Now that summer is officially here, you might be looking to start a new activity. If you are looking for another way to be active or increase your overall wellbeing, try out yoga! Yoga is a sequence of postures designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones, linking the movement of your body to the rhythm of your breath. There are lots of great health benefits, including building strength, boosting your immune system, improving your balance, and much more. Not only will you notice physical changes with regular practice, but you will notice that yoga will allow you to build mental strength. Through my own yoga journey, I have learned how to cultivate a healthy relationship with my body through self-care and positive affirmation. Doing yoga allows me to destress and take some time to focus on myself, especially during the busy school year. If you want to learn more about how to get started, give one (or all) of these options a try!
Free Yoga Youtube Videos
I started doing yoga by watching Yoga with Adriene’s (www.youtube.com/yogawithadriene) videos. Her videos are great for all levels, as they range from easy flows to more challenging classes. Here you will learn the basics of many poses and find classes specific to your own needs, all from the comfort of your own home!
Free Outdoor Yoga
Mat Collective, (http://www.matcollective.com) a local environmentally friendly yoga organization, offers free classes all year round in their Main Street studio.
During the summer, the classes move outside and are offered every day of the week. They offer 15+ weekly classes at both the Main Street (95 E 32nd Ave) and Kitsilano Beach location (1015 Maple Street). I love doing yoga right by the beach where you can hear the sounds of the waves and enjoy the fresh air. All levels are welcome to join in on these yoga classes in the beautiful outdoors.
Free Yoga Studios
There are also several studios in Vancouver that offer free or by donation classes:
- Lululemon offers free classes in stores, workshops, and yoga events at various stores and locations (http://shop.lululemon.com/community/_/N-1z13zib?PID=3987228&CID=cj)
- Unity Yoga offers free classes in exchange for a non-perishable donation for the Vancouver Food Bank (http://unityyoga.ca)
- Karma Teachers, a studio in Gastown, offers free or by donation yoga and meditation classes (http://karmateachers.com/studio/)
- Rooftop Yoga offers by donation classes with a great view of Downtown Vancouver (http://rooftopyoga.ca)
If you want to do yoga on a more regular basis, get an unlimited yoga pass at the UBC Rec Centre. (http://www.recreation.ubc.ca/mind-body/) Take part in a number of different classes ranging from gentle, restorative yoga to strengthening core yoga. You can get the student summer pass or you can drop in for $10 a class.
If you want to go further in your yoga practice, try out hot yoga! Hot yoga studios are heated with far infrared radiant panels to provide a detoxifying and therapeutic practice. Hot yoga will allow you to tone your body, release muscle tension, and help flush toxins from your skin. I started attending hot yoga classes at the start of summer and found that I have progressed in strength and flexibility. I leave class feeling relaxed, energized, and motivated for the rest of my day. Many studios offer a discounted first month or monthly passes for students. Be prepared to sweat and feel refreshed!
Check out these hot yoga studios in Vancouver:
The Hot Box Yoga Studio at UBC http://www.thehotboxyoga.com
Oxygen Yoga and Fitness in Kitsilano, Olympic Village, Oakridge, Yaletown http://oxygentraining.ca
One Hour Hot Yoga in Downtown http://www.onehourhotyoga.ca
YYoga in Kitsilano, Yaletown, Downtown, South Granville https://www.yyoga.ca
Hot Yoga 101 in City Square Mall http://hotyoga101.ca
I welcome you to challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. I encourage you to tap into your inner strength and find peace within yourself through your own yoga journey.
Photos taken by Caid Dow (www.madebycaid.com)