Breathe in. Breathe out. Inhale air, and exhale all your problems and stress. Sounds ideal right? But where do you begin in a journey to strengthen your body, but also your mind, soul, and all that other jazz?
One answer: Yoga.
This ancient meditative practice has a plethora of studies supporting its numerous benefits in many aspects of life, from physical to mental health. Different styles focus on improvement in specific areas which can be challenging to choose from – before exploring these further however, it is worth noting that yoga is a generally gentle exercise that encourages moderation and positivity, with a significant focus on breathing techniques and inner serenity. For this reason, most people should be able to find at least one type that works for them to find that edge of comfortable resistance and positive energy, although it is always best to consult your doctor if you experience any unusual pain. Thanks to the versatility and adaptability of the exercises, this is rarely a concern however, and is an excellent option for individuals of all ages and experience levels.
But where to go? First, it is important to decide which type you like best, and then explore some of the best yoga places in Christchurch mentioned throughout this article and attend a few classes, often available at a discounted price for new members, before settling into a healthy routine.
Different Yoga Practices
- Hot Yoga
Hot yoga offers many benefits and has been associated with improving bone density and increasing metabolism alongside other upsides of regular yoga that include flexibility, strength and balance. Flow is undeniably one of the top pick studios in Christchurch for this style. Located in Riccarton, Flow offers a range of yoga classes that are booked with ease online and features a succinct summary on each style and the different temperatures they are completed at for generally either 60 or 90 minutes. Flow also offers introductory offers and seasonal memberships alongside other money-saving options for those intending to attend regularly – otherwise a one-off casual class costs $25.
- ‘Regular’ Yoga
Not looking for the boiling flushes that come with hot yoga in Christchurch? There are still plenty of options for you. One of these is to pick a class at a lower temperature and work your way up or, alternatively, you can pursue a more foundational yoga class that places emphasis on learning proper poses, such as Vinyasa flow. Should you suffer from injuries or desire a more relaxed approach, there are several other options for you, the best of which includes ‘restorative yoga’ which is performed with a heavy focus on breathing and relaxation, tending towards meditation over intense physical exercise. While most studios offer these, the ‘Grass Roots Studio’ in Christchurch is particularly popular and includes many different options in their user-friendly.
- Local Gym Options
Many gyms also offer specific yoga classes, including Snap Fitness, the Christchurch YMCA, and most universities. Enquiring at one close to you could save you the hassle of a long drive and, if you are already a member, could save you a bit of cash.
Finding your Ideal Yoga Space in Christchurch
From obscure nooks and crannies, to large studios, even Christchurch offers an insane range of possibilities should yoga be the calming, yet energising solution to boost your mood and health so you can find an option that appeals to you and your budget.
- Physical Spaces
As mentioned above, Christchurch is filled with many studios that each offer different teachers and classes that are worth checking out to find one that suits your personal style. One of the other best yoga places in Christchurch includes the ‘Sweat Life Boutique Studio.’ This offers many different classes every day except for Sunday and Monday (but who wants to work out then anyway?). While this is an option for all levels, the athletic focus is definitely catered toward individuals with some experience or at least a tendency towards flexibility. While no one would ever judge you for being unable to complete a move, a different place may be more suited for your personal comfort if this doesn’t sound like you.
- Instead of the aforementioned studio, if you wish to pursue a less intermediate course and start with the basics, there is no better space than ‘The Yoga Place’ which focuses on breathing and meditation for a calming practice. Alternatively, if you wanted to step up the heat and have fewer breaks between exercises, ‘Core Pilates and Mind’ could be just for you. This studio specialises in making you break a sweat by combining traditional yoga poses with Pilates to form a heavily strength-based workout. Every muscle is worked in these, although a strong emphasis is placed on core strength, centering many movements around your heart for a greater feeling of connection to the earth. Plenty of online websites offer their personal favourites, and it is definitely worth checking out TopReviews’ page as they share their top 13 studios, many of which are well recognised, and all of which have links provided should you wish to learn more on individual websites.
- Virtual Opportunities
In an age of uncertainty, pandemics, and restrictions on daily activities, the internet is a saviour, and this extends to the art of yoga.
Plenty of trainers or simply people passionate about yoga have taken to the internet to share workouts, tips, and a friendly face to encourage you to continue exercising despite trying times. Most of these are achievable from the comfort of your own home with little to no equipment required.
Home workouts are a great way to try different types of yoga, but don’t push yourself too hard: an actual studio undoubtedly offers benefits such as security through having a trained instructor present and a different environment to place you in a suitable headset and motivate you to leave the house (an achievement in itself sometimes!). Some yoga also cannot be completed from home. For example, the increasingly popular hot yoga classes require a certain temperature that a standard Christchurch home cannot achieve.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Especially from the mind of a student, expenses are often a major roadblock in pursuing new activities. If you fall into this category, make sure to enquire about student discounts as many places are eager to reduce pricing somewhat to welcome more members while protecting your hands and knees in a more hygienic way than borrowing one or simply working out on the floor. Check out the Warehouse and Kmart if you don’t want to splurge on an expensive, professional mat yet. These range in thicknesses depending on your preference; for example, if balance is a priority, stick with a thinner mat that won’t throw you off centre from an overload of ‘smoosh’ from padding.
While many online videos don’t need equipment and studios may provide some, investing in a mat is a great way to get excited about yoga classes in Christchurch and keep you going without worrying about returning with bruises or scuffed palms and knees.
Online classes or YouTube videos are an excellent starting point for beginners or motivated individuals and are accessible to anyone, anytime, although may restrict how much you can improve in the future if you don’t live with a trained yoga teacher. After practicing a few moves, it is likely you will get a feel for the style that best resonates with your goals, leaving you with a sense of achievement, joy, and inner peace while helping you reach any physical and mental goals you have (hopefully!) set for yourself – even if this is simply to improve your mental state.
Christchurch offers many yoga options so try a few – often your first class or month will be discounted, and you might find one you especially love. Further to this, it is definitely worth keeping an eye out for discounts that may apply to you – whether these are available through an official website, social media page, or as a student discount. If you are stuck o
n where to start, some of the best places have been mentioned above and include ‘Flow’ for hot yoga, ‘Grass Roots Yoga’, or even just your regular gym like the YMCA if you favour convenience.
QUICK POINTS TO REMEMBER
- Buy your own mat to ensure comfort and flexibility in where and when you work out.
- Don’t be scared to experiment with different types of yoga – you might be surprised by what you enjoy!
- Explore the main parts of town for larger studios although keep in mind the style you enjoy most and filter your searches with this. Keep in mind that larger studios are not always better and a smaller business often offers a more personal feel that you might find more comfortable.
Last of all, and most importantly, remember to BREATHE! Yoga is designed to be an enjoyable meditation to gently push your limits and provide time for self-reflection and improvement. Changes might not happen straight away, but with the best yoga places in Christchurch.
Making the Most of SuperProf
SuperProf is a fantastic website to start your yoga journey. This website allows you to peruse a wide range of yoga teachers based on their location. Each instructor has a brief description about them so you can choose who you would like to help you along - many have years of experience and target people of all different ages while others provide more individualised lessons focusing on a specific type of yoga. Check out the many options for Christchurch here https://www.superprof.co.nz/s/yoga,Christchurch--NewZealand,-43.5320214,172.6305589,1.html?s=4