The very first time I did yoga was in my high school auditorium with my super-serious choir – picture 20 something teenagers in sweats and yoga gear who’s common denominator was a love for four-part harmony. You see, our choir instructor thought it’d be a good bonding exercise (or something like that) for us to replace a choir rehearsal with a yoga class, so we traded our sheet music and a piano for mats and a recording of nature sounds for a 75-minute session. It was totally foreign to me, but after realizing it gave me an excuse to have a mini-nap (you know, that “relaxation” period at the end) I was all for trying it again.
My experiences with yoga have been varied since. I took a beginner’s class with my sisters not too long after that choir experience, where I learned many of the basic moves – tree pose, downward dog, child’s pose, sun salutations. I’d catch the odd class here and there and try it on my Wii Fit occasionally, and most recently I’ve dropped in on the odd class at my LA Fitness (though the last one I went to, I wasn’t crazy about the instructor).
Yoga’s just never been something I’ve gotten into, but after visiting Yoga Tree‘s new location at Bay & Dundas last week I think I’ve discovered what I’ve been missing.
Walking in to the 10,000 square foot studio, the words modern, clean, and luxurious come to mind – but not pretentious. Between the kombucha bar, place to leave your footwear (which is like literally leaving an entire day in your shoes at the door) and ambient lighting, you sort of feel like you’re slipping into a calm sanctuary and forget you’re really only steps away from one of the busiest intersections in the city.
Heading up to the studio you’re led through spacious, open rooms for you to get into the yogi spirit and take one of the 85+ classes that run through the week. Everything from hot to beginner’s, core to restorative yoga and so much more, there’s something for everyone at every level. Incorporating green living practices, the space is also sustainable with energy efficient LED lighting, FSC certified cork flooring and low VOC paint.
The launch event last week also had demonstrations from some seriously talented women, henna tattoos, food from Freshii (yummm) and kombucha cocktails, making it a really fun and interesting evening.
It’s definitely made me curious to give yoga another shot – I think I was missing the experience of trying it in a studio founded on and rooted in the beliefs and practices that yoga is all about beyond just the physical aspect. You’ll definitely find that at Yoga Tree and I think it will ultimately make for a better experience.
To see it for yourself, check it out at 123 Dundas Street East in Toronto (between Bay and Yonge) and visit their website for their fee structure.