The Trendiest Wellness Classes to Try This Fall

Our digital editor highlights the most buzz-worthy exercise, meditation and other feel-good classes popping up on studio schedules this season.

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wellness trends fall 2019
Photo Credit: Pexels

It wasn’t until I started my position as the digital editor at Best Health three months ago that I realized my wellness routine had gone stale. It consisted primarily of Tracy Anderson video workouts, the goop podcast, and the odd woo-woo trend like a tarot card reading or something with crystals. I thought I had all my bases covered—I was targeting my mind, body, and spirit. But by not challenging myself with something new, I realized I was limiting my mind, body, and spirit. So, I started incorporating new classes into my routine, and I feel like everything’s improved: My posture’s better, I’m more flexible, I’m sleeping better, and I’m happier.

Ready to freshen up your wellness routine? Best Health assistant digital editor, Alyssa Ball, and I rounded up some of the coolest classes on the scene this season. Keep checking back as we report on the latest classes we’ve tried and loved.

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wellness trends fall 2019

A yoga class that improves your aura


Class: Be Radiant (Kundalini Yoga)

What is it?

In the Be Radiant class, the focus is on Kundalini Yoga, which is an ancient practice used to strengthen the energy that surrounds you. It combines standard yoga poses with loud, energizing music, the soothing smell of palo santo, mantras, chants, and some interesting movements. Creator of MISFITSTUDIO Amber Joliat warns, “all we ask is that you show up with an open mind and an open heart because Kundalini gets real weird!”

(Not sure about Kundalini? Here’s how to choose the right type of yoga for you.)

Why is it so hot right now?

“Collectively, we are going through so many shifts and transitions—with the earth, world politics, and in our personal lives—that may leave us feeling depleted,” says Joliat. “Seeking connection seems to be high on everyone’s priority list.” She decided to offer the class to remind people how to be fully present. At a time when we’re all addicted to our phones, we’ve become accustomed to tuning out rather than tuning in, she says. But this class demands your full attention, and so it trains you to live in the now.

What are the benefits?

Kundalini Yoga is called the “practice of the presence.” It can teach you to be mindful and have patience. “It’s about learning to connect rather than going through life on autopilot,” says Joliat. What’s more, many of the moves in this class work to rid yourself of negative energy—to “clear blockages,” as Joliat says—which can improve your aura.

Who should take this class?

It’s not physically challenging, especially for those who’ve tried yoga, so this class is really for everyone. Joliat says, “It inspires resilience, transformation, and the ability we all have to tap into our own radiance,” and I have to agree. If you’re going through heartache or coming out of a difficult situation, this class can help you rid yourself of negative energy and thoughts that are impacting your life in a detrimental way. (Learn about the surprising way positive thinking can transform your life.)

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wellness trends 2019

An adult ballet class

Where: GOH Ballet

Class: Adult Classical Ballet

What is it?

Goh Ballet’s classical ballet class for adults gives you the chance to learn traditional ballet—the kind you wish you learned when you were younger. “We want to emphasize that ballet is not just for little girls, but that this gracefully engaging art-form has a place in your weekly routine,” says Chan Hon Goh, Director for GOH Ballet.  Piano music plays throughout the class creating a calming setting—which can help keep you calm if you, like me, fumble your way through a few repetitions of sus-sous.

Why is it so hot right now?

“In 2019, as we increasingly search for new and more creative ways to challenge our bodies, there has been a resurgence in the number of adults taking ballet and barre classes to keep fit throughout North America,” says Goh. Why? Because it’s a challenging long-term goal we can work towards. Unlike other workouts, ballet takes time to learn and master (or, at least, to look good doing it), and there’s always an area that can be perfected. That, or we’re all wanting to live out our dream of being Heather Ogden.

What are the benefits?

One benefit you can notice after your very first class is improved posture. The teachers can show you how to align your body (are your shoulders perfectly aligned with your hips? They should be!) and the proper way to carry yourself. After a few classes, you may notice a change in your body. The fundamental ballet techniques taught in the class can shape, strengthen, and lengthen muscles, says Goh. They can also improve your strength and flexibility. What’s more? After a few clumsy jetés across the dance floor, you’ll be sure to develop humility.

Who should take this class?

Everyone is welcome—even the graceless. GOH offers adult classes in three levels, including an intro class. Keep in mind that if you’re determined to improve your technique and ensure your perfect posture sticks, you’ll need the time to go as often as possible.

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wellness trends fall 2019

A meditation class that uses acupuncture needles

Where: Hoame

Class: Needles

What is it?

Hoame’s Needles class is a guided meditation session that’s enhanced with acupuncture. In the studio’s dimly lit, plant-accented room, you’re first directed through a shimmy-and-shake warm-up that helps your body loosen up. Then, you’re guided through a meditation while a Registered Acupuncturist places one acupuncture needle in the crown of the head, which can help deepen the meditation.

Why is it so hot right now?

“Many people are interested in acupuncture but can find it intimidating, so we find this class is an easy introduction to acupuncture,” say Stephanie Kersta MSc, RP and Carolyn Plater-Zyberk MSW, RSW, the co-founders of Hoame. Plus, you’re getting the benefits of two wellness practices in one—perfect for those of us who like to multi-task.

What are the benefits?

We all know the endless benefits of meditation—Improved sleep! Increased focus! Decreased stress and anxiety! Improved mood!—but coupled with acupuncture, the benefits are enhanced. You’ll be overcome with a sense of calm and overall feelings of well-being, say Kersta and Plater-Zyberk. My tip? For best results, get a seat at the back. Otherwise, you may be paranoid the foot of the fidgety person behind you will get a little too close to the needle in your head.

Who should take this class?

Anyone can benefit from the combination of meditation and acupuncture. “It’s an easy introduction to acupuncture while in a safe and comforting space with a meditation teacher and acupuncturist,” say Kersta and Plater-Zyberk. It’s especially good for those who have a hard time keeping their mind from drifting when meditating (hello!). The needle helps to keep your attention where it should be—right here in the present moment.

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A hot barre class for those with limited time

Where: Bolo

Class: HotSweatBarre Express

What is it?

HotSweatBarre Express is a thirty-minute barre-inspired workout that takes place in BOLO’s signature infrared hot room, where the temperature can reach up to 37 degrees Celcius. It’s low-impact—no jumping or cardio—and uses small movements to target and tone muscles in the arms, back, shoulders, and abs. I asked our assistant digital editor, Alyssa Ball, to give the class a shot, and she described it as a total sweat session that was easy on the body. She felt her upper half got an intense workout—with shoulder pulses, planks, and weighted holds—but experienced no sore muscles the following day.

Why is it so hot right now?

“For the last five years or so, the Barre trend —think pilates meets ballet—has become one of the hottest trends in fitness,” says BOLO Founder & CEO Caleigh Rykiss. “But, BOLO never does things at face value.” So, she decided to offer a class that would meet all of her clients’ needs: one that was fast, fun, and effective. With HotSweatBarre, the focus is on the upper body and getting an intense workout in a short amount of time. The class certainly seems to be exactly what her clients are looking for—it’s packed. Alyssa advises: Go early and claim your seat on the right, which is supposed to be a little less hot!

What are the benefits?

If you want to detox and get rid of what feels like every single toxin inside of you, this class will do just that, Alyssa tells me. Chances are you’ll sweat more than you ever thought was possible—which can be a really good thing. Infrared heat has amazing benefits—it can help the body detox, improve mobility, and even soothe sore muscles, says Rykiss. (Even without the heat, barre has amazing benefits.)

Who should take this class?

If you have low blood pressure, like me, you should not take this class, as you could be more likely to feel dizzy and/or faint. If your blood pressure is more normal and you’re a fan of the heat, you’re welcome to try, regardless of your fitness level or age. “Because the class is a little shorter and totally low impact,” says Rykiss, “it is really suitable for anyone at any stage in their fitness game.” But, she and Alyssa both stress the importance of staying hydrated throughout the workout. Not sure if you can take the heat? Ask your doctor to make sure it’s right for you.

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Image Credit: @jjuelee

A yoga class that utilizes the powerful benefits of touch

Where: Feelosophy (at Toronto’s Stackt Market October 2–9)

Class: All the Feels

What is it?

Feelosophy describes the class as “napping in shapes paired with massage,” which pretty much sums it up. This class doesn’t concentrate on stretching and flexibility—it’s more about relaxation and feeling connected to others. “We will shift the perspective of touch,” says Ashley Brodeur, founder of The Feelosophy, “moving away from sexual intention or expectation, towards a shared, human, communal connection.” In the class, Ashley tells you to close your eyes and directs you to move into different sleep-like positions. She then goes around to everyone in the class and presses or gently squeezes your shoulders, head, arms, torso, or legs, which helps you relax a little more.

What is it so hot right now?

“Feelosophy focuses on connection,” says Brodeur. “We use touch so people can feel that connection from another person.” We all know we’re in the middle of a loneliness epidemic, which, naturally, is caused in large part to our tech. “People are starved for connection and touch,” says Brodeur.  Some of us are choosing to be single, some of us are living away from family, and some of us work from home, alone—so many of us are experiencing decreased social interaction. This class helps connect you with others and feel less alone.

What are the benefits?

“Besides releasing oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, touch can be reassuring and calming,” says Brodeur. It can help reduce anxiety and it communicates empathy, support, and reassurance. “And that’s exactly what Feelosophy offers,” says Brodeur, “mixed in with movement and fitness.”

Who should take this class?

This class is especially good for anyone feeling lonely. It isn’t as intimidating (or awkward?) as a cuddle party sounds—but you can reap the same feel-good benefits. The class is particularly good for anyone recovering from physical or even emotional pain. It provides you with time to relax—and a helping hand to do so.

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Image Credit: 889 Community

A yoga class that helps you heal from the inside out

Where: 889 Community

Class: The Healing

What is it? 

This class takes place in a lush, sun-lit studio and only requires one thing of you: to show up open-minded—which is exactly what I (assistant digital editor, Alyssa Ball) did. 

Before the class begins, DeZutter asks you to pick from two tarot card decks to help you set an intention for the class. The key to choosing the right card for you? Hover your hand over the cards, and when your hand feels a slight tingle, you know your energy has guided you to your match. I chose the Ace of Wands and Cobra, which both stand for being open to new beginnings. (I found this to be a fun idea to fall back on throughout the meditation to help stop my mind from wandering.)

After you choose your tarot cards, you’re guided through simple meditations while receiving hands-on reiki healing, which “assist in inviting in balance,” says Vanessa DeZutter, yoga instructor at 889 Community. This class works to replenish the body’s energy systems to leave you feeling well-rested and recharged. 

Why is it so hot right now?

“We decided to launch this class, The Healing, as a way to serve our community in a broader context outside of our movement classes,” says DeZutter. “We love that this class is an accessible entry point for anyone who is eager to start a meditation practice, and serves as a catalyst for growth, both spiritually and otherwise.” She notes autumn as being the time people truly start to listen to the call of mindfulness. 

What are the benefits?

The benefits are vast and often vary from person to person. Benefits can include clarity and peace of mind, and relief of physical tension, pain and symptoms of stress, says DeZutter. It can also help to “detoxify your body and increase the vibrational frequency inside your physical body.” 

During the reiki portion of the class, a healer came around and placed her hands on my ankles. Warmth radiated out of her palms, and a tingly sensation flooded up my entire body. Finally… I was still.

After class, I asked DeZutter why the reiki healer was drawn to my ankles and not any other part of my body. It was “to help me stay grounded,” DeZutter tells me, suspecting I felt uneasy with what was taking place. And I was uneasy, thanks to an unpleasant previous experience with a reiki healer at a different studio. But this time, I left in a state of pure bliss.

Who should take this class?

Being that anyone can benefit from this type of healing, everyone is welcome to try this transformative class. “You can think of reiki and meditation practices like an energetic bath,” says DeZutter. “Just as you cleanse and wash your physical body, your energy system and mind need the same kind of attention and maintenance.” This class can help you expel any negative energy your body has accumulated over the course of the day—or even a lifetime.

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weighted ball workout
Image Credit: Barreworks

A barre-inspired circuit training class

Where: Barreworks

Class: BarreBurnOut

What is it?

“The class revolves around mini sequences of three exercises that are repeated,” says Nicole Rosove, communications director at Barreworks. “We concentrate on repetition to burn out muscles.” Bands, weighted balls, and the barre are used to help sculpt muscles. Think of it as barre on steroids—you’re doing all the same movements, but you’re doing them faster, and you’re doing a lot more of them.

Why is it so hot right now?

It attracts those who love a barre workout, those who like to sweat, and those who are looking for a new challenge. “With barre, the focus is on muscle definition and tone, which can mean you don’t sweat as much as you would in a cardio-focused class,” says Rosove. But when you add circuit training, like in BarreBurnOut, you have an intensified barre class that is sure to make you break a sweat.

What are the benefits?

“Barre is modeled off of functional fitness,” says Rosove. “It’s the idea of doing exercises that help you in your everyday life.” The muscles targeted in barre are the ones required to perform daily tasks—like picking up groceries or just walking up the stairs. “The class helps to ensure those muscles are as strong as possible,” says Rosove. Need more of a reason to try the class? Here are all the amazing benefits of barre.

Who should take this class?

“We designed the class for our clients who have been coming regularly, but are looking for a new challenge,” says Rosove. “It’s for the ones who want to sweat and feel the burn.” Rosove suggests starting with the Mixed Level class to get used to the barre before trying BarreBurnOut. But, there’s no prerequisite, so anyone with an active background can feel confident to try the class. “Our instructors are constantly watching everyone in their class, so if they see anyone struggling, they will suggest a modification,” says Rosove.

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Photo Credit: Tachyon Healing Centre

A spiritual portal for healing

Where: Tachyon Healing Centre

Class: Tachyon Chamber

What is it?

The Tachyon Chamber is a space where you can experience a high concentration of Tachyon energy. (Tachyon is a natural energy source made up of subatomic particles that move faster-than-light.) This “energy field”—as Linda Chau, owner of Tachyon Healing Centre, likes to call the chamber—is a unique healing space that tends to your personal journey. “Everything from gaining greater clarity on certain life matters to healing on both an emotional and physical level,” she says. 

After going through her own life-changing experience with Tachyon energy in Sedona, Arizona, Chau felt called to bring Ontario’s first Tachyon Chamber to Toronto. Curious about her experience, I (assistant digital editor, Alyssa Ball) decided to give a 60-minute session a try. 

Why is it so hot right now?

“Collectively, we are becoming more and more open to the diverse ways we can get in touch with our spirituality and our higher consciousness, as well as the range of different ways we can heal and empower ourselves,” says Chau. Plus, it’s a fitting space for those who are looking to strengthen their spiritual journey.

(If your in search of a spiritual vacation, learn why Sedona, Arizona is a go-to for good vibes.)

What are the benefits?

Embracing Tachyon into your journey is another way to expand your spiritual practice—and depending on your openness to receive, you have the potential to experience exponential benefits. “Everyone’s experience in the chamber is different,” Chau tells me. “Some people experience visions or past life regressions, meanwhile some cry throughout their entire session.” 

Here are some other experiences that can occur:

  • Activation and balancing of chakras.
  • Assist mental clarity (stress, emotional, spiritual blockages).
  • Assist body for physical subatomic healing of discomfort, illness and pain relief.
  • Spiritual ascension.
  • Deep relaxation.
  • Deepen or unlock psychic journey.
  • Open and/or strengthen Third Eye. (New to meditation? Here’s your beginner’s guide.)

As I sat in the chamber—hands clutched onto meditation rods, while a Tachyonized weighted blanket, eye mask and noise-cancelling headset muddled my senses—to be present, was my only option. But after a few minutes (or, what I can only assume) in the chamber, things took an unexpected turn: I began to cry.

Not long after, my tears suddenly came to a halt and I experienced nothing more than a calming, tingly sensation that overtook my body throughout the rest of the session. I then awoke to Chau lightly pressing on my ankles. 

Serene yet troubled by my unexpected sob, I wanted to know why it didn’t last very long—so I asked Chau. “You simply stopped what was bubbling to the surface,” she uttered, suspecting that I was too in my head. Chau advises: Be open to receiving whatever it is that you experience in the chamber. 

Who should take this class?

Everyone is welcome! And as with any type of healing practice, it’s always best to arrive with an open mind.

Although Tachyon energy can remain with you for up to two weeks post-session, keep in mind that there’s no set guideline for how often to visit the chamber. “If an individual feels the need to come weekly, check in every month or year, or do a sequence of days in a row, it is up to them,” says Chau. Just listen to your intuition and you’ll find the answer.

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