Pros: The majority of the teachers seem experienced and explain the instructions and the benefits of the poses well. The staff are all very friendly and you feel welcomed. I don't feel like it's a competition, but more of a quality time for my body and well being. The facilities are good.
Cons: A lot of the teachers have an accent...some a lot heavier than others. I've been with Hot Yoga Wellness for a while now so I know which teachers I can tolerate. I usually chose the ones with a very slight accent or no accent at all. I'm not discriminating, as I am Chinese myself but I just personally feel that an instructor can really alter the environment and the zen of the class. Having a heavy accent is just distracting because i'm try to hear what they're trying to say more than focusing on my quality time in the class. If you plan on coming, try Jacinda, Linda, MaryAnn or Albert.
I have been doing yoga for about 7 months now and have really found something that I love. At first, I thought that yoga would be a slow paced and relaxing practice until I walked into Fireflow. For anyone thinking that you won't get a good workout, think again...and bring a change of clothes! Fireflow has such amazing teachers that take the time to give you variations on poses depending on your skill level. Whether you push yourself to the limit or just "take it easy" you are in for a ride. Every class produces buckets of sweat of pulsing muscles. This is the best alternative to working out at the gym. I've also tried out some other studios in the city and find that Ashtanga yoga at Fireflow is the BEST! Not only do they have amazing prices, every teacher is amazing and really knows their stuff. If you're up for a new challenge and a great workout, you can't beat the classes and staff that Fireflow has to offer!
I have a girlfriend who is a member at this location and was raving about it so I decided to give it a try since there was a Groupon for it. I'm running back to Yoga Tree! Here's what I did not like:
1. No lockers in women's change room 2. Tried 4 different instructors and found them all to be poor. One instructor did not correct anyone. Just walked around and talked. Another instructor randomly corrected people (two people side by side were doing the exact same thing wrong and only one got corrected) Another instructor kept walking all over my mat. There was tons of room (about 15 people in class) and I don't mean they caught the corner walking by. They walked right onto my mat with both feet. Several times! I even moved my mat and they still walked on it! Why??? The other instructor was so so. I've had better yoga instructors at the gym. 3. Location. The location is a nightmare to get in and out of during rush hour. During non rush hour it takes me 10 mins but during rush hour it's more like 30-45 mins! 4. Classes are not difficult. These are good if you're a beginner or beginner/intermediate. 5. Different class levels are not offered. Which would be fine if instructors would give different options. Have not experienced this. 6. 1 or 2 hand towels for everyone to wipe their hands. Not very hygenic.
Here's what I did like 1. The showers were nice and big 2. Bolsters and cushions available in class 3. Ample parking
This studio is dirty (especially the changerooms) and the owner(s) are only out to grab as much money from you as possible with no real regard for "wellness" in my opinion. There are some sweet and lovely teachers, but a few unbelievably arrogant ones (Ilya?). The old people at the front desk seem to have absolutely no clue what they're doing. Especially the older man (Jacob?). I tried asking a few simple questions and got dismissed. And why does he keep trying to touch me and hold my hand!? Totally creeps me out. I sat in the front foyer waiting for my friend and saw him trying to do that to alot of the women coming in/out of the studio. Most of which appeared really uncomfortable. I'm just as friendly as the next gal but - really!? Also overheard a conversation between the old front desk guy and the Chinese owner and he emphatically stated over and over "well they don't have money. so why bother with them?" Really weird vibe there. Couldn't wait to leave.
I tried with my Passport to Prana visiting over 10-20 studios around the city, this is one of the most demotivated place and will never return here. The staff are not helpful at all, stood there looking for help and they were too busy chatting with their usual clients. As I got my time to speak with the staff they seems very fake, and unwilling to help. They portray this pretentious kindness to help but I felt like they think i was wasting their time with the lack of knowledge I have. As my first couple of times to yoga, i felt like I did not want to engaged to the class.
As I got to the class the environment was nice, but very crowded. The air felt stuffy and heat was dry and suffering. The other studios felt slightly more humid and bearable. The dry heat have caused my first dizzyness and with so many people it didn't help. I have been to several other studios and have not felt unwell in the Yoga class before, their humidity is much better than Yoga Tree.
The instructor was unclear, I had a gentlemen, asian, teaching the class. I don't remember his name. I also felt very forced into my correct alignment and no other options were given if I couldn't approach that pose. The staff clearly said I would feel comfortable in this class at my level and I did not at all. The entire class did not feel destress, and I felt anxious, challenged and unwelcomed. He also spent alot of time on his usuals and they had their own connections while the newer people were left out. He also spoke way too much and I did not understand why he had to give so much details causing us to hold the pose for dreadfully long time.
During the last pose, I also wanted to stay a little longer to let myself relax as they did in other studios. Yoga Tree however has this policy to kick students out when class is over so they can get their next class in immediately. I feel their class is pushed too fast just for money matters. They don't feel that they truly are there for their students and allow them to relax. Its a very high speed in and out rushing you studio and I found my experience unbearable.
I hear they have a new location downtown which would be very convienient for me, but I don't think I will return to this studio
As a co-facilitator, Zahra and I lead the Follow Your Bliss retreat in the summer of 2009. I had the pleasure, honour and wonderful experience to witness how Zahra plans and delivers her intentional message to the retreat participants.
Zahra shares her knowledge in a passionate, caring and inspiring way. She naturally supports and encourages others to see beyond perceived limits and believe in possibilities. Zahra is many things: a consciousness teacher, leader and caring woman and also a great friend!
Many of us come to Yoga in pursuit of physical benefits. The rewards are so much deeper and more meaningful. I won't downplay the importance of having a vibrant and strong physical body but there are so many more benefits that come with practice. For one, building awareness in our physical body helps us to feel more alive and make choices that are life affirming. When we make choices from a place of heightened awareness, chances are that those choices will affect your life in such a way that your happiness will increase. We cannot always change what is out there but we can change our reaction to what's out there. When we become aware of our reactions and that we have a choice in how we will react or not react, we can then begin to live with a deeper sense of emotional stability. Change happens one person at a time and it begins with you! Don't you think it's time?