It’s now September, and most people say goodbye to summer and transition into their “back to school” routine or life. I remember exactly a year ago I moved to Taipei to start my life as a university student again, learning a new language. At the same time I wanted to maintain my daily yoga classes as I’ve had back in Canada, preparing myself for my yoga teacher training in New Zealand for February 2016, which meant finding a suitable yoga studio to attend classes regularly.
To my disappointment, I did not find a lot of online English information on yoga in Taipei, so I hope by writing this blog post, for those of you who are currently thinking of finding affordable yoga classes in Taipei, this will help you! 🙂
The big fancy yoga studios in Taipei (True Yoga, Pure Yoga, Space Yoga, and Yoga Journey) are very expensive since once has to sign a one year contract with them on top of initial membership fee. These studios are very rigid with their one year contract, so even if you opt out before 12 months is over, you still have to pay the full year. Another undesirable factor in joining these studios is that some of these yoga studios may charge foreigners a higher fee than a local; I found this out when I visited one of the locations of True Yoga. The sales representative told me because I’m a foreigner, I have to pay higher. I found that very discriminatory. Needless to say, I found these big fancy yoga studios unappealing in terms of the high pricing ($150-200 USD/month) and big class size (maximum 50 in a class).
When I was about to give up on ever finding affordable yoga classes with a smaller class size while living in Taipei, an American classmate introduced me to her neighbourhood yoga studio: Bodhi Yoga. At the same time I discovered that if I knew better Mandarin, I would be able to find smaller yoga studios with affordable pricing.
During my year of living in Taipei, I’ve discovered 3 nice affordable places to do yoga, and below, I’ll describe them briefly to you:
What it offers: Hatha Yoga, Hatha Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow, Prenatal Yoga
When: Daily yoga classes from morning (time varies each day) till 8pm at night
Where: They have 2 locations in Taipei, Guting and Songjiang. I’ve only been to the Guting location since it was close to my university and it was convenient to youbike there or take the MRT, as it was right in front of exit 1, Guting MRT.
Cost: drop in fee=$650 NTD, for first time users you can pay this price and get the second class for free (buy one get one free deal)
They also offer various packages for students such as 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 12 months unlimited. Students can also buy 20 class or 40 class package deals. I chose the 3 months package for around $350 USD.
Why:Friendly front desk staff (receptionists) and fellow yogi classmates,a variety of yoga teachers with different styles, small class size (anywhere from 2-15), welcoming atmosphere to relax before and after class (Guting location), free water refill, tea and coffee, yoga mats and props are provided, and many classes offered throughout the day
The spacious sunny yoga studio room
Yoga props that students are free to use for the classes
2. Unison Yoga Taipei
What: Hatha, Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga, Yin Yang Yoga, Dance Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Kids Yoga, Mommy and Baby Yoga
When: daily classes, a few in the morning but most classes are from 12:15pm onwards till 7:30pm as the last class (time varies each day)
Where: It is a relatively new yoga studio, about 13 months old. A few minutes walk from Liuzhangli MRT station.
Cost: first class free, drop in fee=$600 NTD; 10 classes package can be bought for $3600 NTD
Why: Cozy, small classes ranging from 1 student per class to 10, caring and dedicated yoga teachers who take their time to get to know you and chat with you after class if you have any questions, a variety of different creative yoga classes offered such as combining yoga with dance, and there’s also Pilates class, friendly front desk staff, free water refill and light snacks for after class, yoga mats and props are provided, and warm welcoming atmosphere.
3. Yoga in Daan Forest Park (Harmony Yoga)
What: Any type of yoga style according to yoga teacher of the week. It is run by a group of volunteer yoga teachers who teach donation yoga classes weekly.
When: every Sunday at 9am (usually 1 hour class)
Where: Daan Forest Park (their website has a map to show the location in the park)
Cost: whatever you can afford ($200 NTD is a decent amount)
Why: outdoor yoga with sounds of nature and fresh air found in the city
For me, the best part of taking these yoga classes is that they are all in Mandarin, so I was fully immersed in the Mandarin-speaking environment even when doing yoga! 🙂