks, bolster, etc.  The candles are lit and the class begins.

Jennifer has a soothing voice that lulls you deeper and deeper into the poses.  I feel completely relaxed, even in the final moments of a 5 minute posture.  She is a natural Yin teacher, who exudes a friendly, nuruturing energy.  She is very personable and attentive.  I like the one on one instruction.

I highly recommend this class.  Just what is needed after a long, stressful day.  You will sleep like a baby afterward.

Namaste.

Head Over Heels for Langley’s Hari Om Yoga

Head Over Heels for Langley’s Hari Om Yoga

Langley has a gem of a yoga studio that you all should know about! Not only because I work there, (and yep, it’s a wonderful place to work), but also because it’s a stunning studio offering everything yoga-related you could need.

Valeria, one of the owners of Hari Om Yoga, hard at work Source: http://www.lululemon.com/community/blog/meet-strategic-sales-partner-hari-om/

Hari Om Yoga in Langley is a multi-style studio – from Restorative and Gentle classes, to Yin, Anusara Inspired, and Prenatal, to Flow and Hot classes  – there is something on the docket for true beginners, as well as for the fit and yoga furious.

 Bamboo-floored and immaculately clean, the studio is tucked away from the traffic, blissfully quiet during Savasana, and overlooks a mass of green treetops. I have watched the sun set at the end of class – I am certain there is very little that beats the feeling of a warm glow during the cool-down of a great practice!

As mentioned Alison’s review, Hari Om even features its very own yoga cat! A loveable “big boy” (a Maine Coon weighing almost 20lbs!), after eating and sleeping, his favourite activity is greeting students after class for a belly rub.

Housing a beautiful studio and a large retail space with your favourite brands in yoga apparel, Hari Om Yoga is a pinnacle yoga hot-spot in the Lower Mainland. You can use your Passport to Prana here, or new members can sign up for 2 weeks Unlimited Yoga for $30!

Celebrating their 3-year anniversary, Hari Om Yoga and its staff and teachers will be hosting an Open House on June 18th. With free classes all day, sales on retail clothes and yoga class cards, as well as food and drinks to chat over, it will be a fun day and perfect chance to introduce yourself to the studio and all it has to offer!

Hari Om Yoga's retail space Source: http://www.lululemon.com/community/blog/meet-strategic-sales-partner-hari-om/

 

One Yoga for the People

One Yoga for the People

Source www.yogaforthepeople.ca

Last night was the grand re-opening of Yoga for the People. It is now One Yoga for the People. You should go. Really, you should go now. What was a beautiful community is now even more awesome. Last night’s kickoff featured the funnest class I have ever that the pleasure of taking, plus great people, and fabulous food (Gorilla Food– check it out).

Food for all of me.

I’d like to dedicate this to all the creator’s righteous children.
I’ve got some food in my bag for you.
Not that edible food the kind you eat, no I’ve got some food for thought.
-Erykah Badu

Sometimes I get so hungry. Hungry for something that I’m not getting in my life– it has nothing to do with food. I feel hungry when I’m not whole. So guess what I do?

I dig deeper into my yoga practice to find what it is that I need to feel whole, to feed myself. Last night was a feast.

It’s this paradox. In yoga we feed ourselves and fill ourselves up to get empty. The intermediate practice is to be full (of love, compassion). The advanced practice is to be empty. But I’m not there– obviously. Because I’m still hungry. I have moments of fullness, and I have flashes where I can see that emptiness is possible. One Yoga for the People is a community of people who support each other on that journey.

When I’m not paying attention I get hungry. And I try to feed myself with things that I’m not really hungry for. So I’m working on identifying that hunger and what it means so I can get still, take a breath, go to my mat and fill myself up.

Thanks to Ryan and the gang I am full. Next time you’re hungry check it out.

Join The Kula At Kushala Yoga In Coquitlam!

Join The Kula At Kushala Yoga In Coquitlam!

I move around a lot as my partner is in the military, but I have found a family in every city I have lived in. I find my family in yoga studios as they are filled with like minded individuals who are ready to welcome in any new student that enters their door.

I recently spent the last 4 months in Coquitlam, my hometown, to complete yoga teacher training. The first thing I did when I arrived was find a nearby studio to practice in. Thankfully Kushala Yoga studio is very close to my parents house, where I stayed,  and I was able to convince all my family members to join with me!

From the first class I went to at Kushala I felt like I belonged there, as opposed to just being a temporary guest. The yoga teachers are so friendly and approachable that I couldn’t help but want to engage in an after class chat with them. Even the students are beginning to catch on that Kushala Yoga is much more than just a place to practice yoga. During a Power Flow class I was greeted by another student who was introducing himself to the people on the mats around him and arranging an after class coffee. The yoga teacher/ owner half jokingly said that this student was the social coordinator for Kushala. The studio also hosts such activities as movie nights and Hike n’ Yoga to further foster their growing community of yogis.

Kushala Yoga has 2 locations, one in Coquitlam and one in Port Moody, with 2 more on the way. They offer classes for all levels from more relaxed classes such as Slow Flow and Restorative Yoga to more vigorous and advanced classes such as Power Flow, Hatha Core and my favourite Wild Thing Wednesdays with Andrew Colyn.

Weather you visit the warm, soothing studio in Port Moody or the bright and open studio in Coquitlam you are sure to find a class that suits your needs and make several new friends!

Tour of Kushala

Images from http://www.kushalayoga.ca/

Under The Same Sky

Under The Same Sky

Since I’ve started my teacher training at Semperviva in January, I have been spending a lot of time at the Sky Studio. I had practised there before with Susan, one of my favourite teachers, and although it is smaller than the other studios, I like it for several reasons.

The main one being is that I truly miss practising outdoors. I was very lucky last year to have a lot of time off before coming here and to travel in Europe for two months in the summer. We hugged the Atlantic coast and while my boyfriend was surfing, I would find a quiet spot and go through my sun salutations slowly to the sound of the waves and summer breeze, enjoying every inhale and exhale.

The first time I practised on the beach, I had the most obvious revelation. I inhaled, arms up, my palms reached up the – real – sky and the sunlight dazzled me as I looked up: ‘this is what saluting the sun really is’. You don’t get that sense as literally as this when you are in a studio.

I still love practising indoors, we’re all creatures of habit, we like a flat steady floor, the absence of wind, flies, mosquitoes, or anything that distracts our senses. However to me, practising under the sky is unbeatable and that’s why I like the Sky Studio: it connects me again to this feeling of infinite space.

[source: chroniclesofdolliedaydream.blogspot.com]

At the same time, it offers all the comfort that modern yogis rely on: carpeted floors, yoga mats, props and a bathroom! Besides the skylight, there are many windows, covered in light white curtains, which makes the studio bright but not overwhelmingly so. You will find it just above the Greens and Gourmet Restaurant on Broadway and Trafalgar. You just need to cross the restaurant to find the reception.

I always find the atmosphere quite serene, studious and humble, which prepares the mind to go deeper into your practice. This maybe has to do with the nature of my studying there, but I feel also the opening to the sky creates that equanimity. It’s the closest to the sky one can be while  practising indoors.

Quaint Kerrisdale

Last Wednesday, the 16th, I realized how bloody spoiled I’ve been. I started my yoga adventures at YYoga and did a tour through Semperviva as well. Their spaces are quite large with white-washed walls, cushy lounge areas, change rooms, and other amenities. I knew of smaller studios, but never had the time to really seek them out. I go to YYoga because of the familiarity (with the space and the people) and its proximity to where I do my business around town.

During the reading break of last week I was able to book an excursion to Kerrisdale Yoga. Unfortunately, I was only able to hit 2 of the initially planned 3 classes. Don’t let that dampen your mood though, because (for my part) it was a blast through and through. Situated between 45th and 46th on East Boulevard, the studio was a small walk from where I dismounted the public limo on 41st. I would’ve driven if I knew parking was relatively easy to find, but that’s neither here not there.

The studio-front. Quite attractive if you ask me, as simplicity and cleanliness reigns.

Elisa Wakabayashi, owner of the studio, took me through Yoga with Spinning. It’s 30 minutes of cycling followed by 30 minutes of yoga, both of which are not ridiculously destructive. Actually, it was the calmest yet most effective spin class I’ve had in a while. You know, instead of the hardcore sprinting that leaves you crippled the next day sorta deal. Elisa taught both parts of the class, being a personal trainer as well, and then laid out the studio for me.

She noted that a small independent studio is great in that there aren’t many “big deals,” in that the world won’t end if someone forgets something. After the hustle and bustle of YYoga, I could see clearly what she meant as the studio has a laissez-faire quality as there isn’t corporate pressure or strict codes of conduct. I’m not saying that there’s a lack of professionalism or anything, but the air is very different. At YYoga I find people tend to quickly zip about, where at Kerrisdale there’s a bit of meandering and lingering.

The all-important yoga room, which can comfortably fit about 10 people I believe.

As one can imagine, the class sizes are relatively small. Yoga with Spinning totaled 4 people excluding Elisa, and the Kundalini class was 6. It’s a far cry from the average 15-20 yogis I’m used to, but there’s something nice about a bit more intimacy. Instead of feeling the energy of a myriad of other yogis, with only 4 people it’s easier to notice your own and really tap into your comfort zones.

The yoga and spin rooms are not sealed off from one another, with a gap between the ceiling and wall between them offering a better airflow. Though it also meant it was colder than what I was used to, the cool fresh air that cycled around the studio was very welcome. There’s also more natural light here as the windows facing the back for yoga and facing the back for spin are generously sized. My first go at Kundalini was also here, and I was supposed to try out Iyengar as well. I lament not being able to make that last class.

All the props and whatzits.

Tucked in the back are 7 cycles for some spinning.

And here be the video tour, guided by Elisa:

Yogis that live in Kerrisdale probably know of Elisa’s studio, and though I travel through and hang out in the neighbourhood often I didn’t know of the studio until I jumped on Twitter. Oh, the miracles of social tools. Elisa is a blast of an owner, being very relaxed and applies no pressure on her guests. From what I noticed inside and outside of classes she has a solid connection to those that practice with her. Small groups tend to notice and remember the schedules and tendencies of their compatriots, and the community/family feelings is quite evident.

It’s a very nice space, in a great neighbourhood, and owned and staffed by fantastic people.

The Sea Studio At Night

Now that I’ve practised in all the Semperviva studios, I think that my favourite is possibly the Sea Studio on Granville Island. I don’t go there as often I would like because I currently live a bit far out, but next month I’m moving to Kits so I’ll be able to go more.

For now, I try to go once a week for a Yin yoga class with Bernie on Thursday at 7.15. So far because it’s winter, I’ve seen the studio at twilight or night, and I find it quite magical. It is on the corner of a building overlooking the river and facing downtown, and the wall-to-wall windows offer the most beautiful views.

Before each session, Bernie takes time to light up a myriad of candles around the room by the windows and their reflection mirror the lights of downtown and of the boats that occasionally float by.

The interior, on two levels, feels organic and cosy, with natural fibre carpet and big wooden beams.

[source: www.yoga-gene.com]

One of my best classes there was when it was really cold outside and we were in savasana. It suddenly started to rain heavily and the drops were pounding against the windows. I lied there listening, in the natural darkness of that November night, and it felt like the most wonderful sound to accompany me in meditation.

I can’t wait to practice at the Sea Studio in spring or in the summer when it will be flooded in bright daylight!

Blissful Burbs; Hari Om Yoga

Whoever says that you have to drive to Vancouver to experience a fantastic yoga class? Well they are wrong! My love for yoga was greatly affirmed as I ventured out to experience Hari Om Yoga in Langley.

Run by Cormac McCarthy and Valeria Pongracz, Hari Om Yoga has made a name for itself in the Burbs. After an invitation from Cormac to come out, I made my way out to Langley this weekend. Living in Coquitlam, the studio is only about a 15 minute drive from my house, which is nonetheless perfect! While I’m not very direction oriented, and after one presumptuous false turn I quickly and easily found the beautiful studio located just off of 200th Avenue.

Hari Om - Retail Space & lululemon gear! http://www.lululemon.com/community/blog/meet-strategic-sales-partner-hari-om/

With a 2,000 square foot retail space that includes all the gear you could ever need, from lululemon hoodies, pants, tanks, shorts to Jade & lulu Mats, to bags, to other various yoga gear, it’s a shopping haven, now there is no excuse for forgetting your pants & not making it to yoga!

With the smell of freshly brewed tea, and a corner library with a fire and Yoga Journal’s galore, to the cuddles & snuggles from Charlie the cat, Hari Om Yoga has made itself into a community, that you just want to be a part of.

The yoga studio, is located above the retail space, and is absolutely breathtaking, with a large window at the front of the room with views of Mount Baker & the tree tops, the scenery helps to take your mind off the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and find depth in your practice and is a little bit of Yaletown in the heart of the burbs! The studio caters to every body, with students ranging from 9 to 80, and offers a wide variety of classes from Kundalini, to Hot, to Core, Power and Restorative. Not only do they offer a wide variety of classes, but workshops, Kirtan evenings and Teacher Training!

I attended two classes this weekend; Saturday morning was the Luna class, a nice change to a sometimes hectic life that reminds us to take a moment and SLOW down! To the Form of the Pose class on Sunday morning that helped you take a deeper look at the foundations of the poses and the mechanics on how to go a little deeper. The Sunday class was filled with their current teacher trainers, who you could tell from their energy were excited and elated to be a part of such an experience.  The teachers were fabulous offering detailed instructions and reminders about our foundations our poses and our breath, I left feeling alive and rejuvenated.

The Hari Om philosophy;

“calm mind”, “active body” an “inspired life”

A philosophy that is so true to how you feel when you leave this wonderful place. Hari Om is a fabulous space, with fantastic teachers and a great community, you have to check it out! Hari Om is included on your Passport to Prana and your first two weeks for $30.00 unlimited! Thanks Cormac for inviting me out, it was certainly a pleasure and I will definitely be back to take in more of the community at Hari Om!

Blissful Burbs; Vital Energy Yoga

Well I have to start off by saying I may be a little bias when reviewing Vital Energy yoga as I have recently just started to teach there, but that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the space.

I first discovered Vital Energy Yoga in “old, historic” Port Moody, driving by on my way for dinner at the Boathouse at Rocky Point (only about a block away), and I literally had to circle around the block to get another look. Situated in an old heritage house, across the street from other heritage houses filled with bookstores, flower shops and restaurants, it is the perfect neighbourhood to “get your bliss on”.

Vital Energy Yoga www.vitalenergyyoga.com

The studio is small, but has a wonderful energy with all of the history that the building holds. With beautiful hardwood floors and old antique windows to the old fashioned sink in the bathroom, I am in love with this space.

Class sizes are small, and classes offer a wide spectrum to suit all students. From Plus Size Yoga, to yoga for the Super Stiff, from Kids yoga to Teens Yoga and of course your regular old Vinyasa Flow to Meditation classes, there is something to suit everybody.

The studio has taken a new persepective and offers a place where you can come to grow both in your practice and in yourself by offering you a place not only to delve deeper into your practice but to have the opportunity to understand what is happening to you and why, why do you feel these sudden bursts of emotion or tension or pressure that you may feel or that may come up during your practice. Learning how to access this vital energy that is available to all of us & to have it in your life always. Vital Energy offers workshops that help you learn more about the practice of yoga and how it affects you.

The studio has only been open for a few months and has a few fabulous promotions on to get you started, with either your first class FREE or your first two weeks for $30.00. Plan to come to saturday morning class & walk to starbucks after for a tea and scone or come for an evening class before dinner and head to the fabulous Rosa’s directly across the street for a yummy pasta dinner or even better, make your way down to Rocky Point before or after class for a stroll around the inlet. Vital Energy has opened up in a beautiful little community that has so much to offer and is the perfect fit.

Join them at their Open House on December 02, 2010 or for an evening of Kirtan on December 11th. More information can be found on their website at www.vitalenergyyoga.com

Intro to the Blissful Burbs!

Having grown up in the Lower Mainland and lived here my whole life, my path to yoga was not something instilled in me since I was a little kid. In fact, the first class I took was in a local rec centre, with a friend who had to “drag” me with her, long story short, a lot has changed since that first class & the friend who first introduced me doesn’t practice at all, ironic I suppose.

I have gotten to think over the last couple of weeks how do people get introduced to yoga and do they know after the first class that this is where they need to be or does it take weeks & weeks to discover that? I have heard from many yogi’s over time that while they may drift away from their practice it is always something that they inevitably come back too, for it gives you this feeling of “coming home.”

We all know that Vancouver has a wide spectrum of yoga to offer, which is completely fantastic, but Vancouver doesn’t just consist of the downtown area or Kitsilano. Yoga studios are popping up all over BC and throughout the Lower Mainland, with a wide spectrum of teachers and styles to choose from.

Blue Skies in the Burbs! Taken on a walk through one of the many beautiful parks that the Tri-Cities has to offer.

Being a resident of the “burbs”, and while it may not have all that Kitsilano or the downtown core has to offer it does have a lot, with lots of parks, trails, lakes and so much more, the burbs kind of stand up for themselves. I’ve heard from some Vancouverites that say, Coquitlam is so far away, in fact by car it’s only 20 minutes without traffic, not bad!

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to show you some of the fantastic studios that 15, 20, 30 or 50 minutes out of Vancouver can offer you. Stay tuned & get ready to plan that trip out on a Saturday or Sunday to explore it yourself and in the meantime tell us, how did you find your path to yoga?

If any studios from Burnaby out to Abbotsford are interested in participating in my Blissful Burbs series, please drop me a line at [email protected] First up next week; Vital Energy Yoga, Port Moody.

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