You can join a special one-day-only yoga event in Toronto this weekend

Streets of Toronto x OmTO

For six years I gave up every Father’s Day so that I could host OmTO — a full day of outdoor yoga, in celebration of the Summer Solstice. At its height, OmTO had more than 3,000 guests and onlookers with yoga classes averaging more than 150 people. Then the pandemic occurred, and the event became logistically impossible to put on. But I’ve always wanted to bring the event back — because it was always such a special day. I was just waiting for the perfect time.

It turns out that Sunday, Dec. 17 is that perfect time. The holiday season can be so hectic and with so much negativity in the news cycle. I think we could all use a day for ourselves. An opportunity to decompress and move and be part of something bigger — nourishing our bodies and minds at a time of year when we need it most. But I’m also hoping to support my friends and partners in the yoga community who were hit extremely hard by the pandemic.

As yogi, Tonic contributor and OmTO class instructor Tracey Soghrati puts it: “OmTO has always been the best place to connect with teachers and practitioners from all over the city. I encourage students to try a few different class styles — every practice is different and I’m always pleasantly surprised by the quality of teaching I find!”

The event

OmTO is a full day of curated and themed yoga classes taught by the top instructors from the top studios in the GTA. You can reserve your space, online, in advance. There will be music, contests, free giveaways and special offers for our guests. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to charity. All of the classes will be video recorded. 

The venue

ZoomerHall at 70 Jefferson Ave., with its high ceilings, ambient lighting and urban vibe, is the main recording studio at ZoomerMedia, located at the ZoomerPlex in Liberty Village in Toronto. The venue can be accessed by car (with free parking on site) or public transit. There are shops, restaurants and bars surrounding the venue in this iconic urban neighbourhood.

The classes

There will be nine curated, specially-themed yoga classes throughout the day. Each has its own unique twist. Commencing at 10 a.m. sharp, and then every hour on the hour, every class will last 45 minutes (with a 15 minute break in between to allow our guests to come, practice and go — without ruining their vibe). For example, the early birds might want to take a 50/50 mat pilates and yoga class at 10 a.m. taught by Chris Pride of Altea Active. Or one might choose to take a hot (and dark) yoga flow class in the late afternoon, taught by Jaybird co-founder Ariel Swan. Julie Watson is teaching a DYNAMIC Power Vinyasa class to a female-featured playlist mid-afternoon.

As Julie puts it: “Think Stevie Nicks meets Whitney Houston meets Miley Cyrus.” Or you might want to take a midday Yang-Yin Yoga class with OmTO favourite Tracey Soghrati — and reeeallllly hooollllddd thosssseee possess. Or for those looking for adventure you might want to “let loose” with Hana Lukac at 6 p.m. to close out our program. 

A special class

Yoga is one of the most beneficial complementary therapies for Parkinson’s Disease. It helps to increase flexibility; improve posture; loosen tight, painful muscles; build (or rebuild) confidence; and, through these benefits, enhance quality of life. Parkinson Canada is sponsoring a specially curated class at OmTO at 11 a.m. and welcomes those with Parkinson’s, friends, family and loved ones to join in.

Insider information

If you’re interested in taking a class at OmTO visit www.omto.ca to sign up. All the class descriptions are there for you to choose and reserve your space. All classes are $20, with a portion of the proceeds going to Parkinson Canada. There is an online waiver for you to sign, as the classes involve physical activity and will be recorded and shared with our sponsors and studio partners. Walk-ins are welcome, but will have to sign up and pay online, space permitting. On the day of the event make sure to come with your own yoga mat… and a desire to have an amazing time!

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO