◊ THE CLASS: Cool Flow + Yin ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
Having just celebrating their 1 year anniversary (woot woot), Afterglow Studio is a charming and bright soulful yoga studio living their best life tucked away in the heart of The Beaches (or The Beach as we’ve been told). Everything about the studio oozes tight-knit community vibes with most students being regulars that live in the area, no surprise. The class schedule is packed, the studio is spacious and bright, they have some of our absolute FAV yoga instructors and they’re constantly busy with extra curricular programs beyond what’s held at their Queen Street location. Their manifesto is all about welcoming diversity in age, experience, and purpose and that at their studio, we’re all one. We’re so into this little gem in the east end, and we guarantee you’ll leave with an energised glow that’s entirely deserving of the name.
Although a hike if your’e not an east end local, Afterglow’s location is still very accessible from wherever you may be. Located directly on Queen Street East next to Freshii, across the street from the Kew Gardens Park and only a 5-minute walk from the beach, this studio is in the heart of it. By public transport the studio can be accessed from the #501 Queen St streetcar that stops across the street and if driving, street parking is the best bet. If you get totally stuck, the closest city-run Green P parking lots are south of Queen Street East just west of Woodbine Avenue. A bit of a walk, but you can park all day (and for only $4 on a Saturday).
Afterglow’s class schedule is hella diverse. They offer over 14 styles of classes with everything from pre-natal yoga, mom and baby core flow, HIIT classes, kids yoga and tons of flow options with vinyasa, power and core flow sprinkled throughout the week. There are 5-8 classes offered everyday with weekday classes structured around the morning, noon and after work crowds, and weekend classes wrapping by early afternoon. We tried the Cool Flow + Yin class which is an hour and 15 minute, all-levels-welcome class designed to build heat in the body first and then cool down with a luxurious meditative section at the end. Bliss guys, pure bliss. They also offer a Vinyasa 101 for beginners which we love to call-out for anyone wanting to try yoga but have no idea where to start. Afterglows’ focuses on the basics of anatomy and breath-work and they recommend you try 4 of these before graduating to a different class.
They also offer private yoga, summer camps, corporate yoga, and a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training program. And lastly, part of why we love this studio so much, Afterglow hosts many kinds of workshops and special classes. As an integral part of their community, Afterglow constantly partners with other members of the fitness circle to put on events like Glow in the Dark for CAMH (we went, it was WAY too fun), teen yoga fitness programs, and their summer program Flow in the Park which runs until September in the Kew Gardens Park on Wednesdays from 6:15pm-7:15pm. BYOM (bring your own mat) and taught by studio co-owner Julia Watson, the classes are free or donation, and no registration required; just rock-up and down dog.
Fees at Afterflow Studio are the highest we’ve seen so far for a drop-in at $23 pre-tax per class (both Octopus and Pure were $20). There are a couple different routes for membership options that significantly vary the per class rate. If signing up for a minimum of two months, you can do the Glow Monthly which is $120 per month and decreases per class rates to $15 assuming you flow twice a week, or the one-month membership is an option that requires upfront payment but no continued commitment. That membership drops classes to $18.75 per class if attending twice a week, but at that price it’s cheaper to do 5 or 10 class passes. The best membership is definitely the annual, which works out to $11.50 per class if going twice a week and all the same membership benefits apply (no extras for the annuals). All memberships include unlimited classes, complimentary towel service, 10% off shop items, and 10% off workshops. Students and seniors get 10% off and mat storage is available for $10 per month for non-members.
- Drop-in: $23 per class
- 5-class pass: $90 ($18 per class)
- 10-class pass: $170 ($17 per class)
- 2 week unlimited: $28
- Glow monthly: $120
- One-month membership: $150
- Annual membership: $1200
- Kids ages 4-9 drop-in: $12
- Kids ages 9-17 drop-in: $20
- Kids pre-registration programs (8 weeks): $140
The design aesthetic at Afterglow mixes modern finishing with natural elements and it’s bright, simple and full of orange. Located on the second floor with over 3000 sq feet of space, the studio includes 2 cork floor practice rooms, male and female change rooms, and a sizeable shop. You’re encouraged to remove shoes before entering the actual studio, which can make us a bit nervous if we’re feeling nice shoes that day (#trustissues). The large front desk is flanked by yoga mat storage and their large shop space that includes everything from Au Naturel Artisan skincare products to the wicked Sam Yoga yoga props. The studios and change rooms run along a narrow hallway, and the change rooms are very very basic with cork benches, no locker space, and one shower and washroom for women, but no showers or washroom for the guys, just one handicap washroom that’s open to everyone in the hallway. The studios let in a ton of natural light and studio 1 is home to the butterfly/CN tower mural that makes many an appearance on the gram. Although their isn’t space to actually do this unless you pull-up to their table in the shop, Afterglow encourages you to hang around before and after class with free wifi and complimentary tea and oranges.
The crowd for our class was mostly regulars, as mentioned, and ages ranged from 20’s to 50+ with mostly females and 2 dudes in the class. The class was perfectly full with ~15 students so we had enough space to do full spinal twists on the floor but busy enough that we could vibe off each others energy in the room. That is a thing. It’s nice.
- blowdryer, hair ties, q-tips
- all class equipment provided (blocks, blankets, straps)
- towel rental ($1)
- mat rental ($2)
- water ($2)
- Afterglow shop that includes Bmat yoga mats, Canadian made yoga gear from Fellow Citizens and Inner Fire, Swell bottles, Karmala jewelry and more
Co-owners Julie Watson & Elizabeth Doyle-Harmer are the brains behind this bright community studio and they are constantly buzzing around it, either teaching classes, running events or connecting with their students. There are over 13 instructors in addition to Julie and Elizabeth, with diverse backgrounds in everything from basketball coaching to Shiatsu therapy to dance. They also have two of our favorite instructors on their roster, the basically famous yogi-couple Queenie and Jonathan Phair that ooze relationship goals with their ability to teach perfectly in-sync classes and demo flawless advanced yoga poses.
Jaffer is one of our ultimate FAV instructors and we have followed him in the least creepy way from YYoga to Calii Love’s Yin and Juice to Afterglow. Having only been in the yoga scene for a couple of years, you would never know it as his classes are always precise, fun and easy likes he’s been teaching for decades. With Jaffer you can expect classes that includes music, focus on breath and alignment, and he’ll provide hands-on-assist, which especially in a yin class is the bees knees. Jaffer teaches verbally most of the time with minimal demonstrations but his descriptions of poses is articulate, clear and simple to follow even for beginners not familiar with yoga.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
We’re rating this class chill, but note the full pineapple still earned. We don’t always want a class that’s going to kick our ass and be way hard, especially on a slow-moving Saturday. What we look for, is that a class delivers on what we expect based on the description, and this totally delivered the chill yet invigorated vibe that we were hoping for. Cool Flow + Yin is an hour and 15 minute class designed to build heat then cool down and combine both strength building postures with deep stretches. The first half of the class was spent practicing balancing poses and warrior variations that challenged our concentration and our core. The cool down yin portion of the class was spent on the floor opening up our hips and much appreciated spinal twists. The class was completely doable for beginners but was just as beneficial for seasoned yogi’s. We’re keen to return to Afterglow to try some of the flow classes, since so many are offered, but we would totally recommend popping in for Cool Flow + Yin for a nice break on your Saturday.
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see Afterglow’s contact info below.
Afterglow Studio Web: www.afterglowstudio.ca E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE | (647) 748.GLOW (4569) Instagram | Facebook | Twitter