Found City Yoga | Studio Review

Found Yoga City is a one of the few yoga studios in Victoria, BC that specializes in bikram yoga and they do it very well! 

Happy new year everyone! It’s been a while since my very first bikram yoga class at Bikram Yoga Yonge (in Toronto) and reading my own blog post made me chuckle a bit at how I almost died back then. Just before 2016 ended, I decided to give bikram yoga another try!
So, what’s the longest session you’ve stayed at a yoga studio? For me, I spent almost 4 hours at Found City Yoga (formerly Bikram Yoga Saanich) last week! Was I super tired? Of course! But I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Huge thank you to Owl, the owner of Found City Yoga for generously offering a one week traveller’s pass to me to immerse fully in the bikram yoga experience. In my conversation with her, she highly recommended I join her for a 90 minute bikram yoga sessions, followed by a yin class to fully balance the hard sweaty workout with a delicious flow of deep stretches. And so I did!
View from entrance of Found City Yoga. Beautiful oak-coloured storage and sitting areas.

Location and Schedule

Let’s start off with location. The studio is situated very close to the University of Victoria, nestled among the plazas that serve the residential area nearby. It is easily accessible by walking, cycling, bus or driving. Bonus: There’s plenty of free parking!

Since it is recommended to practice bikram yoga everyday to reap it’s full benefits, finding a studio close to home, work or school is very important! The class schedule was also designed with the community’s schedule in mind so there are plenty of classes for everyone’s availability.

Cute boutique with yoga gear for sale!

Atmosphere

The studio itself was beautiful, spacious and airy to help prepare your mind physically and mentally for your practice. As the receptionists gives you a quick tour of the place, they will show you their unique selection of yoga clothing and items in their boutique, their bulletin board for news and promos, the change and shower rooms, and the huge hot studio.

Inside the hot studio, there are mirrors along the front of the room and on one side of the room. For the bikram class, the instructor stood on a small platform in the front of the class as she led our practice. One thing I wasn’t quite used to was how brightly lit the room was for an evening yoga class but I think this is the difference with Bikram yoga. For the yin class that followed, the studio was dim and lit by an ocean of flameless candles. It was so beautiful and relaxing!

Spacious women’s change room, but can still get crowded before and after classes. Yes, their classes are that popular!

Great Intro Package

As you sign up for classes, you will find mat and towel rentals are included with your $39 introductory month membership. One of my pet peeves with going to hot yoga is having to carry an armload of gear to the studio which is already a workout on its own! At minimum, I need my yoga mat (I’m currently in love with the B Mat!), 3 towels (one for my mat, one for wiping my face, for showering), change of clothes and water bottle. At Found City Yoga, who ever came up with the idea to provide these things as part of the membership deserves a huge praise! They clearly put their students’ convenience in mind and offer them the best they can.
They have a variety of class passes or monthly passes (starting at $79/month autopay) and different pricing options as well. If you’re a student, they also have great discounts as well! Check their website often and bulletin board for promos 🙂
Washroom stalls, sink and vanity area.

Instructor

In the 90 minute bikram session, Owl welcomed everyone and made special shout outs to new students, including myself! The class was relatively full, bordering the 40 student limit in which the studio caps attendance. Despite the large class, Owl still made efforts to make personal suggestions to each of her students, which she seemed to have remember all by name and level of experience! Given the faster pacing of a bikram yoga class, it was not feasible for her to come around to correct everyone’s posture. Instead, it made sense for her to stand on the platform in the front of the room so she can quickly scan everyone’s postures and comment on adjustments. Even for someone hiding in the back (ahem, me) she was still able to see all of us. My previous reservation about bikram yoga was resolved with Owl’s session. Perhaps I had a better expectation of what the 26 poses are and how long it would really feel. However, I attribute my pleasant experience to her level of enthusiasm, energy, motivation and her ability to connect with individuals that made my practice feel so much more fulfilling.
The shower room is very open-concept, can be intimidating for those who are a little shy.

The 90 minute yin session that followed was led by Meagan, in a candlelit warm yoga room. Before we began, she informed us we would be holding each pose on average for 3-5 minutes, so brace yourself! Sounds like a long time right? Well, after a 90 minute bikram session, I was super tired and was hoping yin translated to variations of corpse pose. Unfortunately, we didn’t just lie there for a 90-minute long nap, but the poses surprisingly felt comfortable. In fact, for pigeon pose, I dosed off while we stretched on each side for 5 minutes. I was only woken up when the instructor came by and gave THE BEST massage in the world. Don’t worry if you don’t like being touched because she will ask at the beginning of class, but it’ll be silly to decline!

Large heated yoga room with antimicrobial non-toxic recycled rubber flooring. The floors feel very hot when you first walk in.

Overall Experience

I love everything about this studio! Even though bikram yoga was not my cup of tea originally, I’m willing to be converted thanks to Found City Yoga. The facilities, services, people (super friendly and efficient receptionist to the committed and experienced instructors) are one of the best I’ve seen in a studio. It might be crazy to think about doing two 90-min yoga classes consecutively, but the yin class after the bikram class is so nourishing and the best form of self-love. I highly recommend trying to do a yin class after a more physically demanding class (doesn’t necessarily need to be bikram) and if you can, visit Found Yoga City on Tuesdays and Thursdays when this is offered!

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