This last year has probably been the most peaceful year of my life. Ironic, because it has also been the year that I’ve experienced the most upheaval: I moved from my hometown to Toronto, made a significant career change, and I saw the end of a serious relationship.
I’ve been living on my own for the first time in my life and until last month, I was either in school or interning, which means money has been tight. So what makes it the most peaceful? Around the same time all these changes occurred, I discovered a yoga studio in my new neighborhood, and I’ve been attending classes at the very least twice a week ever since. I realize that this might illicit a strong eye-roll in some, but going to yoga regularly has changed my outlook on life and helped me stay calm regardless of what has been going on around me.
I found a studio that is convenient, classes that fit my schedule, and teachers who I trust.
Last month I was thrown a bit of a curve ball when one of my favourite teachers announced she was leaving for the summer. I applied my newfound yogic attitude to the situation and consoled myself with the fact that my other favourite teacher was still around. When I found out that favourite number two was leaving for Paris for three weeks, I squashed my initial reaction of “how dare she have a life outside of teaching me yoga!” and realized this was a perfect opportunity for me to do some exploration.
For the past year, I’ve been mostly going to the same studio, the same teachers, and the same style of yoga and it has occurred to me that there is probably a lot to be gained from branching out. Toronto is overflowing with yoga studios, but my first thought was that my fragile wallet is hardly capable of a city-wide yoga tour.
Toronto though, never lets me down. It turns out that the yoga studios around the city (and around cities in other parts of Canada and the US), participate in a program called Passport to Prana. Passport to Prana is a $35 yoga pass that entitles you to one yoga class in each of 70 participating studios around the GTA.
The current pass, which became available in May of this year, is valid until February 28, 2011, which gives me 7 months to hit as many studios in the city that I can. And what better time to start than when my regular schedule has already been disrupted?
The pass can be purchased either online or at participating studios. The website encourages you to call studios ahead of time, as it can often be sold out. The pass covers all regular studio classes; however, it is not valid for pre-registered classes or workshops.
My goal for the month of August is to visit four new studios, each with a different style of yoga, and to provide a review for all the yogis, or wanna-be yogis, out there who are looking to do a little exploration of their own.
Post your comments on good places to visit. I look forward to your feedback.
Meghan Paton is the literature writer for The Scene in TO. She can be reached at Meghan@thesceneinTO.com