Chi Junky is the first yoga studio of its kind in Toronto. Rather than offering large classes with little personal attention, classes are kept very small (a maximum of 4 people), and private classes are also available. Opened by wellness expert, Rachelle Wintzen, Chi Junky also offers a host of wellness services including holistic nutrition counselling, massage, naturopathic medicine, and iridology. Wintzen wants it to be "One top shopping" for all of your wellness needs.
Located on the first floor of an unassuming building on a residential street just west of Queen and Broadview, Chi Junky is pristine, elegant and luxurious. Nevertheless, while you might expect Chi Junky to be meant for the experienced yogi looking to take his or her practice up a notch, Wintzen says that her method is also attracting a lot of newbies who are intimidated to try yoga in a large group setting.
Indeed, yoga, for the uninitiated, can be very intimidating; there are numerous types and levels of difficulty, and it can be hard to know where to start. Wintzen's intimate approach allows her to completely customize a class to suit the needs, abilities and comfort level of each participant. She is able to get to know her clients on a personal level and understand their bodies.
When I arrived on a bitterly cold February morning, I felt like I had been enveloped in a big warm hug as I walked in the door. The space is elegant, calming and airy. Aromatherapy (lavender maybe?) creates a comforting atmosphere, without being overwhelming. Wintzen's massage therapist began by giving me what can only be described as the perfect treatment. I've had many, many massages, and this one definitely ranks up there as one of the best ever.
After my massage, Wintzen does a one-on-one yoga session with me. After explaining my needs and preferences, she puts me through a series of stretches to help with my problem areas (hips and hamstrings). She is attentive and offers me lots of assistance with my postures. The experience demonstrates just what is missing from large classes where individual attention from the teacher isn't possible.
Wintzen said part of her motivation for creating small classes was witnessing too many people injure themselves during yoga classes because they were executing postures incorrectly but there was no one there to help them. Her goal is to make yoga safe and accessible to all, regardless of ability or experience.
Drop-in classes are slightly more than most yoga classes ($35), however, mats and water are provided, you need bring nothing with you, and, of course, you get a much more personalized experience.
I have always said that if I won the lottery, I would hire my own personal massage therapist and yoga instructor. You can bet that if I win the jackpot, my first call is going to be to Chi Junky!
Photos from the Chi Junky Facebook page .