Little Italy, Toronto
West Edmonton, Edmonton
With the enormous schedule, membership flexibility, and a massive roster of some of the most influential and popular yoga instructors in the city, this yoga brand is a must visit that we'll visit again and again.
XTherapy is a newcomer to the Edmonton fitness scene, and it’s kinda what we've waited for. This clean, bright, modern studio draws you in and their cross-training strategy (spin, HIIT, and yoga) keeps you coming back. What stood out to us the most though, is the vibe that ooozes from the instructors and staff. They consider everyone who walks through the doors as ‘Warriors’, and they take on a sudo-therapist/cheerleader role, constantly dishing out positive talk and motivational speeches. We're dishing out full fruits for this one - here's why.
Pure Yoga first caught our eye with their very cool, very inclusive company ethos. They want to share their passion for yoga with every body, shape, size, age, and status; employed, or between jobs, student, or retiree, single or divorcee, mother, father, grandparent – you get the idea. LOVE that. The space itself is premium and vibrant, and the hot yoga classes were challenging and actually FUN - which is not usually the first adjective I'd use to describe a yoga class.
Pop Physique hails from the capital city of beautiful bodies (LA) and you can tell they know what they're doing. This luxe, femme fatal, flawlessly marketed barre studio, expanded across the States quickly after first opening in LA, and finally up to Canada where they opened in Toronto's midtown last year. We're reviewing two classes, Pop Yoga and their signature Pop Physique, which is a ballet-barre based workout heavily focused on 'tucking', 'pulsing' and 'scooping' to hone in on very precise muscles. This class is less aerobic than some other Barre classes we've taken like as Barre3 or Barre Body Studio, but if you follow instructions, keep your form in check and challenge yourself, you'll feel the burn the next day in teeny tiny muscles you didn't even know you have.
We were pretty stoked about trying this little nugget because they're a) the same company/owners as One Cycle and we LOVE us some One Cycle, and b) when I used to live in Calgary, Hot Yoga on 17th (their second location) was my freaking home BASE! I went all the damn time, like four times a week minimum, had a hand in my falling in love with yoga a million years ago, and we probs wouldn't have Fit-City without it. And THEN we found out that Hot Yoga on Crowfoot exists and I figured - sure let's venture outside the downtown core and see what it looks like. This location is busy yet zen, and feels like it's been there forever. Our class was literally the EXACT same class that I took ten years ago and it was predictably hot, sweaty, and felt freaking fabulous.
HotShop, as the name suggested, specialises in the hot stuff - hot yoga and a bit of spin to be precise. This three studio brand has been around since 2013 and has the loyal fan following only a studio in biz for five years can drum up. We tried one of their most popular classes; Hot Hips at the Victoria Park studio, which is the only studio that keeps things strictly focused on the hot stuff. The class was juicy, fluid and, of-course, sweaty as hell and we left feeling particularly elated after spending an hour getting into the nitty gritty of our hip joints.