After a long day at the office and hours spent wrangling kids, all most people want is to unwind with a bottle of pinot and Netflix. And though it may be tempting to push your gym plans aside for your couch, physical fitness is in fast the key to truly relaxing both mentally and physically at the end of the day. Out of the box fitness classes and sports leagues are becoming increasingly popular; forming fun and healthy solutions to repetitive and mundane fitness routines. You’ll never get sick of staying fit again!
HOT YOGA Hot yoga has become a must try physical activity for individuals looking to increase strength and flexibility while easing into an active lifestyle. But the benefits reach far past toning your muscles; increased adaptability and mental stability, improved focus and evacuated poisons from your internal organs are only a few to name on the long list of benefits. Moksha Yoga in St. Catharines, an independent hot yoga studio committed to ethical, compassionate and environmentally conscious living, believes that the benefits of yoga are limitless for every skill level. “You just need to come in and be yourself,” said Tracy Duru, a yogi and the owner, director and a teacher at Moksha Yoga. “The most common things we hear is that we are not in shape enough or not flexible enough to try yoga. We have this idea that you have to prepare to be really good at something before we do it in a group and it holds people back from trying something that can be great for them.” Moksha offers newcomers a 30-day introductory month of yoga at a vastly discounted rate of $40 dollars – compared to the regular $88 dollar monthly fee with a three month commitment – giving beginners the chance to see how the practice will suit them before they commit. “It is a hot and sweaty practice,” said Duru. “We heat the room with radiant panels from the ceiling so it is not a forced air heat. It heats the surfaces of the body, heats the floors and the ceilings but not the air. For some people, they love the heat and they know they want to feel that. Others are hesitant and some people come in and they actually don’t like the heat at all but they try and love it.” Moksha as well holds a set series that has participants focusing on being mindful of their breath, teaching those who lead stressful lives how breathing can keep them grounded in tough situations. “Our lives are going to keep going and getting busier and busier and time is getting faster and faster and that is not going to stop,” said Duru. “But this practice helps people become mindful; so they can take the practice off of their mat and into traffic jams and moments when you’re sitting across from your boss in an awkward confrontation or to when your kids are screaming and yelling. Breath can act as a tool to calm and balance and keep me present. It can get you out of that reactionary mode we are always in and start to connect the practice inside of the room on our mats to outside of the room into our lives.”
ARCHERY Archery has become increasingly popular in recent years for both men and women looking to get outdoors and re-connect with their primal selves. Open year round, Barefoot Bushcraft in Niagara-on-theLake has been providing individuals of all skill levels the opportunity to enjoy hands-on outdoor activities since opening in 2009. With a training focus on building relationships between yourself, others and the environment, Barefoot Bushcraft is ideal for those looking to meet new people and get outside for some truly unique physical activity. Newcomers are given guided traditional archery and slingshot lessons by trained archery coaches with all lessons taking places on Olympic class outdoor ranges. Each lesson covers a variety of safety procedures and techniques, including the ten basic steps to shooting to get you started. “Archery is fantastic for people who want to be physically active but may not have the coordination to run and jump,” said Wolf Starchild, owner and chief instructor at Barefoot Bushcraft. “It takes real concentration, strength and stability so it is a very much a physical activity. You’re focusing on your breathing and balance and strength similar to how you do with yoga.” Lessons are tailored towards both individuals and groups and all prices have been kept reasonable despite the increased popularity in the sport; introductory lessons are $30 dollars for the first hour and $20 dollars afterwards. With his background in professional outdoor education, Starchild said their main focus is getting people active and outside. “We try to keep our costs low to better encourage people to get fit and get out and keep active,” said Starchild. “We work hard to make it comfortable and easy for people to have fun with groups and get out there.” Archery classes are encouraged for all ages who are interested in trying the sport. “We are really bringing something new to the Niagara Region that makes fitness fun,” said Starchild. “It is a very non-threatening sport. If you go out into the world and say ‘I like guns,’ people are not all that accepting of that. if you go out and say you like archery people get really into that and ask questions.”
For prices and inquiries visit: st-catharines.mokshayoga.ca
For more activities and inquiries visit: barefootbushcraft.com >>