Marathon Training Day #38: Stretch


So, instead of writing another marathon training daily recap where I complain about the lack of yoga in my life, I decided to do something about it.

I went to yoga.

6pm Hatha Flow at Yoga Tree. It wasn’t my first choice, but it’s close to work and I could head out, with the lie in my head that I could always go back to work after if I needed to. (I ended up emailing myself the work I need to do tonight at home.) I stretched and cracked and popped and it felt goooood.

My back isn’t 100% yet, but it’s getting there.

It just needs more yoga.


Lunch time yoga

This is the face I make when I don’t do enough yoga. It’s not pretty.


So, in the month of August, something weird happened. Enough people went on vacation, that my meeting schedule went from a couple a day to a couple a week. I had huge blocks in the middle of the day where I could do what I wanted (within reason, of course!)

I started going to lunch time yoga.

Lunch time yoga is the best.

Yoga Tree at Richmond and Spadina has 50 minute classes. Perfect! I could get there and back in under 10 minutes. Add changing, settling in, and what-not, these classes would probably take an hour and a half out of my day. So I decided to get their 30 days for $40 intro pass, go to work for 8am instead of 9am, and take as many lunch time classes as I could. I went about 3 times a week for three weeks, opting for hatha and vinyasa classes instead of their hot classes so I wouldn’t have to shower when I was really crunched for time. (I’m gross, I know.)

Did I tell you lunch time yoga is the best?

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it so much. But it breaks up your day and gives you 50 minutes were you don’t — and can’t — think about work. You get to move your body, focus on your breath and sweat. It calmed me. Not only because I was giving myself a break, but also because it meant I was fitting my daily workout in without any problem: no feeling guilty about not waking up early to get things done or feeling bad because I missed an evening run because of a social engagement. It was scheduling efficiency at its best. I didn’t dwaddle during my coffee breaks or spend my lunch reading celebrity gossip sites, because I knew I was going out of the office for an hour. I wanted my time at my desk to be as productive as possible to validate that hour.

It made me a happier and more productive employee.

Every yoga studio should offer 45 minute classes at lunch. Seriously, people. An hour is too long to expect people to slip in and out of the office. But 45 minutes? It’s a manageable block of time.

But, with August almost over, everyone is back. The 1pm and 2pm meeting is becoming a staple again. I need to figure out how to negotiate getting 2-3 mid-day classes in without disrupting everyone’s work schedule. I know I can go before (Yoga Tree has a 7:15 class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) or after (like I’ve been doing since I became a grown-up with a real job), but it’s not the same. I haven’t done lunch time yoga in 4 work days and I’m achy, sore and a little bit grumpy.

This needs to change.

And not just for me. We’re a team. And when individuals thrive, the team thrives.



30 Day Yoga Challenge: Days 16-20

This counts as yoga, right?


I think I’ve hit a turning point with this challenge. Sure, my exhausted and my hip is perpetually on fire, but I find myself, more often than not, looking forward to my daily yoga regime. (I think it helps I’ve cut back on the hot, hard classes. Yoga is now about celebrating my movement, not punishing me for it.) I’ve learned a lot of tricks along the way (which I’ll share at the end of the challenge) that help. I’m also eternally grateful that JK is doing this with me, and that it’s easy to convince Jill to come along for the ride. I rarely have to do a yoga class alone.

Let’s recap!

Day 16 (Sunday): This was my second time taking Power 8 with Lesley. It’s a solid class and I really enjoy the back room (especially when they open the window!). If you’re looking for 60 minutes of power yoga for only $8, I can’t recommend Kula more highly.

Day 17 (Monday): I used my Passport to Prana to head to Yoga Tree’s 5:45 hatha flow class. This place is slick. Like, Lulu Lemon commercial slick. The class itself was fine, the service was friendly, but it wasn’t my scene. I’ll be back again, passport in hand, though. And the schedule is plentiful.

Day 18 (Tuesday): Late-night Linseed classic. JK joined me for this, and there were no planks to be found!

Day 19 (Wednesday): Silent morning Moksha again with Jill. I struggled through this more than I did last week, but I’m chalking that up to being Day 19 of the challenge, nothing more.

Day 20 (Thursday): I had a work event Thursday night, so I decided to give Yoga Sanctuary’s new 6:45 time slot a try with their hatha class. The 15 minutes make all the difference. The class was a nice way to wake up, unlike Moksha, sunlight streams into the Yoga Sanctuary, so you feel awake and alive during your practice. (I bet in the dead of winter, I’ll prefer Moksha’s dark mirrored room, so I have no idea how dark it is outside).

Only 10 days left. I can see the finish line.




Hatha Flow at Yoga Tree

What: Hatha Flow
When: Monday @ 5:45
Where: Yoga Tree Downtown (140 Spadina Avenue)
Who: Kim Hasselfeldt


The studio was gorgeous. Any studio that gets a lot of natural light gets a high five in my book.


During this 30-day challenge, I have a few staple classes: Linseed on Tuesday, Moksha on Wednesday, Power on Friday. But the rest of the week is pretty open to doing new classes and trying new studios. (Hooray for Passport to Prana!) My friend and co-worker Jess goes to Yoga Tree regularly, so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s really close to work and has a jam-packed schedule. One of the reasons I prefer running over yoga is that it means I can stay late to finish that project or sleep in that extra 10 minutes. I’ll still get the workout I want in. With yoga, you need to plan ahead more. With a schedule like Yoga Tree, you can plan a little less.

I decided to book it to the 5:45 class on Monday. I rushed out of work. Arrived in 5 minutes. Bonus points for proximity! The studio is immaculate. And shiny. Very shiny. I felt like I stepped into a Lulu Lemon commercial. It was so slick that the spiritual elements felt out of place. I loved their self-locking locker system, though. Every gym in the city should have that.


See? So shiny?! (Thanks to the YogaTree website for this pic!)


The class itself was fine, if unremarkable. Kim knew her stuff and the sequence allowed for more difficult variations if you were up for it, but still open enough that the earliest beginners would be comfortable. But, as I’ve learned, it’s become really important for me to have the instructors’ personalities be a huge part of the class. Part of the reason I go to Jen Slade’s classes at Kula so much is that I never know what I’m going to get. At Kula, a Linseed hot hour is so very different from a Tess hot hour.

That said, I can also appreciate knowing exactly what you are going to get when you step into a studio and a class. And I think that’s what YogaTree offers: professional, high quality consistency. I may get a 5-class pass and stick it in my back pocket for days like Monday (the passes never expire!), when I need to squeeze a class in. I’m especially intrigued by their morning classes starting at 7:15 and by their 50 minute lunch time class. This is the studio for the busy, and I like it.


Take this class if: you’re looking for a beginner-friendly class or need a solid I-know-exactly-what-I’m-in-for yoga experience.