If you’re a fan of yoga or would like to try yoga — I highly recommend the Passport for Prana. For a nominal fee, you get to try a free class at yoga studios across your city. The fee is based on your location and it’s available in large cities across Canada, US and strangely enough, Brisbane, Australia.
I paid $30 for my Toronto Passport to Prana and have been to eight different studios. Considering a single class can cost up to $20, this is the only affordable to find your favourite studio.
Here’s my impression of three very different studios:
Impression: The very first time I tried yoga was at a Bikram studio in NYC and it wasn’t fun. It was much better this time around simply because I knew what to expect and have practiced yoga for a while. However, the experience was very similar. Blazing hot room and an instructor yelling at you to “PUSH IT”.
If you’re looking to lose weight, Bikram will probably bring you results the fastest — just be ready to
bleed sweat for it. I find Bikram takes the zen out of yoga. My friend called this experience “Hell and Brimstone Yoga”.
Result: I won’t return to this studio because despite the Yelp reviews, it still smelled funky to me.
Impression: This is actually my home studio. I love this place because it’s always spotless. It’s never okay for a yoga studio to be even a little dirty because you a) have to be barefoot and b) have to lie on the ground.
Result: This remains my favourite studio! I’ve tried many of the instructors and my favourites are Nash, Jovita and Julia. If you’re a beginner, start with Julia and practice close to the door for less heat.
Impression: Stratusphere was opened by WWE wrestler Trish Stratus and like everything else in Vaughan, the studio looks like it’s on steroids. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful and spotless studio but it’s also MASSIVE.
I took the Sunday Stratusphere class taught by Rebecca and I loved it. It’s basically yoga with weights — which is great because you do some weights and then stretch and relax with yoga moves.
Result: I would love to attend another Stratusphere class. At a costly $20 a class, I don’t think I can make it a regular thing but you do get what you pay for.
As a final tip, you should purchase Passport to Prana with a friend and make it a mission to meet up at a new studio every month. This is healthier than stuffing your face with food every time you meet up. Whatever greasy, hipster brunch you pick up after is nobody’s business.