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.



Yoga Heaven has expanded, Hallelujah!

Being the yoga junkie I am there is no better deal out there – that I can think of anyway, better than the Passport to Prana. Yoga is an expensive hobby, as most hobbies are. But, if you’re like me and commit to doing yoga at least three times a week (and that’s usually the minimum) classes add up and fast.


All these yogis are in heaven. Just like me. (Thanks 889 Yonge for the pic!)


So when a friend told me about the Passport I was instantly sold. For those not familiar with it I’m telling you now go treat yourself and buy one. It’ll be the best 30 bucks you can spend. I promise. And now the Passport is good for an entire year (even more reason to get one!). This magical card offers one drop in class/studio/year. I told you it’s amazing. It’s great for yoga newbies, for those who can’t afford to do yoga any other way, or for those still in search of their perfect yoga sanctuary– which is also a great spot you can try on the passport.

Now, I have to take a moment to reflect on my first visit to 889 Yonge. I still often dream about it. My “yin yoga partner in crime” and I made a pack the summer of 2010 to try all the yin classes possible on our passports. It was love at first sight when we walked into 889 – Yoga Heaven dawn its name. I remember the white, glowing walls, the soothing music, and the free lockers and towels were to die for. So when I found out a second Yoga Heaven now exists, I am have shed a tear. This tiny, little studio, quaintly tucked away on the 3rd floor, instantly teleports you out of the Thompson Hotel and off the busy strip of King West. When you’re felt wanting to curl up on a cloud and float away – that’s a serious yoga buzz.

The practice room overlooks the roof top patio, which can make for awesome outdoor summer classes. At least I hope that’s the plan. If not, it needs to be.

Passport to Prana: Kula & The Yoga Sanctuary

I’ve been doing yoga, off and on, for about five years now. When we moved to Toronto, I became a dedicated student of Emma O’Neill for about two years, attending her Sunday morning class at The Yoga Sanctuary religiously. Emma is great and I highly recommend her, but once I started running, I found that I couldn’t do both long runs and an intense yoga class every weekend. So the yoga had to go. Since then, I’ve been bouncing around, trying to find the right mix of yoga and running, and trying to find classes that fit my hectic work schedule.

I haven’t found that yet. So I got a Passport to Prana.

For those not familiar with Passport to Prana, it’s an annual pass that let’s you try different yoga studios in the city. It’s available in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver, and Winnipeg (in addition to Toronto, of course!) and it’s A STEAL at $30. That’s right: $30 gives you access to what feels like a billion (it’s actually about 70) studios in Toronto, Oakville, Burlington and the surrounding areas. Even if you only go to three classes, it’s totally, completely worth it.

So I decided to try to chronicle my Toronto-yoga journey here. I have 52 weeks and plan to use the pass once a week, trying out as many studios and different kinds of yoga as I can.

Kula in the Annex

Class: Wednesday, 8:30pm Hot Hour
Teacher: Leah
Score: Nailing a headstand (with the teacher’s help and wall-support)

This class is a bit of a cheat. I’ve been to Kula before (it’s the home studio of my pal JK) and I love it. The temperature is right, and the teachers offer the right mix of challenges, playfulness and therapy. It can occasionally get too hokey for my tastes (a class I took near Valentine’s Day was love-themed), but overall, it’s my favorite studio I’ve been to so far. It’s just too far from my house to go to regularly. Boo.

Leah was a sub, and she was a new teacher. Her theme for the class was based on a card she got at a fairy reading — something about being playful and seeing things from a new angle. It worked better than some of the other themes I encountered. Leah’s transitions were rocky, but the class was exactly what I needed in the middle of CBC Books Giller madness.

The Yoga Sanctuary: Danforth

Class: Monday, 7:15pm, Yin
Teacher: Sue
Score: Almost falling asleep in savasana

Another cheat. Shhh, don’t tell the yoga studios! Sue’s yin class is the class I go to whenever I need to stretch and don’t want to do other yoga. I’ve been to a handful of yin classes at Moksha, but this one is hands-down my favourite. Sue is very cheerful and explanatory, which I enjoy, but she is repetitive. For example, she explains her theory behind how deer pose got its name in every class. Once a month is all I need here. But the studio is lovely and has the added bonus of being uphill and near a grocery store, so I can grab dinner supplies right after and then soar down Broadview on my way hom. (Okay, I get that this isn’t exactly fair crieria in my judging of yoga classes, but I’m new at this. Give me a break.) This class attracts a lot of newbies, which is great (welcome to yoga!) but it also means that if you look like you know what you are doing, you won’t get a lot of attention. And I like attention. I’m insecure like that.

That’s it. No more cheating. My next class needs to be a studio I’ve never been to before, with a teacher I’ve neve rhad before. I’m scared. And excited.

I just hope by the end of this I’ll be able to do a headstand.

I’ll also take real pictures next time.