Stretching, all zen-like

What: Zen Stretch
When: Monday @ 11:30
Where: The Yoga Sanctuary (95 Danforth Avenue)
Who: Bodhi Batista


Being the lucky Ontario residents that we are, Jill and I had Monday off for Family Day! So we made plans as a family — Zen Stretch at the Yoga Sanctuary followed by all that Glee and New Girl and Smash that Jill was looking forward to. Why Zen Stretch? Why not? It’s intrigued me ever since it showed up on the Yoga Sanctuary schedule, but since it was always during the day, I never had a chance to check it out. A holiday Monday after a run-filled week seemed like the perfect time for it.

Bodhi was super nice and keen for all the Family Day newbies to become Zen Stretch converts. I told him I was a runner at the beginning of the class (I was still hurting from the 20k long run the day before) so every time we did a stretch that was “great for runners”, Bodhi made sure I knew about it.

Jill doing one of the harder Zen Stretch poses. Yes, this one is hard. Really.


So. Zen Stretch is weird. And weirdly hard. It’s a combination of yoga and martial arts: all the poses are based in yoga, but instead of stretching and settling into the pose, you squeeze or push with one specific muscle group for 10 breaths. Change pose, squeeze, repeat, for 75 minutes. Some poses were way more difficult than others, some were fairly easy. I think it depends on your body and what kinds of fitness you bring to you practice (just like, well, yoga). Jill and I both had a hard time keeping our bums off the ground and doing any pose that required balance and squeezing. We tried our best, we really did! But several of the elder gentlemen in the room (Bodhi seems to have a very dedicated senior citizen following) kicked our asses.

The next day, I was sore. This was unexpected, as while some aspects of the class were harder than others, overall, I found it less difficult to go through than your typical Moksha class. But I guess that’s the point of Zen Stretch. While I don’t think I’ll become a Zen Stretch convert any time soon (sorry, Bodhi!), Jill and I had fun trying out something different and getting a better workout than we realized.


Take this class if: you’re looking to mix things up with your yoga routine, just a little bit.