The beauty and majesty of the Canadian Rockies is evident. With soaring glacier-capped peaks, exquisite blue-green alpine lakes and nature’s eye candy at every turn, it is indeed the perfect place to zen out. Now imagine yourself taking a deep breath in of crisp, clean mountain air, reaching your arms to the sky and effortlessly flowing through a round of sun salutations in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Discover 5 sweet spots to get your yoga on in Banff & Lake Louise.
1. Yoga with a view
Drop-in for a class and unwind in the cozy setting of Banff’s very own Rocky Mountain Yoga. With a variety of all-levels classes from relaxing Yin, to strength building Flow, there is something for everyone to enjoy as you relax, find your OM and enjoy the stunning mountain views. Your visit may also coincide with one of their many workshop offerings such as a Spring Yin Detox, Crystal Bowl Sound Journey or Ayurveda Light on Asana and Pranayama. Check their schedule as new workshops and amazing events are happening throughout the year.
2. Mountaintop Yoga
Soar to new heights in your yoga practice with Mountain Top Yoga at the Banff Gondola on Sulfur Mountain. This hour-long yoga class takes place on the last Sunday of each month with a Lululemon instructor. Space is limited so be sure to register early. With your gondola ride included to get you to the top of the mountain, you are guaranteed an elevated experience in all ways. Or for those who prefer to ‘earn’ their yoga class, get an earlier start and hike the 5.5km to Sulfur Mountain summit blissing out on the expansive views of Banff and the Bow Valley along the way.
3. Banff Yoga Festival 2018
The Banff Yoga Festival will be rocking the yoga scene in the Rockies from June 1-3 and will be at the top of any yoga-lovers must-do list. Enjoy the power of practice in nature, in Banff National Park and take in classes with renowned teachers. Check off your yoga bucket list with workshops and unique experiences suitable for all levels of yogi that include Mountain Meditation, SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard) yoga, Yoga 101 Intro sessions, farm-to-table dinner at The Bison Restaurant & Terrace, live music, vendor markets and more.
4. Yoga at the Chateau
Heading further west to Lake Louise and to one of the most photographed backdrops in the Rockies, add a little luxury and join one of the many Yoga + Wellness Retreat programs offered by the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Recharge on Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga Retreats from March to December. You will deepen your connection and presence through seated meditation, deep relaxation, mindful eating and mindful walking in nature. All-levels yoga classes are offered twice daily, allowing you to recalibrate mind, body and spirit while immersed in the energy of Lake Louise beauty and magic.
BONUS: Some hidden gems
We were sworn to secrecy but know some of you would love to get away from the crowds and plug into a little more solitude to leave the stresses of life behind. Below are our top two secret local spots for yoga and meditation that require a little more effort to get there (but are so worth the hike).
Set in the alpine meadows below Sentinel Pass are the Minnestimma Lakes (12km, 5hrs). These beautiful little reflective pools are the perfect setting for finding a quiet space to salute the sun and the grandeur of the surrounding Valley of the Ten Peaks and Mt. Temple at your back.
The Big Beehive (11km, 4hrs) above Lake Louise offers panoramic views in all directions. Drink in the views of Mt. Victoria, Lake Agnes, Lake Louise, and Mt. Saint Piran. Then close your eyes, inhale the pure scent of nature, bring your hands together in front of your heart, feel your body settle into the stability of the ground beneath you, and exhale the gratitude that you feel inside of you.
Be sure to check with Parks Canada for the latest trail conditions before heading into the backcountry.