The sweet, spicy scent of fresh-made chai tea infuses Bound Lotus Meditation and Yoga Centre. After each class, students gather with cups of the comforting beverage and share their discoveries about yoga poses, meditation mantras, and the art of relaxation. The studio's seasoned instructors specialize in Kundalini yoga, which aims to channel salutary energy by rousing each of the seven chakras, or energy centres, as well as Yin yoga, which utilizes extended poses and focused breathing to improve the connection of mind and body. Classes begin with a short chant before launching into a sequence of poses that flex and strengthen the spine. A carefully chosen breathing exercise accompanies each pose, intensifying its effects and helping the mind and body collaborate harmoniously, like a trust fall with a barbershop quartet. In addition to promoting physical wellness, this practice helps yogis cultivate joy, self-awareness, and strong moral character. Armed with props such as bolsters and blocks, students hold poses for 5 minutes each during relaxing Restorative yoga classes. The studio also hosts meditation sessions, which pair gentle arm and spine stretches with recitation of a mantra designed to promote inner strength, calmness, and a sense of clarity. Before basking in the calmness that emanates from the studio's purple accent wall, students may visit the studio's boutique to stock up on locally-made bamboo-cotton yogawear. In addition to sporting therapeutic properties, the shop's Ayurvedic soaps wash away post-class sweat and the joyful tears of newly discovered third eyes.
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.
As a kid, Michelle Ricketts could never sit still. She channelled her boundless energy into sports and scampering about outdoors, activities that trained her for a career in the fitness-and-recreation industry. After years travelling the world, Michelle circled back around to her home city of Vancouver, where she founded and continues to infuse her limitless energy into Storm Fitness Inc.
Within a variety of local parks and studios, Michelle and her team of fellow fitness aficionados conduct high-intensity full-body workouts. To train minds and restructure bad habits, they outfit programs with nutrition advice, meal plans, and grocery tips on which sugary foods to avoid and how to mould marshmallows into the shape of broccoli to reduce its calories. Through teaching proper fitness and nutrition models, the team spearheads a sustained mission to decrease obesity. Beyond that, 10 per cent of its profits go to Team Diabetes, an organization that promotes diabetes education, research, and services.
Since its inception, Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club has developed a fitness vision?one where a place could promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle for all. Within its 18 locations across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, the gym strives to fulfill that vision by maximizing each member's experience in a fun and friendly environment, while offering a well-rounded approach to health and fitness.
Featuring a variety of amenities for all those wanting to achieve their fitness goals, each facility boasts state-of-the-art training equipment for clients' cardio and weight-lifting needs. For those who work better in packs, a wide range of fun group fitness classes are offered, including Zumba, yoga, pound, and LaBlast. Experienced certified personal trainers impart their wealth of fitness knowledge and effective exercise programs, but also inform on the latest in health and fitness, in-club events, and several other exciting member services.
Sunbeams flow through the windows of Namaste Yoga Studio, serving as a physical representation of the light that emanates from the yogis who practice here. The rays warm the floor’s hardwood planks, where groups hone ancient poses and breathing exercises drawn from yogic traditions such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Yin. During many classes, students of all skill levels illustrate the meaning of the studio’s name—“I bow to you”—by bending toward sources of inspiration such as the majestic sun and their patient, attentive teachers. Power yoga classes teem with athletic poses that sculpt the muscles, and restorative sessions use complimentary props to foster stretches as deep and relaxing as a bubble bath in a moon crater. Young yogis can learn playful poses during children’s classes, and grownups seeking personalized attention can enlist in private sessions that help hone strength, flexibility, and bodily alignment.