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Tag Archives: fitness
By Dana Chapman
Many parents and teachers find that their entry point into mindfulness is to explore simple practices with their children or students. Pausing for breathing breaks is one easy way to start this exploration, to bring some calm into the space, and to feel the effects of deep breaths on the body and mind.
Below are three examples of breathing practices that have worked well for the children I spend time with. You can tweak them to suit the age of your child/students. For example, if I’m working with young children I give them a square and have them trace each edge to match the four components of the square breath (rather than counting the breath as outlined below).
Ask the children to sit up nice and tall, making themselves as comfortable as they can. Point out that it’s much easier to take deep breaths when our posture is good! Explain that you will try a couple of different breath counts together and then everyone can choose which one feels best for them…
Inhale for a count of 3
Pause for a count of 3
Exhale for a count of 3
by: Tanya Carinci – Founder of Girls In Fitness Training (GiFT)
“Are you pregnant?”
A simple one-liner of a question asked my 12 year old niece, Alana, one spring morning in 2010. Nothing wrong with the question except for the fact, I had given birth one year prior.
I remember the heat level in my body rising, my face turning the brightest shade of red from embarrassment and the feeling of absolute mortification.
What had happened to me? Prior to giving birth to my three wonderful children, I was a beacon of health, I worked out and loved my body. Where had the old Tanya gone?
I was a slightly overwhelmed mama of four, running a summer camp with my husband and struggling to find any sense of balance and connection with myself. I was finding some peace, adventure and strength on my mat at Spynga. So when the dates for the spring intensive Yoga Teacher Training were released, I had to find a way. It was no small feat to manage a 225-hour commitment, but thankfully I was supported by my husband (who managed our family and business not to mention made my lunches complete with love notes of encouragement), my family, and the community at Spynga that had so quickly become a second home. The program itself was a hands-on experience, rich in content with brilliant teachers. But it was so much more than that…
As a business owner and mom of three active boys—ages 8, 6 and 2—Casey Soer barely has time to focus on herself. Like so many busy parents, her life is filled with happy chaos: drops-offs and pick-ups, play dates, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, cooking and of course, managing Spynga—her original baby—which includes running a successful studio while simultaneously gutting out and building a shiny new space (to be revealed in just a few weeks!).
I am often asked by new students how many times a week should they practice to “nail” their chaturanga, arm balance or inversion. My answer is always the same. Be safe and start slow. Practice once or twice a week, see how the body feels and increase the days of practice from there. The benefits of a regular practice go far beyond perfecting a plank, crow or handstand.
I am not a gymnast, I have never been a gymnast, nor will I ever be a gymnast!!! However here I am at 41 obsessing with handstands and handstand walking. It wasn’t until I mastered the hollow body position that this dream became a reality. I am actually walking on my hands!!! @jillrs75 Achieving this goal of mine would not have been possible without the time and dedication spent perfecting a solid hollow body position. So what is it? It is basically one of the hardest elements I have incorporated into my training and my classes. I am not saying this to scare you but to prepare you for what will be a rewarding yet huge challenge. So picture the shape of a banana or a hammock, this is the image you want to match when performing your Hollow. If you follow the instructions below point by point you can and will Hollow!
When it’s the middle of the winter, lack of sunlight and warmth not only wreak havoc on our psyches but also our skin. Dry, long and dark days could be causing your skin to feel dry, pale and lack luster. Although we can’t control the season, aside from escaping it – we can control the foods we eat. There are some specific foods with incredible properties that can help give your skin the glow it’s been yearning for!
With an impressive Instagram following, Toronto’s Greta Epstein and Jamie Milne — the girls behind Cleaneatz — are quickly becoming the go-to source for healthy inspiration online.
There are a few things new moms want to be mindful of when returning to a fitness routine after having a baby, particularly after consecutive pregnancies. 30-40% of mothers still experience symptoms of pelvic dysfunction one or more years after giving birth (i.e. diastasis recti AKA abdominal separation, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, etc). This a significant chunk of the maternal population to be experiencing a sub-optimal recovery experience, the symptoms of which are not inconsequential.
I am one of these mothers. For me, my postnatal pelvic dysfunction was characterized by severe difficulty regenerating core strength, which as a woman who prides herself and relies upon my physical strength to live life effectively, has been devastating. I’ve also experienced stubborn knock-on effects from inadequate postnatal care that are very hard to undo. Don’t make the same mistakes I have!
Statistically I am not alone, but the sad thing is that many women suffer in silence because there is not much support or information that is readily available. Our capability, wellbeing, self-esteem and long-term health as mothers becomes compromised because we haven’t had the opportunity to recover as fully as we might have.
Food Blogger, Spynga Mom and Cook, Rachel Barbaro shares her ideas for easy, healthy and delicious weeknight fare for the fit folks on the go!
I used to take such pride in making beautiful meals and new recipes every night. And then motherhood hit me with all its love and awe and exhaustion. A few months in, it was time to stop calling for take out and get back in the kitchen. Sharing my favourite meals from my blog Friendly Food Snobs that are little weeknight wonders. They’re quick to make, high on veggies and protein and fabulous as leftovers.
Flank steak tostadas got me dreaming of a trip to Mexico. My best kale ceasar salad gets in those daily greens but in a yummy way. I love these coconut peanut butter protein balls as a snack on the go, or to nibble on when you crave something sweet as they’re high in protein, good fats and free of gluten. And to start the last of winter’s snowy mornings slow cooker steel cut oats require minimal prep but deliver a delicious breakfast as the slow cooker does all the work.