studio blue yoga toronto

Studio Blue Yoga

Studio Blue Yoga, the newest addition to Dundas West's burgeoning yoga scene, prides itself on taking a playful approach to practice. Owner Jessica McIntyre, a bubbly instructor with a head for business, completed her MBA in the UK and worked the corporate world there for a few years before moving back to Toronto and opening her own studio this past February. (She says she knew it was time for a change when she started looking forward to her part-time yoga teaching stints more than any aspect of her actual marketing job.)

McIntyre, a former Moksha teacher, tweaked her classes to be a tad more inclusive and less intimidating to beginners. While the place is a perfect environment for wannabe yogis to hone their practice, it's also great for those just looking for a enjoyable time on the mat.

studio blue yoga toronto

The cheerful studio, formerly a drab Dundas West office, was completely gutted and re-vamped to fit Jessica's vision: a space that feels like being outside on a bright sunny day.

studio blue yoga toronto

In addition to sky-blue accents and framed photos of sunflowers along the wall, all classes are warmed to a perfect 26 C - which I love because it's hot enough to work up a decent sweat, but not so unbearably stifling that I feel dizzy at the thought of a slight backbend. What really sets the place apart, though, is that the yoga room is outfitted with full-spectrum LED lights that are designed to mimic the sun's rays.

studio blue yoga toronto

I popped into a midday "Dynamic Flow" class, pretty intimate with only five other students, all seemingly in their mid-twenties (and refreshingly, with nary a Lululemon item to be found). I fully sensed the vibe of the place when I came up for my first upward dog and the LED lights came up brighter, feeling like a natural sunrise. Combined with a well-thought-out playlist, it made for an energizing atmosphere. And instead of staring down my tense reflection in a mirror, the classes all face a front wall where massive red lettering spells out a constant reminder to "Let it go".

studio blue yoga toronto

While the start of class was fairly gentle, it ended with a slew of invigorating back-bending and heart-opening postures. I found individual poses weren't held quite as long as in Moksha flow sequences, and Jessica added plenty of movements and core work in between flows to mix it up. We finished the class with a challenging forearm balance against a wall followed by a long, relaxing savasana (with the bright lights mercifully dimmed down to a dull glow). I floated out of the place feeling utterly peaceful.

studio blue yoga toronto

Though the majority of classes in a week are Dynamic Flow, the studio also offers a few restorative sessions, including a weekly "Bliss" class that uses blankets and other props to execute extended stretches and poses. The "Viscosity Vinyasa" class, on the other hand, focuses more on the depth of postures. For the more athletically-inclined, there's "Yoga Camp", that combines yoga with boot camp for a serious workout. On Saturdays and Sundays Jessica even offers a "Hangover Helper" class, heavy on twists and compressions to detox the body from a boozy evening.

studio blue yoga toronto

As for pricing, it's as steep as you'd expect for yoga in the area: approximately $20 for a drop-in class, and $140 for a month unlimited. But luckily there are solid introductory deals for new students, and Jessica offers a community class on Friday evenings that's a steal at $8. Mats and towels are available for rent at $2 each, and the changing rooms, though not very large, have a few showers for an after-class rinse.

studio blue yoga toronto

studio blue yoga toronto

Writing by Jean Grant; photos by James C Lee .

Studio Blue Yoga

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Studio Blue Yoga

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  • April 28-29

    A lightness is attained when living in our strength, whether that strength is physical, mental, or emotional. Although we can encounter obstacles externally, and also obstacles that result from our own mental blocks, overcoming hurdles is a testament to strength and has the potential to liberate our spirit.

    But strength is a quality many of us deny having. At the very least, we do not give o...

  • May 10-31

    Throughout May we are running a 4 week PURE UPPER BOD SERIES, which is all about upper body strength, tone, and shape.

    Our focus will be on arms, shoulders and back.

    Why Participate? The upper body can be incredibly tight and may even be rounded through the upper back and shoulders. We consistently demand a lot from our bodies as we move throughout the day - reaching, twisting, carrying, ...

  • May 12

    Treat yourself to 90 minute recovery class! It will include rolling on both a ball & foam roller to hydrate and mobilize fascia, which will increase range of motion.

    This class is the answer to releasing muscle tension. In this unique class we will mobilize and massage muscles and fascia. The sensation of rolling is unlike any other. You will feel a massage as you release, nothing will feel ...

  • May 25-27

    Our Restorative Yoga Teacher Training & Learning Immersion is open to anyone who wants to learn about their body and restorative yoga.

    Throughout our one weekend together we will:

    Explore the history, philosophy, and intentions of Restorative Yoga

    Learn to slow down, rest, create space, restore balance, access inner alignment, and harmony

    Investigate the nervous system function, reg...

  • June 8-10

    Our Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training & Learning Immersion is open to anyone who wants to learn more about pregnancy and movement during pregnancy.

    Throughout our one weekend together we will explore:

    Yoga Philosophy & Lifestyle

    Yoga techniques specialized to the needs of the pregnant woman, including practice and teaching skills for each trimester

    Alignment for the expectant mother


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