Each member of Bikram Yoga Canada’s talented team of instructors possesses a sage yogic know-how borne of their participation in a 10-week certification course taught by Bikram Choudhury in California. Over the course of this rigorous program, the posing pedagogues learned the essentials of heated movement modality, spending hours stuffing their brains with wisdom ranging from yoga philosophy and anatomy to a detailed study of each pose. While the world-renowned course provides the team with an unshakable foundation, the instructors—firm believers that learning is a never-ending endeavour—undergo re-certification every three years to ensure that they remain abreast of current practices. With this impeccably trained and passionate staff at the helm of every sweat-inducing class, Bikram Yoga Canada offers students of all experience levels a chance to experience the physical detoxification afforded by stretching sessions within their balmy studio. During each class, the instructors put their hard-earned teaching skills into practice as they lead pupils through a series of 26 postures, known as asanas, designed to warm and stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons while melting away tension and the frozen dinners stored in the hearts of pupils.
Reshmi Chetram has been dazzling audiences on the dance floor with vibrant costumes and explosive movements for more than 16 years. Following the fancy footsteps of her mother—who founded both the Tarana Dance Centre and Natya Arts Productions—she has studied classical Indian dance, Kathak, in New Delhi under the guidance of renowned Indian-dance guru Pandit Birju Maharaj. She has also studied Bollywood and contemporary Indian dance in Toronto and abroad. In 2008, she channelled her dance skills to create BollyFuze (formerly known as BollyFit), a full-body conditioning program that helps students of all ages and abilities get whipped into shape with a blend of traditional Indian dance moves and aerobic exercise steps. She and her team of certified BollyFuze instructors lead clients in burning calories and sculpting fitter physiques in classes including the high-intensity BollyFuze Cardio, low-intensity BollyFuze Rhythm, and fun-filled BollyTots.
Extending her knowledge beyond the workout studio, Reshmi hosts her own BollyFuze television series. She and her instructors lead Bollywood-dance-inspired workouts that patrons can join in the comforts of their own homes without needing to make 1,000 friends.
Yoga Tree teaches multidisciplinary yoga to students of all skill levels in a soothing spa atmosphere. Each of its three locations offer heated and nonheated studios and employ environmentally friendly practices. The Richmond Hill centre's 12-foot plant wall aids in naturally filtering indoor air and the evil thoughts of passing strangers. More than 90 classes stretched through each week manifest in variations on traditional Hatha yoga, exercising floor and balancing postures to focus on strength, flexibility, and stamina. Practitioners can also pay close attention to their precise muscular and skeletal alignment during Iyengar classes, as the teacher focuses on alignment and inner awareness. Hot-yoga classes, conducted in a room heated to 38 degrees Celsius, promote detoxification and deeper stretching. Each studio's neutral, earthy colour schemes are accented with recessed lighting, plants, and an energetic Spaniard to envelop students in architect-tailored yoga vibes. Toronto's downtown location opens in late March 2011.
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.
The team at Biggest Loser Bootcamp taps into a variety of techniques to help their clients drop pounds and get healthy. Whether they're encouraging competitive spirits by offering prizes, fostering camaraderie during Fuzion Bootcamps, enlightening minds during nutrition classes, or keeping them accountable during one-on-one coaching, the purpose remains the same: to achieve fitness goals.
Franchise owner JT Trimper says that the programs attract everyone from "very, very fit" exercise lovers to people who need to get in shape—and they range from 18 to more than 70 years old. She says that the Fuzion Bootcamp program, for instance, can even help those who hate working out lose the pounds they need to. "We do have a large part of the population that doesn't want to exercise," she admits. Rather than surreptitiously super gluing dumbbells to their palms while they’re sleeping, she and her staff help these clients focus on their nutrition as a pathway to health, exemplifying the franchise’s client-focused philosophy.
Karen Cockburn, Jason Burnett, Mathieu Turgeon, and Rosie MacLennan have all led Canada's trampoline team to secure gold, silver, and bronze medals in recent Olympic and Pan-Am games. Jason has also employed his leaping and spinning prowess as a film stuntman. Under the tutelage of Olympic coach and Skyriders owner Dave Ross, these athletes not only train competitively but also spread their knowledge through rigorous instruction during classes. Four in-ground regulation Olympic-size trampolines and a much larger super trampoline grant more than 20 feet of vertical jump room for them to demonstrate and teach tricks to their jumping students. Bungee belts and harnesses allow beginners to become acquainted with more advanced moves while keeping them secure enough to continue solving their Rubik’s cube. While some classes span multiple weeks, the seasoned acrobats also conduct day classes and gather both provincial and interclub teams for competition.