Yoga on a Budget $$$

Want to do more yoga but the cost of a monthly membership is scaring you away? Here are some solutions that I’ve come up with to get more yoga into your fitness routine with minimal to no cost.

Yoga at Home

There are many free YouTube yoga videos that you can follow right in the comfort of your own home! And if you don’t find it motivating to do a yoga workout on your own, then invite a friend! You can always turn it into a weekly hangout where you do yoga together and then make dinner, or have tea. Either way it’s a good way to save money, workout, and hangout together. Some popular YouTube yoga channels are:

  1. Yoga with Adriene
  2. PsycheTruth
  3. Boho Beautiful
  4. Yoga with Tim

Energy Exchange

There are many studios that offer an energy exchange program, where you would volunteer a few hours a week in exchange for free yoga classes. Generally you would be helping with reception, cleaning the studio, or putting flyers up in the neighborhood. It’s a great opportunity for you to give back to your community, and for you to get to know your yoga instructors more personally. An energy exchange may help to motivate you in your practice because you will feel more connected to the yoga community and you would have more opportunity to learn from the instructors of the studio.

Yoga by Donation

There are studios out there that run completely by donation! If you don’t feel like you can commit to an energy exchange, this is a great opportunity for you to practice yoga without the commitment of a membership. I have personally been to two Yoga by Donation Centers in the GTA, and I’ve had a great experience at both. I love that these centers exist where they make yoga accessible to everyone by allowing people to pay what they choose. In Toronto, Yoga Village is a center where you can attend a yoga class and pay what you choose. They do offer memberships, but you don’t need to buy one to participate. My first yoga by donation experience was in Mississauga at Prayati Yoga. I went to Dan’s class and it was one of my best yoga experiences so far.

Online Deals and Coupons

If you don’t mind building your yoga practice by frequenting several different locations then something like the Prana Passport would be good for you. For the city of Toronto, it would cost you $30 and you have 12 months to go to one class at each participating yoga studio. There are studios throughout the GTA participating in this program. Another option, is to buy a Groupon deal for yoga studios in your area, or a ClassPass membership. For 10 classes a month it would cost $115 a month ($15 a class).

If yoga is something that you want to incorporate into your fitness routine, but youre worried about the cost, I hope that these options are viable in helpimg you build your practice. Comment below and let me know what you think? Was this helpful? Would you like more pieces like this? Maybe, I can do another piece about fitness on a budget? Let me know! Namaste.


Giving Back to the school where my fitness career began…

A couple months back my old boss Jennifer O’Neil, who is head of the recreation department at Wilfrid Laurier’s Athletic Complex invited me to host the Group Fitness Staff’s training today March 13th 2016. The vast majority of the Group Fitness Staff at Wilfrid Laurier University are students, it is where my passion for fitness and my career in fitness first began. So, when she asked me if I would be interested in coming to give a presentation and teach a Group Fitness class, I jumped on the opportunity! I was so excited to have the chance to give back to the same place that gave me so much.

So my best friend and number one fan Thansha joined me to visit the school where our friendship, and my fitness career first started. We got there early, so we decided to drive around to see where we used to live, and to take a walk around campus. It was so weird to see how much Laurier has changed, but also how much of it stayed the same. I mean it even smelled the same, as weird as that sounds! Walking through the concourse and the dinning hall brought back so many memories of the best 4 years of my life. It really felt as if we were coming back home in a way. This school has given me so much more than just an education, it gave me a passion for fitness, my closest friends, and so many life lessons that had shaped me into the adult that I am today. I think it’s good to remind yourself of where you started. We so often forget how far we’ve come in life because we are always so focused on how much further we need to go. We can so easily become disappointed with ourselves because we don’t feel as though we are where we’re “supposed to be.” Today was a great reminder to me of my purpose, or the reasons why I love what I do. I feel as though I got just as much from giving my presentation and class to the students at Laurier as they did. Or at least I hope they did…

So here is the Coles notes version of my presentation today… Basically, when I entered my second year of university I no longer recognized myself. I had gained the so called “freshman 15” because I stopped dancing and cheerleading in first year, and I was no longer the active person that I used to be. The traditional gym setting however, was intimidating to me at the time because I was so used to training in a studio setting. I had absolutely no idea how to use the machines. So, I decided to join the group fitness classes. It felt like home. I loved the classes so much, I found them motivating, empowering and inspiring. So much so, that I included a fitness class into my daily routine Monday to Friday and even sometimes on the weekends. I started to see results from joining the classes, so I decided that because I was feeling so good from working out, I should translate this into my nutrition as well. So I started really researching, and looking into how to improve my health through my diet. This is where meal prepping was born for me. At the end of second year I decided I wanted to be an instructor. I was hired, and I got my certification that summer before third year. I even went to the Canfit Pro Fitness Conference in Toronto all by myself that summer. Even though I’ve never taught a single class, or knew anybody there, I wanted to learn as much as I could before going back to Laurier so that I could be a good instructor. After a few months of teaching classes, I knew I wanted to be the Group Fitness Coordinator. So I met with Jenn and asked her what she was looking for in the student leader position. I even met with the current Coordinator at the time and asked her what she did to prepare for the interview. I knew I was an underdog because it was only my first year teaching, but I was determined to get the position. I even wrote a full proposal for my interview outlining exactly how I would hypothetically run the program. It was because of this proposal that I got the Coordinator Position for my 4th and 5th year at Laurier.

During my time as Coordinator I felt as though I really exploited my resources and tried to learn and gain as much experience as possible, because I knew then that I wanted to make fitness my career. I wanted to share with the world how fitness empowers me, and how it can empower them as well. I taught at several gyms in the Kitchener/Waterloo area. I was the Recreation Assistant for a summer. I made two Zumba DVDs and sold them to the Zumba following I built while teaching at Goodlife and Laurier. In my 5th year I was teaching 6 Zumba classes a week, 8 classes in total! Crazy right?! That was while I was still in school, managing the Group Fitness Program, and I still managed to have a social life. I did an Aerobathon for mental health awareness for a Student Presidential Campaign. I really did try to get involved with the school as much as possible, and tried to bring fitness to the general population of Laurier through the friends that I knew in the Student Union. There are so many more little things that I did, like participate in flash mobs on campus, but you get the idea. It was at Laurier that my passion for fitness was born, and it was through the mentorship of the staff at the Athletic Complex like my boss Jennifer, that really allowed me to feel safe to take the risks that I did to grow within the fitness industry. To be honest, working for Laurier as the Group Fitness Coordinator, outside of having my own business right now, was my all time favorite job! Not only was Jenn the best boss I ever had, someone who was so caring and easy to talk to, she really gave me a lot of autonomy which gave me plenty of room to grow within the role, and as a person. I will never forget the opportunities and experiences I gained while I was at Laurier and I was so happy to be able to give something back today. I really do hope that I inspired some of the students today to continue teaching fitness outside of Laurier, or even to just stay fit for themselves. Either way, I’m happy to have had the opportunity to meet some new generations of golden hawks, and to be able to re-visit the same gym that changed my life for the better. Thank you Jennifer for inviting me, and Thank you Laurier for the adventure of a lifetime! I’m so proud of what I did while I was there, and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, and how much further I’ll go? I guess we just have to wait and see 😛

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Me giving my speech and presentation to the Group Fitness Staff in the Hawk Lounge at the Athletic Complex March 13th 2016 🙂 

 


Day 10 of the Twelve Days of Fitmas!

Merry Fitmas and Merry Christmas Everyone! I’m sending out all my love to all of you! My family and I are celebrating Christmas Eve together tonight, and I hope that each of you are spending your Christmas with the people you love the most. This is my favorite time of the year, and I’m so grateful for those of you who have been following my blog. Thank you, and best wishes to you and your family!


Fitness and Christmas, two of my favorite things!

A few weeks back I was invited to participate in the Oakville Santa Claus Parade by Brian, who’s studio Sweatshop Union Fitness, has their own float in the parade! I immediately said yes! I mean, who doesn’t want to be in a Christmas parade right?!?! I was so excited! I knew it was going to be an absolute blast!

I could tell by the way Brian talked about the plans for the parade, and all the cool things that we get to do, that he was super in to Christmas too! I love meeting other like minded people, who are just as passionate about Christmas, Fitness, and giving back to the community! Every time I saw him leading up to the parade, he’s enthusiasm grew! I knew that this was going to be a day to remember! Finally, the day of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, I got a phone call from Brian asking me if I would be interested in dancing Zumba on his Sweatshop Union Float for the Oakville Parade. I could not have been more honored to have been asked to dance on a moving platform before LOL I obviously said yes! This was not my first rodeo LOL I’ve danced in public many times before, so this was going to be a cake walk haha BUT I have never danced on a moving float… either way I couldn’t have been more excited!

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Brian came to join us girls on the float near the end of the parade LOL

My sisters, my mom, one of my biggest Zumba supporters and now friend Wendy, as well as my cousin all came to be a part of the parade as well. The Oakville Santa Claus Parade was this past Saturday, and even though I don’t live in Oakville, I was so happy to have had the opportunity to bring my passion for fitness, and dance to the Santa Claus Parade! I really enjoyed putting a smile on the faces of children and parents alike! Not only did I bring some of my talents to the parade, but I got to spend some time with family and friends, where we made some unforgettable memories! Thank you Brian for inviting me and my Zumba team to dance on your float! I know I thanked you already so many times, but I don’t know if I could thank you enough?! LOL I got so much out of being on that float, that I just need to take this opportunity to share it with the world!

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Santa getting a little too cozy with Mom before the parade! LOL

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An action shot of us dancing on the float 🙂

Since I have started my own fitness business, and teaching classes for myself out of Sweatshop Union, I have met so many fantastic people who have been so helpful to me! I’ve gotten so much support, advice, and opportunities like this to help me grow in my business, and as a person! I can’t wait for Christmas! And I can’t wait for the exciting opportunities that lay ahead of me! This is just the beginning! Just wait guys, there will be many exciting posts coming this holiday season! I’m a little crazy when it comes to the holidays so stay tuned for some awesome recipes, workouts, and much more! Just because Christmas is coming, does not mean that you should stop taking care of your fitness and health!

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays guys! So much love that I’m sending your way!


Do you like to Dance? If so, why not come join me?!

I like to dance, and I’m pretty good at it. When I was still at school at Wilfrid Laurier University, and I was working for Goodlife Fitness at the time, I was asked to start teaching Zumba. Let’s just say, it was a natural fit. I started out with one Zumba class a week that grew to 6 Zumba classes in my last year at Laurier! I still teach Zumba, and because Zumba is my most popular class (other than Bootcamp) it makes sense that now that I’m starting my own business, I would start with 3 Zumba classes a week. I actually blogged about this before when I did my Halloween For Hunger Zumba Food Drive. That was me putting myself out there, and letting the world know that I was planning to launch my own business of group classes, and personal training.

If you’re interested in coming out to try a class, let me know! I would LOVE to see you there! I teach Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 pm and Sundays at 10 am, at Sweatshop Union Fitness in Oakville. The address is 2857 Sherwood Heights, Oakville Ontario. Leave a comment or email me at fitnesswalex@hotmail.com for more information!


Halloween For Hunger, Zumba Class Food Drive

I have finally decided to take the plunge and start my own business! It’s called Fitness with Alex! I’ve been blogging for about 2 1/2 months, and it’s been going so well! I just started a YouTube channel with one video, and more on the way, and now I am teaching 3 Zumba classes a week out of Sweatshop Union in Oakville. Today was my first day of teaching classes for myself, and it was awesome! Thank you to all the ladies who came out to show me support!

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First Day of my new Business and Halloween Food Drive @Sweatshopunion October 25th 2015

This week, I am just getting the word out about my classes. Admission to my class is a canned or boxed food item for the Mississauga Food Bank. Anyone is welcome to come and join my class so please invite your friends and family! And if you haven’t been to any of my Zumba classes before, let me tell you that you’re in for a real treat! I have always had a strong Zumba following, ever since I first started to teach it while I attended school at Wilfrid Laurier University. My following was so strong that I made two Zumba DVDs to sell to a mailing list of clients that I developed while teaching in the Kitchener/Waterloo area. I don’t know why I didn’t try to start my own thing sooner, but here I am and I couldn’t be more excited! I will be starting off small, but as I build my following back up my class schedule will continue to grow. I will eventually add more classes to the schedule like Bootcamp classes, Cycling, TRX and more! So far, my Group Fitness Schedule at Sweatshop Union is as follows: Sundays at 10 am, and Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8:30 pm. Starting in November you can attend my classes by purchasing a 5 class pass for $20 or pay a drop in fee of $10 to attend the class.

I still Personal Trainer, and I do still offer Nutritional Coaching as well. All of these services will all be available to clients under the umbrella of my own personal brand “Fitness with Alex.” I have a website in the works, and I will still continue to blog, and create videos. Thank you for all the support that I’ve received so far! This is just the beginning guys! I am so excited for what the future holds! I am jumping in with two feet into my business and I cannot wait to see you in my classes or as one of my Personal Training clients! Thank you for reading my blog, and stay tuned for more updates on my business, bodybuilding, and for more tips, recipes, and fitness advice!