Keep Warm and Find Your Zen at These 5 Vancouver Yoga Studios

yoga Vancouver

The weather outside isn’t frightful, but it’s definitely getting cold enough to merit most visitors and locals wanting to stay indoors. Yoga studios are a great place to either get cozy and relax or get moving to start or end your day. Whether you want to get your sweat on or find some quiet zen, Vancouver’s yoga studios and their internationally renowned teachers have got your back – bring your mind, body and spirit into balance in Vancouver!

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Keep Warm and Find Your Zen at These 5 Vancouver Yoga Studios

April 2018 Health & Wellness Events in Vancouver

Photo: Semperviva Yoga

From art and apparel to yoga and food, and everything in between, health and wellness has many sides in Vancouver. Here are some events for the rest of April to appeal to your mind, body, and soul – all indoors, in case you aren’t used to the rain that makes our mountains and parks so green!

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April 2018 Health & Wellness Events in Vancouver

Vancouver Date Idea: Outdoor, Acrobatic, and Free Yoga with Your Sweetie

Photo Credit: Katie Huisman

YYoga, Photo Credit: Katie Huisman

During my year of intense dating, I went on a few outings with a guy who was really into yoga (he taught it as well). He was also outdoorsy, smart, and basically the classic Vancouver ‘ideal’ man. I’d been practising yoga on a very casual basis for the last fifteen years or so, and was at a point in my life where I particularly needed its calming effects. The ups-and-downs of the dating process can be tumultuous, to say the least, so some meditation and child’s pose really helped.

In any case, one day he called me and suggested we do a yoga class together. Personally, I’d never thought of it as a date idea but, in fact, it’s a great activity, even if it’s wordless. I would recommend going for coffee or a bite to eat afterwards as well to discuss your class. Yoga heightens awareness of the body, so there’s something highly sensory – even sensual – about doing yoga next to someone you’re attracted to. Plus, many yoga studios incorporate partner work into their classes, which will involve some form of physical contact between you and your date. Yoga also helps with tranquility that can sometimes be elusive on a date. I have a friend who consistently goes to yoga classes with her husband when she visits a new place as a way of grounding from the bustle of travel and sightseeing.

Vancouver certainly has no shortage of stellar yoga studios that offer a wide variety of environments and yoga and teaching styles. And with the rainy season on its way out and the weather warming up (yay!), outdoor yoga is also a great option for getting your namaste on together. Here are five Vancouver yoga options that are worth checking out:

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Vancouver Date Idea: Outdoor, Acrobatic, and Free Yoga with Your Sweetie

Prenatal Yoga in Vancouver

Eoin Finn and Insiya Raiswala-Finn practice yoga

Eoin Finn and Insiya Raiswala-Finn practice yoga

These days yoga is like having a good night’s sleep. Except I don’t need to climb into my pjs or get horizontal for at least eight hours. Last month I wrote about the awesomeness that is prenatal massage.

This month I wanted to focus on my other favourite pregnancy activity (besides eating and prenatal massage, that is). Yoga is yet another lovely and relaxing way to nurture and support my body through all these big physical and emotional changes. When I get on my mat, I feel like I’ve slept eight hours (which often I haven’t), my tight spots grow loose and my weak spots become stronger.

To get the skinny on pregnancy yoga, I canvased former Vancouver yoga instructors  Insiya Raiswala-Finn and her hubby Blissologist Eoin Finn. These B.C. yoga teachers, happen to not only be amazing, gumby-like yogis but they’re also married and proud parents of a little boy.

“Pregnancy is one of the most transformative times in a woman’s body and I can’t stress how helpful yoga can be during the entire continuum of a pregnancy,” wrote Raiswala-Finn, creator of yoga and eco-lifestyle blog Yogue. “It has far reaching physical, mental and emotional benefits that impact the woman practicing it as well as the developing foetus.”

Below I’ll share tips and advice from Raiswala-Finn and some suggestions on where you can find prenatal yoga classes around Vancouver.  Continue reading:
Prenatal Yoga in Vancouver

5 Vancouver Karma Yoga tips

Photo credit: Karma Teachers/Puresouls

Photo credit: Karma Teachers/Puresouls

Earlier this year I participated in a quintessential Vancouver activity: I took part in a yoga challenge. It was January, I was feeling inspired and motivated because it was resolution time again. A certain famous yoga wear retailer started urging global yogis to take part in a 40-day yoga challenge. So I heeded the call.

A 40-day yoga challenge? I can do this. Piece of flourless chocolate cake,” I thought digging out my dusty yoga mat and stretchy pants. At just over a month, the challenge would be difficult but not too difficult and a short time commitment. My exercise-routine-commitment-phobe-self could sign on to this one.

But, being a contrarian, budget-minded Taurus, I decided to do a modified version of the Lululemon challenge. I would attempt to practice yoga daily while exploring as many different venues around Vancouver offering free or almost-free yoga. I’ve always been non-committal when it comes to yoga – locking myself into a three, six or 12 month contract scares the heck out because of finances and indecision. 

Enter the concept of karma yoga. Many studios in Vancouver offer free or by-donation yoga classes. The purpose of these classes is two-fold: to offer teaching opportunities to less experienced yoga instructors and to build on the ethos of ‘selfless or altruistic service through yoga.’ Translated from Sanskrit yoga means union and karma means ‘to do’, so the term karma yoga translates roughly to ‘union through action’.

According to Khundalini yoga guru Yogi Bhajan, “the attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” As I visited different karma yoga sessions throughout my 40-day yoga challenge, I experienced gratitude in many forms: smiles, group ohms, modest donations, in-store yogi discounts.

Whether you love fluid vinyasa or sweaty moksha or quiet hatha, there’s a karma yoga class for you in Vancouver. If you’re looking to explore a variety of yoga traditions on a budget, check out the list below.  Continue reading:
5 Vancouver Karma Yoga tips

Featured Vancouverite: Gloria Latham

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

How long have you been a Vancouverite?
All my life—I was born in Vancouver, at Saint Paul’s Hospital, and have spent my whole life in Kitsilano. It’s nearly impossible to move out of Kitsilano once you’ve spent time here.

Occupation:
I am the Co-founder of Semperviva Yoga along with my husband Scott Latham and also serve as the director of Semperviva Yoga Teacher Training.

Semperviva is a collection of five yoga studios which are based in Kitsilano and Granville Island. We run yoga classes 7 days a week, in all styles of yoga, and pride ourselves in having Vancouver’s most experienced and knowledgeable teachers, as well as a great community of students.

At Semperviva, we also offer Yoga Teacher Training five times a year, and host Yoga Retreats on the Gulf Islands and Greek Islands.

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Featured Vancouverite: Gloria Latham