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Fitness Clubs

Aum Center Yoga

Posted by Staff / Posted on February 10, 2013

aum center yoga torontoAum Center Yoga has taken over Krudar Muay Thai's former location, and they're filling it with the power of deep breathing-based exercise, and joules, too (more on what those are later).

aum center yoga torontoI show up at 6 pm for what they call the core yoga class. It's focused around abdominal breathing and core strength. Owner Wally Podilchak or Wally-ji (ji being an affectionate Hindi epithet) comes from a fitness education and university sociology background, with training from Gyan Yoga, so the fusion makes sense to me.

aum center yoga torontoOur class takes place in the rear Moon room, as opposed to the more frontward Sun room for hot yoga. It's about seven degrees cooler than normal since the heater is on the fritz today, but no matter. Wally-ji reminds us that it's not the stretching and posing in yoga that makes us sweat, but actually the core breathing (which we just happen to be focusing on today).

And it's true; after five minutes of the focused breathing, my body is noticeably warmer. As an added bonus, he's more like a supportive father figure than the marble statue of an instructor that's often seen in trendy spa-styled yoga studios these days.

aum center yoga torontoThere's respect for the spiritual aspect of the tradition, with nods to the physical workout, but Wally-ji's approach is innovative, as well. Having practiced yoga on and off for the past ten years, I'm happy to be forced into new tricks like an elbow and abs-based pushup movement that he's improvised.

Lying flat on our stomachs, we inhale deeply into the abs, lift up, and pull back in an upwards dog crunch, driven by the core. "This might be a little more advanced than what you're used to," he says, but he laughs along with us, sensing our frustration.

aum center yoga torontoI also love their creative pricing plans. A standard class is only $10 and you can even pay in Joules spent. Their website explains it best: "We price our classes in Joules: the energy created when you release the tension from inside your body and enter a mindful yogic state. With unlimited Joules passes, you can convert and transform a great deal of yogic energy."

aum center yoga torontoAum Center Yoga is affordable and aligns itself with true yogic values of health and well-being, rather than arguably secular health and wellness marketing fads. They offer over 20 different styles, from classics like Hatha and Nidra, to specifically tailored and modern creations like "Oceanic," an aquatic-themed class that blends dance with underwater movement, and "Yoga man! (Am I STIFF)," for unwinding tight muscles.

aum center yoga torontoThe green lychee tea is always plentiful and waiting for you in the Kensington-styled chill-out lounge, just be mindful that working on your cell phone is not permitted while you wait for class. Try doing something revolutionary, and make a new friend instead.

aum center yoga torontoWriting by Jesse Ship. Photos by Jesse Milns.

Discussion

16 Comments

k / February 10, 2013 at 07:19 pm
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This is close to me and I was thinking of checking it out. It's unfortunate that the website is so confusing and difficult to navigate.
LA / February 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm
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I just checked out the website and man…… that is a LOT of information on there!! Yoga people are not always the best graphic designers I guess! Looks like a beautiful studio though.
wally-ji replying to a comment from k / February 12, 2013 at 09:42 pm
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Web confusion? Call me at 647.741.9642 and I will give you 2 free passes for advising what you have difficulty with...
Andrea / February 15, 2013 at 09:16 am
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I see what you mean about the website. Wally, you might want to check out Wix for a free or cheap website if you're doing it yourself rather than hiring a designer. I used it recently for a client and found that they have a good Yoga theme and others that would suit a studio.

I've been intending to check out the studio. I had an online coupon but misread the expiry date and didn't begin to use it in time.
the lemur replying to a comment from LA / February 19, 2013 at 05:13 pm
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The logo alone ... random phonetic symbols are not a good look.
wally-ji replying to a comment from Andrea / February 22, 2013 at 01:22 pm
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Andrea: your coupon still has value, and entitles you to 3 classes.
Andrea, LA, Lemur: The website is being redesigned that will have our unique imprint. Interesting how there's an expectation that yoga should have a similar look and design. Yoga is more than one (consumerist spa) style. Our motto is diverse yoga for unique people. The 'random symbols'represent diversity of languages (and peoples), not a linear conforming impulse. Same for my play on some words.... yo(ga) a -- yoga always moves us to go beyond our boundaries and expectations.
wally-ji replying to a comment from k / February 22, 2013 at 01:26 pm
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K: does one judge a book, by it's cover? a real place by its virtual image, a person in their facebook profile rather than an real person in 'face-body' and lived reality?
wally-ji replying to a comment from k / February 22, 2013 at 01:44 pm
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forgot to add: yoga also nurtures a nonjudgemental and compassionate outlook
Andrea replying to a comment from wally-ji / February 22, 2013 at 01:59 pm
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Hi Wally,

Thanks for your response.

Regarding, "Interesting how there's an expectation that yoga should have a similar look and design. Yoga is more than one (consumerist spa) style.":

I wasn't implying that it should, I was giving examples of what exist to serve as inspiration. When creating a website you want to think about user experience. For example, how easy information is to find, and visuals. Visual identity and branding are an integral part of marketing and there are general design principles that exist for a reason - such as sticking to 3 colours on a webpage and a small number of fonts. The look and design in other yoga templates work because they're clean, simple, uncluttered and easy for the website visitor. It doesn't mean you need to use those, but do keep in mind what you want to achieve with the site.

Think about yoga: It's freeing. It makes people stretch and relax. It's calming. It provides a sense of peace, a connection to that feeling of spirit. A cluttered site, like a cluttered room or a closed chakra, has an opposite effect.

I say this to share my expertise and help. In both this comment and my previous was my intent was to use helpful words rather than critical ones. It comes from a desire to help your promotional material be as beautiful as the studio and classes probably are. People will judge you by your website because it's the first thing they see. One DOES judge a book by its cover.

Yoga is certainly more than one style and I like the logo. Thank you for the information about the coupon. I look forward to visiting. Let me know if you want to chat further. You can contact me through my websites. (Each of my comments links to a different site.)

Namaste/sat nam
Jazzmin / February 26, 2013 at 12:18 pm
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I have been going here for several weeks, on the advice of my roommate who has been going for a few months and its worth it. Lots of classes and its a good work out,

I am sure the website will get fixed in the future, til then find the address and go.
simple living / May 22, 2013 at 03:59 pm
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I recently tried a few classes and i'm really likiing it. I like the website too. so easy to just check out and see so many different classes suited to one's needs and choice.I appreciate Wally Ji's effort to make yoga available to all.

Namaste.
Beth O. replying to a comment from wally-ji / June 2, 2013 at 09:40 pm
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I just wanted to comment on the first few posts. I have never been to your studio, but I am seriously considering trying it out after only having seen the website. The comments regarding the site are understandable in their own right due to some other websites that portray a sense of quality but offer nothing of substance during the actual class.

Personally, I found the site to come off as organic helpful in adding appeal to the place. As someone new-(ish) to yoga, I find this approach to the design far less intimidating. When comparing prices and classes to those of other studios, the affordability and various options alone, portray where the true passion of the place must lie, within the experience and ability to make it available to as many people as possible...

Again, this is a comment purely based on the website. I have yet to attend a class, but if I were to judge this book by it's cover alone, I'd say it's all about focusing the message behind the title and less so towards the cracks in the spine.
Sofia / July 7, 2013 at 07:39 am
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Wow, that's what I was looking for, what a data! present here at this blog, thanks admin of this web page.
wally-ji replying to a comment from Jazzmin / July 24, 2013 at 09:39 pm
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Hi Jazzmin
Thanks for your support. The new website is being finalized.
See you soon.
wally-ji replying to a comment from Beth O. / July 24, 2013 at 09:47 pm
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Wow Beth
Thank you for your wonderful comments. You capture the sentiment of the studio incredibly well. Hopefully your insights will materialize when you come here. There is a free class for new members, so see you soon.
We are getting a new web site for organizational flow and your comments remind me to keep the passion and organic connections.
wally-ji replying to a comment from Sofia / July 24, 2013 at 09:53 pm
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HI Sofia
Glad this page helped in getting a sense of what we are all about. Remember to come in for your free class.

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