Yoga Tree Bay and Dundas Grand Opening

Yoga Tree has opened a new location at Bay and Dundas and I was fortunate enough to attend the Grand Opening launch party this past Thursday.

The event was unlike anything I have ever been to before; the event coordinator did a particularly excellent job of promoting the space as well as offering a little something for everyone.

bench Decore

When I first entered the studio, I was immediately greeted by the happy and friendly staff. I was then invited to test out the balance of my chakras with a quick session on an acupuncture mat and was then directed towards the amazing professionals from Ayurveda Rituals spa (http://ayurvedictouch.com/). They cleansed my aura (which between you and I, really needed to be done) and they identified the imbalance in my dosha through a sensory experiment, and last but certainly not least, I received a wonderful foot massage. This served to get me in touch and in tune with my body in a way that I haven’t for a very long time. Even if you aren’t a believer in chakras, doshas, and auras, the second floor of the studio, set up as a relaxing lounge, was definitely a space where everyone could relax and enjoy. What is more, this lounge is complete with its very own Kombucha bar, the first of its kind in Toronto.

footmassage Ayurveda Botanical Skincare

For any of you who many not know, Kambucha is a cold tea that originated in China around 200 B.C. which has undergone fermentation and is naturally carbonated and full of probiotics (Pekoe Kombucha). Kombucha possesses healing, cleansing, detoxifying, and energizing qualities. We were served this cleansing elixir over ice with gin and mint leaves. It is absolutely delicious and you can feel good drinking it. I ended the tour of this floor feeling relaxed and grounded.

drink kamboucha

The tour continued, however, as I moved upstairs to the third floor where the studio was abuzz with people eating food provided by Freshii, wine by Southbrook (local and organic wine), and were enjoying the lively musical entertainment offered by the event’s DJ as well as the opportunity to get henna applied by artists Joanne Rumstein-Ellis (Hennafication) and Tarquin Singh (Henna Planet). The energy on this floor was a compelling contrast to the sheer relaxation only one floor down; I suddenly felt revitalized and full of energy. It was a truly enjoyable evening.

Freshii Henna

I thought the Grand Opening was very well thought out since I ended up leaving feeling exactly as I do after a good yoga workout: relaxed as well as energized. The space was beautifully decorated and the crowd was an interesting mix of yogis and downtown young professionals.

I was very impressed with this beautiful, spacious studio and I would recommend that everyone go check it out if they can. The studio also includes on onsite wellness center with access to a registered massage therapist and naturopathic practitioner, three separate yoga studios that are custom-made to be soundproof and provide insulation, and hot yoga rooms that have an innovative humidity control. Indeed this is far more than just a yoga studio; go relax, rejuvenate, and grow at Yoga Tree.

 

Published Oct 2014 in Fusia magazine

Decadence is Calling: The 9th Annual Chocolate Ball Gala

Most definitely a night of decadence, the 9th Annual Chocolate Ball Gala was this past Thursday, Oct 16th, and I am still recovering from all of the sugar. Having lived in Toronto for many years now and also being a serious chocolate fan, I was shocked to only discover last year that Toronto has an entire festival dedicated to celebrating everything chocolate, and the signature event of the festival is the Chocolate Ball. I was fortunate enough to attend last year and again this year and it has yet to disappoint. The entire evening is truly spectacular and sensational in every aspect of the word; I’m already anxiously waiting for next year’s Ball!

The Gala’s theme was Tropica Cocoa: A Salute to Movie, Music, and Dance of the Tropics. From décor to entertainment and even the wardrobe of the greeters and volunteers, everything was film and tropics inspired, right down to the beautifully constructed ice sculpture at the gala entrance – this entrance being the Eglinton Grand Theatre, probably the most appropriate venue for such an event, adding to the film motif.

greeter

The evening’s festivities included a silent auction, photo booth, a chocolate casino, caricatures, savory food stations, chocolate stations, dessert stations, as well as live entertainment from a DJ, the BASo Alto Dancers, Junior Ballroom Dancers, and the Polynesian Dreams Hawaiian Dancers. There were also door prizes and raffle draws.

dance dancers

Of course the main event, however, is the chocolate! Sweet meets savory in the succulent chocolate-infused food prepared by Chef Russell (from Penthouse Catering) and Chef Terry Port from (Personal Chef Solutions). Some of the “hit” items included chocolate braised baby back ribs and chocolaty pulled pork tacos infused with Cumin and Cocoa, topped with Queso Fresco and Cilantro. Although these infusions may seem a bit bizarre, they were wonderfully crafted, simply delicious, and cooked to absolute perfection. There was also a Crêpes À Go Go station managed by the wonderful Chef Veronique.

food

Chocolate stations included the beautifully crafted pieces from ChocoStyle, CocoaWorld Chocolatier, Giddy YoYo, Golden Apple Confections, M Thompson Chocolates, Old Time Confections, and Xocai. There was also the unbelievable dessert station Dolcini by Joseph which offered a breathtaking selection of the most delicate, melt-in-your-mouth pastries from master Pastry Chef Joseph Montinaro.

caramel chocolate

All that decadence and none of the guilt! Why? Because this event isn’t just about overindulging on chocolate; proceeds go toward Prostate and Breast Cancer initiatives. Eating chocolate for charity…It doesn’t really get much better than that.

If you are intrigued by the festival and your overwhelming love of chocolate, don’t worry there is still more chocolate festival to enjoy. The festival concludes on November 2nd with the Chocolate Sunday, Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show at Roy Thompson Hall. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.TorontoChocolateShow.com. Go ahead and indulge, you know you want to, and you deserve it!

 

Published Oct 2014 in Fusia magazine