889 Community, Toronto | 4.5

◊ THE CLASS: Prenatal Pilates & Prenatal Yoga ◊


PINEAPPLE SCORE
 4.5 PINEAPPLES

WHAT YOU NEED

Water bottle

Your bump

(mats are included for all prenatal classes)

OVERALL REVIEW

I can’t believe it’s taken me THIS long to get to 889! WHY!? As soon as I walked in the doors, I was v into it. First off, the location is great. It’s in the heart of Yorkville, across from the Rosedale club, so you know it’s gonna be polished, and it’s relatively easy to get to from anywhere. The two-story large studio is a reclaimed 1800’s Victorian home and it has three practice rooms that rotate yoga, Pilates, barre, meditation, and specialized classes for mammas (what I tried). The decor and design aesthetic is bright, open and full of greenery, natural details, SO MANY health and beauty products, AND they have food from Fresh – exactly my scene.  One of the most impressive things about the way this studio operates though, is that it caters just as much to the trendy clientele that look for beautiful details in a studio as much as a good workout, as they do to the more spiritually minded folk who are coming to a studio to connect to their inner self. The only pineapple shaver was for the class prices, considering it’s the highest drop-in rate for yoga and barre that we’ve seen so far in Toronto. That said, the offering of things to do here is vast and I’ve been back to 889 on multiple occasions in the last few months because each time I seem to discover something new to try. I’ve now taken the prenatal Pilates class, the prenatal yoga class (reviews for each class below), and the free Essential Oils 101 class (don’t even get me STARTED on how much I’m into EO now). 

1 PINEAPPLE LOCATION 

889 Yonge Street, Toronto

889 Community’s literal address is 889 Yonge Street – so clever. Located a few minutes north of Yonge and Davenport Road, they’re almost directly in the middle of Rosedale Station and Bloor-Yonge Station, which is actually quite convenient depending on where you’re coming from since they’re different lines. If driving, they offer parking vouchers at a discounted rate of $5 for two hours, instructions here, in the Blue Park located across the street on Yonge. Overall – very central, quite convenient from all areas of the city and beyond, and beautiful from the outside. Full pineapple locked and loaded. 

0.5 PINEAPPLE CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE

889 Community has five styles of classes; barre, Pilates, yoga, meditation, and mama classes. The barre classes are traditional ballet inspired, low impact, 45-minute classes, that are great for beginners and there are two types of meditation classes; Breathwork Meditation and Meditation, both of which are great for beginners and focus on Pranayama breathing and calming the mind and nervous system. For the Pilates classes, there are six styles in total that include a partnership with Misfit Studios where they teach Misfit Method’s Get Cheeky and Get Lifted classes, and there are six types of mama and baby classes; prenatal barre, yoga and Pilates, and postnatal barre, yoga, and Pilates w/ baby. Considering 889 is founded on the practice of yoga, it’s no surprise the largest variety of classes is in that category. You can try everything from Core Power Flow, to Kundalani Yoga (which is the first yoga studio we’ve reviewed that offers this), Restorative and Reiki, through to Vinyasa Flows. Some of the more unique classes are Yoga Nidra, which specifically focuses on helping you sleep, and Yin and Crystal Bowls which is an all-levels Yin class with the “accompaniment of live crystal bowl acoustics”. We need to go, just to understand what the eff that means. 889 also offers events every month, one of which is a free Essential Oils 101 class taught by one of the original founders of the studio, Christine. Before going to the class I knew nothing about essential oils, other than my cousins being obseeeessssed with them and claiming they “changed their lives”. I would normally be all *eye-roll* about it but, actually, my cousins are so cool and not at all hippie, so I was intrigued and NOW I totally get it. My obsession is in its infancy stage as I learn all the amazing ways I can use EO for, such as sleep, focus, alertness, indigestion, healing, and so many baby things!! It warrants a separate review I feel…

With regards to 889’s class schedule, they have 3.5 practice rooms in the studio which allows for a super loaded and convenient timetable. There are 10-14 classes per day that start as early as 7:00am on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the weekend schedule isn’t restricted to mornings (which is a nice departure from most studios) with 10 classes on Saturday and 12 on Sunday that run until 7:15pm at night. It’s ideal to register online for each class ahead of time to secure your spot; waitlists are common for most classes. When you arrive, check-in on the iPad’s and if you’re brand new, the staff will automatically take you on a personal tour of the space – so lovely. Overall, there are so many different classes to choose from with over 80 classes a week that range from beginner to advanced, you’ll be sure to find something that you love, something new, and something that will challenge you. 

Class prices are where I had to shave the top off the pineapple. Although the memberships and class packs drive down the price, as per usual, the drop-in rate for a class is $30 before tax, which gets close to $35 with taxes. All prenatal classes include mats FYI, but if you have to rent a mat it’s $3 and if needing to buy water bc you forgot your water bottle (me), only fancy water is available for $4. It’s easy to walk out of there with a $40+ bill for a simple yoga, barre or Pilates class. It’s common to see Reformer Pilates north of $30 for the machines, but Reformer isn’t part of their curriculum so I struggled to find the justification there. If wanting to commit to a membership though, the annual membership is the greatest value, driving per class rates to $12 if attending only twice a week. Memberships include unlimited classes, 10% off the retail boutique and a free towel per visit. 

  • Drop-in: $30
  • 40 Day Welcome Experience Package: $108
  • 5 Class Pack: $130 ($26 per class)
  • Auto-renew 5 Class pack: $111 ($22 per class)
  • Monthly Auto-Renew Membership: $129/mth
  • 6 Month Membership: $689
  • 1 Year Membership: $1289

1 PINEAPPLE VIBE

This is one of the best bits. 889 Community has repurposed a late 1800’s Victorian home, and carefully designed a yoga studio around its foundation that preserves it’s historic heritage. Walking into the studio, the main lobby with a little tea area, eating nook, apparel shop and sign-in desk are the first things you see, and behind the desk is the original staircase that leads to a staff area upstairs. They’ve integrated modern elements all over the place like rose gold details, and crisp white and wood furnishings to bring it into 2018, and they’ve completed the decor with eco and calm-inspired lifestyle design to make it feel incredibly polished but down to earth. They’re proudly a toxin-free space, which is evident when you continue the journey through the studio that passes through the 889 Shop full of holistic lifestyle products. The coat racks and shoe area are in the back of the “house” which is odd for a winter city, but that’s likely the downside of preserving an 18th century home and its layout. Next to the coat area is a staircase that leads downstairs to the change rooms, a hallway that leads to the first practice room at the end of the house, and another staircase leading to a large upstairs area that contains two additional practise rooms and more hang out space. The house is massive, has everything you need, and more, in a chill beautiful space you’ll want to hang in for hours. 

As far as the crowd vibe at 889, both our Prenatal Pilates class and our Prenatal Yoga class were full of cool chicks. They were all fit, beautiful, healthy women that I wanted to be friends with and who were rocking pregnancy like it was nbd. In the Prenatal Pilates class, everyone was surprisingly bump heavy, with all women further than six months along – one fierce french mama was literally ready to pop the next day and she breezed through the whole class. Ages in that class ranged from 30-40 and the studio the Prenatal Pilates class was held in (on the main floor) accommodated about 16 women and we had a full class. The Prenatal Yoga class was a little smaller, in the upstairs back studio that only accommodates about eight people max, and there were six of us. There was a greater range in age and stage of pregnancy with half the women in their first or second tri. Outside of our prenatal classes, we noticed a refreshing amount of guys milling about the studio. There were a lot of couples coming directly from work to attend the Vinyasa Flow class that were happening upstairs at the same time as my Prenatal Pilates class, and there was a nice range of older peeps attending the Yin class in the next studio during our Prenatal Yoga class. Literally, a studio for everyone to find their groove. 

AMENITIES & EXTRAS

  • Tea station
  • Filtered water
  • Women’s change room includes washrooms, three showers with shampoo, conditioner and body wash supplied, and blowdryers and straighteners
  • Men’s change room includes washrooms and one shower with shampoo, conditioner and body wash supplied
  • Lockers with keys
  • Mat rental for $3 (but for pre-natal classes, mats are included) 
  • Mat storage for $15 per month
  • Snacks for purchase, including water ($3.95) and food from Fresh (our fav)
  • A super impressive retail boutique including things like crystals, essential oils, bath products, jewellery and natural make-up. From brands like Province Apothecary, Leaves of Tree, Swell Bottle, Axiology Beauty (Vegan lipstick), Kismet Essentials and tons more
  • Private classes at the Four Season Hotel at 60 Yorkville Ave
  • Holistic Health Centre – with more details coming soon. 

1 PINEAPPLE INSTRUCTOR

Founded by Emily Ridout and Christine Russell over 10 years ago, 889 has become a pillar in the Rosedale community for being a place to connect to each other and reduce stress in a positive and beautiful environment. They created 889 based on the desire to build a space to prioritize self-care, self-love and to connect with yourself and the people around you.  A massive part of their mission was to make a holistic lifestyle accessible and possible for everyone, which explains the perfectly curated retail boutique stacked with the best holistic lifestyle brands out there. The OG 889 sisters have since moved on from running the day-to-day at 889 as they’ve started their own Essential Oils company, Essential Sisters, and they’ve passed the baton to a powerhouse team of over 30 instructors that include some of our favorites of all time (we’re lookin’ at you, Jaffer and Tara G).

Taya Griffin – Prenatal Pilates

Taya was our instructor for the Prenatal Pilates class and she was quirky, knowledgable and incredibly informative. Although the class started a little abruptly since there was no music accompaniment and Tara seemed to just, all of a sudden, dive into it, the flow of the rest of the class was very smooth. Taya received her yoga teacher training in Cape Town, South Africa and her Classical Pilates Certificate in Hong Kong (our kind of globe trotting woman), she attended the Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine focusing on pregnancy, pediatrics, and women’s conditions, and she graduated from the International Breastfeeding Centre/ Newman Breastfeeding Clinic’s Lactation Medicine Program. In addition to teaching yoga, she now has a private practice teaching prenatal breastfeeding classes and seeing clients postnatally in their homes and in the hospital. Her experience and knowledge of the female body is clearly extensive so you are in v good hands if you have any reservations about taking an exercise class while pregnant. 
Taya has children herself so there were many times she referenced her personal journey just as much as her professional experience which is always super helpful and brings in an element of #realness. Taya teaches Prenatal Pilates and Postnatal Pilates (w/ baby!).  
Tasha Rooke – Prenatal Yoga
Tasha was our instructor for the Prenatal Yoga class and she also teaches Yin Yoga, Restorative and Reiki, and Meditation classes at 889. Tasha’s teaching style is so approachable and calm and she makes you feel like you’ve been BFF’s for years. To start the class and get everyone chatty and comfy she told us a story about how one of the girls that was in the Prenatal Yoga class the week prior was mid-pose and her water casually broke and she low-key excused herself from class after completing the sequence. I hope I’m that cool about it. It was a great ice breaker though and made everyone feel like they were buddies in the class which was nice and played up the whole mom bonding thing. Tasha spent most of the class verbally guiding us through poses or in some cases showing us how to set up our stations for the extra support that preggos require (since laying in savasan isn’t a thing – you have to be propped up by blocks and bolsters and blankets). Tasha is also one of the teachers who will be part of the April Teacher Training Program focusing on Pre and Postnatal Yoga and Self Awareness Meditation modules which we could totally see her killing it in because of her calm and steady meditation-y voice. 

1 PINEAPPLE LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL

Prenatal Pilates

We’re rating this class Middle of The Roadies overall. It had moments that were challenging and created energy and it had moments that were more chill and nurturing, which is the exact kind of combination we’re looking for in a pre-natal class since our bodies are going through a roller coaster of hot mess changes and we have to be real about the level of intensity that’s needed. As mentioned, the class started a little bit abruptly and we mostly noticed it because there was no music or real queue that class was officially beginning. We had a lot of equipment with us that included a mat (complimentary), 4 balls (2 purple 2 lbs., 2 blue 3 lbs.), a blanket and a stabilizer ball.  Taya started the class with simple breathing exercises, having us take deep “yoga” breaths and then showing the difference between “Pilates breaths” that are more audible and sound like what you think of in Lamaze birth prep class – he he whooo. The whooo is the kind of breath Taya encouraged for every exercise after that which actually felt amazing. After warm up, the first portion of the class was standing and focused on our arms and lats. Given it was a prenatal class, Taya explained that the anterior shoulder muscles typically get quite weak if women are breast feeding because of the posture you have to assume, so we focused a lot on strengthening those and our biceps, triceps and deltoids. We also focused a lot on strengthening our pelvic floor in prep for birth. Le sigh. We also did a modified leg series from the original Joseph Pilates method in a standing position that worked our glutes and external rotators. We finished the class with fluid stretching, meaning massive hip circles that felt SOOOO good, side body stretching and leg circles. We walked out feeling looser in our hips, stronger in our upper body and generally happier that we moved our mammoth new bodies for an hour. 

Prenatal Yoga

The Prenatal Yoga class was a very calm and mid-paced class that focused on deep stretching, breathing and relaxation more so than working up a sweat, toning muscles, or working on perfecting your poses. No prior yoga experience necessary, so it’s a nice place for expecting mothers to build the courage, strength and body awareness necessary for pregnancy and labour but if you’re more of an experienced yogi looking for a prenatal version of a challenging flow class, this probs isn’t it. I would definitely categorise the ‘Level of Difficulty’ as Middle of the Roadsies but depending on your experience, what you want out of the class, and where you’re at in your pregnancy, that could totally work for you. For me, at week 36, it’s exactly what I needed and we focused on opening our hips, strengthening our glutes, and stretching our low backs, all so so so good when carrying significant frontal papoose weight. 

To try these classes or anything else on their schedule, see 889’s contact info below.

Web: www.889community.com
E-mail: HAPPINESS@889COMMUNITY.COM
PHONE: 416.925.7206
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