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.
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.
The changing conditions in life can be similar to changes in postures on the mat and changes in tempo on the bike. You encounter positions that challenge you (on a climb) and understanding how the challenge makes you feel is part of the process of learning how to adapt to the change or physical stress. Do we need to make subtle or gross adjustments ( ie. breath, positioning, energy)? Can we find parallels of how we handle these tests on the bike and mat or within the context of everyday life, as tension emerges? And can we learn to find ways to quiet the mind, and listen to what the feelings, and body may be ‘saying’? This could be similar to aligning with our emotional “home or self’, or just simply paying more attention and developing a stronger sense of awareness.
The key to life is finding ways to ‘emotionally harmonize’ your body, tempo and breath with life situations that arise (postures, sequencing, climbs….) and find your path and place. It is developing this awareness that brings you back to your emotional zone—a certain way of living and existing, which is known to you even subconsciously.
At times circumstances indicate that we need to be more agile or more assertive. Other moments, we need to rest and replenish. We can’t always muscle ourselves in arm balances or push our way up heavy climbs. Being aware of our physical energy level, alignment, body parts and having the grace and integrity to know when to “lift” and when to land. Practice is essential. Building confidence and renewing your devotion to always expanding yourself.
It takes fine tuning our discerning mind so that we make the best choices for ourselves to feed that pulse to stay in our rhythm. Whether on the mat, the bike, at the office or with the kids, we can always find a moment to bring in more awareness, slow down, and tune in to our way of being and honour the rhythm of the moment.
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!!
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.
After a few more starts and stops, I eventually fell into a rhythm of going to 2 to 3 classes per week. After a month, the butterflies in the stomach disappeared. After two months, those stubborn last 10 pounds I wanted to lose started to disappear also. After three, I started to be able to do everything the instructor asked. Now, after 9 months of amazing classes run by over 10 different instructors with very eclectic tastes in music and very different exercises that keep me interested and coming back, I’m happy to say I’ve lost the stubborn last 10 pounds. Can high school weight be the next goal? Who knows? All I know is that the combination of diet and Spygna has changed my life and I’m more confident then ever before that I’ll never be out of shape again. If you’re thinking of trying out a spin class I highly encourage you to think about Syngna. The instructors clearly love what they do, and inspire confidence and hard work in their pupils through their attitude, variety and dedication.
A huge thank you to Daniella, Danielle, Miriam, Nara, Amos, Joanna, Casey, Toni, Roy, Elizabeth and all the rest of the Spygna crew. Without you, I’d be on the couch watching football and feeling like crap. Instead, I’m on the couch watching football feeling amazing after a morning spin with Nara at Spygna North.
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!
Beat The Bloat And Flatten Your Tummy
• Start your day with a glass of lemon water. Lemons help to stimulate digestion and alkalinize the body. Drinking a room temperature glass of lemon water upon waking in the morning and 15 minutes before each meal will aid digestion and reduce bloating.
• Chew your food and eat slowly. Biting off more than you can chew can result in whole pieces of food going down your pipes. Remember, your stomach does not have teeth! Un-chewed food particles are harder to digest. Furthermore, when you eat on the go or eat too quickly, you may be swallowing excess air, which could lead to bloating. Chill out a little and enjoy each bite.
• Get your gut in balance. Probiotics are good bacteria that help to reduce bloating, prevent food allergies, support digestion, boost the immune system and improve metabolism. Get your dose of probiotics from foods (such as organic yogurt, kefir, organic tempeh, miso, kombucha tea, sauerkraut and kimchi), or a good quality probiotic supplement (I like Genestra or Udo’s Choice brands).
• Drink herbal teas. If you are experiencing bloating or gas, herbal teas can often nip the discomfort in the butt (pun intended). Fennel seed, dandelion root, ginger, peppermint and lemon balm are great digestive aids.
• Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Water helps to move things through the body. Drink at least 2 litres of water everyday.
• Fruit should be eaten alone on an empty stomach or at least 2 hours after a meal. Eating fruit with or directly after a meal can wreak havoc on your tummy. Fruit is digested much faster than other foods. Therefore, if consumed directly after a meal, it will sit in the stomach and start to ferment. This can lead to bloating and gas.
If these tips don’t help you beat the bloat, I recommend coming to see YOURS TRULY for a complete nutritional assessment. It’s time that you and your tummy feel fabulous again!
join shelby kroach for My FoodCoach: Eat Clean…for Life
presented by Spynga + Dr. Green’s Health & Wellness
beginning january 23rd @ spynga south & january 24th @ spynga north. click here for more details.
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.
As you move into 2013 take notes think about where you are, where you want to go, how you are going to get there. But never loose sight of the great things and experiences that make you-YOU.
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.
More so, on a film set it can be pretty chaotic and if you don’t center yourself, you can get wrapped in the crazyiness. Which also applies to, yknow, real life.
What keeps you coming back to your mat? Forced or voluntary?
It can be either. Obviously I love it and there are times when I can’t get enough of it. Then its voluntary. But there are other times where my body has tweeked something or doesn’t feel right for whatever reason, maybe I won’t want to do yoga that day…but the knowledge that it will make me feel better keeps me coming back.
What is your favourite pose? Sidenote: you can’t say savasana ..you know, the one at the end of class
Upward facing dog. I find it just rejuvenates my whole back. It breathes life back into me alittle bit after long work days.
Or a after a long day of college-style drinking and eating that’s still known to happen on occasion.
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.
Last summer I began to spin, and really never stopped. I left my kids mid-meal to spin, started many many mornings a week spinning. Next thing I knew, I was signed up to do the Indoor Cycling Teacher Training program. Did it. Just like that. So, now I find myself certified to teach indoor cycling (spinning).
Unfortunately, I couldn’t ignore this dialogue in my head. It went like this? “does anyone actually want to take a spinning class from a 48 year old, larger than I should be, spin instructor?” Okay, granted, that is my personal baggage talking, but still… would they?
As time passes, I have realized a couple of things. People are inspired by people who love what they do.
I love being a spinning instructor, ergo, people will (hopefully) be inspired by that alone. In addition, I have had the privilege and good sense to truly nurture my well-being and fitness and treat it as a priority over the last year, and it just culminated in this accomplishment. Not to mention the fact that I feel stronger than I did 20 years ago.
I look forward to teaching at a class near you, very soon.
Last week I dove in and took my first Barre class at the South Studio. Amy Bennett was our teacher, substituting for Lynda Montis, who also just completed the Summer 2012 cycling revolution certificate with me this past August.
I have been curious, slightly apprehensive, most of all, excited about the possibility of doing old, somewhat familiar, barre stretches and movements. I say familiar because I spent three years in Ballet classes as a little girl at the Ontario School of Ballet approximately 30 years ago at a Barre, reviewing all the five positions and getting frustrated, sometimes bored. I used to take the bus on my own from Dufferin and Lawrence, in the late 1970s, to St. Clair, in order to get together with all the little girls and do all sorts of moves in thick pink stockings, ballet slippers and little skirts.
Toronto was a different city then and it was a different time. However, the work of the Barre, ironically, hasn’t changed much and this is what I found in my return to the Barre as a thirty-seven-year-old woman.
In my later teen years, my mother told me that I wasn’t a natural talent to have qualified as a “ballerina,” but I do know that I wasn’t completely awful, either. I was flexible without effort and some things came easily. Apparently, according to the ballet teachers, I didn’t apply myself or my concentration was off. Well, as per my first Barre class at Spynga South, that was not the case. Except for soreness in my gluteal muscles and hips, I never felt more awake and full of concentrated fervor to get these moves just right and however refined, delicate or succinct I am all over the precision that goes into Barre classes.
I really enjoyed the class. Most importantly, the aim toward being precise and sustaining the subtle form. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t void of pain and exhaustion, with leg pointe repeats, a repetition of plies. This wouldn’t seem to be the case with such miniscule movements without weights or jumping about as in an aerobic exercise, but really, that’s what Barre is all about, using your own body weight against itself and making the movement look easier and more precise than what you actually are doing or feeling! As I got back into some of the positions and sought to perfect my pointy stretch, forward or back with either leg, I felt a return to the child’s body of six or seven and it was glorious. If one does enough of these little movements while the body and muscles form, it’s amazing how it shapes you from the inside out. The body does not forget. For me, it was so much fun, an ability to revisit my inner girl and reunite with her one more time to plié together. I can’t wait for my next class!
Sonia Di Placido