Maureen Rae's Yoga Studio | 5324 Dundas Street West Etobicoke, Ontario M9B 1B4

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Yoga Training Important Notice

T’ai Chi + QiGong + Meditation
with Maureen
Saturday Mornings 9:30 - 10:30
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Check out our FALL Schedule!
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Please note Classes with ** require pre-registration, please.


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New to Yoga? We're glad  to help with any questions! Give us a quick call 416-716-7589 or send us an email info@mraesyogastudio.com 


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Maureen's Blurb of the Month: Anxiety...The Black Plague of the 21st Century

Long before recorded time, when our ancestors were created....or evolved..... depending on yourpreference.....they were hard-wired for survival...which is ultimately the reason why you and I are here today. Clearly, it was a big issue just to stay alive...saber-toothed tigers and all. Our predecessors were issued a set of physiological and psychological responses to situations where they were threatened. This system is called the Stress Response. Today, there are not many prehistoric animals roaming about, but we are left with this process as part of our legacy. To simplify, when frightening situations are perceived,whether real or imagined, our thoughts are relayed throughout the physical body by way of specific hormones which act on the Autonomic Nervous System. As its name implies, the ANS is an automatic system that controls the heart, lungs, stomach, blood vessels and glands. Due to its action we do not need to make any conscious effort to regulate our breathing or heartbeat. Somehow, the Universe continues to breathe us, our stomachs digest the food that we take in, the intestines release what we don't need, and the cells of our body continue to communicate with each other in an amazingly complex fashion...without our having to give any of this even one thought. Truly, a miracle upon miracle.

The ANS differentiates into different systems: the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and theParasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). When all is well, the PNS conserves energy levels. It increases bodily secretions such as tears, gastric acids, mucus and saliva which help to balance bodily systems ofthe body. It essentially aids relaxation and a feeling of calm and harmony.

The SNS, however, prepares the body for action. In a stressful situation, it quickly does the following: Increases heart rate (palpitations/heart racing/irregularities in heart beat) Increases sugar and fat levels(diabetes/weight gain) Reduces intestinal movement (constipation and/or diarrhea) Inhibits tears, digestive secretions (difficulty digesting food, heartburn) Relaxes the bladder (difficulty in retaining urine) Dilates pupils (dry eyes, twitching, blinking, eye-rolling) Increases perspiration (sweat a lot!/hot flashes) Increases mental activity (to a point where ability to focus is hampered dramatically) Constricts most blood vessels but dilates those in heart/leg/arm muscles (vital organs deprived of valuable blood supply resultingin decrease in function)

The bracketed bits above become a reality when chronic stress is present.

In short, when the Sympathetic Nervous System is activated, we initially feel alert and responsive.....But,the deal is that the SNS is programmed to be active for only a few moments at a time. If periods of time -day/weeks/years of chronic SNS occur, disastrous results follow.

Many in today's society perceive every day of their life as being stressful. They live in chronic states of anxiety. Increasing work loads (or no work), the speed of our lives, and financial concerns are with everyone of us. Although we have most everything that we will ever need, we feel dissatisfied, disillusioned and defeated. Never before has life been so fast and so furious. According to current research, the prevalence of anxiety disorders is greater than previously thought to be the case. Many of these individuals fail to obtain professional treatment and choose (or rather, do not choose) to do nothing about it. These results argue for the importance of more out reach and more research on barriers to professional help-seeking. Anxiety, although as common as depression, has received less attention and is often undetected and undertreated. Unfortunately, the prolonged effect of the elevated stress is that the body's immune system is lowered and blood pressure is raised which may lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more. There are many, many symptoms of chronic stress.

Do you find yourself or your family with symptoms of tiredness, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, restlessness, aggressive behaviour, tics and tremors, alcohol/drug abuse, depression, anger, heartpalpitations, nausea, feelings of helplessness and isolation?

Stress is the #1 reason for visits to the family doctor....and the long-lasting, medicine cannot be found in a bottle of pills. Change is in order...and knowing this, for most intelligent individuals are fully aware of the reasons behind their stress loads, the thought of change creates even more stress! Better the devil we know, than the one we don't...that's how the saying goes, isn't it?

Fortuitously, we have already within us, the tools that we need to bring about calming and healing. These tools have always been there, and they always will be. The first thing that we did when we came into this life was to take a breath, and we will exit this life with our last breath. In between, there are many breaths of course....and it is these seemingly innocuous breaths that are the key to calm. Breath is, for the most part, unconscious.....we don't need to think about it. But, and this is a big BUT, when we bring our minds to attending to the breath, magical change begins within the body mind. Yoga offers many varying breath techniques that are most effective in reducing and eliminating elevated levels of stress.

Try this: Set aside 5 minutes where you will be uninterrupted. Sit quietly, with a straight spine. It's fine to sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Be at ease in your body. Close your eyes.

Mentally scan through your body for obvious areas where stress might be hiding. Make a mental note of these areas, and then let this list go. See yourself releasing this list of stress-ridden areas like you would a helium- filled balloon.

Bring your mind to your breath now. And without changing anything at all about your breath, let your breath be your breath. Notice the short breaths, the longer breaths, the pauses between the breaths. Just let it be. Take some time to do this.

Now, when you are ready, notice the feeling of your breath as it comes in through both nostrils. What does this feel like? What is the sensation in your nostrils as you breathe in? As you breathe out? What is it that you breathe? Where does it come from? Where does it go when you let the breath out? Take some time to consider all this. Try not to change anything about the breath. Let it alone. Let everything just BE.

Now, when you are ready, even out the breath. Have both nostrils be taking in and letting out the same volume of breath. Have the length of time of the inhales and the exhales be the same. Let the breath be continuous without pausing between the in and the out breaths.

Notice now what happens to the breath. The breath takes on a life of its own .... It slows....and lengthens....and calms. Practice watching your breath for a minute or two...or longer. Then, when you are ready, quietly open your eyes and let the light in. Sit quietly for a few more minutes. Notice how you feel.

As always, we welcome your comments and stories. Sharing your experiences can often go a long way to helping others to ‘see.’ Please feel free to email us at info@mraesyogastudio.com

Click here to read Maureen's previous articles


Celtic Dance Yoga Class!

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14 New Yoga Teachers in Dartmouth!


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T'ai Chi Teacher Training June 2015


60 Hour Intensive and Fast Track Module 2 Graduates  April 2015
60 Hour Intensive and Fast Track Module 2 Graduates April 2015


Mo Teaching



Congrats 100 Hour
100 Hour Intensive Graduates




Take Our Survey!


A Storytelling, Movement & Writing Workshop
Saturday, November 5
Download brochure (PDF, 549k)


Click here to Watch a video of our studio and our DanceYoga class!


Practice with Maureen in a full length class!
Join us here!


Maureen discusses Hot Yoga
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New Yoga Teacher Workshops.....
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Watch for it on the Fall Schedule That Begins September 6!
Download brochure (PDF, 496k)



Sept. 9, 16, 23, 30
7:30 – 8:45 pm
Download brochure (PDF, 287k)



Sept. 19, 26
Oct. 3, 17, 24, 31
7:30 – 8:45 pm
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September 25
1:00–4:30 pm
Download brochure (PDF, 549k)


October 2
1:00–3:30 pm
Download brochure (PDF, 889k)


October 16
1:30–4:00 pm
Download brochure (PDF, 401k)


Fast Track Teacher Trainings

Click here for dates


Want to become a Yoga Teacher
Click here for more information.  


Special 10% Discount to Teens and Seniors (+60)


Weekly Yin Yoga Class
Friday at 9:30 am with Maureen.
Download brochure (PDF, 176k)


Corporate Training

Did you know that our studio provides CORPORATE CLASSES AT YOUR PLACE OF BUSINESS? Find out more.


Erich Schiffman
Erich Schiffmann and Maureen Rae


Voted Etobicoke's Best Yoga Studio 2009!


Yoga In Motion

Lynda Cralli, Maureen and
Christine Ling! (L - R)
Some of our amazing teachers!


Yoga Training


Maureen Rae's Yoga Studio specializes in Yoga Teacher Training!

2 Day Fast Track Fitness Yoga Teacher Training and Certification
For more information please click here.

Are you searching for a deeper practice? Many students complete our Yoga teacher training not to teach others but for their own spiritual development. Our curriculum fosters self-improvement, self-inquiry and self-knowledge. The companion manual serves as reference material long after the certificate is completed. Click here for testimonials.

It's not as expensive as you think. Our prices are quite reasonable, usually much more reasonable than the price of other studios in the Greater Toronto Area.

A Yoga Teacher Certificate is issued at the completion of our Fast Track Yoga Teacher Training Program - Module One.

For other training sessions at our studio, have a look here.

at work



Mr. Pigeon Pose

Maureen Rae's Yoga Studio is owned and operated by Maureen Rae, Reg. N., E-RYT, Certified Nia Dance Instructor.

She has trained with Erich Schiffmann of Santa Monica, California, the Desikachars of India, and Angela Farmer of Greece, among others. Maureen teaches a flowing Vinyasa Style yoga class, integrating techniques from Viniyoga(henceforth to be known as Yoga in the style of Krishnamacharya) ...and favours function and feeling, over form.

She is known throughout the industry for innovative sequencing.

Find out more...



Yoga Alliance

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