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Community Feature: October 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Harris Beacock

I walked into Power Yoga Canada in Leaside about a year ago. I had tried Bikram Yoga at a nearby studio in 2015, actually staying with that practice for almost a year, but the 90 minute classes were simply too much of a time commitment to allow me to continue my practice.

Fast forward 2 years to the Fall of 2017. I weighed 238 pounds, was moving toward being diabetic and was not very active at all. Although my career is not exactly physically demanding, as I sit at a desk most of the day, mental stress is a definite factor. My only physical activity consisted of walking my dogs – on its own, it was not conducive to being truly healthy. I had noticed the Power Yoga Canada sign on Laird and decided to drop in and see what it was all about. I liked the concept of hot yoga, as I have always thought that a good sweat was good for a person. The first practice was a definite contest to stay with the flow, but I felt terrific after the class. I was hooked!

From there, I started slowly, finding it challenging to do 3 classes a week, but sixty minutes is a manageable time commitment and the classes provide a total body workout, as well as a great mental flush!

Fast forward to now, a year later. Combining my practice with proper nutrition, I have dropped 24 pounds, reducing my body fat from 29.7% to 20.5%. I have improved my physical fitness to the point where the classes are still challenging, but I get through them and the after-class buzz is well worth the effort. Walking my dogs is no longer a challenge. I sleep better, have a clearer head at work and home and I always look forward to the positive reinforcement that I get from the instructors and fellow yogis. My goal is to continue to practice at least 4 times a week and I have begun attending Sunday yin classes for variety. Perhaps there is 40 Day Challenge in my future!

I have found the instructors and my classmate to always be positive and helpful, from taking someone who is really new into their classes to offering hints on how to continuously improve my practice. The constant positive reinforcement from everyone has been extremely helpful with my yoga journey.

I want my story to act as a motivational point for anyone who thinks that they can’t change their situation, be it mental or physical. It can be done!

Community Feature: September 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Allan Pitre – Community Member & PYC City Centre Yogi

I wanted to try yoga for a long time, but was always too afraid. Living with depression and anxiety for most of my life has been limiting, especially when it comes to unfamiliar social settings. I usually just avoid these situations entirely. My timid nature has kept me from trying many things. I tend to live in my own head, to overanalyze things, and can be extremely self-critical. Sometimes I feel like I’m in an abusive relationship with myself…
Initially, One of the reasons yoga intrigued me was that I had heard it was beneficial in healing the body from injuries. I have a bad back and problems with my hips, knees, and shoulders; being that I’m extremely accident prone and clumsy, many of these are self-inflicted. I frequently get low back spasms and my body is generally very tense and sore, and feels way older than 40 years should.

I’ve struggled with my weight since my teens, there was definitely a correlation between my weight and worst bouts of depression. I’ve dropped 115 lbs. through consistent exercise, a strict ketogenic diet, and intermittent fasting. Losing weight has improved the way I feel emotionally and physically, but years of additional weight has compounded my injuries. Because of these injuries, some of the workouts I used to enjoy are no longer an option.

Last winter, I reduced exercising and picked up some bad diet habits. I gained weight, and started to get a bit down on myself. Before things got worse, I recommitted to my diet and exercise regimen. My wife and I decided to try yoga and support each other through the experience since we were both apprehensive. I don’t know that I would have worked up the courage to start alone, and I’m grateful for her support because the past 5-1⁄2 months have been transformative.

I was so nervous for my first class at PYC City Centre. I did not know what to expect. I was concerned about being judged because of my body, because I didn’t know the sequences, or when I couldn’t hold a pose. Instead, I found a supportive community of amazing people who have literally bent over backwards (pun intended) to make me feel welcome and accepted, and without even having an inkling of how intimidated I was those first few weeks.

I have become completely enamoured with yoga. It’s amongst the most physically demanding activities I have done, yet I feel incredible after. I actually look forward to my next time on the mat. I won’t pretend that yoga has fixed my body, but it has absolutely made a difference. Every day I feel stronger and continue to surprise myself with what I can do. I recently completed a 21 day challenge and it was one of the proudest accomplishments I can recall in recent years. The best part of the experience has been the community and feeling like I belong here.

There have been many encouraging and inspirational words spoken by the awesome team of instructors at PYC City Centre, but for me, the ones that most resonated are “…the hardest part of your practice was showing up on your mat, and you already did that!”. I couldn’t agree more. Just show up for practice and amazing things will happen!

One Breath

By | Uncategorized

Building a Community One Breath at a Time

The Stories of Power Yoga Canada & how it takes a village to raise a Yoga Studio

As we approach our 10 year anniversary, it has become so clear that Power Yoga Canada would not be what it is without YOU! We have moved together, we have cried together and we have lived together in and out of unison. Well, we need your support once again.

We are spending the next year putting together all the stories of PYC. What have you learned? What have you shared? What do you want the world to know? What photos do you have and what memories do you never want to forget? Do you have a paragraph? Do you have a quote? Do you have a recipe or an accomplishment that would have not happened had we not met on our mats?

Storytelling and sharing allows us to keep our stories alive, so if you have something please share it. We want to hear from you send whether you have been with PYC since day 1 or whether our paths have just crossed – we need to hear from you! Wherever you practice or don’t practice, wherever you are in the world please send us whatever inspires YOU!

When: By November 2nd 2018 (that will be our 9 year anniversary)
How: Email community@poweryogacanada.com with subject: ONE BREATH
Questions: Email us! @ info@poweryogacanada.com

Wanna share on social? Tag us & use the hashtag #pyclife and we will use as many as we can.

Mother Theresa said, if you want to change the world, go home and love your family. Thank you for being our family, together we have been changing the world, we are forever grateful & we are all just getting started!!!

Love,
Kinndli & Pauline

Community Feature: August 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Matt Kowaldd

Release your self-imposed limits. Be grateful. This is the wisdom I have learned to live by. Let me explain…I have experienced some turbulence in my life. I was nine when my mother was murdered by my step dad, changing my life and support system forever. I initially moved in with my grandparents. As I got older, I was sent to a public boarding school and was surrounded by troubled youth. I became angrier and more confused with the world. My grandmother passed away, and I lost another person in my life. My grandmother’s passing hit a switch inside of me; the light in me disappeared, allowing darkness to enter. I gave up on life. I woke up in a hospital room the next day, and a veil of regret stuck on me like a wet blanket.

Moving forward my mind state shifted to a positive one as I began to understand and treasure the small things in life. I slowly discovered yoga, meditation, mindful movement, and how to forgive past grievances that I held on to. I discovered the power of gratitude and changing the “I have to” tasks into “I get to” tasks. This simple mind shift had a profound impact on my outlook, allowing in more light than I knew was possible.

In 2015, I booked a one-way ticket to Canada for university. Missing the heat of Australia, I jumped into a hot power yoga class at PYC St Catharines for the first time. The experience was incredible-I had practiced yoga before, but never in a hot room or with a dedicated community. The experience helped me find focus in my mind, my body and the present.

These moments on the mat translated my life. It encouraged me to write a letter to my step dad letting him know that I forgive him, allowing me to move on. To be gentler on myself, and take note of the small things. This is why I wanted to add a space to forgive something each day, to continue letting go of things that are easy to hold onto. The lessons I learnt from these obstacles have helped me grow so much. Remembering to breathe, to move, to love, to laugh, to smile, to forgive, to be compassionate, and to treasure the moments in everyday is what saved me.

Through the struggles I have experienced in my life, I was inspired to create The Yogi’s Journal a guided journal that combines elements that have helped me grow in my yoga practice. Taking those tools that I accumulated throughout my life, I wanted to create a written structure, as I often find it easy to forget to do the little things that have helped me and many others.

Bringing the idea into fruition I reached out to Laura (a friend and yoga teacher in England) and began bouncing ideas as we began to shape the idea. Then reaching out to Siqouia a graphic designer to add flare, and Jess to help spread the word. Through brainstorming and many talks we created a guide for ourselves and you to foster an explorative and healing practice.
The journal guides you through everything that has helped us on our journeys, and what we have learned from yoga, starting with guidance, ideas and inspirations into the eight-limbed path, gratitude, forgiveness, setting goals that resonate with you, creating morning rituals, and the yamas and niyamas.

At the beginning of each week you can set your focus, steps towards your goal, and ideas on how you are going to incorporate the yama or niyama into your week. A friendly challenge, and some asana, meditation, and pranayama inspiration.
Each day there’s a structured page where we can start the day with gratitude, set an intention and write down three tasks the we get to do today! There’s a space for affirmations, reflection on your practice, to forgive, and a spot to write down the moment that you can treasure.

Ending the week we gave ourselves some space to reflect, including how you moved towards your goals, how the yama or niyama affected you, what challenged you, what enriched you, and how present you were.

5 Ways to Maximize your Teacher Training

By | 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

Author:  Jess Moore – Winter 2017 Teacher Training Grad, PYC Gtown Teacher & Yogi

On the eve of another 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, I wanted to share some reflections on my teacher training experience. The program will challenge you in ways you could never expect, with that in mind, here are five ways to maximize your teacher training experience:

Stay Present

I was very nonchalant in my expectations of teacher training, after all, I had done 40 Days to Personal Revolution (twice), so I deemed myself pretty much an expert at sharing. I think I nearly got whiplash the first day of teacher training. I hatched a plan to sneak out of the program.  Move, maybe to Vancouver, devise another identity and forget the whole idea of a yoga teacher training -it was only then I remembered a friend had been my ride (no exaggeration).  Stay present, all is well.

Push Yourself to Connect

This community shines so bright when it comes to generating community.  I’m telling you, the love in a 200 Hour Teacher Training is fierce. You will find your TT Family and love them hard (there will likely be talk of matching tattoos, coordinating outfits and all boundaries of ridiculousness).  A homebase is great, but also push yourself to connect someone new at breaks or meals. 

The Sneaky Thing About Sharing

If any any point you say to yourself “I don’t really have a good story to share, I’ll catch the next one”, I encourage you automatically stick your hand up.  There are a lot of next ones, until there isn’t, so don’t miss the opportunity in front of you.  We share from the present, so don’t sweat all the details or measuring of whether it’s good enough.

Memorize the JIP Early

I was about halfway through the program before I could confidently get to the grounding series of the flow.  At that point, I realized that I was leaving the memorizing incomplete as an excuse to not get as big as possible in my teaching.  It gave me something to fall back on, and helped keep me in my comfort zone. In reality, if my brain has the capacity to remember every Kardashian sister and all the characters in the periphery, the JIP should be no problem. Memorizing the Journey into Power sequence is an access to more freedom in the program.   Think about the JIP as an instrument itself, and the 200 Hour Teacher Training program teaches how to play that instrument wholeheartedly.

 

The Program Works

It’s as simple as that.  Each person has their own path through the training, so it can be easy to fall into comparison.  Why am I not having highly individual and meaningful personal insights on a predetermined timeline?!  Chill. The program works and extends way beyond your training period, knowing that the program works, relax and know that magic is coming your way.

To the Summer 2018 Yoga Teacher Training Intensive class, I’m wishing you all the best.  Enjoy your time at program and see you on the other side!

 

 

Community Feature: July 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Janice Mirynech – Community Member & PYC St. Catharine’s Yogi

“I dare you!”  Those three words were what first brought me to Power Yoga Canada  St. Catharines. It was January, 2015 and my adventurous daughter was visiting from Banff where she’s into hiking, mountain and ice climbing and more – just for fun! Fitness had taken a back seat in my life for many years. A marketing career with some of Canada’s largest wineries meant time away travelling. When at home, I was busy catching up with my husband and raising our daughter with no time extra personal time.  

Life shifted dramatically when I was suddenly restructured out of my job. I had been raised in a family where achievement was how we were valued – what you did and who you were. Not what kind of person, but who you were – title, status in the community and so on. Suddenly this was gone and I felt lost, spending many long months in a depressive state.

The darkness started to lift as I began to focus on reclaiming my life. Moving in a radically different direction, I trained in FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning) – partnering with horses to help people. It’s Life Coaching with a horse, and during the training I felt a sense of purpose come back – one that focused more on heart and balance than on bottom lines and titles. I began to co-facilitate trainings, my confidence returned and I found myself much more mentally and emotionally balanced. I also reclaimed my spirituality, enrolling in a shamanic studies program, healing my soul with ancient wisdom and ceremonies. 

Having gained my emotional, mental and spiritual strength back, my daughter’s three words, “I dare you” gave me the push I needed to put my attention to the physical. Little did I know Power Yoga Canada would bring so much more than that.

I’ll never forget that first morning class. Moving through our 10th Chaturanga  (felt like the 100th!) and I thought if I did one more, I’d land on my face! Heaven was the cold, scented cloth placed on my forehead in Savasana! Then my daughter challenged me to sign up for 30 days. With each class, I could do one more Chaturanga, bow forward a little deeper and feel a new strength returning to my body.  

I joined the Power Yoga St. Catharines Energy Exchange Team and the changes kept happening. For my 60th birthday, I set a goal to be able to do one full wheel! But the shifts weren’t just physical.  During class, and in the 40 Days to Personal Revolution program, the words and thoughts shared by the teachers resonated with my FEEL and shamanic work. They spoke of being present to the moment, inviting me to be curious when I felt resistance to a pose to see what that might mirror for me in my life. More than just physical, my practice at Power Yoga Canada was challenging my heart and spirit to keep growing… keep flowing.

I’ve made new friends and love the sense of belonging I have when I walk through the door. PYC echoes my daughter’s voice and dares me to connect to who I am in all aspects. The next time you’re in down dog, perhaps you too will hear “I dare you!”  

200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training: What’s in it for you?

By | 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

1.SPACE

This program is challenging because it asks you to get real with about who you’ve been and who you want to be in the future.  Through inquiry, meditation and asana (yoga practice), you be able to create space between your thoughts and will tune in to your innermost compass and be in the experience of creating something new for yourself.

2.NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BODY

You will gain new insights into your yoga practice as you study the anatomy of yoga, learn the fundamentals of the Journey into Power. Your practice and understanding of your own body will be transformed as you understand the mechanics of movement and how to find your fullest expression. 

3. REMEMBER HOW TO PLAY

One of the greatest gifts of this program is that it will reunite you with play.  Maybe you’ve been taking yourself too seriously for too long, in this 200 hour yoga teacher training program you will reconnect with what it feels like for explore with curiosity, put your heart into trying new things and encouraging others to play as well.

4.COMMUNITY

You’ll meet your Yoga Family.   These will be the people to cheer you on without question, just like you’ll learn to be the loudest one in the room cheering for them.  They will give of themselves generously and you will too. You will learn to love, celebrate and share fiercely. Do not be surprised when one of you suggests matching tattoos.

5.SURPRISE

Am I really teaching a yoga class right now?  Am I really doing a handstand right now? Am I really sharing in front of the group right now? Am I really moving past by bullshit?  Am I really up to something bigger than myself? YES.

Community Feature: June 2018

By | Community Feature

Author:  Patryk Moskal – Community Member & PYC Mississauga Yogi

After studying at University of Toronto, I earned the opportunity to pursue my dreams playing basketball professionally in Poland. I got to travel the country where my family is from and was lucky enough to play in amazing cities like Wroclaw, Posnan, and Zgorzelec! The relationships and memories that were formed I will cherish forever. To say that basketball has been a big influence on my life is probably an understatement because I learned a lot about myself, much of the values and work ethic still sticks with me to this day. Growing up with basketball, you always need to be prepared for what was next, but when I came back home I was lost in what the next phase of my life would entail. I had got out of long term relationship and was just leapfrogging from job to job not really knowing what I wanted to focus on in the next chapter of my life. Even though my passion for basketball has always brought me to the gym, I started getting bored of the same routine. I needed a new challenge. A new bridge to cross. Thankfully I took my friends suggestion of coming to a class and found Power Yoga Canada Mississauga!

After signing up for the Intro Special in the beginning of February, I have seen tremendous growth in myself not just on my mat but the person off of it as well. I am no longer stressing about things that are not in my control, and focus on the present and what I can change. I am the type of person that’s mind is always racing back and forth, from future to the past, and everything in between. Finding yoga has been a calming breathe of fresh air. Ever since I stepped foot in a hot yoga class, I have been addicted to the sense of accomplishment I have walking out of a class knowing I gave it my all and sweat my heart out in the last Wheel. I was surprised how welcoming the environment was and the sense of community I felt coming to each class. Having such phenomenal teachers makes the decision to practice that much easier, and always worth it! Sometimes your body won’t agree with that, but you got to be a deaf man to your bodies sometimes. Once you are on your mat, your worries melt away and you become a happy baby.

One of the reasons I was drawn to basketball was the opportunity to grow as a player. Regardless your talent or skill level, you can always learn new techniques, moves, and improve on mechanics. Just like in yoga, even if you master a pose there is always room to improve.  I found the best ways to improve both in basketball and yoga was to make the uncomfortable comfortable, because that’s where we learn the most about ourselves. Six months ago, I would have never agreed to write a feature about myself or even try a yoga class, now I can’t live without it! I’m very grateful for yoga and how it brought positivity and love back into my life and hopefully for the people reading it can do the same. So if I can become a PYC Warrior you can become a Warrior two/ too! Special thank you goes out to Vicky & Isabel from PYC Mississauga for opening your arms to me and making me feel so welcome at Power Yoga Canada!!

Community Feature: May 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Roman Tataryn, Power Yoga Canada Teacher & PYC Etobicoke Yogi

Hi, Roman here, where do I start? My life before yoga was very much grey, filled with work and parties, and that was all I cared for. On top of that, about half a year before joining the Power Yoga Canada Etobicoke studio, my family-life started to collapse resulting in a breakup with my significant other. Common experience or not, I took it very close to heart. I thought of myself as failure of a man and husband, and slowly began sinking towards bottom. The depression that I was hiding from everybody, drinking problems, weight gain and health issues started to show up in my life. It all seemed like a never-ending nightmare until a rainy Tuesday, March 22nd. I had neglected my health and when people suggested yoga, I made the excuse that “yoga is not for me, yoga is for girls”.

I walked into Power Yoga Canada Etobicoke and my opinion changed after only one hour of a really sweaty class lead by Susan. I was stunned by how great I felt after class, so I started to practice 4-5 times a week, and signed up for 40 Days to Personal Revolution. Slowly but surely, I started to see results; I started feeling stronger, confident, losing weight at the same time. One of the most important things that started to happen was that I started to love the life I was living at the moment.

A magical thing then happened when I went on a trip to Iceland. I was sitting on a rock on the seashore, listening to the waves crashing (it was like meditating, but better) and the thought that I should take the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training came into my head. Shortly after, I took my first steps towards my goal; I took my Assisting Intensive Training and Teacher Training quickly after.

As I am writing this, I realize that a little more than two years have passed since I started this journey. Was there a grand change in my physical body? The answer to that is YES, but that’s not all. The most important change was how I was able to shift my perspective from material things that used to matter the most to me, to the things that actually make me happy. The practice itself brings awareness to the whole body, to what surrounds you, it shows you how to live in the present moment on the mat and how to bring it with you into the real world.

What I found in this studio was a second family. I found people that support each other and make a stand for one another. Our studio gets together to celebrate happy moments like they’re their own, as well as supporting people in the challenges they are facing. I was able to meet some of the most amazing people and they have become my very close and precious friends. I could never say thank enough to Susan and John for creating such an amazing community that literally draws people in. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share my story with all of PYC. I hope that my story can help any student realize their potential. Change is scary, and I know it but, with a little curiosity we are capable of things that we never thought we could do. With utmost love and gratitude, Namaste.

5 Impactful Lessons from Kids Yoga Training

By | Uncategorized

Author: Monica Mallo – Mom, PYC Faculty, &  Yogi

I didn’t realize we were making memories, I just knew we were having fun – Winnie the Pooh

Parenting can be some of life’s hardest work and even despite its challenging aspects, the love for my children makes it my mission to get back up every time it gets hard, every time I feel the sweat & tears, because they are worth it. Through the years, I have read and studied more books about parenting than can fit in my bookshelves, I’ve listened to fellow mothers, and professionals in the field. I use what I’ve learned from my practice and from Kids Yoga/Mindfulness Training to bring them back to centre when things get tough.What has and continues to work best has been the simple & profound practice of Yoga. Remember, Yoga is not just about tree pose or sitting in a meditation, but instead so much more. The history of yoga is so rich in tradition and offers a portal of connection to self and others.

Yoga can happen anywhere. You do not need a yoga room. Or a class room. To be honest my best classes for my children have been in the their bedrooms when they feel bad about something, or in the living room when one of them is suffering from anxiety, or in my bedroom when they can’t sleep. Knowing how yoga has helped me support my kids, every parent can benefit from taking Kids Yoga/ Mindfulness Training. Here are 5  impactful lessons you can bring into your home:

1. Put yourself in your kids shoes. 

Remember what its like to be a kid? Often we don’t and we like to solve problems from our ‘adult’ mind. We might try to communicate in a language that our children don’t understand,  or we listen from a place of trying to fix instead of feeling what they are going through. As a parent, to have the ability to feel what your kids feel may just be what they need to feel heard & whole.

2. Trust your kids.

Trust that they are responsible enough to figure things out on their own. When you want to intervene, take a moment of pause and give your littles some space. The discipline of breath work and mindfulness can retrain your brain to not be as reactive. With some time you will be awed that they can come up with some amazing solutions on their own.

 

3. Teach them what you know to be true.

It may not always seem like it but Mommy and Daddy are still their biggest heroes. They listen to what you have to say, so be wise with what you share. Teach them powerful tools to connect with themselves, others and their surroundings so they will know what to do when they have feelings of anxiety, boredom or restlessness.

4. Bring playfulness back into your life.

Having fun with the family is a sure way to get the kids off their devices but first we need to remember how to have fun. I always say kids can smell fear and a phoney from a mile away. It isn’t always easy to connect back to those carefree moments in your childhood but trust me it’s a MUST. Learn to have fun again, reconnect back to those days when a simple game using creativity and humility produced the biggest laughter. Your kids will rather be hanging out with you than any on screen.

5. Love thyself.  

Jane Travis once said “The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have”. If your children see you value yourself, forgiving yourself, loving yourself, they are sure to follow in your footsteps.

Just like yoga, parenting is a practice.  How have you brought yoga into your home?  How do you share your practice with your children?  Tag us on Facebook or Instagram – we’d love to hear from you!