Author : Susan Wilvert
When I was asked to share my story, I was initially hesitant. Being from a broken home and the events in my life that occurred because of this, I thought through the WHY of sharing my story. I realized that there may be someone else out there who needs to hear this, so I decided to bare my soul in hopes this may be the message that inspires one person from “I can’t” to “I will”.
When I started practicing at PYC I had no idea it would help me to overcome my personal struggles with addiction and give me the strength to see it through. A little bit about myself; I come from an abusive childhood and alcoholism runs deep in the veins of my family. I never knew my father or grandfather but from what I understand they both passed of cirrhosis of the liver.
I lost my brother, Ross, 3 years ago. He had been sober for 10 years with the help of AA but sadly passed due to a stroke at 52 years of age. Since my brother’s passing, my mother has moved in with us. Although things have settled down now, initially the memories from my childhood weighed heavily on me and I was unwilling to forgive. Looking back, I can now see that I have actually survived the horrors, and with the help of this practice, I am gaining more and more courage, clarity and confidence. Power Yoga has been instrumental in giving me the strength I need to carry on mentally, emotionally and physically. It has also given me a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose and validates all that I wholeheartedly believe in.
One of the most impressive ways in which the practice on my mat has reflected in my personal life has simply been, “letting go”. I am leaning into what is scary, uncomfortable and “hard” and practicing the art of surrender. This journey is one I am willing to take, due to the sense of empowerment, peace and spirituality I acquire in each and every class.
The physical practice, the asana of yoga, seems to calm my central nervous system and get rid of the residual angst I carry around with me. The sense of equilibrium it gives me is euphoric, unshakeable – really! I am also grateful for the relationships I am forming with some of my instructors, whose encouragement, love and support means the world me.
I’ve recently become a part of the Energy Exchange program and aspire to teach one day, but for now I am enjoying getting to know the team and members of PYC in a more intimate way. Like everyone, I am a work in progress and fully appreciate the guidance, support and positive reinforcement from PYC & the Leaside community. I will continue to pursue this incredible passion as long as I possibly can and will relish it for the gift that it truly is. I am eternally grateful for Power Yoga Canada. Thank you.
Author : Gail Ramdeyall
I would like to begin with two words:
Before I joined Power Yoga Canada City Centre, my whole body was in pain. I also suffered from anxiety and migraine headaches. I tried looking for solutions everywhere; from Chiropractors to Massage Therapists, but nothing seemed to last.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 – I will always remember the date when my life changed. A very good friend of mine coaxed me out to a Hot Yoga class at PYC City Centre. I was hooked instantly. I signed up for 30 Days to Level Up workshop starting the next day, and I haven’t stopped since.
I work as a Medical Laboratory Technologist for Toronto General Hospital. My area of expertise is Multiple Organ Transplant, and my work means I am on shift as well as on-call. This work can be stressful and rewarding at the same time. PYC helped me cope better with this particular stress. I have to be accountable every day for my job, but yoga has helped make me accountable to myself as well. I have found the ultimate balance.
Four months later, I have no body pain, no anxiety and no migraines. I am pain-free both mentally and physically. I now have a wonderful PYC family and community to look forward to being apart of every day.
This community has changed my mindset in the most positive way. I have learned patience and understanding not only within myself but with others. I cannot express how much PYC has changed my life and my outlook on everything. For this I will forever be grateful. My next Levelling Up will be Teacher Training. I am also very thankful to my husband and son for supporting me through this!! I found my “thing”!
Author : Alycia Novak
Before I found PYC Leaside I was at my rock bottom. In February of 2018, I was in a car accident that left my brain and body broken. I was in pain. I was angry. I was lost.
The physiotherapy and doctors’ appointments were fixing my body, but I knew I needed to do something to reconnect with myself. Yoga has always been a part of my life, but I honestly don’t think I was ever doing it for the “right reason”
I went yoga classes just to be able to say “I am going to yoga” but would always beat myself for not having a “yoga body”, or not being able to make the poses look “perfect”. Something was telling me to get back on my mat. My only goal for my first class was to just get on my mat. I did it and haven’t looked back!
PYC Leaside was such an integral part of healing my mind, body and soul. I learned that yoga is NOT a competition sport. It is so much more than just looking good in the poses; or the idea that your body needs to look, or be a certain way to be a yogi. I don’t know if there is a time when I feel sexier or stronger than when I am on my mat covered in sweat. It makes me feel like a badass.
I have reconnected with my body in a whole different way. I am truly grateful for every day that I get to move and sweat and honour my body + soul. I am grateful for my health and continued healing every second of every day.
Not only have I been giving the gift of my health and being a part of this beautiful community, but it has also giving me the opportunity to connect on an even deeper level with my soul sister Lauren.
The PYC Leaside community with their love and support gives me permission to show up exactly how I am. No mask. No pretending. To have a safe place to come and be who you are, where you are in life and work it out on your mat is a game changer.
And if finding my home at PYC was a game changer, I know participating in their summer Yoga Teacher Training Intensive is going to change the game. Thank you PYC Leaside!
Author : Larry Bartlett
I came to Power Yoga Canada Oshawa looking to expand my fledgling yoga practice of three months. I felt the “Forty Days to a Personal Revolution” workshop would be a great way to make that happen. The workshop asks you to commit to a daily yoga practice, meditation and some self-exploration through journalling on questions. I jumped right in and signed up not really knowing what was in store for me. I had previously spent no time on my emotional baggage – other then to store it and ignore it. The 40 Days workshop blew my mind open. I found it extremely intense and reached deeply. At times I felt like a child for lacking the basic tools to deal with the issues brought up. I “stayed” and worked my way through the difficulties just as PYC encourages all of us to do in their practice. I’m glad I did.
After completing the workshop I was more enthused than ever to deepen my practice. I took a number of PYC workshops, maintained a 5 class or more weekly practice, tried my hand at giving hands-on assists in class, a brief stint doing Energy Exchange and am currently the A.M.D. (Awesome Maintenance Dude) for Power Yoga Canada Oshawa . I am thankful to have spent some time volunteering while the studio was being built and that will always be a fond memory.
When I occasionally feel my practice is not progressing, I need only to remember where I started from to shake that thought. Touching my toes or even lying comfortably flat in savasana was not possible. I now find peace in my practice that I hope to work into all aspects of my life. I have better posture now than when I began and a greater mind/body connection. Calm breathing has become an automatic tool when I consciously recognized I feel stressed and it does help. My practice has now taken front and centre over my road cycling (although I strongly believe cycling will always have a place in my life).
The warmth I feel from the PYC community humbles me in receiving it. I thank you all for it and always hope to return it. I find inspiration from every single person practicing.
I want to be a “YES” for this community so when I was asked to share my story that is exactly what I said.
Author: Aneta Pietruszko
“Get a real job” someone said.
I have experienced this personally, but I have also heard it said to my fellow teachers. The conversation around teaching sometimes shows up like, “I teach 4 classes a week but my real job as a financial analyst.” If teaching yoga is a second job for some, why does it take the back seat in conversations? Most likely if it’s a second job, it’s because it fuels part of us that we don’t have access to at our full time job. Does it mean teaching yoga is not a real job? I think opposite.
I’d be lying if I said I never have stepped back and questioned what am I doing this all for. Maybe they are right? Maybe the corporate life I had before is THE way. Maybe I need to find my happy with money being the primary driver instead of my purpose? I start feeling doubt and anxiousness when I forget my feet are planted in right here and now. Building. Rebuilding. Connecting. Learning. Growing. Rome was not built in a day.
“Get a real job.” someone said.
No. I say.
This is my calling. If I build it, they will come. Landing a job that pays is easy. Landing a job that aligns with your passion, requires a thirst for action, a yes for patience and a whole lot of courage. Is all of THAT possible? I would have had a different answer a year ago. Today, I can confidently say YES IT’S POSSIBLE!
To all my yoga teachers who impact lives, that is REAL.
To all those who have rolled out their mats and have been left inspired, that is REAL.
To our favorite teachers that really see their students and are of service to us, that is REAL.
To the times when my mat was my saving grace, that is REAL.
I teach yoga. I teach too many or to one. I know almost every single students’ name and if I don’t, I make sure I remember them after that day. You want to know why? Because it matters. Because connection is very REAL for me. It causes miracles and I am witness to it everywhere in my life.
Right now in my journey is looking at what I am and what I am not to find what’s real. And what I AM is ready to align my career to my higher calling with whatever it takes. No one else will have as much of an interest in living out YOUR dream but YOU. What are you waiting for? Make the higher call. You got this!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with subject: ONE BREATH
Questions: Email us! @ email@example.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!!!
Kinndli & Pauline
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!
The Christmas season really ramps up what us Yogis feel year round. Typically Yogis are givers, we want to share our experience and love of yoga year round. December to us, feels like the rest of the world is catching on to what we are laying down…
Giving and sharing, when done genuinely and without attachment to the outcome or the receivers reaction to our gift can be an awesome opportunity to expose our people (or Secret Santa recipients) to what it is we experience year round.
When you give the gift of yoga to another, you are actually gifting them with and invitation into your community, your inner circle. You are asking them to spend time with you, you are giving them the gift of self-care, you are giving them an avenue to find peace and de-stress in their own life.
I think sometimes we can tell ourselves that offering the gift of yoga can seem pushy or insulting. I couldn’t possibly disagree more. How can it be, when you hold the true intentions of yoga in your heart as the gift giver.
When you give the gift of yoga, what you are actually giving is the gift of; Time, self-care, community, and a path to an improved version of their current being – it is truly the gift that keeps on giving…
It is a one-size fits all gift that can open people up and give them exactly what they are needing in that moment. Our role is to meet the receiver where they are at, offer the gift and trust that it will be utilized at exactly the time the receiver needs it most.
I invite you to think of who you could extend this invitation to in your own life, while all the while helping to create a larger community of like-minded individuals, which in reality in this day and age is a gift to everyone!! It’s a win-win and you are a rock star for sharing what it is that brings you peace, alignment and community with your loved ones!
Check your closest studio to see the amazing Christmas incentives and/or gift bundles they have, perfect for putting under your sparkly shiny tree this season. If you have little ones, spiritual seekers, athletes, or those looking for something new Power Yoga Canada has your covered.
Don’t forget to enjoy the season and breathe….
Happy Holidays and Namaste,
I have a secret to share I have a disease, It causes mood swings, emotional eating, angry outburst and the occasional homicidal thought. It is called Yoga Guilt. It is something I know I will probably have forever but the good news is I am learning to manage it. Just like my dad’s diabetes I have parameters I have to put in place and triggers I have to avoid and just as he says no to high glycemic foods I need to learn to say no too!!!
Obviously I am kidding when I compare my Yoga Guilt with my tough cookie dad’s 30+ year fight with Type 1 diabetes…but, I could learn a lot about managing this fictional chronic condition from him!
Yoga Guilt is the tightness in your chest when you are trying to leave work on time to make it to your favorite class, or the flush of quiet anger you feel when you realize driving your kid to and from a classmates birthday party will mean no Yoga this Saturday or the massive crushing weight you feel all over your body when you leave your crying baby with a sitter and drive across town to catch the last class of the day.
Symptoms may include but are not limited to; irrational bouts of snippiness, tears, feelings of frustration, increased arguing with your loved ones and of course leaky bowels…ok maybe not the last one.
So how can we handle this condition so that our self-imposed guilt (and yes it is completely self-imposed) doesn’t manifest into loss of sleep, resentment towards others and worst of all giving up our mat time???
Just like my dad, I know I need to:
Plan Ahead: my dad needs to know when to eat and what to eat every few hours. I know I need to pick my classes at the beginning of the week (last minute does not work when you suffer from Yoga guilt) to make sure I have enough time to get there and I can say no if something comes up during the week in those pre-designated timeslots.
Take care of my health: Just like my dad I need to be consistent and committed to my practice. Because when I feel good and am healthy I can actively be more useful/helpful/positive for those around me.
Ask for help when I need it: Arranging for a sitter or a family member to help out weekly, alleviates some of the guilt you feel when you are trying to make last minute arrangements. The kids and puppies are prepared ahead of time and everyone knows what the plan is. OR ask your boss for flexibility in your schedule so that twice a week you can (without stress) make it to your lunch time practice.
Go easy on yourself: your condition tricks you into thinking you are a bad parent/caregiver/employee/girlfriend/husband/book club leader when you take time for yourself. Remind yourself that you need to tend to yourself and that the world will not fall apart for the 60 minutes while you are in king pigeon or rocking out a wicked Half Moon.
Get help for your symptoms and make your practice an automatic commitment that deserves your full attention, not a last minute whim that leaves you feeling stressed, rushed, and pulled in twenty different directions.
Banish that guilt and give those around you a chance to see what it looks like when someone makes their health and happiness a top priority. Soon you will see the bloating, itchy rash of self-punishment turn into a sweaty blissed post yoga glow. Trust me your loved ones will actually thank you for it 😉