Gyms to benefit your mental state.
Whether you’re a ClassPass devotee or generally allergic to exercise, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a new breed of elegant fitness spaces opening up in Toronto — and all across Canada — that are offering workshops and classes for your mind (and body!) in modern, airy spaces that are semi-hidden within the concrete jungle. Beyond the offerings of a traditional yoga studio or meditation space, these next-gen gyms are focusing on buzzy social events, high-tech accessories, and chic accoutrements that you can take home after your soul-boosting session.
Considering the statistics around stress and anxiety experienced by common Canadians, it makes sense that these new spaces are focused on building wellness and mindfulness instead of simply burning calories and building muscle tone. Here are three of our favourites that have opened up or expanded in Toronto this year, and the zen accessories you can buy directly from them to help with your at-home practice, no matter where you live.
MINDSET Brain Gym, Yorkville
The summary: This modern, high-tech “meditation and mental fitness studio” comes complete with cellphone charging stations and brain-wave sensing hardware that emails you a full report post-class. There’s even a private stillness pod, if you’re looking for a quiet place to nap or meditate on your own.
The extras: There’s kombucha on tap in the lobby, and a mellow lounge where you can chill for as long as you want before and after each session.
The pick: The custom-made Mindset Journal, available for $30, encourages daily reflection with mood prompts and encouraging questions.
The Quiet Company, King St. W
The summary: This cozy “modern meditation studio” is decorated with works from local artisans and offers classes that are as short as 15 minutes, making meditation more accessible for busy city types.
The extras: There are cool special events and workshops highlighting everything from sound baths to full moon rituals to classes for new moms.
The pick: The company’s stylish sets, such as this $24 Balance Ritual Kit, are a great way to try out a smudging ceremony at home.
MISFITSTUDIO, various locations
The summary: Misfit has been a popular “movement studio” in Toronto for a few years now, but this summer the company has expanded to three locations, including a pop-up on Geary Avenue in Toronto’s West End. There are intense barre, Reformer, trampoline and classes inspired by yoga, Pilates and dance, as well as low-key classes that focus on active stretching and self-massage.
The perks: Besides the company’s retreats, there are currently fun, themed workshops, including “Intro to Astrology.“
The pick: Designed in collaboration with Toronto-based lingerie label Fortnight, MISFITSTUDIO’s range of black movement wear is stylish enough to wear out on the town. This made-in-Canada cutout bodysuit is $168.
Opening soon: Hoame, Adelaide St. W.
This modern-style meditation studio will span more than 5,000 square feet and offer both light and dark meditation rooms, a Himalayan rock salt cave, infrared sauna, charcoal lemonade and adaptogens on tap, as well as complimentary elixir shots and hot towels after each practice. Opening September 20, 2018, Hoame will also feature monthly pay-what-you-can practices to benefit a range of charitable causes.