(This story is sponsored by Uphoria Yoga Studio.)
The health benefits people can experience from practising yoga are abundant: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength, weight loss, lowered blood pressure, improvement in sleep, and a decrease in stress, to name a few.
The owners of Uphoria Yoga Studio (88 East Broadway) understand that yoga is mentally and physically beneficial to everyone, no matter what their age.
The couple behind Uphoria Yoga noticed age gaps in traditional programs. By providing more inclusive classes, a fresh new energy has been brought into the surrounding community. The Uphoria studio is clean and minimalistic, with preserved plants by Greenstems hanging from the ceiling in the adult room, providing a sense of calmness and rejuvenation to practising yogis. A thought-provoking mural created by local artist Tierney Milne can be seen in the kids’ yoga room.
The two owners, who have backgrounds in early childhood education and professional tennis, created an all-embracing space where everyone could discover their passion for yoga. Located in the heart of Mount Pleasant, the studio offers a variety of yoga classes and mat workouts to help individuals and families meet their personalized goals.
The comprehensive classes are what make Uphoria Yoga Studio stand out among other local yoga spots. There are several classes designed for prenatal and postnatal mothers, parents and tots, children, teens, adults, and seniors.
As a young mother and a long-time yogi herself, co-owner Tara practised yoga throughout her entire pregnancy with her son Pasha. “It’s a great way for expecting mothers to bond with their babies,” she says. “They can make a meaningful connection before the baby is born”.
Not only can prenatal yoga help a mother build an emotional connection with their unborn baby, but it can also prepare the mind and body for birth. Prenatal classes are also a wonderful way for mothers to focus on themselves, since attention will rightfully shift as soon as the baby arrives.
Additional connections can be formed at the yoga studio as well.
Meeting other soon-to-be mothers living in Vancouver is not always easy. By developing friendships in class, one will have extra company and support while navigating motherhood. Attending postnatal classes with other moms and their new babies can help make maternity leave more social and enjoyable. The studio also offers child-minding services for mom’s seeking some “me time”.
Adult classes are led by registered yoga instructors with backgrounds in health, education, and sports. Classes include flow and hatha, along with classes to energize or relax attending yogis. For adults looking to break a sweat, classes to build and improve muscle strength are also offered.
For parents with tots and school-aged children, the studio has yoga instructors certified in both early childhood education and yoga-teacher training for kids. Parents have noticed their children gaining coordination, strength, confidence, patience, empathy, and discipline with regular yoga practise.
“Yoga is one of the most amazing activities for children, as it is noncompetitive,” Tara says. “This can help children increase their self-confidence and self-awareness.”
The classes offered at Uphoria Yoga Studio also help children learn mindfulness and practise focus, which can even lead to improved grades at school. “They are really their own teachers, and we try to incorporate that into our programs,” Tara says.
At Uphoria, the specially trained instructors help children express themselves through yoga poses, music, and mindfulness. The classes for younger children are play-based and often include games, guided meditation through storytelling, and imaginative play.
Classes for the entire family are taught as well, since quality time is better utilized at the studio rather than in front of the television screen.
What can one expect from a family yoga class?
“Lots of laughter,” Tara says. “It’s a great way for parents to bond with their children while also meeting other families in the neighbourhood.” Family classes do not follow the conventional yoga-class format. Instead, the experienced instructors incorporate partner poses and encourage lighthearted banter between family members.
The “Parents’ Night Out” class on Saturdays, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., provides children with supervision, physical activity, and socialization so parents can enjoy some alone time.
The foundation of Uphoria Yoga Studio is based upon education, community, consistency, and loyalty, but, most importantly, co-owner Shayan wants everyone to “have fun”.
With hopes of expanding to other neighbourhoods in the near future, Tara and Shayan continue to focus on what the two of them believe is most important. “We want to bring communities and families together so their children can be raised together and grow in our programs,” Shayan says. “We want people to find their inner happiness in our space.”
Additionally, seniors and students receive 25 percent off all passes on a regular basis.