Category Archives: Classes

Taking the One Seat: alignment for meditation


So you’ve decided that meditation is a great idea, you’ve committed to the time (starting with just 3 minutes a day is great). You are so stoked.

But one of the first hurdles that most of us face is our own body. Aching knees, a tired back, cranky ankles. How to find a comfortable position that we can maintain for the duration of our session, so that the body doesn’t become a distraction? How should I sit? Full lotus? Half lotus? How about “no lotus”? 

yoga-2095502_1920.jpgTaking the One Seat: alignment for meditation is a workshop where I’ll share some of the many options available for your practice – sitting on the floor, on a chair, lying down, using props and more. There are so many more choices open to you. Knowing how to use your body in a variety of positions and settings also means that you can drop into your meditation anytime, anywhere – at home, at the studio, in your office, while travelling and more.

We’ll figure out how what we do with our body affects our state of mind. Explore your sense of alignment from the inside out, inside of fitting your body into a prescribed shape. Then – take that new unique and personal sense of alignment off your meditation seat and into your yoga practice.

Taking the One Seat: alignment for meditation

Sat April 15 from 9am-11am

at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

$30+hst. Pre-register here.


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Filed under Buddhism, Classes, Dharma, Events & Workshops, Meditation, The Yoga Sanctuary, Uncategorized, Yoga

Calming the inner swirl


We can’t always do much about the outer swirl that we find ourselves in – work, family, media, travel, current affairs, illness, just moving through each day. But we can find a measure of stability on the inside though, so that we’re not so pulled and tossed by the vicisittudes of life.

I’m back at The Yoga Sanctuary this spring with a series of monthly meditation workshops to share ways to calm and still the inner swirl, offering something for everyone. If you’ve never meditated before and are not quite sure what to do. If you’ve had a taste and would like to go deeper. If you have established a regular practice and want to keep it thriving.

Drop into one workshop, or come to all of them. No experience required. Beginners mind encouraged!

Learn How to Meditate – Sat Mar 18 from 9:30am-12noon (repeated Sat May 27)

“Mindfulness” is the buzzword of the day. Together we’ll figure out just what that means, and more importantly why it matters, by returning to the original four mindfulness practices taught by the Buddha 2500 years ago. These are simple and effective tools that anyone can use, regardless of beliefs or tradition. I’ll also share some tips and tricks to get your meditation off the ground (or back on the wagon).

Taking the One Seat: alignment for meditation – Sat April 15 from 9:00-11:00am

Can’t sit in full lotus to meditate? Me either. Half lotus? How about NO lotus? One of the biggest barriers to meditation for many people is finding a comfortable way to be in stillness in the body. How can I still that inner swirl if all I can think about is that my back hurts! We’ll discuss a variety of options that accomodate different bodies, locations and supports like cushions, stools and chairs. Even better, together we’ll explore how alignment can emerge from the inside out, no matter where our bodies are.

Meditation Tune Up – Sat July 22 from 9:30-11:30am

So now you’ve got a regular (maybe even daily) practice going. Yay you! But now the questions are cropping up. Am I doing this right? How do I know I’m getting anywhere?  Or perhaps you’ve hit a roadblock. I’ll share practical advices from the meditation masters of ancient texts in the Buddhist tradition, as well as time for an informal Q & A session.

Sacred Spaces – Sat Aug 12 from 9:30-11:30am

So now WHERE are you going to meditate? You certainly don’t have to remove yourself to a cave on a mountain to meditate. But it does help to bring together some conducive outer conditions. No matter your living situation, it’s possible to find a creative solution and make a space that is meaningful to you. I’ll share what I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way!) about practice spaces over my 10 years of practice. We’ll cover practical considerations (like time, space and money), enjoy some traditional inspiration, and then consider how to use your space effectively once you have it.

All workshops at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

Each workshop $30 + hst. Preregister here.




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Filed under Buddhism, Classes, Dharma, Events & Workshops, Meditation, The Yoga Sanctuary, Uncategorized

The best gift for the holidays


Photo: Adore mistico by Roberto Ferrarri, Wikimedia Commons

If you are like me, each year as the holidays approach, you vow to do it differently this time. To let go of the stress and anxiety and materialism, and focus on the simple, warm-hearted joys that really matter.

And yet somehow, despite all your best intentions, you end up cursing out someone in the lineup at Indigo, or cutting someone off in the parking lot at the mall, or having that same argument with your sister at the dinner table.

This year, I invite you to take a step that can really help you move in the direction of those positive intentions. Right smack in the middle of the holidays. Give yourself – and your loved ones – the best gift of all. Some peace of mind.

I’m leading the Learn How to Meditate workshop on Sat Dec 12 from 9:30am-noon at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth. You’ll learn simple practices you can use right away for more mindfulness and clarity. I’ll share tips on how to plug the practice into your real (and busy life). Its all do-able, I promise – even during the holidays. Dec 13 is the anniversary of when I started my own daily meditation practice 9 years ago!

Learn How to Meditate

at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

Sat Dec 12, 2015 from 9:30am-noon

$25+hst  Pre-registration recommended.


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Moving with ease through change: a new home for TYS College – with FREE yoga to celebrate!

By Galileo (Public domain) via Wikimedia Commons

By Galileo (Public domain) via Wikimedia Commons

Our Moon Yoga practice is all about learning to move with ease through changing cycles – of the moon, of our breath, of our bodies, of our lives. These ever changing cycles are the essence of life itself. No movement, no life.

Tonight is a perfect time to enjoy that big huge autumnal full moon, while we pass through the changing landscape of our yoga community at TYS College. Tonight – Mon Oct 26 at 8:45pm – I’ll be teaching my last Full Moon Yoga class at The Yoga Sanctuary College in the 2 College St location. Please join me as we say thank you and bless up this lovely special space one last time.

As you probably know, TYS College is moving to beautiful new digs at the end of this month. The 2 College St building, the historic Oddfellows Hall, is ungoing extensive renovations. But true yogis move with ease through all kinds of change – so we are taking our yoga to 1 Wood St, effective Nov 1. Our new studio is just the other side of Yonge St, one block north of College, opposite the Second Cup in the Marriott Hotel.

Because we are so excited about our new home and as a housewarming gift to our TYS family, we’re inviting everyone to enjoy a week of FREE classes on the house at the new College & Yonge location from Nov 9-15. Your next Moon Yoga class on Thur Nov 12 at 8:45pm is on the house! This offer applies to both new and existing TYS students. Call 416-928-3236 for more details.

TYS Founder Cynthia Funk will be teaching a FREE candlelit Hatha class this Fri Oct 30 from 7:15-8:45 in the big room at College St. It will be a lovely opportunity to grace this space one more time with presence and love.

tys college yelp

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A new home for The Yoga Sanctuary College

tys college

“Any place that is holy is made so by the beings who visit or live there. A place becomes consecrated or hallowed ground by the practices, interactions and intentions of those who occupy the space. This feeling, also called Bhav in Sanskrit, can be felt in an external location but also can be brought with you wherever you go.” ~ Jivamukti Yoga teacher Jules Febre

This room – Studio 1, “the Big Room” at The Yoga Sanctuary College – is rich in Bhav. The polished floors and arching ceiling are infusued with the blood, sweat, tears, practice and prayers of thousands of yogis since sisters Cynthia Funk and Kimberley Sopinka opened its doors over 16 years ago.  Cynthia told me stories of preparing the room, how the men who laid the original floors (including Cathy Keenan’s father) continuously chanted Buddhist mantras during their work, filling the space with blessings.This week, the girls announced that TYS College will be moving this fall, due to major renovations at 2 College St. TYS College will move across the street to 1 Wood St, and regularly scheduled classes will continue.

The only constant is change.

tys dim

I will never forget the very first sun salutation I taught in this room. Hosting events with my own teachers Lama Marut and Sharon Gannon. Chanting and rose petals during my teacher training. Partner yoga with my husband, when he did his first ever headstand. Sweet kirtan with Dave Stringer.

The room is full of the presence of so many of my teachers. All the wonderful TYS faculty. All my fellow YTTers in my teacher training, who shared their questions and insights and bodies and let me clumsily manhandle them in adjustments. But none more than those who have posed as “students” in the classes I’ve taught there.

tys window

“When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.”  ~ Pema Chodron

We’ve got one more Moon Yoga class at 2 College St on Mon Oct 26 at 8:45pm – I hope you’ll come and enjoy the space while we’re still there. Starting in November, we have a beautiful opportunity to take our Bhav with us and infuse a new home with all our sincere practice and good intentions. Please see below for a message from TYS co-owners Cynthia and Kimberley on the move, and stay tuned here for more updates. Join me and the rest of the TYS family at the beginning of a great adventure….

TYS Hogwarts

Dear Yoga Sanctuary Students,

We are happy to announce that our College St. studio is moving to a new space. It has been our pleasure to have built our beautiful yoga community in our current 2 College St. location. It has become a second home for many of you, as well as some of our teachers and staff, and we will cherish the memories that we have created together in this unique architectural gem over the past 16 years.

You may ask why?… This past summer we were informed of imminent renovations to 2 College St. These will be rather extensive and we will therefore need to vacate for the work to be done.  Our new location is going to be 1 Wood Street. The entrance to the new location is on the south side of Wood St. (Wood and Yonge) across from the Second Cup at the Marriott.

Our new studio space has high ceilings in both practice studios, and better yet, dedicated heating and air conditioning! We have exciting plans for this location and look forward to welcoming you all there.  We have a tentative move-in date at Wood St for the first week of November.

You will be able to enjoy the same great classes you have come to know and love in our new space. Our current schedule will remain the same.

Stay tuned for more details!

Lots of love!
Kimberley and Cynthia
The Yoga Sanctuary Owners





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Slooooooooow down…..


photo credit: Keith Evans via Wikimedia

We are tweaking things a bit with my regular Tuesday night 8:50pm class at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth. This class was previously billed as Hatha Flow. Going forward it will be known as…. Slow Flow.

This is an all levels class suitable for beginners with little or no yoga experience. However, the most experienced yoga practitioner will also be challenged as sometimes less is more. You will be guided through each pose slowly and mindfully as you build a stronger body while releasing tension. Explore deepening your breath and how it anchors you in your body, helping you to live more in the present moment.

When we take time, our nervous systems relax, our minds slow down, our muscles become supple, our breath deepens – our inner chemistry shifts towards a biological balance, which one experiences as peace and tranquility, the union of your mind and body.

J. Brown’s recent article on the Slow Yoga Revolution says it all:

“The concept of “Slow Yoga” is not just about the pace with which we move our bodies. It’s a question of purpose. Are you doing yoga practice because you want to sweat? Are you doing yoga practice because you want to be stronger and more flexible? Are you doing yoga practice because you have pain and want relief? Or are you doing yoga practice because you just want to learn how to be well? Perhaps, all of the above. Whatever question you’re asking yourself and whatever the answer you may arrive at, space enough for the inquiry is going to be required. Slow Yoga takes emphasis off accomplishing something and puts it more on experiencing something.”

For more on both the physical and mental benefits of sloooooowing down your yoga practice, regardless of your level of experience, enjoy the full article over at Yogadork.

Slow Flow Yoga

Every Tuesday from 8:50-10:05pm

The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

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New class in The Danny – Hatha Smooth at Ankh Yoga!

ankh pillar

I adore my neighborhood of 11 years at Woodbine and Danforth, aka “The Danny”. I love that I can walk out to pretty much every amenity and service that I need right within blocks of my home, many of them among the best in the city. I love the commitment of my neighbors to creating a better place to live for everyone, in ways big and small (thank you Danforth East Community Association!). I love that I know and greet my neighbors and local business owners by name. Plus, the food – the East Lynn Farmers Market, Basil Thai Kitchen, Celena’s Bakery, Moberly Natural Foods, Relish, Caketown, Melanie’s

It was a loooong time coming, but thanks to the vision of Isabelle Bouchard we also have a yoga studio in the ‘hood! I’m pleased as punch to be joining the regular schedule at Ankh Yoga this fall, with a Hatha Smooth class on Saturdays from 4:00-5:00pm.

Perfect whether you are winding down from a busy day of errands and kids lessons or gearing up for your Saturday night out. Grounded in the Hatha Yoga tradition, to help your energy flow smoothly and sweetly. Gentle openers to bring you back home to your body and breath, sun salutations moving into a short standing flow, seated and restorative poses to slow things down. Options offered for all levels throughout the practice. Every class features a short meditation and delicious svasana.

Owner and Kundalini Yoga teacher Isabelle has crafted a simple yet perfect neighborhood boutique studio, with thought devoted to every detail. I hope you will join me – and your neighbors! – at a class in the near future.

Hatha Smooth
every Saturday from 4:00-5:00pm (starting Sept 19)
Ankh Yoga – 2017 Danforth Ave (at Woodbine)ankh outside

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Steps of the Path Meditation

photoJoin me for a weekly hour of retreat-like serenity right here in the city, starting January 8. 

Each week will include guided meditation, a brief teaching and support to develop your personal practice, all in the magical space of The Yoga House. Suitable for absolute beginners and experienced practitioners alike.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be bringing meditation to The Yoga House, a hidden gem right here in my very own Danforth East neighborhood. Just 12 minutes from the Coxwell subway, it is a “nature sanctuary in the city”, lovingly created by Celeste Shirley. A beautiful studio space opens with full French doors onto a garden with towering oak trees and the Merrill Park ravine, with a little creek nearby too. (The photo above is from the lovely back patio.) Come take a tour – I promise you will be totally enchanted… 7 Copeland Ave., near Coxwell & Danforth. The Yoga House provides a wide selection of cushions, mats, backjacks and chairs to help you find a comfortable meditation seat.

Every Tuesday from 6:30-7:30pm (starting Jan 8/13). 

Offered by donation – what you can happily give.

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