Hard work, determination, and regular exercise are some of the key elements to achieving a sculpted body. However, after spending days on end in a gym, running on the same treadmill and doing the same arm curls, on the same weight machine, can make even the most dedicated person lose interest in working out. So, how can one solve exercise monotony? The old adage, “variety is the spice of life” holds true as a solution – it’s important to switch up where and how you get your sweat on. Every month we’re highlighting a cool studio – and fresh gear – to keep you motivated. This month we introduce you to Yoga Tree.

What it is:

Once viewed as an activity for hippies, yoga’s explosion onto the modern day workout scene has an increasing number of people heading to their mats to get their downward dog on. However, classes offered at a typical gym differ greatly from those taught at specialized studios. At Yoga Tree you’ll find classes covering a range of styles, from gentle to vigorous, and levels from beginner to advance.

Where you’ll find it:

There are five locations dotted throughout the Greater Toronto Area; in addition to a wellness centre at its Bay Dundas studio in Downtown Toronto, which offers massage therapy and holistic nutrition services.

What to expect:

First impressions are lasting and Yoga Tree’s friendly staff helps make your introduction to the studio welcoming and inviting. The change rooms and practice studios are clean, spacious and well stocked with equipment – mats, blocks, bolsters and straps – to help your practice. Each studio is decorated with beautiful murals, which make an Instagram worthy post, and motivational words that inspire you to hold boat pose for at least five more breaths – com’on abs of steel!

Classes range in length from 60 to 75 minutes and you can select from non-heated, reduced heat or hot yoga. Teachers will instruct traditional styles of yoga such as hatha, vinyasa and ashtanga – check the online class descriptions to get the 411 – but innovative and fun sessions are also available. For example, Flow in the 6ix is a reduced heat class set to curated playlist featuring your favourite songs – Drake is definitely included. There’s a $10 economy class for people on a budget and special classes, such as glow-in-the-dark yoga during Halloween, make for a fun and dynamic experience.

Why we love it:

What we love about Yoga Tree is the sheer variety of classes you can take. More than 2,000 classes are offered per month, across five studios, which guarantee to keep you on your toes. There’s never a dull moment in any of the classes – you work out muscles and stretch your body in ways you never imagined.

What to wear:

Standard items to bring are a towel, water bottle and yoga mat; it’s recommend to practice in bare feet on a mat, it ensures your poses remain stable and strong. Yoga gear that is durable and looks good is always a must; fitted tights and tops with moisture-wicking fabric are also highly recommended. Check out some of our suggestions below.