Sunday, November 13, 2011

pose of the week: staff


How to do it:

1. Sitting up nice and tall with your legs straight out in front of you.
2. Bring your hands by your side, fingers pointing forward, slightly behind your hips.
3. Flex your feet so your toes are pointing up and engage your legs.
4. Lengthen the spine and lift up through the crown of the head.

Activate every muscle in your body and breathe deeply.

  • Improves Posture
  • Strengthens upper body and legs
  • Stretches the shoulders and chest 

Friday, November 4, 2011

pose of the week: cat & cow

 Bitilasana & Marjaryasana
How to do it:

1. Start on all fours in a tabletop position. Shoulders are over your wrists and hips stacked directly over your knees.
2. On an inhale, drop the belly, sitting bones come up and lift the chest (cow).
3. As you exhale, round into the back, drawing the navel in, and spine towards the ceiling, looking down (cat).

Repeat 3 more times moving with your breath from cow to cat, then come back to a neutral spine.

  • Loosens up the spine
  • Strengthens the abdominals
  • Provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs

anyone can do yoga!

A sweet cat came and plopped down on my yoga mat the other day. Even cat’s love the Manduka mat, so comfy! I waited a while, but no cat stretch for this tiny creature…thought I should share ☺

Saturday, October 29, 2011

pose of the week: head-to-knee pose

Janu Sirsasana

How to do it:

1. Start sitting with your legs straight out in front of you.
2. Bend your right knee, and place the sole of your foot to your inner left thigh.
3. Begin to fold over your left leg, adjusting your torso slightly to the left and drawing your left side ribs in.
4. Inhale, lengthen the spine, then exhale, draw your navel in and up to fold deeper over the leg (you may place your hands on either side of your leg, on your shin or grabbing the outside of the foot).
5. Avoid rounding in the back and keep your hips leveled.

Hold for 5-10 breaths then repeat on the other side

  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins
  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort

Friday, October 28, 2011


So I’ve been MIA again from this blog, and been hard on myself because of it. Do I really not have time in my schedule to write? This has long been my outlet for expression, but life as it seems gets in the way.
I just completed another teacher training certificate to add to my repertoire. This time, it was with Yoga for Youth led by the great Krishna Kaur.  This training was like no other, and it was truly transformational.  My original understanding was that I would be learning about teaching yoga to at-risk youth, and to get the necessary tools on how to teach these types of kids with issues (poverty, substance abuse, violence, crime, family, education, minority issues). I thought to myself “how rewarding it would be to get out and give the gift of yoga to these underprivileged youth”.

On my first day, I was excited to get back into training mode. I’m not a downtown driver, and during the workweek, the streets of TO are chaotic. I left super early, but still arrived 15mins late….not a great start. From the moment I walked into the room, around 70% of the class were wearing all white and turbans. Ummm, did I not get the memo! The training was taught Kundalini style!!  What did I get myself into?!

The chants, mantras, mudras, and poses were so foreign to me, it freaked me out! It actually terrified me.  I wanted to leave, but how would that make me look? I’m not a quitter and decided to suck it up and go with an open mind. I’m so glad I did! Everyone was so welcoming, and we became one big loving family. Through heartache, trauma and sorrow, we discovered happiness, hope and determination. I was an emotional wreck, mentally and physically exhausted from all the stories I heard of young people and those that experience first hand at abuse. I had chest pains and to top it off, nightmares, which my mom had to come rushing into my room to calm me down.  We meditated A LOT, which was a great release for me emotionally and opened my mind in full force.

At the end of the training, I realized that we all have a lot in common even though we may not know each other; we are not alone. I found a new appreciation for kundalini yoga and that I really want to start teaching with a purpose…with more light, more heart and more meaning.  We really don’t know what goes on in people’s lives and where they come from. If I can make someone smile and change a person’s life for one day, then I have done my part.

Thank you to all the wonderful people I’ve met. I will cherish each and every one of you. Sat Nam xo

Monday, October 3, 2011

pose of the week: chair


How to do it:

1. Start standing with your feet together.
2. Begin to shift your weight into your heels then inhale the arms up along side your ears, as you bend your knees imagining you are sitting in a chair.
3. Tuck your tailbone under, lengthen the spine and gaze up towards your hands.
4. Roll your shoulder blades down and back and keep your feet and knees parallel.

Stay for 5-10 breaths then slowly come up to standing and release the arms by your side.

  • Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves and spine
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart
  • Increases overall strength and endurance 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

great life lesson...

I see this day as a positive new beginning (it's never too late to have a new beginning)

Today and tomorrow can be very different from yesterday if you can let yesterday go and focus on today.

Today and tomorrow are about your NOW vibration, and you give complete control over that.

Look for things to feel good about, and watch how everything in your life will unfold to reflect that good-feeling vibration.

Source: Abraham Hicks

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

bend it like bikram!

So after all these years of practicing yoga, I finally tried my first Bikram class! I was skeptical at first since I heard so many negative comments about it, but I wanted to experience it first hand and go with an open mind. To all Bikram teachers and practitioners out there, I salute you, because it was a class soooo different than what I was used to. I am not bashing the practice, but my beliefs and the beliefs of bikram yoga are complete opposites.

As I lay in the room of over 100F, my mind racing with anxiousness, I began to bring my awareness to my breath. Since the class was 90mins long, I had to brace myself for the poses to come and let my body take in the heat. Immediately this got interrupted and I was blinded by the bright lights.  The instructor had the thickest accent, and was speaking so fast, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. There was not a single moment of silence to soak up the poses and all I kept hearing was “push, push, push your body and lock, lock, lock your knees” –Two things you are NEVER supposed to do in any practice. 
By the halfway mark, I was ready to leave. Doing 26 poses twice seems like an easy task, but the heat just became too overwhelming and I found myself repeatedly going into child’s pose or savasana (corpse pose).  I give credit for those that lasted, because my ego got the best of me and I completely gave up.

Floor dripping with sweat and fingers all pruney, the class was finally over. On a positive note, I did feel really good afterwards. There is a reason why we do those poses, which are linked to many health benefits. Tons of people give credit to bikram yoga for helping them cure any pain or suffering they may have. So keep at it if it helps, but branch out and do a downward dog! 

photo source:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

pose of the week: lord of the dance (dancer's pose)

How to do it:

1. Standing tall, begin to shift your weight over to your left foot.
2. Bend your leg back and grab the inside or outside of your foot.
3. On an inhale, raise your left arm by your ear. As you exhale, push your foot in your hand and kick your leg away from your body.
4. Keep your chest lifted and your hips squared. Stretch your right arm forward, in front of your torso and keep it parallel to the floor.

Hold for 5-10 breaths, then slowly release and repeat on the other side. 

  • Stretches the thighs, groins and abdomen
  • Strengthens the legs and ankles
  • Improves balance and focus

Sunday, September 11, 2011

back from reality, back to life

I am officially back!!! After taking three weeks off, my mind, my body and my soul are ready to get back on track with the daily grind. The break was much needed as I got to explore the beauty of life in the Philippines. Here, I take so much for granted. From the moment I stepped out of the plane, the air, the smell, the weather, and people was a lot to take in. I am so happy I got to experience the culture full on and live like a true local. I can write a novel for the amount of things that happened; the memories will always stay in my heart and thank you to my wonderful family for treating me with such kindness and love and overall…dealing with me ;)  

See you on the mat! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

pose of the week: reverse warrior

Viparita Virabhadrasana

How to do it:

1. From warrior 2, turn your front palm up while bringing it over your head, resting your back hand on your leg.
2. Keeping the front knee bent and directly over the ankle, reach the rear hand down as you open the chest to come into a backbend.
3. Slowly bring your gaze up.

Hold for 5-10 breaths then repeat on the other side

  • Stretches the side of the torso and arms
  • Opens the hips and strengthens the legs 
  • Builds lower body strength 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

preparing for take off!

I will be going on the longest flight of my life: two days to be exact (with travel and wait time). Leaving Monday and not arriving til Wednesday, Lord help me!

I am going to where my mother was born, the beautiful Philippines. For those of you that know me, I am the worst traveler. I always get sick, so fingers crossed I make it there…and back in one piece. I have so many emotions running through me: excited, nervous, happy, scared…I really don’t know what to expect, except that I will be seeing and meeting my entire family, which I’ve only come to know through pictures and videos.

It will be adventure that I can’t wait to share with you all. Stay tuned…

J <3

Sunday, August 7, 2011

pose of the week: wide-legged forward bend A

Prasarita Padottanasana A
How to do it:

1. Start with your legs comfortably wide apart, and hands on your hips. On an inhale, open the chest and gaze up.
2. As you exhale, fold over the legs, releasing your hands to the floor (you may also rest your hands on a block if you can’t touch the groud).
3. Inhale, lengthen the spine, then exhale begin to walk your hands back in line with your feet. Relax your head, roll your shoulders away from the ears and draw your elbows in, keeping your hands shoulder width apart.
4. Keep your legs active (you may also bend your knees slightly)

Hold for 5-10 breaths then brings your hands onto your hips and slowly come all the way up. 

  • Strengthens and stretches the inner and back legs and the spine
  • Tones the abdominal organs
  • Calms the brain
  • Relieves mild backache

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

child's play

Thank you Camp Green Acres for all the fun in the sun! Twice a week for the month of July was jammed pack with kids yoga in the scorching heat. I will truly miss all the wonderful children, and their kind and sweet words when I left. Hope to see you again next year!

Jess xo

Saturday, July 23, 2011

pose of the week: boat

How to do it:

1. Start sitting with your knees bent out in front of you.
2. Hold the back of your knees for support as you raise your feet off the ground, keeping your chest lifted and your back long.
3. If you feel stable, release your arms by your side parallel to the floor.
4. Keep the lower back lifting, as you start to straighten your legs, feet together and toes pointed.
5. Spread the shoulder blades across your back and reach strongly out through the fingers.

Hold for 10-20 breaths then slowly lower the legs coming back to seated.

  • Strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors and spine
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Improves digestion 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

proceed with care

Life is full of surprises. It can throw you a curve ball when you least expect it. Be happy with your life, it's like a winding road-appreciate the twist and turns that come about. These incidents happen for a reason and teach us a lesson. Be aware of everything around you: the time, the people, the place, and the environment. You have control over your life, and take action for what unfolds.

That is all.

Monday, July 11, 2011

pose of the week: four limbed staff pose

Chaturanga Dandasana 

How to do it:

1.Starting in plank pose, make sure your shoulders are directly over your wrists.
2. With your legs engaged, begin to shift your weight forward coming onto your tippy toes.
3. Bend your elbows, hugging them into your side body, creating a 90° in your arms (avoid splaying your elbows out to the side)
4. Keep your neck in line with your spine and breathe.

Hold for 5 breaths then drop your knees and rest either on your belly or in child’s pose. 

  • Strengthens upper body, arms and wrists
  • Invigorates the mind and body
  • Tones the abdomen 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

summer of fun!

As much as the rain has brought us down the last few months, summer has been gearing up to be full of great activities. I'm making the most of these bright sunny days spending my time outdoors (even though my friends think I shouldn't!), basking in the sun, getting that sun-kissed glow! I started teaching kids yoga at summer camps, which is draining all my energy, but in the end it is so worth it, putting a smile on a child's face. Today a little girl said to me: "this is the best part of my day, I wish we can do yoga everyday!" I love teaching kids because they have no fear and no worry in the world. I've said it before, that I wish adults can be more like kids; embracing our inner child in everything that we do.

Toronto is a great city, and I have yet to explore all the fascinating places to go to. Take the time to visit your community, you'd be surprised what you'll find! Enjoy this weather, because we only really get 2-3 months of it, then fall hits: back to layered pieces and scarfs (which is so fashionable)!

Do you have any great places I can visit this summer in the city? I'd love to hear all your ideas.
Remember....protect yourself from the sun, smile and most importantly have fun!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

pose of the week: plank

How to do it:

1. Starting on your hands and knees, draw your torso forward so that your shoulders are directly over your wrists.
2. Curl your toes under, walking your feet back to straighten your legs.
3. Keep your body in one straight line; avoid sinking in the hips or rounding in the back.
4. Draw your belly in, press firmly into your hands, push through your back heels to engage your legs, and breathe in through your upper back.

Hold for 10-15 breaths, then drop your knees and push back to child’s pose.

  • Strengthens the arms, legs and spine
  • Tones the abdomen

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

fly like a bird!

Who would have ever thought that acrobatics and yoga would mix? Well it certainly does, after I experienced my first ever acro yoga class at The Yoga Sanctuary downtown. It was such an intense workout, incorporating back bends, forward folds, and lots of core strength! We branched out into small groups of three's where one was the base, flyer and spotter. I felt like an act out of Cirque du Soleil, even though I looked nearly as graceful as those talented gymnasts. The energy in the room was so uplifting and fun that two hours went by so fast! There was also an energizing blend of partner work connecting our bodies and deepening the backbends. As the class came to a close, we all sat in a circle joining our bodies into a group twist then feeling the vibrations as we all chanted OM in unison as our hands touched the back of the heart of our neighbours.

Yoga Sanctuary will be holding more Acro Yoga classes during the month of July, August and September. Check their website for the dates, or let me know if you want to join me. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

photo source:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

pose of the week: hand to big toe pose

How to do it:

1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, placing your hands on your hips.
2. On an inhale open the chest and gaze up. As you exhale, hinge forward from your hips.
3. Release your hands to grab your big toe with your first two fingers and thumb (you may also rest your hands on your shins or ankles.
4. Inhale, lengthen the spine to look forward, and exhale fold over the legs.
5. Keep your legs engaged, roll your shoulders away from the ears and point the elbows out to the side. Avoid rounding in the back.

Hold for 5-10 breaths, then bring your hands to your hips and slowly come up with a straight spine. 

  • Strengthens lower back and hamstrings
  • Improves digestion
  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys

Saturday, June 11, 2011

5 tips to improve your yoga pose

So much detail goes into perfecting a yoga pose. The word perfect and yoga don’t really go hand in hand, but yes, an asana or posture can look beautiful when done correctly, but it truly is the yogi inside us that does all the work. As long as you are doing the pose within your limit and you are feeling the stretch, then you are doing yoga. We all have different body types. Your triangle may be different than the dancer beside you or the seasoned yogi at the front of the class, but what unites you all is the energy we get from doing the pose. These tips are just guidelines I’ve come to learn and notice during my practice. I’d love for you all to share any other pointers as well!

1. Find your foundation: Whether you are standing, seated or balancing on your hands, the foundation is key. You are rooting down into the ground with your feet, sitting bones or hands to establish a stronger YOU and safer practice.

2. Lengthen the spine: This is one of the most common instructions I hear from teachers and which I myself use a lot. Posture is key, and by lengthening the spine towards the crown of the head helps keep your back in line and improve your stance.

3. Engage your core: drawing your navel in slightly towards your spine as you inhale and exhale will strengthen your core muscles. This is known as uddiyana bandha. The lower belly pulls inward and upward will simultaneously lifting the diaphragm. This should be held during the entire practice, which may be difficult for some, however be aware of this in your next class. When you feel that you’ve lost it, just think engage the core!

4. Roll your shoulders away from the ears: This is the most familiar instruction especially for beginners. The shoulder blades should be rolling back and down to help support the neck and avoid any tension.

5. Relax and breathe: This is the most important thing to remember. Yoga is not a competition. Staying with your breath as you move and relaxing the body to the flow of the class or pose will help maintain a clear mind from wandering. After all, yoga should feel good. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

pose of the week: extended hand to big toe

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana B
How to do it:

1. Standing in mountain pose, shift your weight over to your left foot and then bend your right knee to grab onto your big toe. Rest your left hand on your left hip. You may stay with your knee bent, right hand on your knee.
2. On an exhale open your right hip, extending your right heel out to the side. Pull the toes back. If this is too much, keep your knee bent.
3. Turn your gaze over your left shoulder, staying focused on a point. Keep your standing leg strong.

Hold for 5-10 breaths then repeat on the other side. 

  • Strengthens the legs and ankles
  • Stretches the backs of the legs
  • Improves sense of balance 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

top five essentials this summer!

This is geared more towards the ladies. I picked only five things, but you know there’s really more that we can’t live without ;) I’m no expert, but thought I should share my favourite things. 

1. Bronzer  - enhancing your sun-kissed skin will illuminate your face and make it look like you just came back from the beach! I’m also going to include SPF 30 or higher in this section, because protecting your skin is vital from those harsh UV rays.

2. Wedge sandals – yes, the wedge is back! From all looks, shapes and sizes, pairing a wedge with your outfit gives it that stand out look. Perfect from day to night!

3. Summer dresses – whether casual or dressy, summer is all about showing a little skin, and letting the girly side of you come out. From pretty flower prints, safari jungle fever, bright hues to sweet pale pastels, anything goes. Make sure to accessorize to add a little mix!

4. Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver – this must have balm enhances the natural colour of your lips to create a shade that’s uniquely yours. With added moisturizer and sun protection for bonus lip appeal.

5. Bold & Bright nail polish – get those perfectly manicured nails and feet the affection they deserve by spreading a little colour on them. Essie and OPI are my top fav brands, (I have enough to open my own shop!) and I just found a new love in Joe Fresh, three polishes for $10, sweet deal! Stand out in high intense colours this summer. After all, we use our hands and feet the most, so take care of them! 

BONUS: drink lots of water, stay hydrated and of course practice yoga daily! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

pose of the week: headstand

Salamba Sirsasana 
*If you have not done a headstand before, please do it in the presence of a certified instructor, or practice against a wall*

How to do it:

1. Kneel on the floor and come onto your forearms. Grab opposite elbows to measure up the distance then interlace your hand out in front of you (keeping your elbows shoulder width apart at all times)
2. Come onto the crown of the head, resting the back of your head in your palms. Keep your arms and hands strong and roll your shoulders away from the ears.
3. On an inhale, curl your toes under and lift your knees off the floor (this is the prep version, you may stay here). Carefully start to walk your feet towards you, firming your shoulder blades against your back.
4. As you exhale, lift your feet of the floor, keeping your core engaged. You may bend your knees towards your chest first then work to straighten your legs, extending your heels up towards the sky.

Keep the weight evenly balanced on your forearms. Hold for 15 breaths, working your way up to a minute. Slowly lower your legs down and rest in child’s pose. 

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates your nervous system
  • Ensures healthier and more effective lung tissue
  • Improves digestion 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

do you hear a calling?

I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks, and I apologize. This blog has been my release to express myself weekly to all of you, and I’ve been slacking. A trip down south and now battling the flu, gave me no motivation to start typing. With all the downtime I’ve been getting, either laying in bed or watching countless hours of talk shows, the term or expression “calling” has been presented. Are we put on this Earth for a specific purpose? Is everyone born with a calling? Some say yes, and others may disagree. I believe that we all have a calling. It may not be apparent at first, but it can hit you when you least expect it. Callings can me multiple, careers may come and go, but deep down every individual is destined to BE something. You may take this however you may wish, but embrace the life that is your calling, and share that calling with the world. 

As the last Oprah show came to an end, the talk show host summed this up very well: “Nobody is responsible for your life, except you”. She knew all along that she would create greatness. Her calling was to share with the world, and they responded in kindness, as in Karma (she is the most loved and influential woman in television history). The energy that you create for yourself, share that with those around you. Let your vision be heard and make a difference in this world one calling at a time. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

pose of the week: upward facing dog

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
How to do it:

1. Start lying on your stomach. Bring your hands by your side ribs, pull your shoulders back and draw your elbows in.
2. Press onto the tops on the feet to bring your knees off the mat to engage your legs.
3. On an inhale, press into your hands to lift your upper body off the mat. Open the chest and keep your thighs active. Release your head back and gaze up.

Hold for 5-10 breaths then slowly lower down. 

  • Great for relieving sciatica pain
  • Strengthens arms and chest
  • Loosens stiff shoulders
  • Stimulates abdominal organs

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

community classes for all!

I will be teaching three complimentary classes at lululemon athletica Vaughan Mills for the month of May.

Sunday, May 8th at 10am:
mama and me: a special kids class for ages 4 and up with their moms for Mother's Day!

Monday, May. 9th and Wednesday, May. 25th at 9:15pm:
power vinyasa yoga: An energizing blend of yoga styles designed to work every part of the body, and get you working from start to finish. Moving with your breath at a constant flow from one pose to the next, your body will thank you later!

See you @ the store!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

pose of the week: wide-legged forward bend D

Prasarita Padottanasana D
How to do it:

1. Start with your legs comfortably wide apart, and hands on your hips. On an inhale, open the chest and gaze up.
2. As you exhale, fold over the legs, releasing your hands to grab your big toes with your first and middle finger (you may also hold the back of your legs).
3. Relax your head, roll your shoulders away from the ears and point your elbows out to the sides. Keep your legs active (you may also bend your knees slightly)

Hold for 5-10 breaths then brings your hands onto your hips and slowly come all the way up.

  • Strengthens and stretches the inner and back legs and the spine
  • Tones the abdominal organs
  • Calms the brain
  • Relieves mild backache

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This past weekend, I attended the yoga conference downtown. I really did not know what to expect, except the fact that I will be doing four workshops and practicing A LOT. I’ve heard great things of previous shows, so I went there with an open mind and open heart. All I can say is that it exceeded my expectations! All things yoga and more, the space was surrounded by yogis (whether devout practitioners or curious newbie’s), strolling with their mats on hand waiting to get the latest CD’s, books or just information about health and wellness. I chatted with old friends from trainings, and made new ones. After all, yoga is about union.

What stuck with me the most was my influential class with the great Seane Corn. She has made a name for herself in the yoga world, selling out her class “chakra flow” at the conference. She talked for the first hour about the seven different energy centres in our body (chakras) and the practice of yoga. Different people hold emotions inside, whether unhappiness or joy, and these emotions get released when we do yoga. If we are at a point in our lives when we are happy and fulfilled, our next step is to share that energy with those that need it. On the contrary, the shadows inside of us that create burden need to be released in order to live a more satisfying life. People shared their stories to the group, many tragic, which brought a heavy impact on the other students. Many started to cry, sympathizing for those in pain.

When we brought our practice to the mat that is when all true emotions started to release. Seane made us hold the poses and talked us through the sensations we were feeling in our body and how it related to which chakra. Her words were powerful, motivational and truly cosmic. I had my first “ah-ha” moment in a yoga class. The light was so bright, that I saw my true self, words cannot describe. The air in the room was touched in such a profound way, that everyone started to release tears and screams letting go their own emotions out in public. As the practice came to a close, palms together at our hearts, Seane reminded us what our true purpose in life is: LOVE, to be loved and love others. As the tears came down my face, I thanked God for everything, my family, my friends, health and most importantly life.


Monday, April 11, 2011

pose of the week: child's pose

How to do it:

1. Start on your hands and knees. Bring your feet together and separate the knees wider than the hips.
2. Begin to lean your weight back, sitting on your heels.
3. Lengthen the spine as you stretch your arms out in front of you. Relax your head and bring the forehead to the mat.
4. You may also bring your arms along side the body palms facing up. Soften the shoulders.

This is a resting pose. Stay for a minute or longer than slowly come up. 

  • Calms the mind and relieves stress
  • Gently stretches the hips, thighs and lower back

Sunday, April 10, 2011

pick fitness!

I will be teaching two classes at a new studio located in Richmond Hill on May 5th and 7th.
This is an open house for the public so bring the whole family for a FREE trial class.

Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 5:30pm
*A fun, creative and interactive way to introduce yoga to kids using animal poses, breath work, yoga games and basic stretching exercises that promote strength, improve concentration and focus, flexibility and coordination. Children aged 4-12 will also take part in partner poses to connect the group and stimulate their imagination and help to release energy in a fun and non-competitive environment.

Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 2:30pm
*Parents and children ages 4 and up can finally enjoy yoga together. Similar to the kids class, here participants can notice more of a flow type class with the addition of partner poses to bond parent and child.

Contact the studio or myself for more info and to register.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

pose of the week: warrior I

Virabhadrasana I
How to do it:

1. Starting in tadasana (mountain pose) take a wide step back with your left foot. Drop your back heel and check to see that it's aligned with the back of the right foot.
2. Square your hips forward, and push through your back heel as you begin to bend the right knee until it's directly over your ankle.
3. On an inhale, raise your arms overhead, bringing your palms together. Arms are straight and shoulders down and back.
4. You may either keep your head neutral gazing forward or tilt it back and look up at your thumbs.

Keep your back leg strong, torso lifted and draw your side ribs in.
Hold here for 5-10 breaths then repeat on the other side.

  • Improves concentration and balance
  • Relieves joint stiffness
  • Improves breathing and circulation
  • Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

practice lightly...

Graceful motion on the mat
inspires a gentle footprint
in the world.
It's our practice,
allowing us to choose
the reflection
we leave behind.

Source:  Manduka, the world leader in yoga products

Friday, March 25, 2011

pose of the week: warrior II

Virabhadrasaana II
How to do it:

1. Stand with your legs comfortably wide apart. Turn your right toes out 90° and your left toes in slightly aligning your heels.
2. On an inhale raise your arms out to the side shoulder height, and as you exhale bend your right knee until it’s directly over your ankle.
3. Strengthen your back leg, and gaze over your right hand. Keep the sides your torso long and your shoulders directly over the pelvis.

Hold for 5-10 breaths then repeat on the other side. 

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
  • Stretches the groins, chest, lungs and shoulders
  • Increases stamina

*Don't mind the

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Greetings from beautiful British Columbia! I’ve been here for the last five days and it has been pure R&R with a little bit of an adrenaline rush. Revelstoke, BC is a small town surrounded by vast mountains, and I’m at the centre of it all, located directly on the resort just a step away from the gondola taking me 6000 ft atop North America’s highest vertical drop. Throwing all my fears aside, I tackled the runs with careful strokes, but it definitely wasn’t easy. I suffered a few bumps along the way, but got right up and tried again. I’ve already seen improvements, thanks to a great teacher. These words will always stick with me: “stay low, get athletic, arms forward, reach, plant and ski around the pole!”
My body is really feeling the after effects. I’m sticking with my stretching, doing some yoga every morning, but boy do I feel stiff. I can’t even touch my toes. My legs have officially given up on me. It is exhausting, especially if you are not used to taking 45 mins to an hour to get down. This resort really makes Blue Mountain look like a beginner run.
In the end, the view is well worth it. Fresh crisp air, mountains all around, newly groomed runs, and great company. You couldn’t ask for anything more. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

pose of the week: bridge

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
How to do it:

1. Start lying on your back, bring your arms by your side and bend your knees so the soles of your feet are grounded on the mat.
2. Walk your feet in closer towards your hips, so you can touch the back of you heels.
3. On an inhale press firmly into your feet as you lift your hips up. You may bring your hands onto your lower back for support, or begin to roll your shoulder blades under and interlace your hands behind your back.
4. Make sure your knees are directly over your ankles, feet are hip distance apart and toes are pointing forward.
5. Pull your chin away from your chest and draw your knees away from you.

Hold for 5-10 breaths, then slowly release your hands and lower your hips down one vertebra at a time. Hug your knees into your chest. 

  • Stretches the chest, neck and spine
  • Alleviates stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid
  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache and headache

Saturday, March 12, 2011

five reasons to stay with the person you love

1. Love is a decision
2. There is no weakness in forgiveness
3. Someone new won’t be new for long
4. Often the person you are running from is you
5. You don’t need a reason

One of my favourite blogs I love to follow is divine caroline: great topics/advice given to women by women. It really does say a lot about relationships. If you are in one, appreciate and love it.
I came across this article the other day and thought I should share :) A detailed explanation of each reason is on their main site. Take two minutes out of your day to read. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

pose of the week: shoulder stand

                                                                                                                         Salamba Sarvangasana
How to do it:

1. Lie down with your arms by your side, then bring your knees into your chest.
2. Press down with your hands to lift your hips up over your shoulders, straightening your torso, and supporting your back with your hands.
3. Walk your hands up your back drawing your elbows close together.
4. Stretch your toes up and straighten your legs.
5. Keep your body perpendicular to the floor. If this is too extreme, you may just rest your hips in the hands for support or leave the hips on the floor only extending your legs up, pointing the toes to the sky.
If you feel any discomfort in the neck, then come out of the posture.

Hold for 10-20 breaths then slowly roll your hips down and hug your knees into your chest. 

  • Stretches shoulders and neck
  • Tones organs, legs and buttocks
  • Improves digestion
  • Calms the brain and helps reduce stress 

Monday, March 7, 2011

opening my eyes and mind to primary series

This past weekend, Stratusphere welcomed special guest Ashtanga yoga teacher David Robson, to lead primary series at the studio. This was such a special treat for us practitioners because he is hosting a 100hr immersion next month at the studio. Class was packed, energy was high and all smiles were filled across the room. To think, that I have been teaching for more than a year, and I have not met this man yet, or even practiced traditional Mysore (self practice) on a daily basis. What a disgrace and eye opener for me! My practice has definitely evolved in the last three years, but nowhere where it could be. For once, I lasted through the primary’s entirety, attempting EVERY pose in the series, much to my fear before I would skip or do something else. It’s ok if I didn’t get it right, that’s the whole part about yoga being a journey. It takes many years of practice and dedication, and I have accepted that. 
Now feeling the after effects of my body being sore in all places (very different than crossFit sore), a new goal has been formed. This summer, I will commit to one month of Mysore at least 3 days a week at the Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto with the man himself, DR (that’s what we call him around here). It won’t be easy waking up at the crack of dawn, driving downtown to find parking, but it will all be worth it after: mentally, physically and spiritually. This is my journey…stay tuned. 

Image source: practice chart by Vicki Picone

Monday, February 28, 2011

pose of the week: eastern intense stretch or upward plank


How to do it:

1. Sitting with your legs straight out in front of you, place your hands by your side fingers pointing towards your toes, and wrist directly under your shoulders.
2. Inhale as you lift your hips up, opening the chest, releasing the head back.
3. Keep your legs strong and straight, feet touching and soles of the feet on the mat (for modification, you may bend your knees keeping your feet hip distance apart).
4. Engage your arms, and hold for 5 deep breaths.

Exhale, gaze forward and lower your hips down slowly with control.

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists and legs
  • Stretches the shoulders, chest, and front ankles

Friday, February 25, 2011

crossfit fail!

With all the latest fitness crazes out there, CrossFit is making its mark in the industry. I’m not here to bash it by any means; I’m just sharing my story. My friends keep raving about this new phenomenon (well not that new, it started in the mid 90’s) but to be honest I don’t care for it. However, I did have the courage to get out and attempt it for myself. Wow, did I feel so out of my comfort zone.
Being a yogi, I feel most at home on my yoga mat, bare foot, no distraction in the world. This time, I had to put on running shoes, get to a gym and share equipment with others. I was lost, shy and completely embarrassed. I felt stupid, and sensed that everyone was staring at me thinking “look at this girl, she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing!” I completed my workout in just over 15mins (which was probably the easiest of exercises). I had no pain afterwards, but the next day I couldn’t move! I hate the feeling of being sore. I know that means I worked hard, but I was angry and depressed. “NEVER AGAIN” I told myself. This is not for me. Yoga provides the same benefits for MY body: Strength, toning, endurance and stamina. So I’m sticking to it.
To all my crazy crossfit friends: you guys are soldiers, and if it makes you happy, keep at it, and I’ll applaud you by the side in my comfortable seated position.

For more info, check out

Thursday, February 24, 2011

pose of the week: extended side angle

Utthita Parsvakonasana
How to do it:

1. Stand with your legs comfortably wide apart
2. Raise your arms up to the side shoulder height, as you turn your right foot out 90° and your left toes in slightly aligning your heels.
3. Bend your right knee, until your knee is just above your ankle, and place your right hand outside your foot (you may also bring your forearm to your knee for modification).
4. Open the chest as your raise your left arm up and over your left ear. Gaze up at your extended arm.
5. Keep your back leg strong. Draw your right hipbone back and left shoulder blade down.

Hold for 5 breaths then repeat on the other side.

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles
  • Stretches the groins, spine, chest and shoulders
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Helps relieve sciatica and a tired back 

Friday, February 18, 2011

a love for a lovebird

This past weekend, I had to take care of a bird. Not any bird, but a lovebird to be exact. His name is Malijack (don’t know what the owners were thinking), but I’ve grown to love it. Over the last ten years that I’ve known him, I was always fascinated with all the things that this little creature can do. When you think lovebird, you assume that there are two in a cage, but no…this one gets all the love for himself. His love comes from the people around him.
He is extremely unique! Malijack does not want to be in a cage all day. Once the chirping begins, he knows he’ll get his way. As the tiny door to his tiny cage opens, he spreads his wings to fly, checks out his surroundings then lands on his favourite spot: your head or shoulder. He can just chill there for hours, while you do your daily tasks around the house, no bothersome in the world. He loves being involved with everything you do: cooking, eating, showering, brushing teeth, putting on makeup, etc…
But at the end of the day, it’s all about him. Giving him kisses, petting his head, or snuggling up in your shirt. Who would have thought a bird would get this much attention?! I shared a special bond with him that no one can take back and I am grateful. In ten years, he finally grew to love me too.