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Yoga Sanctuary‘s College studio is a popular studio located conveniently on the north west corner of Yonge/College. It is literally right across the street from the Winners’ College facing exit.

I have to preface this review with the fact that I have taken classes at Yoga Sanctuary regularly for years, the reasons being that the location is central, the teachers are great, and I have a good friend who assists classes there. As such, I’ve tried a variety of ashtanga classes and teachers. Classes are generally larger than other studios, and the main studio is wonderfully grand with unbelievably tall ceilings, having once been a ballroom. Depending on the time of day, class sizes can run 30+ students, and you have to be strategic about spacing. Usually teachers will have one or two assistants to help with adjustments due to size. I would definitely try to avoid beginner classes on Saturday afternoons, and to always try to go early. Attendance during work hours naturally dips, so they are good times to attend if you can. Due to the class sizes, the change room can get cramped although it is servicable. There are no showers, and you need a washroom key to an old bathroom shared by offices on the same floor.

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Skill level for beginners is a bit more on the challenging side for the novice, while intermediate 1/2 level classes can vary in challenge depending on instructor. A breakdown of the instructors I’ve had (for 1/2 level):

Ian: gives detailed instructions about alignment and placement, more so than most teachers. He takes the time to personally adjust students’ posture (even though he has an assistant) for a thorough class. Class mood is focused.

Jair: delivers his instruction with a friendly disposition, good for those who would benefit from a more easy going class.

Janet: gives classes on the easier side, although the mood is still serious. She will make adjustments to her own students that can be forceful.

Janine: usually starts class with a theme (physical and mental) to focus on for the class, often introducing students to new concepts or metaphors to assist in practice. Her classes are usually more creative and demanding.

Emma: Has a deep, soothing voice and gives plenty of extra instruction about home practice to help extend your yoga practice beyond the classroom. One of the more humourous teachers at Yoga Sanctuary College.

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