Feeling like there’s no end to this freezing cold winter? Us too, which is why we found a temporary – and very zen – solution: hot yoga. We hightailed it to Pure Yoga Toronto in Liberty Village to spend some time in the heat at their Pure Beats class.
The studio, which has three locations in Ottawa and recently opened as Pure Yoga Toronto, is co-owned by Lisa Walker, Amber Stratton and Jen Dagleish – all of whom are the very definition of boss babes. In addition to four studios, the trio own two vegetarian restaurants (Pure Kitchen) and a new clothing store in Ottawa, on top of running destination yoga retreats (they just returned from Costa Rica).
At the Pure Yoga Toronto location, which offers the same community vibe the studio is known for in Ottawa (also predicted in our Wellness Trends for 2018!), the owners have given a lot of thought to the little touches, beyond just offering a great class. There’s a lounge area with a comfy couch for pre and post class chatting, and a neon “Namaste Bitches” sign for prime Instagramming. A mini boutique showcases beloved brands like Spiritual Gangster. In the main studio, they’ve made finding your spot seamless: spot the Pure Yoga symbol on the floor and place it in the front/middle of your mat. This ensures all yogis have space and eliminates the mat shuffle near the beginning of class as more people enter the room.
The hot room has windows near the top of the walls, offering a welcome distraction as things heat up. During our class, we got to watch snow falling lightly outside, reminding us that even as things got really hot, it was more pleasant being in the heat than out in the cold.
The sixty minute Pure Beats flow class features a soundtrack of R&B, rap and hip hop. Our class with Kaitlyn Warne Hooks started with a slower R&B song and quickly moved into more upbeat tracks that brought the heat. As we flowed to songs like the new Drake single, we flowed through traditional poses like triangle and crescent lunge, and through our vinyasas.
While the music was loud and the transitions were quick, Kaitlyn urged us to go with our own breath and at our own pace. She always gave options and reminded us to hit the mat in child’s pose if we needed a break. We’ll definitely be back for a good sweat, a refreshing detox, and a welcome respite from the cold.