The telltale ting of the sitar provides the soundtrack to my first meditation class. A wooden flute weaves its way through the track and already I feel like my preconceived notions about meditating are being met. The sounds are coming from a stereo in a simple meeting room at the North York Public Library. I make my way to the back to avoid standing out in a crowd of about 20 presumed masters that seem far more attuned.
Despite my cavalier best efforts to camouflage myself, I am quickly discovered. Someone hands me an informative diagram for beginners on how to raise the Kundalini (a dormant, corporeal energy at the base of the spine viewed as a motherly spirit) and a biography on the founder of Sahaja Yoga meditation. A gentle-looking Russian man stands at the helm of the room, anxious to begin. He introduces Read more
After losing her father to lung cancer, watching her marriage break down and finding out that she had a cyst in her lung, mother-of-three Patricia Testani decided to take control of her life. On Dec. 17, 2009, she joined Paul’s Boot Camp by Integrity Fitness, and has since seen her life change in immeasurable ways.
Testani started off taking Level 1 circuit training classes two to three times a week, focusing on a combination of cardiovascular and resistant exercises. “They were very encouraging,” she says. Then, during the summer of 2010, despite being a non-smoker, she was told that her cyst had evolved into a tumour that would require surgery. Less than two months after having a third of her lung removed, she was back at Paul’s Boot Camp. “They were very helpful, they knew when not to push me and when to push me, and it worked out very well.”
Seven years ago I watched an Oprah Winfrey interview with David Bach, bestselling author of Smart Women Finish Rich. He was a top financial advisor on Wall Street and described how his stress-ridden life had become divided into “15-minute units”. One morning he arrived at the office, looked at his calendar and found he had one ‘unit’ unfilled. He went into a mild form of a panic attack. This, followed by a big ‘ah hah’ moment, changed his perspective of life and his destiny forever.
It is very easy for most of us to fill up every ‘unit’ of our day with work, commitments, emails, and now, for many, frenetic text messaging. But when and if we finally get a little break, we immediately look to fill up that space and find something else to occupy our mind.
Bells are ringing, lights are glowing and the snow is falling – the holiday season is upon us once again. As the city transforms into a winter wonderland, filling your heart with that holiday cheer, it’s also time to dive into those crowded malls in search of smile-inducing gifts.
No doubt you’ve probably already embarked on several of these adventures, crossing friends and family members off your list; but there always seems to be that one person you can’t find the right gift for – that finicky friend or special someone who needs the perfect present.
Finding those final gifts can be a challenge, but not to worry. We’ve explored the city to put together our yearly Holiday Wish List to help you wrap your way through the Holidays! Read more
Ultimately, life goes by in a blink. And too many people live the same year 80 times. To avoid getting to the end and feeling flooded regret over a live half-lived, read (and then apply) these tips.” – Robin Sharma
01. Exercise daily.
02. Get serious about gratitude.
03. See your work as a craft.
04. Expect the best and prepare for the worst.
05. Keep a journal.
06. Read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
07. Plan a schedule for your week.
08. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life.
09. Say no to distractions.
10. Drink a lot of water. Read more
1. Michelle Zerillo-Sosa, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher Festive songs, lights and the cheery moods of people bring serenity to my life. I find myself wishing for this feeling to last past the Holidays.
2. Angela Palmieri-Zerillo, Director Of Operations I’m inspired to give – not just material things – but to give more of myself and my time. I want to instill these virtues in my children while minimizing the emphasis on receiving gifts. We are so blessed, and I want my kids to be grateful for that!
3. Fernando Zerillo, Creative Director Family is so important. I enjoy being surrounded by the ones I love during Christmas. There is nowhere else I’d rather be than at home, snow falling, drinking hot chocolate with my family while watching Christmas movies! Read more
There is an ancient Buddhist proverb that says, “When the student is ready, the Master appears.” If such is the case, Northern Karate Schools’ students must be well-prepared, as Hokama Tetsuhiro and Shiroma Kiyonori, both 10th dan Hanshi, graced them with their presence this past September.
“It was a great honour to have men of their stature visit our schools,” says Kyoshi Cos Vona, an instructor and sixth-degree black belt at Northern Karate. “It’s extremely rare to have experts of this calibre visit North America, let alone Canada.”
From the island of Okinawa, Japan, the birthplace of karate, Hokama and Shiroma both hold the rank of “Hanshi,” essentially a senior expert or grand master. Through demonstrations and lectures, these teacher-of-teachers shared their vast knowledge Read more
The world’s population is set to hit seven billion on Halloween.
According to the United Nations, the world’s population will hit seven billion on Oct. 31, 2011. A rather staggering figure, considering that in 1927 – less than 90 years ago – only two billion humans inhabited Earth. While we tend to celebrate childbirth in our economically prosperous nation, perhaps hitting this marker on Halloween is a menacing omen for the trick – rather than treat – it may turn out to be. Concerns over resource allocation, disease, rising living costs and environmental stress will accompany innocent newborns, as the next 100 years face some terrifying prospects. Shortages of food and fuel will be an obvious concern, but water is far more precious, and due to climate change, is becoming scarce in many regions. Animal extinction is another issue. Read more
South of Toronto’s Queen Street, at Shuter and Jarvis, an elderly man is tickling the ivories to the tune of Freddie Mercury’s Bohemian Rhapsody. He isn’t singing along, but it’s easy to hear the lyrics as he pours his soul into the second floor of The Good Neighbours’ Club. Is this real life? Is this just a fantasy? The windows are slightly cracked, letting a grand talent anonymously infiltrate the outside world. Based on the crowd he’s garnered, there’s a sense that this centre for homeless and marginally housed men over 50 offers a lot more than food and shelter.
The Piano Man is surrounded by some of the city’s most imaginative minds: members like Ronald Reeve who joined in 2004 and spends his days drawing cartoons and comics that highlight socio-political issues within his community. His preferred pen is sparkly, but specialty ink is running low these days. Read more
Get the latest looks, treats and toys for your little ones and those young-at-heart.
1. At Gymalaya, a gymnastics club geared towards children, your kids can tumble and roll in a safe, supportive environment. Using state-of-the-art equipment and a stimulating curriculum designed for a fun experience, your children will build physical, mental and social skills. www.gymalaya.com
2. Sure, bikes and rollerblades are all great fun, but only the Wiggle Racer utilizes the power of a jiggle. Suitable for boys and girls of all ages, this sleek little ride requires no batteries or fuel. Read more