Flow Into Autumn: Yoga Styles and Studios in Vancouver

yoga vancouver

Photo: Semperviva Yoga

Autumn is just around the corner, bringing with it slightly cooler temperatures, and for most, the desire to bring healthy living activities—like yoga—indoors.

Yoga is a fantastic way to unwind after a hectic day of travel and also an ideal way to start or finish your day. And if you’re new to your practice*, want to try a different style, or just want to get on the mat, you might be wondering where you can take a class in Vancouver.

Today, I’m breaking down five popular yoga styles available in Vancouver, what to expect, and where to unroll your mat in the city. Stretch, relax, strengthen and tone your mind and body with yoga in Vancouver!

side stretch yoga

Photo: Oxygen Yoga & Fitness

Yoga is a pillar of Vancouver culture. It’s part of our West Coast vibe. A regular sight in the city is men, women and even children with a mat strapped to a bag or tucked under an arm–on their way to/from class, tea or latte in hand. Studios are dotted all over the city and just up the Sea-to-Sky Highway, and the annual Wanderlust festival brings incredible energy to Whistler Village.

Going to class is very likely what keeps Vacouverites so relaxed—and it’s very fitting that yoga and athletic wear icon lululemon was created and has its headquarters here.

Here are five popular styles of yoga and where you can take a drop-in class.

Hatha Yoga

Known as foundational yoga, Hatha tends to encompass different styles of yoga to create an accessible class experience for all. Hatha will stretch, tone and relax your entire body through yoga asana (postures), intentional breath work, and meditation.

What to expect: A Hatha class is a good all-rounder for a variety of individuals. Classes tend to be all levels with posture modifications and variations given, but give a studio a call to inquire about difficulty. Aside from the overall class structure of warm-up, postures and deep relaxation there is no set series of movement—classes will always be unique.

Check out the Hatha classes at these studios:

yoga vancouver

Photo: Just Yoga

Yogi Tip: Studios will either offer a first class free or have well-priced intro pass offers that work well for those staying in the city for at least a few days.

Kundalini Yoga

Through specific yoga posture combinations chosen by the teacher, a Kundalini class will centre your mind and open your spirit. Benefits can include stress relief, improved sleep, balance of the heart and mind–and with regular practice, increased creativity, overall health benefits, and (I say this from personal experience) feeling incredible. Kundalini’s breath work and physical postures will also give your core and cardiovascular system a workout.

What to expect: Each class includes an opening mantra to find your centre, a warm-up, specific posture set, and deep relaxation followed by meditation. Music is often played and chanting is encouraged but not mandatory. Breath of fire (not as scary as it sounds) will leave you feeling amazing. Some of the breath work is not appropriate for expectant mothers.

Check out the Kundalini classes at these studios:

yoga vancouver warrior 2

Photo: YYOGA

Vinyasa

With a focus on building strength, increasing flexibility, and honing concentration, Vinyasa has several offshoots. Classes are most commonly billed as Flow, Vinyasa or Power. Some studios teach and follow a set sequence of postures (e.g. Sun Salutation A and B, etc), and other offer each class as a unique flow experience with intentional breath work.

What to expect: Be prepared for a head-to-toe workout and to sweat. Some studios offer Vinyasa in a hot room, but even with just the combined breath and movement of 30 people in a studio, it gets warm.

Check out the Vinyasa classes at these studios:

 

Yin

Yin yoga classes are both a relaxing experience and test for your mind. With a goal of calming the mind and the slow and safe opening the connective tissues of the body, the postures are all seated and held for 3-5 minutes at a time. Yin can be a complementary yoga style for those who may ave a more yang (or active) yoga or exercise practice.

What to expect: Though a more passive style of yoga, the length of time postures are held can be a challenge for both mind and body. To counteract this, instructors speak in soft voice and guide students through breath work to centre the mind.

Check out the Yin classes at these studios:

Hot Yoga*

Exactly as it may sound, hot yoga is taught in a heated studio. Infrared heat is most common as it provides a more “comfortable” heat—more of a sauna feeling. Some studios teach a traditional set of 26 postures; others simply provide yoga styles in a heated room.

Benefits of hot yoga can include better ease of movement and increased flexibility, as well as provide a more cardiovascular exercise that can help burn fat more efficiently. Be prepared to sweat—bring a bottle of water and towel. Sweat-wicking clothing is your best friend.

What do expect: Heated studios can be anywhere from 22-40 degrees Celsius; temperature is studio and style dependant. Some studios have shower facilities. (Check online or call.) The heat may cause light-headedness and is not suitable for certain medical conditions.

Check out the hot yoga classes at these studios:

 

And if you forgot your yoga mat, all studios offer mats*** for student use—and if you’re staying at the Loden Hotel or Georgian Court Hotel, they provide complimentary mats in every room.

*As with any physical activity, be sure to check with your doctor before trying a new form of exercise. 

**Practiced in a warm-to-hot studio.

***Free or for a minor rental fee.

Share your #VeryVancouver yoga experiences with us by tagging us @inside_vancouver on Instagram!

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One Response to Flow Into Autumn: Yoga Styles and Studios in Vancouver

  1. vamcouver is fun always

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