Sister Act: Suspension yoga review

Our pictures turned out terrible, so we stole these from The Flying Yogi’s website. Thanks internet!


What: Suspension Yoga Introductory Workshop
When: Saturday @ 2:30pm
Where: The Flying Yogi (245 Carlaw Street)
Who: Beatrix Montanile

Jill’s Story:

First, I have to say how very proud of Erin I am. She is doing so good with her 30 day challenge! I am impressed. I think this experience may actually convert her to a real yogi, and not someone who goes to yoga just for the work out and feeling of kicking butt! Who am I kidding? This is Erin. She probably will never understand the whole mind body connection, or at least never admit it. She will appreciate (or loathe) yoga in a new way, however, when this is over. I’m hoping for the appreciation part, but betting on the hating part. Erin is changing. I can sense it because after Saturday’s whole suspension yoga experience I think she may have enjoyed it more than I.

Remember way back when at the Yoga Show when Erin and I tried suspension yoga for the first time. Erin was disgusted with hanging upside down. All the blood rushing to your head so fast was a bit overwhelming. Me? I was giddy and loving life, but that’s to be expected from me after any yoga experience. Then we did partner yoga and the day got even better. Then I think I went to a class that night… most likely I did.

So, a week ago Erin emailed me that WagJag had a $20 deal for suspension yoga at the Flying Yogi. I was all over this! I’ll try anything after all. I don’t know if it was my run from the morning (my first official Team In Training run was earlier this morning) but I was not completely in the headspace for flying today. This could very well be from waking up at 6am for my 8am run or the fact I accidentally got mixed the full marathon crowd and ran 11k instead of the scheduled 5k. Oops.

Whatever the reasoning was for me feeling off my yoga game, I did like the fact that suspension yoga is literally doing yoga in the air! And some poses required you to wrap yourself completely up in the OmGym (the hammock like apparatus you are strapped to). Suspension yoga savasana is the best. And with a little John Mayer’s Gravity playing in the back ground (very clever!) I could have stayed swinging all afternoon. I did like the inversions, but there were a few too many for me today. Like I said I think I was a little off to really enjoy them fully. And I couldn’t for the life of me wrap my legs around the hammock in the right way on my own. This did not make me happy.

I’m not going to give up on suspension yoga and I think every yogi should give it a try at least once. You will feel poses in a new way, while having some fun while you’re at it. The feeling of giddiness came straight back to me once it was all done, but this time it was mixed with a slight feeling of nausea and a bit of a weird headache. All effects of post flying. As fun as it was, I wouldn’t practice suspension yoga all the time. I’m too tied to moving on the mat with my feet on the ground. May be that’s my problem?

Either way, I will for sure do this again. Maybe next time not after running 11k. There’s a thought.


This is basically what we did, but our version was far less graceful.


Erin’s story:

Jill is too much of an optimist. She claims it’s yoga, but I think it’s just her.

Anyway, suspension yoga. Let’s give credit where credit it due: honorary fit girl and guest contributor JK sent me the WagJag. But it was something Jill and I agreed to try, so we both grabbed it. (We’re also on the hunt for a great partner class, if you have any suggestions!). As Jill pointed out, at the Yoga Show, I wasn’t the biggest fan of hanging upside down. But now that I knew what I was getting myself into, I was ready. And the inversions were pretty fun. Jill’s right — there were too many for an intro workshop. I was dizzy by the end and spent an hour after the class fighting nausesa. I think I ate too soon before class, but who knows?

Suspension yoga can be broken down into three parts: regular yoga with OmGym modifications, body work and actual suspension yoga.

Regular yoga with OmGym modifications means things like forward folds and warriors, but using the handles or the seat of the OmGym to either assist you or push you further. Some of these were fun, especially the forward folds and backbends. Some, like the warrior poses, were just awkward. I struggle with these poses in a regular class, so to add another twist only added to the punishment. Jill didn’t seem to mind this part though, so it could just be one of those things that you need to try to out before you judge it.

The body work included stuff like using the handles to do bicep and tricep curls. I didn’t mind this, but it was hard! You need balance and muscle strength to make this work. It was nice, however, to do these kinds of workouts without weights.

Finally, the suspension stuff. This is the best part. It’s like being a little kid and hanging out on a swing. The OmGym is unbelievably versatile, and as a result, you can do superman, lotus, shoulder stands and more in the air. (Check the video out below for proof!) This part alone made the workshop, as it was challenging, fun and something new.

Overall, it was a solid, positive experience. I had fun. Doing it once is a novelty, and one I recommend to every yogi who is looking to mix up their practice. Just don’t eat too soon before you go, be prepared to fall and try to have fun.



Living Your Moksha week #3 – Live Green



After my life changing experience with the one and only Ted Grand I was ready to really take on this LYM challenge once and for all! I was healthy and accessible (to a degree) but now it was time to Live Green. Bring it on. I live a pretty green lifestyle as is, and I was ready to breeze through this week with my eyes closed. But living green (and I mean full on) can be a lot harder then one may think. Sure recycling is easy and composting is too, but it’s so much more then that. There are so many deeper ways to live green. That’s what I learned anyway.

The focus for this week’s pillar was to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet AND/or only buy locally produced food. Since I’m a vegetarian already I didn’t give that much thought. I’m living green all the time according to LYM standards!

Now that I look back, I suppose I could have pushed myself to eat more vegan and stop pretending I’m a vegan (I really like to think I’m a vegan). May be I need to reassess my intentions for this challenge? Part of me didn’t want to strict up my diet. Again, I did just finish cleansing and we all know how well that went. I know, I’ve been using this excuse for a long time. But, you should be proud of me, I decided to obey the pillar and be green my life in other ways.

The even harder part was really thinking about my actions each day and make the greener choice. Was I throwing things away that I could reuse? Was the food I bought locally grown? Thank goodness with the warm weather comes farmers markets and local produce! Farmers markets would have made this week lot easier. But you can source locally goodness in places like Kensington Market and St. Lawrence Market you just have to make the effort to seek it out. Because what are you supposed when the foods you need are not available locally? Have you ever stopped to read and look at where the food you buy comes from? I struggled with this too. Yes, buying local or organic when and where it’s possible is best, but it can get really pricey. And if you’re like me, you can’t afford to spend lots and lots on groceries all the time. The idea is do what you can and modify products you purchase and eat where possible. One money saver (and green saver!) is packing your lunch in reusable containers. I did this this whole week. More green points for me!

As the week went on I had more time to reflect on WWTGD (What would Ted Grand do?) around my daily decisions. I want to think in many ways Ted would have been very proud of my green successes. Like I said I packed my lunches for work, didn’t buy anything with take out containers or wrapped in plastic. I even saved my unused napkins after dinning out with my cleaning colleague at work for lunch. Oops, I forgot I did eat out once. My bad. I did actually convince one person at work to do the cleanse with me, this was our victory lunch together. I was very shocked I convinced someone too. But I stayed true to the super challenge and used zero disposable containers and I really tried to reduce my waste to zero for the whole week. Having zero waste is tough. We throw away a lot of stuff. It helped I was still living alone at this point. Jenn was away traveling with basketball Olympians while I was trying to be garbage free. There is even a challenge to do this. I like me a challenge!

So what else do I have to add to my green tasks (I tallied up a few more once I thought even harder about WWTGD). My apartment is Bullfrog Powered remember Moksha is bullfrogpowered too. I rode my bike everywhere (I do all the time) and I even practiced yoga everyday! I really did this week.

I was so good!

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Days 11-15

Whoa, halfway there! Whoa, living on a prayer.

I’ve been singing Bon Jovi to myself since day 15 ended. The end is in sight. This is actually going to end. I will survive.

Days 11-15 saw some interesting battles. I was exhausted from so many late nights. (Writing, I swear!) And physical pain started to kick in. Part of the reason I wanted to do this challenge was because my left hip and knee were becoming enemies with running. Now it seems they are becoming enemies with yoga. So I took this stretch of classes relatively easy, in hopes that by doing so I can preserve my hip for the rest of the 30 day stretch.

What I’ve learned from this so far, though, is that fitting exercise into your life every day is doable. It’s easier than you think. It just needs to be a priority for you. I’ve always thought exercise was a big priority for me, but I was delusional. It was a little priority. Racing kept that on track. But if I want to have a dynamic, interesting fitness regime that doesn’t rely on forcing myself through challenges like half-marathons and races, I’m going to need to better prioritize fitness in my life.

This means my kitchen will always be messy and my laundry will never get done. I think I’m okay with that.

What classes did I take for the third leg of this challenge? Let’s recap!


I did some of this! It was strange.


Day 11 (Tuesday): Classic late-night Linseed. The night school/Linseed combo is working out really well. Although, JK and I have noticed that the new power offering at Kula is sneaking into other classes and it snuck into Linseed’s this week! Gentle, bedtime yoga with side planks! If I wasn’t so exhausted, I would have been up for the challenge, but I was a tad heartbroken when we did this sequence. I am getting better at the side plank, though — a nice side benefit of this challenge.

Day 12 (Wednesday): Jill and I hit up the morning Moksha silent class. I was not looking forward to another morning yoga class, but I wanted to squeeze in maximum post-work writing and I learned my lesson the week before — no Wednesday am Kula class for me! This Moksha class ended up being a godsend. In silent classes, you go through the series of poses without too many flows. It was wonderful to just do something my body knew so well and not have to think about transitions or vinyasas. Definitely the highlight of my yoga week.

Day 13 (Thursday): Since I was tired, I decided to do yin, to prep myself for my beloved power class on Friday. I figured that the am/pm yin/pm combo would be a good way to get my energy levels up. Jill is in love with the Thursday night yin class at Moksha, and even though she’s my sister and I have a Moksha pass, I’ve never been. It was fine, a nice break from my regular classes. I’ll definitely do it again, but it’s not going to be part of my regular routine soon. (Sorry, Jill!)

Day 14 (Friday): I was so excited for Power by Friday afternoon. After a class of stillness, I was ready to move. Then, at 5:30, I checked the Kula schedule online, just in case. Class was cancelled! Argh! I didn’t want to wait around for the Moksha 8pm class, so I was left with a decision: high-tail it to Kula and give restorative another go, or abandon yoga for the day and double up on Saturday or Sunday? I decided that the grief I’d get from Matt would not be worth it in the end. (There’s an endless debate happening: is the challenge 30 classes in 30 days or yoga for 30 days straight? What do you think?) So I headed to Reiki restorative and made it just in time. It, like yin, was fine. It was nothing special. I am not a fan of restorative. I learned that on Day 10. It feels like something I can do on my own. If I’m putting $$ up for fitness, I want to move. Two classes is fair amount of time to assess. Let’s find something else for me now.

Day 15 (Saturday): Jill and I went to a suspension workshop at the Flying Yogi. We had tried the demo at the Yoga Show a few weeks ago and were keen to give a class a try. When a WagJag for their intro workshop popped up, we both grabbed it. A longer recap of the experience is coming, but the general assessment is that it was interesting, and every yogi should try it once. It did make me surprisingly sore the following day, though, so that’s something!

There you have it. 15 days straight of yoga. I made a date to give Yoga Space a try, I want to do yoga outside and I want to do another outside-the-box class. My headspace is so different than it was 5 days ago. And that’s a good thing.

We’ll see how long it lasts.



May Pubruns Recap: Jill’s #pubruns adventure #2

Last Saturday was my second official pubruns (Erin’s running group of guys and gals who work in publishing, though this is not a requirement to join the group. Clearly, as I was invited. If you like running, socializing, and eating brunch, you should join. As Erin said before, we don’t bite.)


So fast the camera can't catch me!


It was a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L day and a great way to kick start the long weekend!

This time around it was Erin’s friend Kendal’s turn to pick the route. I was super excited for this day, and still a tad confused as to why exactly, but I do really enjoy running with these ladies. Maybe it’s the feeling of belonging to a real Running Group that kick starts my feet and legs into high gear. I shouldn’t get too cocky I know because it was only my second pubruns after all. Still it’s a leisurely run I was actually looking forward to. This was a first. But you should also know earlier this week I decided to join the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada’s Team In Training to run my first half marathon. A mission run a half marathon is happening whether I like it or not. And our first team training run was on Saturday (recap to come!). I needed to run at least one semi-long run before the 26th. My want to run wasn’t soley because I wanted to run I have to admit.

Still the day came and I was ready. I haven’t run in forever, only the awful lunch time runs with the Bullfrog Ladies Buns of Steel (during the cleanse, these were awful). The plan was to meet at Woodbine Station and run two blocks west to Glebemount, then to a trail entrance, where we’d do an out-and-back on a pretty little trail. I had no idea what this meant. I just knew it was far away. I hadn’t been to Woodbine Station since my volunteering days with the Scarborough Relay for Life (and I hated every second of those treks to Scarborough mostly because I would end up lost at one point or another). But it was fine Erin planned to bike there and so did I. I woke up early (willingly, I may add) to fuel myself with the Erin’s champion running breakfast. Then I was off to meet the group. I biked there in record time. I surprised myself and was the first one there and dressed for not sunny running weather at all.

The second part of the plan was to stick together until we got to the trail entrance (because once you’re on the trail you can’t get lost there were no offshoots and it finishes at a dead end, then you just turn around and come back the way you came). Excellent. I am prone to getting lost. We ran as a group for the majority of the run, although there was a period where I broke from the group and breezed into the trails with Katniss-like fashion. Yes, I was proud of myself at this moment, I think it may have been the fuel beyond my burst of speed.

I waited for the group at the top of the stairs out of the trail, debating for a moment to climb a tree, however decided against it. As much as I’d like to be Katniss I can’t climb trees. The group saved me from making a disastrous decision and we instead headed back down to the Danforth to Melanie’s Bistro for brunch, which Kendal promised is both cute and delicious.

Brunch is always cute and delicious. And our waiter knew exactly how to please 5 female runners – by bringing us pitchers and pitchers of water!

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Days 6-10

Well, days 6-10 were much, much better than days 1-5. I got most of the grumpiness out of my system and have accepted I’m in this for the long haul. It probably also helps that I’m not doing power power power power anymore, but actually allowing myself to slow down.


Clearly, I need more photos of me doing yoga.


Let’s recap:

On Day 6 (Thursday), I was exhausted from the killer morning hot hour class the morning before. I opted to do a hatha flow class at The Yoga Sanctuary I had never tried before. Now, normally, hatha is not my thing. When I work out, I need to be working in order for it to feel like it worth my time. But this class provided a great opportunity to reflect on why I include yoga in my work-out regime and why I’m doing this 30 day challenge. It also gave my very tired arms a break.

Day 7 (Friday) was Power Hour at Kula! I don’t know if it was the combination of spring sunlight, the long weekend among us for Christ-an’s amazing music mix, but I loved every second of this class. (Except chair pose. Because I will never love chair pose). It was a great way to kick off my weekend and get me back into a “yoga is great!” headspace. (If you missed it, JK agreed. Clearly, Christi-an is magic)

Day 8 (Saturday) was Moksha Music. I’m usually “meh” on moksha, but I make an exception for Jackie’s Moksha Music. She makes her flow sequences interesting and challenging, but not overwhelming. It was a tiring class, though, so I was glad it was the weekend. A regime of write yoga write yoga was exactly what I needed. Oh, and I ran 7.5km this morning. The run was awesome: perfect weather, lots of great friends. I miss running. A lot. This is an unexpected development.

Day 9 (Sunday) was Live Music Flow with JK and Jen Slade. It was fine. I enjoyed the challenges of some of the poses, but was getting tired. So tired.

Day 10 (Monday), I bailed on my pal B (sorry B!) due to a combo of “too much to do and oh, my cousin is in town?!” We were going to do Moksha together. Instead, I opted for the exact opposite of Moksha: restorative. Conclusion? I’m not a restorative fan. I think I’ll bail on the restorative for now (although I still need to give Reiki a shot) and just incorporate the poses that work for me into my practice outside of class. Because I may hate folding over a bolster, I love lying back on a block.

I think I’m out of the painful phase of this project. Now it’s about managing my energy levels and my time.



JK Guest Post: The 30 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 10


Jen, aka JK, is often my partner in crime in book-related and fitness-related things . I’m really excited she’s decided to tackle this 30-day challenge with me and even more excited she wants to share this journey with all of you! Jen will be sharing updates about the challenge throughout the 30 days, so follow along! You can read her first post here. — Erin


This week was all about breath — paying more attention to it, cultivating more fullness. And that’s sort of worked, I still end up biting my lip off in some poses, my mind still wanders to dinner plans. But that’s okay. It’s still a work in progress. For the next 10 days I’m going to stay with that breath focus, but add length and fullness, in hopes that’ll give me more space in my poses.

After 10 days, I’m actually feeling pretty good. There was a low point of exhaustion from too many early mornings (I did 3 6:30 a.m. classes in 4 days) and not enough sleep, but I had a turning point in a glorious Power 8 class with Christi-an, and I think both Erin and I left feeling back on track.

I’m also pleased to have been able to keep up my other exercise, which has only been one run and one weights class, but when you’re already doing yoga every day, that’s an extra challenge, especially when it comes to finding the time. But so far this past week, doable.


The last 10 days in review:

Highlight: Going to an Aaron Slade hot hour class right after Body Pump class, and despite some quivering of muscles, leaving feeling so spacious and free (anyone who does weight training classes will realize how this seems like a total impossibility). Runner up: Holding a handstand with no wall and no help. (I still needed help getting up, but I’m working on it.)

Lowlight: Erin wrote about it: Wednesday morning Namaskar B extravaganza with Marinella. So many poses I dislike, so many times, so early. Another lowpoint came the next morning: I started comparing myself to the person next to me, and I wasn’t stacking up. So then I got a bit upset. And then of course, I got upset that I got upset, because yoga is supposed to be anti-competitive. But somehow I managed to leave it behind and finish the practice. And that’s the thing about even these low points: by the end you’re okay, even a little happy you went through it.

I’ve been trying to extend my practice off the mat for this challenge, and one of the tools I decided to use was Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Now I’m as skeptical of self-helpy books as the next person, but this one intrigued me: a classic overachiever decides she’s pretty happy, but wonders how she could be happier. So she makes resolutions each month targeting various areas of her life: from clutter and organization to parenting to friendship, and then analyzes the effect. The end result is interesting: she is happier, but it takes a lot of work. When you consider that the things in life that give us the most satisfaction are often the hardest, the ones that take the most dedication, it makes sense. But Rubin also posits that “it isn’t goal attainment, but the process of striving after goals — that is, growth — that brings us happiness.” It’s the Christmas morning effect: the anticipation of Christmas, the work, the preparation, is often more exciting than the morning itself. And that may be the case with this 30-day challenge. I like the sense of purpose it gives me; I like that Erin and I are in it together; I like the feeling of progress and achievement that are now a part of every day. When the project is over, I’ll have done it, and that’ll be a good feeling. But even with the hard mornings, even with the emotional on-mat mini-crises, it could be that the process of doing it will be a better feeling.


The video below has nothing to do with yoga, but JK and I made it, so obviously it’s worth watching. You can see more of our Books in 140 Seconds vids over a KIRBC. — Erin.


Living Your Moksha week #2 – Be Accessible

Being accessible was a little harder then I had expected. What did this even mean anyway? And to further cramp my style, I felt off this whole week (May 8 to May 14). Not only was I still struggling with the whole cleansing business, I was still thrown off from my practice.

And that really bothered me. Not to mention I was already a week behind from headstand success; Graham kindly reminded me each time I’d see him how far along he’s getting. I’m screwed.

As you are all probably well aware, challenge or no challenge, yoga is my go to for everything and never once has it let me down. Mind you, I’ve had my fair share of difficult classes (which I’m sure Erin and JK will come to discover once or twice during their 30 day challenge), but for the most part it is my escape. Whether I’m bored, tired, energized, cramped, stiff, just want to see people I know, whatever the case maybe yoga is always there. So when it came time for me to be accessible I figured I’d be accessible to yoga and practice (almost) every day for this week (plus I didn’t practice all week during Be Healthy week and that was the recommended super challenge). I really need the head stand practice!

But one problem: I could not for the life of me shake this cleanse. So instead I decided to really dig deep into my accessibility. The main focus for the week was practicing active listening – then each night we were to reflect on our day by writing in a journal. I did not write in a journal, instead I wrote posts. Wow, I was really terrible this week. No way did I deserve any stickers on my LYM chart.

I tried active listening at work, while I was out doing whatever I was that week, and more importantly I stuck to the cleanse. I suppose I was being accessible to myself and did not give up. I really wanted to stick this thing through to the end. With only one small slip up (I had some wine with Erin before going to Bring It On the Musical), but in a weird way I think I needed it. The whole heavy metals news freaked me out a bit.

After day 8, the end was in sight and I could feel the finish drawing nearer. I wanted this to end! But now that I’ve stopped to rethink about the 10 days, I miss it. This surprised me too! Friday evening I went off the cleanse entirely. Shannon my old roommate was in town, I had to celebrate, but I was not happy with myself come Saturday. After eating too much not appropriate cleanse foods, I felt gross, angry, and was really upset with myself. I worked too hard to blow this whole thing off. So after that weekend I decided to not let people influence my choices for a better me. Whether it’s food, socializing, anything I’m going to stay true to what’s best for me. Yes I will cave, but when and where it’s approprate I will be okay with that (wine with Erin – totally okay!). I just went too far too quickly having Shannon around and I’m still not happy with myself for that, which then turned into a whole weekend of guilt feeling icky-ness.

Listening to me, my body, being okay with not practicing yoga everyday, and taking the cleanse beyond the 10 days is how I was accessible. After feeling really crumbly for my choices on Friday, this article from LYM helped – How To Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Mistakes. I am terrible for this!

30 Day Challenge: The first five days

I’ll admit, when I decided to do this 30 day yoga challenge, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it would be a challenge, both fitness-wise and time-wise, but had no idea how it would change my relationship with yoga or with my body.

Five days in, and I still don’t know. What I do know, however, is that this is had been a lot harder than I thought.

First: the time commitment. When I decided to do this, I had nothing really on my plate. Work was entering the slow summer period as radio shows winded up their seasons. My fall racing season was over. I had no other real obligations.

Then I got a bit writing project. (Details coming!) And I signed up for the Digital Media Skills certificate at OCAD. All of a sudden, fitting in yoga seems like an impossibility.

Take Tuesday, for example. I woke up at 6:30 to write until 8. Got ready for work. Went to work until 6. Headed to class from 6:30-9:30. Went to yoga from 10-11. Slept over at my sister’s place so I could join JK for a 6:30 class on Wednesday morning.

I am exhausted. Jill tells me it will get better. I don’t believe her.


The fit girl on the right is a liar.


Let’s recap the classes so far. The 30 day challenge kicked off on Saturday and I went to Power Yoga at Kula, taught by Serah. I enjoyed the class, as it was challenging by fun. I woke up the next day and my entire rib cage ached. From the twists, I guess? On Sunday, I hit up Kula’s live music flow with JK, as Mr. JK is the live musical guest. Solid class, not much to say. Typical Jen Slade fare. On Monday, I tried a new class and took my Passport to Prana to the Yoga for Hot hour. This is where things fell apart. Apparently my arms are not fans of this constant yoga-ing. It’s interesting to see how unbalanced my fitness is — anything requiring lower body strength, I can hold for 20 breaths without breaking a sweat. But ask me to do plank after 5 days of yoga? I’m a dead person. The class was fine — lots of flows and twists — but the room was hot, hot, hot. When the hour was over, my fingers were pruned (ewwwww) and I had left a giant pool of sweat all around my mat. (I mopped it up, I swear!)

Tuesday was bedtime yoga with Linseed, my favourite. Due to the aforementioned schedule, I missed her hot hour and took the flow class. Same vibe, without the heat. I was so grateful for that. I was not grateful for planks. (I better have biceps after these 30 days. Or else.) But it prepped me for bedtime. Yay sleep!

Then, we came to Tuesday morning. Hot hour at Kula. No big deal, right?


Hardest hot hour ever.

I have never wanted to cry in yoga before. That changed this morning. This class was like Ashtanga with the heat cranked up. Way up. Chair, plank, chair, plank, chair, plank. Chair. Chair. chairchairchairchair. Push-ups! I think I would have enjoyed the challenge on any other day. Marinella was a great teacher, a good mix of chill yet playful. But after what felt like the 87th time in chair this morning, I wanted to punch something. I felt like I was being punished, and I didn’t know why.

But I survived. Now I need a restorative class. Or two. Because I have no idea how I’m going to make it through all 30 days right now.

My yoga class with the Ted Grand

Last week while I was trying to be accessible — a more detailed post on this struggle later — I did have one moment of solitude to shed some light on this horrific week of cleansing (and trying to figure out how the heck you’re accessible in a yoga practice). I had discovered the one and only Ted Grand was coming to teach a class at Moksha Downtown! Who is Ted Grand you may ask?! Well he just so happens to be one of the co-founders of Moksha Yoga, and yoga celebrity. Well, I consider him a celebrity.


See? He's on the cover of a magazine. Celebrity!


Mr. Moksha, the man I’ve been dying to meet for 2 whole years, was teaching a class in Toronto, at my studio! It was fate. But one problem stood in my way, he was teaching at noon, on a Thursday. Whyyy?? A noon hot yoga class is not conducive to the 9-5 working folks. Lucky for me work is super close to the studio, but factoring in extra time to arrive extra early, to shower and get back to the office …. this was going to be a very long lunch hour. I had to take this class, so I derived a plan. I’ve only ever seen Ted in passing or practicing at Moksha Downtown, or heard he was around the Bullfrog office, (No, I am not a stalker, although that just sounded very much like I am), I’ve never actually had the chance to formally introduce myself. That was until last Monday.

But first my brilliant plan. For those who may not know, Ted cares very much for the planet. He cares so much that all Moksha studios (in Canada) are Bullfrog powered.

See… (This is jumping ahead to this week’s pillar, but oh well.)



I would pitch that going to Ted’s class would be excellent way for Bullfrog to show our appreciation to Moksha Yoga. Then my boss would have to let me go to class. It would be for work! Brilliant! I was the connector after all. When I’m not working I’m at Moksha Downtown and when I’m not practicing I’m working at Bullfrog. My two worlds were colliding nicely together. This was amazing.

And an even better part of the scheme — I mean work building opportunity — I would invite the whole office to come to the class too! It would be a Bullfrog outing.

Gosh, I even remember my days working at Fashion Take Action when Kelly talked frequently of Moksha yoga (this was before my trading days) and her friends Ted and Tara. That would be Canadian singer/song writer Tara MacLean (also wife of Ted Grand). This was so long ago. Look at me now.

So back to Monday. When I arrived at the office, Lindsay (colleague, fellow member of the Bullfrog running club, and Moksha Bloor West yogi), said Ted was coming to the office! And after pitching her the idea to take our office people to Ted’s class on Thursday (this was discussed while running one lunch hour) the plan was approved. This week couldn’t get better. But it did. Before Lindsay’s meeting with Ted, I was allowed in to meet him. It was a blessing. And so was his class.

Ted has an amazing aura, and was so mindful of each person in the room. He taught in a way that I even felt connected to everyone there. It didn’t matter what shape, or size or your yogi level of experience there was no ego. I’m not going to lie, I had this image he would speak God-like and this voice would move me in a healing sort of way. I had to be reminded he is a human too. But Ted was a joker. He made me smile, feel overly light and at peace. He is humble and kind all of which shines as he teaches.

I was completely accessible to being in the room and on my mat. Ted showed me how to be accessible in yoga and in my day.

Living Your Moksha Week #1 – Be Healthy


Thank goodness for last Friday! It was a day I’ve been waiting for, for what felt like forever.

If you’ve been flowing the blog you’ll know why I was over excited for this day to come. It was my day of freedom! Freedom of this wretched cleanse I’ve been putting myself through over the past 10 days. But now it’s “officially” over. I use “officially” loosely — we are supposed to continue this forced eating habit for another 2 weeks — I feel as though I should even though I was held under great duress. But a bigger part of me says I deserve my cake and should eat it to. I did follow a strict eating guide, drank more than enough tea to last my entire lifetime and took morning shots of the awful tasting E-3 Live. That I will not miss. But apparently it’s supposed to be one of the best things you could possibly take for your body. There are way too many things out there making that claim.

It’s rather hard to keep track, let alone know, what you should and should not be consuming these days. I don’t take anything in the way of supplements other than fibre, B12 and iron. And that’s because I have to (or it’s highly recommended that I should), because being a vegetarian and all we’re prone to low iron and B12. Anything else is far too much for me to comprehend. Although I would if there weren’t so many options and information to digest. I need something simple, like take this and you will live forever!

I felt as though my routine worked, at at least that’s what I thought anyway.

Way back when, when I decide to take on the LYM challenge, knowing full well week 1 was “Be Healthy” I figured this spring cleanse was the perfect way for me to be healthy. After all I was in search of some major change to happen. This cleanse wasn’t exactly what I was searching for. Come to think of it, this kicked me in the ass! Never once did I have the euphoric moment of energy and wellness coming together in harmony, clearing my sight and vitalizing my tast buds. This never happened to me. Instead I was dead tired, I could hardly practice yoga (nor was I capable of any physical activity), and my thighs have never felt so heavy in my whole life. What the hell, what gives!?

Day 1 was easy eating all the fruit I wanted, at the end of day 2 if I ate another raw veggie I was going to hurl, then day 3 hit. That’s when it hit me the hardest. My legs and whole body felt 200 pounds heavier, plus I was exhausted. I think the coffee withdraw was catching up. But slowly as the days came closer and closer to day 10 I was beginning to feel a bit lighter. When I saw Allison on day 7 I had to ask what was wrong with me? Apparently this cleanse was just the thing I needed to open my eyes to what I’ve putting into my body – I could have heavy metals in there! This cleanse may have been the start to a whole new me. That’s TBD.

I suppose this wasn’t the worst experience of life, however, I can’t quite understand it. I’m active and do more yoga than any normal person should, so the outside of me is fine. But I have no idea what’s going on inside. That’s what this experience has taught me, that I need to pay attention to be healthier on the inside. Therefore, I’ve decided (here’s the major change!) I’m going to stick to eating the one ingredient food philosophy, drink the big glass of lemon water to kick start my day each day, keep adding fibre to my drinks/food before bed, and eating flax seeds! Lets face it, I’m going to enjoy my alcohol, coffee and bananas! I’m not going completely nuts. If I mindfully cut out bad things (such as things with ingredients I can’t pronounce), I will reward myself with this finer things. It’s all about moderations. I have to allow for indulgence once in awhile.

So that’s how I was healthy for week 1 – I cleansed and discovered a bigger meaning to Be Healthy.