Stretch it out: yoga in Whistler
Whether you’re a dedicated yogi, or looking to ease aches acquired in this area’s famous mountains (perhaps from skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, snowmobiling, skating, fat-tire biking, or dogsledding—have I forgotten something?). It’s nice to come in from the cold and reset with stretches, some quiet, and perhaps even get a little sweat on. Here’s a sample of what Whistler has to offer:
For yoga right in Whistler Village
Yogacara is the place to go. This popular studio is at Sundial Crescent, right in the heart of Whistler Village. Make sure you sign up in advance because classes are small and they sell out. The classes include energetic Vinyasa, classic Hatha, ab and back-strengthening Hatha Core, Gentle Hatha, dynamic Flow, soothing Restorative and slow-paced Yin for a deep stretch.
For warming up on a chilly day
Neo Whistler, part of the YYoga chain familiar to Vancouverites, offers YHot yoga: a series of slow postures at a balmy 40 degrees. The light-filled Neo Whistler studio at Function Junction has a unique selection of classes: heart-rate raising Power and Power Intermediate, dynamic Flow, Core Fusion that brings together Pilates, yoga and fitness, and Escents Aromatherapy Yin, a slow-paced class to the scent of essential oils.
For a gym atmosphere
Whistler Core gym at 4010 Whistler Way in the Village has fitness-based Flow Yoga. The class moves quickly and fluidly between poses in the Vinyasa style, so prepare to raise your heart rate.
For a slower pace, head north of the Village to Meadow Park Sports Centre’s Stretch and Restore Yoga. This gentle evening class is a great way to unwind after an active day.
For cultural types
The Audain Art Museum blends art and yoga at their Art After Dark yoga classes. The classes are free with admission, but make sure you sign up in advance because the classes are popular.
For water lovers
Not all yoga classes take place indoors: SUP Yoga (or stand up paddleboard yoga) is a yoga class, on a paddle board, outdoors on a lake. Since staying out of the water requires some balance, yoga on a paddle board really targets the stability muscles and the core, making this both an unusual and a challenging class. Both Whistler Eco Tours and Backroads Whistler have SUP Yoga in the summer months. Keep an eye on their websites to find out when the classes kick off.
For 18 to 35 year olds
LUNA has yoga on Thursday evenings at the LUNA Lounge in the lower level of the Maury Young Arts Centre in the Village. The classes are only $3, or free for LUNA members, and they are run by a group that provides fun, alcohol-free nightlife events for 18 to 35 year olds, hence their name: Late and Unique Nighttime Alternatives (LUNA).
For pregnancy-friendly yoga
Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to help a growing, transforming (and often aching) body work with the changes of pregnancy. Meadow Park Sports Centre’s class is holistic: it includes gentle flow with Pilates-based exercises and yoga postures that build strength and flexibility. The prenatal yoga class is led by a specialized instructor and designed for women between 12 and 40 weeks of pregnancy. The classes are a several-week program and require your doctor or midwife’s approval to participate.
For an enormous yoga festival
Wanderlust Whistler is a multi-day yoga festival filled with workshops from renowned teachers, meditations, speakers, sound baths, hikes, speakeasies, slacklining, fantastic food, dancing and music (Broken Social Scene, Nahko and Medicine for the People are playing free outdoor concerts this weekend). This year Wanderlust runs from Thursday, August 1 to Sunday, August 4.
For yoga during GO Fest
Make sure you join the free GO Fest yoga workshops at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Details of the GO Fest schedule over May 17 to 20 will go live in the coming weeks.