flickr/kaycatt*

I recently bought the Passport to Prana card, which gives me, for the price of $30, one free class at a long list of participating studios until the end of Feb 2010. As such, I have been exploring studios in the downtown core of Toronto and thought, despite this blog’s archival format, that I might report back with some mini reviews. Every archive has new accurals I suppose. One important caveat here is that I can only try one class from each studio, and therefore, cannot comment on the breadth of classes and teachers a studio offers over time.

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If you’re looking to compare notes, KLJ also got the passport and reviewed a few studios at her blog, Working up a sweat in Toronto. Karen Kwan also offers her TO passport experience summary at Health and Swellness.

New York based yoginis might want to check out a similar series of reviews on The Hermetic Review and those residing in Montreal can read about some studios at It’s All Yoga Baby.

Onto the first review: MyKula Yoga (updated November 7!)

Situated in the heart of the Annex, MyKula has a great location, although it’s easy to pass by. If you’re walking south from Bloor and you’ve reached the Green Room, you’ve gone too far. Backup a few steps and look carefully; the studio is  nestled between two bars. The facilities are aesthetically pleasing, with 2 showers in the ladies’ changeroom. One major bonus is the provision of large mason jars for water which are very useful for rehydrating during class.

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I tried my first hot yoga class with Chantal Ayotte. The class size was small, roughly 10 students, which seemed to suit Chantal’s style. She was a very dynamic and encouraging instructor with lots of enthusiam, engaging us in conversation and playful banter. It was a pleasant change from the more austere classes I am accustomed to. The exchange between students and with Chantal will definitely appeal to those looking for more interactivity in their classes. On a side note, I’m not sure why, but the clientel was much larger (and some even much taller!) than other yoga studios I’ve frequented where the majority of students are willowy in build. I’d definitely recommend MyKula if you enjoy hot yoga, although they also offer Anusara, Restorative and Vinyasa (?? called “Flow”) classes as well.

As for my thoughts on hot yoga, I’ll save these for another day.

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I’ve since returned to MyKula, for a regular 5pm vinyasa class called “hour flow”. Again, class size was relatively small, with 8 students. Although it is an hour, MyKula gives generous times between classes so the hour did not include savasana, which I stayed for as the room heated up gently for the hot yoga class 1/2 hour later.

I also tried “the practice” in which we attempted more challenging poses such as shoulderstand and those arm balances anusara is famous for. Although I did not care much for the teacher’s style of instruction, it is a good class where students can try more advanced poses in a fun and experimental atmosphere.

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