From the first moment you walk in, Yoga Public on Fort Street in Winnipeg feels like a place destined to ground you in some way.
It might be because of exterior walls with floor-to-ceiling garage door windows streaming in sunlight from the outside. Perhaps it’s due to the brick foyer partition drenched in earth-tones that rises up on the left side. Or maybe it’s from the large metal vases on the right, brimming with circular shaped maintenance-free foliage and lined up in a row like sentinels, welcoming all who enter.
While it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what leads to an immediate sense of calmness, it’s obvious that everything at Yoga Public is designed to create a total body-mind-spirit experience. It’s also obvious that Yoga Public has been developed as a studio that offers something for everyone.
“We wanted to create a space for everybody to do yoga, and have a wide range of accessibility in terms of the breadth and style of classes,” says Ida Albo, who owns Yoga Public, the Fort Garry Hotel, and Ten Spa, along with her husband Rick Bel. “We want a person to be able to find something that fits in their schedule, and also have the option of experiencing as many different forms of yoga as possible, so they can find something that fits them.”
Billing itself as “Canada’s largest yoga playground,” Yoga Public has four spacious studios that offer a wide variety of yoga, fitness, and meditation all under one roof. With over 110 classes each week, the studio accommodates all ages and levels, and allows for many different choices.
Samantha Chisick, Director of Yoga Public, says variety is one thing that makes them unique. “We’re known for having many different styles of yoga in one space. We also have a few niche classes that are very popular, like physiologic, our yoga therapy class. We have KYMA, which is meditation and movement, along with other great meditation classes.”
Some of their class offerings are indeed very specialized. They are the only studio that offers TRX fitness, which is a full body workout in 45 minutes using suspension training techniques. Working with the resistance of your own body weight, these classes tighten your core, strengthen and lengthen muscles, and increase flexibility.
They are also the only studio that offers Yoga on the Wall. Straps anchored into the wall assist with traction, support and balance, while participants use gravity to improve training, stretch tight muscles, and aid in physical rejuvenation. And hanging upside-down to finish off the class is probably one of the most interesting and adrenaline-pumping yoga moves imaginable – bringing fear and fun together as one.
A great restorative yoga is Hot Yin. Stretches are done in an infrared hot room, making Yoga Public one of only a handful of studios in North America to use infrared heat in their yoga program. Using passive postures held for longer periods of time, this class invites deep opening in the connective tissue of the hips, pelvis and spine. Along with the gentle heat, ambient lighting, relaxing spa music, and meditative breathing helps you relax you into each pose, and makes the hour seemingly fly by.
For meditation classes try KYMA, a combination of easy stretching, breathing exercises, mantras, and guided meditation. You’ll leave this class feeling centred, introspective, and with peace of mind. Similar in intent, Mindful Movement is a gentle class that allows you to experience the connection between movement, stretching, and breath in a soft dynamic flow. This class brings a sense of balance in both the physical and emotional body.
Realizing time is of the essence for many, Yoga Public make it easy for people to come to classes by providing mat and towel service. An extra special touch – and bonus after any class – is soaking up serenity in one of the indulgent rain showers, complete with complimentary shampoo, body wash, conditioner, and body lotion.