New Openings: Port Credit Yoga

 

When Leewi Yoga (located at Lakeshore and Mississauga Rd) shuttered its doors late last summer, Port Credit yogis were sent to the equally serene and exceptional Kula studio in Oakville. While Kula is a wonderful new home for Leewi clients, people who long to return their practice to Leewi's old haunt in Port Credit can now roll out their mats in the newly-opened Port Credit Yoga.

Port Credit Yoga had its grand opening on March 1 and kicked off what will hopefully be a long and fruitful tenure in the area with a weekend of complimentary hot and regular temperature classes. The earth-toned, spacious studio also welcomed attendees with complimentary fresh fruit, which was a nice and healthy touch (although perhaps they would have drawn in slightly more people with muffins and croissants?).

The new studio looks very much like the old one, but sets itself apart with a fresh coat of paint, sophisticated pot lights and newer lockers. The new lockers are a huge improvement alone, as the older ones were worse for the wear and some didn't close at all. The change rooms are calming and elegant, boasting spacious showers that feature thick curtains.

Yoga studios are a little different from gyms in that the staff often tries to maintain a sense of community. That's not to say that gyms and their employees don't do the same, but yoga is not supposed to be straight-up exercise and yoga classes are (or should be) about more than just fitness. It's supposed to be a means to relax, reflect, grow and focus -- hence the community classes offered at some studios that revolve around conversation and sharing. Port Credit Yoga is off to a good start, with staff speaking to new patrons as though they've known them for years and not hesitating to ask (enthusiastically and happily) about people's days.

The classes themselves are as varied as one would hope. The studio offers a range of hot and regular temperature flow, core, hatha and vinyasa classes. Beginners and those looking for a more calming experience are also free to try gentler classes, such as gentle flow, renew and relax classes and candlelight restorative sessions.

The two classes I attended were both hot flows that focused on traditional asanas, which was satisfying and, as usual, appropriately tiring. Both instructors were skilled in guiding students through the practice and the hot room was especially impressive with its aforementioned pot lights, crisp new flooring and clear music system (there's nothing worse than a practice without music).

The second class I went to, which was this past weekend, was pleasantly quiet. The studio is still working out some kinks in its website (you can sign up and pre-pay for classes online, but may be charged for drop-in donation classes by mistake) and growing its client base, so there are bound to be a few intimate sessions in the coming weeks. That said, an intimate session is never a bad thing. Fewer students mean more individual attention and, if you're lucky, your instructor might end the class with some relaxing massage-like adjustments (as mine did). So, if you like a quiet class, now might be the best time to hit the studio.

In terms of memberships and class prices, Port Credit Yoga is pretty average. Individual classes cost $18, but new clients can sign up for a 30-day Introductory Special for $30 (which means, if you go every day, you're paying $1 a class). Five, 10 and 20-class passes are available for $75, $140 and $260 respectively and an annual memberships costs $1,200. A one-month pas is $140.

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