I feel like nowadays everyone is doing yoga. The internet is littered with photos of people in exotic places posing in seemingly flawless positions posted alongside inspirational quotes or hashtags about how balanced and zen they currently feel. Well, you know what, that’s just not real life. I’m not trashing yoga, it’s incredible, but for once I want to see what someone like me looks like after a 75 minute hot yoga session. (Let me give you a hint, it’s not something I would post alongside an inspirational quote).
Yoga is a true art. It’s a practice that must be equally embraced, respected and executed in your own very personal way. Once mastered, it’s an exceptional way to connect with your body and to understand how it’s functioning. Bringing awareness to your breath during yoga is also an art in and of itself. This may sound like a ridiculous statement, but breathing is so integral to your health. We must learn proper breathing techniques in order to help detoxify our cells, keep our stress levels down and even lower inflammation.
This brings me to the point that if you are going to take up yoga for the first time, it’s imperative that you find the right teacher or studio for you. For example, some of the best teachers trained with https://www.siddhiyoga.com. We all bring our energies to the spaces we enter and sometimes they just don’t mix well and, you know what, that’s okay. We learn from the experience and we keep moving forward. I’ve been fortunate enough in my years of practicing yoga to have been taught by some pretty exceptional, ridiculously flexible and pretty darn sexy teachers who have all nurtured me, pushed me and understood my needs without causing me any injury or harm. This is SO important.
With so many studios here in Toronto, which one do we chose? Well, what you should be looking for is great reviews, professional certified teachers with extensive training and a class schedule that suits your needs. Recently, Daniel and I were blessed with the opportunity to be some of the first in the media try out the newest Yoga Tree location and let me tell you, it was an incredible experience.
From Daniel: “Now this is normally Catherine’s area of expertise, but I thought it would be nice to throw in my two cents since we had the opportunity to try out the new Yoga Tree studio together before most other people. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the new space is positively stunning. Catherine & I set out to experience a hot yoga class in the new studio space and let me tell you… It both made me realize how much I have missed Yoga and how unprepared I was for my first Hot Yoga Class in a very long time. Together we laughed, enjoyed the amenities of the new space and truly came to appreciate the Yoga Tree Studios brand and ideal.”
“Yoga Tree is excited to announce it will be opening its fifth and largest location in the heart of Toronto at Bay and Dundas… with75+ classes per week, yogis can squeeze in a class or simply grab a drink from Canada’s first Kombucha Bar (featuring Pekoe Kombucha).”
A Kombucha Bar is like a Holistic Nutritionist’s dream come true. I LOVE KOMBUCHA. Have you heard this word before? If not, get on this train right now. What is it? Well it’s a naturally effervescent fermented tea-based beverage. The tea is fermented using a bacterial or yeast culture which loads it with probiotics. This drink also comes in many flavours depending on the added benefits you’d like to obtain during your delicious sipping journey to health!
Another great feature aside from the yoga classes, is the Wellness Centre. There are rooms for varied health practitioners to rotate for use to engage with their clients one on one. What a great concept for someone like myself. I can work on healing my client while recommending the right type of physical therapy for them through tailored yoga classes alongside my standard protocols. This is a mutually beneficial relationship for all parties involved including the studio, clients and practitioners alike.
During our class at the new Yoga Tree location, our teacher Queenie, provided us with the perfect example of a great studio. At one point, we were partaking in a pose that opens up our hearts and throats and I felt a wave of emotion take over me. She explained that we were stimulating our nervous system, so this is a very normal reaction. As I Downward Dog-ged my way to a healthier me, I could smell the eucalyptus wafting from my mat and I couldn’t help but smile. We continued by worked specifically on our digestion system by massaging our colons with poses (indirectly – not by actually getting up in there, ew guys).
If you haven’t found a studio yet or are just looking to try a new one, look no further because Yoga Tree has got you covered. Even if you just want to pop in for a Kombucha and a chat, I’m sure they will always welcome you with positive energies and grateful intentions.
Photos of the new studio by: Catherine Sugrue