6 Off-the-wall Yoga Classes to Pump up Your Oms

Some are simply off the mat, while others are truly off the wall. Stretch the boundaries of your practice with these wild and crazy takes on yoga

Credit: Thorsten

Let loose your inner yogini and fire up your asanas with song, water, heat, air and more

Hundreds of studios in Vancouver offer virtually every type of yoga imaginable – and even some you may not have thought of yet. If you’re ready to stretch the boundaries of your practice, park your mat at one of these unique classes.

Credit: Ryan Leier

One Love Yoga

Yoga instructor Ryan “the Lion” Leier leads a class set to reggae tunes

Studio: One Yoga

Part prayer, part party, this Vinyasa class – set to the sounds of roots reggae and dub music – is a deeply devotional practice designed to open your heart and set your spirit on fiyah!

Insider’s tip: Combining yoga with sound is not a new concept. Some centuries-old practices use chants and musical instruments to stimulate the chakras and prepare the senses for higher consciousness. Even modern science suggests that using certain tones or sound waves can help achieve a particular state of mind.

Far-Infrared Heat Yoga

Unlike some hot rooms, a far-infrared yoga studio only heats up when you do

Studio: Infrared Yoga

This hot practice marries the ancient science of yoga with the modern technology of far-infrared heat, which uses your body’s own energy to heat the room as you move through your practice. Other benefits of this heat: detoxification, better flexibility and improved skin tone – it’s even said to heal sunburn.

Insider’s tip: At just 300 square feet, this tiny Mount Pleasant studio only allows a maximum of five students per class, so be sure to book your spot in advance.

Credit: Aqua Yoga

Aqua Yoga

Practised in water, aqua yoga is literally dripping with benefits

Studio: YWCA

If you want to fully immerse yourself in yoga, try practising your asanas in a swimming pool. With your body supported by water, you’ll tone and elongate each muscle effectively as you explore the fluidity and grace of an aquatic Vinyasa class.

Insider’s tip: Since water-based exercise can help prepare the body for birth, aqua yoga is a great choice during pregnancy – just be sure to ask your health-care practitioner if it’s a safe option for you.

Credit: Thorsten

Suspended Yoga

Suspended yoga lets you soar with silk ribbons that hang from the ceiling

Studio: Tantra Fitness

Also called aerial or antigravity yoga, suspended yoga supports your body in mid-air with silk ribbons that hang from the ceiling. The main benefit of this soaring class: the lack of a pesky floor means you’ll be able to go deeper into each posture.

Insider’s tip: Start with a foundation course to learn the basics and get familiar with being fabric dependent. Later, a more advanced class allows you to do inverted poses in full suspension. Remember to wear long pants/tights and cap sleeves that cover your armpits to avoid nasty yoga burn.

Credit: Thorsten

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga

Posing in open waters isn’t as hard as you think

Studio: SUP Vancouver

A combination of stand-up paddling and yoga, SUP teaches you to do beginner yoga postures on a paddleboard, mainly on your hands and knees (meaning you keep four points of contact with the board). SUP Vancouver offers classes throughout summer, incorporating a range of asanas that teach you to breathe, move and be present not only on the water but in your everyday.

Insider’s tip: One wrong move and you’ll end up in the water – not such a bad thing on a hot summer’s day!

Credit: Thorsten

Creative Flow: Yoga and Writing

Translate your own body language to find your inner writer through yoga

Studio: Semperviva

Did you know yoga can change your neurochemistry by manufacturing the brain-wave state of creativity? This workshop, which focuses on a breath-centred Vinyasa practice along with deep, meditative Yin postures, allows you to translate your own body language to find your inner writer. With beautiful poetry readings and several opportunities to “stop, drop and journal,” you’ll leave class with a page or two of writing and, thanks to the yoga, no finger cramps!

Insider’s tip: Sharing is welcome, but never required. Don’t forget your pen!

Not sure if yoga’s for you? 6 Yoga Hangups it’s Time to Get Over might convince you otherwise.

6 Off-the-wall Yoga Classes