Updated: Apr 20
Poutine and Yoga in the same sentence? You are seeing correctly! Alas, no cheesy curd fries are served, but there sure is an emphasis on international cultural sharing in a beautiful, expanding Mind and Body Yoga class series kicking off on April 24. (Of course, this writer understands that there is waaay more to Canada and the United States than two arguably delicious *eyeroll*/*groan* staples!)
Accessible to all through Zoom, the classes are led by Toronto-based Yoga teacher and Reiki Master Sofia Gayle Carter. She fell in love with Yoga back in middle school, finding what was important to her. "I didn't want to play a role, I wanted to know how to heal and relate to other cultures with peace and love", she recalls. Accordingly, her beautiful teaching approach aims to deepen relaxation, ease into more energy (prana), build vitality and strength, and set a tone for the week to flow. (Classes are on Sundays.) It is through this togetherness that Mind and Body Yoga
also unites Canada and the United States, specifically Toronto and Philadelphia, in friendship that seeks connection in a meaningful way. We practice together, and while the cities share many commonalties - both in the same time zone, both very multi-cultural cities, both with a large community of avid Yoga practitioners – the series also explores the unique qualities, peoples, and social mores which give us our own distinct taste. And what are some lesser know things about each? For one, I, as a Philadelphian was having a hard time knowing what to call Toronto residents. “Torontonian? Torontan? Torontillian??!”, Sofia and I laughed on the phone.
This and more is what the classes attempt to discover, in an organic strengthening of ties through shared Yoga. The program is hosted by ARTIST HOUSE as a “Passport” program, a concept that seeks to connect the global community through movement to reach understanding, two-way learning and positive associations. While opportunities to see beyond our own immediate bubble used to mean buying a plane ticket, the pandemic has shown an easier way, connecting virtually, especially when one can do this successfully.
With Mind and Body, Yoga and international friendship intertwine. As Sofia puts it, it “is a journey to understand ourselves, each other, our city, our country and our planet as a unified whole, as well as our unique qualities and gifts as individuals.” Practicing for over two decades, she is no stranger to these truths. “Our bodies are where we all start. Movement, breath, yoga postures that reflect nature, our bodies first are the house to our spirits. Our house becomes home. This expands to community, community to country, country into the world where home is realised on a larger scale.”
Pretty cool, eh? Come build a home with us! The class meets every other Sunday at 12:30pm EST and is 100% open to yoga lovers from all around the world. Information and link are sent to you with your specific time zone in mind, so while we are enjoying a yoga afternoon, some cities may be doing evening meditation. Bring your region and cultural flavor into the mix and let us get to know you! Register at https://www.artist-house.org/classes/p/yogapassport.
Kick off class starts April 24, open registration for joining subsequent classes is open through May.