On their 25-acre parcel of scenic countryside, Rosemary Richardson and Sarah Thomas, Gemstone Equestrian’s mother-daughter team, teach students to ride properly and respect their equine friends. Lessons are held year-round either outside or within the indoor facilities and cater to riders of all experience levels, whether they aim to ride recreationally or for competition. Students choose among the riding arts of dressage, which stresses obedience and balance; hunter/jumper, which takes place on the hunter course or jumper ring; and Western, which focuses on how to visit the Pacific by hitching a skateboard to a team of wild horses. No matter the riding style, safety remains of utmost importance—the center offers ASTM–approved helmets for no extra charge and caps lessons at a 1:2 staff-to-student ratio for beginners and 1:4 for experienced riders.
Zen Bones Yoga's talented instructors school yogis in both heated and unheated introductory, hot flow, and classical Hatha yoga on a weekly Sunday–Thursday schedule. The 60-minute beginners' class introduces students to foundational yoga poses in a welcoming, question-friendly atmosphere. Salute sweat glands during the 75-minute Hot Hatha class, which harnesses the power of out-of-work sunbeams to heat the studio to 35–40 degrees and plies bodies with more challenging asanas. Class structures differ each session and are intimate, candlelit affairs limited to 10 practitioners to reduce the risk of tangled chakras.
A full-time yoga teacher since the 1960s, Axel Molema of Body Mind Soul Yoga was a pioneer for the now-prospering Toronto yoga scene. After studying for four years at the very first studio ever opened in Toronto, Molema completed his teacher training and dedicated himself to turning this passion into a full-time endeavour. He now conducts yoga classes in various churches, community centres, and university athletic clubs throughout the area. Molema has studied and worked alongside many notable yogis over the years, drawing much of his inspiration from Swami Sivananda, the founder of Integral yoga, who believed yoga should promote social engagement, spiritual transformation, discipline, and wisdom.
Today, Molema continues to teach 15 classes a week, guiding students in hatha yoga and breathing techniques that aim to enhance flexibility, coordination, strength, and inner peace. During his classes, he shepherds students through athletic and therapeutic positions, as well as delves into yoga philosophies that students can employ practically in their everyday lives to help them manage stress, personally grow, and effectively imitate pretzels in games of charades. He regularly lectures on healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits, also offering private coaching sessions where students can seek his counsel on applying yoga philosophies in their work or scholastic endeavours.
In Toronto Weight Loss Challenge's signature challenge, one person per group wins a cash prize at the end—but every participant is a winner. Each person enrolled in the program learns nutrition basics in weekly workshops, from the importance of protein to the art of meal planning and why Cheez Whiz is no longer its own food group. The challenge also includes a custom, wellness coach-designed meal plan for each person. The wellness coaching team also helps create weight-loss regimens for their other clients by assessing BMIs, crafting custom meal plans, and helming calorie-burning workouts that help slim and tone.
Spinbuddies Pole Studio wants workouts to be fun. That's why its friendly, seasoned instructors—some with more than three years of experience—offer pole-dancing classes designed for students of all ages and levels of fitness. While learning pole moves, students can burn up to 350 calories in one session and tone their arms, shoulders, and backs. The workouts also help build strong cores, enhance flexibility, and foster confidence. For bachelorette gatherings or girls' nights out, Spinbuddies hosts lively parties to teach moves to groups of 10 or more as they snack on appetizers and cocktails.