In honour of our Summer Wellness Special, we spoke to our expert team of wellness professionals about their personal health philosophies, what inspires them the most and their best piece of advice for a healthy/happy life!
Registered Acupuncturist, Heather Rule
What days are you available at Yoga Mamas? Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
What does wellness mean to you? Finding something that helps me to feel connected to myself and doing that makes me feel well. Sometimes that is just taking 3 minutes out of my busy day to find a quiet place to just sit and focus on my breath; sometimes, if I'm lucky, it's eating dinner in the bathtub because that feels great; or talking on the phone with a good friend; or immersing myself in an episode of the Real Housewives of New York city; Or spending a little extra time on my skincare regimen before bed; or buying flowers for my home; or getting acupuncture. I guess the point is that making myself a priority in some way everyday, no matter what form that takes, brings me a sense of wellness.
What is your favourite form of physical activity? Bicycling on a calm day. Gentle yoga in the morning.
What is the best 'wellness' advice that you could give? Be kind to yourself, you're doing great!
Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Nikita Sander
What days are you available at Yoga Mamas? Mondays, Fridays, Alternating Saturdays and Sundays
What does wellness mean to you? The term wellness holds such vast meaning and what I love most about this is that it can mean a very different thing from one person to the next! But, when I think about wellness, it’s the following that comes to mind: Wellness is an action. It is the act of making personal choices every day (no matter how big or small) that help prioritize my health, create a life of fulfillment and achieve quality of life. It is the active pursuit of a mind-body-spirit connection. It is the permission I give to myself to take the necessary steps in order to live the life I want to live.
What is your favourite form of physical activity? I am currently obsessed with hiking as a form of physical activity, although I do enjoy good ol’ strength training and weight lifting.
If you had a wellness mantra, what would it be? Simply, “let go”
What is the best 'wellness' advice that you could give? I will never tire of repeating this: Prioritize health and make the time for self-care, whatever this may look like for you. No excuses…just do it. Every aspect of our life and our connection with others depend on the state of our health and wellbeing. So, why wait for illness to arise before we value health? I truly believe that when we are healthy, we can achieve anything.
What is your favourite wellness quote? “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee
Registered Massage Therapist, Sandra Goldenberg
What days are you available at Yoga Mamas? Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
What does wellness mean to you? Feeling relaxed and comfortable in my body and in the world.
What is your favourite form of physical activity? Walking in nature.
If you had a wellness mantra, what would it be? Relax into everything.
What is the best 'wellness' advice that you could give? Aim to listen to what your body is telling you, rather than imposing rules from the outside. In other words, eat what feels good to you. Move how feels good to you. Forget what instagram is saying.
What is your favourite wellness quote? A line from Mary Oliver's, Wild Geese: "You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves."
Chiropractic Doctor, Dr. Crystal Draper
What days are you available at Yoga Mamas? Mondays, Fridays, as well as one Saturday a month!
What does wellness mean to you? Wellness to me means feeling well and being well, or as the kids say these days, “living your best life!”
What is your favourite form of physical activity? Well, I am a small-town girl, so I love my green space. That said, one of my favourite forms of physical activity is going for a nice long walk most commonly enjoyed with dogs, family and friends in parks, trails, or countryside.
If you had a wellness mantra, what would it be? Eat healthy (mostly plants), move daily, sleep well, breathe deeply, laugh often, enjoy life.
What is the best 'wellness' advice that you could give? Listen to your body, she’s intuitive. If it is demanding rest, than rest. If your body is craving movement, move. But, if something hurts, don’t do it (and go see your chiropractor!). Most times your body knows what it needs, we just need to get better at listening.
What is your favourite wellness quote? “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou-To me, this quote embodies my definition of wellness; feeling your best and being your best. I try to follow these words in my own wellness journey, in my role as a chiropractor, and in life!
Registered Physiotherapist - Pelvic Health, Women's Health, Lamiya Zaidi
What days are you available at Yoga Mamas? Monday through Saturdays
What does wellness mean to you? Taking care of mind, body, and soul from the outside and inside!
What is your favourite form of physical activity? Any form of Moving! Through sports, spinning, barre, yoga, walking...occasional running.
What is the best 'wellness' advice that you could give? Listen to your body, it’ll tell you exactly what it/you need!
What is your favourite wellness quote? Health is Wealth!
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Taya Griffin
What days are you available at Yoga Mamas? Mondays
What does wellness mean to you? In terms of breastfeeding it means defining your own unique goals and working to achieve them :). Overall wellness means feeling good mentally. All else follows.
What is your favourite form of physical activity? Definitely yoga and Pilates!
If you had a wellness mantra, what would it be? You do you :)
What is the best 'wellness' advice that you could give? Always begin with thinking you are perfect just the way you are - especially on the inside. Then simply do the things that make you feel good and more “you” versus listening to the noise of who you think you should be.
What is your favourite wellness quote? "A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three." Grantly Dick-Rea
Counsellor, Lisha Cash
What days are you available at Yoga Mamas? Tuesdays
What does wellness mean to you? Wellness is physical, emotional and spiritual self-care that leads us to a healthier, more fulfilled life. So much of our time is spent focused on other people and tasks, often we forget about ourselves, especially mamas. It is so important that we dedicate time to ourselves each and every day, to develop more self-awareness and attune to a more holistic approach to wellness.
What is your favourite form of physical activity? I am very active and enjoy many different types of physical activity, including HIIT, Yoga, and running. However, I truly fell in love with swimming during my pregnancy, as it was a great form of cardio that required less pressure on my growing body. I have continued it postpartum, and enjoy it equally.
If you had a wellness mantra, what would it be? Take time to nourish your mind, body and soul.
What is the best 'wellness' advice that you could give? Schedule in time for yourself. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle and get overwhelmed by all of the other pressing matters. If we physically schedule time in our calendar, we are more likely to do it. This shouldn’t be a task that is stressful, it should be a task that provides some relief. Whether it be, a bath every Tuesday night at 8pm, or going to your favourite yoga class on a Sunday morning, scheduling it in makes you accountable and provides the space to ensure you don’t book any thing else during that time. Self care is vital, therefore, you have to make it a priority and protect that time.