"Body awareness" is a central point, agreed teacher Melonie Nielsen.
But it doesn't stop there.
Because it combines poses and movement with motionless meditation, serious exertion with deep relaxation, yoga is a discipline for both body and mind.
"People come in for the workout at first," said Nielsen, of Vancouver Yoga Center, also downtown.
Even ambitious students who want to train as instructors "start out saying, 'I don't care about the philosophy, I just want to learn the stretching and the fitness.'"
Those are the same people, Nielsen
said, who come to realize that yoga has exceeded their expectations - touching something deeper than the muscles and the spine.
"Yoga takes your busy, fragmented life, and pulls all the pieces together," Nielsen
"Everybody is struggling with something," Nielsen