In a neighbourhood known for restaurants, shopping, coffee, and culture, Gastown isn’t always seen as a health and fitness locale.
Within the incredible diversity of the area, a whole little world exists where practitioners of healing, yoga teachers, meditation guides, pole fitness and Pilates instructors, and float house proprietors conjure together to help align your mind, body and spirit.
There are many different options available in Gastown to cater to your health and fitness regimen along with alternative choices to set you on the path of restoration.
The VSOHA (Vancouver School Of Healing Arts), previously Vancouver School of Bodywork & Massage, is a sanctuary of wellness within the neighbourhood. The school offers four student led areas of healing including a massage clinic, yoga therapy, and group yoga classes. The clinic offers bodywork and massage treatments at exceptional value and is open to the public October through June. Treatments include bodywork & massage (individual or couples), shiatsu, and hot stone massage. Sessions can be 60 or 90 minutes and prices range from $30-$65
The Yoga Therapy Clinic employs the principles of yoga in the context of a private, guided yoga session. Yoga therapists work one-on-one to create a unique yoga offering designed to address each individual client’s needs. A 60 min session is $30
If you’re an extrovert or just want to swim with the pack, VSOHA offer by donation yoga classes taught by teachers in the Advanced Yoga Teacher Training program. Drop-ins are welcome or you can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org All Proceeds go to benefit The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.
Zenden is a unique meditation and yoga studio that uses sound along with colour therapy to guide you as you fearlessly open “the door to the other side”.
With stunning views of the North Shore mountains, the intimate studio boasts a frescoed ceiling mural illustrated with love by a talented local artisan. Along with the added use of crystal grids weaving in and out of the clouds, as well as powerful energies of the crystals and focusing sounds from resonant gongs, Zenden is everything you need to ferry you beyond to a deeper sense of consciousness.Zenden uses a glowing spectrum of spiritual tools to help guide you into deep healing and relaxation. Classes include: chakra clearing, reiki circle, symphony sound bath, cards – cacao –sound healing circle, positive vibes, crystal sound mediation, intention sound meditation and a number of different guided meditations. Private sessions are also available with one on one coaching in holistic nutrition, reiki, emotion code, sound healing, and tarot/oracle card reading.
There are plenty of gyms around and just as many yoga studios. Exercise is vital for a healthy life but so is spontaneity. And getting fit should be fun. For those who want to try something totally different from the norm check out Gastown’s Tantra Fitness. Known as the Best Pole Studio in Greater Vancouver, Tantra offers a diverse range of classes in Pole Fitness, Dance Fitness and Aerial Arts, including private classes and a 20 – hour aerial yoga teacher training.
And where better to bring your Stagette / Bachelorette Party than Tantra Fitness. Packages include a pole dancing class with playtime to dance for your friends. You can even upgrade and add a male dancer to the mix!
Reform Pilates is an independent studio offering group and private classes in Pilates.Reform Pilates is committed to identifying inefficiencies in one’s body and empowering the individual to heal problem areas. Classical Pilates offers the science of physiology combined with the benefits of resistance training so that every exercise is designed to challenge and restore the whole body.
Classes include group, semi private (bring a friend) and private sessions. Owner and instructor Marlene Amado has been teaching movement for over 20 years, has extensive experience teaching Pilates. The studio has a neat little shop that carriesquality, local and ethically made and sourced products including Eco Bags, Kaia Naturals, Yoga Toes, Erik Franklin Products, Theraband, Foam Rollers and more.
Metta Healing is one of the neighbourhood’s foremost centres for healing and restoration. Therapies include Acutonics – a sound healing modality based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, essentially ‘Acupuncture without needles’, Traditional Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Phytobiophysics – a comprehensive internal vibrational medicine therapy based on the healing properties of flowers and trees and Holistic Counselling.
Check yourself into the Float House for some serious sensory deprivation and relaxation. The tanks are filled with 10” of warm water with 800 lbs of dissolved Epsom salts. Free from light and sound, you float for up to 90 minutes and sail away into blissful nothingness.
Described as a simple way to achieve profound relaxation, meditation & wellness, floating is a practice where you enter into a float tank (also called an isolation tank or sensory deprivation tank) which is a well-engineered enclosed tub filled with 10″ of water that contains 800 lbs. of dissolved Epsom salts. The individual lies down in the water and floats effortlessly in the nude. The water is heated to the same temperature as the surface of your skin so that when the water settles and you remain relaxed and still, you do not really feel the water anymore. The tank is lightproof, soundproof and has a neutral smell.
All forces of gravity on the musculoskeletal system and nervous system are eliminated from the extreme positive buoyancy; so imagine a space where you don’t feel, see or hear anything. The tank’s extremely unique environment is designed to allow for a minimal amount of sensory input to enter into your nervous system. This environment then has a plethora of benefits and applications for health, personal development, spirituality, and well-being.