What does distinguish the Iyengar Hatha and Vinyasa flow?

Simone helped me to understand the difference using below image. Basically what distinguishes these two types of yoga is the Suryanamaskar A and B. Both Iyengar and Vinyasa follow the 8 limbs of the ashtanga path; yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and Samadhi. While Vinyasa incorporates sun salutation in between standing, seating and finishing poses, Iyengar focuses mostly on the body alignment using props.

Iyengar is also widely known for its therapeutic effect on nervous system, cardio vascular and respiratory systems. Recent studies showed that practicing Iyengar yoga resulted in an overall improvement in mobility of patient with chronic low back pain. Due to its effect on hip extension, Iyengar yoga is recommended as an alternative approach to reduce age related gait problems. It is also a good start for people who intend to work on their body strength.

Primary series vinyasaSimone teaches a verity of yoga classes including Gentle Hatha, Iyengar Hatha, Restorative Yoga and Meditative Hatha Flow with Therapeutic Elements. Her classes are on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Don’t let your Ego guide you:

Don’t let your ego guide you:
balasana-e28093-child-poseThat is what I always say to my students. There is no place for comparative thinking in yoga studio. No one is going to judge you and there is no gold medal for “Best Pose”. Always listen to your body—don’t push or overextend your threshold to keep up with the rest of the class. The strongest one in the room is the person who understands and respects their limits. If it gets to be too much, spend time in childs pose until you are ready to jump back in.

Featuring teacher: Florence with love beyond yoga


Born and raised in France from the Polish origins, Florence started her athletic life style with gymnastic from early childhood. She started practicing yoga over 10 years ago when she first moved to Toronto. To her, yoga was “love at the first Asana”! Eventually, her eagerness to learn and dive deeper into yoga practice developed too strong to ignore. In 2014, she enrolled in a 250 hours yoga teacher program which completely rerouted her life’s journey. Fast-forward a year later and she is studying to earn her 500 RYS. She trained for pre/post-natal, restorative and hypno zen yoga.

She teaches empowering yoga sequences where she strives to create harmony between body, breath and soul. Mindfulness is an important layer that she integrates in her teaching. Her goal is to provide students with tools to awaken their inner power to limitless potential for further growth, self-development and self-love. Her hot vinyasa classes are on Fridays at 7:00 PM.


Flu Buster Ginger Tea

With the cold weather comes flu symptoms that can wreak havoc on our daily lives. This simple tea is filled with flu-fighting superfoods to help you get back on your feet in no time. Ginger and cinnamon to warm you up from the inside out, lemon and bay leaves to aid digestion, and honey to soothe sore throats.

2 tsp fresh ginger, sliced
1 slice of lemon
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp honey
1 stick of cinnamon

Set a cup of water to boil while you prepare the ingredients.
Combine in your favorite mug and steep for 5 minutes.

Olessia’s Ashtanga Flow

Today in Olessia’s 7pm Ashtanga Flow class she focused on strengthening the core through technical Image result for locust yoga posealignments and long holds. She focused on strengthening the abdominal muscles. But her climatic pose was locust pose or Shalabhasana- A lower back strengthener. This pose is GREAT for those 9-5ers. By taking her class you are guaranteed to improve yogi technique in basic asanas… Do you know where your elbows should face during downward dog?! Olessia does and she will challenge you to keep the proper pose and make you work!



“Yoga was My Saving Grace”

prenatal yoga 2

I stumbled upon this recent publication in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and thought to share it with you all.

As you know all around the world women practice gentle and Hatha yoga classes during their pregnancy. In this article the authors aimed to explore the “real-world” experience of pregnant women with prenatal yoga. So, they put together 4 focus groups of currently pregnant or postpartum participants and ask them to describe in their own words why they sought yoga and what benefits they took from it.

The majority of participants sought group-class yoga to relieve the anxiety and depression during and post pregnancy. By practicing yoga regularly, they felt more connected to the changes occurred in their body throughout pregnancy. The authors concluded that “prenatal yoga may offer women a complementary health approach to self-manage their stress and depressive symptoms in a setting that promotes a sense of community.”

Mindful Meditation

Establishing a regular meditation practice has been proven to relieve stress and worries, increase focus, improve relationships, treat anxiety, ease addiction recovery and so much more. Here are our top three meditation resources to help you strengthen and relax your mind.

Meditation made simple in just 10 minutes a day. These mindfulness exercises have been developed with neuroscientists to help you understand how your mind changes with regular practice.

20 Practical Tips for Beginners
As with any new endeavor, meditation can be difficult when you first start out. These recommendations are intended to help beginners overcome early challenges which allows them to integrate a long-term practice into their lives.

UCLA Guided Meditations
These short guided meditations available in English and Spanish can help your practice on your own time. The Mindful Awareness Research Center also offers in-depth courses online for those who wish to gain a further understanding of mindfulness practice.

The Benefits of Practicing in a Group

TaiChi Group

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Master Yuan, our resident Shaolin Warrior Monk, who teaches Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and Qi Gong here at The Yoga Lounge. We spoke about the differences between individual practices and group practices. While individual practice is important to maintain mindfulness and balance on an ongoing basis, group practice, on the other hand, offers a very different energy and overall experience.

Growing up as a monk in a temple in China, Master Yuan was surrounded by other monks who were all working to find the same energy and to master the same forms.  In moving to a city like Toronto, where we are very focused on our individual selves, are much busier, and have many different things to distract us, he told me he found a new challenge in terms of his practice.

In a community setting, such as the Shaolin Temple, there is more support; everyone, while still practicing individually, is there with a common purpose. Be it finding balance, strengthening muscles, mastering forms, practicing mindfulness, stretching, relaxing or getting a good workout, there is a shared energy within the group as they are guided by a single teacher or ‘Shifu’.

It is easy to feel this shared experience when in a class with Shifu Yuan, just as it also is in many yoga classes. We connect with our teacher and with our fellow students through movement and breath. We enter that class as an individual and leave as part of a community. And that’s a beautiful thing.

yoga group posed on mats 538px


Teacher Spotlight: Christine

christineChristine is a yogini, a Paediatric Registered Nurse and a lifestyle enthusiast. She was introduced to yoga in 2012 and has happily been teaching since 2013. Christine completed her 200-hour Blissology-inspired Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training under the guidance of Eoin Finn, in Bali Indonesia, and continues to be inspired by health, wellness and fitness everyday. Her mission is to inspire a love of many things and to help others seek positivity in their life journeys. She enjoys making connections, eating holistically and nutritionally, creating new recipes, a yummy glass of wine, hugs, playing music and being active. Christine’s classes are strong, playful and energetic, connecting breath with movement while focusing on creative sequencing, alignment, flexibility & power with ever changing playlists. Christine is SO excited to be a part of The Yoga Lounge team and cannot wait to be inspired by all of you fantastic students! “Yoga connects health and lifestyle. It is a place to explore yourself and manifest the greatness in you; a vehicle to form relationships with yourself and the world around you”.
Tuesday 7pm: HOT Vinyasa
Wednesday 8pm: Inversion Flow level 2
Wednesday 9pm: HOT Hump day Yang and Yin for Happy Hips
Come try some power, arm balances or deep flexibility with Christine!
Instagram & twitter: christinerahman