I knew about Joga well before walking through the doors of the Joga House in Yorkville – and you may be wondering why that name sounds familiar too. Founder and owner Jana Webb was one of the women on the first season of The Real Housewives of Toronto, which gave her a platform to bring Joga House to the next level.
Webb created Joga well before her television debut. According to the Joga website, Joga was created “to bridge the gap between the traditional practice of yoga and biometrics of sports”. If you follow @joga_world on Instagram, you’ll see that Webb and her coaches regularly assist professional athletes with their Joga practice. The Joga practice is geared towards all athletes: both the professionals and the “urban athletes” (I think that’s me). Having followed Joga on Instagram for a few months, I was excited to try this unique practice. I mean if an NFL player uses it to become a better athlete, I want to try too!
Joga House offers a number of different class styles including: Joga: Balance, Joga: Energize, Joga: Strong and Joga: Regen. I opted for the Joga Regen class, described as low intensity and in which we would “unwind physical tension and mental stress.”
Upon arriving at Joga, I met Coach Nora. She had a warm and welcoming smile that invites her yogis to feel instantly comfortable in her presence. The Joga House is underground and the space feels cozy and is easy to navigate. It is a place to practice and improve your game, whatever that looks like for each Jogi who practices there. The studio prides itself on being a motivating place to workout where you “keep agile, not fragile”.
Our class began with the signature “Joga Flow” to get the body warm and prepared for stretching. “Joga Flow” begins with a breathing exercise. We then moved through Joga versions of planks, downward dog, child’s pose and push-ups. The cues for each pose built upon each other to maximize both our stretch, and the heat we were creating. After the warm up, Coach Nora took us through a series of poses and positions that stretched out our muscles. She provided options to achieve a deeper stretch if you were feeling the need to go to the next level. She made sure to remind us to respect the body and what it needs in that moment. Light music with lyrics played in the background and before I knew it, we were moving into final savasana.
The class size was small and Coach Nora made sure to get around to the everyone in the class. She adjusted us in various positions when necessary to help us feel the stretch that much more.
One of the amazing benefits of a yoga practice is the reminder of how important it is to focus on our physical and mental wellness. Being on the mat and focusing on breathing helps us focus on what we are doing and not think about life off the mat. It forces us to be present. Joga: Regen reminded me of the importance of stretching and how necessary it is in my day to day life.
Joga House is located at 208 Bloor Street West