Category Archives: The Yoga Sanctuary

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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Filed under Classes, The Yoga Sanctuary, Yoga

Slooooooooow down…..

Slow_-_geograph_org_uk_-_1710330

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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Global Day of Yoga for Nepal May 28

Global Day of Yoga for Nepal

***CHANGE OF VENUE FOR SAT MAY 23 MEDITATION*** Please note that the tong len group meditation on Sat May 23 from 7:00-8:00pm has been moved. It will now take place at The Yoga Sanctuary College (not the Danforth location). Full details at the bottom of this post.

The power of your yoga & meditation practice can change lives. Believe it. Do it.

Join me and yogis all over the world on as we help for those affected by the recent earthquakes in Nepal. I’ll be offering a number of classes to support relief efforts, as yogis unite to rebuild.
tys danforth

My regular Hatha Flow class on Sat May 23 at 8:30am at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth will be a pay-what-you-can. This class is suitable for all levels.

Later that same evening, join me at The Yoga Sanctuary College (please note the change of venue from Danforth) from 7:00-8:00pm also on Sat May 23 for a special meditation to benefit all those affected by theearthquakes. I’ve give some short instruction on the meditation  known as tong len, then lead the group through the meditation. Tong len means “giving and taking” in Tibetan – we practice seeing ourselves eradicating other’s pain and then sending them everything they need. No meditation experience is necessary, and this practice is suitable for any spiritual practitioners. The Yoga Sanctuary is my “home studio”, and I’m very happy to extend this opportunity to help to the TYS community. 

On Sat May 28, I’ll offer a special 2 hour practice at The Yoga House from 6:30-8:30pm. A 75 min gentle, heart-opening hatha flow series, followed by 45 mins of tong len meditation. Suitable for all levels, no experience necessary. The Yoga House is THE most beautiful boutique studio I’ve ever seen, right here in my Danforth East neighborhood, steps from the Coxwell subway, opening out onto the towering oaks of the Merrill ravine. If you’ve never experienced the incredible peace and beauty of the magical space that yogi Celeste Shirley has created, now is the time!

yoga house

the yoga house

All events are by donation, whatever you can give happily. If you are unable to offer money, please come and offer the power of your intention through practice. All proceeds will go to the 108 Lives Project, who have been changing the lives of the destitute in Nepal since 2008. They have the on-the-ground relationships to reach those most in need, including to remote rural areas that foreign aid often misses, and they’ll be there long after too. The 108 Lives Project was founded by members of my extended Dharma family based in NYC, and I am so happy to have this opportunity to support the incredible work they have been doing for years.

If you are interested in hosting your own yoga event on May 28 for the 108 Lives Project, please check out their FB page. If you are unable to contribute financially or join us in person, please take some time on May 28 to dedicate your own personal practice to ending the suffering in Nepal. There are so many in need, and YOU can make a difference.

Global Day of Yoga for Nepal

Sat May 23 from 8:30-9:45am – Hatha Flow

The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave, 3rd floor (at Broadview)

Sat May 23 from 7:00-8:00pm – Tong Len meditation

*** PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE *** Now at The Yoga Sanctuary College – 2 College St, 3rd floor (at Yonge) 

Thur May 28 from 6:30-8:30pm – Hatha Flow and Tong Len meditation

The Yoga House – 7 Copeland Ave (Coxwell & Danforth)

By donation – what you can give happily

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Filed under Events & Workshops, Meditation, Nepal, The Yoga House, The Yoga Sanctuary, Tibetan Heart Yoga, Tong Len, Yoga

Connecting with Yoga’s Feminine Tradition

niguma

Did you know that the oldest recorded yoga series was created by a woman? Lady Niguma was a highly realized yogini who lived about 1000 years ago in India. Lady Niguma’s Yoga has been preserved and practiced by the yogis of Tibet right up until today. On International Women’s Day, we have an opportunity to connect with the feminine lineage of yoga through her practice.

This unique and accessible series targets each chakra from the bottom up with four principle actions. In this workshop you’ll learn this powerful yogini’s amazing story, how her practice works, and the full series.

Everyone welcome – women and the people who love and honour them! Suitable for all levels.

Sun Mar 8 from 10:00am-12 noon at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

$25.00 + hst. Click here to pre-register.

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Tibetan Heart Yoga: unlocking your heart

thy

This yoga series from the lineage of the Dalai Lamas releases energetic knots surrounding the heart, increasing compassion and dispelling feelings of separation. A compact practice using meditation, mantra and asana that can be done in under 40 minutes, perfect for anyone looking for a simple, effective home practice. Includes an introduction to the subtle energetic body and its function that you can apply to any yoga practice you do. You`ll find familiar yoga poses in this series, as well as some unique to the Tibetan tradition.

Suitable for all levels.

Sun Dec 14 from 11:00am-1:00pm at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

$25.00 + hst. Click here to pre-register.

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Practicing Compassion

diamond in the rose

“If you  want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

This fall, I’ll be offering two complimentary workshops at The Yoga Sanctuary College. While each workshop stands on its own, attending both will allow you to expand your understanding and experience of these two practices, one meditation, and one a physical asana series. Both practices are designed to open our hearts and increase our compassion and happiness.

Breath of Compassion meditation workshop

Sun Sept 21 from 12 noon-2pm at The Yoga Sanctuary College – 2 College St, at Yonge

$25.00 + hst. Click to preregister.

In the meditation practice known as Tong Len, or giving and taking, we actively use our breath to take away others’ suffering and send them happiness and healing. In the process, we create the causes for our own wellbeing and deepen our capacity for compassion. A powerful and useful practice that can be done both on and off the meditation cushion, as we encounter suffering in our world.

Tibetan Heart Yoga workshop

Sun Oct 5 from 12 noon-2pm at The Yoga Sanctuary College – 2 College St, at Yonge

$25.00 + hst. Click to preregister.

This yoga series from the lineage of the Dalai Lamas embodies the Breath of Compassion meditation practice. This is a compact practice using meditation, mantra and asana that can be done in under 45 minutes, perfect for our busy modern lives. You will find familiar yoga poses in this series, as well as some unique to the Tibetan tradition. The series is designed to release the energetic knots surrounding the heart, increase our compassion and dispel feelings of separation. Suitable for all levels.

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Filed under Events & Workshops, Meditation, The Yoga Sanctuary, Tibetan Heart Yoga, Tong Len, Yoga

Setting the Stage for Meditation

zen-meditation

Meditation: The Six Conditions

with Rhondda Smiley

6 Wednesdays 4:45-5:45pm, from Jan 15 to Feb 19, 2014

Our inner and outer lives are fundamentally interconnected. With shifts in our relationship with our world, we can create positive conditions for meditation practice.

In this six week course, we will learn how to cultivate the key conditions that support inner growth for greater freedom and happiness. The Six Conditions are based on the teachings of the ancient Indian yogi Master Kamalashila’s The Stages of Meditation circa 750AD.

Each week we’ll cover one condition, with discussion of how they apply to our modern lives. Each session will include guided meditation using the breath to develop single-pointed concentration. Beginner and experienced meditators alike are welcome.
At The Yoga Sanctuary – 95 Danforth Ave, 4th floor
Full course $120.00 + hst, drop-ins welcome $22.50 + hst

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