Category Archives: toronto studio

How Mastering The Dogs Can Change Your Practice

I remember when I began falling in love with vinyasa; not just the style of a vinyasa yoga but the beautiful sequence that is inserted between postures, that fosters heat in the body, the intense flow from the strength demanded, and the feeling of space as the body is rinsed of residual sensations from holding the previous posture. When I first began practicing, each vinyasa felt like a treat for my body; the dessert after releasing (sometimes escaping) from a series of long held postures to wash out whatever sequences we did, like they never happened but you can continue to build and feel the effects within. It was my opportunity to feel every muscle and joint working to support each other in this dance with breathe.

For clarity, the vinyasa sequence itself is low push up (aka Chaturanga), upward dog and downward dog that you will no doubt repeat 50 times in a typical power, vinyasa, Ashtanga or any other “flow” style of yoga these days.

These are 3 separate postures, merged together into a three-way relationship that not only build strength but opens the front and back body sequentially.
Each posture, with its own nuances, alignment, muscle actions, and kinesthetic qualities, that when joined together, asks us to see how they compliment each other through the use of breath and movement.

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The Power of Yin Yoga

Dive into the World of Yin yoga and watch the many aspects of you and your life change before your eyes.

Dive into the World of Yin yoga and watch the many aspects of you and your life change before your eyes.

by Naomi Zahler

Yin Yoga is a specific style of yoga that encourages the holding of supported postures for a duration of 3-8 minutes. Not to be confused with Restorative Yoga, the purpose in Yin Yoga is to support the body only enough that the “yang” tissues of the body (muscles specifically) can relax, allowing the “yin” tissues of the body (connective tissues) to find space. The muscles of our body move our skeletal system into action. The connective tissues, like our ligaments, tendons and fascia support our joints and stabilize our skeleton. If a posture is held in a “yang” way, meaning, we find sensation or depth in our postures by using large muscle groups; our connective tissue would automatically go into protective mode. In other words, if we want to release our “yin” tissues, we must let go of strain in our “yang” tissues first. The practice of Yin Yoga focuses on exploring ways of doing just that by focusing awareness onto these connective tissues of the physical body, while clearing the energetic pathways of the subtle body as they are taught in Traditional Chinese Medicine (also know as the meridian lines of the body) and using breath work to help settle the mind throughout the practice. Stillness is encouraged while holding Yin postures so that we can witness the mind as we challenge any static energy within the subtle body. This is the true beauty of Yin Yoga and also its greatest challenge. It is while we hold these postures we are able to observe our habits toward whatever emotions arise and learn to lean toward these existing habits through breath, awareness and love for the Self.

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galya home

Let me introduce myself. My name is Galya and I’ve recently started teaching my first spin class. I couldn’t be more excited because I’m teaching girls between 12-16! I was a pre-teen not 4 years ago. So, it is fresh in my mind. For me it was mostly uncomfortable and frustrating I think.

I wanted to teach this age group because I think it’s important to learn what your body can do and how strong you can be. I’m the type of person who needs to be moving always and spinning provides me with an outlet for me to decompress while staying healthy and active. I have tried going to the gym and running, but there’s something about sharing your ride with a room of people, even a friend, that really clicks for me. After a class I feel great about my body and my skin never looks better then after I’ve sweat for an hour! Most importantly, a good workout can change your day from bad to good! I hope what this class ends up being is 40 mins of good music and hard work. I want to help forget the stresses of the day, or spin them out on the bike, all the while feeling great because we just worked our butts off.

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Finding Your Rhythm On the Bike, Mat ..and in Life.

As a teacher and student of yoga and indoor cycling, I find myself on this ever-(changing) mission to discover my rhythm, my groove, my flow state. On my yoga mat in a vinyasa practice, I attempt daily to symphonically move in a way that is in time with my body’s inhales and exhales. Be it through directional movements or stretching deeper into my muscles, there is a tempo that is heightened by the breath’s presence that is inherent, purposeful and fluid. While on the bike, it is the fine balance of finding just the right amount of oxygen to sustain my level of effort and exertion for a hill or a sprint.

In the context of living, discovering your rhythm (that feel-good place of inner peace) is the ultimate quest and wildest ride. I am continuously learning that this ride is a function of how to align with my emotional constitution -responding to how I’m feeling (inside) about what I’m doing (the journey). Developing this sense of awareness brings me back to my truest self, my natural place, and space of existing and living – aligning the conscious and subconscious.

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myStory of inspiration

My name is Danielle Adler and I am a CYCLE instructor at the SpyngaNorth studio in Thornhill, Ontario and SpyngaSouth studio in Toronto, Ontario. I have been a committed Spyngee since the first location in Toronto opened at Bathurst and St. Clair in 2007.

After I read the post below (thanks for the shout out Patrick!) I thought I’d share with all of you a bit about the journey that I have been on with Spynga for the past six years. Through postpartum depression and the insanity of having babies twenty months apart, to giant weight loss, to finding enormous reward as a stay-at-home mom, to discovering that you really can LOVE what you do for a living, and now the surgery that I will have in April to shed the skin and reshape the parts of my body that will never change, no matter how much I exercise – Spynga has been with me through it all. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Casey and Sari for opening not just a yoga and cycling studio, but a second home for me, my family, and so many women and men. A place where lives and bodies are literally transformed. My before and after pics are posted here so that you can all see that it really is possible. And it feels FANTASTIC!!
-Danielle Adler
DanielleBefore  DanielleAfter

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myStory, myInspiration

I’m a 36 year old man that has struggled for years to lose a 30 pound beer gut that was obtained in my wilder days. Two years ago I started working with an amazing nutritionist named Daniella Wolf, who helped me realize that the combination of a sensible, balanced diet and exercise really does work to melt the pounds off. I quickly dropped 20 pounds with diet alone. Daniella continued to push exercise, and I started and stopped at a regular gym so many times I stopped counting. Finally Daniella told me of an amazing spin instructor at Spygna named Danielle Adler. She challenged me to try out a class.

In April 2012, I entered Spygna North with trepidation and butterflies in my stomach, knowing that the last time I tried spinning, I nearly lost my lunch. Danielle was very helpful setting up the bike for my height and size, and made sure to check in regularly during class to see how I was doing and correct my form. As Danielle took the class through the paces, I gradually started to figure out the positions and the form. I definitely couldn’t do everything she asked, but fell in love with sprinting to the pounding beat of the latest pop song. I exited the class that night feeling sore, but exhilarated.

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BEAT THE BLOAT by shelby kroach

Need to unzip your jeans? Having trouble walking? Feel like someone is blowing you up from the inside out?! We have all experienced these feelings at one time or another (not to mention the gassiness that comes along for the ride). It’s part of everyday life right? WRONG! You absolutely do not need to live with feelings of bloating and discomfort all the time. After all, it’s not like its hereditary! It may just be from a lack of fiber, a food allergy or poor food combining. Perhaps you ate too much, didn’t chew your food properly or have a little imbalance in your gut. There are so many possibilities. That’s why it’s important that you are in tune with your body. Understanding what works for you and what doesn’t is really important when it comes to beating the bloat!

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Contribute to INspire Change!

We are blessed with an abundance of gifts – friends, family, ability to be a part of a community, free speech, right to vote, get an education.
At different times in our lives things move fast and we tend to think about what we don’t have vs. what we have. In times of chaos we tend to think about what we don’t have-enough time to be with family and friends, time to do things for our selves, money to go on a great trip, or the right figure for a pair of skinny jeans.

When you are in the midst of that mind set step back MAKE the time for yourself to regroup and refocus. Goals are important..make a list of what you want to achieve but don’t leave it at that …have an action plan to achieve those goals. Make another list -a gratitude list -listing the things you are grateful for and why. Some people use a gratitude book and at the end of each day they take 2 minutes to write what they are grateful for-a hug from their child, an e-mail from your boss saying your proposal is going to be reviewed, a smile from a stranger.

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Lights, Camera, Asana

Aaron Abrams is a Canadian actor who portrays Brian Zeller, a crime scene investigator, in the television series Hannibal, due out in the new year, starring with Laurence Fishburne. Here he writes about how yoga has impacted his life.


How did you discover yoga?

I was introduced to yoga in acting school. We had to take 4 hours every week and my body got addicted to it. I started taking it on weekends as well. I had grown up playing sports and my body was used to that kind of conditioning, but yoga freed me up, I felt healthier and more energized.

It also helped balance out all that college drinking and eating that’s known to happen on occasion.

How does yoga impact you? Your life? Career? Relationships? The whole enchilada!

Well obviously I have to be in good shape to do my job. But even more so than “shape”, it requires me to be healthy. My job needs the ability to maintain a lot of energy and focus over long, strange hours.  Yoga certainly has helped honed that skill.

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Whattaya mean you’re 48 and you want to be a spin instructor?


Here I was, minding my own business, and then – boom!

I finally got the courage to walk into Spynga. July 2011.

Fitness, in general, had always played a role in my life. Whether it was figure skating or gymnastics as a young child, or skiing and surfing (yes, wannabe!) as an adult, being active serves my physical, spiritual and mental health well.

Spinning and me, we had a history.

Spinning was my absolute favourite workout in the mid 90s.

Times have changed! Fast forward about 15 years, 1 husband and 3 children, and voila, I return to a consistent workout regimen. Old school aerobics (yikes) and yoga mostly. Loved yoga. Almost as much as I ever loved spinning. Then boom! (this is where we started)…

A friend of mine told me that there was this amazing studio that opened at Bathurst and St. Clair.

Spinning and Yoga, Spynga. I couldn’t wait to try my two favourite workouts in one class. When Spynga opened in Thornhill, I was so there. Well, not really, I was there a year later due to fear. Yes, I didn’t think I could do it, was afraid to even try. Even though I had done it before, and should have known better. Spinning is for everyone.

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