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PRENATAL PREPARATION

POSES FOR EXPECTING MOMS

take YOUr ASSana tO the gYm

A yogA-infuSed

workout Sleeping BeaUtY Not just a fairytale

cheF BraD lOng

Serving Up taStY ethical Fare

10 tipS

Earth Day

SIMPLE WAYS TO GO GREEN

for happiness

Sarah Blackwood

march/april 2013 // $4.95

ROCKIN’ YOGI MA MAMA MAM MA MA

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Eating by the Book

MARCH/APRIL 2013

Contents 34 TAKE YOUR ASSana TO THE GYM Yoga-infused circuit training 66 CHEF BRAD LONG Local Food Advocate 76 TREAD LIGHTLY 10 Simple Ways to Go Green

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HEART HEALERS

4 postures to open your heart

ON THE COVER: PHOTOGRAPHY: Erin Blackwood COVER MODEL: Sarah Blackwood LOCATION: Moksha Yoga Burlington Studio

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Contents IN EVERY ISSUE

08 PUBLISHERS NOTE / CONTRIBUTORS 10 SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM 12 COMMUNITY SWEAT 14 STRETCH IN THE CITY 16 OM NEWS 20 TEACHER STORY 22 GEAR + ECO SWAG 30 SPIRIT JUNKIE 44 99% PERSPIRATION 48 STUFF WE LOVE 58 AMBASSADOR LOVE 65 THE INGREDIENT 68 RAW AMBITION 93 1% INSPIRATION 95 ENLIGHTEN UP 96 SWEAT ETIQUETTE

DELICIOUS LIVING 62 MAYAN MAGIC Quinoa and Kale 63 AN INSIDE JOB! Spring Cleaning 65 THE INGREDIENT Black Kale 66 TASTEMAKERS Chef Brad Long

DO YOGA

86 THE JOURNEY Orlando Batista 88 PRENATAL PREPARATION 5 Poses for expecting moms 90 GROW YOUR YOGA

BREATHE IN

26 IT’S IN THE GENES Nutrigenomics for life 27 MAN UP Maximize your performance 28 SLEEPING BEAUTY Not just a fairytale

WORK OUT

34 TAKE YOUR ASSANA TO THE GYM Yoga-infused circuit training 41 BACK TO BASICS Back workout 45 FUEL Anti-oxidant boost

LOVE LIFE

50 FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH Anti-aging tips 51 MAMA SAID Time-tested beauty secrets 52 BEAUTIFUL BELIZE

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PRENATAL PREPARATION

5 poses for expecting moms

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Volume 3, Issue 3

Great Sex?

PUBLISHER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fred Antwi fred@sweatequitymagazine.com CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Aimee Dingwell editor@sweatequitymagazine.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/PROMOTION MANAGER Debra Antwi debra@sweatequitymagazine.com FOOD EDITOR Andrew Muto ART DIRECTION Adriana Garcia PRODUCTION MANAGER/STAFF WRITER Sarah Lichtman production@sweatequitymagazine.com COPY EDITOR / CONTRIBUTOR Eryn Kirkwood

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s ontain

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CONTRIBUTORS Arsenik Studios, Orlando Batista, Gabrielle Bernstein, Erin Blackwood, Bee Bosnak, Brendan Brazier, Charlene Brooke, Ashley Collins, Colin De France, Chris Dempfle, Earth Day Canada, Sarah Eggenberger, Dave Gillespie, Jason Horning, Jennifer Ledbury, Liana Louzon, Bonnie Lynch, Doug McNish, Mary Luz Mejia, Erin Moraghan, Chrys Muszka, Rick O’Brien, Dina Rich, Angela Rose, Fave Studios, Dominique Sy, Kat Tancock, Grace Van Berkum, Lina Yaroshuk, Bruce Zinger SALES sales@sweatequitymagazine.com CIRCULATION circulation@sweatequitymagazine.com

Contain

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.

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Goat y n r o H Weed

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. OWNED AND PUBLISHED BY Sweat Equity Lifestyle Media Group 6-1500 Upper Middle Road West, #118 Oakville, Ontario L6M 0C2 info@sweatequitymagazine.com

TM

Liquid herbal medicines that taste great... in water!

Sweat Equity Magazine is published 6 times a year: Sept/Oct; Nov/Dec; Jan/Feb; March/April; May/June; July/Aug FOR ADVERTISING/SALES INQUIRIES: 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 & CONTRIBUTORS

Renew, revive,

and rejoice!

Every day, every experience is an opportunity to renew, revive, or branch out from a stagnant place, but spring is the season that offers a bounty of examples at every turn. Crocuses poke up through the snow; geese start flying north again; swimsuits appear in store windows, even as we shiver under an optimistically chosen light jacket. Self-proclaimed philosopher, bum, and happiness freak Marty Rubin wisely observed that “the deep roots never doubt spring will come.” The steady, dedicated investment of energy and time—in ourselves, our wellbeing, our loved ones, and our environment—may not always yield immediate rewards. But when the season is right, we reap beautiful dividends. The spring-themed offerings in this issue are a testament to that. Yoga teacher and rocker Sarah Blackwood shares her thoughts on crosscultivating an adventurous career with life as a mom. Our feature on Earth Day deepens our environmental awareness and provides simple ways to help conserve our planet’s life-giving resources. Our Enlighten-Up column “Three Qualities of a Winner,” spotlighting the landmark Lance-Oprah interview, brings new hope in suggesting that a dark and twisted root system can

BEE BOSNAK is a Turkish born, British bred, New Yorker and a true free spirit. She is a yoga teacher & author of the iPhone app, ‘Heal Yourself.’ She is a columnist for many health publications, including Women’s Health Turkey and has been featured on several covers. Ambassador for Juil, Blooming Lotus Jewelry, MeSheeky & Yoga Earth, Bee can be followed documenting her yogic path @beebosnak.

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send up new shoots. If you’re looking to cultivate a more effective fitness routine, our yogainfused circuit work out article mixes strength training with yoga postures for a ramped up sweat session; and Spirit Junkie Gabrielle Bernstein sprinkles some sunshine around the place with her 10 tips for happiness. Marty Rubin was right—the deep roots never doubt that spring will come. To that wise proclamation we can add three others: your efforts towards health and wellbeing are never wasted, Oprah can get the truth out of anyone, and swimsuit season always comes earlier than you think!

Fred Antwi, Publisher

BRENDAN BRAZIER is the creator and host of the Thrive Forward web series, based on his bestselling Thrive book trilogy. He is a former professional Ironman triathlete, the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega, and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on plant-based nutrition for athletes. He is also a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion and the developer of the ZoN Thrive Fitness program. thriveforward.com

ASHLEY COLLINS is a Moksha Yoga teacher, a Moksha Yoga student and the Communications gal at Moksha Yoga International. She loves discovering new ways to take her practice off the mat, and considers training her new puppy, Hartley, to be a very real practice in yoga.

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | march/april 2013

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ROOTS ACTIVE ATHLETICS

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SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

Online Best of 2013 Directory

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ooking for a studio that fits your needs – or perhaps you want to connect with an experienced yoga teacher? Is one of your goal’s to be beach body ready before summer is over but you just don’t have the motivation to join a gym and you don’t enjoy group classes. A personal trainer is what you need…but which one? Are you stoked to sign up for a teacher training course this year? How about indulging at a spa after a weekend of intensive training, or using your vacation time to venture on a retreat? Find the perfect fit for whatever you’re looking for – our ‘Best of’ Directory for 2013 has a host of listings that have got you covered. Find the best studios, yoga teachers, retreats and spas, teacher training programs, and fitness and wellness services that Canada has to offer – all at your fingertips! Log onto our website and click the Best of 2013 Directory banner on our homepage or click the Directory link on the navigation bar. We’ll get you there so you can explore and be confident that whatever your selection….you’re choosing from the best!

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Tell us about it!

COMMUNITY

SWEAT

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

Upcoming special events

May 5, 2013

BMO VANCOUVER MARATHON Join the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 5, 2013, and don’t look back—look everywhere! The mountains beckon, the ocean glistens, and the electric 80,000 Vancouver spectators will energize every step you take. This springtime event will bring you on a journey past some of Vancouver’s most iconic landmarks and a sensational downtown big city finish. The BMO Vancouver Marathon is ranked a Top 10 destination marathon by Forbes for its stunning beauty and scenic routes. It’s also on CNN Travel’s list of exotic marathons for 2013. Register today and receive:

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April 12-14, 2013

THE GREEN LIVING SHOW The Green Living Show is North America’s largest consumer show dedicated to workable solutions for leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. This three-day event offers inspiration for all ages and features influential speakers, innovative products, educational demonstrations, and fun activities for the whole family. Shop from more than 450 selected companies offering the latest products and services across all lifestyle categories. Learn from world-class speakers discussing current affairs, trends, and health and innovation; taste delicious local food and wine; experience amazing fashion, beauty, travel, and home and baby products. Bring the family to play in the Kids Zone and test drive he latest fuel-efficient and electric vehicles. Enjoy the cooking stage, interactive displays, workshops, health seminars, fitness and yoga classes, and much more

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Coveted BMO runners’ gloves Race-day transit pass Aid stations at every mile More on-course fuel More entertainment Energized, local spectator support Improved gear check and gear pick up

AND exciting surprises at the start and finish lines! This event has limited space and sells out early, so register soon! bmovanmarathon.ca

STRETCH YOURSELF FOR HUMAN RIGHTS! AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S YOGA DAY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS OTTAWA AND SELECT CITIES ACROSS CANADA On Saturday April 27, 2013, studios, schools, workplaces, and community centres across Canada will roll out their yoga mats with one common goal: to raise money and awareness for Amnesty International’s work on women’s human rights. Your participation in Amnesty International’s Yoga Day for Human Rights will help raise money and awareness to build a more just and healthy world for women worldwide. Sign up for an event taking place in your city, or join our first-ever live

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national virtual class! Amnesty International is excited to announce its partnership with worldrenowned instructor Mark Laham, who will host a live yoga class online on Saturday, April 27, 2013.You can now participate from the comfort of your living room, or take part by projecting our online class onto a big screen at your workplace, school, or community centre. Change begins with one person’s determination. yogaday.ca.

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STRETCH IN THE CITY

One-Stop Yoga Shops Exhale Studio and Octopus Garden offer everything under one roof BY CHARLENE BROOKE

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ore and more yoga studios are opening with an eye to providing top-notch classes, while rounding out the experience with additional types of instruction and services. Octopus Garden and Exhale Studio initiated this trend in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively. And their students are happier for it! They can enjoy traditional yoga classes with plenty of extras, too. EXHALE STUDIO The flexibility of yoga. The freedom of dance. The strength of pilates. All of these things are wonderful in and of themselves, but together they comprise Exhale—the unique one-stop studio opened in 2008 by Rachel Wainwright. A yoga, dance, and pilates enthusiast, Wainwright was the first in Vancouver to open a studio that offered all of these disciplines in one place. Five years later, Exhale maintains its dedicated clientele, who consider it the best-kept secret in Yaletown. Nestled among the trees on a quiet side street, this intimate studio can go unnoticed to passersby. Inside, it’s a community unto itself where teachers and students come together for a physical, emotional, and creative release and, of course, to have a little fun. That may sound flippant, but rest assured the teaching is anything but. All instructors are hand-picked by Rachel for their expertise and love of what they do. Although their styles vary greatly, they share a sense of adventure that naturally flows from one class to the next. Students are encouraged to try different classes, even if they don’t have any experience. And though not everyone takes to all three disciplines, it’s surprising how many students experiment with styles like hip hop or burlesque; many even add them to their regular practice. 1083 Cambie Street, Yaletown, BC, exhalestudio.com

OCTOPUS GARDEN Octopus Garden has only been around since 2005, and already it seems like a Toronto fixture. They’ve established a steady following from the early days in the Annex to their now two-year-old studio at College and Ossington. But what really puts Octopus Garden on the map is its warmth and sense of inclusiveness: co-owners Pat Linfoot and Scott Davis emphasize connecting with new students and helping them build a sustainable yoga practice. An open-concept studio that is flooded with light even on the dreariest of days, Octopus Garden beckons you to leave the bustle of College Street and explore. Most people visit with the intention of practicing yoga—after all, who wouldn’t want to do yoga at a place with “octopus” in its name? Yet, seasoned yogis Pat and Scott know that yoga’s more than a physical practice. That’s what led them to start meditation and sangha at the centre, a drop-in class that fosters conversation and community consciousness. Also on the premise is a Wellness Centre where shiatsu therapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, and other therapists can help you build a more intelligent and focused practice. And don’t forget to grab a vegan muffin at the Urban Herbivore while you’re there; it, too, is part of this intimate community of health and wholeness. 967 College Street, Toronto, ON, octopusgardenyoga.com

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Eating by the Book

Product Review

Om News

OM NEWS

(Reader Feedback)

OM News

FROM THE LATEST RESEARCH TO OM-WORTHY TRIVIA, WE FILL YOUR CUP WITH POSITIVITY! KEEN-WAH?

So what’s all the controversy over quinoa? And what is it, for that matter? A female kiwi bird, or one of roughly 3000 varieties of a nutritious non-grain food source? Here’s a hint: vegans and health-conscious consumers have been flocking to it for some time. The UN calls 2013 the International Year of Quinoa. So what’s all the hoopla? Let’s separate hype from reality to consider the facts. True, over-consumption can cause far-reaching consequences and anything enjoying fad status should be treated with a grain of salt. But are farmers really losing their livelihood and selling off their food supply to appease a new-found interest in the 4000 year-old pseudo-cereal? Take a few facts here, some anecdotal evidence there, some exaggerated speculations, and blend them in the word processor for a result. Survey says the answer is a mixed blend.

don’t Just Sit There Sukhasana!

MEDITATION NATION Remember the old adage, “couples who pray together stay together?” Given the current fad of yogis and yoginis, one has to wonder if the parallel isn’t true! Do couples who meditate together stay together? Well, stats are scarce, so SE enlisted one of our own to find out. Don’t miss the summer issue . . .

GEORGE WHATS?

For newbie yoga many yoga templates and teachers, seasoned handouts for students. instructors, and students You’ll find over 654 pages alike, George Watts of info on how to modify has compiled literally postures for all levels “Is It art or can I sIt on It?” At first that’s what THOUSANDS ofglance, sweat I know of experience, with hours to comprise and you’re thinking. Yes, this equity futuristic artistic rendering of acontraindications chair is a Yoga Teacher’s Toolkit, Add lesson actually functional. not only is the minimalist design aprecautions. work of just for you. Given all the plans for Power Yoga, art, but you can sit on it . . . for hours! no more slouching over your apps available these days, Vinyasa Yoga, Beginner’s computer; this canadian-made vegan-friendly contemporary we were skeptical about Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, chair allows you to sit comfortably in a steep cross-legged the seemingly price yoga Kid’spose Yoga, Templates, (sukhasana) at your desk, dinner, watching anywhere of eating another gimmicky ‘kit,’ Tv, or and Handouts to this we conclude that this phenomenal deal . . . and else you’d want to grab abut seat. package is an amazthe best part? ALL ing to resource. George raised will go Sukhasana inspires people rethink the way they sit; proceeds it promotes provides over 2,000 towards building an eco perfect spinal alignment, allowing the body to achieve physical and yoga stick figures for house/yoga studio in mental harmony—hencecreating the yogayour posture after whichWales, it’s named. own class UK. sequences and just as Georgewatts.org If the price tag seems steep, it’s well worth the investment. each chair is 100% customizable. You can select from 3 different sizes and choose from a variety of vibrant or neutral tones. It comes any greatoryoga news? OM-azing experience equipped with castors Heard for hardwood carpet andHad gas an lifts for recently? Snapped unforgettable asanafor while various table heights, which all add up to an a perfect fit. Whether traveling? We want to hear to about it! Write to us at the office, home, or your meditation practice, this chair will change editor@sweatequitymagazine.com and share your the way you sit—forever! thoughts and stories. Then check Om News for the latest trends, research, and community love. sukhasana.com / starting at $1,800

What’s in Your Om?

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OM NEWS

(Book Review)

Good Night Good Oakville's Bra heaven

Inspired Living: A Guided Yoga Journal A practitioner’s road map for life

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fter trying yoga for the first time, my boyfriend looked at me half-amazed and said, “My gosh. I had no idea! You yoga people are sleepers!” Though unfamiliar with the term in this context, I knew what he was getting at. You’d never have guessed . . . And in the realm of thought-provoking books, that’s exactly what I’d call Sylvie Gouin’s Inspired Living: a sleeper. The author tells us that her Guided Yoga Journal “functions as an inner road map and a lifelong companion, where through review, you will get to know yourself and see and experience your own growth and development.” The book fulfills its mandate. From the first chapter, the reader is drawn into a web of introspective queries, the answers to which aren’t always warm and fuzzy. Grounded in the ancient yogic scriptures, Gouin challenges us to ask the tough

BY ERYN KIRKWOOD

questions about our yoga, our life, and our life outside of yoga. We hear the buzzwords “off the mat” in studios everywhere. A reminder to seek the yogic path in daily life often closes Savasana, with a sentiment guided by the moral compass of yoga: be honest, be content, don’t steal, cheat, or cause harm–all relevant societal norms. But Inspired Living encourages us as teachers and practitioners to dig deeper–way deeper. A simple yet heartfelt look at our needs and desires, capabilities and aptitudes, habits and beliefs, quickly leads to a realistic analysis of every aspect of our life. The depth of self-analysis provoked by this engaging book promises to enlighten even the most self-aware of students. It’s truly a must-read for anyone interested in personal and spiritual growth.

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TRAINER PROFILE (My Sweat Equity)

Lisa-Marie Zbozen Fitness Fanatic

How long have you been a personal trainer?: I have been working in fitness since the age of 17

What is your favourite workout? HIIT (high intensity interval training) is my favourite type of training. I love HIIT because it is fast, constantly changing and it works. There’s nothing like the feeling you get after a hard HIIT session. Every muscle is worked and you feel so alive!

How much time/week do you spend on exercising/working out? I workout 5 days a week and I try to do about 30 minutes of HIIT Training everyday & really go hard. The workouts I do everyday online are my exact workouts, some of them from back in the day. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. This style of training gets me the results I want and also, more importantly results I can maintain.

What is your greatest motivation? Helping people and doing something I love. Sharing the journey of people who take part every day, seeing them change, grow and share their experiences is an amazing thing. I am blessed that they choose to train with me and I never take that for granted.

What do you see as the most common obstacle to your client’s success? I think two of the most common obstacles are diet and consistency. Diet can change everything from how you feel, to how you train, so it’s important that the two go hand in hand consistently, to get the results you want. Home life, holidays, work and stress are just a handful of the external factors that can affect your diet, moods and training patterns.

How do you find balance in your life? I like to do yoga, it’s great after a long week to just relax and find inner peace.

Best advice you give to your clients? Never give up. 18

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BODYROCK.TV

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isa-Marie Zbozen is a personal trainer to a global audience of hundreds of thousands of fitness enthusiasts who tune into BodyRock.tv – a social media fitness phenomenon, servicing a broad community, with new workouts, nutrition and inspiration - everyday!

Your biggest obstacle to stay in top shape? My diet! I just love to eat the wrong things and I have a sweet tooth, so keeping my diet as clean as possible is the hardest thing for me. We share ideas and tips on the site and with the community to keep us all on track and motivated.

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | march/april 2013

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BRENDAN BRAZIER / IRONMAN TRIATHLETE & FORMULATOR OF VEGA

FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE SICK, OBSESSED, AND CRAZY ARE TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.

THE FIRST COMPLETE, ALL-NATURAL, PLANT-BASED SPORT PERFORMANCE SYSTEM. TEM. vegasport.com

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TEACHER’S STORY

How did you become a teacher?

[That first Sunday class] was taught by Diane Bruni, one of the most powerful and inspiring women I’ve ever known. She eventually convinced me I should become a teacher and proceeded to pour all her passion, enthusiasm, wisdom, and creativity into me—it changed my life. Funny, now I can’t imagine not teaching on Sunday morning!

What brought you to yoga? A few sections of my spine weren’t working very well. One section was nearly fused and one was way out of alignment. I was sharing a lessthan-inspiring experience I’d been having with a chiropractor when Kristin Gilbert, an employee at Juice for Life (now Fresh), overheard and said, “You should come to a beginner yoga class I assist tomorrow. Fix it yourself!” I thought there was no way I would get up on a Sunday morning to do yoga, but sure enough, some mysterious force had me out of bed extra early the next day, and I went to that class.

The greatest reward?

That’s so hard to pin down. There are so many things: the relationships, watching people grow over the years and seeing real transformation in their lives because of the work they’ve done in yoga; hearing their stories about how it’s helped them on their path; meeting my wife! Being able to love my life and every side of it. When I hear some people talk about their work–the unhealthy interactions and relationships, the dissatisfaction, the toxic environments–it sounds so . . . draining. Exhausting. I feel so blessed to be able to make a living being engaged in the things that I love.

Greatest challenge of being a yoga teacher?

Any wisdom for readers?

Find your path, get on it, and never stop. As exhausting as that may sound, it isn’t at all. When you’re really on your path, when you’re living your dharma, a near-infinite amount of energy comes and helps carry you forward. It’s like “surfing the cosmic wave.” It’s exhilarating. Find your dharma, live it to the fullest you can, and you will love your life. We should never settle for anything less.

J-P Tamblyn Founder of Ahimsa Yoga and proud family man shares his journey, past and present BY ERYN KIRKWOOD 20

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM BERMINGHAM

That changes from year to year. One thing that’s challenging these days is finding balance. I’m married now, with a baby, and I love my work so much. I have all of these amazing things in my life; it’s hard to give them all the time I’d like to, but I know that finding balance is essential to maintaining my own health, happiness, and inspiration. And if any of those things fail, the quality of my teaching would be compromised, I’m sure.

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Meet the Faculty:

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Kristin Campbell RYT-500 YYoga teacher

Brant Forrester RYT-200, YYoga YHot, Reiki Level III YYoga teacher

2/24/13 5:25 PM


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TIMEX® IRONMAN® RUN TRAINER™ 2.0. (WIN BUTTON) As the leader in outdoor and sports performance timepieces, it’s no surprise that Timex® has created a next-generation GPSenabled watch that tracks pace, distance, heart rate, and elapsed time. This upgraded device is a smaller, more refined version of the brand’s signature Timex® IRONMAN Run Trainer™ 1.0 GPS watch and is equipped with a reversible, high-resolution display and advanced interval training capabilities. It is also Timex’s smallest full-feature GPS watch with vibrating alerts, an intuitive user interface and customizable online settings which makes it a no-brainer of an investment! $275 - $325 timex.ca

MINIMUS The Minimus Trainer 20v3 by New Balance, offers a barefoot experience in a shoe that provides protection and versatility. Perfect for strength training workouts, the v3 gives a low profile, stable platform to execute lifts and movements in the gym, yet enough flexibility to go for a middle distance run. A Vibram outsole wraps up the lateral and medial sidewalls to offer maximum durability and traction. $119.95 sportchek.ca

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EVER BAMBOO MINI-DEODORIZERS Stinky shoes? Smelly fridge? Stuffy gym bag? Use these little power bamboo charcoal pouches to deodorize your yoga bag, closet – even your shoes! They are 100% sustainable, reusable and recyclable. Their versatility includes use as a humidifier for drawers and closets, or try it as a filter to absorb toxic smells and chemicals. Best of all, they can be re-activated by placing them outside under direct sunlight for 2-3 hours per month and with proper care can last up to one year. There’s more! When it’s time has passed you can empty the bamboo charcoal into your garden to absorb extra moisture and deter pests. $10 tategroup.com

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YOGASANA MAT A new choice for yogis who desire a mat that will support their practice in the most sustainable and traditional way. Hand-crafted in India and made of 100% natural cotton, the pride of craftsmanship is reflected by the signature of the master weaver on each mat. They are reversible, and best of all, part of the proceeds from the sale of each mat goes to support the education of the children of the production workers. $119 yogasanamats.com

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MANTRA 2 You can tie it in a knot, you can tie it in a bow! This strappy tank top moves from the gym or studio to life in a heartbeat. Simply slide one set of straps off your shoulders and it converts into a long, lean dress. It’s versatility make it perfect for travelling and it’s made using a super soft four-way stretch, antibacterial, organic cotton fabric that wicks away moisture and welcomes the compliments! $80 lolewomen.com

SAVE THE EARTH IN STYLE Eco-friendly treasures.

march/april 2013 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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Downward Dog Yoga Centre - Teacher Training Certification 250hr Intensive Format from May 13th - June 7th, 2013 250hr Weekend Format Begins Fall 2013 120hr Advanced Certification Fall 2013

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Breathe In I n this round of Sweat Science, Colin De France’s talk of nutrigenomics racks up support for the impact of healthy food, not just on our jeans, but on our genes! According to him, dietary intervention can help to prevent disease in us and future offspring. Spirit Junkie Gabrielle Bernstein empowers us beyond imagination and into the realm of miracles and bliss with 10 simple ways to create happiness. Now, if the thought of these two combined just tires you out, rest assured! Grace Van Berkum reminds us that, above all else, sleep is the key to good health. So breathe in, work the science, be happy and sleep well!

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BREATHE IN (Sweat Science)

It’s in the Genes! Nutrigenomics for life

BY COLIN DE FRANCE

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ver wonder why some people respond exceptionally well to a particular dietary or exercise program while others do not? The answer may lie in your genes! Consider two individuals with similar lifestyles: Mary Jane is a stay-at-home mom with two young children. Heather is an executive assistant who works long hours for a large advertising firm. Both are 34 years old with busy schedules who struggle to find time to exercise or eat a balanced diet. Both are overweight and statistically share an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, and cancer. A year later, Heather is diagnosed with type II diabetes, but Mary Jane never gets the disease despite a lifetime of continued poor dietary and exercise habits. How is this so? Often we hear that Mary Jane was the product of “good genes,” or that Heather was genetically predisposed to getting the disease because of a history of diabetes on her father’s side. However, now we’re learning there’s much more to this story and that the food we eat not only affects our immediate health, but can influence the health of our offspring and their offspring for generations to come. In other words, we can change our genes with the foods we eat! Less than a decade old, nutrigenomics is a relatively new field of study concerned with how diet epigenetically (meaning above the level of the genes) affects gene function. More specifically, nutrigenomic research first identifies the diet-responsive genes whose regulation is influenced by the food we eat. Once these dietary-regulated genes and their associated metabolic pathways are understood, scientists can theoretically use sophisticated analytical techniques to study DNA and determine the presence of disease risk factors. This could help prevent the development of chronic disease in people like Heather, via prescriptive dietary and lifestyle intervention. Perhaps even more significantly, nutrigenomic research may provide the key to actually fixing our genes and eliminating disease risk for our offspring. This isn’t the same as genetic engineering (the controversial practice of directly manipulating DNA gene sequences in a lab). Nutrigenomics is a more holistic and longterm approach that uses prescribed dietary intervention with real food. A word of caution: although some companies actively market themselves as being able to identify genetically at-risk individuals and prescribe dietary and lifestyle interventions, the study of nutrigenomics is still very much in its infancy. As such, paying thousands of dollars for “genetic testing” with these companies probably offers no more benefit than a lifestyle assessment and intervention with low-cost, conventional methods. Still, nutrigenomics is an interesting area of study that shows real promise for improving the quality of life for generations to come.

“...the food we eat not only affects our immediate health, but can influence the health of our offspring...”

COLIN DE FRANCE, BSc, PTS is President & CEO of Inbalance nutrition, as well as a lifestyle coach, personal trainer, nutrition consultant, author and keynote speaker.

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Man Up

Maximize performance and shift your energy into high gear

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id you know that modern industry is putting hundreds of chemicals into your everyday environment that mimic the female hormone estrogen? These estrogen look-alikes are waging war on your masculinity. They sap your strength, muscle, ambition, competitive spirit, and sexual performance. As your estrogen rises and your testosterone drops, you can expect: • Fat gain • Sexual problems: Sex drive fades and erections become seldom or difficult. • Loss of ambition: Fatigue and low energy sap your drive and will to succeed. • Increasing risk of prostate disease: Excess estrogen causes both prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE UP AGAINST Many modern synthetics used in today’s products have structures almost exactly like estrogen. When they enter your bloodstream, they give your cells a new set of instructions. They tell your body to become more feminine. The most specific sign of excess estrogen is extra fat in your breast. But long before “man boobs,” most men will get a gradual “softening.” Over time, you start to lose your masculine edge, confidence, and sense of purpose. You may feel fatigued or depressed and your sex drive usually plummets. Few ever realize they’re being poisoned. With the FDA insisting that estrogens in our food is safe and doctors knowing virtually nothing about them, how could men know they’ve been chemically castrated? THE DANGERS OF A PLASTIC WORLD Since you can’t see, smell, or taste them, you can’t tell which products contain estrogen looka-likes. But they’re common. Here’s a short list: • Vinyl Flooring • Detergents • Shampoo • Deoderants • Perfumes • Hair Spray • Moisterizers • Garden Hoses • Inflatable Toys • Pesticides • Fertilizers • Plastics And the list goes on. But plastics are the worst because they’re everywhere! From plastic bags and water bottles to the packaging

your food comes in, they’re almost impossible to escape. Two of the big offenders are bisphenol A and phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates). These chemicals have structures that look strikingly similar to estrogen. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is another. It’s used to make Teflon and Gore-Tex. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tested for the presence of phthalates and PFOA in the general population. The results were sobering. Without exception, every person tested had trace amounts of both chemicals in their bloodstream.1 Jim Pirkle, deputy director at the CDC’s environmental laboratory, warned these findings have serious implications, especially for men. “The big concern with phthalates is they have anti-androgen activity. They get rid of things that are in the testosterone line–the things that make a man a man.” MEASURE YOUR MASCULINE RATIO Testosterone is the source of your masculine features. But as you get older, your level drops. Once you hit 40, testosterone level decreases about one percent a year.8 As the level falls and the body accumulates estrogen,

the ratio of testosterone-to-estrogen starts to shift unfavourably: (Adapted from Dilman and Dean, 1992, based on data from Moroz and Verkhratsky, 1985) FOLLOW THESE STEPS AND BOOST YOUR MASCULINITY Here are some things you can do right away: • Eliminate pesticides from water with a water purifier. • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating. • Buy grass-fed or hormone-free meat. If you get meat from other sources, trim off the fat. Estrogen mimickers collect in the fat. • Avoid processed meats. • Avoid processed carbohydrates like bread, cereals, and pasta. They cause excess insulin, which builds fat and stimulates feminizing estrogen. • Eat vegetables high in fibre to absorb excess estrogen. • Work with your doctor to reduce or eliminate medications. These interfere with your liver’s capacity to remove excess estrogen. By making some lifestyle changes, you can easily improve your testosterone-to-estrogen ratio.

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BREATHE IN (Vibrant Health)

Sleeping Beauty More than just a fairy tale

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BY GRACE VAN BERKUM, RHN

ast week I was privileged to meet an international sleep expert and leader in integrative medicine and learn their approach to sleep and dreams. We discussed how sleep affects people’s metabolism and overall health. There’s no doubt about it, lack of sleep can negatively affect your health and appearance. According to research, sleeping less than six hours a night can increase insulin resistance and diabetes. It might also double your risk of angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. It is an obvious, though often neglected, truth that sleep is as paramount to optimal functioning as a balanced diet and exercise.

stimulate cell regeneration, reproduction, and growth. These hormones are also known to aid in building muscle, which is why higher levels of growth hormones mean a heightened metabolism. A higher metabolism burns energy much faster, leading to easier weight loss. Deep sleep also allows the body’s cells to increase and reduces the breakdown of proteins needed for proper functioning. With inadequate sleep, not enough growth hormone and melatonin are released to rejuvenate the body and maintain normal functioning: the body will be less able to perform basic metabolic functions such as processing and regulating carbohydrates.

LEPTIN AND GHRELIN Sleep directly impacts hormonal health and metabolism. Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that play an important role in stimulating and suppressing your appetite. Leptin is produced by your body’s fat cells and is responsible for decreasing hunger. Ghrelin is released by the stomach and increases appetite. Lack of sleep lowers the levels of leptin in your blood, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat, and heightens the levels of ghrelin, causing increased appetite.

CORTISOL When your body doesn’t receive enough sleep, the stress hormone cortisol is released, which accelerates aging. Sufficient sleep helps lower the cortisol levels in your blood. Higher levels of cortisol lower metabolism because the body has a difficult time metabolizing carbohydrates. Cortisol stimulates the breakdown of protein into glucose. Too much glucose in the body disrupts blood sugar levels and increases insulin, and increased insulin signals the body to store unused energy as fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, be sure to have low cortisol levels in your blood by getting enough sleep. People with sleep deprivation have an increased chance of experiencing diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and memory loss.

GROWTH HORMONE AND MELATONIN The body releases hormones while you sleep. Growth hormone and melatonin regulate your biological clock, benefit your body tissues, and work as antioxidants to help fight off illness. During sleep, the pituitary gland secretes more growth hormones than during waking hours. Growth hormones

IMPROVE SLEEP QUALITY: • Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime. Your body needs time to recover, detoxify, and repair. If you eat before bed, your body will use energy digesting food instead of regenerating. Going to bed on an empty stomach will rev up your metabolism, providing more energy throughout the day. • Set your alarm. Go to bed at the same time each night to establish a rhythm of getting sleepy consistently. If you can head to bed earlier, you’ll increase energy levels and improve performance. • Start winding down at least 45 minutes before you turn out the light; your nervous system will calm down so that you can drift into sleep. Drink some warm tea, do some relaxation exercises, read an inspiring book, or journal. • Sleep in total darkness. Light affects the pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which affects the quality of your sleep.

Proper sleep affects appetite, mood, emotions, focus, and overall health. To be at your best, take your sleep seriously.

GRACE VAN BERKUM 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. For more information, go to gracevanberkum.com.

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BREATHE IN (Spirit Junkie)

The ‘F’ Word and So Much More 10 tips for happiness BY GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN

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ow is the perfect time to make a powerful change! always those friends, family members, or co-workers who can get under To help jump-start the process, I’m sharing 10 happiness tips our skin. Don’t allow these moments to shake up your world; understand from my new book, May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of instead that these people are your greatest assignments for spiritual Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness. growth. When you learn how to release resentments quickly, you’ll Apply these principles to imbue your life with experience a whole new freedom and happiness. power, commitment, and confidence. Each tip will help redirect your energy and let your outer TIP #6: EAT MINDFULLY TIP: Here’s a fast and simple life grow. To keep miracle-mindedness intact, feed your soul solution for releasing anger WARNING: These Tips May Cause Miracles! superfoods. Keep it simple and choose one thing to let when people piss you off. You go of. There’s no need to kick it all at once. Small shifts can practice this meditation TIP #1: FOCUS ON WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD create powerful change. anytime and anywhere. You can One simple way to energize your life, create more even begin right now. time, and be more productive is to feel inspired. TIP #7: UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVE SIDE Gently press your thumb When you focus on what is joyful, you bring more Creative hobbies take you out of daily patterns and against your index finger, then joy into your life. Take time to engage in your ignite your inner spirit. Pledge to engage in a creative your middle finger, then your hobbies, read inspiring books, or listen to music you project as often as possible. You’ll find that time spent ring finger, then your pinkie love. Don’t wait for inspiration: find it by focusing in creativity heightens your happiness and gives you finger. on what gets your mojo going, and you’ll energize more energy for other areas of your life. • When you touch your index every area of your life. finger, say PEACE TIP #8: PRACTICE THE “F” WORD • When you touch your middle TIP #2: KEEP IT SIMPLE Holding onto resentments will only re-create the finger, say BEGINS Have you ever wanted desperately to change patterns from the past. Vow to let go of resentments • When you touch your ring overnight? If so, you’re not alone; we’ve all been by practicing the “F” word and FORGIVE. Become finger, say WITH there. But real change happens by adding up subtle conscious of whom you need to forgive (including • When you touch your pinkie shifts. Each subtle shift creates a new experience yourself) and be willing to let go of your resentment finger, say ME of positive change, and when we add up these and turn it over daily. Each morning when you wake Breathe deeply as you say moments, we create new behaviours. Instead of up, set the intention to forgive. This will ignite a each word. Go as slow or as fast getting overwhelmed thinking about changing consciousness of forgiveness and provide you with the as you’d like. Use this technique your entire life right now, start paying attention to necessary tools to allow the “F” word process to set in. in line at the bank, under the the moment-to-moment subtleties. Herein is the desk in an office meeting, or in miracle. TIP #9: EXPECT MIRACLES the middle of a fight with your Begin each day with a prayer for peace and happiness. lover. This technique will get TIP #3: JUST SHOW UP! Say out loud: “Thank you, inner guide, for reminding you through all kinds of crazy The Kundalini Yoga masters taught that 90% of the me of all of the love and light in my life. I welcome emotions and help you release practice was just showing up. If 90% of creating a positive support throughout this day. I expect miracles”. resentment fast. new habit is just showing up, then we can take the This daily prayer will kick-start your day with a miracle pressure off. If your goal is to work out more, then mindset and awaken your consciousness to the 90% of the effort is getting your butt to the gym! greatness around you. Don’t wait for something major to happen—just show up for change. TIP #10: REPEAT POSITIVE ACTIONS. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT. . . TIP #4: SAY LESS, LISTEN MORE Making change stick isn’t about buying abdominal contraptions, Ever walk away from a conversation feeling hung over from all that you chomping nicotine gum, or following a trendy diet. True change spewed? Do you ever lose track of your filter and over-share? Are you doesn’t allow for shortcuts. It calls for willingness, commitment, unable to listen to other people, always just rambling on about yourself? and repetition. The key element to making change stick is a 40-day To keep your private life private, say less and listen more. practice of repeating a new behaviour. Neurobiological studies show that 40 days of repeating a new behaviour reprograms your brain TIP #5: PEACE BEGINS WITH YOU by reversing neural pathways. And in changing your behaviours, you Let’s get real: No matter how happy or serene we may be, there are change your life.

GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN is a motivational speaker and author of several books, including her newest work, May Cause Miracles. She’s the founder of HerFuture.com, a social network designed to inspire, empower, and connect women; she also hosts a weekly show on Hay HouseRadio.Gabbyb.tv

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k r o Wut O T

urns out, there is more to personality theory than just psycho-education. Personality can determine workout failure or success! Read Brendan Brazier’s article to learn how to stay on the path to success. We take you back to basics with some key exercises for strengthening your back while Lina Yaroshuk brings her weights with her to the mat! A perfect blend of yoga and fitness to lengthen and strengthen you, ending with a final Savasana for cool-down. With an abundance of options, there’s no excuse to hold back . . . even if it’s the reward of a Carob Berry smoothie that gets you there in the first place. Read on!

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WORK OUT

Take Your ASSana to the Gym A Yoga-infused circuit workout BY LINA YAROSHUK, RYT

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t can be difficult to choose between yoga class and the weight room. After all, they’re both good for you, right? So why not try a little mix and match? I’d wager that if ancient yogis had access to a Smith Machine and hand weights, the circuit + yoga combo might have been borne long ago. Well, there’s no time like the present to start reaping the benefits yoga can bring to your strength training regime. This circuit sequence strikes the right balance between dynamic, strength-building moves for big muscle groups and focused poses that target the core. Tips, levels, and suggested progressions help ensure you get the workout that’s right for you, with enough variety to keep it interesting. The entire sequence fits easily into an hour.

LINA has been practicing Yoga for 15 years and teaching for the last 7 years. She is passionate about integrating the benefits of yoga into all her classes, both in the studio and in the gym. Since moving to Ontario in 2011, Lina is proud to be teaching throughout Burlington, primarily at The Studio, at Climber’s Rock.

WARM UP Power Jacks/High Knees: 30 seconds each x 3 (or 20 repetitions each x 3) Sun Salutation A: 1-3 rounds TIP: Your warm-up can also include cardio equipment at the gym (like the treadmill or elliptical). After 8 to 10 minutes, you should be warm and ready to work.

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PHOTO: ARSENIK STUDIOS INC.; MODEL: LINA YAROSHUK; CLOTHING PROVIDED BY LULULEMON

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SUN SALUTATION is probably the most popular yoga sequence. Surya Namaskar consists of 12 yoga poses (8 different ones) and can be used as a great way to warm up and get your body ready for this workout. The transition from one yoga posture to another is facilitated by the breath. Inhale as you extend or stretch, and exhale as you fold or contract. The backward and forward bending yoga poses alternate and therefore inhale and exhale also alternate during the sequence. BEGIN standing with hands together at heart centre- Tadasana 1. Urdhva Hastasana Translation: Upward Hand Pose How to Do It: On an inhalation, sweep your arms out to your sides and bring the palms to touch up above your head, keeping your shoulders down. Reach through the sides of your body so your torso becomes long, gently bringing your gaze to your hands. Modification: If you begin to feel compression in the shoulders, keep your hands 6 inches apart, palms facing each other, and look straight ahead. What It Does: Opens the chest area and lungs, increasing your lung capacity. 2. Exhale - Swan dive down, hinging at the hips, bringing the palms flat on either side of your feet to Uttanasana Translation: Standing Forward Bend Modification: If you feel tight in your hamstrings or lower back, bend your knees so that you can bring the fingertips to the floor, or rest your hands on blocks. What It Does: Stretches the backs of the legs and lengthens the spine. 3. Inhale - Come up to a Flat Back - Ardha Uttanasana bringing the fingertips to your shins Exhale - Bring the palms flat, forward bending again into Uttanasana 4. Inhale - Bring the left foot to the back of the mat, come up on to the fingertips into a low lunge Lunge Pose What It Does: Opens the legs and pelvis; warms up and energizes the base of the body; elongates the spine. 5. Exhale - Bring the right foot back to meet the left coming into Downward Facing Dog Aadho mukha svanasana Translation: Downward-Facing Dog Modification: If the hamstrings or lower back feel tight, bend your knees slightly. If you are unable to keep your arms straight, bring the knees to the floor and push back into Child’s Pose. What It Does: Serves as a counterpose to Upward-Facing Dog; cools the mind; improves circulation. 6. Inhale - Come forward to a Plank position Plank Pose What It Does: Activates the entire body; builds upper-body and core strength; creates heat; develops your sense of confidence and power. 7. Exhale - Lower down and Come up forward to Upward Facing Dog Urdhva mukha svanasana Translation: Upward-Facing Dog Modification: Come into cobra pose instead: Rest hips and legs on the floor and straighten the arms comfortably, reaching the chest forward through the arms. What It Does: Creates suppleness in the spine while opening the chest, lungs, and heart. So vital to our well-being, this area is frequently compromised by chronic bad posture. Exhale - Back to Downward Facing Dog Inhale -Bring the left foot next to the left hand into low lunge Exhale - Bring the right foot forward next to the right and forward bend into Uttanasana Inhale - Bring the arms out to the sides and up, reversing the swan dive to Urdhva Hastasana Exhale - Come to stand in Tadasana with the hands in a prayer position at the heart Repeat the entire sequence with the right leg. march/april 2013 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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WORK OUT

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SQUATS 1. Basic squats x 10 reps using a Smith Machine or freestanding barbell 2. Jump Squats x 10 reps 3. Chair Pose: hold for 30 seconds. TIP: stand-alone squats (without the Smith Machine or barbell rack) can also be done with or without weights. Options: Level 1: Chair Pose with arms parallel to the ground [3A] Level 2: Chair Pose with arms overhead Level 3: Chair Pose with heels lifted (balancing on the balls of the feet) [3B]

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1A

LUNGES 1. Alternating Lunges, starting with left foot: 1 set of 10 (set weights down when finished) Move into Warrior Series left foot forward 2. Warrior Series: Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior, Warrior 2, Extended Side Angle, Warrior 2. Step the feet together to close the sequence. Hold each pose 3 to 5 breaths. Repeat Alternating Lunges leading with the left foot: 1 set of 10 Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior, Warrior 2, Extended Side Angle, Warrior 2 Step the feet together to close the sequence. TIP: emphasize alignment when lunging; keep the front knee over the ankle and stay on the ball of the back foot. Warrior 2 [2A]: The legs are about 3 to 4 feet apart, with the front heel aligned with back inner arch. Keep the front knee over the ankle and the back foot turned in about 45 degrees. The wrists are in line with the shoulders, shoulders moving away from the ears. Gaze towards the front hand. Reverse Warrior [2B]: Lower the back hand, turn the front palm to face up and lean back away from [bent] front leg. Extended Side Angle [2C]: Reach forward with the front arm and place the elbow on the thigh above the knee. Draw the back arm towards the sky, with the wrist aligned over the shoulder. Level 2: slide the elbow off the leg and extend it forward, as if holding a tray in that hand.

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WORK OUT

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3A

WARRIOR 3 WITH UPWARD ROWS Balance on the left foot, extending the right foot back and come into Warrior 3 with light-to-medium weights in your hands. Complete 10 upward rows while in the pose. Be sure to keep the hips level. Lower the foot and come into a squat. Complete TRICEPS KICKBACKS [3A/3B] with weights in the hands. Repeat on the opposite side. Level 1: Come into Warrior 3 holding a single dumbbell weight (if the left leg is grounded, hold the weight in your right hand and vice verse); you can also have one hand resting on a chair or touching a wall to help balance. When doing your tricep kickbacks, keep the elbow close to the side of the body, and extend the weight by moving just the forearm. Avoid using momentum to extend the weight; slow and controlled.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG AND PLANKS From Downward Facing Dog, come forward to Plank Pose (you can modify with the knees down). Hold for 3 to 5 breaths before pressing back into Dog Pose. Repeat x10 Progressions: add a leg extension or bring the knee to the chest. [A/B] TIP: Dog Pose stretches the back side of the body. Have the feet hip-width distance, drawing the heels towards the earth. Spread your fingers and align the ears between the upper arms. Draw the heart towards the tops of your legs. Breathe. Coming to plank, stack the shoulders over the wrists.

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GO TO SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM FOR MORE AB WORKOUTS

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PUSH-UPS WITH SIDE PLANKS 2 push-ups Roll to the right and hold side plank for 3 to 5 breaths 2 push-ups Roll to the left and hold side plank for 3 to 5 breaths 2 push-ups to finish Repeat x 3 Progressions: increase the number of push-ups. Level 1: Modify push-ups by lowering the knees to the floor. Side Plank Options: Level 2: Extend arm above head. [3A] Level 3: Extend arm above head and raise leg. [3B]

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WORK OUT

Back to Basics

4 exercises to rev up your back training BY CHRIS DEMPFLE

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o you typically stick to working out your “show muscles” of the chest, arms, abs, and shoulders? If so, some basic back exercises are just what you need to get started on a new path. These fundamental exercises will develop muscle strength and a well-balanced upper body. The back is often an afterthought for beginners. You don’t see it when you look in the mirror and most people have a difficult time contracting the back muscles when they first start working out. So, oftentimes they’ll do some half-hearted pull-downs and low cable rows before quickly moving on to something else. Here’s some useful info about each area of the back to kick start your development.

BACK-BUILDING POINTERS: • Use a thumb-press grip. Grip the bar with the palms facing down, pressing the thumbs on the bar. • Use enough pressure to hold the bar without squeezing to avoid over-engaging the forearms and biceps. The thumb press will help with this. • Holding onto the bar or weight, drive your elbows as far back as possible; imagine trying to pinch the shoulder blades together. • Leave your ego at the door. Often beginners use too much weight and don’t feel the muscle working. Feel your muscles contract through the entire movement. The back is a large and complex group of muscles. Understanding which muscles comprise your back, how they function, and how to contract and stimulate them will improve your workout.

WORK OUT!

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WORK OUT The following 4 exercises are certain to help get you back in gear! Practice them with attention to form, and remember to feel the muscles of the back contract. • Hyperextensions: 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions • Seated low-pulley cable rows: 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions • Lat pull-downs to the front: 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions • T-bar rows: 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions

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LOWER BACK (LOWER ERECTOR SPINAE) Function: To straighten the back and provides for side-to-side rotation. Location: Originates near the sacrum and extends vertically up the length of the back. Exercises: • Hyperextensions (shown) • Stiff-legged good mornings

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LIANA LOUZON

MIDDLE BACK (RHOMBOIDS) Function: Supports the spine, flex and extends the torso, moves the upper limbs and head, as well as functions to keep your body in an upright position. Location: Connected to both scapula and the spinal column at the middle of the back. Exercises: • Bent-over barbell rows • Seated cable rows -great for working the mid-back (shown)

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UPPER BACK/TRAPS (TRAPEZIUS) Function: Support of the head as well as the trunk and provides movement to upper body, from the neck, down to the arms and allows the body to bend forward, backward and extend. Location: Originates at the top of the neck, travels down the spine to insert just above the buttocks. Exercises: • T-Bar rows (shown) • Barbell shrugs • Upright rows

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LATS (LATISSIMUS DORSI) Function: To extend, adduct, medially rotate and hyperextend the humerus, or upper arm bone. Location: Your lat muscles, extend from the lower thoracic spine, lower scapulae, the third and fourth ribs and upper crests of your pelvis to the intertubercular groove of your shoulders. Exercises: • Pull-ups • Wide-grip lat pull-downs (shown)

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WORK OUT

(99% Perspiration)

The Personality of Perspiration Exercise for your type BY BRENDAN BRAZIER

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY GLIVING.COM

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hen choosing an exercise, consider your likes and dislikes, and aim to find one that suits your personality. This sounds pretty basic, and it is. Yet many people do exercise programs they don’t enjoy, slogging their way through their workouts. If you force yourself to do daily exercise that you don’t like, it will deplete your willpower, making various challenges that crop up in life harder to deal with. Cardiovascular exercise helps develop a strong and efficient heart. And the more efficient the heart, the more blood will be circulated with each pump. An efficient heart can pump at a slower rate, conserving body energy. The same goes for resistance training: it improves muscular efficacy, making day-to-day activities less physically straining. It also has been shown to improve bone density and strength. If you’re exercising to clear your head after a challenging day at work, a run or walk by yourself might be a good choice—if you want exercise to be your time away from others, solo activities are the way to go. If, however, you like the camaraderie and social aspect of exercising, try an aerobics class or circuit training. If motivation isn’t your strength, arrange to work out with a friend. A workout buddy will help get you into the routine and will encourage you to stick with it. There are other considerations, too. Would TIP: It’s important to you like a vigorous activity, such as boxing, loosen up your muscles or more introspective movements, such as with light exercise and yoga? Do competitive activities motivate you stretching prior to or is competition a turn-off? If you flourish running, but it’s also of with head-to-head competition, try tennis or value to warm up your squash. Do you like team sports? Consider major tendons. Lightly joining a local soccer or ultimate league. Or rolling out your IT band if you prefer indoor team sports, check out and rubbing your Achilles’ a volleyball or basketball court. There’s an tendon will not only activity for every personality. See what your loosen them up but will local recreation centre offers. You may be also help reduce your risk amazed by the number of activities available! of injury. When just starting an exercise program, as little as 20 minutes a day can be enough. A well-structured program might alternate between cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, and rowing might be done on Day 1. Day 2 might then consist of weight training and calisthenics (using your body weight as resistance). Alternate days like this, with one day off each week for rest.

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | march/april 2013

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WORK OUT (Fuel)

A Divine Taste Sensation! Carob Berry Smoothie

BY GRACE VAN BERKUM, RHN

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arob is a legume that comes from the carob tree and is a tasty and nutritious substitute for chocolate. It’s high in phosphorus and calcium, caffeinefree, naturally sweet, and low in fat and calories. The combination of carob and raspberries offers a divine taste sensation. Added greens provide energizing chlorophyll and alkalinizing magnesium without the bitter taste. Carob Raspberry Smoothie: INGREDIENTS • 2 tbsp carob powder • 1 cup raspberries • handful spinach or kale • 1 scoop chocolate plant-based protein powder • 2-3 cups unsweetened coconut milk • 1 cup ice

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GRACE VAN BERKUM

INSTRUCTIONS Blend till smooth for silky, healing goodness.

Grace Van Berkum is a plant-based nutritionist, yoga teacher, and founder of Gracious Living Retreats in Nicaragua, Bahamas, and other beautiful tropical locations around the world. For more info: gracevanberkum.com.

march/april 2013 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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e f i L e v o L ese, and days like th there’d be With spring ! gh ou amma said en st get here fa on her they can’t om to task can take m e eless w r, tim ai r e in th visit he pas, but re ce we fashion faux erger tells us the advi n’t miss Eg genb do h d ra an Sa , s. rs beauty tip our mothe in of your founta ld heed from tips to keep e drip with Lole’s really shou g in ag tian eat ding th gs the eight gr p while avoi r great thin ing. Look hi , bag of othe ab gr youth flow a e se mbassador A d an on at m le co lu funky rain s with our Lu feel the yoga love! as cl a ch d we love! Cat ize pire-ation an ur step, Bel zka for in-s spring in yo a ver Chrys Mus te ts ha pu w , at se of th tever the ca u wake up, Now, if none lution. Wha yo so lp ur he yo to might be hat it takes we’ve got w your style, life! ve lo d an , ep breathe de

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MaRch/apRil 2013 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM SUMMER 2012 |

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LOVE LIFE

(Stuff We Love)

Coolhunters Alert 4 things we love

SAVASANA Well of course it’s called ‘savasana’! This fashion-forward tank top will have you relaxed and breathing deeply while enjoying the sensually soft, four-way stretch fabric. Made of an innovative fabric called 2nd Skin Pure Light, it’s an eco-friendly organic cotton that is antibacterial with moisture-wicking properties that make a perfect partner for your yoga, pilates or meditation practice. $52 lolewomen.com

CAPE CLOUD Let it rain! You’ll want to go outside and play this spring in this asymmetrically zipped cape with attached, adjustable hood. The 100% nylon twill is a waterproof fabric treated with a durable water-repellent finish and it’s wind proof too! And in case the sun comes out, you can pack it up into its own right front pocket for a hasslefree transition. $200 lolewomen.com

PERFECT C SERUM Advanced formula to protect skin’s health while combating the signs of aging. A potent 17% dose of clinically proven L-Ascorbic Acid helps to strengthen collagen and improve skin texture. L-Ergothioneine boosts cellular energy and helps interrupt the stress reaction that destroys elastin. Buddleja Plant Stem Cell protects against photo-damage and oxidative stress through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. $30 thebigcarrot.ca | naturesemporium.com

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THE GODDESS NECKLACE Mary Margrill has created an entire collection of fine jewelry. This Ruby Pave sterling silver necklace draws you in with it’s delicate design and unique shape. Her pieces also include bracelets, rings, pendants and earrings and while top celebrities have been known to sport Margrill’s designs, that’s not what got us hooked. We love that her pieces are sublimely steeped in spirituality and her messages are inspirational. $395 marymargrill.com

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | march/april 2013

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Get Your

Daily Vitamins

By Sucking On a Mint

Men and Women Say Goodbye to Swallowing Large Vitamin Pills with VitamintsTM Vitamins in a mint! We all know we need extra vitamins to stay healthy. Whether it’s our busy lives, poor nutrition, or stress up to our eye balls, sometimes diet alone just doesn’t cut it. When it comes to taking vitamins, swallowing big pills or even remembering to take them never works out. Now there’s an easier way to get your daily vitamins with VitamintsTM, vitamins in a mint.

Just use VitamintsTM throughout the day like you would a regular mint to freshen your breath, and you’ll also be getting your daily vitamins in one easy step. Suck on VitamintsTM, get minty fresh breath + daily vitamins! Take VitamintsTM with you anywhere you go. At work, in the car, at home, or on the run. Fresh minty breath and health supporting vitamins are just a minty, sweet suck away.

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Why use plain old mints when you can use VitamintsTM! For your free sample of VitamintsTM or to get a coupon to save right away go to:

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In addition to VitamintsTM Multi for Women, you can also try VitamintsTM Immune, Calm, Energy, and Recover to freshen your breath and help you make it through your already crazy day.

VitamintsTM are available at retailers across Canada in the vitamin section

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LOVE LIFE (Beauty)

1. Hydrate: Drink 8 to 12 cups of clean, filtered water each day. Water flushes waste out of the body and hydrates your skin. Think of it as an internal moisturizer! Avoid beverages that dehydrate the body like caffeine, alcohol, soda, and dairy; if you do indulge, rehydrate with an additional 2 cups of water for each beverage. 2. Eat nourishing foods: Alkalinizing, anti-inflammatory, enzymerich foods can slow down and even reverse the aging process. I’ve seen it with my own eyes! Plant-based foods protect against diseases like diabetes and heart disease. These foods help keep your body functioning at its best, which is important for your heart, vision, hearing, memory, and skin, amongst other things. Consume brightly coloured vegetables high in antioxidants and phyotonutrients, such as red, orange, and yellow peppers; kale; spinach; cabbage and broccoli; and anti-inflammatory fats such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, coconut butter, and 100% extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. Avoid refined sugars, white flour products, and hydrogenated and trans fats that inflame your skin and overburden your internal organs. You’ll notice changes in your complexion in just a few days. 3. Wear sunscreen: Sun damage can be blamed for nearly all the signs of aging skin, including wrinkles and age spots. To prevent skin damage, use a chemical-free sunscreen daily. The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) rates Raw Elements USA Sunscreen number one for safety and efficacy. It’s made with 100% natural and certified organic inactive ingredients, with no harsh or synthetic chemicals. 4. Move your body: Consistent exercise is anti-aging medicine and a great anti-stressor. A sedentary lifestyle accelerates aging, while an active lifestyle can help you look and feel younger, maintain a healthy body weight and muscle mass, improve bone density, and strengthen the heart. It also increases circulation, which can improve skin complexion and integrity. Consistent exercise and movement helps to prevent disease and maintain a positive outlook on life. 5. Take care of your teeth: Brush regularly, floss, and take care of your gums. Avoid beverages like tea, coffee, and red wine, which stain your teeth and make you look older (they also dehydrate your skin and body). Studies show that inflammation of the gums can cause the arteries to accumulate plaque, and periodontal disease might be directly related to systemic inflammation and cardiovascular risks. So floss daily for beautiful gums and a healthy heart.

Fountain of Youth 8 anti-aging tips 50

BY GRACE VAN BERKUM, RHN

6. Smile: Flash your teeth to light up your face and increase positive vibrations. We’re drawn to people who smile! The muscles used to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Smiling also releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin; it boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and relieves stress. All of these things help to slow the aging process. 7. Rest: The body needs time to repair itself. Lack of sleep disrupts the body’s metabolism and speeds up age-related conditions. Adequate sleep also facilitates detoxification, which is important for anti-aging. (For more on the importance of sleep, see page 28.) 8. Respect and honour yourself: Learning to process emotions and release stress will significantly slow the aging process. According to Karen Chrappa, “One of the most insidious accelerators of aging is the relentless judgments and harsh criticisms we hold against ourselves.” Learn to forgive others, but more importantly, learn to forgive yourself.

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | march/april 2013

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Mama Said!

Beauty tips that stand the test of time BY SARAH EGGENBERGER

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icture your mother. Specifically, think of a great picture of your mother. A 100-year long clinical study on aging found that the way we age is directly correlated to our mothers. Yes, even if you’re a man. As it turns out, the amount and depth of wrinkling caused by sun damage isn’t the only thing that’s entirely within our control! Memories of you and your mom may reveal some beauty habits that have relevance even today. Some you might have absorbed, while others need to be revisited. Here’s 8 beauty tips from mom that you should adhere to: 1. Stick with the products that work. How long has your mom used Clinique’s “yellow cream”? Probably decades. That cream might even be her signature scent. To see an actual change in your skin, a product must be used for a full skin cycle, which is anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. Results seen in a short amount of time are only topical and won’t last. Stick to a program for at least 3 to 4 months for the best results.

2. Wear gloves when washing. Remember those yellow plastic gloves draped over the faucet when not in use? This might seem very 1960s, but protecting your hands from soap detergent and water will keep your skin moisturized and your manicures looking fresh longer. You can even wear them to bed to seal moisture into your hands. You’ll awaken with soft and hydrated digits! 3. Dab perfume behind ear lobes. Spray perfume on pulse points where blood vessels are closest to the skin. The perfume will respond to your body heat and emit scent throughout the day. Don’t apply perfume to your décolleté, as it will oxidize from the sun and cause hyper-pigmentation. 4. Switch deodorants twice a year. The alcohol in deodorant keeps your skin at a low pH level to fight off bacteria. And just like bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, your underarms will become immune to the ingredients in your deodorant. Switch it up and stay fresh! 5. Stop or your face will get stuck like that! Well, not entirely true, but there are reasons

you shouldn’t make faces. Repeated contraction from frowning is proven to cause wrinkles. 6. Cut your hair every 4 to 6 weeks. The ends of your hair are the oldest, and thus the most damaged. Split ends cause tangles and break off more easily, especially when wet. The only way to repair split ends is to trim every 4 to 6 weeks. Your hair will be healthier and healthier hair styles better. 7. Don’t wash your hair every day. Remember seeing mom in her robe and that awful shower cap? Back then it was a timesaving factor, but now we know shower caps can prolong color and style and increase hydration. Ideally wash your hair every 3 days. 8. Don’t eat chocolate or your skin will break out. A diet of refined carbohydrates and a high glycemic index, such as sugars and starches, skyrockets insulin levels, triggering the production of sebum and ultimately leading to acne. Eat a wellrounded diet and try to avoid junk foods. Just like mom said: eat your veggies!

SARAH EGGENBERGER is VP of Product Development and Innovation at MyChelle, an influential beauty and lifestyle expert, an on-air spokesperson, a beauty curator, and a published author. A veteran in the industry, Sarah has been advising on must-have beauty and lifestyle products for over 15 years and regularly appears on THE TODAY SHOW. withbeautyandgrace.com.

march/april 2013 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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LOVE LIFE (Travel)

Believe in Belize!

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BY KAT TANCOCK

’m struggling up a muddy slope using all four limbs, my feet seek out the driest and most gripping parts of the trail as my hands grasp for rope, tree trunks, or rocks—anything that will help keep my balance. My guide, Abraham, moves in and out of sight as he skips ahead and then pauses to wait for me to catch up. My heart is pounding out of my chest, but I refuse to take a break—after all, he’s got at least a couple of decades on me, and I’m supposed to be in shape. And I’ve been promised a killer view at the summit. It’s our last day in Belize, and we’re hiking to the top of Antelope Falls at Mayflower Bocawina National Park, not far from the fishing village of Hopkins. I’d opted out of zip lining and rappelling down the falls in favour of what I’d thought would be a more relaxing way to see the park: a trek past overgrown Mayan ruins and flora so diverse I can hardly keep up with Abraham’s descriptions. There are cacao trees that used to be farmed in the area, rubber trees whose sap was used to make balls for the Mayan ball game, stalks that can be turned into wicker strips and then furniture. We step over highways of leaf-cutter ants, hear birds flitting through the undergrowth, walk under an angled tree trunk that Abraham claims is the likely resting spot for a jaguar. A waterfall tumbles down a rocky slope, providing a background soundtrack for our journey up the steepest part of the trail to the summit, where we can see across acres of jungle as far as the sea and where a refreshing pool invites us to jump in for a swim—if only we could stand to put our muddy and sweat-drenched clothes on again afterward. I feel a million miles away from Hopkins Bay Resort, the chic seaside getaway where I’d eaten fresh papaya and pineapple at breakfast and spent the morning lounging in the sun on a beach recliner, listening to the waves as I

pretended to read a magazine while my thoughts drifted away with the breeze. I feel even further from San Pedro, the Isla Bonita immortalized by Madonna, where we’d dodged speeding golf carts to cross the street for ice cream; joined a group of resident expats for a challenging Vinyasa Yoga class overlooking the palm tree-lined beach; and snorkeled with sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. For a tiny country (less than 300 kilometres long) with a population of about 350,000 people, Belize has a lot to offer. And while there are plenty of beach chairs and hammocks to chill out in, it’s best suited for an active traveller. Ocean lovers can stay on the coast or one of the cayes and dive, snorkel, swim, and kayak to their heart’s content; landlubbers can head into the jungle to hike, paddle, or explore Mayan ruins; and animal lovers have myriad opportunities to interact with the country’s diverse wildlife, in the sea or on land, including tree hopping black howler monkeys (who we met at a Community Baboon Sanctuary in Bermudian Landing, not far from Belize City). All of this lies in a country whose national language is English, making it that much easier to befriend the locals on your trip. As we descend the trail with Abraham and head back into town, he shares a little about his life in the area; we hear about bitter tinctures his mother made him as a cough and cold remedy, created from the bark, leaves, and roots he pointed out along our hike; and he talks about packing oranges for the local citrus company to be shipped abroad as an export crop. His van rattles on the ragged, potholed road to Hopkins—sure to be paved soon, the locals tell us—and we pull back into the resort, wet with sweat, covered in mud and bug repellant, and sad to be leaving with so much left to explore.

WHAT TO BRING • Long pants are essential for heading into the mosquito-ridden jungle; this comfortable, lightweight pair dries quickly and packs small. Dance Studio Pant, Lululemon, $108 shop.lululemon.com • You Y can never pack enough bikinis, and this sporty model stays on while you move. Lolë Tropez Bandeau top, $45, and Caribbean bottom, $36 lolewomen.com

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DROP-IN YOGA SOUTH OF TOWN ON AMBERGRIS CAYE

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF KAT TANCOCK AND HOPKINS BAY RESORT

Your coastal paradise

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | march/april 2013

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SEAGRASSMUNCHING SEA TURTLE AT HOL CHAN

ME WITH A BLACK HOWLER MONKEY, BERMUDIAN LANDING THE SWIMMING POOL AT HOPKINS BAY RESORT

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LOVE LIFE (Fashion File)

Fashion Frenzy Style and panache

T

his spring you’ll find the colour palate is bold and beautiful. Runways are bursting with colours as top designers lead the way with intense neons and patterns. But balance is always an underlying theme when it comes to fashion and life. The designers of the Vancouver-based activewear line Tonic, took notes from the runway and blended vivid hues with neutral striping , striking that delicate balance between feminine-sporty and functionality. Their spring collection boasts a refined balance of high fashion with practicality lending itself to functional, fashionable, flattering silhouettes. Best of all, Tonic is designed and manufactured in our own backyard.

JUNK ATHLETIC HEADBAND This simple accessory is comfy, moisture-wicking and adjustable. It won’t improve your performance - that’s up to you - but it WILL keep the hair and sweat off your face with style and a little panache. $16 junkbrands.com

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LOVE LIFE (Fashion File)

ESSENTIAL POCKET TANK Slightly sheer, this bamboo fabric is naturally hypoallergenic with a sexy racer back style and a deep scoop neckline. $48

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF TONIC

HAVEN LEGGING The signature “focket” (foot pocket) keeps your feet warm during Savasana with the option to scrunch them up for a cute look. $78, mytonic.ca

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CHAMBERS TANK This slim-fitting tank is extra long with a plunging V-neck and built in shelf bra with removable bra cups. $64 PURSUIT LEGGING Contouring seams offer a flattering shape and comfort with a ‘stay-put’ elastic waistband and a coolmax lined gusset. $78, mytonic.ca

march/april 2013 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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LOVE LIFE

(Ambassador Love)

Chrys Muszka Ambitious Learner

CONNECTING TO COMMUNITY IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE SWEAT EQUITY MANDATE. LULULEMON BUILDS COMMUNITY THROUGH THEIR AMBASSADOR PROGRAM, SO EACH SEASON WE PICK A LULULEMON AMBASSADOR TO PROFILE—SOMEONE WHO SHARES THIS PASSION AND HAS SOME GREAT FASHION SENSE!

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studios and is collaborating with some of Toronto’s greatest yoga instructors. He’s currently planning his second trip to India to study and practice meditation in the Himalayan foothills. Chrys shares the mindset of healthy living and positive thinking with Lululemon and joined the Ambassador team to further spread the message of living a happier, healthier, and more conscious life. By holding several events for Lululemon, he’s been able to reach outside of the studio setting to teach a broader range of students. Yoga can be expensive and studios can be intimidating, but Lululemon’s free in-store community classes and events offer a warm and nurturing environment, making yoga about love and accessibility.

COURTESY OF CHRYS MUSZKA

C

hrys found yoga in his early teens. He has practiced and trained worldwide, including Toronto, Montreal, New York, Guatemala, India, and Indonesia. Having studied many styles, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Anusara, and Restorative Yoga, Chrys is passionate about teaching classes with detailed alignment principles and a flow-based structure. To Chrys, yoga is more than a physical practice, and in each class he incorporates transformative yoga philosophy and life-affirming thoughts. As a strong advocate and specialist in Restorative Yoga, Chrys helps students find inner peace and happiness by encouraging a still mind and relaxed body. 2013 promises to be an exciting year as he has many workshops lined up at

WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM | march/april 2013

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1. STUDIO V, $58 • Silverescent® Sheer Luon fabric is lightweight and breathable • anti-stink fibres don’t hold bad smells • stretch in the fabric lets you twist and lift with ease • preshrunk for hassle-free laundry 2. THE MAT, $68 • flip your mat over to choose the best surface for your practice • cushion your hands and feet with rubber • the polyurethane coating will stay grippy even through a sweaty Vinyasa Flow • the antimicrobial additive prevents mold and mildew • wash with soapy water (no tea tree oil please) 3. LIGHT AS AIR TECH SS, $72 • this knitted Silverescent® is lightweight and breathable • panels of circle mesh in high-sweat areas help keep you dry • preshrunk to help prevent laundry mishaps • flat seams engineered to reduce chafing • long length in the back; if only plumbers wore tops like this!

photo: brucezinger.coM

4. PACE BREAKER SHORT, $64 • let off steam through narrow mesh panels at the side and rear of the shorts • store stuff in two deep side pockets • stash keys in the secure zipper pocket • prevent chafing with flat seams

Spreading yoga love in style!

C HRY PIC KSS’

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Delicious Living BY ANDREW MUTO

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ust as spring cleaning tells us it’s time to refresh and remove the clutter in our homes, a nutritional cleanse suggests we de-clutter the mind and body. Spring is the time to cleanse our bodies from the heavier foods and more sedentary lifestyle often embraced in winter months. Our body naturally wants to start eating lighter, more refreshing foods. What better way to help that process along than with a holistic seasonal cleanse!

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LOVE LIFE

(Delicious Living)

Abracadabra! Mayan Magic

BY ANDREW MUTO

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’m grateful humankind didn’t meet its end on December 21, 2012, and appreciative because the South American people offer so many wonderful foods to keep life moving forward–and in good health to boot! Rich quinoa, chickpeas, kale, garlic, and lemon: this is the perfect meal. Serve it as a salad, warm side dish, main course, or stuff your favourite vegetables with it. These foods are rich in nutrition and contain all the food components you need to support the “spring cleaning” of your body. MAYAN MAGIC Serves 2-4 INGREDIENTS: • 2 cups cooked red or white quinoa (or combination) • 1 leek, finely sliced • ½ clove garlic, minced • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed/drained (or 1 cup dry beans, soaked and cooked) • 1-2 leaves black kale, thinly sliced (chiffon) • ½ lemon (grate and reserve lemon rind before cutting) • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped • sea salt to taste • 1 tbsp olive oil

PhoTogRAPhy By AnDReW muTo

METHOD: Bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to boil in a pot. Cover and set aside. Fluff the quinoa as you would couscous. Let it sit covered until halos begin to form throughout the quinoa. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl; add the sliced leek and black kale. Add the juice from the lemon and olive oil to the oregano, and let it all marinate. When the quinoa is ready, add all ingredients and toss well. Top with lemon rind. Serve and enjoy!

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Spring Cleaning An Inside Job

BY ANDREW MUTO

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ttaining well-being is never a question of nutrition alone. Complete health includes mental and emotional components, as well as community and spirituality. That’s what holistic health means: complete wellbeing. Whether you’re detoxing, cleansing, or fasting, take the time to slow down and ease your mind and emotions. Try to pick a weekend when you can relax, if only for a day, to refresh and regenerate your body and mind. There are as many ways to cleanse as there are products for cleansing. Some are simple while others are more complex: you can do an overall body cleanse or focus on a special need you’d like to address. Whatever you decide, one thing is certain: pure foods should form the basis of any cleanse, and the following four picks can be part of any regime you choose! CEREMONIAL MATCHA GREEN TEA Are you kidding me? If you thought green tea was full of antioxidants, you haven’t met matcha! It has far more antioxidants than super antioxidant foods like goji berries, raw cacao, acai, and pomegranate; it has more than any fruit or vegetable in the world! In addition, this precious jadecoloured jewel puts all other teas to shame with its level of vitamins, minerals, and fibres. True, it may cost a little more, but your body is worth it! LEMONS I love lemons. My wife says I should bathe in lemon juice because I inundate my food with it. How can I not be in love with this citrus gem? It tastes so phenomenally fresh! For over 20 years now, I’ve started my day with a glass of

water and a squirt of fresh lemon. Many of the stomach issues I’ve had in my youth have been reduced. A good source of vitamin C and antioxidants, lemon juice also contains vitamin B, riboflavin, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus; as well as proteins and carbohydrates. Although lemons are quite acidic, they contain the good acids that your body needs. It effectively cleanses the skin as well as the intestines—the perfect addition to a spring detox. LEGUMES Why would legumes be part of a cleanse? One word: fibre. Our bodies need dietary fibre for collecting toxins and ridding them through elimination. We often think of fibre that comes from grains, but some of the best sources are from legumes, especially navy beans. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, “A cup of cooked navy beans provides 76% of the recommended daily intake for fiber.” Add chickpeas, green peas, fava beans, or any of the 600 types of legumes to your diet during spring to help clean out and de-clutter those unwanted winter chambers! QUINOA I could fill six pages on the beneficial components of this ancient Peruvian superfood. Quinoa has significantly more lysine and isoleucine, which allow the protein in the grain to serve as a complete protein source. Although you’ll want to lighten up on your food intake, don’t skimp on the protein! The best way to get protein rich in amino acid into your diet is with red or white quinoa. Oh, and did I mention that this South American superfood is gluten free?

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LOVE LIFE Eating by(The the Book Ingredient)

Cavolo Nero An Old World Superfood

BY ANDREW MUTO

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f any food is synonymous with healthy eating these days, it’s kale. From farmer’s markets to mainstream grocery and health food stores, kale is becoming as common a sight as romaine lettuce and tomatoes! This nutrientrich cruciferous plant is packed with anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties and antioxidants (to name just a few benefits). In supermarkets, you’ll typically find curly and purple kale. These are coarse, rugged greens that can be a little unpleasant to the palate, especially for a novice eater. I served kale to my elderly Italian father who rebuked my offering with, “What’s this? What am I, a goat?!” It’s true that kale can be tough to chew. But then he told me about cavolo nero–a deep green that his family cultivated in Italy. He was speaking about black kale (also known as Lacinato kale or Tuscan kale). This dark blue-green flat leafy kale is less coarse and much easier to eat than its curly sister. HOW TO PREPARE Kale belongs to the cabbage family and should be treated likewise. We don’t toss a cabbage salad like we do romaine or spinach. Cabbage needs to marinate in dressing to make it tender and appealing to the palate. Cut kale into bite-sized pieces or slice it thinly (chiffon) into smaller strips. Let it marinate in a fresh lemon and extra virgin olive oil or dressing of your choice for 15 minutes to an hour, or even several hours, as you choose. Add black kale to a favourite recipe that calls for spinach or other greens, or make tomato florentine soup with it. You could sauté garlic and thinly sliced black kale and serve on crostini or gluten-free crust as an appetizer or even toss garlic-sautéed black kale with extra virgin olive oil on your favourite pasta. The choices are vast and varied!

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LOVE LIFE

The Insatiable Brad Long Local Food Advocate, Round the Corner Cook, and Family Man BY MARY LUZ MEJIA

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rad Long is sitting on a gold mine’s worth of stories. As a one-time pro musician and former executive chef at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, he has fed just about every high-powered athlete, singer, and rocker under the dome. He’s a man who, by his own admission, wants to do and learn “more, more, and more.” He’s getting his wish as the restaurateur/chef behind the Evergreen Brickworks’ Cafe Belong and father of five children! In the early days, it was music and not food that took centre stage in Long’s life. “Music was and is a major love of mine. At 13, I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I did that until I was 28 and hit enough benchmarks that I could walk away without any regrets or shame. I played large gigs, performed and sang original music in the coolest venues, had radio play, videos, produced my band and some others, tried being a promoter and took a lame stab at my own record label,” he says. Then one day, he found himself at a crossroads and veered off the music rollercoaster. He traded his guitar for a knife roll because, as he says, a demon whispered “foooooood” provocatively in his ear. Although Long had worked in numerous eateries, starting as a busboy when he was 14, he admits it wasn’t as easy as just switching paths. He was, however, surprised that every time he took a restaurant gig, they made him chef. At the time, Long remembers, “I really didn’t know what I didn’t know. So when I went into this business I did two pivotal things: I went to school full-time

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and I took a job at Toronto’s Pronto Ristorante. A two-day stage was an epiphany!” Prior to Pronto, Long worked “under the table” for a pal who owned a restaurant. He says, “I always tell this story to see people’s reaction, because the punch line is that I was chef three months later. Crowds split into those who understand and those who don’t. The ones who don’t get it think, ‘oooh you must have been good to make Chef in three months.’ Those who do understand know what a crap-hole it must have been to promote a three-month newbie to chef—which it was.” This and later experiences shaped Long’s definition of the word “chef.” A cook, by his and many other people’s standards, is professionally trained in the preparation and service of food. A chef, however, “is a title you earn by being damn good at the business of food, the leadership of team, and the responsibility of staff training . . . I’m a cook. I also happen to hold the title of chef.” Which leads us back to Long’s first professional gig at Pronto in 1990, where he suddenly felt at home. Fresh ingredients were used there and knowledge was shared in the kitchen, where they worked together as a team. Patrons were served by professionals who made it their priority to deliver. “[It was] nothing like the restaurants I had worked in before. Everyone was proud to work there and it wasn’t their ‘second job,’” says Long. Three years after starting at Pronto, Long became sous-chef and eventually head chef. He stayed for a total of five formative years. As

a cook, he discovered no one wanted to recruit him. Once he became the chef at Pronto, offers started rolling in. He took a job rebuilding the dining program at the CN Tower with Alfred Caron of the famed Bistro 990, who now oversees operations at The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. After four years there, a call to open Maple Leaf Sports’ new home, The Air Canada Centre, came through. “Three stadiums later I broke out on my own. These experiences of vast volume purchases, huge brigades, multiple outlets, top athletes’ nutrition programs, billionaire owners, millionaire season seat holders, and everyone in between taught the importance of good financial systems; logistical skills; and how to build a huge network of farmers and suppliers, plus all the people I fed—about two million a year. [It was] great experience and still I wanted more.” The insatiable Long won an enviable list of awards during his various tenures, including VQA Restaurant Awards of Excellence and Wine Spectator Awards as well as food critic Joanne Kates’ Top 10 restaurant pick when he helmed the Platinum Club. Long, who grew up in Port Dover, Ontario, is a local forefather of local, organic, sustainable food sourcing before it became du rigueur. His admiration for farmers, given where he grew up, runs deep. “I’ve seen the love, sweat, and tears that go into the stewardship of our land; somewhere along the line I’ve also seen the destruction of parts of this land and I see more coming. I understand the bigger picture, of how food goes from farm to table and all the systems in between; I’ve experienced what is sustainable and what is folly.” Long carried this mentality to Veritas, My Place: A Canadian Pub, and now Cafe BeLong. For Long, doing his part to demonstrate that every chef can do better to procure food ingredients ethically and serve what he calls “sexy, delicious seasonal fare grown ‘round the corner’” isn’t just lip service. “I truly believe we can do this; I did it in a very difficult situation in a major sports and entertainment venue, and I think a lot of people need to see it as a successful business model before the priorities of ethics, farmland, or seasonality will kick in for them. Some people need to believe there’s money to be made, so whatever it takes to convert them, I’m in; it really is that important to us all.”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICK O’BRIEN

(Tastemakers)

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MAKE ONE OF BRAD’S RECIPES! VISIT SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE HIS SPRING IN THE VALLEY SALAD

CHEF’S SURVIVAL KIT: I can’t get through the day without . . . joy. To relax I . . . hide. Jeez, I have to. I am currently reading . . . Robert Heinlein (old sci fi, old habit). My favourite culinary destination is . . . home, without a doubt. My fave kitchen tool is . . . a handheld citrus juicer. But it changes all the time. Desert island spice? . . . That changes too, but uh, fresh basil. Mentor is . . . my 16-year-old daughter, Angela. She makes me question everything and has me do things differently. But don’t tell her. Favourite meal is . . . eggs—any kind, any way. Favourite not-for-profit . . . a tie between The Stop and FoodShare. Superpower you wish you had? . . . Sleep. Wait. Is that a superpower? It should be.

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LOVE LIFE

(Raw Ambition)

Heavenly Hemp Mother Nature’s Protein

BY DOUG MCNISH

HEMP SEED, COCONUT, AND VANILLA BLONDIES I love the sweet, rich flavour of coconut and vanilla combined in this recipe. With the addition of hemp seeds, you have a proteindense snack or treat to finish any meal. You’ll need a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Makes 15 small haystacks. INGREDIENTS ¼ cup coconut butter ¼ cup coconut nectar 3 tbsp melted coconut oil 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract ¼ cup Naturally Splendid hemp seeds 2 cups shredded coconut INSTRUCTIONS In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process coconut butter, coconut nectar, coconut oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add hemp seeds and shredded coconut and pulse about 8 to 10 times to combine the ingredients. Transfer to a bowl. Using a tablespoon, divide into 15 equal portions and drop onto prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 7 days. TIPS To make chocolate blondies, add 3 tbsp of raw cacao powder in Step 1. When purchasing shredded coconut, look for unsweetened and unsulphured variations. Medium shred works best in this recipe, but any type will do.

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pring has sprung and that means swimsuit season is right around the corner. Gone are the days of long jackets, scarves, and gloves; here to stay are t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. If you’re like me, in the winter you find yourself craving denser foods. Don’t get me wrong, I love kale salads and sprouted buckwheat as much as the next guy, but when the temperature drops, I also like to indulge. In addition to craving heavier foods, we also tend to hibernate; we aren’t as active as in the warmer months. I’m a big fan of lifting heavy weights mixed with some light running and a little yoga. In fact, it was this exact routine that helped me lose almost 100 pounds when I was younger. But in winter I can fall off the wagon. There’s just something uninviting about leaving a warm bed to go for a run when it’s minus 15 degrees outside. So after maybe putting on a little winter weight, it’s time to kick back into gear. Spring is a time of rebirth—a time to give life to our diet and exercise. It’s no secret that, although training hard and lifting heavy weights will help, we have to increase our protein consumption to rebuild precious tissue. One of my favourite forms of clean plantbased protein is hemp. Not only is it a complete protein, but it’s also full of healthy fats; hemp contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies need and don’t make on their own. I enjoy nutrient-dense, protein-rich snacks. After playing around with the recipes from my new book, 5-Ingredient Raw Recipes (to be published in fall 2013), I created these easy-to-make Coconut Hemp Blondies. I stumbled across a hemp company out of B.C. called Naturally Splendid and instantly fell in love with their plump hemp seeds and clean flavour. Enjoy this Canadian-grown hemp as the perfect go-to high-protein snack! From my kitchen to yours: happy training.

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. His first cook book, Eat Raw, Eat Well, 400 Raw, Vegan and Gluten Free Recipes is now available and he is currently writing, 5 Ingredient Raw Food Recipes to the Table in 15 minutes or Less, to be published Fall 2013.

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Somebody that we used to know By Erin Moraghan Photography by Erin Blackwood

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t first glance Sarah Blackwood might seem like an anomaly. The sweetvoiced yoga teacher was also known for years as “Sarah Sin”—the small but mighty lead for the psychobilly punk band The Creepshow. She’s spent just as much time at the helm of mosh pits as she has breathing deep on her yoga mat. We’re talking hard core stuff. Sarah’s tiny frame could take over a stage in pretty big ways—big voice, big antics, a lot of noise. When Sarah wasn’t touring at punk shows and festivals, she was at home in the Toronto area teaching yoga and singing her heart out. Were Creepshow fans surprised that the guitar-wielding badass was a yoga teacher by day? Not really. It seemed she pulled off this contradiction with so much authenticity that people simply loved Sarah, whatever she was up to. Of living in two seemingly opposite worlds, Sarah says, “Being in a punk band called for more yoga than ever! I needed to practice to stay sane during those years, for sure. I never hide any part of myself. In fact, I think [rocking] an attitude where it doesn’t matter what people say or think is the most punk rock thing you can do. I remember playing festivals in Eastern Europe. Kids were throwing mud, slipping around and moshing . . . then I would get back to the hotel, clean up, and practice yoga. What a contrast!” A Burlington, Ontario, native, Sarah made the most of her touring breaks by hanging

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CONCERT PHOTOS COURTESY OF SARAH BLACKWOOD

“It’s simply about loving what I do...and taking paths that will challenge me.” out with family and friends at home, teaching yoga, singing songs, and dreaming big. She grew up in a musical family, with parents who taught her to follow her creative spirit and always be herself. While she loved being Sarah Sin, she always let herself be just Sarah, a courageous act in itself. Despite having established such a strong image in the punk-rock world, she wasn’t afraid to peek into every other corner of her creative self. “My parents are a big influence for me,” says Sarah, “they taught me not to concern myself with material things that don’t matter, to follow my dreams and be who I am, and to always try and do what I love. Nothing is more inspiring than that kind of support system.”

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arah found yoga right before her music career gained momentum. She was living in Whistler, B.C., when she started having digestive health problems. Determined to avoid medication, she tried yoga to see if she could heal in a more natural way. “I found a small studio in Whistler, and soon after my first class, I was dedicated to practicing almost every day. As my practice became stronger, so did my health.” After a short time, digestive problems were no longer an issue and she was in the best physical shape of her life. “The whole time I was healing physically through yoga, I was also growing a newfound awareness that helped reduce stress on a massive scale, helping me see the world in a different light. I had found something that would be a part of me for the rest of my life.” Sarah attended Moksha Yoga’s first teacher training in 2004. Teaching was the perfect balance to Sarah’s touring schedule. Through different stages of her music career, she felt blessed to have work that nourished her instead of zapping her creative spirit. “I feel very fortunate. I’ve never worked a job that I hated in my life. I was a bartender for years and loved

how that connected me with people. I adore being a yoga teacher; it is such a gift.” Of her yoga practice as a touring musician, Sarah continues, “Mentally, the benefits are endless. Working from the road and being in such a constant high-stress environment will really test one’s patience. It’s not always easy to share small spaces with a dozen people every single day. Doing what I do leaves little alone time, and that can get quite frustrating and congesting. But the ability to calm my own mind, find space where there is no space, and meditate in small amounts brings an incredible amount of sanity to what can be a very insane environment.”

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t’s lucky that Sarah has yoga as a secret weapon, because 2012 had a bunch of tricks up its sleeve, putting some major twists on her idea of a juggling act. Sarah had connected with a musician from her hometown named Gianni Luminati. Impressed by Gianni’s innovative energy, she worked with him in 2010 to produce her second solo album. This would prove to be a fateful collaboration in many ways. “During that time we were both getting more involved in YouTube and shooting our own videos for different things; we just started talking about awesome stuff we could do together.” Gianni was part of a local band called Walk off the Earth, formed in 2006. Sarah continues, “Walk off the Earth needed a female vocal on one of their songs, Joan and Bobby, and I was keen on doing it. So we made that happen and made a video for the song; that spiralled into my integration with the band.” Gianni’s vision and motivation aligned with Sarah’s ideas and dreams for her own musical direction. “In 2011 I started working closely with Gianni and Walk off the Earth. We were shooting a ton of videos and making lots of music. Sure enough, on January 5, 2012, something spectacular happened.”

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January 5 launched an unprecedented YouTube sensation for Walk off the Earth. Even celebrities around the globe were tweeting about this social media phenomenon. She, along with the other band members, performed a contagious cover of European artist Gotye’s song, “Somebody That I Used to Know.” They filmed a clever video in one take, featuring five people singing and playing one acoustic guitar. With over one hundred million views to date, the concept contained all the magic ingredients, and it changed their music career forever. Sarah says she never would have guessed. “It was really just a typical video shoot for us. It turned out to be one of the easiest shoots we had done to date. In fact, we shot it the same night we released it. We had the video up by 4am on January 5 and by 10am [that same morning], I woke up to phone calls of people telling me that something spectacular was happening with the video.” The following days were a whirlwind. Media from all corners of the globe wanted facetime with the band. Within weeks, they appeared on the Ellen Show and met with major label executives wanting to sign the band. “That was pretty surreal. A bunch of things were happening and we were trying to keep our feet on the ground and stay aware of what was going on. In the end, it led to us signing a deal with Columbia records. They were the right choice for us. Then we started touring pretty much right away. We haven’t been home for longer than two weeks at a time for almost a full year. It’s been just madness!”

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arah says her yoga practice continued to ground her during the flurry of the last year. Even when being alone was impossible, she’d throw on her earphones and steal a second or two for a few long breaths. “Yoga is one of the things that I’ll never live without. No matter how intense or scattered or consistent my practice is, it’s always a part of me. I always come back to grounding my mind and body with my yoga. It’s a form of therapy for me. Sometimes I need it more than others. It’s my rock; it’s always there when I need it and when I don’t. Yoga is definitely a massive part of my support system in life.” Now yoga is here for Sarah in a whole new way. In late 2012 she and Gianni received the happy news that they were expecting their first baby, due this summer. The pair was overjoyed, though the timing initially had Sarah’s head spinning. Walk off the Earth was ramping up for a European tour and album release. Like most new moms, she wondered if she’d have to put her career on hold to start a family. Sarah’s worries were easily quelled by the support of her family, her bandmates, and of course, Gianni. “I’m terrified. I’m convinced that no one is ever fully confident in what having a child will be like, at least for their first baby. Fortunately, I have incredible people surrounding and supporting me and that has helped me grow a lot of confidence throughout this experience. Thanks to this support I know I can be a musician and a mom; I feel truly blessed.” While Sarah’s juggling act might look a little more glamorous than the average mom-to-be, her challenges and fears are universal. Fuelled by the vibrancy of her role in Walk off the Earth, her solo music projects, and her yoga practice, she says she feels more grounded and ready than ever to embrace life’s gifts. “When I started being true to myself and understanding my own art, I discovered that it was never about fame or fortune for me in this industry. It’s about loving what I do, being passionate about it, and taking paths that will challenge me. Being honest in my music and as an artist . . . has helped me to become the person I am today. I hope to approach parenthood the same way. It’s exciting and comforting when you reach a point in your life where you feel stronger and more confident than ever. I’m so happy to be here.”

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TREAD LIGHTLY ON EARTH DAY 10 simple ways to go green By Earth Day Canada

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e live in a disposable culture. Our smartphones and computers become obsolete almost as soon as we buy them. We use throwaway food containers and plastic utensils on a daily basis. We purchase clothing on sale or for special occasions that we wear once or never at all. Whether consumer goods, energy, water, or food, most of us are guilty of buying or using far more than we need. It’s up to us to protect our precious natural resources! It’s time to take ownership of our consumption and rethink wasteful habits. April 22 is Earth Day. Commit to yourself, your family, and your community this spring by making small and effective lifestyle changes that will lessen your impact on the planet. Easier said than done? We don’t think so! What follows are 10 conservation tips that you can apply to all aspects of your life. From home to office and even your exercise routine, there are things you can do to lead a greener life.

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GREEN YOUR OFFICE 1. Leave the wheels at home. The average passenger vehicle emits about 5.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. Instead of driving to work, walk, bike, or take the transit. If those options aren’t viable, consider organizing a carpool among colleagues or people in the neighbourhood. Fewer vehicles on the road means cleaner air for everyone. 2. Litterless lunches taste better. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians produced over 1000kg of waste per person in 2006. Don’t contribute to the glut. Invest in sturdy, reusable lunch containers and utensils. Steer clear of plastic containers for your lunches and try stainless steel water bottles or tempered glass food containers; they’re better for you and the environment. Bonus: packing a healthy lunch will not only save money but rescue you from the siren song of easy, greasy, fast food. 3. Break it down. While most offices recycle, fewer compost. Take the initiative to set up a composting bin and schedule in your office kitchen. Think of all of the coffee grounds and banana peels alone! 4. Flick the switch. Turn off all lights, computers, and monitors at the end of the day. Connect electronics to sources with a power bar that will prevent “energy leakage.” Turning lights off saves energy and helps to save birds! When the lights are off, there’s an 83% reduction in the number of birds injured or killed by flying into office building windows.

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF EARTH DAY CANADA

Office

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GREEN YOUR HOME 5. Everything old is new again. It’s tempting to buy new things when we tire of the old ones, but there’s something to be said for making do with what you have. Repair and refinish a dingy piece of furniture in a bold colour or re-upholster with a unique fabric for a one-of-a-kind piece; that’s just as good as buying new! Scour estate auctions and antique shops for well-made used items that will last generations. 6. Shower power. Install a low-flow shower head to cut back on your family’s water use. Look for a shower head that uses no more than 11 litres per minute. Installing a low-flush toilet is also a great step, but you can do it yourself by lowering a juice or milk container full of sand into your toilet tank to offset the amount of water used per flush. 7. Put on a sweater. Mom’s old familiar refrain holds great wisdom. Turn down the heat a couple degrees (or turn it off entirely by now—it’s spring!) and get cozy in a nice warm sweater instead.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLE BEDARD

Gordie Wornoff gives new life to the worn down. The professional salvager and carpenter (seen in his element on The Discovery Channel’s Junk Raiders) renovates homes and creates gallery-worthy furniture using discarded materials: “I rely as little on big industry as possible,” says Wornoff, who was honoured last year with a Hometown Heroes small business award from Earth Day Canada. In addition to using the discards of others, Wornoff ensures that he creates as little waste as possible. Many of Wornoff’s leftover wooden scraps, for instance, are given to a friend who burns them to help fuel an organic greenhouse farm. Mindful of indoor air quality and off-gassing, Wornoff avoids toxic materials when refinishing wood, opting for beeswax and natural oils instead. By eschewing a reliance on industrial processes and materials that can have deleterious and far-reaching environmental and health impacts, Wornoff proves that there are better ways to create and consume products: “We need things to live,” he allows, “But I think a lot of us overdo it.” ahigherplane.ca

Home

Gordie Wornoff

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Fitness

GREEN YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE 8. Nix plastic bottles. Plastic water bottles are an ongoing environmental concern. Forty million plastic bottles are discarded every day; all that garbage has to go somewhere! Don’t forget the environmental costs of manufacturing plastic and the health concerns of drinking from bottles that may leach chemicals. Switch to a reusable stainless steel water container—they’re healthier, more durable, and come in a diverse range of sizes, styles, and colours. 9. Get outside! While treadmills and stair machines don’t use much electricity, exercising the old-fashioned way uses none at all! Take advantage of the longer daylight hours and start walking, running, and doing yoga outside again. Now’s the perfect time to ramp up your routine while enjoying the beauty and inspiration of spring. 10. Bamboo or bust. From yoga pants to running shoes, activewear is big business (a multi-billion dollar industry, in fact). And while dressing appropriately and comfortably for your workout is important, no one needs 17 pairs of spandex shorts in the closet. The great thing about workout gear is that you can look like a total dork and not worry about it! It’s as good a time as any to wear that ugly old rock concert tee featuring a band you’re embarrassed you ever liked. But, if you must look stylish and purchase new active wear, lean towards eco-friendly materials like bamboo and hemp—they’re comfortable and breathable natural fabrics that use less water and fewer chemicals than cotton.

Earth Day Canada Are you ready to step towards helping green the planet? How about 30 small-ish steps? This April, Earth Day Canada is issuing an actionbased challenge to Canadians of all ages to change the way they live, work, and play in the hopes that green actions will become lifelong green habits. There are so many things we can do to improve the state of our environment—as individuals, as families, and as entire communities. And by improving the state of the environment, we ultimately improve our own health.

Each week in April will assume a different theme, supported by a Challenge of the Day on the Earth Day Canada Facebook page. From purging cleaning products with harmful toxins from your home to going vegetarian for a day, our challenges will be simple, effective, and educational. Challenge yourself. Challenge a friend. Challenge your entire office. And keep us updated on your progress. Follow Earth Day Canada on Facebook (facebook.com/ EarthDayCanada) and Twitter (@EarthDayCanada) to learn about the simple things you can do to take action.

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Do Yoga W

e see the cycle of healing, restoration, and rebirth cropping up on the mat as Bee Bosnak shares how yoga can mend a broken heart. Orlando Batista follows up with an advanced sequence sturdy enough to provide strength, flexibility, and endurance, and Sarah Blackwood rocks out 5 postures to accommodate the fruits of our labour—literally! Finally, our Moksha Yoga community resuscitates the warrior spirit with their 7-week Grow Your Yoga Challenge, starting May 1. Phew. Now grab your mat cause this is a yogic whirlwind!

MaRch/apRil SUMMER 2013 2012 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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DO YOGA

Heart Healers 4 poses to open your heart

BY BEE BOSNAK

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n yogic philosophy, the heart, also known as the muladhara chakra, is the emotional core and represents healing and compassion. It’s believed that a person with an open heart is more centred, compassionate, and loving. When we think of mending the heart, we often associate it with romance, yet there are many forms of love, the most important being selflove. Finding love for the self at the deepest level allows us to both give and receive love from others. The first step in healing your heart is to recognize your inner light. When the heart centre is blocked, it can be difficult to truly feel, let alone see your light. Emotional release is a great way to dissolve blockages around the heart, whether they are pain, guilt, or another type of suffering stored there. If you have a broken heart, the most difficult task is to be still and feel the ache. Yet that’s exactly what must be done. Keep reminding yourself that you must grieve in order to move on. Once your heart is bruised and burned, whether from a relationship that ended, a death in the family, or a lost friendship, you have two options: 1. Start closing off your heart to others, until eventually no one will be able to get in; or 2. Love again, as deeply and intensely as you did before. I urge you to love again. The heart is a beautiful and powerful energy centre, and it affects your daily life. It controls the flow of energy by opening and closing. If you observe yourself closely, you’ll know exactly how it feels when the heart is open and when it’s closed. An open-hearted person is full of joy, enthusiasm, inspiration, and love. Someone with a closed heart is full of anxiety and negativity, has tightness in the chest and low energy. The heart is the centre of the most beautiful human emotion and

the tie that binds us all: love. But the joy of the heart centre cannot be experienced to its highest potential if it’s blocked by the shadow emotions of grief, jealousy, wanting, resentment, or hatred. Conscious breathing and yoga postures are an excellent method of purifying your heart centre. As the heart centre is purified, your breath will become more expansive and your posture will change. When you allow lightness to enter, energy is formed within you. When you’re filled with energy, you feel like you can take on the world; creativity and inspiration flow through you. Open your heart to love on a daily basis, and in the process, practice self-love. Your intention is to connect with the spiritual heart. When you do, you’ll realize that the emotionally broken heart is actually fully whole, strong, and wise. For some this realization comes quickly, and for others, establishing this pathway is a longer process. You might connect to “pieces” of your heart at a time. Perhaps you’ll experience an acute awareness of your heart’s imprisonment, or your inner space may remain silent for a while. Whatever happens, just remember that you’re exactly where you should be. Heart-opening postures traditionally emphasize opening the chest; try exploring both the front and back of the heart through movement and holding. You give love from the front of the heart and receive love from the back of the heart. In fact, any posture can be a heart opener if you bring your attention to the energetic expansions and contractions in that area. When you’re ready, come to a relaxed state, free of distractions, and focus on your heart centre. Express gratitude for its life-giving service, its protection and guidance. When you’ve established a connection, you might want to ask some questions. Then be quiet and listen to the response of your inner voice–it will always speak the truth.

MODEL: BEE BOSNAK PHOTOGRAPHY: FAVESTUDIOS.COM

“There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart.” ~ Chandogya Upanishad

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CAMEL: 1. Come to a kneeling position, sitting back on the heels with the toes turned under. 2. Reaching backwards, grasp the left ankle with the left hand and right ankle with the right hand. 3. Inhale through the nose and lift the buttocks off the heels. Arch the back and press the abdomen forwards. Gently tilt the head back. 4. Hold for 2 to 5 breaths. 5. Exhale and return to kneeling.

FISH: 1. Lie on your back with the legs crossed (or in Lotus Pose). 2. Arch your back and push into the elbows to lift the head off the ground. 3. Rest the crown of your head on the floor, using the forearms and elbows to support you. 4. Expand your chest and breathe deeply into the abdomen. 5. To come out of the pose, push into the elbows and lift your head off the mat; come to a supine (lying down) position.

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DO YOGA

EXTRA CHALLENGE POSE: MERMAID 1. Begin in Downward Facing Dog. 2. Inhale and lift your right leg high, drawing the knee in behind the right wrist, with the foot angled out to the left. This is Half-Pigeon Pose. 3. Keep the spine long, with the hips and torso facing forwards. Breathe deeply into the quadriceps. 4. Bend the back leg and grab onto the foot or ankle with your left hand. Use the right hand on the floor to aid in balancing. If this is enough, stay here and breathe. Focus on extending up through the crown of the head, keeping the shoulders strongly drawing into their sockets. 5. To enter the full pose, slowly bring the left foot to the inner left forearm, until it rests in the crease of the elbow. Press your foot firmly into your arm to activate the leg. 6. With a long spine, lift the right arm overhead. Bend the elbow and reach behind the head to clasp your hands. 7. Use the strength of your legs to elongate the spine. Activating the legs in this pose will help to prevent compression in the lower back. 8. Release the pose after a few breaths. Come to Downward Facing Dog and repeat on the other side.

SPHINX: 1. Lie face down with your arms overhead and legs straight out behind you. Rest your forehead on the floor. 2. Bend the elbows and slide the hands towards you, palms down. Rest on the forearms, with the elbows directly beneath the shoulders. 3. Lift your chest forward and up, while maintaining length in your neck and keeping the shoulders down and relaxed. 4. Press your hips, legs, and feet into the mat for support; try not to squeeze the buttocks muscles. 5. If you are comfortable here, look forward and draw the crown of the head towards the ceiling. 6. Hold for 15 seconds to 1 minute.

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DO YOGA

The Journey A path to flexibility, strength and endurance BY ORLANDO BATISTA

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his is a relatively advanced sequence not designed for beginners. Start with three or four Sun Salutations of your choice to prepare your body for this more advanced sequence. You can also incorporate these postures into a larger practice. This sequence opens the front body (quadriceps, hips, core, and shoulders) to prepare some deep backbends. Each posture not only develops flexibility but also increases strength and endurance, promoting a full body experience. Hold each pose for five breaths (ujjayi breath, through the nose) or longer, depending on your goal. Always seek ease and steadiness of the breath in each asana. If the breath is strained, you’ll increase the amount of anxiety and tension in your muscles, making it harder to achieve the final pose. Our yoga practice is a metaphor for life: if we push too hard in our daily experience, then we miss the present moment. Although these postures can be mastered by those with the physical abilities, the journey to the final pose is what’s most important. The journey tells a story of both our physical and our internal worlds, so listen intently. Incorporate a cool down sequence that moves your body towards Savasana. Savasana allows the fruits of our practice to settle in and provides a beautiful gateway from our internal yoga consciousness back into the “real world.”

GODDESS POSE VARIATION #1 Take a wide stance and turn your feet out to a 35 to 45 degree angle. Bend your knees in the direction of your toes, aiming to align the knees over the ankles. For better balance, keep your bum slightly above the knees. Draw your hands behind your back into reverse prayer, or a variation that works better for you. Work towards a neutral pelvis. Avoid popping the ribs forward and draw the shoulders away from the ears. Gently press your hands into your back to further open the deltoids (shoulders).

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVE GILLESPIE

ORLANDO BATISTA is a certified yoga teacher, vegan, raw-foodist, humanitarian and entrepreneur. His passion is teaching people about the importance of breath and the many facets of health. You can find him teaching at the yoga sanctuary downtown studios. theyogasanctuary.net

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NAVASANA (BOAT POSE) Place your hands behind you and come to a seated position. Bring your knees towards your chest and lean back far enough to balance on the fleshy area between your sit bones and your tailbone (this posture might be challenging for people whose tail bone sticks out more than usual. Bring your hands to the backs of your knees and move towards your legs; aim to have the torso at a 45 degree angle. If possible, release your legs and bring your arms and legs to the floor. If you feel strong, then straighten the legs. Engage your lower belly and draw your shoulders back. Over time these two actions will create more length in the torso. GODDESS POSE VARIATION #2 Tilt forward, bringing your torso as close to parallel to the earth as you can. Feel the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus muscles, core, and spinal muscles strengthening. Extend the arms parallel to the torso and draw your shoulders back. This pose works the glutes nicely if held for a longer time.

SALAMBA SARVANGASANA (SHOULDER STAND) Lying on your back, bring the hands alongside the body and press down while lifting the legs towards the ceiling. During this transition, start to roll your shoulders under, and bring your hands to your back. It is important to be mindful of your limits in this posture. At no time should any part of your neck be touching the floor. Rolling your shoulders under brings the scapulae together and creates a shelf to protect your neck (the cervical spine). As you press down into your shoulders and triceps, engage your lower belly and reach through the root of all five toes. Feel the lightness that comes with this full body activation as energy moves upwards from the floor (this may take some time to experience).

HALASANA (PLOUGH POSE) Lower the legs to the floor behind your head, allowing the hands to come to the mat behind your back. The full version of this pose brings the hands together while interlacing the fingers. Pressing down into the arms and shoulders, your sit bones reach for the ceiling. Draw the lower belly in as you aim for maximum length through the back. Press the tops of the feet gently into the floor. Halasana creates an even deeper opening in the shoulder blades and neck than Shoulder Stand and should only be attempted by advanced practitioners. Alternatives include simply lowering your knees to your head and crossing the ankles. Coming out of Halasana, bring your hands to the mat and lower down or take your legs towards the ceiling first and lower down from there. If you feel tension in the neck after Halasana, perhaps transition into Matsyasana (Fish Pose) for a few breaths or another pose that allows you to lower your head back. Finally, take time to rest in Savasana.

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DO YOGA

Prenatal Preparation 5 poses for expecting moms

BY DOMINIQUE SY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIN BLACKWOOD

P

renatal yoga is the number one exercise recommended for pregnancy. During pregnancy the skeletal body, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system change dramatically. Many yoga poses help to relieve common pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, back and hip pain, sciatica, swelling, and indigestion. Other poses aid in preparation for labour and birth by creating more space around the hips and groin. Prenatal yoga techniques such as breathing exercises, positions, and visualizations can easily be applied during childbirth as a way to cope with the demands of labour. Evidence indicates that women who practice prenatal yoga have an easier, shorter, and more comfortable birth experience and recover more quickly than woman who don’t practice prenatal yoga. As your pregnancy progresses, modify the poses as needed. Be mindful of the hormone relaxin, which softens the ligaments in the body, resulting in increased flexibility. Honour your body’s ability and embrace change as you nurture this special relationship with your baby. The following sequence of poses aids in building a strong foundation and will assist you in finding stability and focus as you move through all trimesters. You will feel invigorated, centred, and rejuvenated simultaneously.

DOMINIQUE SY is a Registered Yoga Teacher specializing in pre- and postnatal yoga. She has a keen interest in the well-being of women through preconception, pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Dominique is also a certified HypnoBirthing® childbirth educator and a DONA trained birth doula. She lives in Burlington with her husband and two daughters. Find out more at hypnobirthingburlington.com

TREE POSE (VRKSASANA) Tree Pose stabilizes the pelvis and opens the hips. During pregnancy the centre of gravity shifts with the growing belly. A steady sense of balance helps you to feel centred, focused, and comfortable as the pregnancy progresses. TRY IT: Stand in Mountain Pose. Shift the weight onto the left leg and ground down through the foot. Choose a focal point to help with balance. Lift the right knee, turn it to the side, and place the foot against the calf or inner thigh. Bring the hands to the belly or together in front of the chest. Inhale and extend the spine. If balance is a challenge, hold onto a chair or a wall.

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MODEL: SARAH BLACKWOOD LOCATION: MOKSHA YOGA BURLINGTON STUDIO

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WARRIOR I (VIRABHADRASANA I) Warrior I helps to build strength and stamina required for labour. It strengthens the legs, shoulders, chest, and arms. It improves breathing, relieves backache, and releases heaviness in the abdomen. TRY IT: From Mountain Pose, step the right leg about 3 1/2 to 4 feet back. Turn the foot out about 45 degrees. Square the hips to the front of the mat. Lift the arms overhead and bend the right knee on the exhale. Press the left heel down, drop the shoulders away from the ears, and spread the fingers wide. Breathe fully into the chest and belly. Feel how this pose energizes the body and brings a sense of courage.

EAGLE POSE (GARUDASANA) Eagle Pose strengthens the legs and pelvic floor. It helps to relieve backache and sciatica. TRY IT: Stand in Mountain Pose. Bend your knees slightly and cross your right thigh over the left. Hook the right foot around the left calf. Bring the arms out in front and cross the left arm over the right. Bring the palms to touch. Lift the elbows in front of the heart. Breathe in between the shoulder blades and into the belly. If you have trouble with balance, rest your back against the wall. If you can’t hook the lifted foot around the calf, press the big toe against the floor. If you are in your third trimester and the pose restricts your belly, forgo the legs and do the arms only.

4 DANCER’S POSE (NATARAJASANA) Dancer’s Pose tones and strengthens the legs and hips. It stretches the shoulders and chest. It also stretches the diaphragm, making it easier to breathe. TRY IT: From Mountain Pose shift your weight onto the left leg. Bend the right knee and grasp the inside of the right foot with your hand. Extend the left arm towards the sky. Slowly bring your torso and the left arm forward. Lift the right knee up. Try bracing your left hand against a wall to help you stay stable. Extend on the inhale and come deeper into the pose as you exhale. Feel how Natarajasana stretches your lower back, helping to remove any back tension or tightness.

5 BOUND ANGLE POSE (BADDHA KONASANA) Bound Angle Pose helps to open up the hips to prepare for labour and delivery. It also tones the pelvic floor. TRY IT: Sit down with the legs out in front. Draw the soles of your feet together. Let the knees gently soften out to the sides. Bring your hands to your belly and connect with your baby. Take a few long, deep breaths into the belly. Feel the belly expand as you inhale and soften towards the spine as you exhale.

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Grow Your Yoga! Y

oga is more than just a series of postures you practice on a sticky mat a few times a week. It is also a practice in focus and awareness that literally has the power to transform your mind and body, bringing peace into your day. This is exactly what Jessica Robertson and Ted Grand, co-founders of Moksha Yoga, had in mind when they created the Grow Your Yoga challenge (formerly called Living Your Moksha) - a month long campaign that encourages participants to take their yoga off the mat and into their daily lives. “Off the mat” is a phrase commonly used to describe the idea that yoga can happen anywhere. However, this does not simply mean busting out your Dancer’s Pose while in line at the local Starbucks. So, what exactly does it mean? Many people are unaware of the emotional and sometimes spiritual benefits that yoga has to offer. Instead, it’s often the physical practice and the promise of a tight “yoga butt” that brings first-time students into the hot room. They show up for the sweat, but often leave feeling . . . different. They feel more than just the dull ache of a hard workout, though they might not understand what that feeling is. Through the Grow Your Yoga challenge, students are encouraged to explore those warm and fuzzy post-Savasana feelings and are inspired to create change “off the

BY ASHLEY COLLINS

mat.” Moksha Yoga teachers and studio owners believe that the unlimited benefits of the practice are accessible to all and can enrich the lives of both the students themselves and those around them. With that in mind, we endeavour to create a more peaceful life and a more balanced world. This year’s challenge begins on May 1st and runs until May 30. Guided by Moksha Yoga’s 7 Pillars (Be Healthy, Be Accessible, Live Green, Sangha Support, Reach Out, Live to Learn, and Be Peace), students will have the opportunity to engage in two different challenges each week: one ONthe-mat challenge and one OFF-the-mat challenge. Sign-up begins on April 10th through the Moksha Yoga website (mokshayoga.ca). Net proceeds from the campaign will be donated to the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (maasaitrust.org) - this year’s charitable partner. The MWCT works to “protect the legendary ecosystems and astounding biodiversity of East Africa,” and guided by our 5th pillar– Reach Out–our goal is to raise $100,000 to help. With over 3500 participants, we raised the same amount last year for Free the Children, in order to build seven schools in seven different countries in the developing world. What an impact! Join us in making this year’s challenge the best one yet! Together, we can BE change, inspire change, and start growing our yoga.

For more information about this year’s challenge and the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, please visit the Grow Your Yoga website at growyouryoga.ca. To receive daily challenge information, tips, and inspiration, please follow Moksha Yoga: Facebook: facebook.com/MokshaHotYoga | Twitter: @MokshaYoga | Instagram: instagram.com/mokshahotyoga

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF MOKSHA YOGA

Inspiring an on AND off-the-mat practice

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THE 7 PILLARS OF MOKSHA YOGA: 1. Be Healthy– we work to support lifelong health for the body and mind. 2. Be Accessible–we endeavour to be accessible in our language, our yoga postures and the way we run our studios. 3. Live Green–we endeavour to protect and serve the natural world. 4. Sangha Support–we work to create and support community. 5. Reach Out–It’s all about karma yoga . . . using our creativity and sense of community to support others. 6. Live to Learn–How boring would life be if we decided that we already knew everything we needed to know?! 7. Be Peace–we offer the benefits of our practice to all beings everywhere.

EDWARD NORTON ON THE MWCT: “The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust represents the cutting edge of the effort we all need to make to harmonize human needs and environmental sustainability. I understand when people say, ‘Why work on something so far from home?’ or ‘What do the Maasai people and African wildlife have to do with our lives and our challenges?’ My answer is that every day we learn more about how interconnected the natural systems on the planet are and recognize that we all rely on healthy ecosystems to support our lives . . . even ones that are far from where we live. Figuring out how people in developing countries can thrive without destroying some of the world’s most important natural resources will be a great challenge of the 21st century. And supporting this effort will tune you into the details of how that challenge will actually be met.”

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When Pain is Your Guru Rise to the challenge BY ERYN KIRKWOOD, MA, RYT200

I

n yogic mythology there exists a Hindu god named Ganesha. Easily identifiable as the male figure with an elephant head, Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles. Invoking him is said to encourage success in all endeavours. When I first started yoga, I was at what I now refer to as the bartering stage. My faith was limited, thus so too was my capacity for pain, spiritual growth, or introspection. I was driven by the senses, or more specifically, by what felt good. My interest in Ganesha was recently renewed and I discovered the following: “What is not commonly known especially in the West by people who are trying to learn Hinduism is that [Ganesha] is not simply the remover of obstacles but also the placer of obstacles” (gnosticteachings. org). What first drew me to the elephant-headed God was a desire for quick fixes. And in my search for relief, be it physical, mental, or spiritual, I lacked the wisdom and courage to see the opportunities for growth that lay before me. Nothing’s more inspiring than one who has overcome the odds to rise to the top, not just to survive, but to thrive: a man without arms and legs throws self-pity aside to carry the message of not giving up (Nick Vujicic); a homeless man borne into alcoholism, abuse, illiteracy, and child abandonment becomes a millionaire and CEO of his own brokerage firm (Chris Gardner); and a single mom on social assistance catapults her way to 5th place on the UK’s list of richest women (J.K. Rowling). For each of these mentors, their greatest gift was their hardship and an outright refusal to accept defeat. They had the drive, motivation, passion, and dedication to keep pushing no matter what—to stop praying for the struggle to leave and start praying for the strength to endure.

Eryn resides in Ottawa, Ontario, where she offers yoga workshops and classes. Writing for Eryn is a passion that began at age 8 with her first journal and continues today with her blog, RighteousYogini.com. Visit ErynsYoga.com for more info.

“If there’s no struggle, there’s no progress.” -Frederick Douglass

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ENLIGHTEN UP

Three Qualities of a Winner Now, pick two BY BONNIE LYNCH

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here’s a saying about the three things you look for in a good bike: it should be sturdy, lightweight, and affordable. The follow-up saying is, of those three qualities, you’d better decide which two are most important, because you can’t have all three. When it comes to our larger-thanlife celebrities, we’d like to believe they have superhuman strength, unflinching discipline, and the integrity of a saint. Of these, which one are we willing to compromise? What are the qualities we love our superstars for, and which frailties do we love them in spite of? Lance could no more host a ratings-busting talk show than Oprah could finish first at Alpe d’Huez; yet both celebs have been elevated to the stratosphere of superstardom as “winners” (even if one of them has recently had to eject and bail back to earth), and the world loves a winner of any stripe. But all winners have their

Achilles’ heel. Superman was squeaky clean and disciplined, but his strength was zapped by Kryptonite; modern-day mega-goddess Oprah has stumbled more than once on the hard speed bump of discipline but bounces back with the redeeming qualities of personal

our mortal bonds exists somewhere, if not in ourselves. We dwell in the possibility, however remote, that with enough determination and discipline we might also rise above the mundane and hold the shining star of perfection. That person on the podium or at the microphone could be us; their example shows us what we need to do. This attitude has undoubtedly helped heal countless trampled spirits, broken bodies, and fragile relationships. When our heroes fail, they take many of us down with them, at least until we can come to terms with their flaws, which often turn out to be strikingly similar to our own. Titanium is strong and lightweight, but it’s not cheap. Steel is sturdy and affordable, but heavy. So winners always have to decide whether they want to cross the finish line first, even if it costs them everything, or if they should hang back, take a new path, and amass some fortunes of a different kind.

“When our heroes fail, they take many of us down with them, at least until we can come to terms with their flaws, which often turn out to be strikingly similar to our own.”

ILLUSTRATION BY JASON HORNING

strength against adversity and the integrity to come clean about her own foibles. And coming clean is never easy. Sometimes it takes a long soak in fairly scathing temperatures before the layers start to melt away. In some dark recess of our own exquisite nature, we hope that the power to transcend

march/april 2013 | WWW.SWEATEQUITYMAGAZINE.COM

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SWEAT ETIQUETTE

LOUD BREATHING GUY Y Your best teacher

BY ERIN MORAGHAN

ou arrive to class. Ahhhhh. No cell phones ringing, no babies crying, no to-do list in sight. Peace at last. And then you spot him. Loud Breathing Guy. Why is he always right in front of you? You must stay calm. You close your eyes, envisioning ocean waves, a sandy beach, and a clear blue sky. You’re Zen enough to block out LBG, right? Maybe he has a rare medical condition that causes his breathing to sound like an old chainsaw. It’s possible. Fifteen minutes goes by and you’re acutely aware that you’ve spent your entire practice lost in breath . . . HIS breath. We’ve all experienced Loud Breathing Guy or Gal. This might also be the person who has to have the exact same spot in class and who inevitably busts out a fancy arm balance when everyone else is in Tree Pose. So what’s the deal with LBGs? They often come across as seasoned yogis, so new students don’t say anything. They figure this must be what happens when you become the real yoga deal: you start breathing like a grizzly bear in heat. So instead of mentioning it to your teacher, you spend the entire class seeking optimal moments to glare at LBG in the mirror, wishing there were yoga bouncers who might throw your archnemesis out the back door. None of this feels very yogic! I’ve heard teachers advise students on how to deal with distractions in class (LBG has friends like Mat Slap-Down Girl, Key-Jangly Guy, and Loud Sigher). They’ll often say, “They’re so consumed in their own world, they don’t even realize they’re being distracting. Send them compassion and love.” This is the idea we yogis strive for, sending buckets of loving kindness to every jerk who cuts us off, butts in line, or steals our parking spot. You need to be one hell of an angel to live by this rule authentically. If we try without believing, we come off as self-righteous, right? Smiling at the guy writing your parking ticket? Personally, I’m not there yet. But this little mantra I learned from my old boss, Pam, does help me along: “It isn’t about me.” Loud Breathing Guy is not intentionally trying to ruin my yoga practice. He’s just rolling through life doing his best, much like the rest of us. And, newsflash: we all do annoying things. We just don’t realize it because they’re not annoying to us! We can all use a free pass from time to time—even Darth Vader. LBG, you’re teaching us a valuable lesson: thanks to you we’re all getting a bit better at letting things slide.

ERIN MORAGHAN is an ex-corporate gal who teaches yoga and writes. She’s written for companies and publications big and small, crafting content for things like websites, press campaigns, speeches, and ads. For more info., see ponderlust.ca

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