◊ WHO THIS IS FOR ◊
The Trend conscious, genuine community seeker
WHAT YOU NEED
Yoga mat, water bottle, shower towel
Junction 9 is a yoga and Pilates studio in Calgary’s SE. They’re a truly wonderful studio with a schedule of over 12 yoga classes and 4 Pilates classes, a ton of space across three floors including a rooftop for events, and all the ammenities you could ask for. It’s a homey vibe, but like, your cool aunt’s home that mixes antique with modern details, and they’re priced competitively for the Calgary market. They’ve mastered the art of appealing to the hardcore fitness bitty with challenging classes just as much as the earthy and calm yogi with mushroom elixirs and intention cards. What makes Junction 9 stand out though, is their ability to meld such a diverse group of people into a truly genuine and chill community, which is a goal set by many boutique fitness studios but only truly achieved by few.
Read on for the full article of Junction 9
Aptly named “Junction 9”, the name came from their geography. They’re located on the corner of 9th Avenue and 9th Street SE in Ingelwood, one of Calgary’s best Cinderella story neighbourhoods. The building is striking with a facade designed by local architect firm MoDA made from reclaimed Albertan wood planks that echo the fluidity of movement happening within the studio. Junction 9 is also part of the youth-focused studio Wymbin, so Junction 9 (the yoga and pilates studio) is on the second floor. Parking is available behind the building for Junction 9 attendees, and if it’s full (which is likely because there are only 10 spots) there’s paid parking along 9th Avenue or free parking on 8th.
Junction 9 specialises in yoga and Pilates first and foremost. They have a wide variety of yoga class styles (over 12) in everything from Pre Natal Yoga, to Yin by Candlelight to Yoga Nidra with all of them open to beginners and experienced yogis alike. Their yoga classes are non-sequenced, so the teachers share their creative style along with their deep knowledge to create physically challenging classes. AKA the classes will always be different, even if your going to the same Vinyasa Flow class each week. They also do a lot of special events and workshops – like one of our ultimate favourites is the rooftop yoga and movie night held in the summer. It’s BYOM&B (bring your own mat and blanket), their cafe is open, and popcorn with shakers by The Gut Lab are provided. How freaking adorable.
As for their Pilates classes, there are four styles on the schedule regularly (Reformer Align, Strong, Flow and Jump) that are all taught on the Reformer to focus on full body strengthening and toning. Only the Reformer Strong class is recommended for Pilates newbies, otherwise they advise having attended at-least 6 classes before trying out the other classes. They pay careful attention to the “mirror” muscles as they call them (arms, bums, and tummy) and they recommend attending 2 or more classes a week to notice the benefits. Private Pilates classes are also available.
Class prices are right on the market for yoga and Reformer Pilates in Calgary at $20 for a drop-in yoga class and $30 for Reformer. There’s a lot of pricing options so it’s worth taking a hot minute to see which one is right for you.
They have some really great Intro Month Offers that drop the price to ~$5 a class for yoga if you go at least 2/week but, of-course, those are only open to newbies. The Monthly Memberships, which are the best value, include unlimited classes, guest passes every other month, 15% off workshops, discounts off retail, and mat storage. Interestingly though, if you’d only be able to attend class 2/week, it actually makes more sense to buy the Auto-Renew 10 Class Passes. They also have Monthly Unlimited Memberships AND Monthly Unlimited Passes; the main difference being you don’t get all said perks above, and are designed as the best option if you’re looking for unlimited classes for only a single month (think 30 day challenge). See – It’s worth getting out your calculator. Mat’s can be borrowed for $1, and towels for $2. Full pricing options below.
- Drop-in: Yoga ($20), PIlates ($30)
- Intro Offers: Unlimited Yoga ($45), Unlimited Pilates ($79), Unlimited All Access ($89)
- Monthly Memberships: Yoga ($109/mth), Pilates ($219/mth), All Access ($229/mth)
- $17.60 per)
- Monthly Passes: Yoga ($170/mth), Pilates ($250/mth), All Access ($2g0/mth)
- 10 Class Pass Auto-Renew: Yoga ($160), Pilates ($250)
- 10 Class Pass: Yoga ($170), Pilates ($260)
- Private Pilates: Single ($80), 5 Class ($380), 10 Class ($700)
Junction 9 does a very good job of creating a space that’s hip but not hipster OR hippie, fun and trendy but also approachable and real. The crowd is a true mix of 20 somethings, 30’s something for SURE, regular and lemme say talented yogis, new faces, men, and the 40+ crowd. Seriously, I feel like we saw a representative from every demographic in the two times that we went to class. The space itself is pretty impressive with two Pilates studios, 1 yoga studio, a cafe, mens and womens change-rooms, retail space, and a rooftop patio spread between three floors. Particularly on the second floor they stress the importance of silence with numerous decorative indicators (‘Peace and Quite’ on the stairway walls, on the doors to each studio, etc.) and a nice waiting space with complimentary tea and intention cards. There’s this lovely sign too that I was feelin’.
“We invite you to go inwards and take a moment to settle into our space, and yourself. No matter what your day has brought you, you are here now and the next section of time is just for you. We ask that you use silence in the hallway as an opportunity to reflect and scan your mind, heart, and body. What do you need, what would you like to create from your class? We have tea to sip, cards to pull, intentions to write, and seats to rest on. You have arrived. Nothing to do. Just be. Find connection with your community, find connection with yourself.”
Junction 9 uses 100% natural and toxin-free local products from Rocky Mountain Soap Co. & Saje, the mens and womens changerooms have programmable lockers, plenty of space, clean and modern showers, and filtered water in an old school basin that’s surrounded by succulents and beautiful tile so it’s, like, cool. The decor is modern but cozy, with nods to their Alberta roots and equipped with all the amenities you need to get ready after class (hair dryers, elastics, etc). The retail store on the first floor is packed with intentionally chosen products and brands such as Half Moon yoga props, and local sister brand, The Gut Lab, that makes supercharged medicinal mushrooms and adaptogenic herbs. And the cafe is fabulous with everything from butter coffee, to iced coconut coffee, to said mushroom elixirs and bone broth. If you don’t try the dark chocolate espresso plant based energy balls on your way out, then we likely can’t be friends.
THE CLASS 🍍
VINYASA FLOW YOGA W/ KATE MAK & HIP HOP FLOW W/ STEF RIZVI
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
During our time at Junction 9, we attended two classes over the span of a few weeks. Unfortunately, because my schedule wouldn’t allow, I wasn’t able to try a Reformer Pilates class – which is something they’re known for – but I was pretty stoked to get in for the Hip Hop Flow class. Let me stop right there, because I have experienced MANY a reaction where people say “what the f**ck is a hip hop yoga class”. So calm down, it’s simply the best. They are still yoga classes first and foremost (no hip hip dance experience required) and Junction 9’s is a vinyasa based class choreographed to a different hip-hop playlist every week. If your a child of the 80’s and/or 90’s and “Ready or Not” by The Fugees comes on to support you in your wobbly warrior three, you’ll never do it any other way.
The Hip Hop Flow class is an hour long, and Stef led us through a fluid sequence that she interjected with humour and a bit of singing (as did everyone, including myself). We did a lot of sun salutations, balancing, and strength work, and had the opportunity to work on some of our own positions, like crow, headstands, and advanced twists. Honestly, it was wonderful. It was a challenging class, but we weren’t sweating profusely, it was fun and everyone seemed to be laughing and chatting up their neighbs, We most definitely recommend it.
There were a lot of regulars for this class, but instead of feeling left out, I felt incredibly welcome which was a true testament to the vibe Kate created. Kate is hilarious and full of energy and she told us that “each class is like a fingerprint, unique and different… just like us.” Her goal is to link body, breath and mind so we could “take our practice even deeper while having a good time within community”. But the thing is, she really did create that atmosphere.
The class was challenging and fluid, and the positions were connected seamlessly so we were constantly moving through what felt like an hour long choreographed dance. The room was lit with candles and we were given cards to indicate if we wanted hands-on assistance or not – such a cute way of doing this! This class is open to all levels, and modifications to almost every pose were offered so everyone could get what they wanted out of it. Full pineapples all the way.
Tabs is a freelance brand and marketing strategist, co-host of The After30 Podcast and creator of Fit-City Guide. You can find her in a fitness studio every week, chatting up the instructors and fellow class goers on their experience, and generally being a creep in the background taking photos of everything. When she isn’t writing for Fit-City Guide, Tab is chasing her toddler son, drinking bubbly (likely at the same time), and eating popcorn.