◊ WHO THIS IS FOR ◊
yogi urbanites looking for a polished, cheeky studio with a variety of classes
WHAT YOU NEED
Yoga mat, water bottle, towel
This super zen yoga powerhouse has been around for 10+ years and has five busy and vibrant locations in Toronto and GTA. We’ve visited the newest Bay & Dundas and Richmond & Spadina studios, and we were pleasantly surprised around every corner with the bright and cheeky decor and amenities akin to a boutique fitness studio without the inflated price tag. This studio has received glowing praise over the years from pubs like BlogTo and Toronto Life and we’ve officially joined the fan following. With the enormous schedule, membership flexibility, and some of the most well known yoga instructors in the city, this studio is a must visit.
Read on for the full article of Yoga Tree
Yoga Tree is well spread out in Toronto with studios in Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Richmond & Spadina, Yonge & Eglinton, and Bay & Dundas. The Bay & Dundas studio is centrally located within steps of the Eaton Centre, Ryerson University and the Financial District and plenty of transit options with St. Patrick station down the street and Dundas streetcars running constantly. Richmond & Spadina is equally accessible, with tons of public transportation options and surrounded by endless King/Queen West cafes and shops. We visited the Bay & Dundas and Richmond & Spadina studios so the rest of this article references those studios specifically.
The schedule at Yoga Tree PACKED – no doubt one of the things they have going for them. With both locations we visited having multiple studios, they can accommodate over 205 classes per week in everything from hot, to yin, iyengar, ashtanga, vinyasa flow and more. Classes are almost every half hour and range from 50-90 minutes long, and they have more weekend classes than any other studio we’ve seen running until 7:15pm. YAS – thank you!
The website is easy to navigate allowing you to search by location, style, and intention (I want to relax, I want to sweat etc.) and they provide an intensity and relaxation level for each class. With their huge team of teachers, that’s all the more important so you know what you’re walking into even if you’re unfamiliar with the teacher. They reserve 50% of the classes for walk-in’s which we LOVE bc it accommodates busy and unpredictable schedules and usually makes for less crowded classes. Yoga Tree also offers a 250 hour yoga teacher training, corporate yoga, mommy yoga, and workshops like handstand workshops and beginner workshops.
Yoga Tree is NOT on ClassPass.
Prices are reasonable at $22.12 for drop-in (compared to $20 at Pure Yoga and $23 at Afterglow). They have plenty of pricing options all of which grant access to all locations and the more you buy, the better the deal, like the 50 Class Pack which we see rarely and can be shared. SMART. It makes sense to convert to a membership if going more than 3x/week and memberships include the ability to cancel at anytime, vacation extension, and discounts to local businesses. If you’re searching for an even sweeter deal and you’re a last minute Lacy, visit the website and a pop-up box will appear with daily offers. Mat storage is also available for $15/month so you don’t have to lug your mat around. They have basically made it as convenient as possible for anyone to squeeze in a class on the fly. Mats and towels are both $2 to rent.
- Drop-in: $22.12
- 10 Class Pack: $180 ($18 per)
- 20 Class Pack: $320 ($16 per)
- 50 Class Pack: $720 ($14.40 per)
- Monthly Membership – $120 per month
Yoga Tree studios are clean, modern, and beautifully put together with quintessential metallic quotes on the studio walls, and on overall warm and homey feeling. The Bay & Dundas studio is their largest location with over 10,000 square feet sprawled between two floors. There are three spacious yoga rooms, a tea lounge, infrared sauna, and wellness centre for massage and holistic treatments. Both male and female change rooms have multiple washrooms and showers, plenty of programable lockers and changing space.
The Richmond & Spadina studio is smaller but also adorable with two bright and airy studios accented with a wall of windows, cork floors (which is yeah for hot yoga), and cute quotes like “mind on my mantra, mantra on my mind“. Being located on the second floor on the corner, the layout is a tad awkward and squishy in the womens change room, but it’s workable and has everything you need like lockers, showers, and complimentary product and tea. Both studios are a shoe-free environment, scent-free (scents are amplified in the heat) and they ask students to practise asetya. Rough translation: don’t steal peoples shit. Namaste.
Upon every visit to Yoga Tree we’ve experienced a fairly diverse crowd. There is always a refreshing mix of men in each class we’ve taken, and we’ve seen ages range from teens to 60+. The crowd is generally a bit younger at the Richmond & Spadina location, which makes sense given the downtown location. Beginners and experienced yogis alike frequent Yoga Tree, so it’s appropriate for everyone on the spectrum. In each class we took half the class was warming up beforehand with self-guided vinyasa flows and advanced balances, while others were whispering with friends or lying in stillness. Overall, there’s no doubt the class goers to YT aren’t fussed about what everyone else is doing; people are there for themselves and to connect with their mat.
THE CLASS 🍍
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
CORE L1-2 w/ JOVIAN – Middle of the Roadsies
This class had elements that challenged us, but we weren’t feeling the burn for the entire hour, hence the Middle of the Roadsies above👆🏼. Set in a non-heated room to soft music, the class focuses on developing proper posture, strength, stability, flexibility and control. After warming up we did multiple rounds of sun salutations that built on the same sequence over and over, and Jovian gave the option to try more advanced poses like side crow, flying pigeon and eka pada koundinyasana (flying leg arm pose). There were plenty of opportunities throughout class to take varying levels of difficulty which made it approachable for all levels. Overall we, obviously, focused heavily on core but it wasn’t just about versions of crunches. We focused a lot on our deep core as well which is comprised of the pelvic floor and transverse abdominals. The effect left everyone feeling very grounded with a light dusting of sweat.
#FLOWINTHE6IX w/ Amanda – Way Hard
This class is in “reduced heat” which means less hot than a full hot yoga class but still warm. It’s set to an energetic, urban and curated playlist of local artists (love) and it is WAY HARD. No question. Advanced poses like three legged dog to push-ups and crow were part of the vinyasa series but it was the constant movement and short holds of poses that made for such a vigorous class. Amanda demonstrated certain poses, but a large portion of the class she was giving verbal queues. Some would get lost if they assumed the next position without listening because the sequence was not typical, so it goes to show that she challenged us physically, but challenged our awareness and ability to listen just as much. That ended up creating a strong sense of being present because you had to concentrate so intensely on what you were doing, it forced your mind to be nowhere else but in that room. We left feeling like we’d taken a true break from the day to focus on ourselves and we got a full-body, proper sweat sesh in the meantime. Check.
HIIT YOGA W/ Laura M – Middle of the Roadsies
This High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Yoga class is a new one for Yoga Tree having just been added to the schedule earlier this year. It’s a great option for yogis looking for a class to increase the heart rate a bit and work on muscle tone and definition. Like many HIIT classes, the workout includes circuits of repetitive strength movement, however Yoga Trees take on the HIIT class focused on traditional yoga poses as the base for each circuit. We did five circuits in our class (arms, legs, glutes, cardio, and core) and each one used props like weighted balls, sliders and resistance bands to make the exercises more challenging. This was a less intense HIIT class than others in the city such as Barry’s or Bolo Inc., which made it more accessible for beginners to HIIT, and also felt appropriate for a yoga studio version of a HIIT class.
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.