Tag Archives: yoga

Doing What You Don’t Want To Do

Want to explore the depths of human suffering? (Yeah, me neither) Try reffing 6 games with diarrhea and a broken finger.

Consider this. Between games you’ve got about 7 minutes while the Zamboni cleans the ice. You have to remove your reffing shirt, underlying neck-guard shirt, suspenders, padded shorts, jock-shorts, tights and underwear, maneuvering in the cubicle with skates on. Lining the seat with toilet paper with a finger broken from a shot in the first game.

Ouch!! It’s not a pretty picture.

You hear a lot platitudes about pursuing your dream. But is that an accurate portrayal of reality. Or is it a breeding ground for misconceptions and thwarted expectations.

If you own your own business you know it’s not always glamorous. You’re the guy moping the floor and scrubbing the toilet. Doing your taxes, for example, isn’t considered fun and sexy, but that needs to be done too. A little humility is more useful than dreams of glory.

The same goes for your workout. You have to switch the focus to the very thing you’re trying to avoid. And for some, especially at the beginning, that might be the whole idea of working out at all.

How’s this for a platitude? Do what you don’t want to do! And do a lot of it. In fact, keep doing it until, to your amazement, you actually enjoy it. You enjoy the challenge of doing a 10 minute plank. Something miraculous happens, the pain is something your body and mind is suddenly okay with.

Make working out as much of a pleasure as you can by rewarding yourself with a delicious smoothie beforehand, a favourable environment, infrared heaters to warm your bones and increase flexibility, maybe even a gourmet meal afterwards. As we so often do here at Panacea. All so you can work on the very things you initially didn’t want to deal with.

Sore joints, excess weight, shortness of breath, floppy triceps, skinny legs, flat butt. These things are fixable. Face the music. You’ll be glad you did.

Hope to see you soon at Panacea! Ciao, Pietro

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Suicidal Inactivity

The body is forgiving. It can come back from the brink. Once you finally find your groove, the body almost miraculously resuscitates from physical activity.

It’s the mind that gets in the way. The longer you wait, the more decades go by, the better you are at dodging the elephant in the room. You became a genius at rationalizing your own suicidal inactivity.

Life is for the living. At no time are you more alive than when your heart is pounding, and your muscles are stretched and straining toward the horizon.

Human beings are made to strive. The alternative is no life at all.

Salute, Pepito

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Yoga Heloise-style


Heloise Chong

Working out shouldn’t feel this good, speaks the guilty conscience. There should be more agony, or at least drudgery.

We’ve got it all wrong. The best exercise is when it doesn’t feel like suffering at all.

You may even think you’ve gone to heaven. Heloise, pronounced with the H silent, will take you there.

Don’t think it’s not unwinding the knot that is your body. At 23, Heloise comes out of a competitive gymnastics background. As you can see notably in her Crow’s pose.

Heloise Demonstrating The Crow

Diminutive Heloise, with one parent Chinese and the other French, has taught in Hong Kong, China and Toronto.

Heloise defines Namaste, the divine light in me sees the divine in you.

Come take her class at Panacea Studio. It’s divine.

Ciao, Pietro

Heloise and Vanee
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Hockey Yoga

Be a little hungry all the time. If you can master the skill of being a little hungry always, and to quit eating just before you’re full, you’ll never have a weight problem. And you’ll experience many health benefits.

When a little hungry you’re in calorie burn mode. Many of us have a primal fear of this. It challenges our security. Residing on the borderline of security is actually the only real security we can have. Which seems counter-intuitive.

Be a little hungry. But don’t go into starvation mode because that’s when you do something stupid. Like downing a pizza before bed, or reloading your plate.

By learning this simple skill, you pass it on to your offspring.

Hockey yoga is coming Feb. 7. Taught by yours truly. It includes the Inversion Table for willing participants, aromatherapy, and incorporates stretching drills with regular yoga poses. Rest a assured, we languish in long lingering restorative postures. And, of course, the signature smoothie.

Work your spine back to an effortless Bridge.

This Friday it’s the hypnotic Heloise. Let me know you’re coming if you haven’t already.

Ciao, Pietro

Panacea Studio
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Better In Bed

How often does life do what we expect? Almost never, life surprises. It morphs. That’s the wonder and beauty of it. And if we are to survive, we must morph with it.

Adaptability, flexibility, these are the principles yoga is built on. Going with the flow starts with the body, before embracing the heart and mind.

For inexorable youthfulness, you have to do something every day. Yoga is part of any exercise regiment. And what an enlivening and calming experience it can be.

The room is heated. But we wouldn’t call it Hot Yoga. More like Warm Yoga. Here, at Panacea Studio, we attempt to be graceful, tightrope-walking between pleasure and pain.

The evening includes aromatherapy, meditation and the art of stretching. And our signature smoothie. The smoothie alone is worth the price of admission.

Coming soon, the Yoga-At-Panacea youtube video!!!

Yoga classes start back Friday, September 27, 730 pm
Abs every Saturday at 10 pm

Can’t wait to see you. Cao, Pietro

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Inferared Heaters, No More Boiling Pots On The Stove

I’m in the ideal profession, personal training. I deal in health. And its ancillary by-product, vanity.

Sometimes it takes is a health scare (of yourself or a loved one) to put life in perspective. Then there’s no denying, health is the most valuable commodity on earth. All forms of currency, gold, diamonds, pale in significance.

By reinforcing those values in other people, I am reminding myself. This is what really matters. The time spent on a bike or treadmill or matt or in bed with a compatible partner, whatever creative means you can find to get your  heart rate up to its highest decibels, is what really matters.

… or so those were my thoughts as I installed infarered heaters. Panacea Studio enters the 21st century.

My cat, Ocean, who doesn’t need to practice yoga because he is yoga, luxerates prone under that radiant heat like he’s sunning himself.

You can too.

Ciao, Pietro

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Adding Core N Stretch, And Hot Yoga Filling Up

CORE N STRETCH is every Saturday 10 a.m. as of October 8, at Panacea Studio. Taught by yours truly, a.k.a. Pietro.

I do this for me. And it’s what you need too. Who wouldn’t benefit from an effective abs workout, and intensive stretch? George St. Pierre maybe, not even.

Core gets badly neglected. Squeeze the fat and cellulite right out of your belly and thighs. Thereby messaging your primary organs. This does wonders for the health of your lungs, liver, pancreas, as well as enhancing your sex appeal and endurance.

Your colon will thank you too.

I call the stretch “intensive” because it involves deep muscle-isolating postures for major joints such as hips, groin, spine, neck, wrists, hamstrings… between high-rep chiselling of your abs.

Panacea Studio is offering $6 a class with 10 pack. $15 for walk-ins. The package is good for both the Wednesday night Hot Yoga class, and Saturday morning CORE N STRETCH classes starting October 8.

Reserve your spot for Wednesday now. Space is limited.

Ciao friends, Pietro

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Aging Well

Aging well begins in the mind. The mind doesn’t have to loose its flexibility any more than the body does.

Of course certain changes are inevitable. But the biases society supports about aging undermine a capacity to look and feel remarkably youthful.

Yes, it’s what you eat, it’s your activity level. It’s about dressing in way that doesn’t pigeon-hole you in certain era. It’s about not hiking up your pants to the middle of your chest, or forgetting to clip your ear or nostril hairs.

Differences in lifestyle become very telling over time, and a little vanity is a good thing. A lot of sins can be forgiven if you excel in terms of exercise and diet, but remember, not sloppy grooming.

Our mobility needs to be challenged. If your engagement in life or sense of purpose is feeling squashed right now, come volunteer at Panacea Studio. I’ll put you to work.

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Don’t Forget To Breathe

The first 5 minutes of spin, like the first shift in hockey, always winds you the most. It takes a short interval of time for your cardio to kick in. The heart has to wake up. It has to go, what the heck, oh yeah this again, I remember this.

Your “second wind” comes earlier if you’re in good shape. If not, it takes much longer. Recovery time is how to measure conditioning. Be positive, but be honest with yourself too.

Working out is an exercise in breathing. Whether you realize it or not, you learn to breath properly in a gym, and later, climbing the stairs, you go to the same place. A personal trainer is always reminding his client to breath, and instructing how and when to inhale and exhale in an efficient manner.

Muscles need oxygen.  In resistance training, you exhale on exertion, the hard part. In yoga it’s the opposite, you inhale on the hard part. Either way you breathe deeply, and in a regular pattern. Yoga is much about relaxing the breath and breathing with awareness.

In spin, it’s tricky to breathe during a 30 second sprint. You’re tendency is to hold your breath. But to last the full 30 seconds you have grab a couple of breaths at least to finish. When out of breath, try this: take a deep breath and hold it for a couple seconds. Give it a little time to be absorb by the walls of the lungs and you’ll recovery faster.

For a batter to bat, or a golfer to swing, or a pitcher to pitch, or a hockey player to shoot, or yoga-person holding a pose, mastering breath is integral to success. For all of us, breath can be used to alleviate pain, mental stress and anxiety.

So breathe easy. And be aware of breathing easy.

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Training for Seniors and the Middle Aged

Training seniors and the middle aged is one of the most gratifying aspects of what I do. The dramatic difference it makes is astounding.  It restores your mobility and in some cases, it can save your life.

My mother has always welcomed input on her exercise, diet and health regimes.  And she’s open-minded and receptive to new challenges. Her youthful spirit keeps her remarkably younger than her numerical age may suggest. Both physically and mentally.

Don’t ask her age. Sorry Mom.

I’ve trained a man who is 104, he’s still going strong. I regularly train people over 90, and right now more than half of my clients are over 50.

If you’re approaching 50 and you don’t have exercise habits, it’s going to start catching up with you in a big way. Here are some baby steps:

  • Walkingis not enough, as helpful as it is for gently exerting the heart. Weightgain and muscle atrophy can make you susceptible to falls. Broken bones don’t heal so easily any more. Especially for someone who is mostly sedentary.
  • Resistance training pays great dividends for anyone over 60. Not only because it builds strong muscles, but because it builds strong bones too. Done properly it does wonders for osteoporosis, arthritis, blood pressure, everything.
  • A lack of flexibility and rigidity in the spine and hips will develop. Trying to touch your toes every few weeks isn’t going to prevent that. I recommend hot yoga. For seniors with high blood pressure, you may want to do yoga in a warm room, not hot. A group atmosphere is ideal for its structure and camaraderie.

Here at Panacea we do a weekly Hot yoga class every Tuesday night at 7:30, taught by Niki Ainslie. Afterwards, the class enjoys complimentary iced tea and organic snacks.

Click here to book or call 416-570-7111
Additional weekly yoga classes coming soon.

Panacea
2388 St. Clair Avenue W. (St. Clair and Runnymede)

Click here for a map

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