lululemon Yoga Rouge – First Edition May 9th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 8.28.03 PMThis summer lululemonto has partnered with a number of local shops, curators, speakers, yogis and ambassadors to bring the city Yoga Rogue. The event was the first of a three-part series that will take place in the city over the course of the summer months.

For the first event you were asked to join the lululemonTO collective for a yoga practice celebrating gratitude, mindfulness and an exploration of taking yoga off of the mat and into our lives.

As someone who actively engaged with the brand throughout social I had managed to snag a few tickets on launch day and invited my friend Liz along to catch-up, get in a yoga class and start my week of right by taking some time out for myself. When I initially saw the invite for the event on Facebook – I got lucky as tickets went fast – I was instantly interested because the venue was the stunning ArtscapeTO Wychwood Barn.

Pre-Event

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When I arrived at the venue just after 6pm there were already a number of folks in the space with their mats in place for the class, the venue was humming with music provided by DJ Carmelinda di Manno and a number of vendors/local shops were set up around the perimeter including Flow water, Practice 108, Five Minute Journal and Blossoms and Bloom. With the event not slated to begin until 7:30 the scheduling allowed attendees ample time to explore the booths or get to the venue in the north end of the city after work. I had a chance to check out the awesome fresh flower crafting booth organized by Blossom and Bloom, as well as try out Flow water for the first time!

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I laid out my mat, had a quick bite, snapped some photos, caught up with a few lulu folks, explored the space and caught up with Liz before settling into my spot for the evening to begin.

Five Minute Journal

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The real fun started at 7:30pm when Co-Founder of the Five Minute JournalUJ Radmas – led us through a half hour session on daily gratitude practice, intention setting and affirmations. We were all provided with a sample version of the Five Minute Journal, enough pages to give the concept a go for a week after this evenings event. UJ started by painting us a picture of his background, how he came to where he is today and the reason for the development of the Five Minute Journal.

As stated on their website, “It’s been proven over and over again that shifting your focus to the positive can dramatically improve your happiness. The key is consistency. This journal has been created by combining the proven elements of positive psychology that can make all of the difference in your life.”

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After a discussion about the importance of writing down your goals, the positivity you can create in your own life by reflecting on what you are grateful for each day and how this journal can really help you envision your purpose we were all asked to fill in a day page for today. Typically you would fill in the first half of the page at the start of your day, followed by the reflection portion at the end, then your journal keeps track of everything for you so that you can revisit certain days later and continue to utilize it as a tool in your journey. It was definitely interesting to learn about a tool like the Five Minute Journal and think about how something like this could be incorporated into my life in some way to help me reflect more about what happens each day then just moving forward to the next one without giving what has occurred any thought or reflection.

Yoga Class – Led by Duncan Parviainen & Tasha Rooke

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Having never practiced with either of these instructors before I was very interested to see what style of class they would lead the group through. Large events like this can be difficult to sequence and teach because you have so many varying levels of students attending.

The practice we were led through by Duncan was dynamic. While it has hints of a traditional Vinyasa practice he also incorporated aspects of body movement and almost dance in some sequences. For me it was both a challenge and an opportunity to led go, while many of us yogis tend to favour the same classes it’s certainly nice on occasion to try something new and explore different movements with your body. Throughout the class I did notice a number of lululemon ambassadors and staff available for assistance or for some of us adjustments, I had a few really good ones including a lovely decompression from Tasha of my back leg during pigeon pose towards the end of the class. After Duncan had finished the movement part of the class, Tasha took over to lead us all through 15 minutes of stretching, opening and finally to savasana. In savasana we were treated to another adjustment by the ambassadors before the class came to a close.

I thought this event was well put on, it was nice to escape the heart of the city and come north to this beautiful space to practice. I also liked the aspect of having part of the evening be about learning before the yoga class, however I did think that asking people to come an hour and a half before the event started may have been a bit early. Especially in the case the many had to come up town and there was no vendors who were at the event selling food, I was sure glad that I had picked something up on my way to catch the street car! I am certainly looking forward to the next two nights in their series in the coming months, I am intrigued to see which educators they will have to impart wisdom on us and which of the city’s yoga instructors will be invited to guide us through a practice! Big thank you to lululemonto for putting together this series and to Tasha Rooke who is the brainchild behind the concept for these events!

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