Yoga is one of the few forms of exercise that you can do your entire life, and you can even get better at it as you age.
If you’re a bit science-y, you’ll find this interesting: a 2010 review paper examined more than 80 studies that compared yoga and regular exercise, and found that yoga equaled or surpassed exercise in such things as improving balance, reducing fatigue, decreasing anxiety, cutting stress, lifting moods, improving sleep, reducing pain, lowering cholesterol, and more generally in raising the quality of life.
Yoga has been shown to have positive health benefits on blood pressure and osteoporosis. It helps to counteract the deterioration of disks that lie between your vertebrae, keeping your spine “youthful” and preventing that hunching that happens with age. Studies have shown that patients who do yoga have fewer hospital visits, less need for drug therapy, and a smaller number of serious coronary events ranging from heart attacks to death.
There are many other benefits that we haven’t mentioned. Yoga is good stuff.
I’ve never done yoga before. What is a class like? I’m nervous.willowptbo2020-07-15T20:43:03+00:00
Are you new to yoga? Nervous about giving it a try or not sure what to expect?
When you “enter” a yoga class, people will likely be laying down, stretching, or sitting quietly with their eyes closed.
We recommend using this time to stretch out a few areas that your body really needs, or just relaxing and soaking in a few extra minutes of “you” time!
The instructor will guide you through movements, poses, and breathing techniques – it’s always your choice to participate in any of them, or just relax in a different position.
They will also provide props or modifications to the poses so that someone of any ability can safely enjoy the benefits of the pose.
Yoga classes always end with “savasana”, which means “corpse pose”. Physically, you lay down on your back or in any comfortable position. The goal is to not let your mind wander, but to focus on one thing (e.g. your breath, or a mantra). You may also use your savasana to sink into deep relaxation, almost a dream-like state that is very restorative and a great antidote to our busy modern lifestyle! Your instructor will guide you into this. Savasana usually lasts 3 to 10 minutes.
All yoga classes provide a safe, non-judgemental atmosphere. In fact, a lot of students close their eyes during parts of the class to help develop their body awareness. (So, no one is watching you that closely!)
Yoga also teaches “non-attachment”. Students are encouraged to notice what’s going on inside and outside themselves, and to let that observation go without forming opinions on it.
Any yoga class can be as gentle or as challenging as you make it. The amazing thing about yoga, which sets it apart from other workouts, is that if you feel tired or weak that day, you are encouraged to step out of a pose and just relax.
There are many different styles of yoga, ranging from gentle and relaxing to vigorous and sweaty. The best thing to do is try different styles until you find what works best for you.
Where did you get those eye pillows/mat spray/soap/flooring from?Stephanie Reynolds2020-07-15T20:43:14+00:00
The washroom soap, our essential oil blends, and teas are sourced and created locally by Willow’s Bark. We sometimes have these items available for sale at our studio, or at Ritual Apothecary in downtown Peterborough.
The marbled lavender eye pillows are hand-dyed and manufactured in Toronto by Sam Yoga.
Our mats, blocks and straps are from the Toronto-based B Yoga.
Our blankets and bolsters are from the Vancouver-based Halfmoon.
The pink water-resistant pillows are from Jysk, and other fitness supplies from Fitness Depot in Pickering.
You don’t need to dress like a Lululemon model to do yoga – just wear something comfortable that you can move in. Nursing scrubs, that old race t-shirt, whatever you can find in your closet, throw it on.
For slower-moving classes or those involving a lot of time down on the mat, you may choose to dress in layers so you can adjust your temperature.
Bare feet or socks are worn for yoga and Pilates. For fitness/HIIT classes, a clean pair of indoor running shoes is ideal.
I am X months pregnant and want to take a prenatal yoga class. What do you recommend?Stephanie Reynolds2020-07-15T20:45:00+00:00
All of our prenatal classes are appropriate for all stages of pregnancy. No prior yoga experience is required for any of the prenatal classes. If you don’t feel comfortable with a movement or position, you’ll be shown modifications to adapt the movement or pose to your body.
We also recommend that ALL expecting mamas see a pelvic floor physiotherapist during pregnancy, and take ONE of the following:
You’ll learn a lot of valuable info to prepare you for the later stages of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum recovery. In addition, you’ll have the prerequisite needed to take our postpartum recovery classes!
Do you have any treatment rooms available to rent?Stephanie Reynolds2020-07-15T20:44:17+00:00
All information about studio rentals can be found on our Studio Rental page. Unfortunately at this time, we don’t have much space on our schedule for individuals looking to rent the studio to offer their own weekly classes.
If you are interested in renting Willow for a one-time workshop or event, we may be able to accommodate you. Please contact us with your preferred dates and we’ll check availability.
I’m interested in the Love Your Brain Program. Where do I get more information?Stephanie Reynolds2021-05-19T17:35:18+00:00
Check out our page with more information about the Love Your Brain program here. Please note that while The Willow Studio provides the physical space to run the program out of, we do not manage registrations, classes, etc. We recommend that you contact the Program Coordinator at email@example.com with your questions.
Are you still running 7-week sessions of classes?Stephanie Reynolds2021-05-19T17:40:49+00:00
We no longer run classes in the 7-week session format that we used to. Instead, clients can now book individual classes, allowing for more flexibility. Mix and match classes, instructors, and time slots to create a practice that fits your lifestyle! Cancel classes up to 12 hours beforehand with no penalty. Learn more about this on our Classes page.
How can I sign up and pay for in-person classes?Stephanie Reynolds2021-05-19T17:43:51+00:00
You can view, book, and pay for classes by credit card through Mindbody. You can access Mindbody through our website here, or through the Mindbody app which you can download to your phone.
To pay by eTransfer: send your payment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the name, phone number and email address of the account we should apply the classes to. Please note you will still need to go into your Mindbody account to book the dates for your actual classes once we have added your payment to your account.
To pay by cash or cheque:email us to set up a time when you can drop cash or a cheque off at the studio.
To pay with account credit: use the Mindbody link at the top of our website to pay using credit you may already have on your Mindbody account.
Can I drop in for a class without booking online first?Stephanie Reynolds2020-07-15T20:33:13+00:00
Unfortunately not at this time. Walk-ins (i.e. students showing up at the door who haven’t pre-booked their class) will not be permitted and will be turned away at the door. This is to limit crowding in the studio, reduce contact at the front desk, and provides for a contact-free payment process.
Will the pack of classes that I purchased expire?Stephanie Reynolds2021-05-19T17:31:47+00:00
For Class Packs: 5, 10 and 20 class packs must be used within 3 months – if you don’t use all the classes in your pack within three months, you will lose them. However, if the government requires that the studio be closed down due to COVID-19, this timeline will be extended by the length of time that we are closed for.
For classes purchase through Auto-Renew: The Auto Renew program is designed to encourage you to come to class. Any classes that are put onto your account as part of the Auto Renew program and that aren’t booked for classes before your next billing date DO NOT carry forward to future months. This gives you extra incentive to carve out regular time for your practice. If you don’t think you’ll get your money’s worth from the Auto-Renew program, we recommend the 5, 10 or 20 packs of classes with a 3-month expiry that may give you that extra flexibility. We recommend waiting to sign up for Auto Renew until the threat of COVID-related government shutdowns has passed, just to keep things simple.
Before COVID hit, I was on your old Auto-Renew program. What happened to that?Stephanie Reynolds2021-05-19T17:46:08+00:00
Check our current schedule to see if there are any baby-friendly classes that work for you – some classes do allow you to bring your baby. Please bring anything you may need to care for your baby at your spot, as our studio baby supplies are not available. (We do have 1 change table available in the large bathroom – please spray this down after use).
We have temporarily removed the tea and water station.
Studio mats, bolsters, pillows, blankets and eye pillows are currently not available for use – please bring your own if you need them. We do have some props for sale at the studio.
We have started to re-introduce hard surfaced props (blocks, weights, kettlebells, balls) but for now the prop closet remains closed to students. If your teacher thinks you might need one of these props for your class, they will pull them out ahead of time and spray them down with our disinfectant before you arrive. They will also be sprayed down after class before we put them back in the closet. If there is a hard-surfaced prop you want to use, please ask your teacher to get it for you.
Instructors will check all students in on the iPad – please let the instructor know your name when you arrive (sometimes it’s hard to see who is there under the mask!)
Please do not come to the studio if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, have been in contact with anyone who is sick or has tested positive, if you have been out of province or have been in contact with someone who has been out of the province in the last 14 days. There will be questions when you book through Mindbody that you’ll have to attest to.
Everyone entering the studio will be required to sanitize their hands upon arrival.
Cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces is now happening on a more frequent basis.
The studio is now equipped with an air purifier. We will also ensure the exhaust fan is continuously run during the day, as we did in the past.
Between limitations on visitors for the treatment rooms, a reduced class schedule and fewer event rentals, the number of people coming through the space is expected to be reduced, which will also reduce the overall potential for contamination in the space.
What if I have to cancel a class that I’ve booked?Stephanie Reynolds2020-10-07T13:32:28+00:00
You can make changes to or cancel your booking through your Mindbody account, which you can log into here.
Class bookings can be cancelled up to 12 hours before class with no penalties. The unused class will go back on your account to be used for a future class.
Cancellations less than 12 hours before the start of class can also be made through your account (to open the spot up to others), however these will not be credited. We can sometimes make an exception if you are cancelling because you become ill within 12 hours of your class.
We believe that everyone should have access to yoga. Here are a few options for you:
Our weekly Pay What You Can Community Class removes the barrier of cost. Please bring cash or a cheque and pay what you can. Suggested donation is $10, but feel free to leave less or more depending on your personal circumstances. A box is available to discreetly drop your payment into. Check out our schedule to find the next available class.
To encourage diversity in the yoga community and promote the benefits of yoga to a wider population, we have two bursaries available for community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Colour (BIPOC) and for whom cost is a barrier to attend classes at our studio. Each bursary will subsidize 3 months of an Auto-Renew 5-Class Pass (20 classes) at 75% off. The recipient would be responsible for paying the remaining 25%. More details about this program will be released soon.
We sometimes exchange classes with other professionals who may have skills we are looking for. We’re currently looking to trade classes with someone who:
is a professional photographer;
is handy at hanging up things;
is skilled at SEO optimization or social media marketing; or
grows fresh flowers (trading flowers for classes).
If you’re interested in an exchange, contact us to set this up!
I need to book/change/cancel an appointment with my physiotherapist or massage therapist. Can you do that for me?Stephanie Reynolds2021-05-19T17:51:18+00:00
Our treatment room practitioners are separate businesses from The Willow Studio. As such, we are unable to book or change appointments for you. Please visit your practitioner’s website to book or change your appointment, or contact them directly with any questions.