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Whether you prefer the downward dog position or a cheeky Japanese ham sandwich, one thing is clear: yoga provides a wide range of proven health benefits that are known to nourish your mind and support your physical wellbeing.
Whilst the beginnings of yoga can be traced back more than 5000 years to the Indus civilization, it has become very popular since being introduced to western cultures in the late 1800s.
Here in Christchurch, there are a wide range of yoga classes, teachers and courses to choose from. This blog provides a brief overview of the most common types of yoga, and details the options on offer around our beautiful city.
Types of yoga
The most common types of yoga offered in Christchurch are Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Bikram, Ashtanga and various adaptations of these underlying practises. You can take adapted classes for prenatal support, postnatal recovery, restorative treatments, light yoga for elderly bodies and more.
Here’s a quick run-down on the differences between the main types of yoga offered in Christchurch:
The term ‘hatha’ translates to ‘force’. Whilst the term ‘Hatha yoga’ is an overarching definition that encompasses a wide range of different types of yoga, this discipline can be understood as involving physical movement and stretches.
“Vinyasa (pronounced “vin-yah-sah”) is a Sanskrit word for a phrase that roughly translates as “to place in a special way,” referring—in hatha yoga—to a sequence of poses. Vinyasa classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. Vinyasa teachers sequence their classes to smoothly transition from pose to pose, with the intention of linking breath to movement, and often play music to keep things lively.”
“Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga as exercise, incorporating principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, with asanas (postures) that are held for longer periods of time. For beginners, asanas may be held from 45 seconds to two minutes”
Also known as ‘hot yoga’, Bikram involves doing a range of Hatha postures for 90 minutes in a heated environment (typically around 35 – 42 degrees celsius).
“Ashtanga is a system of yoga that was brought to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. If you attend an ashtanga class at a studio you will be led nonstop through one or more of the ashtanga series, while being encouraged to breathe as you move from pose to pose. Each series is a set sequence of asanas, always in the same order. It is typically fast-paced, vigorous and physically challenging.”
Where to do Yoga in Christchurch
This A-Z list of yoga teachers and studios in Christchurch is up to date at the time of writing (November 2019). We have included their address and types of yoga offered, as these don’t tend to change very often. For a current timetable and pricing structure, please visit the links below:
- Adapted Yoga and Pilates – this studio offers a flexible blend of yoga styles to suit the needs of their clients. Their main location is at Level 1, 34 Yaldhurst Road, Sockburn but they also operate studio rooms in Halswell, Ilam, Rolleston and Opawa.
- Alive Inside – operated by Doreen Lehmann, her home studio in Opawa/Woolston offers yoga, dance therapy and ‘authentic movement’ classes. She also holds classes in Fendalton, Sumner, Bryndwer and Papanui. Doreen’s specialities are general and gentle yoga.
- Apollo Power Yoga – is a form of Vinyasa yoga that focuses on burning calories and toning your body in a low impact environment. They have studios in the Central City (46 Salisbury Street) and Ferrymead (The Estuary, 2/21-23 Humphreys Drive).
- Barefoot Yoga – Theresa offers group classes in Sumner (Community Centre, 14 Wakefield Avenue) and Templeton (40 Kirk Road). Her sessions include Hatha, Yin, Focus yoga and short 15 minute sessions for office workers.
- https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/ucreccentre/group-fitness/yoga/ – designed for students. Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm. This is Hatha yoga. Canterbury University offers an 8 week course, but you can also drop in casually.
- Catnap Cafe – have you ever thought about doing yoga with a fluffy feline friend? Every Thursday at 6pm, the Catnap Cafe hosts yoga sessions. They are located at 391 Colombo Street, Sydenham.
- Christchurch Hatha Yoga – Gail Baty is an experienced Hatha yoga teacher who hosts classes, in a few locations around Christchurch: Mary Potter Community Centre (442 Durham Street North, Saint Albans), Oxford Terrace Baptist Church Lounge (288 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch Central) and Saint Marks Church (150 Withells Road, Avonhead).
- Christchurch Yoga – Rebecca Boot provides classes in a few places around Christchurch including the City Centre, Lyttleton and Sumner. She offers Nidra yoga, fly high yoga, pregnancy yoga, postnatal yoga, remedial yoga and ‘one on one’ sessions.
- Flow Hot Yoga – located at 25 Mandeville Street, Riccarton, Flow Hot Yoga provides 60 and 90 minute yoga sessions in a heated environment.
- Grassroots Yoga & Health – this studio, located in The Tannery, 3 Garlands Road, Woolston is open 7 days. Here, they offer level 1, 2 and 3 courses, flow yoga, body & soul yoga, chill yoga, restorative yoga, prenatal yoga and yoga for seniors.
- Helen Sian India – Helen hosts yoga classes that are catered towards the needs of women. Her sessions are a mixture of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. You can find her at 17 Jennifer Street, Bryndwr.
- Iyengar Yoga – offers level 1, 2 and 3 yoga plus the basics. Located at 38 Bowhill Road, New Brighton.
- Jess Smith Yoga – Jess offers private classes, group sessions, yoga trainer mentoring and organized events. She can be found at 2 locations: Mount Pleasant Centre and Sumner Yoga Studio. Her discipline is primarily Vinyasa Flow yoga.
- Kate Lillian – Kate is a Bikram yoga teacher at The Sweat Life Studio (Level 2, 46 Salisbury Street, Central City), which she created with help from her father.
- Kundalini Yoga – Elena (Simranpreet Kaur) hosts Kundalini yoga classes at 304 Selwyn Street, Spreydon.
- Pioneer Recreation & Sport Centre – Christchurch City Council even gets involved in yoga! Here, you will find Hatha yoga and restorative yoga classes. The Pioneer Recreation & Sport Centre can be found at 75 Lyttleton Road, Somerfield.
- Pilates & Yoga – here, you will find Yin yoga, restorative yoga, stretching classes and pilates sessions. Located at 340 Avonhead Road, Avonhead.
- Pure Yoga – Anna De Zeeuw organizes retreats around the South Island and also hosts classes in the Banks Peninsula (Little River) and Huntsbury (Community Centre). Further to these events, she also provides private tuition to students.
- Sanctuary Health Yoga – located at 32 Redruth Avenue, Spreydon, this group offers small and friendly classes. They provide level 1 and 2 movements, pregnancy yoga and ‘mums & bubs’ sessions.
- SevaLight Retreat Centre – this is a purpose built facility that offers Hatha yoga and organizes retreats. Their base can be found at 100 Highstead Road, Bishopdale.
- https://www.theyogaplace.co.nz/ – located in Somerfield, Christchurch. Offers classes on yoga fundamentals, yoga levels 1 and 2, and gentle yoga.
- Uprising Yoga – is located at 198 Ferry Road, Waltham. They provide 6 week yoga courses that can be taken at your pace and private sessions, among other things. This building is also home to the bouldering course (like rock climbing, but without harnesses).
- YMCA Christchurch – at the local YMCA centre, you will find Yoga Play. This is a dynamic and fast paced version of Ashtanga yoga. This facility is located at 13a Bishopdale Court, Bishopdale Mall.
- Yoga & Qigong School of Sumner – 42 Nayland Street, Sumner. This school holds classes on beginners yoga, general yoga, shadow yoga and Qigong.
- Yogabase – situated in North Linwood at 113 Woodham Road, this facility provides a form of Iyengar yoga that uses a progrssive and mindful approach to teach students how to realign their posture and work towards balance – both on and off the mat.
- Yoga by Kotte – originally from Chile, Kotte is a renowned yoga expert who hosts classes on Flow yoga, Yin yoga, desk/office yoga, meditation and mindfulness, Glowga (glow in the dark yoga), Broga (yoga for guys), kids yoga and more. Her primary location is at the Ara Recrational Centre, 130 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch Central.
- Yoga Sanctuary – this studio located at 3 Helmores Lane, Central Christchurch features 5 instructors that offer beginner courses, general yoga courses, ‘release and restore’ courses and a pregnancy course.
- Yoga Savitri – here, you will find classes on Yin/Yang yoga, Sivananda Classic Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga, ‘grumpy old mens’ yoga, Classic Hatha Alignment & Flow yoga, gentle Hatha, pilates, Iyengar inspired yoga and pregnancy yoga. They are located at 49 Arnold Street, Sumner.
So many options to choose from!
With an abundance of yoga studios and classes, there is certainly no shortage of choice here in Christchurch!
An important consideration to make when deciding which class to take is how long you are planning to stay in the city for. If you live locally, and have enough time to do a proper course, then it is definitely worth setting aside 5-10 weeks to gain a deeper understanding of the discipline.
Some teachers cater their teachings towards course-style arrangements rather than individual sessions. If you’re only visiting Christchurch for a little while, we recommend that you look for casual classes that are suited to your skill level.
With that in mind, if you are planning to visit Christchurch in the near future, you might be interested in staying at Hotel 115. We are a boutique central city hotel with a tasteful twist. Click here to book directly for the best deal!
November 6, 2019 by Denym Bird