Easily accessible from the Columbia Street Skytrain station, both of the classrooms at Bikram Yoga New Westminster are heated to 40-degrees Celsius. Each day, students shuffle inside these warm studios to learn yoga postures from owner and head instructor Herminder Gossal or one of the instructors from her trained staff. During class, they teach 26 yoga postures total, one for each step of the Electric Slide. The postures’ collective benefit of improved flexibility, increased strength, and reduced stress is amplified by the heat. Also amplifying matters is the studio’s facilities, which include showers, an infrared sauna, and a Body Vibe platform that vibrates to contract muscles and spur blood circulation.
Blood & Iron Martial Arts' principal instructor Lee S. Smith and senior instructor Nicole Smith both love a good fight, whether with fist, knife, or sword. Mixing manuals penned by the masters of antiquity with a little modern combat science, the duo resurrects European styles of weapon fighting ranging from the Italian rapier and dagger to the German longsword to Single stick and German messer. They pack their weekly schedule full of two-hour classes, spending the first 90 minutes imparting the basics of balance, footwork, and body alignment needed to add a 3-foot metal extension to one's arm. They leave the last 30 minutes open for sparring sessions for authorized students, since application is the best way to master a skill and the world’s last dragon retired to Florida in 1986.
Formerly of Bamboo Yoga, the team of nine other certified instructors teaches class seven days a week, separating the art into 13 different variations, including flow and power yoga. The staff also leads targeted sessions to assist the injured, overweight, or elderly with helpfully modified positions. Certain instructors introduce meditative elements throughout their classes to give students an extra opportunity to calm their minds and train their un-housebroken spirit animals.
The team also helps strengthen the mind and body with meditation classes and fitness classes, ranging from upbeat Zumba classes to intense core strengthening classes.
Drawing from more than six years of experience as a dance instructor, Vanessa Nussbaum founded Step by Step Dance School to share her love for dance with anyone willing to step onto her studio’s floor. She views dance as a means for people to shed the stress of everyday life by moving with the music and connecting with a dance partner—in addition to being a source of fitness and self-confidence. She and her staff lead ballroom and Latin dance classes that range in style from salsa, international tango, and rumba to the viennese waltz, foxtrot, and the hustle, a frantic jig in which partners see who can shuffle their feet the fastest. Instructors also help couples prepare for their wedding with first-dance lessons, during which they can focus on teaching the pair a certain style or choreograph a routine set to their chosen song.
The teachers at Yoga Para Vida provide step-by-step instruction during classes that are designed to be safe and effective for all fitness levels. The facility features a diverse selection of styles—including hot Hatha, Vinyasa flow, and power yoga—with each session tailored to lead its participants inward, either in search of peace or missing car keys. On some days, Yoga Para Vida offers Lunch Hour yoga as an escape from the work world. Most sessions on the schedule range from 60 to 75 minutes, depending on the style.