Honking cars amble through down the bustling streets of restaurants and boutiques in the surrounding Golden Triangle neighborhood, but the interior of the Santosha Yoga studio is an oasis of calm and tranquility. Sunlight gleams down on the hardwood floors, where a rotating cast of certified instructors lead classes in a variety of yoga styles throughout the day. In the mornings, instructor Robin Russel Hosein teaches Hatha yoga, guiding students through traditional poses and breathing exercises to build strength, spinal alignment, and breath awareness. Later on, Laura Conroy directs students through the movements of vinyasa flow, the yoga modality most favored by rap artists. When Jane Baird takes over for hot yoga classes, she cranks up the temperature in the studio to encourage detoxifying perspiration and increased flexibility. All instructors strive to maintain a peaceful and focused energy during the classes, requesting that participants turn off cellphones and refrain from chitchat.
At Mountaingoat Yoga Inc., a battalion of 30 certified instructors leads students through the signature poses of numerous styles of yoga. Yogis draw inspiration from the centre's eponymous mascot to impart strength and agility during a variety of yoga styles. Students embody the determination of the mountain goat in power yoga, performed in a high-heat room, or its surefootedness in Hatha flow, which is traditionally performed during a rock fall. They also offer specialty varieties, such as family yoga, which is designed for children and parents together, and meditation sessions to ease hectic minds.
Life Yoga's passionate instructors share their expertise in a 1,200-square-foot studio with spacious, spa-inspired shower rooms and a practice space embellished with handmade fabric wallpaper. Students burn calories and release mental stress in small classes with helpful one-on-one attention: gentle Restorative Yoga, energizing Vinyasa Flow, and Hatha Fundamentals are just a few options. In the studio's lobby area, local businesses such as Rhubarb Paper Co. display their wares.
At La Sangha Yoga de Gatineau, founder Natalie Tomaro draws from her 12 years of professional yogic practice and a lifetime of passion for strengthening the human body and brain to help her students discover their physical and spiritual potential. Natalie has amassed hundreds of hours of training from masters such as Marcia Solomon, Richard Freeman, and Vyass Houston, developing a deep respect and understanding for the meditation and asanas of yoga. In addition to equipping novices with the skills and guidance for practicing healthful, fulfilling, yoga, La Sangha hosts regular events such as breathing workshops and Vipassana meditation sessions.
Steps from the hustle and bustle of Parliament Hill lies an oasis that swelters even in the depths of winter. Though it teems with cool, filtered water and the occasional potted plant, this place isn't a tropical rainforest or the pied-à-terre of a wealthy goldfish. It's Bikram Yoga Ottawa, where sultry temperatures and ancient exercises join forces to foster wellness. Here, students of all skill levels practice 26 Hatha-inspired poses sequenced by Bikram Choudhury, an athlete who used yoga to mend a serious knee injury. Muscles become extra pliable in the heat, easing into stretches that foster flexibility, stamina, and strength. Pores oust toxins throughout the 90-minute routine, which summons sweat with toe stands, forward bends, and deep-breathing exercises. After class, students can steam away stress in the studio's showers.