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Five Places for Yoga Enthusiasts in Ottawa’s Original Downtown

June 21, 2024

June is a special time of year for yoga practitioners across the world. Not only does today mark the International Day of Yoga, but the bright and sunny weather this time of year makes for the ideal conditions to still the mind and unite with the natural world! Yoga is a fantastic method of promoting physical and spiritual wellness as it helps to relieve stress, reduce pain and soreness and improve strength and balance, among many other benefits.

Whether you’ve been interested in giving yoga a shot but haven’t gotten around to it or if you’ve been practicing yoga for many years, now is the perfect time to start, or continue, your yoga journey!

Practice Your Downward Facing Dog in a Green Space

Yoga is best performed outside on grass as you get to breathe in the fresh air and reconnect with nature. Because of this, Ottawa’s Original Downtown is the perfect place to bring your mat (in case the grass is wet and slippery), your towel and a water bottle for an outdoor session. Its preponderance of outdoor parks and green spaces make it easy to find the perfect spot for some yoga. Practice in full view of major historical landmarks at Major’s Hill Park or watch the boats go by along the Rideau Canal at Confederation Park – the natural beauty of the area is a fantastic complement to a yoga session!

Any one of the extensive green spaces in Ottawa’s Original Downtown are the ideal place for an outdoor yoga session on a sunny day. (Image: India in Canada)

Gear Up with a New Yoga Outfit at CF Rideau Centre

It should come as no surprise that dressing appropriately is essential for a successful yoga session. You’ll be moving and stretching in a wide variety of positions, some of which may feel unfamiliar to you, so it’s best to wear an outfit made of flexible, breathable fabric that will allow you to move and sweat freely.

If you don’t have a suitable outfit or are looking to purchase a new one, the CF Rideau Centre has several retailers fully stocked with high-end yoga wear! Alo is one of the latest additions to Rideau’s lineup of stores and features yoga outfits made with their signature fabrics designed to maximize ease of movement and a comfortable fit. Or check out stores like Athleta and Lululemon, both of whom are equally eco-conscious and committed to making top-of-the-line activewear for all purposes, including yoga.

Alo’s products combine high performance with environmental mindfulness to create truly top-of-the-line activewear.

Try Some New Poses with Friends at the Ottawa Art Gallery  

For a unique twist on the traditional yoga experience, why not surround yourself with breathtaking works of art during your next session? The Ottawa Art Gallery’s Art + Yoga Sessions allow participants to situate themselves inside the exhibitions hosted at the OAG. You’ll be able to admire some of the finest works by local artists throughout your session, allowing you to forge a profound connection between art and the self. There will be two Art + Yoga sessions this month (June 5th at 5:30 p.m. and June 16th at 10:30 a.m.), both of which are an opportunity to experience a “fully rounded art and wellness experience.”

Practice your yoga while surrounded by stunning works of art in a one-of-a-kind experience offered exclusively at the Ottawa Art Gallery. (Image: 24 Hr Yogapalooza)

Fuel Your Body and Mind at Pure Kitchen

Yoga is as much an activity as it is a lifestyle, with its values reflected in the diets of its followers. These include the core yogic tenets of ahimsa (doing no harm to living things), sattva (having a tranquil heart and clear mind) and saucha (reducing body impurities by eating organic foods). Without a doubt, there is no place in the nation’s capital that embraces these ideas more earnestly or effectively than Pure Kitchen! The menu is designed with yoga in mind and consists exclusively of locally sourced, organically grown, plant-based products that make no sacrifices with respect to taste. From their Profound Pad Thai to their Crispy Chick’un Sandwich, their vegan menu has everything you could want to refuel your body and mind before or after a yoga sesh!

For a meal that fits with your yoga-based lifestyle, the plant-based menu at Pure Kitchen is the best place to fuel up before or after a yoga session!

Read Up on Yoga at a Book Store or the Library

For the ever-curious yogi or yogini who’s eager to learn as much as they can to further their spiritual journey, there are many places you can look for literature on yoga along Rideau Street! Readers off all ages and experience levels are sure to find some helpful books at Indigo in the CF Rideau Centre, from Miriam Gates’ “Good Night Yoga” to Lynn Lehmkuhl’s “Chair Yoga for Seniors.” Enjoy looking for used books on sale? Pay a visit to All Books next to the ByTowne Cinema and see what’s available. Or visit the local library and ask the staff what’s available.

Visit stores such as Indigo in the Rideau Centre to browse a wide selection of engaging reading material regarding yoga and its benefits.