A bunch of people practicing aeriel yoga. They are leaning backward supported by purple silks suspended from a wooden beam.

Amazing Night at Fly Queen West

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Fly Studios on Queen West. Fly Studios is an aerial yoga and reformer Pilates studio located above a storefront (…let’s be real, it’s a dispensary) near Spadina. I’d been wanting to try aerial yoga for a while, but I admit I was a little intimidated! Even a regular yogi can be nervous about new kinds of yoga. That said, I was delighted when Fly invited me to a special event because I knew it would be an awesome way for me to step outside of my comfort zone. Read More

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A Reflection On My Yoga Teacher Training So Far

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would scour my grandmother’s parsley patch searching for swallowtail caterpillars. Their vibrant yellows and greens stood out against their black stripes, making them easy to find to a child’s trained eye. Sometimes we would find them just as they were preparing to undergo metamorphosis. Their bodies would be arched in a specific way, like a solid crescent moon. On occasion, we would wait a few days before carefully breaking the plant at the bottom of the stem and transferring the cocoon to a jar. We would watch it everyday as it transformed before our curious eyes. After a few weeks, the chrysalis would begin to wiggle and a beautiful yellow swallowtail butterfly would emerge. We would watch her until she was strong enough to fly away.

I kind of feel like that butterfly right now. I’m not quite ready to emerge from my cocoon, but my wings are definitely forming.

I just submitted my availability for teaching community yoga classes this fall. Can you believe this is actually happening?! I am so proud I took this leap and made the decision to pursue my yoga teacher training. It was risky to try to put my life on hold in order to attend school full-time for an entire month, but I was committed to my Dharma, as we say. Things didn’t exactly go as planned leading up to the training, but there was no way I was going to let anything get in the way of this. I felt compelled to do this now and I am so grateful I listened to my ~ing and rolled with whatever came my way. The experience has been greater than I ever could have imagined. Read More

Woman preparing to hop on bicycle. Her face is hidden.

And So It Begins…

Next week my yoga teacher training begins and for the first time in my life I’m not entirely sure where I’m heading. Before, I was so busy thinking about my next steps and trying to prove things to myself (that I was smart enough, ambitious enough, good enough) that I missed so many important, beautiful things along the way. I was always chasing something, telling myself I’d find happiness in the next assignment, job or party, in the next five pounds, or maybe the five after that. I sought external validation and was crippled when I didn’t get it. I was plagued by feeling like I hadn’t found my place in this world. I questioned my work and my authenticity, living in a constant flux of anxiety and depression that eventually contributed to me resigning from my job.

I needed time to think. I was sick, tired, sad and confused. I felt like I had gone off track (or more honestly, completely off the rails) somewhere along the way, but I couldn’t quite figure out what had gone wrong, or where. On the outside, things looked good. I was more or less always moving forward, yet for some reason I felt like my work didn’t matter. When you define yourself by your work as I did, this eventually causes you to misinterpret this as meaning you don’t matter. These thoughts kept me up all night, but left me exhausted and bedridden during the day. It took a lot of work for me to return to some semblance of normalcy. Yet even after I got my shit together and stopped feeling sorry for myself, something didn’t quite feel right. I couldn’t shake the thought that there had to be more to life than this. Read More

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How to Celebrate International Day of Yoga in Toronto

Next week marks the second annual International Day of Yoga. While a ‘World Yoga Day’ has been celebrated unofficially in some capacity for many years, it was not until the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, proposed the idea in 2014 that the United Nations General Assembly gave June 21st the official declaration. The first event last year was celebrated around the world and earned two Guinness World Records, one for the largest yoga class, which was taught by Prime Minister Modi himself and attracted some 35,985 people; and one for the largest number of nationalities to participate in a single yoga event: an amazing 84 nations.

I don’t think we’re going to see anything of that magnitude here in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do to participate in this amazing day. Here are 10 ways to celebrate International Yoga Day in Toronto. Read More

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20+ Places to do Free Yoga in Toronto This Summer

I’m just going to pretend that’s a photo from Toronto Islands as that’s one of many places you can experience free yoga in Toronto this summer. Free yoga classes are an amazing and affordable way to develop your practice, explore new parts of the city, try different styles of yoga and spend some time with friends (or make some new ones!). Here are more than 20 opportunities to take advantage of free yoga in the six this summer, including multiple gorgeous parks, a farm, the Distillery District, libraries and even the Sony Centre.  Read More

Karina V Toronto Yoga Instagram

8 Toronto Yogis to Follow on Instagram

There is something to be said about a well executed Instagram account. While I love an account that features beautiful photos and attention to detail as much as the next person, what really inspires me is when people (or brands) use the channel to show their authentic selves and to invite followers into their journeys. Instagram, as curated as it may be, has the ability to make us part of a moment, and is powerful enough to sometimes turn these moments into movements.

As someone who works in digital marketing and social media, I’ve found myself paying increasing attention to Instagram strategy. While I won’t use this post to address that, I wanted to share with you some of the Toronto yogis I think are doing a particularly wonderful job of sharing the yoga lifestyle and inspiring their followers to pursue their own paths.

Without further ado, here are eight Toronto yogis you absolutely must follow on Instagram. Read More

Self Care Sundays

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m lucky to be celebrating with my fiancé tonight, but before we head out I wanted to take a moment to talk about Self Care Sunday. As much as it’s important to recognize our love for others, it’s possibly even more important to our overall well-being to show ourselves the love as well.

I’ve been meaning to write a post about Self Care Sunday for weeks, but my seemingly never-ending to-do list has made the idea of stopping to take time for myself almost stressful. This is the opposite of what Self Care Sunday is all about! Self Care Sunday is about taking the time to look after yourself mentally, physically and spiritually despite the other things going on in our lives. This may mean different things to different people, but what remains constant is the promise to take a few moments to do something that makes us feel good. Even a few small things can add up and make a big difference in our lives.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to show myself some love on Self Care Sundays.

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The Yogi’s Guide to Essential Reading

Put the kettle on, get your tea mug ready and wrap yourself up in a warm, fuzzy blanket because tonight we’re talking about reading! I started compiling this list as I was preparing for my yoga teacher training and have decided to continue updating it as I discover more yoga books and texts. If I’ve missed any, please feel free to post them in the comments below! I have not yet read all of these, but they’re on my list.

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On #BellLetsTalk Day Let’s Not Forget to Listen

I am what I would describe as high functioning. Despite living with clinical depression, anxiety and at times a slew of other issues, I have been fortunate in that I’ve managed to hold myself together for the most part. Gathering the courage to ask for help from medical professionals wasn’t the hard part for me, and I am thankful for that. It was getting people to listen that was the problem. Read More

Book Review: Yoga Girl By Rachel Brathen

I just finished reading Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen and wow, what a beautiful book! Part memoir and part yoga reference guide, Yoga Girl is full of stunning photos that capture Rachel’s radiance, strength and positivity, as well as her life living along the beautiful beaches of Aruba. It features broken down sequencing and proper pose technique, and contains enough inspiration to set you up for a lifetime of positive thinking.

But what I like most about it is how real it is. It reminded me of how my own yoga journey began.

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