Yoga Unplugged Vol. 2

Photo compliments of Lululemon. Can you find me? I am in this picture!

Photo compliments of Lululemon. Can you find me? I am in this picture!


What: Yoga Unplugged
When: Saturday, June 29 @ 4:00pm
Where: 889 at the Thompson (550 Wellington St. West)
Who: Sunny Smith

One of my all time favourite things about summer is playing outdoors! What’s not to love about running, being at the beach, ummm hello beers on a patio? And yoga outside! The possibilities are honestly endless. Summer in a city like Toronto makes the options that much bigger (and better!). It can be very easy to burn yourself out trying to think about how on earth you’re going to be able to do it all – trust me it’s really hard – but with free summer events like Yoga Unplugged happening all summer long, you can easily sneak in a class or two during the months ahead. There are so many different free and fun things to do, so do not by any means let things like a tight budget get in your way (because I hear you on that!). Keep your ears and eyes open or just ask Erin and I, we can tell you what to do!


Thanks Lululemon for the photo. That's me in the background!

Thanks Lululemon for the photos. That’s me in the background!


After the crowd rolled out onto the 889 at the Thompson’s rooftop, we were introduced to our teacher Sunny. Sunny was really sweet and offered a fun and uplifting class. I did notice, however, as a new teacher it is super important to be able to instruct on many different levels. Although Sunny guided us fluidly from pose to pose, there was not a lot of direction in each posture. Cues were not given, but for the majority of the class this looked to be not a problem. But for a new student this class would have been rather challenging.

I also noticed this time there were not random Lulu girls and guys practicing amongst the class. The ones wearing the bright tights and Yoga Unplugged shirts? I thought these guys and gals were super helpful given the class is giant and you can’t always see the teacher. A class such as this needs to offer something for everyone – whether you’re new or experienced – everyone should walk with a feeling of satisfied gratitude. But I know finding that balance is not easy by any means, but it is important. Especially with free classes, new students will be drawn to attend. As they should be! This was an excellent class for regular practitioners and I certainly enjoyed myself.

Like I said earlier I love this event and what it represents. I’ve been many times and it still puts a smile on my face and a new song in my heart each and every time. I’ve already planned my next class. I hope to see you there!

Check out my three reviews of Yoga Unplugged last season: Yoga Unplugged, Jock Yoga, and The last Yoga Unplugged hurrah.


The last Yoga Unplugged hurrah

Me and Jess, ready to unplug some yoga!


What: Yoga Unplugged
When: Saturday, September 1 @ 4pm
Where: 889 at the Thompson (550 Wellington Street West)
Who: Lana Sugarman

Twas the last day of Yoga Unplugged and Jessica (my friend visiting from Edmonton) and I, well we wanted to gets our yoga on! It was the perfect day. The sun was out it was a warm day and I’m pretty sure the birds were singing as we headed to the hotel. It was just one of those days. You couldn’t help but feel happy. We were going to yoga – plus it would be the last time I could do yoga for free on the roof. And I wanted to share this experience with Jessica. She, however, had slightly different intentions for going to class. Given this was the last class and Lululemon gave away amazing presents to all the yogis who came out for the first class (as Cecilley and I can attest to), Jessica really wanted to take home some swag. Although her and I walked away empty handed, we did not walk away unhappy.



The class was packed, as expected, and we arrived extra early to claim a good spot. We chatted and waited as the roof filled up. The airplanes from the long weekend Air show were zooming overhead – the noises were booming! I was getting antzy as I hadn’t practiced in so long! Well I had practiced the day before, but when you have company – as I discovered the hard way – your body and routine are greatly impacted. Much more so than you think.

The last yoga unplugged was a Vinyasa Groove with Lana Sugarman. Lana was a gem. I haven’t taken a class with Lana before which can be a really nice change and surprise – taking a new class with a new teacher. Which is another reason the Yoga Unplugged summer series was amazing, you were guaranteed a new class style and a different teacher each week. So, no two classes were alike! Lana’s smile smiled like the sun, and although I had taken her for a very spiritual yogi (and there is nothing wrong with that!) I just personally don’t connect to yoga or to yoga teachers who practice with the spiritual highs of yoga on that level. But that’s totally okay. It doesn’t mean I won’t practice with a teacher like that. I just know what really works for me. Everyone’s got something that works for them and things that do not.

Given that, I was ready for yoga, regardless of the style of teaching. But one thing I wasn’t expecting was the work Lana put us through. It was a straight up vinyasa that was for sure. And I liked it! The groove of the drums helped with the flows and the onlookers from the patios and hotel rooms where all to familiar. I was in yoga heaven at the end of class.



I want to send a big thank you to Lululemon and the good community vibes they send out and preach. And to 889 for hosting such a fantastic yoga instinctive here in Toronto. More free stuff needs to happen and people need to take advantage of opportunities such as this. I will have my eye out for Yoga Unplugged round 2 next summer as should everyone else looking for things to do on a Saturday afternoon, whether you’re looking to do something for yourself or if your interested in trying something new. I tired Jock yoga for the first time ever. Remember? It was super great.

Don’t be shy and don’t be scared. These yogis won’t bite. They just smile very wide.



Yoga Unplugged – Jock Yoga

This is jock yoga. You’ve been warned.

What: Yoga Unplugged
When: Saturday, June 23 @ 4:00pm
Where: 889 at the Thompson (550 Wellington St. West)
Who: Michael DeCorte


I found a new love one Saturday afternoon on top of the Thompson roof top. It was going to be another Team In Training run in the morning, yoga in the afternoon kind of Saturday, but this Saturday will forever be different than any other. For I discovered Jock Yoga and Michael DeCorte.  My new found love comes in three forms: Jock Yoga, Michael DeCorte and Madonna! When blended together (with just the right amount of each) makes for one ultimate yoga experience.

And that is exactly what happened this faithful Saturday on June 23rd.

Ever since Cecilley and my first yoga roof top experience I was counting down the days to the next class. Madonna infused Jock Yoga — how could I miss that!? As luck would have it, Cecilley and I were actually not running late this time. This was a good thing because I would NOT miss this class, even if it killed me. I was prepared to die either getting there or in the actual class. With the name Jock Yoga this was not going to be easy and I was mentally preparing all day long.

For all the yogis out there ready to amp up the endurance level on your practice, Michael is just the man to see. I was blown away, not only the amount of planks, flows and side bends we did to the point my shoulders felt like jelly, but the fact Michael has an incredible physical sence to each pose he instructed. The crazy thing is you don’t notice it until your in it. When that that “eureka” moment hits and you just know and think “Ya, this is how it’s suppose to feel.” My eyes usually pop when this happens, and in my head I’m like “Whoa.” You don’t notice it until that point because Michael does an excellent job distracting you with a million plank style flows in between each series.

I honestly felt each hip rotation, each shoulder movent and each bend, in that “new to yoga” way, something I wasn’t expecting nor have felt in a while. For me, when I hear the word Jock I think a really hard class and not necessarily attention to mechanics. Don’t be fooled this was a very active class! I was tired out afterwards and I do yoga a lot (in case you don’t know that). Michael, you are one Jock Yoga Man genius.

This class was special for a number of reasons – my friend Michelle from Moksha Downtown came for her first Yoga Unplugged experience and so did Madonna (not in person, obviously, although doing yoga with Madonna would be amazing!). We vogued, we flowed through the Ray of Light, and stretched to the sky during Like a Prayer.  And that’s only a touch of what we did. If you don’t appreciate Madonna now, you will after doing a jock warrior sequence to Vogue (this may have been the highlight of the class for me). Or just watch one of Madonna’s world tour concerts when she comes out on stage in a headstand. She is truly a yogi and a jock. I will be the exact same. One day.

This was another jam packed class, and Michael owned it. He taught to each of us individually and his instructions were bang-on. And being the super challenging class that it was, I was not once afraid or felt any desire to hold back. I wanted to push myself and had the confidence to go there. This is where Michael’s teachings really shined. Being the Jock Yoga Guy, there was zero ego, only support. I loved the feeling of wanting to power though and rock this class. And knowing afterwards Michael even spotted Michelle in amongst the giant class, made me very happy.

I had to feel bad for the 40 people turned away, they (along with everyone else on the planet!) missed one awesome yoga experience. Like I said last week you have to arrive early!

Michael began the class by introducing his two favourite things – yoga and Madonna. These are now two of my three!