Iqaluit’s first yoga studio has officially opened in the city’s lower base neighbourhood.

It began with a radical transformation.

“It was a dump,” says studio owner Christine Lamothe of the little orange house she recently purchased. “It was dark and dirty and we just gutted it completely from the inside."

Lamothe and her partner spared no expense turning the space into an oasis of calm, from hardwood floors and soundproof walls to modern swipe cards and a Tibetan prayer bowl.

Local yoga enthusiasts are thrilled.

Saimavik Studio

The Saimavik Studio lies in Iqaluit's lower base neighbourhood. (CBC)

“It’s beautiful, it’s a good size and it’s well-located,” says Angelique Dignard. “It’s very zen. It’s very nice.”

"I've noticed it's making a huge difference already, just to have it in the middle of my typically quite stressful workday,” says Charlotte Sharkey.

The studio is named Saimavik: place of happiness, using the Inuktitut term for "place of peace and tranquility.”

Lamothe even incorporates northern traditions by lighting a qulliq, the traditional Inuit lamp, at the end of her classes.

Saimavik currently offers yoga, pilates, tango, salsa and samba classes.

Lamothe hopes the studio will mean more people will take an interest into the ancient art of yoga.