With their yoga on horseback, all-star teaching rosters, and after-hours yogi dance parties, the Wanderlust Festivals, which continue to grow their number of locations, have quickly become the yoga world’s most buzzed-about event.
To foster the same sense of cool yoga community that’s practiced at the festivals, Wanderlust has gotten into creating permanent yoga studios—in Montreal, Austin, and Squaw Valley so far—franchises which keep the yoga culture alive year-round, addition to a daily schedule of yoga classes.
The Montreal studio, located in the trendy Mile End neighborhood, is owned by Erik Giasson and Genevieve Guerard, and “it was inspired by Kula Yoga Project” in New York City,” studios owned by Schuyler Grant, who’s also Wanderlust Festival’s cofounder.
For that reason, the practice room, with its exposed brick, mason jar lights, and faded paint-insignia at the rear wall, feels like the inside of a hip Williamsburg restaurant (or Kula Willamsburg).
And the Kula teaching style is here, too. “Both Gen and I have done our Kula Yoga Project advanced teacher training—that’s our inspiration for our vinyasa,” Giasson adds. “All of our teachers teach that style.”
There are motifs you’ll recognize “like each class building around a pose,” Giasson says, a Schuyler Grant signature. But that’s where the comparison ends. Classes at Le Studio are offered at beginner, level one, and level two, and are much easier to jump into than at Kula, where true beginners should really take a workshop first. “Our community is younger in their practice,” explains Giasson.
For a level one class, with Andrew Bathory, we spent the first five minutes of the 75-minute-class massaging our own feet, carefully noting the muscles and tendons in each foot. As we moved through the slow-paced vinyasa flow, which built up to a balancing warrior three pose, Bathory constantly worked with the awareness of the feet to ease the transition into standing postures.
The piece de resistance of the Montreal studio is that it features a live musician at one class every day. That evening’s consisted of a talented guitarist playing soft and slow mood music. Just FYI, it was not a member of Arcade Fire. —Jamie McKillop
Who’s it for: Yogis who don’t need their head to explode during vinyasa, those who appreciate a really pretty studio, or who dig live music with their vinyasa
Note: Some teachers instruct in English or French, so check in advance. While you’re unlikely to get sweaty during class (unless you take level two), there are showers and hairdryers in the women’s bathroom.
$17 (CAD), 7 Avenue Laurier Est, Montréal, QC, www.montreal.wanderlustyoga.com