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

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Yoga Training Important Notice


June 18/19 Cape Breton, NS
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9:30am Friday Yin Yoga Maureen
9:30am Saturday Gentle Yoga Christine Ling
11:00 am Saturday Level I-II Sue Martin
11:00 am Sunday Level i-II Christine Ling
Victoria Day Monday - STUDIO CLOSED

Check out our Spring/Summer Schedule!
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Please note Classes with ** require pre-registration, please.


Your first class is on us!

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If you decide after the class that you'd like to keep practicing Yoga with us, we'll offer you a 10% discount on the purchase of a 10 or 20 class card. If you wish, you may reserve your space in a class now!

Thinking of Teacher Training?
We are happy to chat at any time.  Please set up a personal telephone appointment with either Maureen or Christine by contacting us at 416-716-7589 or info@mraesyogastudio.com 

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:

Ever seen a yoga teacher - or a yogi - with alienlooking, orangey-brown stains on hands/feet/ankles? What's that all about? On closer look, the 'stains' look to be actual designs! Deliberately drawn! Well, if you have ever wondered what those strange designs are all about, here's a little info.

The designs are called 'henna.' Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is a flowering plant grown in arid, hot countries typically Arabic, North Africa, Indian and Pakistani areas. The leaves are used to prepare a dye with which to stain parts of the body to celebrate passages of life, for healing purposes and for purely cosmetic purposes. The art of 'henna' or 'mehndi' as it is sometimes called has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool and leather.

The art itself is said to have originated in Egypt some 6,000 years ago, and then migrated to other parts through the trade route as it expanded to open up to other parts of the world.

It's interesting - and important to note - that henna is NOT black, athough it is purported to be 'henna' and sometimes seen to be offered in tropical tourist areas, and local trade shows. This black dye can contain many toxic chemicals which may cause extreme allergic reaction, and should be avoided at all cost.

Since it is difficult to form intricate patterns from coarse crushed leaves, henna is commonly traded as a powder which has been dried, milled, ground and sifted. To prepare for the artwork, the pulverized flour-like substance is then mixed with an acidic liquid such as lemon juice, perhaps have a wee bit of sugar added to encourage the paste-like substance that appears, and then left to 'sit' for anywhere from 1 - 48 hours. Some artists add an essential oil to the mixture which gives it an aromatic essence. Lavender works well here!

In order for the resulting paste to be applied to skin, the mixture is put into a cone-shape, pliable container which is then 'drawn' onto the skin in intricate design. A lot of practice is required before one can be called a 'henna artist.' (I'm still practicing! It'll be a long while….!)

The paste dries on the skin - 20 minutes or so - and then begins to fall away. If the paste can be kept on the skin for longer, the resulting stain will be deeper. Henna stains are orange when the paste is first removed, but darken over the following three days to a deep reddish-brown. Soles and palms have the thickest layer of skin and so take up the most dye, and take it to the greatest depth, so that hands and feet will have the darkest and most long-lasting stains. Some also believe that steaming or warming the henna pattern will darken the stain, either during the time the paste is still on the skin, or after the paste has been removed. It is debatable whether this adds to the color of the end result as well. After the stain reaches its peak color, it holds for a few days, then gradually wears off by way of exfoliation.


Henna has been used to adorn young women's bodies as part of social and holiday celebrations since the late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean. The earliest text mentioning henna in context of marriage and fertility celebrations comes from the Bible in the legenc of of Baal and Anath which has references to women marking themselves with henna in preparation to meet their husbands, and Anath adorning herself with henna to celebrate a victory over the enemies of Baal. Wall paintings excavated at Akrotiri in the island of Santorini (dating prior to the eruption of Thera in 1680 BCE) show women with markings consistent with henna on their nails, palms and soles, in a tableau consistent with the henna bridal description from earlier text. Many statuettes of young women dating between 1500 and 500 BCE along the Mediterranean coastline have raised hands with markings consistent with henna. This early connection between young, fertile women and henna seems to be the origin of the Night of the Henna, which is now celebrated worldwide. The

Night of the Henna was celebrated by most groups in the areas where henna grew naturally: Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians, among others, all celebrated marriages and weddings by adorning the bride, and often the groom, with henna.

Most saints' days were celebrated with some henna. Favorite horses, donkeys, and salukis had their hooves, paws, and tails hennaed. Battle victories, births, circumcision, birthdays, as well as weddings, usually included some henna as part of the celebration. When there was joy, there was henna, as long as henna was available!

Henna was regarded as having Barakah ("blessings")and was applied for luck as well as joy and beauty.Brides typically had the most henna, and the most complex patterns, to support their greatest joy, and wishes for luck. Some bridal traditions were very complex, such as those in Yemen, where the Jewish bridal henna process took four or five days to complete, with multiple applications and resist work.

The fashion of “ Bridal Mehndi" in Pakistan, Northern Libya and in North Indian diasporas is currently growing in complexity and elaboration, with new innovations in glitter, gilding, and fine-line work. Recent technological innovations in grinding, sifting, temperature control, and packaging henna, as well as government encouragement for henna cultivation, have improved dye content and artistic potential for henna.

Though traditional henna artists were Nai caste in India, and barbering castes in other countries (lower social classes), talented contemporary henna artists can command high fees for their work. Women in countries where women are discouraged from working outside the home can find socially acceptable, lucrative work doing henna. Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Suan as well as Indian, and many other countries have thriving women's henna businesses. These businesses are often open all night for Eid, Diwali and other religious festivals. Many women may work together during a large wedding, wherein hundreds of guests have henna applied to their body parts. This particular event at a marriage is known as the Mehndi Celebration or Mehndi Night[ and is mainly held for the bride and groom.

Is it not wonderful to think of traditions from the early days - such as yoga and henna - among others - that are still alive and thriving even today? It is somehow calming and grounding and most reassuring - especially as our lives seem to be getting faster and faster - to find constancy and steadfastness in our oh-so-busy lives.

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


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Congrats 100 Hour
100 Hour Intensive Graduates




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Practice with Maureen in a full length class!
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Maureen discusses Hot Yoga
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New Yoga Teacher Workshops.....
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All New DanceYoga Program
Afro-India Persuasian
Every Saturday at 9:30 am
Join us!
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May 2, 9, 16
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May 29
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September 25
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Fast Track Teacher Trainings

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Want to become a Yoga Teacher
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Special 10% Discount to Teens and Seniors (+60)


Weekly Yin Yoga Class
Friday at 9:30 am with Maureen.
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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...



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