A few months ago while wanting to jump on the hot yoga trend, I brought a coupon for Yogatree at $25 for 5 classes. This is pretty reasonable considering a single drop in lesson costs $17.70 each, and a 20 class pass would still set you back by $13 per class. As I already pay $33 a month for gym membership at Goodlife, it seemed excessive to me to pay an additional $52 a month (if I went once a week) for health and fitness.
Yogatree has multiple locations across the city, but I went to the Richmond Hill location located at 360 A Highway 7 East Unit, near Highway 7 and Bayview. I’ve actually driven past Yogatree’s studio many times in the past, and other than the fact that there is a nice bright sign on top, the building is pretty unassuming like every other strip plaza in the area. Upon entering Yogatree’s Richmond Hill studio and removing my shoes, I was immediately greeted by a friendly staff member. As their incense burnt and drifted through the air, I proceeded with filling out forms and general administrative procedures.
While filling out the form, I was immediately taken back at their clear efforts to be green and eco-friendly. Aside from their indoor garden, the form itself was printed on clear plastic so that it could used again by the next new student.
The Change Rooms
There are two yoga classrooms, and the change rooms are located upstairs. Not only are they are equipped with the standard sinks and showers, but also built-in combination lockers for your personal belongings. This is super convenient, as students no longer have to worry about bringing their own locks. Did I mention that the change rooms were not smelly, and were generally very clean?
Yoga Tree offers a variety of yoga classes, including Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and of course hot yoga all in a variety of time slots and levels. I went for Hot Yoga level 1 with Ramona, an older instructor with a super toned body. She leads you through the class, occasionally walking around to fix the students’ poses/postures. I found that her classes are pretty hard-core and you are pushed to do your best.. For each yoga pose, different level options are provided so that each student can practice at their own pace.
I found after doing hot yoga, I definitely felt the health benefits. I generally felt more relaxed and sleep better the night after class. Although not immediately, my arms, legs and even my abs are often sore the next day (which means my muscles were actually working during the poses!).
Yoga at Yoga Tree is an expensive past-time, so I would consider it to be a luxury good. However for its price, Yoga Tree has a nice studio and more importantly it is clean. The studio rooms are cleaned prior to every class. You can imagine the amount of sweat that would be lying around after every hot yoga class.
In the evenings when I went, the crowd at Yoga Tree were generally female, with the average age range in the 20s to the 30s, likely a majority of them young professionals. There were some mommies and men in the mix as well. However, as they have classes throughout the day, I would imagine they would attract a different crowd.
I quite like their online booking system to reserve classes up to a week in advanced. This way, they can be aware of their maximum capacity and students would not have to be turned away in case of a full class.
The only con I would say about Yoga Tree is its popularly, so the classes tend to be pretty full all the time and there is a lack of personal space. Also, with more people the heated room becomes hotter, making it potentially more difficult to breathe.
Overall, aside from crowding, Yoga Tree was a great place to practice yoga due to its excellent facilities and friendly staff. If I had more money, I would definitely make this a regular go-to place!