Monday, March 4, 2024


Today's Classes


Candlelight Restorative Yoga at the Studio - Pre-registration required.
07:00 PM - 08:15 PM
Instructor: Joanne Lowe




Retreats & Workshops


News


Saturday Mornings in March
[posted:2024-02-22]




Candlelight Restorative Yoga, Monday Nights
[posted:2024-01-03]




Yoga with Kittens Fundraiser - SOLD OUT!
[posted:2023-07-07]




Recent Features


Product Sale
Coupons/Special Offers
[posted:2023-06-23]




New Student Class Special
Coupons/Special Offers
[posted:2023-05-12]




Bonus Class Sale
Coupons/Special Offers
[posted:2023-01-06]




Big Stretch Instructors


Joanne Lowe
Director of Stretch & Certified Instructor

Specializing in seamlessly flowing sequences of asana, Joanne Lowe is a certified yoga instructor with more than 25 years experience in the practice and study of various forms and teaching philosophies of yoga. With an infectious love of asana practice, Joanne's warm, non-judgmental approach, gentle touch and soothing voice will guide you through a creative, ever-changing, well-balanced series of postures. She encourages participants to move slowly, deepen their breath and practice with self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Joanne has taught yoga in the Leaside neighbourhood of Toronto since 1997, and in the Autumn of 2019 re-located her Yoga business to the Riverdale area (aka Chinatown East and Riverside, and very close to Cabbagetown and Leslieville) of Toronto. She has lead more than 17 yoga retreats at various venues in Ontario.

A karma yogini at heart, Joanne has participated in the Yogathon for Schizophrenia since its inception 11 years ago and has held Earth Hour Yoga Class fundraisers for the World Wildlife Fund for 9 years. She is an animal life awareness advocate and contributes financially to The Toronto Humane Society, Toronto Cat Rescue,Toronto Animal Services, The WSPA and The World Wildlife Fund.

After rescuing Rufus the hound dog from the shelter, Joanne has enjoyed instructing fundraising yoga classes at The Toronto Humane Society. These fun classes are accompanied by some of the shelter's adoptable pets. She is currently leading Yoga with Kittens fundraisers for Toronto Cat Rescue.

Returning to her roots in the corporate sector, she has developed the Yoga@Work program for corporations, designed to reduce stress, restore perspective and improve physical and mental well-being. She recently created a series of Yoga Videos designed specially for SickKids | The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto's Paediatric Update Conference.

A self-professed yoga squirrel, Joanne continues to collect many little acorns of knowledge and inspiration along her path and bring forth the insights of many teachers into her classes, especially Lex Gillan, Andy Gold and Andy's mountain. She has spent time practicing and studying both formally and informally with some of Toronto's top instructors including Michael Stone, Matthew Remski, Dennison Smith, Esther Myers, Monica Voss, Karen Cove, Anne McGavin, Michael Siddall, Kathryn Beet, Shelly Rowen, Cathy Mines, Bibi Rahim Hahn and many more. Yoga in Toronto - what a fabulous city we live in to practice this living art and science!

When she is not on the mat she is recharging somewhere in nature - a hike in the woods with her dog, by the ocean or lake or digging in the garden.

Joanne is grateful to her greatest gurus, her students.

She looks forward to seeing you soon to breathe, stretch, laugh and relax with us.

Qualifications
Certified with the Yoga Network of Canada (formerly FOYT)
Certified with the Yoga Institute of Texas
Certified in first aid and CPR
Insured for on-site and off-site yoga instruction
Trained in pre- and post-natal yoga






Rufus Lovely Rocket
Meditation Guru

Rufus' kind words: "Hello my friends. Try not to get to caught up in the daily drama. For example, when I see a squirrel, I try to witness the squirrel, I watch the squirrel, I breathe in, I breathe out, I notice the squirrel, and then I just watch the squirrel go by, without attachment, judgement or commentary - just an awareness of its being."

Returning to his roots as a Rescue Dog, his Karma Yoga endeavours include raising funds and awareness for the Toronto Humane Society.

Rufus' own gurus are Terry, Red, Sadie, Tanzy, Buddy, The Husky Twins, Toby and C.W.Hawar. When Rufus isn't meditating, he loves to cuddle, fetch and howl every chance he gets.

You can follow Rufus on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pinknoseandfreckles

Sniff, stretch, howl!






Shelly Rowen
Workshop Faculty

A favourite instructor within The Big Stretch community, Shelly Rowen has joined us over the past thirteen years to facilitate various workshops and specialty classes.

Shelly teaches hatha yoga in the tradition of Vanda Scaravelli. She strives to create an atmosphere of exploration and self-discovery in each class, where students can feel comfortable and at ease, no matter what level they are practicing at.

In her classes yoga is practiced mindfully, with attention to breath, grounding and alignment. The approach is therapeutic, with the objective being to restore balance; flexibility, agility and strength to the physical body, fullness and fluidity to the breath, and quiet to the mind.

Shelly has experience teaching yoga to people of all ages and abilities. She specializes in teaching yoga to beginners, older individuals, restorative yoga, and yoga to relieve stress and anxiety. She is available to teach both private and group sessions.

RYT700 Esther Myers Studio, 2003













"I credit your yoga classes for helping me achieve better results in my running and duathlon races. After one year at The Big Stretch, I am much more aware of my breathing and have increased my flexibility. Both have contributed to faster race times." ~ Ian Henderson





"My butt is sore. My knees are weak. My hips are hurting. My energy is renewed. My spirit is soaring! Thank you for a wonderful retreat weekend." ~ Della Croteau





"I would highly recommend to anyone thinking about starting a yoga practice .... to simply GO FOR IT!!! The experience is wonderful and very rewarding as you become more and more flexible. There is something magical when you can connect with your body in a peaceful way. ~ Irina Fortey