Best of CityPlace

Everything you need to know about CityPlace’s free yoga class

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Q&A with Heather Gardner,
founder of Tribe Fitness

If you spot crowds saluting the sun on Sundays at Canoe Landing Park, here’s why.

CityPlace’s fitness group, Tribe Fitness, hosts a free yoga class every Sunday at 10 a.m. As long as it doesn’t rain, usually 100 people come out to stretch the morning out.

Tribe’s founder Heather Gardner spoke to 416 Mag about the event.

How and why did Yoga Jam start?

“I started Yoga Jam in July 2014. Various park yoga classes were popping up around Toronto, and as a certified yoga teacher and CityPlace resident, I thought this would be the perfect way to get neighbours connected and out enjoying the summer weather.”

How many people usually attend?

“We are the biggest park yoga group in Toronto. On average we have more than 100 participants. Our largest attendance was 160.”

What style of yoga do you do at the jam?

“The yoga style is a Hatha based Vinyasa class. A little bit flow and a little bit power, depending on the teacher. Participants can expect to move with their breath and sweat.”

What are the top 3 reasons people should participate?

“People should join us for a great workout. To get out and explore the community, and to connect with their neighbours.”

What are the main benefits of yoga?

“Yoga has many benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. The postures, or asana, help participants to build strength and develop flexibility. These physical movements are combined with breath to support relaxation.”

Can beginners attend?

“Everyone is welcome! We’ve even had babies and dogs. Our classes are full of modifications so participants no matter their ability or experience can participate.”

Do you lead every session?

“We have six different instructors who each lead a class. Our instructors teach all over the city, and each brings their unique flair and style to the class.”

What happens when it rains?

“Sadly when it rains we cancel. We try to make the call as close to 8 a.m. as possible. But if it’s been pouring all morning it’s safe to say it won’t happen. The best thing is for people to follow our social media and they’ll find out everything they need.”

Tomorrow, you have someone braiding hair at Yoga Jam. What are the details?

“We do! Aylin has been an active member of Tribe and the Toronto running community and has a wonderful braid bar business, called Cabello By Carolina. She will be at the park starting at 8:30 a.m. doing $10 hair braids before the class.”

How does the class remain free of charge?

“This year, Concord CityPlace is supporting Tribe as Yoga Jam’s exclusive sponsor. The City of Toronto requires Tribe to have a permit for the two months, and Concord CityPlace are helping to cover those costs to keep the classes free to the community. Our instructors also volunteer their time which again keeps the classes free.”

What’s the end date this season?

“The last outdoor yoga class will be on August 27. After that, we will be moving indoors practicing in the new Tribe studio at 10 Lower Spadina. We will continue to keep our free community classes on our schedule. They are important to me, and how we give back to this community, we call home.”


Diana Pereira

Diana Pereira is a journalist, a university journalism teacher, a world traveller, a fair-weather kayaker, and a frequent bruncher. She's working on her mermaid status, travelling to as many countries as she can that include a body of water and when she's home in Toronto, you can find her in a kayak on Lake Ontario.