Birkham Yoga Toronto Review

A while back, I bought a Groupon for 20 classes of Hot Yoga for $20 at Bikram Yoga Toronto (located at Bayview and Sheppard).  I figured I couldn’t go wrong with $1 a class, so even if I went 5 classes it would be worth it.

The mall where Bikram Yoga Canada is located

The yoga studio is located on the ground floor of a medical centre.  The studio is a little dated with just one hot yoga room, and very basic change room facilities.  In fact, the entire studio is very no frills.  If you bring your own lock, there are smaller lockers available in a hallway between the change rooms and the classroom.  During classes, the room is fully lit with florescent lights and in my opinion fits with their no frills look.

Their studio is set up very similar to this

The style of yoga at Bikramis very hardcore – the heat is hotter than any other that I’ve been to and the instructors really push you as if it was boot camp class with shouts of “push back, MORE back, WAY BACK” for encouragement.  The format of all the classes is the same, where the instructors go through the same 26 poses twice each class.  Different variations are provided to accommodate the student experience levels.

Again, not their exact studio but pretty darn close

Pros:

  • Very intense workout.  You really feel it in your muscles after class.  Typically, my thighs and abs would burn for a few days.
  • Convenient location near the subway and major highways.

Cons:

  • The studio room can be dirty at times, as they do not always wipe their floors in-between classes.  As a result, you could be potentially stepping into the last class’ sweat (very gross).  They also do not use any incense, so it can be pretty smelly in there.
  • Plenty of older men go to this studio, and they are typically round, hairy and topless, no offence but please put on a shirt.  It’s kind of gross.
  • Normal class packages are not cheap for such a basic facility.
  • The instructors (I’ve seen 5-6 different ones) generally walk around and lead the class, but do not necessarily show examples of how poses should be held.

If I didn’t buy the multi-class Groupon, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Bikram Yoga again after the first class.  Although the workout is more intense than the others I’ve ever been to, the older and particularly potential unsanitary facilities are a definite turnoff.  Further, at prices comparable to other newer and better equipped studios in the area, why go to this one?

In the end, I only used 7/20 classes because the fine print said all classes must be used within 60 days of activation!  However, I still got a deal at $3/ hot yoga class which is a steal!

Since then, I’ve found better yoga studios I’m more comfortable with, but I see regulars that do go here so if you’re looking for a no frills Bikram-styled class, give it a try.  The people that work there are nice and you get a really good workout!  I just think it’s a bit expensive for what I’m getting!

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