Sustainable lifestyle choices, environmental consciousness, and building a sense of community: these are a few of the pillars upon which Moksha Yoga is built. The architect is Ted Grand, who drew from 12 years of training under yoga masters including Bikram Choudhury and Acharya Yoganand to develop his own special technique. Moksha's focus on clearing the mind of distractions, detoxifying the body through sweat, and building powerful core musculature can help practitioners overcome everyday obstacles from managing arthritis or stress to sliding out of tight crawlspaces.
Moksha Yoga’s 75 studios operate under the caring supervision of a professional teaching staff. Their diverse backgrounds not only include years of yoga study, but also apprenticeships under Nobel Peace Prize winners and careers with Amnesty International. Both instructors and students are encouraged to share their positive philosophy off the mat as well: the company supports several charitable endeavours, and its studios are powered by renewable energy sources.
Though yoga’s history stretches back thousands of years, Bikram yoga originated less than 50 years ago as the brainchild of Indian guru Bikram Choudhury. Choudhury applied the basic principles of yoga to a modern framework, revolutionizing the ancient practice by compiling a new series of 26 postures and holding classes in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Bikram Yoga Beaches follows the yogi's example with rigorous 90-minute classes that help students sweat out toxins and increase their flexibility.
The studio heats up every day of the week with scheduled classes taught by experienced instructors who learned directly from Choudhury. These instructors foster an atmosphere of gentle progress, pushing students to rotate their heads 360 degrees only when they are ready. The studio's website equips first timers with all the info they'll need to succeed.
Radiant-heating panels raise the temperature of Bikram Yoga Centre's studio to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the balmy air coaxing stiff muscles into sinking deeply into stretches and convincing the body to release pent-up toxins via sweat. The certified teachers lead advanced pupils, beginning students, and aspiring jewel thieves alike through a vigorous series of 26 postures. Their 90-minute sessions can reduce stress, speed up metabolisms, and enhance flexibility. Afterwards, guests can cool down with showers or sip electrolyte-infused coconut water in the lobby.
Along with Bikram classes, the centre's wellness unit fosters healthful lifestyle changes with personalized nutrition programs, acupuncture, and treatment-oriented massages.
Named after the word tula, which signifies balance, Tula Hot Yoga was created to promote guests' inner and outer harmony and well-being. After a Pilates or hatha- or flow-yoga class—available in a hot or temperate studio—patrons can indulge in spa treatments ranging from herbal body wraps to Ayurvedic facials and massages. Each location evokes a soothing, nature-inspired look, characterized by wood flooring and water fountains. The studios' radiant heating panels, natural cleaning products, and organic spa products also speak to a desire for balance with the earth.
Tula Hot Yoga has built a loyal local following for both its yoga classes and spa services. The Tula West location made a list of Best Health magazine writer Kat Tancock's favourite yoga studios. Studio director Isabel Lambert's "meticulous approach" to sugaring was praised by Fashion Magazine in 2010, and the establishment was voted one of the Best Spas in Toronto in 2009 by readers of BlogTO.
The path to health and happiness is often built from scratch, according to yoga master Bikram Choudhury and the stretchy sages at Bikram Yoga Red Tree. Filled with triathletes, engineers, and social workers, the studio’s teaching staff illustrates yoga’s ability to inspire and transform people from diverse walks of life. Between bright windows and mirror-lined walls, students of all skill levels reflect upon wellness while practicing 26 poses designed to pump oxygen through the blood. Tight muscles loosen as bodies absorb heated air, which seeps into pores during twists, balances, and forward bends. Coupled with deep-breathing exercises, the heat helps to oust toxins and tension through sweat beads and focused exhalations. When fatigue sets in, students draw inspiration from one of Bikram’s loftiest challenges: a knee injury that threatened his ability to walk. With hard work and the support of a caring yoga teacher, he regained his ability to stroll, sprint, and perform the hokey-pokey.
Heat seems to emanate from Fireflow Yoga’s cozy confines. It could be the soft lighting or the warm tones of the hardwood floors, but the studio’s teachers swear it’s the energy flowing through the students in their signature Ashtanga classes. Here, yogis of all levels rehearse poses that summon sweat while they stretch and strengthen muscles throughout their bodies. The instructors, each of whom possesses at least three years of teaching experience, also lead classes for specific populations such as athletes and moms-to-be. The staff keeps its routines up to date by regularly welcoming renowned master yogis to the studio to share their sage knowledge of body-mind alignment and what sound a tree in the forest makes when performing downward dog.
After class, students can peruse the studio’s boutique, which teems with sporty, stretchy fashions created by indie designers. Though most classes are designed for adults, the studio hosts kid-friendly activities such as yoga-themed birthday parties and play sessions filled with animal-inspired poses.