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.
The Real Gillian B
It’s not difficult to see why Gillian B has amassed more than 14,000 followers on Instagram. The yoga teacher, holistic health coach and self-care specialist shares stunning photos from her travels around the world, and she uses these photos as opportunities to share her learnings with her followers. Each photo is captioned with a story or meditation reminding us to express gratitude, trust our instincts and follow our hearts.
Karina has been an inspiration to me since we first met late last year. Her dedication to health and wellness and her desire to help people through a holistic approach to coaching separates her from other personal trainers in the city. Don’t let her sweet demeanour fool you though. Karina is one tough cookie and I can tell you from personal experience that she’s not afraid to make you work for results. When she is not teaching yoga, she is a personal trainer, kickboxing instructor and an avid traveller. Her Instagram is a beautiful balance of all of these passions. The featured photo is also of Karina.
Julian and I met many years ago when he was first launching his now Canada-wide online lifestyle publication Notable. Notable is all about inspiring YPs (young professionals) to “take their professional and social lives to the next level,” so it’s no surprise that Julian lives by example. The #SpiritualGangster fuses his passion for entrepreneurship and business with his love of teaching yoga in an account that manages to simultaneously inspire action and activity.
Kaitlyn’s Instagram features clean images of the Lululemon-loving yogi in a variety of challenging and advanced poses that she pairs with inspiring quotes and insights, as well as reflections on the classes she teachers at Yyoga. Her account is body positive without making that the focus of her aesthetic, yet it is celebrated through her use of hashtags like #curvyyoga, #curvyyogi, #yogabody and #bodylove. It’s a really refreshing and inspiring take on yoga and the powerful role it plays in one’s positivity.
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Went to the Toronto Yoga Conference yesterday and totally didn't manage to get a single picture. I did however teach two amazing classes at @YYoga Harbourfront where the energy was so lovely and upbeat despite it being winter in April. In Power we worked on this baby (astavakrasana) and everyone in the room was laughing and smiling and playing – a beautiful way to start a Sunday and end a weekend. 🙏🏻❤️ I hope the beginning of your week is magical and beautiful! Monday is a day just like any other, go out and conquer it!
Popular Toronto yoga teacher Kate Gillespie’s Instagram is full of stunning shots from her travels and retreats. Most recently, she visited Bali to lead a 200hr Vinyasa retreat. Her photos inspire wanderlust while showing you all the places that a career in yoga can take you. She teaches at a number of studios in the city including YogaSpace, MISFITSTUDIO, Downward Dog, Moksha downtown and more, but her account offers a glimpse into her yoga life beyond the Six.
My girl Janey Brown is a woman of many passions who commits whole-heartedly to everything she does. Her account provides insights into her life as a yogi, singer, performer, traveller, instructor and more. She sees the beauty in everything, even her own dark times, and her photos reflect this. Captions inspire followers to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles life throws your way, and she reminds us all to slow down, meditate and write even when the hustle’s strong.
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My personalized exercise, nutrition + mediation regimen have played a huge role in my performance stamina and vocal health. March 27- April 3 I share all my wellness secrets along with my incredible team of experts @sylvietetrault @cle425 @earthling85 at our retreat in #COSTARICA!!!! VISIT panacea-wellness.com for all the dets!!! 🌞🌊✌💖😘 📷: Mark Burnham
I recently stumbled across Christine’s Instagram and was immediately drawn to its magazine-quality photos. The images are athletic, strong and sometimes even a little sexy, revealing a confident woman who understands the appeal of a consistent aesthetic. She often has help with her photos and credits the photographers (the featured one is by Lived Life Photography), which ups the overall glam factor and makes her account stand out. Its glossiness could be mistaken for a model’s account. I also give Christine props for using those big Toronto condo windows to provide her photos with the right lighting.
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Let's pretend, just for today, all day long, throughout our every thought and decision, that life is easy, that everyone means well, and that time is on our side. Let's pretend that we are loved beyond belief, that magic conspires on our behalf, and that nothing can ever hurt us without our consent. And if we like this game, we'll play tomorrow, and the next day, and the next … 📷:@livedlifephotography 👖:@daubanddesign
I can’t do a Toronto yogi Instagram roundup without including Vanessa. Her account is full of yoga poses set to a backdrop of gorgeous Toronto landscapes and attractions including the Aquarium, Graffiti Alley, the AGO, the CN Tower, the docks and the TTC, to name a few. If Instagram leads you deep into travel envy, look no further than Vanessa’s account to return to your foundation. She shows us yoga will always take us home, no matter where that may be. And luckily for all of us, that home is here in Toronto.
Don’t forget to also follow me on Instagram @Shevasana. I admit my Instagram game’s not as strong as these accounts, but I’m taking notes from them and working to build an account that more accurately represents who I am and what Shevasana stands for.
Did I miss anyone? Tell me your favourite Toronto yogi accounts in the comments below.