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Passion & Prosperity Getting Paid for What You Love

yoga luminaries

Stretching the Boundaries

sadie nardini A radical rockin’ yogi Good thinking

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Contents

Eating by the Book

sept/oct 2012

sadie nardini 30 Yoga Crusader

Yoga Luminaries 34

Stretching the Boundaries

a recipe revolution 44

Tastemaker Bryant Terry

kettlebell training 40 Whole Body Fitness

Cover Photo: F. Holland Photography

sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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Contents sept/oct 2012

in every issue 8 Publishers Note / contributors 10 sweatequitymagazine.com 12 stretch in the city 14 community sweat 17 om news 20 sweat science 22 spirit junkie 26 be yoga 56 raw ambition 77 eco swag 79 En-Lighten Up 80 sweat etiquette

24 Good thinking

The Importance of Meditation

29 ambassador love Featuring Eva Redpath

48 the ingredient

Olives- Nature’s Fruit

50 indian summer

An Evening in Bombay

features 58 second skin

Eric Wazana’s Yoga Jeans

64 fall fantasy travel

Four Fun European Destinations

54 fuel 62 beauty

Tips to Replenish Your Skin

68 do yoga

David Good and Kathryn Bruni-Young

70 pantanjali’s yoga sutra The Eight Limbs

78 strengthen and lengthen Hellerwork Digs Deep

4

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012


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Volume 2, Issue 4

Great Sex?

PUBLISHER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fred Antwi fred@sweatequitymagazine.com contributing editor Mairead Walsh editor@sweatequitymagazine.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/PROMOTION MANAGER Debra Antwi debra@sweatequitymagazine.com Food eDItor Andrew Muto ART DIRECTION Erik Mohr/Bungalow PRODUCTION MANAGER/STAFF WRITER Sarah Lichtman production@sweatequitymagazine.com COPY EDITOR / CONTRIBUTOR Eryn Kirkwood

Contai

ns

Damian

a

CONTRIBUTORS Sam Asusa, Gabrielle Bernstein, Sean Blinch, Bee Bosnak, Kathryn Bruni-Young, Chawana Champagne, David Good, Alex Hutchinson, Sara Elizabeth Ivanhoe, Jen Kirsch, Signe Langford, Liana Louzon, Bonnie Lynch, Kristen Ma, Jennifer Martine, Doug McNish, Mark Millar, Justine Moore, Erin Moraghan, Alex Phelan, Christian Heeb Photography, F. Holland Photography, Eva Redpath, Dina Rich, Kat Tancock, Grace Van Berkum SALES ACCOUNT MANAGERS Leslie Best, Beryl Wong sales@sweatequitymagazine.com

Contain

CIRCULATION circulation@sweatequitymagazine.com

s

oat G y n r Ho Weed

While every effort has been made to ensure that advertisements and articles appear correctly, Sweat Equity Lifestyle Media Group cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by the contents of this publication. All material is intended for information purposes only. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of its publisher or editors. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

TM

Owned and published by Sweat Equity Lifestyle Media Group 6-1500 Upper Middle Road West, #118 Oakville, Ontario L6M 0C2 info@sweatequitymagazine.com Sweat Equity Magazine is published 6 times a year: Sept/Oct; Nov/Dec; Jan/Feb; March/April; May/June; July/Aug

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For advertising/sales inquiries please contact: sales@sweatequitymagazine.com Printed in Canada on paper from a sustainable source using vegetable-based inks. CONTACT US Readers are invited to contribute comments, views and photos. Please send article submissions and photography to: editor@ sweatequitymagazine.com MODEL/PROFILE SUBMISSION To be considered for a model/trainer/instructor profile, please email: editor@sweatequitymagazine.com


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Publisher’s Note

Passion. Purpose. Prosperity. It sounds too good to be true, and most people believe it is – except for

Fred Antwi, Publisher

In this issue we connected with a handful of contemporary yogis who

the ones who try it and succeed. Maybe not everyone gets the formula

are charting their own course and finding prosperity through the pursuit

just right. But for those who do, they feel they have stumbled on the big

of their passion. Our cover story features Sadie Nardini who exemplifies

secret. And it’s a secret worth sharing because it could make the world a

this, not only as an innovator but as a deeply committed yogi. “I always

better place. Imagine if everyone could turn his/her passion into a pros-

put my whole heart and soul into my practice and my own abundance

perous career. Does it sound like a pipedream? This issue of Sweat Equity

of offering is getting reflected back to me.” This reoccurring theme is also

may convince you otherwise.

articulated well by Gabrielle Bernstein who says ‘You have the power

In a downturn economy everyone is looking for new ways to pay the

to awaken to your own passion and create a socially responsible and

bills and the changing landscape of business models, brand building

immensely fulfilling career. You just have to release what blocks you from

and audience connectivity is opening up new avenues to pursue your

believing that you can.’

dream job and still get paid. There is a new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, and brand marketers who are putting themselves on the

All of us here at Sweat Equity are grateful to be sharing our passion with you. In putting together this issue, we are reminded that it’s the support of

map combining authenticity and tenacity – making a buck doing what

the incredible businesses and mindful readers, that enables us to encour-

they love.

age and inspire you to pursue your passion. Go forth and prosper!

Contributors

Erin Moraghan

Erin is a Moksha Yoga teacher, corporate wellness instructor, and freelance writer. She also feels that if she mentions here that she’s vegan, it will help her resist her secret archnemesis: the grilled cheese sandwich. Even more than cheese, Erin loves hiking with her big-eared rescue dog, Lexi.

grace van berkum

Grace is an adventurous, health conscious Canadian who lives in beautiful tropical Nicaragua. She offers Gracious Living Yoga Adventure Retreats that focus on detoxification of body and mind. They incorporate yoga, raw food workshops, meditation, breathing exercises, surfing, and volcano hiking at the stunning Aqua Wellness Resort in Nicaragua. gracevanberkum.com

8

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012

mairead walsh

Mairead is our contributing editor, a freelance journalist, an intrepid globetrotter, adrenaline seeker, and chocolate junkie. She has worked in London, Sydney, and Dubai and written for many international publications covering food, fashion, health, travel, and lifestyle. She is currently training for her first triathlon and hopes it won’t be her last.

sean blinch

Crossfitter, Paleo diet advocate and fitness enthusiast, Sean’s passion for health, strength and wellness stems from a personal journey with weightloss. Among many industry leading skills, Sean is an Agatsu certified Kettlebell Instructor with over 4 years of experience. Sean has helped many people achieve life changing transformational weight loss through expert advice, consistent motivational coaching and simple hard work.


ROOTS ACTIVE ATHLETICS

Laurie Campbell - Director, Roots Yoga

Roots Yoga Studio - roots.com/yoga


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Lights, Camera, ACTION!

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Grab a seat and bucket of popcorn and kick back to enjoy a Sweat Equity Magazine video. That’s right! We’re more than just beauty in print—we have a library of fantastic videos that will inform, inspire, and reveal to you a glimpse of how we put it all together! Whether it’s our documentary “What is Yoga” series featuring the likes of Rodney Yee or Michael Stone, behindthe-scenes excitement of photo shoots with Seane Corn or Trish Stratus, or footage of some of the incredible yogis we’ve interviewed, such as Simon Park and Eoin Finn, these videos are sure to blow your yogic mind! We’ve talked with teachers, trainers, studio owners, and even the philanthropists behind incredible fundraisers like Yoga in Motion and One Love. We might even have talked with you! So log on, and check it out. There are no line-ups, no commercials, and best of all—you’re guaranteed a front row seat! Find us on Vimeo, sweatequitymagazine.com, and sweatequitywebtv.com.

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Stretch in the City

By Justine Moore

80 Gladstone

Vancouver

Toronto

one yoga for the people is a collaboration of love from four

inspirational and committed yogis who had a vision to make yoga accessible to everyone. Believing that when one person transforms, the community as a whole evolves, they created a donation-based vinyasa studio open to all ages and levels of experience. In 2009, Suzanne Slocum-Gori opened Yoga for the People and later partnered with Ryan Leier, Dustin Fruson, and Karlito Notargiovanni to shape-shift into One Yoga for the People. She holds a doctorate in Educational and Counseling Psychology and is currently working with breast cancer patients through the University of British Columbia and BC Cancer Agency, teaching therapeutic classes. Ryan Leier is a firm believer that through steady practice and devotion, all people, regardless of age, gender, race or religion, can experience the Oneness of yoga. After the birth of his daughter, he created Vinyasa Yoga for Youth, an innovative non-profit organization designed to meet the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of youth. Karlito Notargiovanni is inspired to teach in creative and healing ways, having completed Concordia’s BFA Contemporary Dance program and studying various styles of massage. Dustin Fruson, an Ashtanga and Power Vinyasa yoga teacher, takes a simple and direct approach, inspired by human relationships, the beauty of nature, and prayer. Together, these four yogis have created an unconventional studio that is simple and organic. Rooted in ancient tradition, their progressive yoga system is relevant in these modern times, teaching love, compassion and unity through highly experienced instructors.

Indian philosopher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said, “All we need to do is want to achieve something great, and then simply do it.” When Diane Bruni, a yoga instructor of 18 years and co-founder of Downward Dog Yoga Centre, first saw 8o Gladstone, she knew this was her chance: “I’ve always dreamed about having a studio in my home space,” she says. “When I saw this building, I knew this was it; this is my opportunity right now.” Together with her daughter Kathryn, a certified holistic nutritionist, Bruni is creating something truly special. Not only will 80 Gladstone be a place for yoga, but the venue will also host interactive food functions, evening acoustic music sessions, early morning meditations, specialized classes for new moms and families, and as Bruni says, “a full range of inspired events.” There will even be a treatment room for local healers to come and practice their modalities. Opening in mid-September, the former grocery store will be transformed into a yogic paradise full of new-age luxuries, not the least of which are radiant heat floors that will warm your body through your feet without affecting the air in the room. Bruni’s new space will host a different style of yoga than the Ashtanga-Vinyasa she’s been teaching, one that focuses more on workshop-style anatomy and kinesiology classes. “The idea for me is to teach classes that have more depth and more detail, to go slower, which is the way I’ve always been, but I’d like to have the freedom to slow it right down,” she says. Bruni looks forward to the evolving freedom of her latest project, and so do we!

201-150 W Hasting Vancouver, BC oneyoga.ca

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WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012

Photo: Brianne Nord-Stewart nord-stewart.com (main image)

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Community

Sweat

Upcoming special events

September 8-9, 2012

Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women’s Cancers The 10th annual Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women’s Cancers™ is a two-day 60 km walk, or a one-day 30 km walk, bringing together thousands of men and women in support of the fight against women’s cancers. The walk will take place at Downsview Park. Proceeds of the event fund research, treatment, and prevention programs for breast and gynecologic cancers at Princess Margaret Hospital. Participants will walk 60 km in the course of two days, with the option to camp overnight to rest. Throughout the weekend, walkers are supported by hundreds of volunteers and crew members who provide meals, water, snack stops, and comprehensive medical services, as well as ensure gear, transport, and safety on the streets. One in seven women will be diagnosed with breast or a gynecologic cancer in their lifetime. To date, the Weekend has raised over $120 million, enabling numerous advances in cancer research and care. One weekend truly can make a lifetime of difference. endcancer.ca

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Tell us about it!

Sweating for a great cause? We wanna know so we can spread the good word . Email us - community@ sweatequitymagazine.com

September 2012

National Yoga Month

September is the official National Yoga Month designed to build awareness of yoga’s proven health benefits and provide people with actionable guidance and tools to enhance their own well-being. This grassroots awareness campaign promotes prevention and positive lifestyle choices. Get the Yoga Month Card for ONE WEEK FREE YOGA at one of the 1,500 participating studios. Choose a local yoga studio and experience the health benefits of yoga. In 2012, Yoga Month will once again support a global campaign by initiating Time for Yoga practices all over the world. At 7 pm local time on September 30, yoga students of all levels are encouraged to practice yoga as an international observance and the culmination of Yoga Month. A one-hour yoga practice will be followed by savasana beginning at 8 pm and a 15-minute meditation for universal peace and well-being at 8:15 pm. By participating during your own local time, a wave of yoga will take place around the globe. Yoga Month invites all yoga studios, teachers, and students to unite on September 30 for a worldwide yoga practice. Take part in the annual Time for Yoga Global Community Practice by organizing an event in your own area. Whether you are planning a large community event, an internet-led practice, or an intimate session with friends, Yoga Month wants to know about it! Make plans for an event and register them at yogamonth.org/events. To learn more about Yoga Month and local participating studios visit yogamonth.org.

October 13-14, 2012

Wishmaker Walk for Wishes

Step into the magic of a wish this October! Every year, thousands of individuals come together in communities across Canada to walk and raise funds to create the magic of a wish for Canadian children living with life-threatening illnesses. Wishmaker Walk for Wishes is The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada’s national signature event. It is a walk followed by a celebration with food, entertainment, and prizes. Your participation in Wishmaker will help grant the wishes of thousands of Canadian children. Join us and start fundraising today. You can make a real difference in the lives of these kids and their families. Please visit wishmaker.ca for registration details in your city.

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012


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WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012


Teacher’s Story

Good Vibrations Alanna Kaivalya Delivers the Sound of Yoga

Photo: Pat Kuharic

By Erin Moraghan

Western yoga has gone to great lengths to make the practice relevant for our culture, moulding poses and spiritual messages to fit our modern lives. We even have streaming yoga classes online, yoga apps, and twentyminute classes at the office. Yet despite these shifts, some people are still wary of buying in. Exactly what goes on at the local studio? Will I have to change religions? Wear crazy garb? Or, heaven forbid, will I be asked to chant? Many studios still share the spiritual and philosophical aspects of yoga, but let’s face it, it’s not for everyone. Monkey gods, manyarmed deities, Sanskrit chanting, flutes and drums; it just makes some people uncomfortable, has them wondering if they’ve inadvertently joined the Hare Krishnas when all they wanted was to get limber and improve their golf swing—right? Enter yoga’s secret weapon: Alanna Kaivalya. Alanna morphs the mystery and mysticism of yoga into something so fun and cool, that you may be shocked to hear yourself belt out the loudest Om in class. It’s kinda

like when your mom made broccoli awesome with cheese sauce, only better. Born with a cleft pallet and a hearing impairment meant Alanna related to the world through vibration—she could feel sound. It’s no surprise that discovering mantra chanting and connecting to yoga through music helped shape who she is today, both as a student and as a teacher. Students say her passion for sound is contagious. Alanna is an internationally beloved teacher and founder of the Kaivalya Yoga Method. With her knack for serving up ancient yogic philosophies in accessible ways, she became a much sought-after feature at teacher trainings around the globe. In her first book, Myths of the Asanas, Alanna takes a user-friendly approach to yogic mythology and philosophy. Brimming with juicy tales of love, battle, and heroism, reading it will change the way you look at Dancer’s Pose forever!  She recently launched a teacher training program designed specifically for teachers

with some experience under their belts. True to form, she incorporates the holistic concepts of yoga into both her practice and teaching in ways that make sense for current society. “Yoga is not a religion but it is a spiritual practice,” Alanna explains. It needs to serve the people in the time that it’s serving them. The yoga people practiced five thousand years ago may not work for how we live today; thank goodness it evolved in ways that make sense for our time!” The drive underlying Alanna’s passion is her mission to get more people doing yoga anywhere, anytime. That’s why she created the comprehensive Udemy online program. Udemy helps students develop a strong at-home yoga practice and is great for travellers and people on the go. Of the program she says, “If we’re doing our job well as yoga teachers, we’re ultimately putting ourselves out of business. Our job is to empower people to find their yogic path and develop a strong, safe practice for life.” Find out more about Alanna’s teaching, training info, and free music at alannak.com.

sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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Eating by the Book

Om News

Product Review

Sit On It! Salubrion Takes Sitting to the Next Level It’s common advice. Meditate. Most of us are aware of the many benefits of meditation: reduced stress, increased concentration, and peace of mind are just a handful of the rewards to be reaped. The fundamental need for silence and a moment of reflection is stronger than ever as our schedules are packed full of tasks and sticky notes of “to-do” lists clutter our desks and our minds. But whether meditation is already a daily ritual or something you have yet to try, convenience and comfort are a nudge in the right direction and the Salubrion Seat provides both of these qualities. Use the Salubrion Seat in place of a traditional meditation cushion. The memory foam cushion contours to your body, allowing you to sit comfortably without the need to readjust or re-fluff. The elimination of distracting aches, pains, and fatigue lets you sit longer with greater tranquility. You can also use the seat for your yoga practice! Ease into seated poses more comfortably and increase flexibility in your hips and legs with the slight elevation provided. If meditation is still just an item on the “to-do” list, the Seat provides exceptional support for floor sitting and assists in proper back alignment. Designed with travel in mind, the seat is only 2 pounds light, so it’s easy to take with you to class or on the road!

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WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012


Om News

Eating by the Book

Prepare to be amazing

New York Sets a Precedent

Yoga Should Be Relaxing Not Taxing! By Alex Phelan

*reprinted with permission

After months of uncertainty, tax collectors nosing around, and lobbyists by

Yoga for NY, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance recently released news clarifying their decision to stop most yoga studios from collecting sales tax for yoga classes. YogaCity NYC started the movement by asking whether sales taxes were required on yoga classes, when earlier this year several New York City studios found themselves being audited for failing to collect a local, New York State-delegated city sales tax. Prior to that, because the law did not specifically require yoga studios to collect taxes, there had been a general understanding that taxation on classes was not required. Several studios, however, found themselves facing not only heavy fines, but also years of back tax bills that threatened to put them out of business. In February, Yoga for NY (YFNY) went into action and began organizing to get clarity on the law and to ensure the future sustainability of New York’s small-and medium-sized yoga studios. With the help of some elected officials, YFNY brought their concerns to the State Department of Taxation and Finance, which held the ultimate responsibility for interpreting the law.  Elaborating further on their reasoning, the Department goes on to say that “instruction in yoga is not an exercise activity because yoga generally includes within its teachings not simply physical exercise, but activities such as meditation, spiritual chanting, breathing techniques, and relaxation skills.”  These less tangible aspects of a yoga practice were an important feature of the case made by YFNY as to why yoga studios should be considered separately from gyms and other exercise studios. Many small neighbourhood yoga studios operate not only as places to practice asana but also as community centres. By offering donation-based classes, classes specializing in cancer rehabilitation, classes for patients with HIV, etcetera, they serve segments of the community that often don’t have access to other resources.  Executive Director of YFNY Alison West commented, “The State appears to understand that we give a great deal back in the form of free or community classes and a terrific amount of not-for-profit work that supports veterans, prisoners, kids in school, battered women, and so on. The back taxes would have bankrupted yoga studios, and the class taxes would have put a burden on students and caused a drop in attendance for studios. Now we can focus more clearly on the other two issues on the table.”  Our hats are off to the participants for taking the time to do the work that helps yoga stay alive in this tough economy. Does this offer a glimmer of hope for our own Canadian-based centres and studios? Perhaps our neighbouring yogis can inspire us to tackle the HST . . .  

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19


Sweat Science

All Rise!

Prolonged Sitting Leads to Glucose and Insulin Spikes By Alex Hutchinson Over the last few years, a big pile of evidence has emerged suggesting that prolonged sitting is bad for your health. No matter how often or how hard you exercise, if you spend the rest of the day motionless at a desk or on the couch, metabolic changes take place in your muscles that increase your risk of nasty outcomes like heart disease and premature death. But researchers are still trying to puzzle out exactly what’s going on in the muscles, in order to answer some key questions — like how much sitting is too much, how often should you take a break, and how much movement is needed to shake your muscles out of sedentary mode. Travis Saunders, a researcher who is working on these very questions, wrote an interesting blog post about an Australian study that offers new insights into these questions. The gist: volunteers sat around for five consecutive hours, and partway through (after two hours) they drank a test drink with some

20

sugar and fat in it to see how their body responded. Some of the volunteers sat for the whole time, while others took two-minute walk breaks (at either “light” or “moderate” intensity) every 20 minutes. The results: The blood sugar levels spiked higher pretty much right away in the group that hadn’t taken any walking breaks. Then, eventually, the insulin response caught up and brought the blood sugar levels crashing back down. The result: total levels of both insulin and glucose during the experiment were more than 20% higher in the uninterrupted sitting group. Another interesting nugget: the “light” and “moderate” intensity walk breaks had identical effects. This suggests that you don’t need to leap up and hammer burpees and jumping jacks to get the effect of a break -- a mild stroll to the water cooler or a few yoga stretches should suffice. Do you really have to do it every 20 minutes? We’ll have to wait for another study to answer that question.

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012

every 20mins

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Spirit Junkie

Love What You Do

(and Get Paid For It)!

4 Steps to Jump-Start Your Career Success By Gabrielle Bernstein In my 12 years as an entrepreneur, I’ve come to realize that without

best way for me to lead is to guide others to lead one another. Whatever

my deep passion and desire to serve, I would never have been able to

your mission, focus on empowering the WE.

accomplish what I have. A powerful force has been working through me to achieve success and create a full-on movement. This force I speak of is within us all–we just have to allow it to come forth. I believe that if you want to build a successful business based on service, you must be fiercely passionate about your work. You have the power to awaken to your own passion and create a socially

Three: Take Inspired Action Often people begin their careers inspired by a mission only to get bogged down by daily tasks and practical steps that snuff out their spark of passion. Counteract this by consciously taking inspired action daily. Back each mundane task with the same fierce passion that ignited your work. When

responsible and immensely fulfilling career. You just have to release what

you infuse the present moment with enthusiasm, you invite the force of

blocks you from believing that you can. Jump-start your own success with

energy to work through you, and in effect, you can expand time. Things get

these key principles for getting paid for your passion and stepping into your

done, deadlines are met, and your work has an impact. Make inspiration your

soul-centred career.

business partner.

The Principles for Passion

Four: Create Community Interpersonal relationships are the greatest catalyst for creating a

One: Be Moved by Your Mission

movement. In 2008, before my first book came out, I was overwhelmed by

When we’re inspired by our work, an invisible creative force takes over. Call

the number of emails I received. I wanted to serve each person who sought

it God, the Universe, or whatever you wish. This energy force leads us to

help, but I didn’t have the bandwidth. So I meditated on it and my inspiration

learning opportunities, supportive people, and miraculous guidance that

spoke through me, saying, “Create a social networking community.” Within

navigate our career path.

a month I set up HerFuture.com. Today nearly 18,000 members work together to inspire, empower, and connect with each other. This community

the way. Tap into what inspires you most. Then allow that inspiration to take

has greatly helped me to carry my message and serve at a higher capacity.

over your consciousness and show you what to do. This spiritual intervention

Engage your local or online communities to help carry out your work. You’ll

happens to us all in unique ways. The question is not, “How do I get there?”

be amazed by the response to your call to action.Now’s the time to get

but rather, “What am I passionate about?” Focus on that passion and trust

seriously passionate about your work and seriously unapologetic about your

the Universe to lead the way.

capacity to earn money by doing what you love. Cheers to your success!

Two: Focus on the WE, Not the ME I built my business as a spiritual teacher, author, and speaker from a deep

Gabrielle Bernstein is a motivational speaker, author of Add More –ing to Your

desire to create community and engage people in a transformational

Life and Spirit Junkie, and founder of HerFuture.com, a social network to inspire,

conversation. I believe that even my Twitter followers can feel my yearning

empower and connect women. She hosts a weekly show on Hay House Radio

to serve the larger WE rather than the ego’s ME ME ME. I’ve learned that the

and can be seen riding around the East Village on a unicycle. Gabbyb.tv

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Photo: Sam Bassett

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Vibrant Health

GOOD THINKING The Importance of Meditation By Grace Van Berkum

Meditation benefits body, mind, and spirit by increasing

dominated by the right-prefrontal cortex, which is associated with fear,

peace, healing, and rejuvenation. The benefits of meditation include

depression, anxiety, and pessimism. As a result, our self-awareness

reduced stress, improved physical health, relief from chronic pain,

and mood stability increase as harsh judgment of ourselves and others

more restful sleep, and increased feelings of happiness. It also helps

decreases.

productivity. Research has found that people who regularly meditate develop

Many people think they have to flee to an ashram or spend hours a day in Lotus Pose to receive these benefits. If you feel overwhelmed with work, family, or personal responsibilities, just a few minutes of

less hypertension, heart disease, anxiety, and depression. They find

stillness a day can positively influence your life and help provide the

it easier to give up life-damaging addictions to cigarettes, drugs, and

clarity and inspiration that you need.

alcohol. Prolonged stress can cause illness and accelerate aging. Over

When you sit with your eyes closed and focus on nostril breathing,

time, the stress response can lead to high blood pressure, stomach

you start to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. You

ulcers, cancer, insomnia, depression, and autoimmune diseases.

become able to notice negative thought patterns and have the ability

Studies indicate that meditation also helps to build up the left-prefrontal cortex in our brain, associated with optimism, selfobservation, and compassion, allowing ourselves to cease being

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to replace them with more positive thinking. Most of our days are spent going from one activity to the next. We’re caught up in our fast-paced lives, rarely stopping to rest and recharge

Photo: Christian Heeb Photography

with concentration, increasing one’s cognition and creativity, and


Vibrant Health

the brain. And lying on the couch watching television doesn’t count! The mind is still being filled with other distractions. Meditation exposes

Have no expectations.

your brain to a quieter state where healing, mental detoxification, and

Sometimes the mind is too active to settle down. Sometimes it settles

inspiration can occur.

down immediately. Sometimes it goes quiet, but you may not notice.

I approach meditation as I do taking a bath. We wash our clothes and our bodies, so what about washing our minds of negative and

Anything can happen because the goal is not to control the process.

toxic thoughts? After sitting I feel refreshed, more pure and more

Be easy with yourself

positive, with a new perspective on life. And that’s motivation to sit

Meditation isn’t about getting it right or wrong. Surrendering to

my butt down every day! You can change the direction of your life by

whatever happens is also an indication that you are on the right track.

changing your thoughts; but to change your thoughts you must first

It’s about letting your mind find its true nature.

become aware of the patterns in your head. Meditation provides this

Really be there

awareness. It helps you to discover who you truly are, which in turn allows you to wake up to your life and take control of it! There are many ways to meditate. It’s important to find one that

If your attention is somewhere else, thinking about your next appointment, errand or meal, gently shift your attention back to the

suits you so that you’ll be motivated to do it regularly. The following

mantra or the positive affirmation. Focusing on your mantra or your

are three common types of meditation:

daily intention will help lead you back to the gap between thoughts. During the course of meditation, the mind–body dips into silence and

Yoga Meditation

comes in and out of thoughts many times. Deepak says, this cycling

Yes, yoga is considered a moving meditation when you stay

between the depth and the surface of the mind is a natural and necessary

present and focused on your breathing combined with the

rhythm in which the body releases stress. The real way to start is to be

movement. The intention is to promote control of both the

open to experimenting or playing with the possibility of noticing what

body and mind to help relax.

you’re experiencing in this moment and not to try to feel differently.

Mantra Meditation

Most people think that to meditate, they should feel a particular special

Mantras are phrases or words that you repeat. When you

That is a common but incorrect view of meditation. Mindfulness and

think of yogi’s meditating, you might imagine them saying,

meditation is not about getting anywhere else — it’s about being where

“Ommmm.” This is their mantra. Yours can be that simple

you are and being aware of it. Notice, observe, and witness the thoughts.

or more complex. You may use the word “calm” or “peace”.

Then eventually you have the power to change and realease them.

something, and if they don’t, then they must be doing something wrong.

You can say it out loud or silently while you meditate,

Silence and meditation is always healing and that your body takes

co-ordinating the words with your breathing. Sound

exactly what it needs from your practice. In order to receive the most

vibrations from the mantra strengthens energy centres in the

benefits from your meditation, you should practice it on a daily basis.

body.

The amount of time you spend meditating will be a personal choice.

Mindfulness Meditation

Some people feel benefits in 10 minutes, while it takes others at least 30

Buddhists call this type of meditation “insightful or vipassana

Just getting into the practice of sitting still in silence will naturally develop

meditation.” It is insightful because you become acutely

into longer periods of time, and will become something you look forward

aware yet learn to not react to both what is physically around

to. Set an alarm for 5 min, find a quiet spot in your house or in nature,

you and inside your mind. You become aware of all these

make sure your spine is straight, close your eyes, and begin to breathe.....

things without any type of judgment. You just let them be.

in time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment.

You usually start by concentrating on your breathing, and then progress to the thoughts and ideas bouncing around in your mind. Eventually the ideas and thoughts drift by like slow moving clouds and you pay no heed to them.

minutes. Start small, start with just 5 minutes a day for an entire month.

You can practice breathing meditations even while waiting in line at the bank, sitting in traffic, or waiting on hold on the phone. Once you make the conscious decision to meditate, you’ll find new peace, comfort, and better health in your life as a result. You will feel more calm and less judgemental. Just like going to the gym and training

Here are some more tips to help you get the most out of your daily

your muscles, it takes time and consistent effort to learn how to clear

meditation experience according to Deepak Chopra, meditation

your mind and become totally relaxed. So start training your meditation

master:

muscle!

Whether you sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, make sure that your spine is upright with head up. If you are slumped your mind will drift. Mind and body are intertwined. If your body is well-balanced,

Grace Van Berkum runs her own Gracious Living Yoga Adventure

your mind will also be in balance. To straighten up, imagine that your

Retreats in Nicaragua, Bahamas, and around the world that incor-

head is touching the sky.

porates yoga, meditation, nutrition, surfing, and volcano trekking in beautiful tropical countries. gracevanberkum.com

sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

25


Be Yoga examines what it means to be spiritual, both on and off the mat, the ups and downs and highs and lows of a 30-something exparty girl committed to the yogic path; a young woman bold enough to explore the questions that few dare to ask.

Be Yoga

A Question of Beauty By Eryn Kirkwood , MA

It’s 10:00 pm. I’m finally unwinding, propped up on pillows reading The Art of Joyful Living by Swami Rama, a book that explores “a simple philosophy of living and practical suggestions for being happy.” The lights are turned low, with just the bedside reading lamp and the glow of the moon to highlight the page. In my periphery, there you stand: wide-legged and volatile, halfdazed and half-crazed from beating your head against the glass, bouncing off my window like a child on a trampoline or a gymnast in pre-competition warm-up. I try to muster up some image of ‘cute’ or conjure an emotion that would denote there was more to your life than just existing to irritate mine. You must have more depth than that, some valuable role in the food chain, a necessary part of another being’s survival. And yet, nothing comes to mind. Would I feel so violent towards you if you wore the red coat of a Lady Bug? If your wings tickled the pane of my window with less sound and more softness? Is my empathy thus driven exclusively by your rating on a shallow and subjective aesthetic scale? Such questions hit close to the heart of a woman dedicated to ahimsa (the first moral principle of non-violence in yoga). We’ve stood off in this way–you and I–for 15 minutes. You selfdestructively taunt me, pausing only to regroup and gather yourself for another round. Every so often you dive down to tickle my toes or brush up against my cheek, dashing out of arms reach in the blink of an eye. My patience runs out when you plunge head first towards my

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“If you think you’re too

small to make a differe nce, try sleeping in the room with a mosquito.” Dalai Lama XIV

reading lamp and ceaselessly circle the white bulb of heat, buzzing your anthem of annoyance. Something comes over me. I snap. I’m a proud vegetarian of 18 years and vegan of about one. I adopt animals and donate money to the World Wildlife Fund. My compassion extends even to insects. I gather spiders found in the hall and escort them to freedom, tip toe over worms and swerve for squirrels on the highway. Yet in that moment, all of my meditation, contemplation, intention setting, and prayer go out the window as I haul off with Swami Rama’s Joyful Living and slap you down with the force of an unconscionable monster. You drop to the floor without so much as a final bzzzzz. I feel not an ounce of remorse as I scrape your limp body into the radiator and return to my book, checking for stray wings or legs before settling in with twisted satisfaction. That’s what you get for taunting ME, you ugly fly. Perhaps I’ll utter a mantra to guide you to fly heaven, or a blessing to console you along the way; it would be the yogic thing to do. And yet, at least for now, even that feels like a stretch.

Eryn Kirkwood, MA, E-RYT, is the owner and director of Barrhaven Yoga where she offers workshops and classes for students of all levels of ability. Writing for Eryn is a hobby and passion that began at age 8 with her first journal. BarrhavenYoga.com.

Photo: istockphoto.com

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Eating by the Book

Eva Redpath Master Motivator!

Face it. Feel it. Move it. You’ve gotTA love it! Eva Redpath

entrepreneur, group fitness expert, certified personal trainer, and

is committed to empowering women in the truest sense of the

spokesperson committed to social justice causes (for example,

word. “It’s not the steps that matter, but the path you choose.” Her

Plan Canada’s Because I Am a Girl), Eva’s passion for empowering

body conditioning courses for women in the Greater Toronto Area,

women to exceed their own expectations has produced unprec-

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edented results for clients worldwide.

growing online presence carry her inspirational message to exciting

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Groove Pant • made with luon fabric • four-way stretch and moisture wicking for maximum comfort on your yoga mat • smooth and flat waistband is comfortable and won’t dig in • hidden waistband pocket for keys and cards • chafe resistant flat seams to limit rubbing during sweat sessions $98

Namaste Tote • designed to fit both the length and width of all of our mats • thick, durable, adjustable nylon strap • water-resistant exterior to keep things dry • mesh grommets for ventilation cause mats can smell • interior pocket tucked inside for cards and keys $38

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sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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Eating by the Book

The

New Radical

Sadie Nardini Rocks It Out, Yoga Style

By Mairead Walsh, Photos by F. Holland Photography

S

adie Nardini is a rebel with a cause. She likes to stand out. She likes to rock out. And she likes to reach out to a variety of audiences through multiple channels to share her passionate belief in the healing power of yoga and her

unique core strengthening style. As the founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga, Sadie infuses her teachings with a hip, yet down-to-earth, mix of Eastern and Western techniques, pop culture, and personal testimonials. Her Total Body Transformation DVDs are bestsellers on Amazon. Her 21-Day Yoga Body Course for Daily Om is their top selling online course. She is an expert for the Dr. Oz-based website Sharecare and the author of two life-shifting books, The Road Trip Guide to the Soul and the upcoming Core Strength Transformer. Her drive to spread the message that yoga is a tool of self-empowerment has inspired her to create over 200 YouTube videos with 10 million hits and 25,000 subscribers and a Facebook page that attracts more than 40,000 daily views. Her style is unconventional, and she has been called one of the exciting new generation leaders in yoga. “People look at me and think it’s like Yogi meets Pat Benatar, but this is just my personal style; this isn’t something that I cultivated because I became a yoga personality,” she laughs. Her prolific online presence ramped up her exposure, which proved to be a very lucrative formula that earned her an impressive $300,000 in 2010; the feat raised some questions about the commercialization of yoga and whether there is cause for concern that the ancient practice is evolving into a cash cow for capitalists. But Nardini is quick to defend her position on the topic. “I think what people are worried about is that the practice of yoga or the commerce of

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yoga becomes mindless and superficial and that the deeper teachings and transformative properties of yoga will be lost if people are only about the money, or the body, and rubbing their hands together in glee counting every dollar they’ve made,” she says. “But I’m absolutely against people making the practice something that solely serves their own end. Form without substance is not what yoga is about at all.” That said, Nardini is proud of her success, but explains that financial gain was never the motive, nor the expected result. “I work hard and I’m compensated well and I think that’s a fair exchange of energy, but when I began all of this that was not the end goal. I never would have imagined that I would be a YouTube sensation creating a virtual studio with 10 million followers . . . it still blows my mind.” “Back then I thought people were watching YouTube to see a cat jump off a roof and a giggling baby, but there is no yoga on there. I was frustrated because I couldn’t get any more classes to teach in New York, so I figured if I put up a video I could share my techniques, and people who couldn’t afford yoga or who didn’t feel comfortable in a class with others could learn more about yoga.” However, Nardini has no reason to downplay her success. “I don’t mind marketing, reaching new audiences, or making money. I have no issue with becoming successful teaching a practice that I am heavily invested in, heavily trained in, and I offer far more than I ask. That is what has made me successful, but I didn’t do it for that reason. If I was going to choose a profession that would make me rich, I wouldn’t have chosen to teach yoga,” she laughs. “I care deeply about my students, and I’ve taught as passionately and presently if I had one person in the room as I would if I had a thousand. I always put my whole heart and soul into my practice, and my own abundance of offering is getting reflected back to me. People may see the outcome of where I am now and think that I did this on purpose, but in fact nothing could be farther from the truth.”

The Journey Ironically, the catalyst of Nardini’s journey to yoga prominence was contracting spinal meningitis when she was 13 years old, which rendered her near paralyzed for two years. “I couldn’t walk, sit, or breathe properly, and I had about five panic attacks a day,” she recalls. “I was sickly and weak, which is a sharp contrast to the yogi that people see me as today, rocking out, doing handstands, and feeling strong; but that is not at all how I started out.” Nardini’s doctors told her parents that she would eventually need a wheelchair, as she wasn’t likely to ever recover from the illness, and exercise was out of the question. “Living in rural Iowa, we didn’t have a lot of resources, but I did find a book called Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan. It had some restorative postures and breathing techniques that to my amazement helped me quite a bit. When I realized that I had some control over my situation, I started to fight for my health,” she says triumphantly. Over the next 10 years, Nardini got stronger using yoga to heal her body. “At first it was the most confrontational thing I had ever done with my body. I spent a lot of time doing Child’s Pose to rest and recover. But I attended class almost every day for three years. And at the end of three years, I got certified in Ashtanga Yoga. When my teacher moved to India I took over the class for her, and that’s how I became a yoga instructor.” She admits she was a reluctant leader at first. “I never thought I

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“I am fully invested inBook Eating by the living my yoga in my own unique way. …I invite all of my students to be a little more fierce, a little more courageous, a little more mindful” would teach; I didn’t want to get up in front of people. I was content to do

the struggle; don’t act like you know something that you don’t, because it

my own practice. But when I sat in front of the class and shared how the

just doesn’t ring true. It’s much more compelling to say I’m struggling with

poses had changed and transformed me, I got great feedback and support

something and this is what is getting me through it.”

from my students. I found a skill in myself that I didn’t know I possessed and a community that I was profoundly connected to,” she explains. Today Nardini is an internationally recognized ultimate wellness and

“I am fully invested in living my yoga in my own unique way. I’m being my most authentic self and hopefully my most effective self; through my example, I invite all of my students to be a little more fierce, a little more

yoga expert and a testament to the power of transformative poses. “My

courageous, a little more mindful. I want you to see how you can reveal the

original challenge was how to heal myself on all levels. My body was

best of yourself while you’re here on Earth.”

sick, but I had many other emotional challenges in my life. I was a child of divorce, which was very intense and deeply affected my self-esteem. I

The Old and New Radicals

often allowed myself to be treated badly, to the point where I was in several

There’s a lot of discussion about the changing face of yoga teachers and

physically abusive relationships,” she confides.

the new generation of leaders, but Nardini adds her perspective, serving

“I went through some deep challenges around my own self-worth and inner strength. But instead of becoming a hardened person who shut out

up some interesting food for thought. “I think that yogis are the original radicals; they are the punk rock of

love and refused to let anyone in, I stepped into my own truth, my own

practitioners. When Krishnamacharya, the architect of Vinyasa, came up

core strength, and did the work to allow love to come to me again, to make

with the original postures, he was a true radical. At that time, the status

better choices and set boundaries. I trusted myself.”

quo of English gymnastics and wrestling was being popularized in India;

Nardini believes that trusting your truth is one of the biggest challenges

all the Indian men were training in these Western forms of exercise and

that people face. “I think the lack of trust in oneself is epidemic. I have

there was a concern about this influence, but Krishnamacharya said

surmounted some of the toughest challenges a person can face and come

‘Let me create something that aligns with Indian philosophy, yogic and

out on the other side stronger, happier, and more powerful. And that core

Ayurvedic traditions, and Hindu philosophy so that you can get your

message of self-empowerment, really generating it from within, attracts

exercise and spirituality too.’”

people.” She admits this is part of her marketing strategy, wholly motivated to

“That was radical; he totally punk rocked it out! He created something that aligned with their cultural characters and a lot of people were

connect new audiences to yoga. “I promote yoga to different populations

shocked by that. They thought ‘we can’t move the body and be spiritual;

based on what will attract them. Whether you want to learn to meditate,

spiritual meditation is still.’ But this combined it with the physical.”

sleep better, build your relationships, gain confidence, lose weight, learn better alignment—no matter what you come for, when you get here you’ll learn a very deep practice and if you stay, it will transform you on all levels.”

Nardini compares this ingenuity and adaptability to what’s happening today. “It’s just a different time and culture now,” she says. “Just like Krishnamacharya, a founding father of modern yoga, people like me are

Leading by Example

taking on yoga in their own way, creating new postures, and definitely

“I think the mark of an effective teacher or a powerful yogi is someone who

to our contemporary practitioners. I want to bring it to the street level to

lives according to their integrity, not only when they are in front of a crowd,

show people how they can bring more yoga to their daily life. And I think

but when they’re alone and no one else can see them. I try to live that truth

that’s as radical as what Krishnamacharya did in India 75 years ago.”

on and off the mat,” says Nardini. “I’ve made many decisions in my personal life, in my relationships, and in

bringing their own cultural style to their practice. Yoga is evolving to speak

As Nardini takes up the mantle of crusader, embracing the current challenges and channels to reach a contemporary audience with the

how I treat myself that have been challenging, but I also feel that I can sit in

message of an ancient practice, she defines herself as the new radical.

the seat of a teacher and stand behind what I say.”

“It’s an exciting new frontier with the number of people social media

“There should be an expectation of someone who is offering a vantage

connects us to,” she says. “The possibilities are endless for helping each

point to you that they have actually walked up that mountain themselves.

other, for lifting each other up to a new place of consciousness and

Not to say that all teachers should be perfect and that you can’t get up in

understanding, and I’m really happy that I’m alive in this generation to

front of a class if you’re still dealing with your issues, but I think we should

be a part of that gateway.” That’s pretty punk rock, even if she says so

teach what we know. So if you are in the struggle, teach about being in

herself.

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Breathe In

New Age Twist on an Ancient Practice 34

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012


Stylist: Jen Tse Yogis: main image left to right: Orlando Batista, Erin Moraghan, Kathryn Bruni-Young, David Good, Ella Isakov, Jesse Barlow, Amica Hilton, Jesse Enright, Pauline Caballero, Michael DeCorte, Salimah Kassim-Lakha

Breathe In

How and Why Yoga Luminaries Are Stretching the Boundaries

By Bonnie Lynch / Photography by Dave Gillespie

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35


Breathe In

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Breathe In

Yoga is an ancient art that shares a characteristic with other treasured standbys like blue jeans, family structures, and happiness itself: it seems both sacred in its essence and yet infinitely re-inventible, both within

launched the Barefoot Yoga Project to empower individuals

and across generations. Judging by the burgeoning smorgasbord of yoga offerings

and communities to improve health and social wellness

available at studios, gyms, community centres, and other venues, the reinvention of

through the benefits of yoga.

yoga is in full force. But what compels a teacher to venture

“While new teachers may enjoy playing the role for a while, teaching yoga is not easy and those teachers quickly fall away without a profound passion for their practice.”

Jesse Enright

into the hallowed halls of this ancient tradition and then

Pauline Caballero trained with Baron Baptiste and went

systematically begin to remodel them? What would

on to co-found Power Yoga Canada, the first Baptiste-

Patanjali have made of Facebook as a teaching medium?

affiliated studio in Canada. Caballero also serves as acting

Would the yogis of yore have recognized Jock Yoga and

chair of Africa Yoga Project, an organization that uses the

Laughter Yoga as yoga? And why tamper with a system

physical and transformational power of yoga to create

that’s been revered for thousands of years?

sustainable change in East Africa.

Sweat Equity connected with 11 intriguing and engaged yoga entrepreneurs who are making their mark on the

Michael DeCorte’s professional experience as a personal

industry in Toronto. They are taking the time-honoured

trainer and his personal journey with drug abuse and being

system in which they’ve been trained and putting their

overweight has helped shape his deep connection to the

own spin on it to create a fresh new offering in the

practice. DeCorte created Jock Yoga, his own brand of

supermarket that is today’s yoga. This entrepreneurial

Power Yoga, for people who are inflexible or over-flexible

approach allows them to ensure the sustainability of

and who wish to build, tone, and strengthen their muscles.

their ‘brand’ by providing something different to students, who might otherwise bypass yoga in favour of alternative

Erin Moraghan is a Moksha Yoga teacher and corporate

activities like bootcamp, qigong, or happy hour, and it may

wellness coach. She founded Power of Movement in 2007,

be driven by a philanthropic impulse to bring the benefits

a national annual yoga campaign that raises funds for

of yoga to underserved places and people. By creating

arthritis and autoimmune disease research. She moved

a financially viable program of classes, the resulting

on to share the true power in mobility, taking yoga to more

abundance can be channelled to help others. Here’s a

people by tailoring it to the workplace and continues to

quick look at how these innovators are shaping a new

build corporate yoga and wellness programs.

generation of yoga.

Jesse Enright’s understanding of alignment, biomechanics, Jesse Barlow teaches a variety of styles, from Yin to Hot

and anatomy mark his unique contribution. His brand,

Fusion Flow. He also offers sport-specific yoga for golfers,

called SmartYoga, is an approach dedicated to an objective

runners, rugby players, and hockey players. In 2010 Barlow

and scientific study of yoga postures and their effect on the

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37


Breathe In

human body. He also provides Yoga Therapy, working with

annual outdoor celebration of music, movement, and

healthcare providers to tailor rehabilitative yoga programs

meditation.

to individuals suffering from pain and injury.

Holistic nutritionist Kathryn Bruni-Young completed

Ella Isakov started Stellar Kids Yoga to bring yoga to

yoga teacher training at the age of 17 and immediately

children in schools and communities. She is also a Phoenix

began teaching to other teens. She incorporates

Rising yoga therapist and has participated in an Off the Mat

dynamic movement into her practice and offers an

into the World yoga service project in Haiti.

eclectic style inspired by Ashtanga master teacher Richard Freeman and free-styling movement artist

David Good practices Yoga for Runners, Ashtanga, Hot Flow,

Ido Portal.

and Restorative Yoga. He combines challenging Vinyasa sequences with attention paid to systematic cuing, respect for breath, and fun therapeutic alignment tips that teach something about your body while nurturing your soul.

Orlando Batista combines knowledge and skills in yoga and sports with his experience as a Raw Food Chef. He teaches Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Slow Flow, and Yoga Tune Up, at various locations of The Yoga

Amica Hilton teaches Ashtanga Yoga and Vinyasa Flow,

Sanctuary. He aims to guide each student on their

with a flair for creative sequencing and pairing the

own inner journey to locate unhealthy patterns of

movements to music. She also teaches Mysore-style

tension.

classes (first developed at Toronto’s Downward Dog), which emphasize a tailored alteration of classic poses.

However different their passions appear, these teachers’ fundamental goals are strikingly similar and reassuringly down to earth. At their core, each

Salimah Kassim-Lakha teaches Kundalini Yoga online via

is passionate about yoga as more than a collection

Skype and Laughter Yoga for corporate and community

of asanas; it’s about the connection of body and

groups. Her business also supports a charity called We

mind, about the peace and joy that come from inner

Care with Underwear, which has provided new underwear

awareness, and about helping others access these

and other aid to women who suffered in the Haitian

benefits and apply them to life at large.

earthquake. Salimah is the founder of Yogapalooza, an

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Somewhere, Patanjali must be smiling.

“I think we could learn a thing or two from the fitness industry. Personal trainers need to maintain their education in order to stay certified, taking a certain number of courses and workshops each year. There are absolutely [no] requirements or regulations for yoga teachers in Canada, and I’d love to see that changed.”

—Erin Moraghan


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Work WorkOut Out

Kettlebell training Fast Track to Whole Body Fitness By Sean Blinch

Kettlebell lifting is an exciting and

challenging cousin of Olympic Weightlifting, with its own unique history and cult-like following. It requires technique, accuracy, and a bit of bravery. Mistakenly seen as a “fad” exercise, the kettlebell is a long-standing and proven tool for building strength. There are many reports and myths about its origins, but it’s most commonly thought to have emerged from Russia more than 400 years ago when farmers used them for weighing their produce for trade. The kettlebell works well because it’s one of the few exercises that allow you to use a large weight over a broad range of motion. The move is explosive, resulting in high energy exercise is scalable through increased repetition, weights, and/or speed. And the bells by nature inspire the creative side of your program, which adds variety and ultimately increases compliancy to training. The following is a brief introduction to kettlebells and how to help properly advance your training with them. How do you know if you’re physically ready to perform the required explosiveness of an exercise? Although the quick answer lies in your current fitness level, needs, and goals, there are some general guidelines to follow.

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Photo: letusgophoto.ca Model: Seam Blinch Thanks to: CrossFit Altitude for location.

expenditure. The intensity of any kettlebell


Vertical Jump: The cleanest and safest version of the most common kettlebell exercise closely mirrors the form and technique of a vertical jump. Perform a half- or quarter-squat and jump straight upward. This is a great example of powerful hip extension in action. Your heels should be planted and the weight spread dynamically across the balls of the feet, never on the toes. This will allow you to remain in full control and to recruit the posterior chain. The posterior chain consists of the calves, hamstrings, gluteals, and lower back. It’s responsible for creating explosiveness through the hips via full and complete hip extension. The vertical jump will help recruit the necessary muscles and prepare the body for the intensity required in the swing exercises.

Gluteal Activation Drills:

Hip Flexor Drill:

Glute activation is the “firing”

jump; ensure they are primed as they will act

of the gluteal muscles and

as powerful rubber-band-like movers that

is paramount to being able

will help pull your waist up and through full

One-Arm High Pull:

to do kettlebell exercises

hip extension. An excellent drill for this is to

This move starts similarly to the one-handed swing. A

safely and effectively. If the

lie flat on your back with your knees bent

smaller swing of the bell is created by the hip extension

kettlebell exercise is performed

and feet planted on the floor; then thrust

upwards.

incorrectly (for example, if

your hips upward towards the ceiling. Hold

you use the lower back as the

this contraction for 5 seconds before slowly

towards the body. The elbow faces directly upwards. This

primary source of movement)

releasing. Repeat as needed for 2 minutes.

will prepare you for advancing to kettlebell cleans. Repeat

you’ll tax this region and be

Hip flexors are a major player in the vertical

In unison, pull the bell in an upward fashion close to and

this as a drill for precision.

less effective in executing high-repetition schemes. For better glute activation, consider adding some bridges, full-range lunges, full-range squats, and horse-kicks to your program.

Qualifying for the Kettlebell: Ideally, beginners will use these warm-up and training techniques (the vertical jump, hip flexor drills, gluteal activation drills, and breathing techniques) to decrease their risk of injury and set the stage for kettlebell training.

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41


Work Out

when training with kettlebells. It’s

Advancing The Transition to Swings and From Cleans to Presses Swings:

optimal to sharply inhale and retain air

When you can properly demonstrate the explosive hip

deep in the stomach. Holding the breath

extension, you can safely advance to the two-hand swing,

in this manner creates outward tension

single-arm swing, alternating “passing” swing, and the

in the abdomen that helps to bear the

kettlebell “rack,” also called the kettlebell clean.

Breathing: Breathing techniques are very important

weight for the exercises described below. First, inhale sharply through the nose,

The standard, or Russian, swing is where the kettlebell swings 90 degrees from below the hips and finishes at eye level or slightly below. The American swing (a name

sucking air deep into the stomach. As

adopted by the CrossFit community) is where the bell

you prepare for the exercise, release

passes 180 degrees and finishes directly over the head.

only a small amount of air. Never

The distance travelled by the bell in a swing is relative

release a full breath with any kettlebell

to the power created in the initiation of the lower body.

movement, because the air in concert

Avoid the tendency to overuse the deltoids to finish a swing

with abdominal contraction will

overhead. The swing is a full body motion, but the primary

stabilize the core. Doing this correctly

movement must come from the lower body. When reaching

will create a strong midsection capable

the apex of hip extension, fully lock the knees to allow a

of supporting any heavy powerful

natural upward thrust of the bell. The shoulder region should

movement.

only play a small roll in stabilizing the lift.

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Work Out

Cleans and Presses: The clean is a transitional movement that prepares you for overhead work. The bell is “high-pulled” straight up the midsection of the body with little if any distance between the body and the bell; the closer the better. The elbow should be facing almost directly towards the ceiling. When the bell reaches approximately the top of the abdominals, “punch” your hand upwards so that it finishes its upward momentum, and then pull it quickly into your body. Your thumb should be resting on the midline of your body or on the sternum. The elbow will then be in the complete opposite position (facing the floor). Ensure this move is fluid and that no pain is incurred during the exercise. When the bell is stable and tightly gripped, you are prepped and ready for overhead work. The press is one example of such work. The press portion is best described as dip, drive, and lock. Dip downwards with a slight hip hinge, drive the bell upwards using the hips and shoulder, and lock the bell straight overhead so that it evenly splits the centre of mass. The bell locked out forward or backward is sloppy execution and inefficient. Kettlebells provide simple dynamism to your program by allowing freedom to swing weights around with newly found abandon. This will bring a new and challenging impetus to your workouts, with a backdrop of fun and creativity. Although kettlebells can be adopted without professional training, it goes without saying that certifying yourself in the area (agatsu.com) would provide peace of mind that you are, in fact, training hard, safely, and correctly. Start reading up, practice, and then apply. The following workout uses the techniques described above:

The 401 Workout 400 total reps, 1 total mile, 16 kg/12 kg kettlebell

Perform the following routine 4 times and aim to complete it in under 25 minutes. 10 vertical jumps, 20 two-handed swings, 40 kettlebell cleans (20 per side) 20 presses (10 per side), 10 vertical jumps

One quarter-mile mile run at 80% to 100% effort

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43


Tastemakers

Recipes to Start a Revolution Eco-Chef Bryant Terry Discusses His Latest Book, The Inspired Vegan

Photo: Jennifer Martiné

By Mairead Walsh

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Tastemakers

B

ryant Terry wants to inspire your inner chef, but it’s not just about the menu, it’s also about inspiring a movement. For the last decade the cookbook author, animal activist, and food justice advocate has been a crusader for healthy and sustainable eating. It’s a revolution that he believes has to start at your kitchen table. “I still think cooking at home and sharing meals and ideas to build community with friends and family is one of the most revolutionary acts in contemporary society,” he says. His latest book, The Inspired Vegan, comes from a very personal place as it was written during his wife’s pregnancy. “I was finalizing the book in the first two months of my daughter’s life,” he says. “I really wanted to write something that captured this moment–who I am, what my interests are, what this movement is about, and the vision I have for a more healthy and sustainable food system.” Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Terry came from a family that had agrarian roots and valued growing their own food. But it wasn’t until he was in graduate school at New York University that his activism began to take shape. “I did a lot of research on the contributions of African Americans to contemporary health movements, and that lead to information about revolutionary groups in the late 1960s and early 1970s that focused on the intersection of poverty and malnutrition and institutional racism,” he says. “What really piqued my interest was the free breakfast for children programs and grocery giveaways that the Black Panthers started. It was a part of the social justice movement, considering food access and food equity and the role of feeding people in struggling communities.” Influenced by these social pioneers, Terry went to cooking school with the express purpose of gaining the skills necessary to start an organization that used cooking to engage young people in issues like urban farming, community health, raising people’s food IQ, and helping them to select and prepare fresh, whole food. “I think it’s important to get people to eat real, whole, fresh, seasonal, sustainable food again. So many people are stuffing their faces with products that are high in salt, sugar, fat, and foods that are over-processed and very

unhealthy,” he says. “So my goal as an activist and a cookbook author is to help people understand that when you get local food, homegrown or from a community garden or farmer’s market, it’s going to be so much more flavourful than food that has been shipped across the country or the globe and is sitting in the supermarket.” Terry’s last publication, Vegan Soul Kitchen, was a great success, but his latest book is more structured around full menus. “I thought it was important to walk readers through putting menus together that were devoid of animal products and well-balanced in terms of colours, textures, tastes, and nutrients. A lot of vegan cookbooks are a collection of side dishes, but for people who are interested in reducing animal products in their diet, maybe starting with one vegan meal a day or one vegan day a week, they need coaching on how to balance meals; so I thought menus would be a great way to do that.” Terry admits that the word vegan triggers people, and he resisted having vegan in the book title because it might alienate some readers who have had negative experiences with vegans who were very dogmatic in their attempts to encourage others to eat plant-based diets or to give up eating animal products altogether. Or they simply think that vegan food is bland and unsatisfying. “People like tasty food, so you can talk about eating compassionate food, or the benefits of eating local food for the local economy, or the health benefits, but if it doesn’t taste good people don’t want it,” he laughs. “Personally I feel like it’s easy to cook meat–add a little seasoning and throw it on a grill, but it takes a lot more creativity to work with diverse produce and grains and legumes, and it’s a more interesting combination of flavours!” Terry doesn’t disparage people who want to include animal products in their diet, citing it’s an individual choice regarding one’s own health and well-being. “But I do think people could stand to include more vegetables and grains in their diet, and it’s also about changing people’s ideas about consumption,” he adds. However, as an activist, Terry presents a compelling case for veganism. “We can have a lot of conversations about being a compassionate eater and avoiding animal

Chef’s Survival Kit I can’t get through the day without.... Kissing my daughter multiple times. To relax.... I meditate.   I am currently reading... High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Jessica B. Harris.  My favourite culinary destination is... Hong Kong.   My favourite kitchen tool is... My Vitamix.   My stranded on a desert island spice is... Cayenne pepper.    Who is your mentor? Alice Waters.   Favourite meal of the day.... Dinner, especially when my wife cooks.   My favourite not-for-profit organization... The People’s Grocery.   Superpower you wish you had? The ability to emit an anti-capitalism energy beam.

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45


Tastemakers

Molasses, Miso, and Maple Candied Sweet Potatoes

Recipe: Courtesy Bryant Terry, The Inspired Vegan, Da Capo Press

Yields 4 to 6 servings Soundtrack “Revolution” by Nina Simone from Protest Anthology Book Conversations in Maine: Exploring our Nation’s Future by James Boggs and Grace Lee Boggs INGREDIENTS 2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes or garnet yams, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick 2 tablespoons molasses 1 teaspoon tamari or shoyu 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1 heaping tablespoon white or yellow miso ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest 6 tablespoons filtered water

products. I do think it’s important that people understand the horrible and violent way animals are treated in our industrial food system, where human desire often trumps the freedom and self-determination of the animals.” “We forget how deeply connected we are to all living beings, and that was one of the reasons that I started to call myself an ecochef about 10 years ago. I thought that would 46

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 2. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. 3. Spread the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined or well-greased baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 50 minutes, turning over with a fork after 25 minutes. 4. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and lower the heat to 375°F. 5. Place the cinnamon stick at the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, and add the sweet potatoes in layers. Set aside. 6. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the molasses, tamari, maple syrup, miso, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, water, and the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil. Pour over the sweet potatoes. 7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, thoroughly basting the sweet potatoes every 10 minutes.

help people understand this idea of interconnection and the reality that if I’m looking at anything living, I’m looking at a reflection of myself, so there is no way that we can treat animals as horribly as we do and not harm ourselves as well.” Terry says his guiding mantra has been “Start with the visceral, move to the cerebral, and end with the political,” with the understanding that there is only so much we can do

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | sept/oct 2012

as consumers. “Each individual is responsible for his or her health, but that’s not enough; we have to recognize how we contribute to local and regional food systems too,” he says. “We have to make changes as citizens as well. There are a lot of laws and policies in place that prevent small farmers from thriving and prevent proj in urban ffcentres from working to create more local sustainable food systems that feed people and naffect the public health crisis. We have to exercise our vote to ensure that public officials are supporting policies that contribute to a more healthy food system.” Terry has a handle on the bigger picture and tries to bring it into focus. “Food is my area of expertise, but I’m very clear that it’s not just about eating. Food is just one part of the larger whole that we need to fix,” he says. “I know there are lots of practitioners who teach us ways to nurture our body, mind, and spirit, and I think all of these are important, but my role is to highlight the importance of how we eat and bring that to the conversation.” To that end, he seeks to stimulate and extend the conversation by including music and literary recommendations, as well as links to activist and community organizations, alongside the menus featured in The Inspired Vegan. “We don’t eat in a vacuum. We typically share meals with family and friends and we’re talking about pop culture, and music, and sharing ideas, so I’m trying to mirror the way I’d like to see people connecting and gathering around food,” he says. “This is where the real conversations happen”. I say, let the revolution begin.


Eating by the Book

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The Ingredient

Sometimes called “the indestruc-

tible tree” or “the Tree of Eternity,” this timeless and ancient species is found dotting landscapes across the globe, with many of the trees being hundreds if not thousands of years old! They can survive some of the harshest climates, all the while producing the wonder fruit called “Olea Europea” or “olive” — Nature’s Miraculous Fruit! But why call this common food miraculous? The World’s Healthiest Foods makes this observation: “Given its phytonutrient richness, it’s not surprising that olives have documented health benefits that extend to most of our body systems. Olive benefits have been demonstrated for the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, immune

The Olive

Nature’s Miraculous Fruit By Andrew Muto

system, inflammatory system, and digestive system. We believe that many of these diverse systems benefits are actually related to two underlying health-support aspects of olives, namely, their unusual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients.” From olive bars at supermarkets to pizza parlours, from Mexican restaurants to Persian and Jewish specialty food shops, in almost every culture and cuisine on the planet, you’ll find a variety of the amazing olive! This fall, rather than eating olives in their typical brine, search out fresh black olives specifically from the Bari region, and freeze some to enjoy all winter long. Pop a frozen black olive in your mouth and you’ll be amazed at how sweet and tasty they remain! Stew the olives in red wine and spice them with fennel and garlic for a To make your own scented olives, purchase a variety of your choice and rinse them thoroughly under water. Marinade them in Indian or Thai spices, or even fresh herbs, and pop them in the oven to bake. The humble olive . . . enjoy with imagination or simply as they are.

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Photo: Sam Asusa Photography

simple recipe.


Eating by the Book

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sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

49


Eating by Living Delicious the Book

Indian Summer An Evening in Bombay By Andrew Muto

Indian food has joined the ranks of one of Toronto’s favourites, and don’t be fooled, we’re talking about a whole lot more than butter chicken! As we move away from summer and towards the autumn months, these recipes offer comfort without heaviness, and they won’t send you into hibernation.

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Delicious Living

Chick Pea Coconut Stew Serves 4 Can enough be said about chick peas and the collision of nutrition and flavour? I served this stew one evening with some close friends. Four months later they’re still talking about it! What makes it so memorable is the spice. I use a curry spice blend from Arvindas (a wonderful spice company located in Toronto) in all my recipes. It keeps it authentic and full of flavour. This recipe is so simple! Enjoy it with friends and family; they’ll be talking about you for days to come. Ingredients 2 cups of dried, cooked, or canned chick peas 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 large white onion, cubed 1 cup of baby spinach 2 tbsp Arvindas curry spice blend 2 cans coconut milk

Bombay Yogurt Shooters

1 tbsp coconut oil

Serves 4

4 cups of water Fresh, easy, and so good! It doesn’t get better than this! Method Heat coconut oil over low heat;

Ingredients:

add onions and potatoes.

1 tub Greek yogurt (low fat)

Sauté for a few minutes, then

Raw cacao nibs

add the spice blend and let it

Scented water (see recipe above) from the spiced olive recipe

cook for another minute. Add chick peas and coconut milk;

Method:

let them stew together for a

Scoop the yogurt into a bowl. Add water and mix well. Spoon

few more minutes and then

the mix into your favourite glass or clay shooter or espresso

add the water (preferably hot).

cup. Top with a few raw cacao nibs, and put them in the freezer.

Now let it all come together

Take them out to thaw 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a

over medium heat for 40 to 45

brewed cup of Chai tea!

minutes.

A nice ending to a night of Indian Summer!

Add the spinach just before serving, and let it gently wilt from the heat of the stew. Serve over rice or with a

Andrew Muto is a Food Director and Health/Wellness

piece of Naan bread and a

Chef. With 25 years of culinary experience, Andrew has

small bowl of yogurt! This stew

created fresh, exciting, and healthy menus for some of

is flavourful and nutritious,

Toronto’s finest food establishments. For more recipes,

yet light enough for an Indian

visit Andrew at Healthy Planet on 568 Danforth Ave.

summer!

andrew@freshplanetfood.com

sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

51


TIP

Delicious Living

Take the trail mix and add it to your oatmeal for a complete and healthy start to your day!!  

Got the munchies? 5 super snacks for your lunch box By Andrew Muto  

Dried Mulberry More than just a “bush to go around”, these extraordinary berries are full of vitamin C and surprisingly the only berry that contains iron. Top up your lunch bag with these healthy dried fruits or add some to trail mix for great taste on the go!

Roasted Hemp Hemp can have a rather overwhelming earthy taste but if roasted to perfection, it will retain its raw state and still have a wonderful nutty flavour. It’s a great source of protein - 5g in a tablespoon, about the same as what you’d get in an egg, and easy to add to just about anything!  

Fresh Fruit Surprise! No fancy recipes, special preparing techniques or extra flavouring required. Just grab an apple, pear, berry or peach and enjoy rich nutrition.

Uncle George’s Living Salads What’s locally grown, full of living nutrition and totally affordable? Uncle George’s Sprouts! You can find these power salads at your local healthy grocers. It has fresh green sprouts and sprouted legumes for additional protein! It’s more than a salad, it’s a meal.

Nutless Trail Mix Simple and rich with superfood. Put together Pepita (pumpkin) seeds, Goji berries, raisins, hemp hearts, and raw cacao nibs. Carry a bagful and snack on the bus, in the office or on the drive home. It’s a combo full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will keep you satisfied in between meals and feed your body well!

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Eating by the Book

Fuel

This alkalinizing, detoxifying, energizing, metabolismboosting smoothie is filled with superfoods, plantbased protein, antioxidants, and fiber. It’s a velvety smooth and satiating treat that provides you with sustainable energy, without any added milk. It’s also great for a post-workout drink to help the body recover, replenish, and reduce inflammation. Avocado and frozen bananas are both potassium rich and provide a creamy texture when blended. Swiss chard is an outstanding source of antioxidant phytonutrients that act as anti-inflammatory agents. Hemp seeds provide all-natural anti-inflammatory and easy-to-digest plant-based protein.

UP THE ‘ANTI’ ON NUTRITION! Avocado Blueberry Super Smoothie By Grace Van Berkum, RHN This delicious smoothie is quick and easy to make, and the antioxidant phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory agents make it a perfect choice for the fall!

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Ingredients: 1 cup blueberries 2 frozen bananas 1 ripe avocado 1 handful Swiss chard 2-3 tbsp hemp seeds 1 tsp real vanilla Raw, wild honey to taste Water to desired consistency 1 cup ice Method: Blend till creamy. Don’t be scared by the green colour; this smoothie is sensational superfood goodness! The recipe will fill a blender, so make sure to share! Cut the recipe in half for smaller amounts. For other variations, add a different berry of your choice or a different dark green leafy vegetable. You can also try sweetening with dates or maple syrup instead of honey.


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Eating by the Book

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Raw Ambition

Quinoa and Lentil Burgers

These burgers are perfect served with agave-sweetened ketchup, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles on sprouted grain burger buns. Makes 7 to 8 portions at 1 cup per portion. INGREDIENTS 4 cups cooked quinoa 1 cup cooked black lentils 1 cup finely sliced, steamed kale ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 4 cloves of garlic, grated 2 tbsp toasted cumin seeds 1 tbsp lemon zest 1 to 2 tsp fine sea salt 1 cup ground golden flaxseed ¼ cup tahini

Balance is the Answer By Doug McNish

It’s that time of year again: changing leaves, cooler temperatures,

organic cotton sweaters; and our precious sun seems to disappear earlier and earlier as the days get shorter. Another struggle we face (at least I do) is we begin to shun those cool crisp salads and gravitate towards heartier, more comforting foods. Being a guy that enjoys his fair share of raw food, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not shy about consuming a big bowl of hearty chili or even a healthy veggie burger once in a while. Why is it that we crave more dense foods in colder weather? One reason is that as the temperature drops we need to “fuel” or “heat” our bodies at a slower rate for a longer period of time. In turn, we crave foods that are higher in calories with richer, more fatty ingredients. Our bodies take longer to break these down, thus creating the steady fuel we need to maintain our internal temperatures. Cayenne pepper and ginger both have the same sort of metabolism-boosting functions, so it is indeed possible to be raw in the cold. To this chef, it’s all about the mindset. If you truly think you can do it, anything is possible. Whether you’re eating raw, cooked, or something in between, it’s all about balance. I don’t beat myself up anymore when I reach for the sweet potato fries or an organic baguette. Moderation is the key. I have included one of my favourite recipes: an über healthy gluten-free quinoa lentil burger with a caramelized onion and cherry tomato relish. I serve it on a sprouted grain bun with a side of baked sweet potato wedges. Enjoy and be well.

Doug McNish has taken healthy, organic, plant-based cuisine to a whole new level. Challenging mainstream thought on diet and ethics, he continues to create inspired dishes using the highest quality ingredients and has just released his new cookbook, Eat

Raw, Eat Well, under Robert Rose Publications.

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TIPS If the burgers aren’t holding together very well, try adding 1 tbsp more of ground golden flaxseed at a time until they’re firm. To grate the garlic and lemon zest, use a microplane or the side of a box grater. You can substitute any cooked bean or legume for the lentils in this recipe. If you don’t have whole cumin seeds, you can use 2 tbsp of ground cumin.

Caramelized Onion and Cherry Tomato Relish This sweet and tangy side dish is the perfect compliment for a vegetarian burger or sandwich. Makes 10 portions at ½ a cup per portion 1 cup caramelized onions (about 4 medium onions) 2 tbsp grape seed oil 3 cups cherry tomatoes (about 2 pints) ¾ cup balsamic vinegar ¼ cup water ½ cup agave nectar Pinch of sea salt INSTRUCTIONS Heat a large sauté pan and add the grapeseed oil and cherry tomatoes. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly blistered. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, water, agave, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the tomatoes until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 25 minutes). Set aside and cool for 10 minutes. Stir the caramelized onions into the cooled tomatoes; serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Photo: Joanne McArthur

To Cook or Go Raw?

INSTRUCTIONS In a mixing bowl, add the quinoa, green lentils, sundried tomatoes, kale, garlic, cumin seeds, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine the ingredients evenly. Place the ground flaxseed and tahini into the bowl and work the mixture with your hands until it becomes sticky and holds together. With a ½ cup measuring cup portion out 30 burgers. Use your hands to form each patty and press until tight. Place the burgers in the refrigerator and allow them to firm up for 30 minutes.


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From Street Chic to Studio Stretch

Photos courtesy of Second Demin Co.

By Dina Rich

Combining the true comfort and flexibility of a yoga garment with a five pocket design, Yoga Jeans hug your curves and keep you feeling comfortable in any position!

Wazana’s Yoga Jeans are Second to None We expect a lot from our denim.

Like a true blue friend, we count on our jeans to make any occasion better. We know that a favourite pair is like a trusty and stylish companion that’s as comfortable as a second skin. Second is the name of the Montreal apparel company founded by Eric Wazana in 2000, best known for its Yoga Jeans. Wazana feels that they’re perfect for a lifestyle that prioritizes well-being and where flexibility and relaxation are part of daily living. “As humans, we are not meant to move up and down; we twist, we bend, and we pull. The Yoga Jeans embrace that notion and follow the movement of any woman’s body so that she can go on with her day [without being] restricted by the clothes she wears.” That’s a big claim for denim–can I really leave my trusty Lulus at home and venture to the studio in a pair of Second Yoga Jeans? Well for starters, they certainly feel as comfortable as my go-to yoga pants, with the softness of fabric that you’d expect from your jammies, not your jeans. The fit is tight without being restrictive, and the stretch factor is a stroke of genius. Thanks to their revolutionary treatment, Second uses denim with 92% shape memory, while the industry standard is only 64%. This ensures that your yoga booty won’t turn into diaper butt after a few uses. The six-band construction around the waist, compared with just two bands in other denim, provides the seamless contour that can usually only be found in your yoga pants. So the question remains, are they practical for practice? If you’re wearing a pair of Second Yoga Jeans, forgetting your tights won’t be a problem. Although you may look odd wearing jeans to a flow class, you can certainly hit Pigeon Pose without splitting a seam or feeling constricted. And to top it all off, Second denim is 100% Canadian made. Designed and manufactured entirely in Quebec, Second’s production practices are not only mindful of the environment but also of your wallet, with a suggested retail price of just $110.


Eating by the Book

Experience the unique denim washes and specially formulated treatments. Each denim garment is individually hand-rubbed and reworked to ensure that no two pieces are exactly the same. A silicone wash takes the soft touch and comfort factor to a whole other level. 60

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Eating by the Book

With a laundry list of available colours from a deep dark Ink to a worked in look of Used Indigo, right down to your Classic Blue, a variety of fits from Skinny to Boot Cut, and 3 different options for the rise - mid, sky, and high making a choice for just one pair can be a tough decision. sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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Beauty

Damage Control

5 Ways to Replenish and Recover from Sun Damage By Kristen Ma, co-owner Pure + Simple With summer’s end, our skin is often left with reminders of fun in the

the whites of one egg. Apply this to clean skin and let the mask sit until

sun. Days spent outside can lead to UV overexposure, which leaves

dry. It’s ready to remove when the colour turns from transparent to

the skin pigmented, dehydrated, and damaged. Luckily, there are a few

white; you’ll also feel a tightening sensation. Rinse with tepid water to

things we can do to help maintain skin health and treat skin damage.

leave skin feeling refreshed, firm, and supple.

Here are five ways to replenish and restore compromised complexions.

Peel Away Past Skin Sins Peeling away surface skin cells helps to fade darkened lesions, promote cell turnover, and oxygenate the skin, encouraging tissue repair.

Go With the Blood Flow Our blood feeds and detoxifies our skin tissue and encourages collagen production, making it vital for healthy skin. Lymphatic drainage massage is a wonderful way to encourage

Avoid chemical peels and use all-natural fruit

blood flow. By draining excess lymphatic

acids to exfoliate gently and safely. Many

fluid and relieving swelling, we alleviate

fruits and vegetables contain enzymes that

pressure on our facial capillaries and

digest dead skin cells and brighten skin. Use

prevent breakage. To do this, place your

ingredients from your own kitchen pantry to

fingertips on the surface of your complexion

ensure purity and lower peel concentrations. Try an exfoliating mask recipe: take 1 teaspoon of crushed pineapple, 1 teaspoon of crushed papaya, and the juice from a quarter of a lemon. Apply

and press gently in rows down the face. Perform a quick lymphatic drainage massage while you cleanse each morning and night to help maintain good blood circulation.

this to clean skin for ten minutes before rinsing with cool water. Exfoliate once a week to help smoothen out uneven

Oil Up to Protect Your Barrier

texture and lighten pigmentation. For sensitive

Sebum (oil) is secreted from our glands to provide

skin, always do a test patch first.

a natural shield for our complexions. Too often we deplete this barrier and

Heal Through Hydration

encourage damage by drying out

Healing occurs in a hydrated environment,

and stripping our skin. Applying

making skin moisture important for

plant oil is both protective

regeneration. Hydration is also important

and therapeutic. Certain oils

as it plumps up skin cells and forms a solid barrier that protects against future damage.

help to diminish dark spots and even out the complexion’s colour.

Incorporating all-natural floral waters into your

Cold-pressed rosehip oil is one of

skincare regime is a fantastic way to do this. Also

the only natural ingredients that

known as “hydrosols,” these waters are extracted from plants and can

decrease pigmentation. It is packed

be used as an alcohol-free toner or hydrating mist. Rose and lavender

with antioxidants and vitamin C, making

hydrosols rejuvenate the skin, while chamomile and immortelle calm

it effective in treating sunspots and fine

irritation and help to prevent free-radical damage.

lines. Sea buckthorn berry oil is excellent for this because of its high vitamin C content. It also contains

Infuse Collagen for Restoration Our skin is made up primarily of collagen protein, which supports its structure. When collagen

many EFAs that help to nourish and lubricate vulnerable skin. Use these oils as daily moisturizers to help ramp up barrier function and fade discolouration without the use of harsh bleaches and peels.

content declines or is damaged, we become more vulnerable to skin injury. Use collagen in your skincare to help guard against tissue weakness

Kristen Ma is an Ayurvedic practitioner and co-owner of Pure +

and depletion. Egg whites are a natural source

Simple Inc., an independent chain of holistic spas in Toronto. She’s

of collagen protein and are said to be effective in

the author of Beauty: Pure + Simple and writes the popular blog,

restoring the skin when applied topically. Egg white

holisticvanity.ca. There, she shares her thoughts and knowledge

masks are inexpensive and easy to do: Quickly beat

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on Ayurveda and its beauty benefits. pureandsimple.ca


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Eating by the Book

Fall Fantasy

Top 4 Vacations for Fitness Enthusiasts! By Kat Tancock

Forget the summer crowds and super-high temps. Autumn is our favourite time to visit Europe. Balance out the inevitable patisserie and gelateria visits with fun activities that’ll keep you fit! Here are some trips on our wish list.

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Eating by the Book Travel

Photo: Thinkstock

See Switzerland by Water Where: The Ticino river in southern Switzerland What: Canoeing or rafting Intensity: Good for beginners but easy to upgrade In the Italian part of Switzerland, the canton (province) of Ticino blends Alpine scenery with Mediterranean food and culture and offers warm autumn weather. Sign up for a half-day rafting or canoeing trip along the calm, clear-blue expanse of the Ticino, and enjoy a relaxing, kid-friendly journey. Water sport enthusiasts might want to plan a more adrenaline-filled route along some of the country’s 410 km of signposted waterways, part of the 20,000-km-long SwitzerlandMobility network that also includes trails marked for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and inline skating. More info: myswitzerland.com and schweizmobil.ch

What to Bring

Wear stylish yet comfy shoes (not sneakers) to avoid standing out like a North American thumb in European cities. Naot’s Art, available in multiple colour pairings, has removable insoles and will keep your feet happy from dawn till dusk. $200, naot.ca

Gentle, antioxidant-rich pure argan oil is a versatile natural moisturizer. Keep this travel-size bottle nearby to conveniently soften up the dry skin, nails, hair, and lips that come hand in hand with travel. $44.99 for 15 mL, essenceofargan.com

sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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Travel

Cycle the Danube Where: Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary What: An 8-day self-guided cycling tour Intensity: Between 40 and 80 km a day on moderate terrain Weave your way eastward from Vienna along Europe’s second-longest river on this self-guided cycling tour. Let the company organize your accommodations and move luggage as you enjoy the tour through riverside woodlands, rural villages, and the ancient Roman town of Petronell-Carnuntum, where you can walk through reconstructed streets, a restored villa, and gardens. At the trip’s end in Budapest, don’t forget to soothe your sore muscles in one of the traditional thermal baths. More info: intrepidtravel.com

Surfing in Portugal Where: Lagos, on Portugal’s southern coast What: A surfing vacation Intensity: From beginners to instructors-in-training For 20 years and counting, The Surf Experience has been welcoming wave riders to the Atlantic shores of Europe’s extreme southwest. Packages include board and wetsuit rental, accommodations, and instruction; you’ll be ‘Hanging 10’ like a pro in no time! Intermediate and more advanced surfers can ride the wave even higher at surf bootcamp! More info: surf-experience.com Hike across England Where: Northern England, from St. Bees on the Irish Sea to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea What: A 192-mile walk through three national parks Intensity: Two weeks of strenuous walking Named among the best walks in the world, the Coast to Coast Path is on the bucket list of many dedicated hikers. Passing through the varied terrain of mountains, valleys, moors, and lakes, you can also enjoy the quintessential English cultural experience, the pubs! Up for a challenge? Try to beat the record completion time of 39 hours, 36 minutes, and 52 seconds. More info: wainwright.org.uk

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TM TM


Do Yoga

Lunge #1 Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge Set Up): From Downward Dog, exhale your left foot between your hands into a low lunge. Stack the front knee directly over the ankle and in line with the second and third toes (middle of the foot). The back toes of your right foot are curled under for support. Walk your left foot to the widest edge of the mat; the foot can be at a 45 degree angle. Hug the knee inwards. Stay up on your fingertips, doming your hands to lift

Good Advice on Low Lunges

5 Ways to Free Your Hips and Calm Your Mind By David Good

Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge) will wake you up better than any cup of

what comes up. Stop and listen. Your body will release muscular

coffee. It’s the perfect pose for yogis, athletes, and runners to treat

tightness and your mind will find some ease.

sources of lower body soreness and tight quads, hamstrings, and

Off the yoga mat, we can sometimes find ourselves placed in

hip flexors. This posture will help you to build a strong foundation in

uncomfortable or challenging situations. Practice hugging in for

your practice, because you learn to expand from your centre while

stability before expanding outwards to witness what arises along

in a challenging position. Take 5 breaths in each pose and observe

the way. You’ll learn a lot about yourself.

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Photo: Dave Gillespie Clothing provided by: Lululemon

your chest forward. Take 5 breaths.


Do Yoga

Lunge #2

Lunge #3

Devotional Lunge: Slide the back leg backwards to lengthen the

Forearm Lunge: In this pose, your muscles and ligaments will grip

front hip flexor of that side. Flatten out your back foot by pressing

before the sweet release takes over. Lower to your forearms; if

into the top of the foot (toes pointing back), with both the big toe

that’s not available to you, place blocks or a bolster under your

and the baby toe touching the floor. Walk your hands forward.

forearms or keep your arms straight. Continue hugging the bent

Lift and open the chest, reach your heart forwards, and then bow

knee inwards, keeping the hips square. Breathe into the straight-leg

towards the mat. Remember to hug the bent knee towards the

hip flexor. Take 5 breaths.

midline to contain the hips. Take 5 breaths.

Lunge #4

Lunge #5

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (Twisted Low Lunge): Walk your left hand

Twisted Low Lunge Variation: To deepen this pose, bend your back

off the mat with the fingers pointed forwards (keep the inner elbow

knee and reach for the top of the foot. If that’s not available, bend

facing forward to strengthen the arm), and reach the opposite

the back knee and simply reach back, opening the chest. Over time

arm towards the ceiling. Feel the chest expand as you breathe in.

you’ll be able to reach your foot. Allow yourself to witness what

Allow the hip flexor to open more, and keep hugging the bent knee

comes up, the sensations in the body or feelings that arise in the

towards centre. Make your tailbone heavy to elongate your spine.

mind. Take 5 breaths. Move into Downward Dog and feel the flow of

Inhale to gain length and exhale to gently twist.

blood and energy throughout the body, like releasing a bent garden

Take 5 breaths.

hose. Repeat on the other side.

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69


Do Yoga

Head over Heels

Kathryn Bruni-Young Shares How to Do Handstand My sequence is a reflection of how I practice; it’s based on going upside down as much as possible as a way to free the mind and energize the body. Inverted poses are intimidating for many students. There are several things you can do to start feeling more comfortable upside down. At the end of the day, practice makes perfect. The more you train your nervous system to be comfortable upside down, the better.

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Photo: Dave Gillespie Clothing Provided by: Lululemon

By Kathryn Bruni-Young


Do Yoga

02. Half-Headstand

01. Headstand Headstand is one of

Half-Forearm Balance

the first completely

Simon Park introduced me to this

inverted poses that

pose. Although it’s not part of the

I invite students in

Ashtanga sequence that I often

my Level 2 classes to

practice, I throw it in because it’s

try. Standing on your

fun and invigorating. To make this

head can be scary for

posture feel a bit more stable,

people, but working

squeeze the Headstand elbow

on it is a great way to

in and try to wrap the shoulders

find yourself upside

away from the ears. Staying

down. There are many

broad across the collar bones will

different arm positions,

also create stability. Be careful

but this is my personal

when you kick up; a little kick goes

favourite. Experiment

a long way. First come to the tip

and find the one that

of the toe and hop with caution;

works for you.

eventually you will float with grace and ease.

03.

Side Plank

Side plank strengthens the hands, wrists, and shoulders. It’s a good starting place for students who need to build strength and become comfortable bearing more weight on their wrists. My flow classes always involve plank and side plank variations; they’re a definite must.

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71


Do Yoga

Do Yoga

04.

Handstand with One Leg Tucked In Kicking up into Handstand requires a fine balance between using enough force to get up but not so much that you fall over to the other side. Kicking one leg up and tucking the other into the chest will insure that you won’t drop over into a bridge. It provides a bit of a safety net. Be sure to keep the arms straight and the fingertips pressing.

05. Handstand

with Straddle Begin in a wide-legged forward fold. Cast more weight forward from the base of the fingers to the tips of the fingers to take pressure off the wrists. With the legs wide, either try to float the toes up an inch off the ground or assist yourself with a little hop; eventually you’ll find the strength to hold it for a moment. This variation is not recommended for individuals with very tight hips.

06. Straight-Up Handstand Handstand is my all-time favourite yoga posture! Playing with Handstand at the wall is a great way to learn the pose in the beginning stages. One of my teachers, Ido Portal, taught me to practice Handstand this way, but rather than kicking up with the back to the wall, try walking yourself in so the belly is touching the wall. This method won’t allow you to rest so much weight into the wall, so you learn to find your center in a more efficient way.

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sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

73


Do Yoga

From the Outside In A Journey Through the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, part 2 By Sara Elizabeth Ivanhoe “When it comes to yoga, there is a little something for everyone . . . ” This was the premise that began our discourse on Raja Yoga in the previous issue of Sweat Equity. Some of us like a list of direc-

Dhyana (meditation) Samadhi (absorbtion, dissolution) The practice of Raja Yoga methodically takes us from “the

tions to follow, simple and direct, a practice that has been proven

outside in,” meaning that the practice begins with everything on the

to work. For the analytically minded, we present to you, The Eight

outside of the body, then addresses the physical body itself, and

Limbs of Yoga (or Ashtanga, literally meaning 8 limbs.) This eight-

finally moves inward to the centre of our being.

limbed, or eight-stepped path existed for many years but was first

Like many religions and methodologies, this commences

presented to us in written form by the sage Patanjali in his discourse

with a simple code on how the yogi is to conduct oneself ethi-

The Yoga Sutras. In our last issue, we briefly described the 8 steps

cally. The implication is that to experience our union (yoga) with

to yoga:

all beings and with the infinite, we need to be acting as if we are already connected. If this were the case, we would treat others

Yama (restraints)

the way we wanted to be treated–a simple lesson we learned as

Niyama (observances)

children. We’ve broken down this timeless moral into what are

Asana (postures)

called the yamas and niyamas. You could think of these as the Ten

Pranayama (breath energy focus)

Commandments of yoga:

Pratyahara (sense withdrawl) Dharana (concentration)

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Do Yoga Comes from Desire.” The Niyamas or “Do’s” are: 1. Shaucha (cleanliness) The body is the temple. Treat it with

honor and respect. 2. Santosha (contentment) Whatever we practice, we get good

at. If we repeatedly express frustration that we don’t have enough, or that things are not going our way, we will get good at the mindset of things not being enough. If we practice santosha, contentment, like any other skill, we get better at it with repetition. Not dissimilar to our contemporary phrase “Fake it ‘till you make it.” 3. Tapas (discipline) Literally translating as “heat,” “tapas”

essentially means “to burn off impurities through discipline.” One of the most referenced “do’s,” tapas reminds the yogin that it is through consistent practice that the final goal of samadhi is reached. 4. Svadhyaya (self study) A compound of ‘sva+adyaya’ mean-

ing “one’s own lesson.” Commonly misinterpreted as “study of the self” akin to western psychology, “self study” is meant as the self’s study of the vedas through one’s own guru (teacher.) 5. Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to, worship of, Divine Presence) Whereas the majority of the limbs of yoga stand alone

as a methodology devoid of religious practices, it is here in ishvarapranidhana where the idea of a divine presence is introduced. Being non-specific in icon worship, ishvarapranidhana can take the form of any religion or practice. Instead of this being the part of the practice that excludes religious diversity, it can be seen as the “X Factor”- the place where one might insert their own religious identity. Not only can this span traditional religious iconography, but also comtemporary practices such as the Alcohol Anonymous practice of the 12 steps including the “surrender to a higher power.” The important facet to highlight, is that some form of surrender must take place to supplant the individual ego. There must be some version of “Thy will be done.” Tempting as it may be to try to follow the 8 limbs limb by limb, only graduating to the next step once the first is completed with perfection, we are encouraged to practice all of the steps simultaneously. If we waited until we perfected the first 2 limbs, yama and niyama until we had no more flaws, we would never get to step “The Yamas,” or “The Don’ts”

3- asana. Each step, persued with tenacious sincerity, must also

Ahimsa (non-violence). It is comforting that the number one step of

be practiced with self compassion. Embarking on the yamas and

yoga is to do no harm to others. This also translates to the environ-

niyamas with a sense of doing our best but being “unattached to the

ment for sustainable action and can be interpreted as vegetarian-

result,” is the same notion we will need to bring us as we enter limbs

ism, or conscious practices towards animals.

3 and 4, “asana” and “pranayama.”

Satya (truthfulness) refers to thought, word, and deed in accordance with fact and kindness. Asteya (non-stealing) is not taking what doesn’t belong to us, but

With a sense of passion and humility, but mostly a sense of humor, we will dive into limbs 3 and 4, “Asana” and “Pranayama” in the next issue.

also not going into debt (of any form), where we find ourselves in a state of “owing.” Brahmacharya (sexual ethics). Vastly debated, brahmacharya can be interpreted as anywhere from devout celibacy to remaining faithful in a monogamous relationship. Most would agree that, whatever the extremity, it relates to ethics regarding sexuality. Aparigraha (non-greed). The final “don’t” in the limbs is don’t

Sara Elizabeth Ivanhoe has been teaching yoga since 1995 and is

be greedy, or have an excess of desires for oneself. This is closely

currently studying at Loyola Marymount University to receive her

related to the second of Buddhism’s 4 Noble Truths:“Suffering

Master’s Degree in Yoga Philosophy.

sept/oct 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

75


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Sunnyside up Portable Solar Lamp Place this eco-friendly light where the sun DO shine during the day and use it guilt-free at night. A one-day charge can provide 5 to 7 hours of light. You can set the lamp to turn on automatically when the sun goes down, or just use it when you need it. Its portability allows you to take it along on picnics, use it for late night trips to the fridge, leave it in your child’s room or anywhere else that needs some lighting up! $38 / sunnysideupsolar.net

Say goodbye to baggies! This ecofriendly sandwich wrap is a fresh idea to be used again and again. One wrap will last an entire year and beyond. Fold left to right, top to bottom, secure the Velcro fastener, and lunch is good to go. It doubles as a place mat, providing a clean place to eat lunch, and is great for fruit, crackers, veggie sticks, and more! The interior is made of LDPE (the same material as plastic sandwich bags), but is a thicker grade to ensure its reusability and allowing less air to penetrate, keeping what’s inside fresher, longer. The ex-terior is a cotton blend. Choose from over ten different styles. $10 / lavishandlime.com

Elvis & Kreese Fire Hose Wash Kit Made from up-cycled, decommissioned British fire hose, these 30+ year-old scrubbed-clean retro kits still bear the marks of fire fighting throughout the UK. Their industrial meets eco-warrior look will hold your toiletries in style! They’re super sturdy, and the water-resistant rubber hose protects what’s inside from little puddles on the bathroom sink and from anything packed around it. A handy internal pocket allows space for smaller items. The topper? For every Fire Hose Wash Kit sold, Elvis & Kreese donates half the proceeds to the British Fire Fighters’ Charity. $100 / ahalife.com

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Strengthen and Lengthen Hellerwork Digs Deep

Signe Langford

In the last segment of our three-part series on muscle release

and relaxation techniques, Hellerwork gives our writer a wellneeded tune-up. The term Hellerwork may be foreign to you (it certainly was to me), but you might recognize the treatment known as Rolfing. Hellerwork is to Rolfing as Jung is to Freud: a student who studied with but ultimately broke away from the master, keeping the good stuff, discarding the “bad,” and incorporating the new. This methodology, also known as Structural Integration, takes a more holistic approach to wellness than classical Rolfing, engaging both the body and the mind in its approach. Fundamentally it’s about moving the body, the muscles, joints, and connective tissues, out of imbalance and into harmony. Practitioner Jeff Weisman is likely the most enthusiastic and energetic therapist I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. His studio is spacious and warm. On the walls, full-length mirrors help both Weisman and his clients observe the body’s posture and progress. A collection of before and after photos and charts illustrates all 78

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that can be accomplished with this deep and dynamic bodywork. Now, don’t expect to just lie around in a session; this isn’t a relaxation massage. Jeff and his clients work together with breathing and movement. There are some uncomfortable moments and some moments that are downright painful, but in a good way. And he’s constantly checking in, making sure he doesn’t venture deeper than what a client is ready for. Weisman says that his involvement with Hellerwork has changed him from what he calls “a typical male, with typical male attitudes, to a more sensitive being, a listener.” Weisman believes that everyone should experience a Rolfing session at least once in their lives, and now, so do I. “It’s a tune-up for your body. We take our cars in for a tune-up every year . . . yet we ignore our bodies! So many people go through their lives out of alignment.” He’s got a point. It’s something to consider. The Hellerwork series consists of ten 90-minute sessions. For more information or to book an appointment, go to hellerworktoronto.com Hellerwork Toronto, 165 Avenue Rd., Ste.302, Toronto, ON


Eating En-lighten by the Book Up

Political Prana

Two Hands, One Heart and Unlimited Possibilities By Bonnie Lynch

Illustration: Jason Horning

Almost all of my yoga classes

begin and end with Anjali Mudra, commonly known as “prayer pose,” a stance that Shiva Rea has called “the posture of composure.” Pressing the hands lightly together at the heart signifies a unification of opposites, of the right and left sides of the body, of the heart and mind, of pride and humility, of the divine and the mundane, of a balancing point, right in the centre of what is happening now. When we greet each other at the beginning and end of our group yoga practice, it is from this place—all warring factions of ourselves and others coming to

rest at the heart. Imagine if every session of Congress opened with just one minute of Anjali Mudra and silent meditation on its meaning. If each member paused for a moment to consider the possibility of unifying opposites, of finding the common ground that lives at the centre of the heart, how might the ensuing round of debating, legislating, lobbying, and governing be different? Think of it. After spending even one minute in devotion to the idea that all opposites arise from the same life force, that the same desire to be happy

and loved reside in every human being (although our notions of what that means seem thoroughly idiosyncratic), that each of us contains a dab of the divine as our very essence—after contemplating this one cosmic boat we are all in, wouldn’t you be more inclined to bust out singing “We Are the World” than to lambast your senator across the aisle for her stance on healthcare, or to sell your vote to an oil man from Oklahoma in exchange for a chance to play golf with Donald Trump? I’ve often thought that conducting yourself as the head

of a nation is a bit like being a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. For every minute of your tenure, you’re in the hot seat, everyone is looking to you to know the answers, and there’s a whole lot at stake if you screw it up. But unlike Millionaire, where losers are forgotten almost before they’ve completed their “walk of shame” to the edge of the stage, presidents have their failures tallied, dissected, and armchairquarterbacked into posterity. The right blames the left, and the left cries foul. Back in the yoga studio, when I teach my students Anjali Mudra, I remind them that the hands are never forced together, as this would generate undue tension between the two. Instead, a small space is left open, right at the heart, signifying a possibility of growth that is fostered by each side. The right and left become a sheltering structure in which new possibilities can be nurtured. Mr. President, when that yoga teaching gig in Congress comes up, I’ve got you covered.”

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The Problem with Problem Poses The solution? Train your mind.

By Jen Kirsch

Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced

practitioner, every now and then a problem pose arises. You know the one; it’s that pose you loathe and can’t bear to practice. The mere mention of it brings a grimace to your face. For a week or two it may be Happy Baby Pose, and once you get passed that, it might be Eagle. No matter what the posture is, it tends to get the best of you, makes you feel less than for not doing it like you once did, or like you wish you could. The problem with problem poses is that once you identify an asana that isn’t working for you, it settles into your mind as “a pose you cannot do.” This creates further resistance and makes it even harder to eventually do it problem free. When I started doing yoga a couple years ago, my favourite pose was Garudasana, or Eagle Pose. I loved that I could wrap my leg completely around the other leg and even tuck my toes behind my shin. I loved holding the pose, squeezing my legs and arms together, focusing my gaze and attention. I loved that as soon as I’d unwind from the posture, I could feel the pay-off: the flush of new blood coursing through my system. Well, that was then and this is now. Now Eagle is the pose I just can’t get through. I can no longer tuck my toes behind my shin. As soon as the teacher tells the class to wrap our right arm over the left, the self-talk begins. The chatter. The “ugh, not this pose,” and the “why can’t I DO this now?” and even the “I should just do Child’s Pose until it passes.” This, my fellow flexible folks, is where we go wrong. It’s this self-talk that continues to make the pose problematic. Realizing this, I decided that when Garudasana is offered, my intention will be strength. I will get my toes to touch my shin; I will hold the pose tightly so I can experience its benefits. And with this mentality, setting an intention and maintaining it throughout my practice, I know that the issue will be resolved. However, with that I also know that as one pose is unlocked, another is waiting in the wings to hold me back. If you have ever had a problem pose, understand that the solution lies in training your mind. Once the training process is over, you will be back to holding the pose while focusing on your breath and not your inner monologue. Train yourself to let go of the thoughts that hold you back, and you’ll be surprised at how far you can go!

Jen Kirsch is a relationship columnist and blogger whose quick wit and to the point writing has made her the go-to source for relationship advice. When she’s not writing she can be seen at her yoga studio, a loyal yogi practicing daily.  

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Sweat Equity Magazine Fall 2012  

Yoga, Fitness & Lifestyle- Canada's ONLY mag dedicated to teachers, trainers, studios, practitioners, food, travel, fashion & beauty. We are...

Sweat Equity Magazine Fall 2012  

Yoga, Fitness & Lifestyle- Canada's ONLY mag dedicated to teachers, trainers, studios, practitioners, food, travel, fashion & beauty. We are...

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