Thai Yoga Stretching At CanFitPro: Restore your body & relax your mind

IMG_3118This weekend is one that I have looked forward to over the past 15+ years, the always exciting and energizing CanFitPro.

An lively weekend where fitness/wellness experts from around the world will show the newest, most effective workout moves, provide nutrition ideas, share tips for healthier living during a weekend of sweaty, heart pumping fun at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building.

With Wednesday being my only available day I scanned the very big, very heavy workshop schedule I decided to attend a pre conference session on Thai Yoga Massage by Navia, founded by Drew Hume and Daniela Goode. I was intrigued by this workshop as I’ve been wanting to learn more about hands on adjustments in yoga and had known Drew from the Toronto yoga community.

IMG_3114Thai massage incorporates many different soft tissue manipulation techniques (massage, fascial release, chopping, and many more) with assisted stretches and meditation in order to achieve a deep state of relaxation and believe me people were relaxed. Over the eight hours, we took turns practicing on each other and the saying of being “yoga stoned” was never more apparent. I wondered how we could possibly learn more theory after being so relaxed – it was bliss.

The Navina™ approach to Thai massage is to make this incredible practice relevant to the Western context. Through in person sessions, they focus on optimal biomechanics, the use of anatomy and creating a deeply relaxing client experience while still maintaining the heart-centred approach of this ancient art form.

What really impressed me with the work Drew and Daniela are doing is how relevant they made it for this particular (mainly fitness) audience. Daniela, coming from a group fitness background, was able to make connections that were authentic to the learners. Drew brought his deep knowledge of the body, and their jokes were continuous throughout the class which just flew by – until we were the receiver of the Thai stretch, then we never wanted time to move.

What also impressed me about Navina, was their amazing website full of online and in person professional learning opportunities. For a while I’ve had my eyes set on take a restorative teacher training, but with my schedule have found it challenging to find the time. Navina offer an extension online program, allowing their training to be accessible to anyone and anytime around the world.

can fitThis workshop was lovely, and these two make learning and movement fun. If you’ve considered Thai Yoga Massage or enhancing your yoga teaching practice or are simply looking for a place to go to learn more to enhance your own practice, definitely check out the programs and services offered by Navina.

CanFitPro Toronto runs August 10-14 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. Registration is accepted on location and the trade show is well worth a visit with workshops and demonstrations happening all day long. For more information on CanFitPro click here.

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Yoga for Peace: Lolë White Tour

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Lolë White Tour here in Toronto at the Exhibition Place.

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The Lolë White Tour, is a series of yoga events in cities around the world organized by women’s active wear and lifestyle brand Lolë. I had previously heard of the event and have many ambassadors in my network, however I hadn’t previously experienced an event or even stepped foot in a store.

The event was very well organized. As with all of their yoga events, they request attendees wear white as a symbol of peace. Participants received “swag bags” as well as a yoga mat to keep. While most participants were in white there were a few randoms folks in bright neon or grey, or black – so, while I agree white pants do not look good on anyone – don’t let the colour of your wardrobe keep you from this fun evening.

lole 1A group of 3,000 yoga lovers gathered to experience a unique evening of pure serenity against the backdrop of the picturesque Arches of Toronto on Canada Boulevard. Think the Seawheeze sunset festival – without the half marathon run – or the flight to Vancouver. I arrived at 7:30, however with all the events taking place I would definitely suggest you arrive early to take full advantage of the “expo” prior to the yoga. Vendors at the Toronto event included Oikos, Elle Canada, Biotherm, Pure Leaf and Sporting Life each with a tent and fun activities and giveaways to explore prior to the class.

From 8:30pm – 10pm, a special yoga class led by renowned and long-time yoga teacher for the Tour, Elena Brower, among beloved Toronto teachers Lisa Messina (Drishti Yoga Centre) and Marla Meenakshi Joy (Downward Dog), to the soothing sound of singer and performer Ariana Zita on her piano took place. The instructors each took 20 minute segments taking us through flowy movements, standing balances with those beside us and eventually under the setting sun we found ourselves in savasana.

The event was a lot of fun and something I would certainly recommend for groups of gals looking for a fun night of fitness to attend next year. Do your best to war white and be sure to arrive early.

* Photos from Lolë

Waterfront 10 Runners Yoga

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Are you racing Toronto’s newest 10km next weekend?

Join me at the Toronto Waterfront 10 Expo for a pre-race yoga class which will have you stretched out and ready for race day.

Calm your mind and relax your body with a 30-minute yoga session, then pick up your race kit and browse the expo.

With Canada Running Series, Tribe Fitness, and New Balance Canada we are offering 4 free classes over Wednesday June 22 and Thursday June 23. Mats available to borrow thanks to New Balance Canada.

Space is limited, so please sign up via this link.