Passport to Prana is your ticket to some of the best yoga classes in Toronto.
What is it? How much does it cost?
Your $30 Passport to Prana card entitles you to one yoga class at each of the participating yoga studios. With yoga classes normally costing between $16 to $20 each, this is an amazing deal! Whether you want to gain some sanity during your work week or achieve a deep relaxation on your weekend, yoga is a great way to go.
How does it work?
First you buy your Passport to Prana Card either online or at a participating yoga studio (call ahead to make sure they have a card on hand).
Then you must activate your card online before using it. Just register it with the barcode, a six-digit number on the back. Finally, you simply show the card at the studio when you register to attend class.
How many classes can I attend?
The Passport to Prana entitles you to one class at each of the participating yoga studios for one year from the date of activation of your card. With approximately 70 participating studios in the Greater Toronto Area, you could potentially go to a lot of classes. Think of the savings! I bet you are relaxed already!
More information on how it works is on the Passport to Prana website.
Who benefits from yoga?
Yoga is about connecting your mind with the body. It is a good exercise, but it is so much more. It teaches you to let go, to relax and to relax yet again. Yoga practitioners gain flexibility and strength, of course, but they also find it relieves stress, improves sleep, eases back pain and other problems.
How will I benefit from the Passport to Prana Card?
Here are some scenarios:
You are new to yoga wanting to explore the different types of yoga to see what fits your needs best.
You practice yoga, but wish to explore different studios perhaps searching for a teacher who feels right for you.
You have an established yoga practice, but need to switch it up once in a while. Changing how you habitually do something is highly recommended – it enlivens the senses and awakens the mind, making neurons fire in different ways.
You would like to make new friends. If it is your first time at a studio or class, just ask someone if they have been there before and what it is like.
You like to do yoga with friends or partners. Ask them to also get cards or buy the card as a gift (I have!) – the shared experience cements friendships. You will likely feel so relaxed yet energized after class, so head to a local cafe or juice bar for a tête-à-tête.
How should I prepare for my first class?
Remember to drink lots of water before and after you practice; staying hydrated is crucial for eliminating toxins from your body. Many studios have mats for rent. You’ll need some comfortable exercise clothes. Check out what to expect from your first yoga class and what to bring for more information.
What Passport to Prana studios have you tried?
I have tried a couple of local studios plus some that are on my commute home.
Breathe Yoga Studio
2968 Dundas Street West, 3rd Floor
Breathe Yoga Studio is an award-winning Toronto studio that has been offering a wide range of yoga classes and workshops for over a decade. Many of their classes use infrared panels to slowly heat the room, for a naturally hot environment – an alternative to Bikram and Moksha.
A friend joined me for the Vinyasa Flow class and we both thought highly of it. The yoga instructor was in clear view because she was on a slightly elevated platform. The entire studio is beautiful with great facilities including a kitchen area for lemon water, tea and microwave. The class was slightly more advanced than an absolute beginner. The flow yoga classes detox the body through the internal heat created naturally by the fluid movements. I liked that alignment was emphasized so that the back is not strained. I really enjoyed an arm exercise I have never done before – it is done against the wall and works the shoulder – hitting a spot very much in need of a stretch.
The neighborhood has some nice cafes so we headed across the street and had organic jasmine tea at Crema.
1278 St. Clair Ave. West, 2nd Floor, Unit 14
Here I entered feeling sluggish and weighed down from the long winter. The perfect antidote is yoga. Yoga is so uplifting. The whole yoga experience is going to depend on your experience on entering the studio. The friendly vibes at Mindful Body Works brightened my mood immediately and made me want to stay. In addtion to taking the yoga class, I also went for a profoundly relaxing massage.
I left feeling connected with my mental, emotional, and physical self. I felt lighter, as though 10 pounds has been lifted from my shoulders.
The one aspect I did not like in this class was that the instructor was adjusting my feet as I stood in poses – the shift made me unsteady, resulting in me coming out of the pose to find balance. Everything else was perfect.
Mindful Body Work, in the heart of Corso Italia, has ample cafes to visit for an after class refreshment.
889 Yoga and Wellness Spa
889 Yonge St.
From the point you enter 889 Yoga to the moment you leave, you will experience a perfect yoga experience. It is a beautiful space with inspiring teachers and a friendly vibe. You can go for a meditation class, a yoga flow and some spa treatment all in one go. It is truly a refuge from the mad world.
I joined a blissful meditation group which is offered by donation. I felt centered, my heart opened feeling ready to receive and give more. With a big smile I went to the Flow Yoga class across the hall. The flowing vinyasa sequence gets the blood moving, leading to improved circulation, and a natural energy burst.
The studio has a delicious selection of teas – you could lounge right here before and after class.
What classes are you planning on trying?
I am very keen to try many classes! Here are a few top picks.
- A cycle butt or cycle core class at the Spynga The Yoga and Cycling Studio – you can take any of their classes with the Passport to Prana card. Regular yoga classes are also offered.
- Bikram Yoga Yonge or Bikram Yoga Beach. Having never tried Bikram yoga, a really hot class, I look forward to trying it in the winter when it is cold outside – it will feel so good!
- Float Suspension Yoga. I tried this once and found it such fun to strike poses while in suspension. The child in you will want to swing, hang upside down and just be a monkey in general. Think yoga in a hammock. But seriously, gravity works to help you bring you further into each posture.
- Yoga for Runners or Yoga for Gardeners at Fit Journey
- Any class at the Octopus Garden because Urban Herbivore is on the main floor. It is a great place to eat and relax with friends.
- Zumba, an exciting Latin and international rhythms workout, at Cosmyc Vybes
- Tai Chi, Qi Gong (moving meditation) or Yoga Dance at 80 Gladstone
- Pilates to work the core at Yoga Sanctuary and other studios.
What are the types of yoga? How will I benefit?
Here are some yoga resources for you to get started on your learning.
So go ahead and buy a Passport to Prana card for you and a friend! Yoga has been known to cause happiness and health.