Just When You Need It Most

By Jamie Bussin


For 6 years I gave up every Father’s Day so that I could host OmTO – a full day of outdoor yoga, in celebration of the Summer Solstice. At its height, OmTO had more than 3000 guests and onlookers with yoga classes averaging more than 150 people. Then the pandemic occurred, and the event became logistically impossible to put on. But I’ve always wanted to bring the event back – because it was always such a special day. I was just waiting for the perfect time.

It turns out that Sunday, December 17, 2023 is that perfect time. The holiday season can be so hectic and with so much negativity in the news cycle – I think we could all use a day for ourselves. An opportunity to decompress and move and be part of something bigger – nourishing our bodies and minds at a time of year when we need it most. But I’m also hoping to support my friends and partners in the yoga community who were hit extremely hard by the pandemic. As yogi, Tonic contributor and OmTO class instructor Tracey Soghrati puts it; “OmTO has always been the best place to connect with teachers and practitioners from all over the city. I encourage students to try a few different class styles – every practice is different and I’m always pleasantly surprised by the quality of teaching I find!”


THE EVENT: OmTO Is a full day of curated and themed yoga classes taught by the top instructors from the top studios in the GTA. You can reserve your space, online, in advance. There will be music, contests, free giveaways and special offers for our guests. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to charity. All of the classes will be video recorded. 

THE VENUE: ZoomerHall, with its high ceilings, ambient lighting and urban vibe, is the main recording studio at ZoomerMedia, located at the ZoomerPlex in Liberty Village in Toronto. The venue can be accessed by car (with free parking on site) or public transit. There are shops, restaurants and bars surrounding the venue in this iconic urban neighbourhood.

70 Jefferson Avenue, Toronto, ON

THE CLASSES: There will be 9 curated, specially themed, yoga classes throughout the day. Each has its own unique special twist. Commencing at 10:00 am sharp, and then every hour on the hour, every class will last 45 minutes (with a 15 minute break in between to allow our guests to come, practice and go – without ruining their vibe). For example, the early birds might want to take a 50/50 mat pilates and yoga class at 10:00am taught by Chris Pride of Altea Active. Or one might choose to take a hot (and dark) yoga flow class in the late afternoon, taught by Jaybird’s Jessica Cullathorne. Julie Watson is teaching a DYNAMIC Power Vinyasa class to a female-featured playlist mid-afternoon. As Julie puts it; “Think Stevie Nicks meets Whitney Houston meets Miley Cyrus.” Or you might want to take a midday Yang-Yin Yoga class with OmTO favourite Tracey Soghrati – and reeeallllly hooollllddd thosssseee possess. Or for those looking for adventure you might want to “let loose” with Hana Lukac at 6:00pm to close out our program. 

A SPECIAL CLASS: Yoga is one of the most beneficial complementary therapies for Parkinson’s Disease. It helps to increase flexibility; improve posture; loosen tight, painful muscles; build (or rebuild) confidence; and, through these benefits, enhance quality of life. Parkinson Canada is sponsoring a specially curated class at OmTO at 11:00am and welcomes those with Parkinson’s, friends, family and loved ones to join in.

OUR SPONSORS: Our lead sponsor is ColdFX®. Developed in 1992 in Edmonton, Alberta, COLD-FX® is a proudly Canadian natural health product and #1 pharmacist recommended brand. COLD-FX® and our portfolio of products contain a proprietary, naturally sourced North American ginseng extract along with other ingredients, indicated to help reduce the Frequency, Severity and Duration of cold and flu symptoms by boosting the immune system. No matter your lifestyle, incorporate COLD-FX® as part of your daily rituals and keep doing the things you love – like yoga! Always be sure to read and follow the label to be sure these products are right for you.…. COLD-FX® will be on site at OmTO giving out complimentary hand warmers and health information. They’re also providing two fantastic prize packs valued at $300 for a contest giveaway. 

Be sure to stop by sponsor CanPrev‘s booth at OmTO for a chance to win your favourite natural health products! We’ll be sampling our tasty magnesium flavours to support mental relaxation, and our all-new MuscleRescue formula to preserve & promote muscle tissue growth. Take part in our Breathe & Balance Challenge and you could take home a FREE CanPrev goodie! Come by to chat about all things natural in health & wellness, and let CanPrev help you reach your ultimate mind-body balance.

Our Gift Bag Sponsor, Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR), Canada’s most advanced dietary supplement formulator, will be gifting their Cold & Flu supplement in 500 gift bags for event attendees. As we enter the official cold and flu season this winter and beyond, AOR’s Cold & Flu formula presents a unique formulation that combines traditional herbs with proven mineral support that helps provide effective cold and flu relief. This herbal and mineral product not only alleviates and reduces the symptoms associated with the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections but also helps to maintain immune function and promote healthy skin. The Cold & Flu product is a must-have to bolster your immune system throughout the cold and flu season and beyond. AOR is thrilled to gift Cold & Flu to all OmT023 attendees! PS: The gift bags will include lots of double+ fun secret stash goodies.


INSIDE INFORMATION! If you’re interested in taking a class at OmTO visit www.omto.ca to sign up. All the class descriptions are there for you to choose and reserve your space. All classes are $20, with a portion of the proceeds going to Parkinson Canada. There is an online waiver for you to sign – as the classes involve physical activity and will be recorded and shared with our sponsors and studio partners. Walk-ins are welcome, but will have to sign up and pay online, space permitting. On the day of the event make sure to come with your own yoga mat…and a desire to have an amazing time!