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When you arrive at our bright, spacious Studio, you will be invited to borrow any equipment that you need (yoga mat, bolster, blanket…) and to find a spot in the room to lie down and relax. As you rest back you may begin to enjoy the simple pleasure of taking time for yourself and the process of settling into the room and into your body.
Class usually begins with a guided relaxation. During this relaxation you will remain in svasana (a simple resting posture). The time taken to focus on relaxing the body and quieting the mind is an important element of yoga practice. Svasana acts as a bridge between the busy, often hectic lives we lead, and the more singular internal focus we cultivate during yoga practice.
Asana and Pranayama
The next portion of the class is devoted to both asana practice (the practice and experience of the postures) and pranayama (various breathing techniques that when integrated with the postures energize the body). The breath and the stabilizing force of gravity are employed as partners throughout the class in order to free the spine into its natural wavelike action. Depending on the level of the class, and the time of day, the focus of the postures may be restorative, invigorating, or both.
Classes conclude with a second focused relaxation. This allows students time to rest deeply once again, and to give their bodies the opportunity to integrate the physical experiences introduced throughout the class.
Safe exploration and discovery are encouraged
The classes at Esther Myers Yoga Studio are infused with a spirit of exploration and discovery. Students are encouraged to practise at their own pace. The teachers challenge and support each student, taking into consideration her or his individual energy, physical abilities and limitations. The faculty is open to questions, comments and requests from students both during and after class. This makes for a lively, inspiring atmosphere.
The Studio is committed to offering a supportive and safe atmosphere for the ongoing exploration of the ancient and evolving practice of yoga.
Esther Myers Yoga Teachers
All of the teachers at Esther Myers Yoga Studio are graduates of the Studio’s Teacher Training Programme. Therefore, they share a common methodology. In addition, each teacher is guided by personal expertise and interests. These range from the martial arts, and athletics to meditation, dance and other body/mind disciplines. This makes for a rich variety of approaches.
The nature of our approach is such that you will accumulate knowledge in every class you attend and be fully part of the learning process, even when you participate only on a drop-in basis. As a first time student at the Studio we recommend that you try either a Beginner or Beginner/Intermediate class. All of our teachers are accustomed to welcoming and integrating new students into their classes at any point in the term. You will receive the instruction that you need as a new student in order to feel comfortable in the class
Gentle Beginner and Complete Beginner
The Gentle Beginner and Complete Beginner Classes are for students who prefer to go very slowly for a variety of reasons. Some people find a slower quieter class meditative, some need to ease themselves into physical activity, while others have a specific injury or a condition that requires a gentler approach to the body. These classes introduce those who have not practised yoga before to basic poses and breathing.
In a Gentle Beginner or Complete Beginner Class, we cover fewer postures than in a Beginner Class. Classes are 1.25 hours long instead of the customary 1.75 hours.
Beginner and Beginner/Intermediate
In both the Beginner and Beginner/Intermediate classes we cover postures that are appropriate for beginner students. Over the course of a few weeks, the students learn and practise forward bends, back bends, twists and side bends as well as inversion preparations. Every student moves at his/her own pace and integrates the practice in the way that is most productive for their body. By definition, in the Beginner classes there is no expectation of any previous knowledge about the postures or our approach to yoga.
Take time just to breathe. These classes include basic breathing exercises (pranayama) and a variety of breath awareness, relaxation and meditation techniques as well as Q&A and discussion.
Yoga for Back Care
Yoga for Back Care is a gentle class that offers guidance for safe and effective exercises for the spine. Through body awareness, stretching, and strengthening, we improve alignment and mobility and reduce pain. Suitable for everyone (except those currently experiencing acute back pain).
Intermediate, Intermediate/Advanced and Advanced
Intermediate and Advanced students have considerable experience practising the basic principles of the approach at the Studio: breathing, grounding and elongating. Traditional yoga postures such as inversions and backbends are taught as well as meditation, unusual and experimental alternatives.
All Level classes are designed for learning or relearning the basics, stress relief, body and breath awareness, healthy movement, and enjoyment. The exercises are simple and repeated frequently. Classes are personalized, meditative, positive and relaxing.
Wake Up with Yoga
Begin your day with an early morning wake up of breathing, stretching and stabilizing postures, and meditation.
Qi Gong uses slow, repetitive and meditative physical movements ranging from simple to complex that work every tissue and system in the body. Qi gong calms the mind and activates the energy and breath maintaining optimum health and over time may allow the body to recover from chronic illness. Sets usually are 5-10 moves. Modifications can be made to accommodate physical challenges.
Pre Natal Yoga
Practising yoga during pregnancy nurtures you throughout this powerful transition. Our classes provide instruction, information, emotional support, and an opportunity to share your experience. The poses stretch and strengthen your body, creating space for your baby. Learn deep breathing techniques and enjoy guided relaxation as you prepare for giving birth and new parenthood.
Practise and discuss asana and pranayama techniques that you can work with at home to help you manage anxiety. Understand the basis for each practice and how it may help you to re-energize the natural relaxation response and move you toward health and balance.
Yes, you can change the class you attend from week to week, if necessary. The 6, 10 and 20 class cards give you the flexibility to attend the class that works for your schedule.
We have mats, blankets, bolsters etc. However, we do encourage you to bring your own mat if you have one. There is space to store your mat.
Loose comfortable clothing such as track pants, footless tights, shorts, T-shirts, and/or sweatshirts. Layers can be useful. We are air-conditioned in the summer.
We have change rooms and two washrooms, but no showers.
Yes, Dupont subway is about 5 minutes walk away. If you get out on the north/west corner, stay on the north side and walk west.
There are 3 parking spaces allocated to Esther Myers Yoga Studio (MYERS) and 2 public spots at the front of the lot which you can use. Please only park in the spots reserved for Esther Myers Yoga Studio or for visitors as all other spaces on the premises are used by other businesses on a 24/7 basis.
Dupont Street has metered parking. There is also parking on the side streets in the area. There is a pay parking lot on Howland Avenue, just north of the Studio and two George Brown College pay parking lots on Bridgman Avenue, one street north of the Studio.
Yes. The first class is $12. After that, if you cannot afford the full fee, you may speak to Monica Voss or Tama Soble about a reduced rate.
With our class card system, you never need to worry about a missed class. The 20 and 10-class cards are valid for 1 year, and the 6-class card is valid for 6 months. We also offer passes for unlimited classes for 1 year, unlimited classes and workshops for 1 year, unlimited workshops for 1 year, and unlimited classes and workshops for 1 month.
If paying for a themed class series, missed classes must be used during the same term for classes or workshops. Make-ups for a short class series cannot be applied to intensives, retreats, special events or visiting teachers’ workshops.
The classes focus on many different stretches and breathing techniques applicable to any stage of pregnancy and is a women-only group, while the workshop is helpful in the latter stages of pregnancy, for labour preparation and birth and may be attended with or without a partner/coach/friend.
If you have taken yoga before and it is early in the pregnancy, you might want to start with a Beginner/Int. class, then join the pre-natal class at 6-7 months. If you are new to yoga, you can start the pre-natal class (or a regular beginners’ class) at any time.
Esther Myers established her Studio in 1979. What began as a small studio in the Annex area of Toronto has grown into a vibrant centre that offers classes, workshops and retreats to students at every level of yoga practice, as well as pre and post natal yoga, breathing and meditation, yoga for anxiety and a highly respected Teacher Training Programme.
In March 2019, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of our yoga studio! We are grateful for the ongoing commitment of our vibrant community of students and teachers, colleagues, neighbours, family and friends. Deep heartfelt thanks to Esther Myers (1947-2004) for the intelligent compassionate path of enquiry she blazed for us all.