Julie teaching
Julie Watson, co-owner of Afterglow Studio, teaching a yoga class

Afterglow Studio, which opened in June 2016, is a community of yogis of all levels, ages and abilities, located in The Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto. We offer 50+ classes per week with more than 10 different styles of classes, so that everyone has an option. We’re a welcoming, open-minded studio and our philosophy is to make yoga accessible, fun, inspiring and playful. Life is hard enough without adding unnecessary seriousness to things. We laugh in class. We play music. We urge our clients to have self-compassion and appreciate their bodies, strengths and potential.

For yoga to truly make a difference, it needs to go beyond just a physical asana practice that’s accessible by only those who can afford it. It’s for that reason that we offer Unplug, a free meditation class, three times per week (Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:35 a.m., and Thursdays at 6:55 p.m.).

Liz meditating
Elizabeth Doyle Harmer, co-owner of Afterglow Studio

The Unplug class is our way of sharing our love of meditation with the community we care so much about. The theme is always different.

Sometimes we focus on mindfulness meditation. Other times it’s self-compassion or loving kindness. But the general idea is always the same: to go beyond the egoic voice in our head and connect with something bigger.

When clients come to Unplug, they are first instructed on how to adopt a position that’s comfortable for meditation and then they are led through the meditation by one of our teachers. You don’t need to have any experience in mediation or yoga to join Unplug. For those new to meditation, it can help to have someone leading and providing gentle reminders to keep the attention focused on the breath or another anchor being used throughout the meditation. And don’t sweat it if you need to move during meditation—go ahead and move, just be mindful.

On a personal level, meditation has had an impact on both of our lives. We’ve both experienced what the research proves—that meditation helps reduce stress, improve focus, improve emotional intelligence and create space or distance from your thoughts. For both of us, especially while starting a new business, it has been instrumental in helping us identify the voice of fear so we can always dream big and go after what’s really important to us.

Flow in the Park

The physical practice of yoga is also beneficial and we wanted to make it accessible to everyone. During the summer months, we offer Flow in the Park, a free yoga class in Kew Park. We love our neighbourhood, and we provide our free classes ensure that everyone, no matter their financial situation, schedule, age or skill level, can participate in yoga. You honestly can’t beat doing yoga outdoors under the trees, steps away from Lake Ontario. Flow in the Park runs every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. from June 14 to Aug. 30.

By combining yoga and meditation, we encourage our tribe to continuously realize their own potential, follow their passion and follow the butterflies.

Check out the Afterglow Studio page on Svveat for the studio’s social links and more details about upcoming sessions.

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