Are you looking for the best yoga classes in your area? Before you go on the hunt for the best yoga class near you, start by asking yourself a series of questions:

  • Why do I want to learn yoga?
  • What style of yoga do I want to learn?
  • What type of teaching style would I prefer?
  • Do I learn better in a group environment or one-on-one?

Yoga is not only a form of physical exercise, it’s also an opportunity to practice mindfulness, breathing techniques, and deepen your spiritual practice. 

You don’t need to subscribe to a particular set of beliefs to learn yoga. Yoga is accessible to everyone and can start simple and progress into more challenging poses and sequences. 

Nowadays, yoga classes are widespread in Canada and can be accessed in your neighbourhood or from the comfort of your home online. Learn more about how to find the best yoga class near you

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1. What Style of Yoga Classes Should You Choose?

The first step when looking for beginner yoga classes is to choose the right yoga course for you. If you’re unsure where to start, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the different types of yoga styles available in Canada.

Different types of yoga offer very different benefits, so it’s important to determine your objectives when starting to practise yoga. Some individuals learn yoga to relax and de-stress, whereas others see it as a way to improve their flexibility, optimize their performance in other sports, and improve their overall health and physical fitness

Learn more about the different types of yoga, their various intensities focuses, and teaching styles to choose the best yoga class for you

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What are your reasons for learning yoga?
Different people choose to practise yoga for different reasons. It is important to find a yoga style that suits your needs. (Photo credit: United Nations Photo via VisualHunt)

Hatha Yoga

Hatha is pronounced “Hot Ta” (not “Hath Ah”) and translates to “force” or “forceful”. In Western culture, Hatha yoga is often mistaken for a style of yoga independent from other styles like Ashtanga or Vinyasa, however, this isn’t the case.

Hatha Yoga refers to all physical yoga practices, including Vinyasa yoga. Hatha is the umbrella term that encompasses all the other styles of yoga. 

Vinyasa Yoga

In yoga, the physical postures are called “asanas” and in Vinyasa yoga the asanas flow together in a rhythmic sequence. When you think of vinyasa, think of the word “flow”.

The primary aim of the Vinyasa yoga practice is to sync the postures of the body with the in and outflow of your breath. Every pose should be synchronized with either an inhale or an exhale. This results in communion between body and mind and slows the chatter of the thinking mind.

Vinyasa is symbolic. The changing nature of poses represents the reality that every stage of life is temporary and that we enter into certain postures and then move to the next with mindfulness and sacred appreciation.  

Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga:

  • Promotes mindfulness and moving meditation
  • Builds strength and flexibility
  • Increases the heart rate
  • Lengthens the breath
  • Improves coordination

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is the opposite of the Vinyasa yoga practice. Rather than flowing seamlessly from one asana to the next, the Bikram practice requires you to hold fixed postures for a prolonged period of time.

Bikram founded the practice of “hot yoga” which involves turning up the heat and practicing yoga while sweating profusely. If you tend to faint easily or do not fare well in extreme temperatures, this may not be the best yoga class for you.

The typical Bikram yoga class will follow a set format with 26 postures, including two breathing exercises, in the span of a single 90-minute class. This type of yoga is known to be challenging and intense.  

Benefits of Bikram Yoga:

  • Challenging and intense for advanced yoga practitioners
  • Promotes body detoxification through sweating
  • Loosens the muscles through heat
  • Increases flexibility

Hot Yoga

After Bikram Yoga gained popularity in the Western world, many yoga studios started to introduce their own version of hot yoga. In Canada, Moksha yoga (known as Modo yoga in the United States) and CorePower yoga became popular alternatives. Many independent yoga studios offer their own style of heated classes. Hot yoga is different from Bikram Yoga. 

Although hot yoga may feature the same sweat-inducing temperatures, it may not follow the same trademarked series of asanas that are integral for the Bikram style. Pregnant women are not advised to engage in this type of yoga. 

Benefits of Hot Yoga:

  • Burns calories
  • Improves cardio fitness
  • Nourishes skin
  • Improves flexibility
  • Reduces stress and depression

Power Yoga

Power Yoga is a type of Vinyasa that focuses on fitness. Traditional Vinyasa is a form of mindful movement that aims to synchronize the mind and body. Power Yoga is primarily concerned with increasing stamina, strength, and flexibility on the physical level.

This type of yoga is designed to be vigorous and increases the heart rate to improve cardio health. This is a great style of yoga for you if your primary reason for pursuing yoga is to engage in an enjoyable aerobic and strength training exercise.

Benefits of Power Yoga:

  • Burns calories
  • Improves cardio fitness
  • Improves flexibility
  • Beneficial for athletes

2. How To Choose Amongst The Many Yoga Teachers

Finding the right yoga teacher could make or break your enjoyment of the practice. Yoga teachers are taught different styles of yoga in their yoga teacher training. Seek out a teacher who aligns with your particular goals and desired approach to yoga.

For example, a Power Yoga teacher is likely to focus on the physical part of the practice and encourage aerobic activity and strength building. If you’re an athlete hoping to increase flexibility and you don’t have an interest in the spiritual side of yoga, this could be a good match.

On the other hand, a Vinyasa Yoga teacher with a background in meditation is more likely to incorporate mindfulness, breathing exercises, and seated meditation into their yoga classes. If you’re looking for ways to bolster an existing spiritual practice, this holistic teaching style could be a better fit. 

This is why it is important to take the time to choose your yoga teacher. There are several criteria to take into consideration when choosing. Your yoga instructor should possess certain qualities:

  • Be encouraging
  • Live a healthy lifestyle
  • Practice yoga regularly
  • Ensure the safety of their students
  • Understand how to impart knowledge

Ask Friends and Family

One of the most reliable ways to find a great yoga teacher is by asking for recommendations through word-of-mouth. Reach out to friends and family who practise yoga in your area and accompany them to a yoga class.

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Use word-of-mouth to find a good yoga instructor.
Have you heard about that excellent yoga teacher? Listen to yoga-practising friends to find the perfect yogi for you. Photo via VisualHunt.com

Read Online Reviews

If you don’t personally know anyone who could recommend the best yoga classes near you, a quick Google search can tell you a lot. Enable your location on Google and search “best yoga classes near me” to find fast results. 

Browse local studios. Do you want to learn yoga from a chain? Do you want to support a local independent yoga studio? Do you want to join a gym that offers yoga?

Next, read the reviews written by members and students. It’s more reliable to find a studio with a good selection of positive reviews. If there are a few poor reviews, read them and decipher why the former student was unsatisfied.

Reviews can help you conduct online research before committing to a membership or making the trip to a yoga studio.

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Yoga teachers study in India.
Some yoga instructors have studied in India, the cradle of yoga. Photo credit: Klavins | Artmif.lv via Visual hunt
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1st lesson is free!
Ritika
5
5 (4 reviews)
Ritika
$25
/h
1st lesson is free!
Christina
5
5 (10 reviews)
Christina
$80
/h
1st lesson is free!
Jess
5
5 (7 reviews)
Jess
$33
/h
1st lesson is free!
Léopoldine
5
5 (12 reviews)
Léopoldine
$32
/h
1st lesson is free!
Tamara
5
5 (5 reviews)
Tamara
$30
/h
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Jenn
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Jenn
$35
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Suguna
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Suguna
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Robin
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5 (4 reviews)
Robin
$25
/h
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Ritika
5
5 (4 reviews)
Ritika
$25
/h
1st lesson is free!
Christina
5
5 (10 reviews)
Christina
$80
/h
1st lesson is free!
Jess
5
5 (7 reviews)
Jess
$33
/h
1st lesson is free!
Léopoldine
5
5 (12 reviews)
Léopoldine
$32
/h
1st lesson is free!
Tamara
5
5 (5 reviews)
Tamara
$30
/h
1st lesson is free!
Jenn
5
5 (2 reviews)
Jenn
$35
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Suguna
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5 (6 reviews)
Suguna
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3. How Much Should Yoga Classes Cost?

What determines the price of a yoga class? The price of a yoga lesson hinges on numerous factors, including:

  • The length of the yoga classes
  • The teachers’ level of experience
  • The location of the yoga studio
  • The size of the yoga studio

The price of a yoga class is heavily dependent on geographical location. A yoga class in Toronto or Vancouver is likely going to be more expensive than a yoga class in Halifax or Winnipeg. 

Dense cities create inflation and teachers require higher salaries to match the cost of living. Independent yoga studios may charge higher prices than larger chains. 

A yoga studio’s level of experience will also influence pricing. If you enrol in a yoga studio that hires expert teachers and features a range of yoga styles, you will likely pay more than at a gym where you pay a drop-in fee for occasional yoga classes.

As an example, Power Yoga Canada charges the following rates:

  • Single class: $29.
  • Student class: $20.
  • 10 class pass: $215.
  • 20 class pass: $360.
  • Community class: $5-10.

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4. What Will I Do In Yoga Classes Near Me For Beginners?

Yoga is a very ancient practice that originated in India about five millennia ago. It aims to help people harmonize mind and body. Yoga is beneficial for the physical, mental, and emotional body. 

As a beginner, you can learn the basics, such as stretching, balance, muscle tone, deep breathing, positive thinking, and relaxation. The benefits of yoga for physical and mental health have been well-known for a long time. Among other things, yoga will help you:

  • Connect with your environment
  • Understand your body
  • Tone your muscles
  • Improve your flexibility
  • Control your breathing
  • Relax your diaphragm

Whether through acrobatic yoga poses or breathing exercises on the yoga mat, yoga instructors help students develop their mindfulness over the course of their lessons. And yoga cannot be learned in a day. Many yoga sessions will be necessary to truly appreciate its benefits. In any case, most yoga classes, whatever the type of yoga you choose, unfold as follows:

  1. Relaxing introduction to the practice and breathing exercises
  2. Introduction to individual asanas and proper form
  3. String together asanas into a “flow” sequence
  4. The final meditative pose lying on the floor
Yoga can be an exhausting sport.
Some asanas are physically challenging and require a lot of practice. Photo credit: TinyTall via Visualhunt

Examples Of Yoga Near Me

It would be absolutely impossible to list all of the yoga courses out there, so here's just a snippet of classes and workshops that take place in different regions across the country. The list includes various types of yoga and contains a mix of small and larger groups. 

Yoga Classes in Toronto

  • Union Yoga + Wellness
  • Yoga Tree
  • Breathe Yoga + Wellness Centre
  • Pure Yoga Toronto
  • BeHot Yoga Toronto
  • Yogaspace
  • Mosaic Yoga Toronto

Yoga Classes in Montreal

  • Ashtanga Yoga Montreal
  • Yoga Shak Montreal
  • Yoga Vieux Montréal
  • Luna Yoga
  • Naada Yoga
  • ensō yoga
  • HappyTree Yoga

Yoga Classes in Vancouver

  • Modo Yoga Vancouver
  • Just Yoga Online
  • STRETCH
  • One Yoga for the People
  • Oxygen Yoga and Fitness Yaletown
  • VNYSA Yoga Studio
  • Karma Teachers Centre for Yoga and Meditation

Yoga Classes in Halifax

  • Modo Yoga Halifax
  • Shanti Hot Yoga Studio
  • Oxygen Yoga and Fitness Downtown Halifax
  • North End Yoga
  • Halifax Yoga

Yoga Classes in Calgary

  • The Yoga Shala Calgary
  • Yoga Santosha Mission
  • Calgary Hot Yoga
  • Yoga in Bowness
  • Metta Yoga Calgary
  • Yoga and Beyond Mission

Yoga Classes in Winnipeg

  • Yoga Centre Winnipeg
  • Yoga Public
  • Hot Yoga Winnipeg
  • Modo Yoga Winnipeg
  • Studio 26 Yoga and Wellness
  • Awesome Hot Yoga and Barre

See for yourself just how much is on offer - and if the below don't work for you then try to look around for better options taking into account what you now know is available! Find an instructor to begin your yoga class.

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Teri

Teri is a freelance writer based in Toronto. She enjoys travelling to new corners of the globe, unwinding in a yoga class, and focusing on self-improvement through continued education and learning.