On August 22nd, I attended the Toronto stop of Lole’s White Yoga Day. The event was held in the historic Fort York Historical Site and the weather couldn’t be more perfect it as it was sunny and hot. It was very eventful and I have a good list of pros and cons of the day:
I made the mistake in forgetting that it was the opening weekend of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) which meant that traveling downtown was more of a nightmare than ever, especially on a Saturday at 9am. While it took me about 15 minutes to actually get down to the site, it took me an additional 25 minutes to find parking, shell out $30 for the parking (the event was $35) and walk back to the site. If I had remembered this, I probably would have just taken public transit.
When I walked out to the field, it looked beautiful, the white and yellow made you feel an instant feeling of peace. However, that was quickly distinguished when a train came roaring by to the left of the yoga mats. When you sat on your mat, to your right was the Gardiner highway and to your left was the train tracks. While you couldn’t see the train because of the trees, you definitely could hear it.
I’m a stickler for classes to start on time, particularly when it comes to yoga classes. While it had been advertised on Lole’s Facebook page and the email sent to all the yogis that the actual yoga would be from 10am-11:15am, the class didn’t actually start until 10:30am after about five minutes of speeches from various members of Lole’s executive team. The class was 75 minutes as advertised and a good class, which I will get to in the Pros. Despite the large park, most of the moves required twisting and spreading your arms out which was very awkward when you hardly had any room between you and your neighbour.
Upon entering the park, you were greeted by staff members and handed a bright yellow grab bag. After finding my spot and setting up my free mat, I sat down and explored what I received in my grab bag. Inside I found coupons, free samples of supplement shakes, healthy snack bars, a bottle of Fiji water, a Lole headband, and a mini tablecloth and cuttlery from Oikos for the lunch. (SEE PICTURES BELOW)
The Lole staff and volunteers were great, friendly and an additional ray of sunshine to the day. Whether they were helping you to locate a spot for you and your posse, or just helping to demonstrate how your arms should be during a particular pose, they were there to answer any and all questions.
With the amount of space that Lole had, it was great that their sponsors were able to set up booths and hand out free samples of food. Their main sponsor, Oikos Greek yogurt, was showcasing new flavours of their yogurt and also put together the healthy vegetarian lunch for all participating yogis. Lole also had a booth where you could purchase some of their gear for 25% off the normal retail price.
When it came to the actual class itself, the teachers were accompanied by beautiful music to lead a great 75-minute class that provided a much-needed stretch.
Overall, it was a nice event, but I don’t think I would do it again unless it was in a different location. The distractions of the highway and the train tracks made it difficult to concentrate a lot and having to shell out almost the same amount of money for parking as the cost to attend the event made this a much more expensive day that I had originally counted on.
I give this event a 3/5.