inTop5 Hot Yoga Studios in Mississauga
Hot yoga is one of those activities that sounds either needlessly sweaty and exhausting to the uninitiated, interesting to the curious sauna lover or necessary to the regular practitioner. It's satisfying in a way traditional room temperature yoga is not, mostly because it's sweaty and fast-paced.
Nothing beats the frustration of having your hands slip off your bare legs in a pose before finally managing to pull yourself into a perfect wheel with sweat-soaked hands slipping on your mat.
You leave hot yoga feeling fantastic and looking awful -- and looking awful doesn't matter because onlookers can admire your inner glow as you return to your car, unashamed of your damp hair and mascara stains (if you're a woman who can't be bothered to wash your face before class).
Fortunately, there are a ton of places to get your bendy sweat on in Mississauga. Here's a list of the top five hot yoga studios in our fair city.
5) Bikram Yoga
Bikram Hot Yoga is a 90-minute session of 26 postures performed in the same sequence. The heat is different from infrared (which is more of a dry heat); so expect to sweat as much as you would in a sweltering jungle. You can also expect to do the exact same series of asanas at each and every class offered at Bikram. The only variations you will find are the teachers. As a newbie to yoga, you are encouraged to situate yourself at the back of the classroom so that you can watch more seasoned yogis embrace their practice and follow their example. The instructing style is, for the most part, strictly verbal. This can be jarring for people who like to watch the instructor demonstrate all or most of the poses. In fact, some people describe the Bikram experience as being like an auction -- the instructors fill the room with commands, making it a louder practice. In terms of amenities, the studio offers a lounge area and showers.
This intimate space is great for someone who wants to enjoy a quick practice and leave, making it perfect for anyone in a rush who just needs a fast hot yoga fix. Unlike some other studios on the list, it doesn't have much in the way of a change room and it doesn't offer any lockers at all. There is one change room, one washroom and one shower. One of the best things about this studio, located on Burnhamthorpe near Central Parkway, is that instructors are free to teach their hatha and vinyasa classes as they see fit, so each class feels unique and you never get too used to a routine. Parking is also ample, which is a plus.
This studio, tucked away in a little plaza on Lakeshore in Clarkson, is wild. I would almost call it an anti-yoga yoga studio. When you first walk in, it looks like a traditional studio -- neat, clean and decorated with calming, serene art. It also has a glass case of silver yogi jewellery, which is a nice touch. The power yoga classes, taught in both hot and regular temperature rooms, are absolutely insane and feel, at times, like a perversion of traditional yoga. The poses -- the warriors, the planks, the wheels -- are the same, but music assaults your ears and the instructors yell (into a microphone, no less) to hold poses longer and push yourself harder. It's a deeply challenging experience, both because the flows are rapid and the vibe is much more intense. It's yoga that's exercise. Pure, unadulterated exercise. Your muscles will hurt for days. If you want to try a more bombastic studio but aren't into the idea of rapid fire vinyasas, Power Yoga also offers more serene candlelight classes, which is a pleasant change of pace and brings the focus back to the mind and out of the body.
2) Yoga Seven
Yoga Seven, located on Lakeshore at Mississauga Road, has undergone a few transformations over the years. Not so many moons ago, it was Leewi Yoga, which has the distinction of being the first hot yoga studio I visited frequently. After suddenly shuttering its doors, it quickly re-opened as Port Credit Yoga before being re-branded once more as Yoga Seven. The spacious and serene studio -- complete with a full locker room -- offers both hot and regular temperature rooms and boasts flow, hatha, suspension, prenatal and meditation classes. The location is excellent in terms of walkability, even though on-site parking is limited. The instructors are friendly and knowledgeable and Yoga Seven is unique in the sense that it offers unheated suspension yoga (yoga using slings and straps to suspend you above the ground). Drop in rates for regular classes are an enticing $18 ($25 for suspension classes) and the airy and calming space and pleasantly scented amenities make the studio a strong contender for the top five. You can also walk to Starbucks after for a chai latte, just to complete the basic bitch (I say that with love) experience.
1) Moksha Yoga
Moksha Square One, a popular hot yoga studio located on the ground floor of the Chicago condos on Confederation Pkwy in City Centre, offers everything a casual or dedicated yogi needs. Like most yoga studios, the focus isn't entirely on the poses -- it's on the yoga experience, meaning instructors encourage yogis to set an intention and focus on benefitting from their practice. Moksha yoga is a specific kind of yoga designed for a hot environment, with students completing 40 asanas (poses) in 90 minutes or less (some classes are condensed to 60 or 75 minutes). The studio keeps things interesting by offering a wide array of classes that focus on reflection and community building, including Moksha Music (a series paired with live music), community classes (taught by novice instructors finding their groove), Stretch, Sweat and Unwind classes, flow classes for more advanced students, prenatal classes and restorative sessions for people who want to just let the day go. The pleasantly decorated studio does not offer lockers or a ton in the way of parking, but the central location puts it ahead of the competition (if you live in or around City Centre, you can walk to it).