Urban Yoga Positions Itself for Beltline
Walk down any street in the Beltline and you’ll find someone carrying a yoga mat and bag. Deanna Shewchuk works in the Beltline and takes yoga classes here too. She explains that the yoga studio tailors their class schedule to her work day. She attends the 5:10 p.m. class at Yoga Passages. Deanna chose the studio because it’s closer to her work on 11th avenue and close to the C-train.“I took it at university and at first I didn’t like it. Then there was a special at a yoga studio in Winnipeg that my boyfriend bought for me,” says Deanna. “You start yoga because it’s trendy, and then you keep doing it because you like it!” She says that whether she likes a class depends on the studio and the teachers. “There’s certain ones that I make an effort to see.”Robert Walker, owner of The Yoga Studio in West Connaught, understands how the students make decisions about which class to attend. “People that come to yoga are often not that informed about the qualifications of the teachers,” he explains. “We run a teacher program and they’re among the best.” The Yoga Studio teaches Iyengar yoga, a style that uses lots of standing poses.
Deanna prefers Ashtanga and Visanya forms of yoga. “It’s more than meditation and breathing,” says Deanna. “Actually it’s very physical and it’s enough of a workout for me.” “People do tend to go home to their local community for yoga,” says Robert. “It’s so much busier now, so it’s easier to go closer to where people live.” Robert has done yoga seriously for about 20 years. “Yoga brings things like focusing on positives and treating people well into everyday life,” says Deanna. Every Sunday there’s a class at Yoga Passages at 1:00 pm. The price of admission is a cash donation to charity or a food bank contribution.”Before only women went ….. She notices more men in general are going to yoga classes and that there’s even a father daughter combination. Some of the longest running yoga studios are in the Beltline. Robert notes that in 2001, when he purchased The Yoga Studio, there were only three or four others in Calgary. Since then, a number of studios have opened and closed. The Yoga Studio has been around for 11 years and now has four studios in Calgary. Each location has its own demographic. He says there are more singles and people without children at the Beltline studio. Because Beltline is the most central, they draw a diverse group with the youngest at 16 and up to 60 years or older. “Like the new book Yoga is Medicine says, the most effective form of overall well being is yoga.”“Look at all the new buildings,” Robert says. “The population has increased in the area.” The Beltline studio has been open longer, so they’re able to offer more advanced material.