[wp_ad_camp_1] Thought Canada was only about Mounties and really nice people eh? Think again! We've outlined 12 of our favorite locations for practicing yoga in Canada. Check em out!
Yoga is gaining a lot of popularity in the western countries and more and more people have started realizing its importance. Regular practice of yoga can lower heart rate and blood pressure as well as helps to ease psychological ailments like anxiety and depression.
A study by Yoga journal shows that between 2008 and 2012, the number of American adults practicing yoga grew by 29%. Outdoor yoga can be exciting and challenging, and it's a growing passion for many individuals. It gives you an opportunity to unite with nature, explore new places and, depending on where you practice, build different balance muscles. If you're surface is a little more wobbly, you'll feel this growth in your feet, hips, calves, knees, back and shoulders. It's best to have fresh air and a clean, quiet place that suits the concentration and awareness yoga will create.
Let’s check out some prime yoga spots in Canada, which will tempt you to travel to the "Great White North".
1. Banff National Park
Undoubtedly Canadian Rockies are one of the most extravagantly beautiful ranges on Earth. Banff is Canada's first and oldest national park which offers stunning scenery of glaciers, lakes, valleys, and snow capped mountain peaks. It's blend of towering peaks and flower-strewn meadows makes it among Canada's most exhilarating holiday areas. Perform yoga here, and contemplate the perfect reflection of snow-clad mountain peaks, definitely making you radiant, strong and calm. After your yoga session, head out for a hike, ride, run, or snowshoe depending on the season. Take a breath when you summit, and look out on the country’s stunning scenery. The Banff Centre in the park offers yoga classes, if you prefer to do yoga under the guidance of a teacher.
2. Lake Louise, Alberta
This icon of the Canadian Rockies, offers nothing less than spectacular natural beauty. The lakes calm turquoise waters lapping against the mountains will definitely put you in the mood to become one with nature, and that’s what outdoor yoga is all about! It is secluded, pristine, breathtaking and will provide an ideal location for practicing yoga.
3. Kluane National Park, Yukon
It is the home for Canada’s highest peak, Mt. Logan. This park is one of the natural treasures and was declared as a World Heritage site in 1979. It has breathtaking views of lush valleys, mountain ranges and world’s highest non-polar ice fields. Imagine performing yoga amidst sweeping landscape of mountain valleys covered by glaciers and sprinkled with alpine wild flowers. This can provide absolute solace to your mind. The Park also provides excellent opportunities for recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking and more.
4. Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
West coast of Canada is home for many yoga lovers. This island is close to Victoria and Nanaimo. The island remains largely unpopulated with immense natural spaces. Salt Spring Island is a perfect picturesque place where privacy is guaranteed. Salt Spring centre and Paradise found yoga are the famous yoga retreats on this island and are regarded as the yoga retreat of the year for many practitioners. The 70 acres of forests, meadows and organic gardens will definitely make you crave for some yoga sessions.
5. Gross Morne National Park
It is the second largest national park in Eastern Canada, and is a UNESCO world heritage site. This park covers 1805 square kilometers of western Newfoundland as part of the towering long range mountains. Forests, fresh water fjords, bogs, barren lowlands, striking cliff and shorelines make Gross Morne a geological and visual wonder. Apart from Yoga, the park provides scope for all kinds of activities like hiking, boat tours, theatre and music. The coastline and beaches here are the ideal locations for doing yoga.
6. Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Ontario’s oldest and largest provincial park is easily accessible from major centers in Eastern Canada and the U.S.. It is steeped in heritage and mystique. There is nothing more refreshing than performing yoga under bright sky, with the trees and sunrise to greet you. This park offers unparalleled opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, and holds a special place in the heart of many nature lovers and solitude seekers. It is a natural destination of choice for yogis, who may prefer to spend quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Covering around 8000 sq kilometres, lakes, streams, rivers, forests and rugged Canadian Shield, it is home to abundant flora and fauna. Take some time and enjoy and experience the tranquillity and connectedness this park offers.
7. Aspotogan Peninsula, Nova Scotia
Performing yoga at the edge of the ocean is really challenging and exciting. Aspotogan peninsula, is located in the eastern part of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. Watching the whales, seagulls, eagles, and kayakers while in your favorite yoga pose can provide nothing less than tranquillity of mind. Spend your time gazing at the ocean or meandering along the wooded coastline in ocean kayak, or walk on the winderness trails of the Aspotogan peninsula. The experience of a smooth paddle across calm waters and offering salutes to the sun, will balance your body mind and spirit.
8. Fundy National Park
This park is situated in New Brunswick, Canada and is connected to the land, the ocean and the wide open sky. This is a coastal wonderland with rugged shores and bubbling forest streams. Hikes with mountains, valleys, sparkling waterfalls and crystal clear streams in the background will definitely tempt you to perform yoga and become one with nature.
You can also explore the wide variety of flora. If you're interested, Canoeing and kayaking are additional activities offered by the park. This is definitely a spot you shouldn’t miss.
9. Cortes Island
It is located in the northern end of the Strait of Georgia, between the Campbell River on central Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of British Columbia. With its placid lakes, beautiful beaches, rugged gorges, Cortes Island is one of the most impressive of the discovery islands. Empower yourself and your creativity through yoga and meditation here. Explore nature and unite with it. Relax and recharge, surrounded in spectacular natural beauty. A few provincial parks like Smelt Bay, Manson’s landing, Hague lake Regional Park provide a great location for yoga sessions.
10. Kawartha Lakes
Kawartha Lakes are a chain of lakes in Ontario and the name comes from an aboriginal term meaning ‘the land of the shining waters’. They're located 130 kilometers north east of Toronto. This is part of the rugged Canadian Shield and this heavily forested region has more than 250 lakes and numerous rivers and streams. This myriad of lakes makes it a beautiful destination to relax.
11. The Chesterman beach, Tofino
Saluting the sky, and enjoying the shimmer of the setting sun, the soft onshore breeze, and the sand between your toes will provide instant energy and tranquillity. Chesterman beach stretches over 3kms from Rosie beach. For the naturalist, Chesterman beach is an ever changing place of wonder and beauty. Whales cruise its shores throughout the spring and summer, jelly fish, shells and seaweeds are skattered from end to end.
12. Yoho National Park
It is located in Canadian Rocky Mountains, and is host to many of Canada’s most scenic locations such as Emerald Lake, Takkakaw falls, Natural Bridge and Yoho Valley. Yoho offers ample yoga opportunities, along with camping and hiking.
Things to keep in mind while doing outdoor yoga:
- Dress in layers, so that you are ready for cool breezes.
- If you do not prefer uneven surfaces, use a thick yoga mat and avoid practicing on decks without your mat. Rough surfaces can irritate sensitive skin.
- A light-colored sticky mat is the best option which protects your skin from burning on hot surfaces.
- While doing beach yoga, practice on as firm a surface as possible, such as close to the water's edge where the sand is packed down. You are at high risk of twisting your joints or similar injuries when practicing on squishy sand.
- Ensure to apply sunscreen before venturing out in the sun. Before starting your yoga practice, wash your hands thoroughly since the lotion combined with your sweat will turn your mat into a slippery platform.
- Start your outdoor yoga sessions gradually if you are just used to the studios and indoor classes. Start off with 20- to 30-minute practices and gradually build up to 60- to 90-minute sessions. Heat, bright sun, bugs, and outdoors noises can distract you in the initial stages, if you are not accustomed to it.
- Large, heavy meals should be avoided at least 1-2 hours prior to yoga sessions.
- For some added energy, a light snack can be eaten 20-30 minutes before practicing.
- If you are not a fan of bugs and ants, make sure that there are no ant hills around.
Did we miss anything? If you have a favorite location for yoga in Canada that we missed, let us know! Check out the comments sections below!
Abby Clark loves explore all kinds of destinations all over the globe – from the popular to the offbeat. She currently writes blogs for Best Quote Travel Insurance, a company which offers Super Visa insurance for travel.