Passport to Prana for the Travelling Yogi

My job has me constantly travelling around various parts of the greater Toronto area. Sometimes I find myself wanting to wait out traffic but with nowhere to go. How do I pass the time? My good friend Steph introduced me to Passport to Prana. It's a pass that you can use for one class at each participating studio across the GTA (also available other cities around the world!) The cost is $30, plus tax in and is valid for one year. This is a great deal because it gives you access to so many studios across the GTA, from Milton all the way to Oshawa. A full map is available on their website. Typically drop-in yoga classes are $15-20, full price, and reduced price classes (i.e. Moksha Karma classes) are around $7-10. So if you go to at least three studios, it's already worth it. Shipping is super quick and I received my pass within the week of ordering it. I was super excited to immediately put my pass to use. I will be chronicling my various studio experiences as I attend different classes.

Last week I was in Oshawa and decided to check out Power Yoga Canada Oshawa. The studio is located in north Oshawa. It is large, clean and the staff are welcoming. PtP isn't used very frequently there so it took a while for them to check me in. Once that was done, I was given a tour of the studio. They have cubbies for your things and not large change rooms, but instead fitting room style individual stalls (three of them), individual washrooms and showers. There is one large hot studio and one smaller, unheated studio. The class I opted for was the hot 60 minute power yoga strength class, which is a little different from the typical power yoga classes from what I've been told. I quickly changed, filled up my water bottle and entered the hot room.

Upon entering the hot room, what I found a little strange was that there were no mirrors (shame I can't check myself out lol but for real, I like to check my posture). I was a bit disoriented when I entered because I didn't know what side to face...I saw a couple people in savasana and lay down in the same direction. Another oddity to me was that people were chatting. Usually, I attend Moksha yoga classes and they are pretty strict about silence in the hot room. People who want to chat before class usually place their mat down and go back outside to the lobby to chat. Here, they were much more liberal about chatting and also about going in and out of the room (also discouraged at Moksha). There was even a side door (good idea) for people to go to the washroom or refill their water bottles mid-class. I can see it getting a bit disruptive if many people chose to go in and out, but I didn't come across this as an issue in this particular class.

The class was led by one of the studio co-owners, Kelly, who began the class with three om's. It was such a calming sound, hearing all of the individuals in the class come together in unison, exchanging positive energy. Very cool. The strength portion of the class meant that we did some exercises such as leg lifts and side plank curls, in addition to the regular yoga poses like chair and runner's lunge. It was interesting, though I didn't feel particularly tired afterwards. Maybe the room wasn't hot enough? Anyways, Kelly led the class through various poses with flows in between. She called out the posture names which may have been a bit hard to follow for beginners. Another difference I noticed is that there was not as much focus on how to breathe (major key to yoga imo). The class ended with a group savasana. Kelly came around and placed a cool eucalyptus-scented damp towel on everyone's forehead. What a nice touch! I was so into it. The class ended with the lights dimmed and a final three om's. Full circle.

Overall, it was a good class and I think I'll visit other Power Yoga Canada studios in the future, as there are several in the GTA.