Hot Yoga at Yoga Lounge

What: Hot Yoga
When: Monday @ 6:00
Where: Yoga Lounge (103 Church Street)
Who: Kate



Yoga Lounge was one of the first Passport to Prana classes I tried during this 30-day challenge! Many apologies for taking so long to write this post up!

I’ve been keen to try Yoga Lounge ever since they added Hot Yoga to their schedule. It’s relatively close to my house, it’s on my way home and classes like “hot fusion with music” seemed up my alley. Thankfully, they had a 6pm class on Monday I could give a go after work.

This studio might be the prettiest one I’ve ever been in. Big, old-school windows on two sides of the studio. High, loft-style walls. I could live here. I could live without the old, creaky elevator and narrow stairwell, but I’m here to review the yoga, not the architecture!


Hot yoga at Yoga Lounge is hot, hot, hot. I think those big windows, especially on a sunny day, added to the temperature. I left the class with my fingers completely pruned and I had to mop up a giant puddle of sweat around my mat when the class was over. Kate led the 5 or 6 of us (small room, small class. But I like the smaller classes because it means more attention and more personalization) through an Ashtanga-inspired flow. It was difficult, with side planks, arm lifts and vinyasas galore. I was exhausted (and soaked) by the end of the hour. Everyone was treating themselves to the more-than-occasional child’s pose, but Kate seemed okay with that. She was cheery and professional.

I have no complaints about my Yoga Lounge experience (shocking, I know!). It’s a studio in the city, like Kula, Yoga Tree and Downward Dog, that I recommend trying at least once before committing fully to a single place. I’ll be back on my next Passport. But for now, I need to get all the electrolytes that I left on the Yoga Lounge floor back in my system.


Take this class if: You want to sweat in the sunshine.



Hatha Flow at Yoga Tree

What: Hatha Flow
When: Monday @ 5:45
Where: Yoga Tree Downtown (140 Spadina Avenue)
Who: Kim Hasselfeldt


The studio was gorgeous. Any studio that gets a lot of natural light gets a high five in my book.


During this 30-day challenge, I have a few staple classes: Linseed on Tuesday, Moksha on Wednesday, Power on Friday. But the rest of the week is pretty open to doing new classes and trying new studios. (Hooray for Passport to Prana!) My friend and co-worker Jess goes to Yoga Tree regularly, so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s really close to work and has a jam-packed schedule. One of the reasons I prefer running over yoga is that it means I can stay late to finish that project or sleep in that extra 10 minutes. I’ll still get the workout I want in. With yoga, you need to plan ahead more. With a schedule like Yoga Tree, you can plan a little less.

I decided to book it to the 5:45 class on Monday. I rushed out of work. Arrived in 5 minutes. Bonus points for proximity! The studio is immaculate. And shiny. Very shiny. I felt like I stepped into a Lulu Lemon commercial. It was so slick that the spiritual elements felt out of place. I loved their self-locking locker system, though. Every gym in the city should have that.


See? So shiny?! (Thanks to the YogaTree website for this pic!)


The class itself was fine, if unremarkable. Kim knew her stuff and the sequence allowed for more difficult variations if you were up for it, but still open enough that the earliest beginners would be comfortable. But, as I’ve learned, it’s become really important for me to have the instructors’ personalities be a huge part of the class. Part of the reason I go to Jen Slade’s classes at Kula so much is that I never know what I’m going to get. At Kula, a Linseed hot hour is so very different from a Tess hot hour.

That said, I can also appreciate knowing exactly what you are going to get when you step into a studio and a class. And I think that’s what YogaTree offers: professional, high quality consistency. I may get a 5-class pass and stick it in my back pocket for days like Monday (the passes never expire!), when I need to squeeze a class in. I’m especially intrigued by their morning classes starting at 7:15 and by their 50 minute lunch time class. This is the studio for the busy, and I like it.


Take this class if: you’re looking for a beginner-friendly class or need a solid I-know-exactly-what-I’m-in-for yoga experience.