The Best Hot Yoga in Toronto
The best hot yoga studios in Toronto have come a long way from early days, set-in-stone series and claims of quick weight loss as an incentive. Hot yoga is big business in this city of go-getters and time-strapped exercisers, and there's nothing quite like the buzz you get from an intense session: this feeling of strength wrapped in peacefulness topped by a knowing smile.
The studios on this list all cater to their students' need for precise alignment in a heated environment, and restorative as well as challenging classes. Their teachers' bios read like self-improvement manuals, constantly acquiring new knowledge from the best masters in North America, India and elsewhere, and creatively enriching their classes with it.
There's a lot of variety here. But visit these studios and you'll find people plugged into their communities, looking you in the eyes when they talk to you and meaning it when they ask how you're doing today. These studios value the importance of being welcoming, and of helping students of all levels find the practice that makes them happy the most. Welcome to the new Toronto - and it's hot.
Here are the best hot yoga studios in Toronto.
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Writing by Anne Cloutier
Yoga Tree Downtown has a great, energetic vibe. Complementary hot, reduced heat, ashtanga, core and restorative classes allow students to smoothly and confidently move on from one level of difficulty to the next. Teachers are young and hip, with a passion for yoga that just shines through. This studio caters to young urban professionals and neighborhood artists, and it does it well with its effective website and an iPhone app with schedules for its 4 studios (Downtown, Yoga Tree Midtown, Thornhill and Richmond Hill) as well a booking utility. Class fees are standard on a one-off basis, but the $40 one-month unlimited package and the $99 monthly auto-renew program are great deals. Show up early at popular times. More »
"Everyone has their yoga, and yoga should be for everyone" says Kula’s studio manager, Jamilah Malika. And there’s always something juicy happening at this studio where a bevy of teachers passionate about their personal practices come together to create community, growth, and serious fund of alignment knowledge. Kula is a positive space with anasura-inspired, power flow, prenatal, Baby and Me, yin, queer and brown girl classes. This is a studio where you can both go to work on a strong practice, or find your strength when you need a soft place to land. Radiant panels. Not all classes are hot, and no extra heat is used when it’s over 30 degrees. More »
Had a long, crazy day in the Financial District? Banish that dream of a cool glass of rose and sprint to a hot vinyasa class at The Yoga Lounge instead. This gorgeous studio is an open secret in the 'hood. Owner Susan Emery, a long-time Iyengar yoga practitioner with extensive knowledge of other traditions, has created a hip, irreverent and joyful space where hot vinyasa and fusion classes are offered under infrared lamps. Most teachers have multiple certifications. Classes focus on breath, alignment, and finding that sweet spot that results from harmonious effort. When heat doesn’t appeal, take a class in the second room. More »
Gyan Hot Yoga is the creation of brothers Rishi, Rahul and Gourav, who started practicing yoga as children in India, where they became yoga competition champions. This is good studio to start a holistic Hatha practice including asanas (poses), kriyas (purification rituals such as nauli, demonstrated on the studio’s web site), pranayama (breathing techniques) and dhyana (meditation). If you’ve been doing hot yoga for a while and are looking for a new challenge, master balance poses here. Finally, if you think yoga is too expensive to make it a habit, this studio is so affordable you’ve just run out of excuses. More »
Breathe has a stellar reputation for having one of the best teams of young Ashtanga-trained teachers in town, with strong credentials in other disciplines such as Iyengar, anasura, Jivamukti, Yin, and Restorative yoga. Knowledge runs deep and tradition is intelligently expanded to fit the needs of students here and now. Heat is used for its therapeutic effects or as a support for practice goals rather than as the basis for classes. In the summer, there are Hot Yin Yoga classes. As the weather gets cooler, a greater range of classes are infrared-lamp heated. Breathe truly offers a full range of options for beginners to advanced students, so do check their website if you’re looking for a studio where you can grow your practice over time. More »
An un-gym with over 50 classes a week that aims to make you so comfortable you’ll gladly mix it up instead of worrying about looking like a fool if you try something new. energyXchange has a highly qualified yoga staff and takes its hot yoga seriously. The studio is infrared lamp-heated to 28 degrees so your body is warm enough to enhance detoxification, but not so much that your main focus is dealing with the crush. This super-creative space has a membership with unlimited classes approach, yet remains affordable. Break the monotony of set hot yoga series with hot Joga (yoga for jocks), Yin Yoga Flow, Yogilates, Fuzion. I’m heading out to a OmSweetOm Detox Cocoa class myself next week. More »
Ever heard of Ganbanyoku rock bathing? Try it once and your notion of what constitutes an awesome hot yoga session will be forever transformed, particularly if you’re an athlete looking to accelerate recovery, have an autoimmune condition, or just want to detox. Iyashi is the first rock bathing spa in North America. Its owners have imported black silica bedrocks from Japan. Heated to 42 degrees in a room with 63% humidity, these slabs emit detoxifying far-infrared rays. Iyashi offers one Hot Yin Yoga class a day Monday to Thursday, and two on Saturdays and Sundays. You lie on the bedrock for 30 minutes to warm up, then practice a seated Yin series for an hour. Instruction is precise, with a focus on good alignment. More »