Monday, July 24, 2017


Today's Classes


Gentle / Big Stretch Yoga
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Instructor: Joanne Lowe




Gentle Stretch Yoga
05:45 PM - 07:00 PM
Instructor: Joanne Lowe




Big Stretch Yoga
07:15 PM - 08:30 PM
Instructor: Joanne Lowe




Retreats & Workshops


Early Bird Yoga - 6 week Summer Session
Jul 5 to Aug 9, 2017




5 day Summer Sadhana
Aug 14 to Aug 18, 2017




September Yoga Retreat at Harmony Dawn, Rice Lake, Ontario
Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2017




News


Our BIG September Yoga Retreat At Harmony Dawn
[posted:2017-06-24]




Yes, we are air-conditioned!
[posted:2017-06-12]




Candlelight Flow Yoga - NEW class on Wednesday nights
[posted:2016-12-29]




Recent Features


CONTEST - Who loves a giveaway?
Coupons/Special Offers
[posted:2017-06-03]




New Student Special!!! 30 days for $55 (includes HST)
Coupons/Special Offers
[posted:2016-12-13]




Rebecca is our Yogini of the Month
Yogis/Yoginis of the Month
[posted:2014-11-13]




News


Our BIG September Yoga Retreat At Harmony Dawn
[Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2017, filed under News]

Clear your mind, breathe deep, stretch, relax, laugh, refresh.

Occasionally, we need to pause - and step away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. One way to do this is to get away from our daily life and go on retreat. More than just a vacation, a retreat offers us time to rest, heal, reflect, and renew our spirit so that we may emerge renewed, refreshed, and ready to return to our everyday lives with a new perspective.

Our BIG Yoga Retreat, in Rice Lake, Ontario, offers quiet, solitude, and sometimes even silence. During our yoga classes, overlooking Harmony Dawn Retreat Centre's beautiful meadow, our senses can be reawakened to the beautiful sights and sounds of nature. Time to really listen when a bird sings, deeply breathe in the smell of flowers, grass, or earth, and delight in a soft breeze blowing on our cheek. You might even sneak a peak at the fox family, some deer or hear a coyote howl.

Harmony Dawn is an acclaimed, leading-edge Green retreat. It incorporates principles of Feng-shui and Yin-Yang balance, which includes its food -- a major draw for repeat guests.

On our BIG Retreat we have time to discover epiphanies through asanas, take a long, reflective walk through the woods, a refreshing dip in Rice Lake and roast a marshmallow or two.

September 15 - 17 - for more details:
http://bigstretchyoga.com/retreats_retreats.php

Web Link: Photos from past retreats.


Yes, we are air-conditioned!
[Posted on Monday, June 12, 2017, filed under News]

Yes, indeedy, our yoga centre is air-conditioned for your comfort. See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.


Candlelight Flow Yoga - NEW class on Wednesday nights
[Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2016, filed under News]

Surrounded in candlelight (extra candles for this class!) and accompanied by music, this peaceful drop-in yoga class is suitable to all levels including beginners. Breathe deep and take time to reconnect, rejuvenate and revitalize in this flowing, ever-changing sequence of postures inspired by a blend of all of the classes on our schedule. Leave feeling lighter and brighter.

Go with the flow and enjoy this midweek treat -- a perfect way to unwind after a busy day. Wednesday nights, 6:30 - 7:45 pm.

All levels are welcomed and encouraged.


2017 Untamed Wilderness Calendar
[Posted on Friday, December 16, 2016, filed under News]

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives as water and good bread." ~ Edward Abbey

Our gift to you this holiday season - The 2017 Untamed Wilderness Calendar. Featuring stunning photos and information on animals from around the globe, in their natural, pristine habitats.

Pick up your complimentary calendar next time you are in for a class.

A donation to charity will be made on your behalf that supports sustainability and a healthy lifestyle.

All the best for 2017!


2017 Schedule
[Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2016, filed under News]

Download our new schedule here or pick one up next time you come to class.

We are happy to announce that we have a new all levels drop-in class on Wednesday nights, Candlelight Flow Yoga from 6:30 to 7:45 pm and our 4-week Candlelight Restorative Yoga sessions have moved to Thursday nights at 6:30 pm.

All the best for a merry, bright and joyful holiday.

Peace and love,

Joanne

Download: 2017Schedule.pdf


New Student Special - 30 days of yoga for only $55
[Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, filed under News]

With this exclusive offer, new students can enjoy 30 days of unlimited yoga classes for only $55 (includes HST).

This offer expires June 30th, 2017 and is for new students only. Must be used over 30 consecutive days. One class per day. Non-transferable. Cannot be used for pre-registered workshops and classes.

See you soon to breathe, stretch, laugh and relax with us.


Holiday Closures
[Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, filed under News]

Happy holidays everyone!

We will be closed for Christmas and the holidays from Tuesday, December 20th through to Sunday, January 1st inclusive. We will, however, be open for a few pre-registered classes during our winter holiday closure (Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day).

We will re-open for your wellness endeavours on Monday, January 2nd. Please note that we have a new all levels drop-in class on Wednesday nights, Candlelight Flow Yoga from 6:30 to 7:45 pm and our 4-week Candlelight Restorative Yoga sessions have moved to Thursday nights at 6:30 pm.

All the best for a merry, bright and joyful holiday.

Peace and love,

Joanne


Our gift to YOU this holiday season...
[Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, filed under News]

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives as water and good bread." ~ Edward Abbey

Our gift to YOU this holiday season - The 2017 Untamed Wilderness Calendar. Featuring stunning photos and information on animals from around the globe, in their natural, pristine habitats.

Pick up your complimentary calendar next time you are in for a class.

A donation to charity will be made on your behalf that supports sustainability and a healthy lifestyle.

All the best for 2017!


Evening classes are cancelled on Monday, December 2nd.
[Posted on Monday, December 12, 2016, filed under News]

Our evening classes are cancelled on Monday, December 12th. Sorry for this inconvenience and we will see you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.


CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish Toy Donations
[Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, filed under News]

In the spirit of Karma yoga, for our seventeenth year now, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for The CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish. Please help a child in need - help give a kid a Christmas - newborn and teen gifts are most-needed.

Your kind donations will be accepted on-site at The Big Stretch Yoga Centre until Monday, December 19th only.


Daily Bread Food Bank Donations
[Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, filed under News]

In the spirit of Karma yoga, for our seventeenth year now, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Your kind donations will be accepted beginning until Tuesday, December 20th only.


Follow us on INSTAGRAM!
[Posted on Monday, November 7, 2016, filed under News]

We are happy to inspire and encourage your yoga practice through Instagram. We will showcase our products, classes, lovely community and healthy living through beautiful, fun and joyful image captures.

See you soon at class to breathe, stretch, laugh and relax with us.

Web Link: The Big Stretch on Instagram


We are celebrating our 17th Anniversary!
[Posted on Friday, September 30, 2016, filed under News]

In October, we are celebrating our 17 years on South Bayview and 19 years in Leaside!

Together, we've raised funds for the Yogathon and collected food and toys for those in need. We cheered on The Big Stretch's house league Leaside hockey team. Babies from the original moms-and-babies yoga classes have grown up and are coming to class on their own. And we've had some success stories along the way: Patrick Chan, who enjoyed classes as a teen, has gone on to become a world figure-skating champion.

In our close-knit yoga community, it's great to see some of you back to class after injuries or rehab, and those turning to yoga to augment therapies for everything from Lyme disease to cancer recovery. Some of you have moved away, or even moved back again, got married (or remarried), had babies or became grandparents.

Together on the mat we've shared a lot of laughter and tears.

Thank you for 17 great years!


Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Daily Bread Foodbank
[Posted on Monday, September 26, 2016, filed under News]

THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR DONATIONS!

The Big Stretch is having its annual Thanksgving Food Drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank. We will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items (Most needed items: baby formula and food, beans and lentils, canned fruits and vegetables, canned fish and meat, cans of soup or hearty stew, dried pasta and tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, rice; canned, powdered or Tetra Pak cartons of milk) until Sunday, October 9th.

Bring along a can of food to class this week and help fight hunger.

What are you thankful for?


NEW class on Sundays - Gentle Flow & Restorative Yoga
[Posted on Friday, September 9, 2016, filed under News]

Join us on Sundays from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm for our new drop-in class: Gentle Flow & Restorative Yoga.

Sunday's big hug!

Breathe, stretch and relax - enjoy gentle, flowing hatha yoga sequences connected by the breath and intermingled with gentle, supported restorative postures which help to restore movement and flexibility to your body.

This class follows our 10 - 11:15 am Big Stretch Yoga class. Enjoy both classes and create your own mini retreat!!!



Web Link: Weekly Schedule


Our Schedule - NEW Class on Sundays!!!
[Posted on Monday, June 13, 2016, filed under News]

Here is our latest schedule including our new Gentle Flow & Restorative Yoga on Sunday mornings at 11:30 am.

See you soon to breathe, stretch, laugh and relax with us.

Download: Bigstretchschedule.pdf


Toronto Life Magazine on The Big Stretch Yoga Centre
[Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016, filed under News]

"Clean and serene, this spacious, south-facing studio boasts large windows and gauzy white curtains. The instruction, from director Joanne Lowe, is equally soothing. Drawing on the influence of several philosophies, she developed her own unique approach to teaching. Classes follow vinyasa or flowing style, beginning with pranayama (rhythmic breathing) and ending in savasana (final relaxation). Gentle Stretch classes are suitable for beginners, pregnant women and seniors. Big Stretch classes integrate breathing with classic hatha sitting, standing, bending and twisting postures."


Staying in Touch
[Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, filed under News]

I wanted to take a moment to connect or re-connect, and to say thanks for all that I've learned from you over the years, on and off the mat. There are many options out there for deepening your yoga practice, so thank you for choosing to come to The Big Stretch and allowing me to be part of that journey.

It's been a great year so far. Together, we've raised funds for the Yogathon and collected food and toys for those in need. We cheered on The Big Stretch's house league Leaside hockey team. Babies from the original moms-and-babies yoga classes have grown up and are coming to class on their own. And we've had some success stories along the way: Patrick Chan, who enjoyed classes as a teen, has gone on to become a world figure-skating champion.

In our close-knit yoga community, it's great to see some of you back to class after injuries or rehab, and those turning to yoga to augment therapies for everything from Lyme disease to cancer recovery. Some of you have moved away, or even moved back again, got married (or remarried), had babies or became grandparents. Together on the mat we've shared a lot of laughter and tears.

I value your opinions, thoughts and suggestions, and I'd love to get your feedback on how the current class schedule is working for you and if there is anything new you'd like to see:

* How is the schedule working for you?
* Is there a time slot that would better serve you?
* Have you tried the new Flow & Let Go Yoga class? If so, what are your thoughts?
* Have you ever tried our Restorative Yoga classes?
* What is your favourite class/time here?
* How do you come to class: walk, drive, TTC, bike?
* Do you enjoy participating in Karma Yoga efforts, such as food and toy drives?
* Are you interested in joining an upcoming retreat?
* Did you know that we hold private classes for birthday parties, bridal parties and corporate events?

Drop me a line, or let me know next time you come to class. I'd love to hear from you!

I hope to see you soon to breathe, stretch and relax.

Joanne


Early Bird Yoga begins April 27th.
[Posted on Friday, April 15, 2016, filed under News]

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." ― Rabindranath Tagore

Celebrate the beginning of a new day in the quiet and stillness of the morning. The Centre's signature class is suitable for many. This Hatha class integrates the breath with an extensive variety of postures to increase strength and flexibility, bringing balance, while calming the mind.

Wednesdays, 7:00 - 8:00 am, 10 weeks, begins April 27th, $170 (includes HST). Registration required.


Yogathon Video
[Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, filed under News]

Partially filmed at The Big Stretch Yoga Centre, find out what the Yogathon means to instructors teaching at the 2016 Peace of Minds Yogathon taking place in Oakville on Feb 27, 2016.

You can sponsor Joanne here:
https://schizophreniasocietyontario.akaraisin.com/pledge/Participant/Home.aspx?seid=11179&mid=9&pid=2507169


Web Link: 2016 Peace Of Minds Yogathon Video


New class - Flow & Let Go Yoga - Tuesday mornings and Thursday nights
[Posted on Monday, January 4, 2016, filed under News]

Enjoy the best of both worlds in these drop-in yoga classes. Sun salutations, flowing hatha sequences, strengthening poses and sublime stretches in the first half of the class are followed by gentle, relaxing restorative yoga poses in the second half.

Tuesday mornings - 10:00 - 11:15 am
Thursday nights - 7:15 - 8:30 pm


2016 Peace Of Minds Yogathon Fundraiser for The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario
[Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2015, filed under News]

UPDATE: Thank you so much for your support. Together we raised $3000.00!!!

On Saturday, February 27th, I am participating in The Peace of Minds Yogathon for Schizophrenia to raise funds for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. I will also be teaching at this event.

This is my 11th year participating in this worthwhile fundraiser and I am doing it for my brother Jimmy who has schizophrenia.

You can learn more about my brother Jimmy and make an on-line donation (tax receipts provided via email), by going to my personal fundraising page (web link below). You can also make donations the old-fashioned way in person, right here at The Big Stretch (cash or cheque only - charitable tax receipts provided for donations over $20).

This fundraiser benefits the Peace of Minds youth engagement initiative, which helps youth and youth workers identify the signs and symptoms of psychosis; understand the importance of getting help early; and encourages them to fight the stigma associated with schizophrenia by speaking out against myths related to the illness.

Thank you for your support.

Web Link: Learn more and donate here


2016 Winter / Spring Schedule
[Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, filed under News]

Click on the link below to find our 2016 Winter/Spring Schedule. We have another NEW Flow & Let Go Yoga class on Thursday nights as well as various workshops and specialty classes.

See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.

Download: 2016winter:spring.pdf


Inspirational Jewellery - Mala Necklaces and Bracelets
[Posted on Monday, December 7, 2015, filed under News]

A perfect gift for yourself or a friend - beautiful malas made of gemstones (agate, quartz, turquoise etc.) and rudraksha beads from Mala Collective are now available. Malas are a set of 108 beads that has traditionally been used in prayer and meditation (often called prayer beads). We also have wrist malas with 27 beads. The jewelry can be worn by anyone seeking a calmer mind, body, and spirit.

Enjoy a Mala that reflects your intentions. And embodies your personality. One that adds to your outfit and karma -- and makes you look and feel great. A Mala you feel good about because it's fair trade and ethically produced. Something you feel great about buying because you know you're helping someone's life in Bali.

You'll love wearing the rudraksha bead jewelry for so many reasons.

We love that it's for those seeking a calmer mind, body, and spirit. And that it promotes peace and well being.

RUDRAKSHA BEADS
Often referred to as beads, rudrakshas are actually seeds that grow inside of what looks like a blueberry.

Mala Collective beads are sustainably harvested, fairly traded, and ethically produced. Priced from $20 - $180 and come in a lovely organza gift bag.


Our Hockey Team - Go Yoga, Go Yoga!!!
[Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, filed under News]

Did you know that The Big Stretch has sponsored a hockey team for the Leaside Hockey Association? You can come on out and cheer on the team at the games on Sunday mornings and Monday nights at Leaside Memorial Gardens. Yeahhhh Big Stretch!!!


2016 Untamed Wilderness Calendar
[Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2015, filed under News]

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives as water and good bread." ~ Edward Abbey

Our gift to you this holiday season - The 2016 Untamed Wilderness Calendar. Featuring stunning photos and information on animals from around the globe, in their natural, pristine habitats.

Pick up your complimentary calendar next time you are in for a class.

A donation to charity will be made on your behalf that supports sustainability and a healthy lifestyle.

All the best for 2016!


CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish Toy Donations
[Posted on Friday, November 20, 2015, filed under News]

In the spirit of Karma yoga, for our sixteenth year now, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for The CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish. Please help a child in need - help give a kid a Christmas - newborn and teen gifts are most-needed.

Your kind donations will be accepted on-site at The Big Stretch Yoga Centre until Tuesday, December 22nd only.


Daily Bread Food Bank Donations
[Posted on Friday, November 20, 2015, filed under News]

In the spirit of Karma yoga, for our sixteenth year now, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Your kind donations will be accepted beginning until Tuesday, December 22nd only.


We are CLOSED on Monday, October 12th
[Posted on Saturday, October 10, 2015, filed under News]

We are closed on Monday, October 12th in honour of Thanksgiving. We are grateful for you! Happy Thanksgiving!


Our Sweet Sixteen!!!
[Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2015, filed under News]

A Big Thank You!

Celebrating 16 Years of Breathing, Stretching, Laughing & Relaxing!

This October The Big Stretch Yoga Centre is celebrating its 16th year on Bayview Avenue and its 18th year in the Leaside neighbourhood. Over the past 16 years, we've created a beautiful, welcoming space of like-minded practitioners. This is such a precious thing, which continues to grow through our enthusiasm, dedication and passion for the practice. Yoga is about intimacy, not only with ourselves - our breath, our bodies, our mind, our heart - but with our family, friends, loved ones and community.

It is our anniversary and we are so excited to celebrate with you so check out our Sweet Sixteen Anniversary Sale from October 1 - 16th only.

Thank you for 16 fabulous years!

With sweet sincerity,

Joanne



Web Link: Sweet Sixteen Anniversary Sale


Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Daily Bread Foodbank
[Posted on Monday, September 28, 2015, filed under News]

The Big Stretch is having its annual Thanksgving Food Drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank. We will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items (Most needed items: baby formula and food, beans and lentils, canned fruits and vegetables, canned fish and meat, cans of soup or hearty stew, dried pasta and tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, rice; canned, powdered or Tetra Pak cartons of milk) until Sunday, October 11th.

Bring along a can of food to class this week and help fight hunger.

What are you thankful for???


Autumn / Winter Schedule 2015
[Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, filed under News]

Here is our Autumn/Winter schedule including upcoming Sadhanas, Candlelight Restorative Yoga, our NEW Tuesday at 10am Flow & Let Go drop-in Yoga class and Moms & Babies pre-registered class. We also have workshops for Moving & Meditating; Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders; and Hips, Legs and Feet.

Download: Autumn2015.pdf


New Class - Flow & Let Go Yoga, Tuesday mornings
[Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, filed under News]

NEW DROP-IN YOGA CLASS!

Flow & Let Go Yoga
Tuesdays
10 am-11:15 am

Begins in September!

Enjoy the best of both worlds in this drop-in yoga class. Flowing hatha sequences, strengthening poses and sublime stretches in the first half of the class are followed by gentle, relaxing restorative poses in the second half.


Buy your pre-paid classes and retreat with Interac e-transfer
[Posted on Monday, July 13, 2015, filed under News]

Did you know that The Big Stretch Yoga Centre accepts payment via interact e-transfer to info@bigstretchyoga.com? Stock up on your pre-paid classes or book your BIG Summer retreat with us on-line. We also accept cash or cheque.



Early Bird Yoga Autumn Session begins September 23rd.
[Posted on Friday, June 26, 2015, filed under News]

Celebrate the beginning of a new day in the quiet and stillness of the morning.

The Centre's signature class is suitable for many. This Hatha class integrates the breath with an extensive variety of postures to increase strength and flexibility, bringing balance, while calming the mind.

Please register in advance to reserve your space. The class may be joined in session if there is space available. Fees will be pro-rated - call ahead to confirm if there is space.

Wednesdays, beginning September 23rd, 7:00 - 8:00 am, 10 weeks, $170 (includes HST).


Special class on Canada Day and upcoming closures.
[Posted on Monday, June 15, 2015, filed under News]

Om, Canada!

Join us on Canada Day, for our special Canadian Flow Yoga class, suitable to all levels, and celebrate the birthday of our beautiful country.

Wednesday, July 1st, 10 - 11:15 am for $19 or one of your pre-paid yoga classes. Registration not required. See you all then with glowing hearts, eh!

Canada Day Week closures:
Thursday, July 2nd - Sunday, July 5th

Happy Canada Day eh!


Friends come for FREE in June!
[Posted on Sunday, June 14, 2015, filed under News]

"I get by with a little help from my friends." ~ The Beatles

We all know how yoga has changed our lives so why not invite your friends and family to enjoy the benefits and wonders of yoga for FREE. It's a great way to show them that you care for their health and wellness.

This FREE class offer for your friend (family, co-worker, neighbour, boyfriend, girlfriend or whomever you'd like to share with) is valid for the following classes ONLY: Monday's 5:45 pm or 7:15 pm class, Tuesday's 7:00 pm class, Thursday's 5:45 pm or 7:15 pm class and Saturday's 11:30 am class.

The following conditions apply:
1. Only existing clients using one of your pre-paid classes for yourself or purchasing the drop-in rate for a class can use this offer.
2. Only your guest receives a FREE class.
3. Limited to 1 friend at a time and for new students only (never attended a class at The Big Stretch before).
4. You MUST attend the class with your friend.
5. This FREE offer is valid until June 30th, 2015 only.


Check us out on FACEBOOK!
[Posted on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, filed under News]

We post schedules and updates to remind you about your favourite classes, as well as interesting and inspiring articles about yoga, meditation, health and wellness.

Web Link: Facebook


Yoga Class Fundraiser for Nepal
[Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015, filed under News]

This Friday, May 8th, 6:30 - 7:45 pm
$20. Pre-registration required, space is limited.

Natural and man-made disasters wreak havoc on millions of people and their environment every year. Animals can be the forgotten victims, left behind, hungry and in pain.

With dedicated disaster operations teams based in Asia and Latin America, World Animal Protection Canada is expert in alleviating disaster-related animal suffering.

Helping animals disaster-struck animals not only reduces their distress, it helps whole communities. Many of the world's poorest people are totally reliant on animals for food, transport and their livelihoods; domestic animals provide valued companionship the world over.

Class fees will be donated to World Animal Protection Canada.

Please register in person, via phone or email.


Lavender Ylang Ylang and Rufus Aromatics
[Posted on Friday, March 20, 2015, filed under News]

Check out our Bespoke Aromatics products, now available for purchase, including our original scent, the Lavender and Ylang Ylang Relax aroma lotion and Rufus aroma spray for dogs (and groovy yoginis!). Rufus is named after my sweet Labrador/Coon Hound Rescue Dog from the Toronto Humane Society. We also have some beautiful inspirational jewellery from the Mala Collective.

This April, watch for my best friend Sandy's new store, Bespoke Aromatics opening in Cobourg.

Live, love, smell.

Web Link: Bespoke Aromatics


Pre-paid Class Expiry
[Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, filed under News]

"Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory." ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

A gentle reminder dear yogis and yoginis about your pre-paid yoga classes - 5 and10 pre-paid classes expire one year from date of purchase. 20 and 50 pre-paid classes expire two years from date of purchase. Do continue your yoga practice and your investment in yourself. According to Swami Lex, there are two rules of yoga - Begin and Continue.

See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.


Peace of Minds Yogathon in Support of The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario
[Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, filed under News]

UPDATE: THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your support and those who participated and donated funds to this event. This year, The Big Stretch was the top fundraiser, raising $3600 for the Peace of Minds initiative.
On Saturday, February 28th, I am participating in The Peace of Minds Yogathon for Schizophrenia to raise funds for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. I will also be teaching at this event.

This is my 10th year participating in this worthwhile fundraiser and I am doing it for my brother Jimmy who has schizophrenia.

You can learn more about my brother Jimmy and make an on-line donation (tax receipts provided via email), by going to my personal fundraising page (web link below). You can also make donations the old-fashioned way in person, right here at The Big Stretch (cash or cheque only - charitable tax receipts provided for donations over $20).

This fundraiser benefits the "Peace of Minds" youth engagement initiative, which helps youth and youth workers identify the signs and symptoms of psychosis; understand the importance of getting help early; and encourages them to fight the stigma associated with schizophrenia by speaking out against myths related to the illness.

Thank you for your support.

Cut and paste this link into your browser to make a donation. Thank you. https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=2700260&langPref=en-CA#&panel1-1


Winter 2015 Schedule
[Posted on Friday, January 2, 2015, filed under News]

Our Winter schedule - you can pick up a printed copy at The Big Stretch or download the schedule by clicking below.

Don't forget to register in advance for our Candlelight Restorative Yoga sessions and our new Meditation and Movement series on Friday nights in February.

See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.

Joanne

Download: winterspring2015.pdf


The 2015 Untamed Wilderness Calendar
[Posted on Monday, December 8, 2014, filed under News]

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives as water and good bread." ~ Edward Abbey

Our gift to you this holiday season - The 2015 Untamed Wilderness Calendar. Featuring stunning photos and information on animals from around the globe, in their natural, pristine habitats.

Pick up your complimentary calendar next time you are in for a class.

All the best for 2015!


Yoga Class Gift Certificates make a perfect gift!
[Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, filed under News]

Live wellness. Give Wellness.

For Comfort and Joy this holiday season, give and receive gift certificates for yoga classes. Always the perfect gift for friends, family and co-workers - the gift of wellness - a flexible body, an unfurrowed brow, and an open heart - all in one little envelope.

We also have boxed lavender and flax eye pillows and our new and super cute mini bolsters to support your yoga practice.

Wishing you comfort and joy and lots of laughter for the upcoming holiday season, and always.

Joanne


$400 Raised for The Toronto Humane Society
[Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2014, filed under News]

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR helping Karma Dogi Rufus raise funds for his buddies back at the shelter. We raised $400 for the Toronto Humane Society!

Congratulations to Batsheva Shainhouse who won our raffle of a Big Stretch Yoga Essentials Prize Package: 10 yoga classes, silk and lavender eye pillow, Lavender Ylang Ylang lotion, Clean and Fresh Mat Spray and a Mala Collective Om Bracelet - Value $270.

Breathe if you love fundraising!


Celebrating 15 Years on Bayview!
[Posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, filed under News]

A Big Thank You!

On October 3, 2014, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre is celebrating its 15th year on Bayview Ave. and its 17th year in the Leaside neighbourhood. Over the past 15 years, we've created a beautiful, welcoming space of like-minded practitioners. This is such a precious thing, which continues to grow through our enthusiasm, dedication and passion for the practice. Yoga is about intimacy, not only with ourselves - our breath, our bodies, our mind, our heart - but with our family, friends, loved ones and community. Together, off the mat, we have gathered toys, food and monies to donate to many worthwhile charities, and we have come together to save this building when the City wanted to tear it down to build a parking lot. The Big Stretch Yoga Centre has also sponsored local soccer and hockey teams and provided donations for school fundraisers.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many of you, including my students, friends, family, neighbours, teachers and business associates, for a fabulous 15 years.

Joy, love and laughter to you all.

Joanne


Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank
[Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, filed under News]

Thanksgiving Food Drive

The Big Stretch is having its annual Thanksgving Food Drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank. We will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items (Most needed items: baby formula and food, beans and lentils, canned fruits and vegetables, canned fish and meat, cans of soup or hearty stew, dried pasta and tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, rice; canned, powdered or Tetra Pak cartons of milk) until Sunday, October 12th.

Bring along a can of food to class this week and help fight hunger.

What are you thankful for???


Early Bird Yoga begins Wednesday, September 24th
[Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, filed under News]

Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." ― Rabindranath Tagore

Celebrate the beginning of a new day in the quiet and stillness of the morning. The Centre's signature class is suitable for many. This Hatha class integrates the breath with an extensive variety of postures to increase strength and flexibility, bringing balance, while calming the mind.

Wednesdays, 7:00 - 8:00 am, 12 weeks, begins September 24th, $200 (includes HST). Registration required.


Summer Closure: August 24th - September 1st.
[Posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, filed under News]

We will be closed Sunday, August 24th until Monday, September 1st inclusive for our summer holidays. Have a safe and joyful rest of the summer and long weekend and keep stretchin'!

See you in September.

Joanne


Summer Schedule
[Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, filed under News]

Hello everyone,

Here is a copy of our Summer Schedule, effective June 1st, including two Restorative Yoga sessions, our BIG Summer Yoga Retreat and our 5-day Summer Sadhana. Please click on Download below to see the schedule.

You can also pick up a printed version on-site at The Big Stretch.

See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.

Joanne

Download: Summer Schedule 2014.pdf


About Us / Price List
[Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, filed under News]

For new clients - about us, about yoga, testimonials and our price list. Click on download below.

See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.

Download: Aboutus:PriceMenu.jpg


Our BIG September Yoga Retreat At Harmony Dawn
[Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2014, filed under News]

Clear your mind, breathe deep, stretch, relax, laugh, refresh.

Occasionally, we need to pause - and step away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. One way to do this is to get away from our daily life and go on retreat. More than just a vacation, a retreat offers us time to rest, heal, reflect, and renew our spirit so that we may emerge renewed, refreshed, and ready to return to our everyday lives with a new perspective.

Our BIG Yoga Retreat, in Rice Lake, Ontario, offers quiet, solitude, and sometimes even silence. During our yoga classes, overlooking Harmony Dawn Retreat Centre's beautiful meadow, our senses can be reawakened to the beautiful sights and sounds of nature. Time to really listen when a bird sings, deeply breathe in the smell of flowers, grass, or earth, and delight in a soft breeze blowing on our cheek. You might even sneak a peak at the fox family, some deer or hear a coyote howl.

On our BIG Retreat we have time to discover epiphanies through asanas, take a long, reflective walk through the woods, a refreshing dip in Rice Lake and roast a marshmallow or two.

September 15 - 17 - for more details:
http://bigstretchyoga.com/retreats_retreats.php

Web Link: Photos from past retreats.


Yoga props - Support can be beautiful.
[Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, filed under News]

Support can be beautiful.

Be supported In your yoga practice with some fabulous Halfmoon Yoga Products. Just in - gorgeous deluxe mini bolsters, lavender and flax eye pillows, mats and mat tote bags are back in stock.


Pre-paid Class Expiry
[Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, filed under News]

"Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory." ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

A gentle reminder dear yogis and yoginis about your pre-paid yoga classes - 5 and10 pre-paid classes expire one year from date of purchase. 20 and 50 pre-paid classes expire two years from date of purchase. Do continue your yoga practice and your investment in yourself. According to Swami Lex, there are two rules of yoga - Begin and Continue.

See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.


A Big Thank You from The Big Stretch - SSO Fundraiser
[Posted on Friday, February 28, 2014, filed under News]

A Big Thank You from The Big Stretch for all of your very kind and generous donations this year.

Together we raised $2,756, not to mention some of The Big Stretch Yoga Centre's lovely clientele including Sarah Reynolds and her beautiful daughters Victoria and Charlotte, who together raised $1,420. The lovely Lauren raised a whopping $786 at her very first yogathon and longtime student Daniela and her flexible entourage also attended. Former Karate Master and current Big Stretch Yogi, Jesse Bigelow, emceed the event at The Great Hall in downtown Toronto.

Your support of The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario aids in its mission to help the 130,000 Ontarians living with schizophrenia and psychosis, through programs and services that offer counselling and support.

Thank you everyone!


Early Bird Yoga - New Start Date - March 5th
[Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014, filed under News]

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

Celebrate the beginning of a new day in the quiet and stillness of the morning.

Wednesday mornings, 7:00 - 8:00 am, 8 weeks.
Wednesday, March 5th until Wednesday, April 23rd. $130 (includes HST). Pre-registration and pre-payment required to reserve your spot.


2014 Yogathon Fundraiser for The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario
[Posted on Monday, January 6, 2014, filed under News]

On Saturday, February 22nd, I am participating in The Yogathon for Schizophrenia to raise funds for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. I will also be teaching at this event.

This is my 9th year participating in this worthwhile fundraiser and I am doing it for my brother Jimmy who has schizophrenia.

You can learn more about my brother Jimmy and make an on-line donation (tax receipts provided via email), by going to my personal fundraising page (web link below) or if you'd like to join the event yourself, check-out the website at www.schizophrenia.on.ca. You can also make donations the old-fashioned way in person, right here at The Big Stretch (cash or cheque only - charitable tax receipts provided for donations over $20).

This fundraiser benefits the "Peace of Minds" youth engagement initiative, which helps youth and youth workers identify the signs and symptoms of psychosis; understand the importance of getting help early; and encourages them to fight the stigma associated with schizophrenia by speaking out against myths related to the illness.

Thanks for your support.

Web Link: Sponsor Joanne here - Donate to the Yogathon for Schizophrenia


New art installation - inspiring photography
[Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014, filed under News]

Check out our inspiring new art installation of stunning photography. These yoga and nature images were captured in Crothers Woods in the Don River Valley by top Toronto photographer Irina Fortey of Irina Photography.

A big thanks to longtime friend Sandra Topper of SGT Enterprises, for assisting with lighting, lugging, liquids and laughter - and, for helping me out of the rapids!!!

What a fun time we had capturing these images in 40 degree Celsius weather.

See you soon to breathe, stretch, laugh and relax with us.

Web Link: Irina Photography


The 2014 Untamed Wilderness Calendar
[Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, filed under News]

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives as water and good bread." ~ Edward Abbey

Our gift to you this holiday season - The 2014 Untamed Wilderness Calendar. Featuring stunning photos and information on animals from around the globe, in their natural, pristine habitats.

Pick up your complimentary calendar next time you are in for a class. All the best for 2014!


2014 Winter / Spring Schedule
[Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013, filed under News]

Happy holidays everyone!

The 2014 Winter / Spring Schedule is now available.

Our class schedule remains the same with some additional specialty classes such as Candlelight Restorative Yoga sessions, Heart Chakra Restorative, Earth Hour Fundraiser for WWF, Earth Day Restorative, 7-day New Year's Sadhana and 14-day Spring Sadhana.

You can download your schedule in pdf format below or pick up a printed copy next time you are in to practice peace with us.

PLEASE NOTE: Class fees increase after December 22nd, 2013.

All the best for 2014!

Namaste


Download: Big Stretch 2014 Winter:Spring Sched.pdf


Holiday Bliss - Yoga Class Gift Certificates
[Posted on Friday, November 29, 2013, filed under News]

Live wellness, give wellness - purchase your yoga class gift certificates for friends and family. Holiday bliss, available in any denomination, all in one little envelope - perfect for giving AND receiving!

Season's Greetings!


Daily Bread Food Bank Donations
[Posted on Sunday, November 24, 2013, filed under News]

In the spirit of Karma yoga, for our fourteenth year now, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Your kind donations will be accepted beginning Sunday, December 1st until Sunday, December 22nd only.

Web Link: Daily Bread Food Bank


CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish Donations
[Posted on Sunday, November 24, 2013, filed under News]

In the spirit of Karma yoga, for our fourteenth year now, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for The CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish. Please help a child in need - help give a kid a Christmas - newborn and teen gifts are most-needed.

Your kind donations will be accepted on-site at The Big Stretch Yoga Centre from Sunday, December 1st until Sunday, December 22nd only.

Please check out the web link below for donation ideas.


Web Link: Donation Ideas


Fundraising Endeavours - $300.00 raised for WSPA
[Posted on Sunday, November 17, 2013, filed under News]

A Big Thank You from The Big Stretch.

Our Sunday, November 17th afternoon yoga class fundraiser had to compete with Santa Claus and The Argos, however, The Big Stretch's karma yogis and yoginis still came together to breathe, stretch and relax our way to raise $300.00 for WSPA Canada's disaster response team's efforts in the Philippines.

The WSPA team is on the ground in the Philippines, responding to this urgent situation.

Much thanks and kindness,

Joanne


Please turn off your Cell Phones
[Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013, filed under News]

Please turn off your cell phones, including vibration mode (we can still hear your phone in vibration mode bouncing against your Smarties and keys), before class.

Please turn off your phone and wrist watch alarms as well.

Turning these off allows us to tune in to our breath, our bodies and our minds.


The Big Stretch is now on Facebook
[Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, filed under News]

Hello everyone,

The Big Stretch Yoga Centre is now on Facebook. Check out our fabulous photos from our summer retreat at Harmony Dawn.

You can click on the link below or at the top right corner of our website page. "f" stands for fabulous, fun, friendly and fantastic!

See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.

Much kindness,

Joanne

Web Link: Big Stretch on Facebook


The Big Stretch is 14 years old!!!
[Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013, filed under News]

The Big Stretch is celebrating is 14th year on Bayview Avenue and its 16th year in the Leaside neighbour this week and we are truly thankful for that.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many of you; my students, friends, family, neighbours, teachers, business associates and four-legged friends, for a fabulous 14 years.

Joy, love and laughter to you all,

Joanne


Thanksgiving Food Drive for The Daily Bread Food Bank
[Posted on Friday, September 27, 2013, filed under News]

UPDATE Thanks everyone for another successful food drive. The food has been dropped off at our local fire station on McRae Drive.
___

Once again, in the spirit of karma yoga, The Big Stretch is having its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank. We will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items (most needed items: baby formula and food, beans and lentils, canned fruits and vegetables, canned fish and meat, cans of soup or hearty stew, dried pasta and tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, rice; canned, powdered or Tetra Pak cartons of milk) until Sunday, October 13th.

Bring along a can of food to class this week and help fight hunger.

What are you thankful for???

Joanne


A Big Stretch for Earthships Malawi - Yoga Class Fundraiser Friday, September 20th
[Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, filed under News]

Come stretch for Earthships Malawi to empower people and promote sustainability!

Friday September 20th, 6:00 - 7:45 pm.
$20. Please rsvp.

Update: Thank you for your support - we raised $240 for Alex Topper's trip to Malawi to build an off-the-grid Community Centre Earthship. Alex is a true Karma Yogi!

For more details click the link below:

Web Link: Earthships Malawi Fundraiser details


2013 Autumn / Winter Schedule
[Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, filed under News]

Hello everyone!

The 2013 Autumn / Winter Schedule is now available. Our class schedule remains the same with some additional specialty classes such as Yoga for Happy Healthy Feet, Yoga and Drawing Workshop, The Essential Low Back Program, RestorativeYoga with live Sitar, Candlelight Restorative Yoga sessions and 7 and 5-day Sadhanas.

You can download your schedule in pdf format below or pick up a printed copy next time you are in to practice peace with us.

Namaste

Download: 2013Autumn:Winter Schedule.pdf


Inspirational Jewelry - Beautiful Malas
[Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, filed under News]

A perfect gift for yourself or a friend - beautiful malas made of gemstones (agate, quartz, turquoise etc.) and rudraksha beads from Mala Collective are now available. Malas are a set of 108 beads that has traditionally been used in prayer and meditation (often called prayer beads). We also have wrist malas with 27 beads. The jewelry can be worn by anyone seeking a calmer mind, body, and spirit.

Enjoy a Mala that reflects your intentions. And embodies your personality. One that adds to your outfit and karma -- and makes you look and feel great. A Mala you feel good about because it's fair trade and ethically produced. Something you feel great about buying because you know you're helping someone's life in Bali.

You'll love wearing the rudraksha bead jewelry for so many reasons.

We love that it's for those seeking a calmer mind, body, and spirit. And that it promotes peace and well being.

RUDRAKSHA BEADS
Often referred to as beads, rudrakshas are actually seeds that grow inside of what looks like a blueberry.

Mala Collective beads are sustainably harvested, fairly traded, and ethically produced. Priced from $12 - $115 and come in a lovely organza gift bag.


2013 Yogathon for The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario
[Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, filed under News]

UPDATE: Wow, together we raised $3,545.00 this year and were the top fundraiser!!! Thanks for your kind support.

On Saturday, February 23rd, I am participating in The Yogathon for Schizophrenia to raise funds for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. I will also be teaching at this event.

This is my 8th year participating in this worthwhile fundraiser and I am doing it for my brother Jimmy who has schizophrenia. He is pictured with me here when we were very young (my very first Lion's pose!!!).

You can learn more about my brother Jimmy and make an on-line donation (tax receipts provided via email), by going to my personal fundraising page (web link below) or if you'd like to join the event yourself, check-out the website at www.yogathon.ca. You can also make donations the old-fashioned way in person, right here at The Big Stretch (cash or cheque only - charitable tax receipts provided for donations over $20).

This fundraiser benefits the "Peace of Minds" youth engagement initiative, which helps youth and youth workers identify the signs and symptoms of psychosis; understand the importance of getting help early; and encourages them to fight the stigma associated with schizophrenia by speaking out against myths related to the illness.

Thanks for your support.

Web Link: Sponsor Joanne here - Donate to the Yogathon for Schizophrenia


Daily Bread Food Bank Donations
[Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012, filed under News]

In the spirit of Karma yoga, for our thirteenth year now, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the Daily Bread Food Bank. Your kind donations will be accepted beginning Saturday, December 1st until Thursday, December 20th only.

Web Link: Daily Bread Food Bank


Deluxe Mini Bolsters - Back in stock!!!
[Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, filed under News]

How fabulous!

The versatile, Deluxe Mini Bolster can be used to support your neck or lower back. It can also be used as a small bolster to open your chest, support your hip in pigeon pose or cow's head pose, tuck under your knees for a seated forward bend or savasana or you can sit on it.

It comes in a variety of colours so it will also look great on your sofa!

Because Halfmoon's Canadian-made and hand-made cushions are filled with organic buckwheat hulls, they breathe and are adjustable in their shape for your maximum comfort. The covers are also removable for easy laundering.

Pick one up for yourself or a friend, $48 (includes HST).

I am happy to demonstrates its many functions as part of your purchase or inquiry.


The Big Stretch adopts a tree!!!
[Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, filed under News]

The Big Stretch Yoga Centre has adopted a tree in front of 1560 Bayview Avenue as part of the Bayview Buckets initiative in affiliation with LEAF.

Street trees make our neighbourhood green and beautiful so The Big Stretch Yoga Centre is doing our part by watering the tree in front of our business.

Just three buckets of water a week will save street trees.

The tree represents the circle of life. It evokes deep grounding and faith and symbolizes wisdom, protection, beauty, strength and continuous growth.

UPDATE: August 22nd - After being landscaped only a day and half ago, our hard work which included weeding, adding rocks, pebbles, birch, acorns, woven willow and mulch; our landscaping has been stolen/vandalized and during the day time!!!!. Anyhow, we will continue to water the tree (it's a little bit of a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree at the moment) but will not re-landscape. Hopefully the remaining mulch will keep it moist and keep down the weeds. Thanks so much Judy for helping me with this project!!!

LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest. Since 1996, LEAF has actively engaged residents in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training.

Web Link: LEAF


Buyer Beware - Star Auctions
[Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012, filed under News]

Please note that The Big Stretch Yoga Centre will not accept Gift Certificates purchased from Star Auctions (part of the Toronto Star).


WWF fundraising success - $520 raised!
[Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, filed under News]

On Saturday, March 31st, yogis and yoginis gathered at The Big Stretch Yoga Centre, in honour of Earth Hour, to turn out the lights, to practice peace together and to raise $520 for the WWF.

Earth Hour's goal is to raise awareness about climate change and symbolize that, working together the people of the world can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Thanks everyone for joining me for an omtastic yoga class in the dark!

I photographed the polar bear shown at right when I visited Churchill, Manitoba last year.


Yogathon for SSO - $3,586.00 raised!!!!
[Posted on Saturday, March 3, 2012, filed under News]

The 2012 Peace of Minds Yogathon held on Saturday, February 25th was a tremendous success!

The Big Stretch Yoga Centre was the top fundraiser for the 7th year in a row and together we raised $3,586.00 with more donations still coming in.

The event raised approximately $36,000 overall with funds still coming in.

Thank you to my friends, family and yoga students for your kind and generous support.

A special shout out to The Big Stretch Yoga Centre's students Jesse Bigelow who raised $1,185.00 and Sarah Reynolds who raised $608.00!!!! Well done!

And, A Big Stretch, big thank you to Gulden Kilic for donating her time, spirit and expertise to teach at The Big Stretch Yoga Centre during my absence and volunteering to do so on behalf of the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. Now that is Karma Yoga at its finest. Namaste sweet Gulden.



Web Link: Sponsor Joanne here - Donate to the Yogathon for Schizophrenia


2013 Yogathon for Schizophrenia
[Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2012, filed under News]

On Saturday, February 23rd, I am participating in The Yogathon for Schizophrenia to raise funds for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. I will also be teaching at this event.

This is my 8th year participating in this worthwhile fundraiser and I am doing it for my brother Jimmy who has schizophrenia. He is pictured with me here when we were very young (my very first Lion's pose!!!).

You can learn more about my brother Jimmy and make an on-line donation (tax receipts provided via email), by going to my personal fundraising page (web link below) or if you'd like to join the event yourself, check-out the website at www.yogathon.ca. You can also make donations the old-fashioned way in person, right here at The Big Stretch (cash or cheque only - charitable tax receipts provided for donations over $20).

This fundraiser benefits the "Peace of Minds" youth engagement initiative, which helps youth and youth workers identify the signs and symptoms of psychosis; understand the importance of getting help early; and encourages them to fight the stigma associated with schizophrenia by speaking out against myths related to the illness.

Thanks for your support.

Web Link: Sponsor Joanne here - Donate to the Yogathon for Schizophrenia


Beautiful Eye Pillows
[Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2012, filed under News]

Soothe tired eyes and release facial tension, ease the mind and renew the spirit with an all natural eye pillow filled with flax seeds and lavender. Ideal for Savasana or just chilling out. This little luxury comes in a lovely box - a perfect hostess, birthday or Mother's Day gift. Includes a removable, washable cover in either solid silk or cotton print. Handmade in Vancouver - $25.00.


Suminagashi, Art & Yoga Workshop Photo Gallery
[Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2011, filed under News]

Check out our on-line Big Stretch Gallery to see photos of this fun and fabulous workshop lead by Tania Love. Our class combined meditation, asana, haiku, bubble blowing and working with mulberry paper and sumi ink to create beautiful Suminagashi.

Web Link: Gallery


Tania Love's Art and Lighting Installation
[Posted on Friday, April 8, 2011, filed under News]

Drop in and check out our new lighting and art installation by Tania Love, pictured at right.

"The stretches of sand and horizon of the lake and sky offered an entirely new palette and mood. Looking to reflect the water and element and patterns I saw in the sand, I adapted the Japanese tradition of "suminagashi". It is is often used as a method of marbling paper, but is essentially a drawing made of sumi ink floating on water. Sumi ink is made of ash and soot mixed with a vegetable binder. I liked the idea of working with the combined elements of water and fire, through its ash residue." ~ Tania Love

Check out more photos of the installation in our Gallery section of the website.

Web Link: Tania Love


Two fundraisers - Japan and WWF - over $1,100.00 raised.
[Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2011, filed under News]

Wow, thanks for your support and participation. Together we raised over $1,100.00 at our specialty yoga classes benefiting Japan and the World Wildlife Fund.

On Wednesday, March 23rd, participants gathered for a gentle yoga class instructed by Joanne Lowe with live music and vocals by Debbie Danbrook. Giselle of the Barber's Daughter also joined in by donating proceeds from the sale of her beautiful, inspired jewelery.

On Saturday, March 26th, our class was held in the dark, by candlelight, in support of Earth Hour. The event encourages awareness of climate change and about energy - how we produce it and how we use it. Class fees were donated to the World Wildlife Fund of Canada.

Thanks to all those who participated or who were unable to participate but donated anyway - karma yoga at its finest!


2011 Yogathon for Schizophrenia - $4500.00 raised!!!
[Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011, filed under News]

Wow, thanks, together we raised $4,500.00 for this fundraiser!!! You can still donate to this worthwile cause by clicking on the link below.

On Saturday, March 5th, I am participating in The Yogathon for Schizophrenia to raise funds for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario.

This is my 6th year participating in this worthwhile fundraiser and I do it for my brother Jimmy who has schizophrenia. He is pictured with me here when we were very young (my very first Lion's pose).

You can learn more about my brother Jimmy and make an on-line donation (tax receipts provided via email) by going to my personal fundraising page (web link below) or if you'd like to join the event yourself, check-out the website www.yogathon.ca. You can also make donations in person, right here at The Big Stretch.

This fundraiser benefits the "Peace of Minds" youth engagement initiative, which helps youth and youth workers identify the signs and symptoms of psychosis; understand the importance of getting help early; and encourages them to fight the stigma associated with schizophrenia by speaking out against myths related to the illness.

Thanks for your support.

Web Link: Sponsor Joanne - Donate to the Yogathon for Schizophrenia


Yoga Pet Photo Contest Winner!
[Posted on Saturday, December 4, 2010, filed under News]

A Big Stretch Big Shout Out to Sandra Wrigley who won the Yoga Pets Photo Contest with her entry of Bekki, her miniature golden doodle who performs the Open Angle Seated Forward Bend posture or Upavistha Konasana. Our esteemed panel of judges say "Bekki's firm seat, grounded tail, upright alignment of her back and gentle, pensive look of relaxation and inward self-study illustrate that she is a true Dogi."

Sandra wins 5 yoga classes and a portrait of her pet from Robyn Feeley of Bungalow Art valued at $100.

We raised $80.00 for The Toronto Humane Society and The Big Stretch will double that to make it $160.00. Thanks for all your great entries which can be seen on-line on The Big Stretch's website in the GALLERY section (there are two Yoga Pets Galleries).


Web Link: Bungalow Art


Yoga Pets Photo Contest
[Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2010, filed under News]

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

In yoga, many of the asanas or postures are modeled and named after animals, ie. fish, bird, camel, dog, cat. Snap a shot of your pet in a yoga pose and enter it via email to The Big Stretch to win an amazing 5x7 portrait of your pet by the famous pet portrait artist Robyn Feeley of Bungalow Art (Value $100) as well as 5 complimentary yoga classes. Check out Robyn's website at www.bungalowart.com.

Please submit your photo via email, and drop-off a $10.00 entry fee (to be donated to The Toronto Humane Society) next time you are at class. Don't forget to include the name of your pet and the yoga pose. Photos will be displayed on-line in the Gallery section of The Big Stretch Yoga Centre's website. i have also included a few of Robyn's pet portraits here.

Deadline for entries is Tuesday, November 30th, 2010.

Contest is open to students of The Big Stretch - amateur photographers only. One entry per person. Photos .jpg or .png photos should be under 1MB.

Web Link: Bungalow Art


Pre-paid Class Expiry
[Posted on Monday, September 13, 2010, filed under News]

"Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory." ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

A gentle reminder dear yogis and yoginis about your pre-paid yoga classes - 5 and10 pre-paid classes expire one year from date of purchase. 20 and 50 pre-paid classes expire two years from date of purchase. Do continue your yoga practice and your investment in yourself. According to Swami Lex, there are two rules of yoga - Begin and Continue.

See you soon to breathe, stretch and relax with us.


$400.00 raised for Pakistan - Fundraiser
[Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2010, filed under News]

Don't let hope get washed away...

On Tuesday, August 24th, we raised $400.00 at our Candlelight Yoga Class benefiting Pakistan. A BIG thanks to all who participated in the fundraiser.



$575 raised for the CNIB!
[Posted on Sunday, June 6, 2010, filed under News]

"The best and most beautiful things in the world, cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart." ~ Helen Keller

The Great Canadian Yoga Stretch for the CNIB was a health and wellness fundraiser held at the end of May. It was all about getting active, raising money and making a difference in the lives of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.

Over the last 10 years I have been fortunate enough to volunteer at the CNIB teaching yoga classes to blind or partially sighted children, teens, and adults. It has been challenging, fun and highly rewarding.

Web Link: Click here to sponsor me.


The Big Stretch is featured in CRAVE Toronto!
[Posted on Sunday, May 9, 2010, filed under News]

CRAVE Toronto is the most unique and stylish guidebook for city living. It is a celebration of over 120 women entreprenesses that showcases some of the most creative, interesting, and gutsy proprietors throughout our city.

CRAVE Toronto, the urban girl's manifesto, innovatively connects urban gals to the sassiest, gutsiest, most inspiring people they need to know in Toronto. Our modern marketplace of soirees, gatherings and online networking serves as your ambassador to everything there is to CRAVE about Toronto.

Pick up your CRAVE Manifesto right here at The Big Stretch Yoga Centre while supplies last. $20 + tax - includes coupons to businesses we crave all over the city, including, of course, The Big Stretch Yoga Centre.

Photo of Joanne Lowe, at right, by Irina Fortey, www.irinaphotography.ca. Check out some more of her photos in our gallery section.

Web Link: Crave Toronto


10th Anniversary - Director's Message
[Posted on Sunday, May 9, 2010, filed under News]

A Big Thanks: The Big Stretch Yoga Centre is celebrating its 10th year on Bayview Ave. and its 12th year in the Leaside neighbourhood. Over the past 10 years, we've created a beautiful, welcoming space of like-minded practitioners. This is such a precious thing, which continues to grow through our enthusiasm, dedication and passion for the practice. Yoga is about intimacy, not only with ourselves - our breath, our bodies, our mind, our heart - but with our family, friends, loved ones and community. Together, off the mat, we have gathered toys, food and monies to donate to many worthwhile charities, and we have come together to save this building when the City wanted to tear it down to build a parking lot.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many of you, including my students, friends, family, neighbours, teachers and business associates, for a fabulous 10 years.

Joy, love and laughter to you all.

Joanne


Earth Hour - $450 raised for the WWF
[Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, filed under News]

Friends of The Big Stretch gathered on March 27th for a candlelight yoga class during Earth Hour to raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund. Together we raised $450 as well as awareness for our environment.


Yogathon For Schizophrenia - raised $4055.00!!!
[Posted on Friday, March 12, 2010, filed under News]

A Big Thank You to friends, family and students of Joanne and The Big Stretch Yoga Centre for your kind and generous donations. Together we raised $4,055.00 and are the top fundraiser for 5 years straight.

Supporters of the SSO -- yoga enthusiasts and novices alike -- came together for this karmic event to raise funds and awareness to make a real difference in the lives of those affected by schizophrenia on Saturday, March 6 at The Berkeley Church.

This year's funds will help support SSO's Early Intervention Program which seeks to raise awareness of psychotic disorders. This will lead to early diagnosis and treatment and enhance the chances of recovery among young people.



Web Link: Sponsor me here


A Big Stretch For Haiti - $850 Raised!!!!!
[Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010, filed under News]

Wow, thanks, together we raised $850.00!!!!

We invite you to participate in a Fundraiser benefiting the recovery, relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. Come share yourself and your energy - mind, body, and soul - as we support Haiti and send our love, light and prayers to all her people with a lovely yoga class by candlelight - all levels welcome.

The world is responding to the disaster in Haiti, and people around the world are coming together to help in any way they can. When we join together, amazing things can happen.

100% of your class fee will be donated to the Haiti earthquake relief effort.

$20 advance registration required to reserve your spot for this candlelight yoga class on Friday, January 29th from 6 - 7:30 pm.


Hatha Yoga books back in stock
[Posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, filed under News]

HATHY YOGA, The Hidden Language - Symbols, Secrets and Metaphors 20th Anniversary Edition by Swami Sivananda Rhada. This editition of the book was shot on location at The Big Stretch Yoga Centre, featuring director Joanne Lowe, and other Toronto instructors including the lovely Bibi Rahim-Hahn!!!!
$32.95 plus tax.


Stainless Steel One Bottles for sale
[Posted on Saturday, August 22, 2009, filed under News]

One bottle is good for you. And for the planet.

Re-usable, stainless steel onebottles are now available in a variety of sizes. These bottles are reusable, recyclable, unbreakable, lightweight, clips onto your yoga mat tote bag and eco-friendly. This bottle has no metallic taste and does not contain any dangerous chemicals and comes with two lids - sports and plug top - for sippers and gluggers alike. $1.00 from the sale of each of these bottles will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund's conservation efforts.



Morning Glory
[Posted on Saturday, July 18, 2009, filed under News]

Hi Joanne, this is Jennifer one of your yogis from about a year ago. I am the one who moved to Australia temporarily. I was recently separated when I started going to your classes.

I did what may have been a 'questionable' thing and brought with me the morning glory seeds you gave your students at the end of the April sadhana last year. You gave each of us a brown paper bag with morning glory seeds you picked from your garden. I might have put myself into trouble had the Australian immigration people looked through my suitcase and found those seeds! ;-) last August when I arrived.

Just a few weeks ago, I planted those seeds and well, have a look at the photos I am attaching. They've grown! I said to myself that I would bring these seeds with me and plant them when I was ready to blossom again. Thank you Joanne. I think about your classes all the time and wish I was able to hop in the car and come down for one on a moment's notice. Although they won't replace yours, I have recently found a class and instructor that is quite good here. She is the only person since arriving here that uses music as a part of the class. As well, she tells us what the poses represent and what they do for us physically. That is rare in an instructor I've found.

Thank you Joanne for your kind gift - the seeds. Your other truly amazing gift is your yoga practice and what you do to share that. Other instructors have big shoes to fill when compared to you. It's funny. Since planting the seeds I'd been so curious to see whether they would grow. And with time and patience they did.

Take care, Jennifer