Follow this sidewalk behind the Hudson building downtown (near City Hall), and you’ll find Hudson Yoga, a brand new hot yoga studio, and my current lifesaver – I’m here as many days as I can fit in my schedule.
Before I had a regular practice, I would have found this upcoming weekend too good to be true – they’re offering two full days of free, traditional hot yoga classes this Saturday and Sunday. They’re opening up their gorgeous new studio as part of a month of specials to celebrate their grand opening.
They also offer an Energy Exchange program where, if you work 90 minutes a week for them (like I do), you get unlimited yoga. Again, sounded too good to be true when I first heard about it.
Hot yoga may not be for everyone, but everyone should try. Because if it is for you, it’s really for you – you’ll be hooked in the first 5 minutes, and it does so many wonderful things for your body and mind. So if you’ve been wanting to try, now you can for free, with no strings attached. Our instructors have been encouraging us to bring our friends, relatives, co-workers, in-laws, frenemies, and random strangers we meet on the street – so I’m doing the equivalent of that by telling you about it on my blog!
In full disclosure, I may have set myself up with a sweet karma program where I can do a little work for Hudson Yoga and get some free yoga out of it. But that fact (that I’ll do anything to practice with these guys!) should only back me up when I say that if you love yoga, like yoga, or have always wanted to try yoga, you owe it to yourself to check out their new studio and all the free classes they’re offering this week.
The new space (in the historic Hudson building right downtown) is gorgeous, with radiant heat panels that look like part of the decor, a bright open studio, and lots of space for mingling. And Monday, sweaty on mat, I realized something – they want their new space to foster community, and it already is. Granted it’s opening week so that accounts for some of the enthusiasm, but this is a new space for all of us, so it’s an adventure for all of us, and we’re all, beginners, old pros, instructors alike, starting on the same page – fresh and excited. All yoga studios are happy places, but I’ve never been in one with so many smiles, so much chatting, and so much excitement to be together.
They’re offering free classes all week. Don’t be intimidated if the heat scares you. The first yoga class I ever took was a hot yoga class, and it hooked me in. So what if you get a little overheated your first time – the worst that happens is you spend a lot of time resting instead of posing, while the best thing that could happen is finding a new passion that will last you a lifetime. Just be prepared to take a quick shower after!
I love yoga. My experience with it so far has been broad (though not necessarily deep – yet!) but one thing I hadn’t experienced until yesterday was yoga outdoors. And thanks to the soon-to-be-opening Hudson Yoga, that’s just what I got to experience yesterday. In the days leading up to their opening at the historic Hudson building downtown, they offered members a yoga class on the rooftop. Yes, the picture above is where we got to practice, and yes, that was our view.
Everyone enjoyed themselves so much that they’re hinting on their Facebook page they might try to arrange more. I hope so. There was a happiness to doing yoga outside that I hadn’t experienced before. The sounds of downtown floated up (including a jazz festival in the background), the breeze cooled us down, lying down in savassana we felt the sun on our faces and had to close our eyes to block it, the instructor was playful and we all felt light. And I’ll never be unhappy if a bird catches my eye, even if I’m trying to focus. So now anytime the opportunity presents itself to take my mat outside, I’m going to take it!
If you live in Victoria and love yoga, chances are you’ve been in this studio, Bikram Yoga Victoria, or at least heard of it, given its prominence. And said prominence is because it’s an awesome studio! So far they’ve been exclusively Bikram (for the uninitiated, that’s the original type of hot yoga, with a studio heated to about 40 degrees), and on top of being centrally located with a big sunny studio and spacious dressing rooms and showers (kind of a rarity in the yoga studio world), they also have really friendly staff and great teachers. Couple that with some regular sales and the odd turn on Groupon, and you’re looking at a world-class studio.
But I think they’re about to get a bit world-classier as they move (this week, no less!) to the historic Hudson building downtown. Not only are they changing studios, they’re also changing their name/company to Hudson Yoga. All the great staff and that iconic heat are coming along for the journey, and now we’re going to be sweating in a brand new studio that I’m super excited to see.
Knowing they were going to be moving, I was walking past the Hudson and thought to myself, “look at that rooftop, it would be awesome if they did yoga up there” …. and as it turns out, that’s just what they’re doing Thursday and Friday this week at noon. Today was the last day of classes at the old studio, so the outdoors ones (only open to members) are a stand-in until they open the doors on Hudson on July 1. And there’s going to be a whole week of free classes. So if you’ve been wanting to try out yoga, hot yoga, or this studio, now’s your chance!