From intensive workouts in hot rooms to mellow meditation classes, Brussels' yogis can choose from a diverse pack of studios | Courtesy of Brussel Yoga Loft
Whether you’re doing it to find some much-needed inner peace in a hectic world, to improve your stamina or even to obtain a Gwyneth Paltrow-like bod, the benefits of yoga are widely known. Its relaxing effects might be especially useful in a buzzing metropolis like Brussels, which is why we’ve rounded up the five best studios in town for you.
The Brussels Yoga Loft
The Yoga Loft takes advantage of beautiful weather by moving classes into the green surroundings of the majestic Cinquantenaire Park | Courtesy of The Yoga Loft Brussels
Aiming for an intimate experience at every turn, founder Barbara is still as passionate about Ashtanga yoga as she was ten years ago when she was one of the first to introduce this intense style to Brussels. Her studio has grown quite a bit since, attracting new teachers and new styles of yoga to love. And while two new studios are set to open soon – one near Châtelain and one in Waterloo – the intention of the Yoga Loft remains the same. Adamant about maintaining an intimate vibe, teachers know their pupils’ names and which particular pose they struggle with the most. Moms-to-be will be happy to know there are special classes for pregnant yogis, and their drop-in policy is especially handy when your schedule becomes mayhem after the baby is born. Sunny weekends are for special outdoor sessions in the Cinquantenaire Park.
Though located at the bustling Dansaert area, Sampoorna classes easily make you forget about hectic city life for a precious hour and a half | Courtesy of Sampoorna Yoga Studio
A white, spacious studio in the stylish Dansaert quarter, Sampoorna Yoga Studio is an excellent pick for yogis hoping to follow up their Sunday session with brunch at a hip eatery/coffee place such as Le Pain Quotidien orOr Coffee.The Sampoorna teachers are sure to leave you with a rumbling stomach since it’s advised not to eat two hours before a class and the Hatha yoga style the studio likes to focus on provides quite the workout. Daily classes, student discounts and kids’ and teens’ yoga make sure this spot is always bustling with a dynamic energy.
Ever heard of those classes where people glistening with sweat perform yoga poses for 90 minutes in a room heated up to a sweltering 41 degrees celsius? That’s called Bikram yoga, and Sophie Vanmoerkerke, owner of Bikram Yoga Louise on the exclusive Avenue Louise, swears by it. While some novices tremble at the thought of showing up to a session with experienced yogis participating, classes in Sophie’s hot yoga studio require no experience – or even balance, for that matter. Just going through the motions and letting your body detoxify in the most intensive way possible is enough of a workout, even for the pros (who’ll be focusing on their own body, not yours). The goal of Bikram is not to get perfect at it, it’s simply to do it, which is a great source of comfort to the most uncoordinated amongst us.
Walking into Serendip Spa in Ixelles, you’d soon forget you’re in a buzzing metropolis. Dedicated to relaxation in more ways than one, the wellness venue has also carved out an essential spot for itself on the Brussels yoga scene. The busy city-dweller who works and parties hard will especially appreciate their ‘drop-in at any time’ attitude, whether you want to join a class after work or even during your lunch break.
On the other – way more mellow side – of the yoga spectrum, we find a tranquil studio in the commune of Vorst. With a name meaning either ‘peace’, ‘tranquility’ or ‘bliss’, Shanti Home goes beyond teaching traditional styles such as Sivananda and Yin yoga. Mindfulness workshops are hosted to practise being more aware during everyday situations, and Sanskrit mantra chanting sessions provide a very powerful experience. Besides these, a whole array of special relaxation and meditation classes are hosted in Shanti Home’s soothing space, which looks out onto a pleasant patch of greenery.