I’m not going to lie, I felt so cliche while I was walking to my Oxygen Yoga class! Blonde girl walking to a yoga studio, with a yoga mat, black leggings, hair in a top knot, Lululemon bag and a green drink in hand. I feel like if I threw the Valencia filter on myself, it would have completed my look.
Days are shorter and that cold crisp feeling is back in the air, but when I walked into Oxygen Yoga and Fitness studio – it felt like summer again! Owner Kate Marshall, this blue-eyed bombshell, welcomed me with a big hello and I immediately felt pumped for a work out!
I couldn’t help but note how the studio was so trendy with funky lights and high ceilings, which made sense after Kate told me Janelle Langevin of Elle Creative Inc. designed the studio.
“We coupled with a contractor, Eco-Construction, who also builds Kit & Ace stores for them, so it was a really good synergy working for them… and we did try to go with a lot of really natural elements, so natural cork floor, all of our benches and majority of our counter tops are Douglas Fir live edge from Nelson, B.C.”
Growing up on the island, Kate was constantly involved with competitive sports (full contact football and rugby) playing on national teams in the U.S. and Cayman Islands.
“I always did yoga to compliment all the craziness that was going on with my body. So whether it was concussions or tears or sprains, yoga was always something that I went to to make myself feel better. It always made me feel super rad!”
Vancouver has almost as many yoga studios as it does coffee shops, including Y Yoga, Westcoast Hot Yoga and Chopra Yoga.
Why Yaletown – location of all locations? Kate smiles and tells me that she loves the city and wants to be in the mix, to build a name for her passion project, in arguably the hardest market to open a yoga studio.
“I don’t want a walk in the park! I know that sounds weird, but something that’s a walk in the park is boring.”
With big players in the ring, Kate explains to me that she doesn’t look at them as competition, she is focussed on making her studio unique by offering a variety of classes; from relaxing hot yoga to butt-kicking fitness with cardio and weights.
The studio is fully equipped with 31 spa grade infrared panels. Kate explained these panels are what you would find at an infrared spa or in the same environment that a physiotherapist would prescribe for an injury.
“Your traditional hot yoga room heats the air around you. You start sweating to cool down. That’s really how being in a hot studio, or a hot area works. The infrared, what it actually does, it’s actually centrally heating your muscles. So it heats an inch and a half to two inches into your skin, gets your muscles working and that’s what you actually feel that heats you up.”
Kate explained there are more benefits for the body from infrared heating:
- Skin Detoxification
- Promotes Immune System
- Overall Health
Flashing a smile, Kate tells me I’ll feel it during the Fast & Furious Fusion class I signed up for.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was told this particular class is a combination of yoga, pilates and fitness. I knew I was going to feel it after the long weekend!
When I walked into the studio, I told my reflection in the big mirrors staring back at me – lets do this!
It wasn’t until I set up my mat that I began to feel the warmth in my body, unlike other studios I’ve been to where you feel the heavy humidity in the air.
There is Kate getting ready with a headset and house music playing loud – I don’t think we’re in just any regular yoga class, Toto.
My butt got handed to me! Kate kept me going with upbeat energy, good music and constant body movement. You name it, we did it. Anaerobic moves from weighted squat jumps to pulsing yoga moves.
At the end of the night I felt badass and ready to take on the night, farthest from a calm yogi.
Oxygen Yoga and Fitness is having their Grand Opening this Saturday, September 12th from 10am – 4pm. I highly recommend checking it out!
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