Studios

Delve a Little Deeper

So perhaps you want to delve a little deeper into your yoga practice, learn more about the history and the philosophy behind yoga or perhaps even teach, what do you do?

http://www.exhalestudio.com/

We are lucky to live in such a huge yoga community with endless options on styles, studios and teachers so how do you decide where to take your training? I’ve come up with a Top 5 List of questions that you should ask yourself before taking the plunge.

  1. Availability – How much time do you have to commit yourself to training? The first part of teacher training is 200 hours, or you could go for the full meal deal & do all 500 at once. Do you work full time, go to school, only have weekends, evenings available or maybe you only have weekdays available? Do you want to get it all done in a month or would you prefer to take a few months to complete your training?
  2. Style – What style of training do you want to take? Vinyasa, Hatha, Hot, Bikram, Anusura? Make sure that you determine what style of yoga the studio offers before signing on the dotted line.
  3. Location – Maybe you live in the Fraser Valley or maybe you live right downtown, where you live will also determine on where you take your training unless you are planning on relocating for the duration.
  4. Cost – Since teacher training is certainly not a cheap affair, make sure you research what the studio has to offer. Do they offer payment plans or want it all paid up front?
  5. Teachers – After narrowing your studio selection down, make sure that you take classes with the instructors of the teacher training program before you sign up. Do you like their style and personality, remember you will be spending 200+ hours with them.

Even if you have no intentions of teaching, you can gain so much from a Teacher Training Program with benefits to your life and your yoga practice.

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!

Semperviva’s Sun Shines

We braved the cold this morning to attend Cameron’s class at Semperviva in Kitsilano today. Despite the frigid temperature, the sun was shining and Semperviva’s Sun studio was warm and inviting.

I recently activated my Passport To Prana card online and used it for the first time this morning. Since I have a Semperiva swipe card, they made note of my attendance and I was promptly emailed a questionnaire to see how I enjoyed my experience. (If you’re attending a studio for the first time, you will need to sign a waiver before your first class).

Cameron has a way about him and an energy that makes everyone in the class feel calm and comfortable. Today, he created a space for us to tap into our own presence. He reminded us that each moment is unique and will never be experienced again.

There is a reason Cameron’s on all the Semperviva posters and is a Semperviva College teacher-trainer – he’s just so good at his job. He is an example of what happens when your passion aligns with your purpose. He has an exceptional way of articulating exactly how to position yourself in each pose, so those new to yoga can easily allign their bodies.  Dually, he instructs his class by suggesting modifications to challenge intense yogis.

Although freezing weather made it difficult to drag myself out bed today, I’m really glad we made it to Cameron’s class. I left Sun studio with a lightness in my body, as if every worry and concern had been lifted.

If you’ve never attended a yoga class by Cameron Gilley, check out Semperiva.com for his teaching schedule.

[photo source: sienawanlass]

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

Bikram Yoga Metrotown Burnaby Deal!

It seems as though there are a plethora of daily-deal sites popping up these days: Groupon, LivingSocial, Ethical Deal, etc. It’s time consuming to keep track of them all!

To make my life easier, I subscribe to a site called DealRadar.com. The site amalgamates all daily-deal websites into one email where you can see a categorized list of all deals for that particular day.

I wanted to share a fantastic deal with Vancouver yogis who live in Burnaby and who are addicted to hot yoga. Or, if you’ve never tried Bikram’s but have been thinking about it, today is your day to take the first step.

Social Shopper is offering 15 Bikram Yoga classes for $20 (Value $222.88) at Metrotown, in Burnaby! This is a HUGE yoga savings, especially for Bikram classes.

The clock is ticking, so visit the Social Shopper website here to purchase this deal today.

SocialShopper Says:

10 Reasons You Need to Go to Bikram’s Yoga Metrotown

1. The Bikram’s program was designed to specifically work every muscle, organ, gland, and cell in the perfect order. Soon your cells will be able to bench press ten times what they used to.

2. They’re the biggest Bikram’s Yoga studio in Greater Vancouver. We know size isn’t the only thing that counts, but you still get to brag when you’re the biggest.

3. Bikram’s Yoga Metrotown offers 67 classes a week, from 6am through 8:15pm, so don’t bother quitting your job just to practice Yoga.

4. Bikram’s is highly beneficial for people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, neck and back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, carpel tunnel syndrome, sciatica, gout, slipped disc and many other disabling conditions.

5. Bikram’s Yoga is designed for even beginners to pick it up immediately, so you won’t be sitting on the sidelines wondering how that guy over there got his knee into his ear while balancing on his pinkie.

6. This deal allows you to buy one voucher for yourself and up to four gift vouchers, so when your loved ones ask why you suddenly look so alive, you can do more than just tell them.

7. Get a head start on your 2011 resolutions!

8. Founding Yogi Bikram Choudhury started his yoga training at the age of 3!! Do you think he made the other kid in his nursery school feel lazy for not having started their careers yet?

9. Save on heating costs at your house by bringing home the warmth of Bikram’s Yoga.

10. Practitioners of Bikram’s Yoga are commonly told that their face began to glow soon after they started practicing. Not like a green glow-in-the-dark Frisbee, but like a radiantly healthy & happy human being!

Learn more about Bikram in Burnaby:

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.

YYoga’s New Site For Your Mobile Device

I love my iPhone…like REALLY love it! Don’t know what I’d do without it. A lot of my friends show similar adoration towards their Blackberry smartphones and Android devices.

One of Vancouver Yoga Review’s favorite group of yoga studios around the lower mainland, YYoga, has just released their own mobile site.

Here’s the info from their site:

Visit www.m.yyoga.ca or go to www.yyoga.ca on your mobile and you will be re-directed to the new YYoga mobile site.

Even better, if you’re an iPhone user, here’s how you can add a YYoga icon to your homescreen. Viewing schedules is now easier and faster than ever on your cell phone!

Step 1: Visit the mobile site.

Step 2: Click the plus symbol on your iPhone (+)

Step 3: Select the option ‘Add to Home Screen’

Step 4: You will be prompted to enter a name for your new icon, call it whatever you want, whatever motivates you!

Step 5: Click add.

That’s it!

Blackberry users can ‘bookmark’ the mobile site by visiting the mobile site, clicking the blackberry options icon (the dots) and selecting “Add Bookmark”.

Don’t forget to also add YYoga to your facebook and twitter so you can follow our updates on your phone.

I just added YYoga Mobile to my iPhone, now you can too!

YYoga Mobile

This new site will make it easier to view the YYoga page on your mobile device so you can stay up to date with their latest news and class schedules.

What’s your favorite mobile device?

A Sacred Space

“Sacred: Highly Valued & Important”

I recently visited A Sacred Space on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, and all I can say is it most certainly lives up to its name. The space is beautiful, absolutely beautiful! You enter through a glorious old antique door, with store front windows that let in a lot of natural light and enhance the beauty of this small studio.

I love small studios, the energy & the atmosphere, especially at Sacred Space, is warm & inviting from the moment you walk in, it feels as if you have been practicing yoga there for years. With hardwood floors and an old radiator in the corner, the space contains so much of its own natural energy. From years & years of people walking along those floorboards, walking past those walls, you can feel the history & the stories of the space as you sit and prepare yourself for class. During the day the windows are covered with thin blinds that still let in a lot of natural light but keep the lookie-loo’s at bay, and in the evening, beautiful, lustourous curtains that don’t let any of that comfort escape from the windows and make it a cozy environment to practice in.

My first class was a Vinyasa Flow on Saturday morning, with Renee, it was a great powerful flow and a wonderful way to start the weekend. I was excited to return Sunday night for the Restorative class with Lindsay, which was the perfect way to end the weekend & prepare yourself for the long week ahead. With the big curtains pulled, the candles lit and the ambiance that the space creates just all on its own, the class was perfect. I left completely and utterly relaxed and it sealed in the notion in my mind that A Sacred Space really is Sacred.

The studio having only been open for the last couple of weeks, lets you take a different look at your practice, no mass amounts of people to distract you but a small contained space where the energy radiates into you. The space has been there for years and has been previously rented out for other activities, Mysore etc, throughout the years but Cindy Shaw’s plan to open it into a yoga studio permanently was the best decision ever.

I cannot wait to return to the wonderful people and this breathtaking space and more fabulous classes that leave you wanting more. There are some great membership deals on, including your first class for only $9.00! Make sure you check it out & let me know what you think!

You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.- Winston Churchill

fly yoga = cirque du soleil yoga-style

i’m traveling (again) and this time i’m in chicago, getting ready to cheer on some 40 thousand runners in tomorrow’s marathon.  so today’s post is brought to you by the letter ‘F’…as in Fly!

part of the perks of my job (and one of the many reasons i *heart* it so much) is that i get paid to do yoga wherever i go. yesterday morning i was treated to a fly yoga class with my chicago lululemon peeps….and all i can say is fly yoga: PLEASE COME TO VANCOUVER!

for those of you who’ve never heard of fly yoga (otherwise known as antigravity yoga), fly yoga involves a silk hammock suspended from the ceiling (think: circus) that are utilized to provide support for inversions, standing postures, and more.

don’t get me wrong:  vancouver has an amazing yoga community, however, i miss the variety that i used to find in larger cities and often find myself craving something a bit more intense than the usual anusara-inspired practice.

i wish i would have taken pics (but then i wouldn’t have been able to live out my circus fantasies to their fullest) so i’ve stolen some from facebook:

Q: what’s more fun than yoga in a hammock?

A: yoga in a hammock…upside down!

for more information check out:

http://www.antigravityyoga.com/index.aspx

http://id-gym.com/fly_yoga.html

Treloar Yoga Studio Review

The Studio at Treloar is centrally located on the corner Broadway and Heather, in Vancouver. You can access the studio either via Heather Street or West Broadway. Do sign in at their Physio office located on the 5th floor before you attend your very first class.  A great perk for new guests: you are only charged $5 for your first class at The Studio at Treloar!

After I checked in with reception, I headed downstairs to the Yoga studio and was greeted and graciously welcomed by their Studio Director, Erin Treloar. Erin gave me a bit of background on the Treloar company and I learned that Treloar Physio has been around for and impressive 27 years! Their Yoga Studio is Vancouver’s first physio-based studio offering a variety of Yoga, Pilates and specialized classes.

Their studio is a large, open space that feels expansive, yet intimate at the same time. Lights were dim and candles were lit to create peaceful, calming surroundings. It’s definitely a bonus for physio recipients to be able to come downstairs, after they receive treatment, and participate in specialized yoga classes that accommodate for injuries.

I attended Kat Sovio’s Hatha class on a Tuesday evening. Kat’s not only a Yoga teacher, but she’s also a certified physiotherapist.  Kat‘s class was lovely –  I enjoyed her spoken interludes, especially when she discussed the importance of remaining centered. Be at the center of a ‘spinning wheel’ while all the ‘craziness goes on around you in the universe’. She also referenced Eckhart Tolle, a favorite of mine, and a Vancouver resident! The class began in standing meditation, a nice change from the usual seated cross-legged position, Sukhasana. Each pose flowed nicely together and I left Kat’s class feeling invigorated and limber.

I will mention that the receptionist I dealt with was less than courteous – quite unexpected for a yoga studio. I will give her the benefit-of-the-doubt and assume, based on her attitude and misinformation she provided, that she is new to the business and hasn’t yet had training in proper customer service.

Nevertheless, my overall experience at The Studio at Treloar (thanks to Kat and Erin) was wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone looking for specialized classes and physio-based yoga.

For more information, visit their website: http://www.treloarphysio.com/studio/

Connect with Treloar Studio on Twitter and Facebook!

Yogacara Studio Review

Yogācāra is an intimate studio conveniently located in Kitsilano – on Traflagar & Broadway. I was lucky enough to try out a Hatha class by Christine on Monday of last week. Upon my arrival, I was warmly greeted by Studio Director Helene, who kindly gave me a tour of her lovely studio.

Yogācāra is translated from Sanskrit as “one whose practice is Yoga.” One of their mantras is “Yoga…not about being trendy…just about being!” I feel they have achieved a warm, inviting and authentic space that really is about ‘being’.

Complimentary tea, water and cookies!

They have a 13 mat limit, creating a perfect atmosphere for individualized attention from the yoga teacher. Also, they have a raised platform in which the teacher conducts her class from – great for beginners to see how to properly attempt each pose.

Yogācāra offers delicious teas, snacks and water for guests to partake in, in their front waiting area. This room is also a lovely area to meet and chat with fellow yogis before or after each class.

Choosing to affix large Buddhas on the wall (instead of large mirrors) adds to the peaceful atmosphere of their studio. The studio was also exceptionally clean and tidy, which enhanced the zen ambiance.

Mats are provided, as well as all yoga props – all extremely clean as well (cleaner than any other yoga studio I’ve been to in Vancouver). Even if I’m attending a studio that usually provides mats, I will always bring my own. When I return to Yogācāra, I don’t feel the need to bring my own yoga mat.

Zen Buddha Wall

Zen Buddha Wall

Christine provided an excellent Hatha class. Rain pattered gently on the window, calming music played quietly in the background, and candles flickered softly during the rejuvenating class.  I felt like all my major muscles were properly stretched and left class with such a buzz (calm, yet energized all at the same time) that I would have sworn it was a bright, sun-shiny day outside and not a dull, dreary, rainy one!

Yogācāra just might be my new favorite studio – check them out today http://yogacara.ca/

Private, individual Far Infrared Sauna sessions are offered. Your first session is $15.00. Teaching training is also offered by the studio, click here.

Connect with Yogācāra on Twitter and Facebook.

Yoga West – A Review

If you have never stepped foot in Yoga West, located in the heart of Kitsilano on West 4th, you quickly will become part of the community that it has made itself.

The storefront offers many typical things found “for sale” in a studio, from books to CD’s to DVD’s to Jewellery, but also includes the fresh smelling Chai Tea that is available for all, and a community setting where whether or not you are there for a class, you are welcome to join & have a seat, a cup of tea and a chat.

The classes are held in the back room of the studio, which when you walk in reminds you of home. With carpeted floors and a fireplace in the corner, it feels like you are sitting in somebody’s living room. Teachers are clothed all in white, and where a turban on their heads, it is said that by wearing white they expand their aura. Teachers reside on a stage at the front of the room and only briefly demonstrate the next Kriya that is in the set that they have choosen. There is no walking around or joining in the class or adjusting students, teachers are merely present to guide you through the Kriya.

Students generally do not use the regular sticky types of mats and the studio has plenty of blankets for you to practice on & to cover yourself up with.

While many students have adapted to the blankets to practice on, the wearing of white etc, don’t feel like you would be left out or awkward if you didn’t, the staff at Yoga West makes everybody welcome whether you are new to the studio, have never practiced Kundalini yoga or have practiced for years. Everybody is welcome.

The classes are very different from one to the next, you never really know what you are going to get. While I love Kundalini yoga, I do sometimes struggle with the classes where you spend 75 minutes moving from one sitting posture to another and find by the end of the class my back is struggling to be happy, however on the opposite side of the spectrum you could have a class where there is no sitting at all. Lets face it, some of the exercises are hard, really hard! For example, stretch pose (Image to the Right) for 3 minutes with breath of fire, I would pay money to see somebody stay up there for three minutes WOW!

The teachers are wonderful and are there to answer any of your questions, the centre has a lot to offer from not only the community feeling, the awesome kundalini yoga but also offers a Gurdwara, following the Sikh tradition, where students, staff and people from the community are welcome to come and raise their level of awareness. Or join them for Kirtan on Sundays, Teacher Training or for the Mens or Women’s Khalsa Camp that is held on their own piece of beautiful property on the Sunshine Coast.

Thank You, Yoga West, for letting me come and explore the studio, try some classes and be a part of the community, even if only for a few days. If you haven’t checked it out, make sure you utilize your Passport to Prana and check out Yoga West, I will certainly be there!

global mala at vancouver’s largest donation based yoga studio.

if you haven’t been to yoga for the people on hastings st. in gastown, you must go.

their schedule features some of the top yogis in vancouver, the space is amazing, and best of all the studio is 100% donation based.

i couldn’t imagine a better place to partake in global mala on a rainy saturday morning than in the warmth and serenity of cofounder and yogi-extraordinaire suzanne slocum-gori (below, left) and the melodic voice of sparrow tiffany brulotte.

suzanne (left) and sparrow (right) after 85 minutes of global mala dedication

global mala occurs every year in conjunction with yoga month on the fall equinox (usually the 19th or 20th of september) and consists of 108 rounds of practice–the most common being sun salutations.

suzanne guided us through 100 A’s, and 8 B’s, an 85-minute ‘moving meditation’ in which we were asked to dedicate 25 salutations to four different areas:  ourselves, our friends and family, the world, and everything in-between.

108 is a daunting number, but the practice proved far more mental than physical (although i did sweat like a yogic beast and my legs are tired).

i started off strong, setting my intentions and moving with my breath until somewhere around number 65, where sparrow’s melodic voice and suzanne’s gental guidance pulled me through and i finished my 8 B’s like a champ.

savasana had never felt sweeter.

go check out yoga for the people and mark your calendars for global mala 2011.

www.yogaforthepeople.ca

201-150 hastings st, vancouver BC

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