After living in southeast Asia for four years, Alecia and David Chin returned home to Vancouver to open a studio that encompasses the healing properties of yoga and Thai yoga massage that were learned abroad. Chakra Wellness Studio is a sanctuary where yoga teachers focus on centering body and mind through 75-minute classes such as hatha flow, kundalini yoga, and beginner’s yoga.
Having studied Thai yoga massage in the mountains of Thailand, Alecia promotes tranquility and wellbeing by manipulating clients’ bodies into yoga positions while kneading muscles and joints. Certified in chair massage, she can also bring relaxing bodywork and deep breathing techniques to a client's workplace or home inside the Allegory of the Cave. Alongside other yoga instructors, Alecia leads ten-week, 200-hour teacher training courses that cover everything from anatomy and physiology to the history of yoga and many of its variations.
The life of a contractor can already take its toll on a back, but Stacey Reeves was a mountain biker, too. After a biking accident in which he injured his neck, Stacey turned to yoga as a way to exercise while hopefully easing his chronic pain. Suffice it to say he quickly became enamoured with it.
Still, Stacey frequently found himself the only man in any of his classes, despite its overwhelmingly positive effects on his physical and mental well-being. So he decided to found his own studio instead, soon registering as a certified instructor and creating a space where men could explore the form in a male-focused environment. Today, YoGuys holds weekly classes at each of the two spacious locations. Owing to his casual discovery of yoga, he takes a casual approach to classes, fostering a relaxed, organic atmosphere as he helps students tone their muscles through flowing movements, or yang, and tighten their joints in static poses, or yin, which together enable yogis to work multiple areas of their body at once without having to arm-wrestle an octopus.
It only took one yoga class for Farhad Khan to realize that the ancient practice would become his life’s passion. That passion led him on travels to Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, where he fully immersed himself in the spirituality of yoga before opening Maa Yoga as a place to share his discoveries with other students. The studio borrows its name from the Hindi word for mother, reflecting Khan’s philosophy that yoga should be a nurturing practice that helps others to love themselves and extend that love outward to others.
Inside the welcoming, nonjudgmental confines, Khan and his staff create a blend of different yoga styles including Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin, during which students hold poses for up to five minutes or until someone says “green light.” The 2,500-square-foot facility curates its peaceful atmosphere with help from eco-solar hot water and heating systems, sustainable bamboo flooring, and an air-purifying HEPA filtration system, and it also houses a tea lounge where practitioners can unwind postpose.
British Columbia local and Lakers player Steve Nash created his fleet of namesake Fitness World & Sports Clubs to honour the tenets of healthy living. The classes at both Fitness World and Sports Club locations are taught by engaging instructors who impart students with methods for getting fit that don’t involve traditional livestock lifting. Group fitness trainers lead exercisers through Bball Blast's stability-ball training, ICE indoor-cycling intensives, and Cardio Core's combinations of step, cardio kickboxing, and abdominal exercises. The Nash Smash class uses full-body metabolic training to sternly badger moping muscles into action, and Women on Weights builds toned musculature by pitting females against leaden opponents. Personal training sessions fit workouts for each client, tailoring them to individual's goals and personal theme song.
The amenities at each club differ—the Burnaby location boasts a swimming pool and spacious whirlpool. The staff strives to create a healthy environment for members and the earth alike, with floors made from sustainable bamboo and locker panels build with recycled car tires.