Pump It Up

I’m standing in the Lounge admiring our new collection of kettlebells. I lift one of them, admire its heft, and a memory arises…

Growing up, I was always one of the smallest kids around.

I remember in class photos, they would line us up from shortest to tallest, and I would inevitably be at the very front. And while I was pretty fast on my feet, I was a weakling. It made perfect sense. While all my friends were in Boy Scouts, playing hockey or rollicking around outside and having fun, I was stuck inside playing the stupid piano. Yes, my fingers were surprisingly strong and supple, but that was pretty much it. I was useless.

Tired of being a pushover, I remember going through the Consumer’s Distributing catalog and seeing Joe Weider weight sets. This – yes, THIS was the answer!

That holiday season Lego and weights were at the very top of my wish list. Crawling under the Christmas tree, I tried to guess what my presents were. Shaking one box, all I heard was silence. Must be a sweater. Lame.

How about this package? The unmistakable ka-chunka sound of Lego bricks. Nice!

And this massive box with my name on it? I could barely move it let alone try to pick it up. Inside, my heart soared – this must be the Joe Weider weights. My life was going to change.

The remainder of that Christmas break was a heady time. After playing with my new Legos, I would hang out in my bedroom and pump iron.

Well, not exactly.  It turns out those Joe Weider weights were too expensive. So instead I was given a set of Yorks. Rather than cast-iron, these budget weights were plastic and filled with sand. While I was initially a bit disappointed, I soon realized it didn’t matter. Ten pounds of sand weighs as much as ten pounds of steel… and regardless, my twelve-year old self was gonna get ripped!

Looking back, it was a wonder I didn’t give myself a hernia. Drawing from my impressions of what weightlifting should look like, I embarked on various exercises. MUST HAVE bigger biceps. So I did lots of bicep curls.  MUST HAVE A BIGGER CHEST. I would lie on my bed and do benchpresses and flys. Grunting and groaning with the odd scream thrown in, I’m sure the sounds coming from my bedroom were disturbing.

But I could feel I was getting stronger. And after a few weeks I even started to add more weight. I was officially a 4′ 10″ little meathead. My vanity soared to new heights.

Every day I would preen and flex in front of the mirror. Yes, my biceps were getting bigger, but my critical eye noted how the other side of my arms were flaccid. I needed TRICEPS! But how? I quickly consulted the Yorks instruction manual. There, in grainy black and white was the answer –  “overhead tricep extensions”. The diagram was a bit hard to follow, but I eventually figured it out:

1. Stand tall.
2. With straight arms use both hands to grip a single dumbbell over your head.
3. Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbell behind your neck.
4. Flex triceps to return the weight to starting position.
5. Repeat.
6. Feel ego inflate.

I tried the exercise once. It felt incredibly hard. This. Yes, this exercise would fulfill my pre-teen-life.

I religiously added tricep extensions to my workout routine. My daily mirror sessions soon revealed tiny little bumps on the back of my arms. TRICEPS!

Nothing breeds success like success, so the next day, it was time to step it up. Loosening the plastic collar on the bar, I added more weight. Standing tall, I began doing tricep extensions like a child possessed. And suddenly, the dumbbell felt half as heavy. Amazing!

But little did I realize, in my haste to add more weight, I hadn’t tightened the plastic collar properly. After a few reps, the collar slipped off. And unbeknownst to me, in my moment of pride and self congratulation, a 10 pound weight was flipping through the air, aimed squarely at the top of my head.


Seeing stars, I hit the ground like a sack of hammers. Clutching my skull in agony, I moaned and rocked in the fetal position.

The only thing larger than my swollen triceps was the swollen bump on my head.

These past few decades, I’ve focused on functional mobility and core strength. It’s been a long time since I worked with weights. But as I get older, I can see the value of bringing strength work back to my practice. I want to improve my bone density, maintain muscle mass, and regain the confidence that comes from moving heavy things.

It’s funny how sometimes we come full circle to what we do – but hopefully, the reasons why have changed.

Let’s get pumped!


PS: If you want to work with weights, come join me at Yoga Strong. And no – we won’t be doing tricep extensions 🙂


One day, Jeff asked me: ‘’Katia, who are you?’’ While my mind was contemplating the inquiry, I felt my body shrinking down.

I came to Canada with big aspirations, a vast country, filled with boundless dreams. Since then, I have met so many different versions of myself. Earlier this year, I came to the conclusion that I became dramatically attached to the persona I try to become. Attached to some of the things that generally keep us tied to the materialistic realm. Chasing assertively the illusion of the self.

Thankfully, I have been given the chance to hold space for others to experience the magic of Yoga. A sacred place where everything needs to be unlearned, regardless which side of the room we stand on.

‘’The techniques of yoga will work on you in the ways that they were designed to work on you.’’

As we delve into the different limbs of Yoga, sooner or later, ultimately, will arise existential questions: Who Am I?  What do I do next, or, how can I live my life according to my purpose?

I sometimes imagine Lord Vayu, the deity of the Wind whispering me messages from the Gods.

If we become silent enough, we will hear those questions and our job is to take them with us outside in the world to find the answers.

It was time to take a leap, a step back from everything I think I know about me.

I spoiled myself with a big gift by taking a few months off the grid – to explore sacred temples, wild forests and pristine water, and of course, studying Yoga.

We still have few weeks before I take off for the winter season, join me on the mat

Monday nights for my favourite Happy Hour Ashtanga at 5 pm
Thursday at 5 pm for a Rocket Vinyasa inspired
and Saturday at 12 Pm for a Vinyasa flowing into Nidra.

I hope to see you there.



Lounge Flix can be played on your computer, tablet, or smart phone!


Celebrate the coming of light. The winter solstice has been defined as a special time of year for many traditions. To acknowledge the moment the sun stands still in the darkest part of the year, becomes an auspicious moment to pause and reflect about our own natural cycles. Discover a connection to the past and learn about how a shift in astronomy affects all living beings. This is an intimate evening that dives into tradition with reflective exercises, meditations & intention setting for the new year.To gain insight for what’s in store for 2024, Mindy includes a personalized, hand written yearly forecast. Please email: artwithmindy@gmail.com with your birthdate upon registration.On the day of the gathering, please bring a journal and pen.

Don’t sleep on this one, it sold out last year!

I’m There!

Join Kevin and Jeff as they tag-team for a powerful, immersive practice to mark the shedding of the old year for the new. Expect vibrant movement flowing into a rich sound bath of aural textures and gongs that pull you into a state of deep rest.

I’m in!

This lecture will cover the principles of hand on assists, when to use hands on assists, how to use hands on assists, how they can be useful, what kinds of touch/assists are used within a class, includes demonstrations on common hands on assists and group work on practicing how to perform these demonstrations themselves. Hands on assists is an extremely important topic to cover as a teacher’s ability to use them safely and confidently and in accordance with the
ethical guidelines for yoga teachers. Hands-on assists will be used during the asana and grounding guided practice sections of the program for attendees to become familiar with the types of physical touch that are appropriate for use in a yoga class.The lead trainer will give demonstrations on safer, common hands on assists. With the assistance and under the supervision of experienced adjusters, attendees will be able to practice the assists on one another and ask questions.We will also discuss if hand on assists are always necessary and in what ways we can support learning modalities in different ways before use hands on assists.

Learning Objectives:
Successful attendees will be able to identify, define and articulate understanding of (1) types of touch, (2) principles of hand on assists, (3) when to use hands on assists, (4) how to use hands on assists, (5) how they can be useful or harmful, (6) what kinds of touch/assists are used within a class, and (6) how to demonstrate common hands on assists with confidence and safety.

Please note the workshop will be divided into two sessions x 4.5 hours each to in order to cover the material, practice time, and opportunity for questions and follow-up at the second session. We’ll be capping attendance at 10 individuals to ensure proper guidance, supervision and assistance. This workshop is open to all yoga instructors regardless of education and in-studio experience.

February 3, 2024 from 12:00p – 4:30p

March 23, 2024 from 12:00 – 4:30p

Price $189 + GST

Save Your Spot

THEA HARVEY | Teacher Introduction

We’re pleased to welcome a teacher you’ve practiced along side at The Yoga Lounge for years-Thea Harvey! Thea is currently subbing our Sunday classes and is an amazing addition to the team.“Yoga has played a supporting role in my life for almost 20 years. As a massage therapist my yoga practice has helped me thrive physically and mentally throughout my career, no small part of that being my connection to my community here in Canmore.I’m inspired to share yoga with my community, to help to provide guidance to support bio mechanical and energetic well being for the hard working folks of the Bow Valley. Keeping yoga fun and accessible for everyone is my passion, and I’m grateful to spend the rest of my life learning and teaching! Cooking, listening to music, spending time with friends (human and animal) and walking in beautiful places are my favourite things to do wherever I find myself.”

Check the Schedule & Practice with Thea

Around Our Community

In and around The Yoga Lounge, we’re blessed with so many talented individuals. Did you know one of our Studio Managers, Fortune Whelan, is a published author who will make you feel all the feels? Seriously. Publisher’s Weekly reviewed her 2022 debut novel, Stuck with You, and hailed her as “a romance writer to watch.” Since then she’s published two sequels with Tule Publishing, and an indie novella. Her next single title book release is from Entangled Publishing. Look for One Night on Vallejo Street in 2024.Currently, her books are available through her website, all major retailers and to borrow from the Canmore Public Library and TRAC. Limited stock can be purchased at the Lounge and at Café Books.
*If you have a talent, product or business you’ll like to share with the community, email Fortune or James at info@theyogalounge.ca. This is free promotional space for Yoga Lounge members.
More About Fortune
As many of you know, Jeff is on Canmore Town Council and one of the key things he campaigned on was emergency text messaging! He’s happy to see brought forward!If you’d like to receive alerts and what to do in the case of an emergency (such as flood, wildfire, etc) , please download the Voyent Alert App from the Apple Store or Google Play. The Town of Canmore will send notifications to your device!

Lounge Love

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave our teachers these wonderful reviews. If you haven’t yet, we would love to hear from you!