Yoga has become a regular part of many people’s physical and mental health regimes.
And just because you’re on the road visiting Montreal, doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the yoga practice that you’ve diligently been developing. In fact, trying a new studio while I’m visiting a different city is one of my favorite travel activities. It counterbalances the often stressfulness of travel, while providing perfect opportunities for post-class conversations with locals.
If you want to maintain the depth of your downward dog, or just need to chill-out during a busy business convention, here are eight studios in Montreal where we recommend gettin’ your yoga-on.
MOKSHA – Having been voted “Best Yoga Studio” in the Montreal Mirror (local alt-weekly) for the past 3 years in a row, you’re in for a sweaty treat at this studio on “The Main.” It’s hot yoga, and the theory is that the heat provides several benefits including deep, safe stretching and detoxification as the body sweats. Bring a change of undies. Everything else can be rented: mat, towel(s) and water bottle. 3863 Boulevard St. Laurent, 2nd floor.
UNITED YOGA – A downtown studio based on the fusion of a few yoga disciplines: Ashtanga, Kripalu and Iyengar. But if those words don’t mean anything to you, don’t worry. The teachers will guide you where you need to go. Advanced classes and workshops available. Mats to rent; bring a towel. 451 Saint Catherine Street West, Suite 203.
NAADA – In the heart of Mile End’s garment district is Montreal’s most integrated yoga studio, featuring a wide variety of classes ranging from “simply restorative” to “ lick-our-own elbow-advanced” (great for really workin’ those bandhas). But for a real treat, check out the “Naada Live” class where yogis are treated to the energy of live musicians. Their schedule revolves, so consult with the website. 5540 Casgrain Ave.
STUDIO BLISS – If you are interested in a bit of pampering post-savasana, then Studio Bliss is a fantastic option. They offer massage, therapeutic baths and body wraps. And isn’t spoiling yourself what a getaway should be about? You deserve a total nurturing experience. 3841 Boulevard St. Laurent.
SIVANANDA CENTER – Founded by Swami Vishnu-Devanada, this traditional center is based in ancient Indian roots and classical yoga teachings. A variety of classes available, including drop-ins. And if you enjoy the energy of people gathering for Satsang, they offer a selection of no-cost guided group meditation, followed by chanting and spiritual dialogue. 5178 Boulevard St. Laurent.
If you’re looking for a deeper retreat to pair with your Montreal visit, check out the Sivananda Ashram one hour north of Montreal amidst 250 forested acres of the Laurentian Mountains.
SATTVA YOGA SHALA – Studio founders Darby & Joanne are part of the few teachers worldwide who have attained the highest level of Ashtanga Yoga teaching accreditation. Realign and detoxify your body with these seasoned experts. Mat rental included (if it’s your first class), bring your own towel. Located downtown near Concordia University. 1455 St. Mathieu Street.
BIKRAM – If you appreciate the comfort and consistency of chain-based enterprises (i.e. Starbucks, The Gap, etc), then Bikram’s hot yoga is a stellar bet for you. The trademarked twenty-six poses will oxygenate your blood, tone your muscle and most definitely make you sweat. Three locations across Montreal; we recommend the Plateau studio. 435 Laurier East.
HAPPY TREE – A green-conscious Westmount studio with a welcoming lounge (serving homemade yogi tea), a retail store, and friendly and knowledgeable staff. Apart from regular drop-in classes, Happy Tree also features free lectures and specialized classes (get those hips open!), so be sure to consult their website for unique opportunities while you’re in town. 4010 Ste. Catherine St. West.