There are concierges for running everyday errands, concierges for organizing your office and even concierges for planning birthday parties. For some people all of this helps to make their lives easier, but what about a concierge that helps you with your overall health? “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything,” says Rachelle Wintzen, a yoga instructor, holistic nutritionist and the owner of Chi Junky, a boutique loft-style wellness studio.
I found the idea of a wellness concierge so intriguing that I had to experience it for myself. So I headed east to Leslieville where I found tucked away on a quiet residential street an oasis for the mind, body and soul. I was even welcomed with a red carpet.
Greater Wellness for Everyone
Once inside I meet Rachelle, who welcomes me like an old friend as I explain to her my recent bout of inactivity since becoming a new mom. “The Chi Junky concept was born from the idea that a better quality of life is always possible,” she says with a genuine smile.
It’s hard not to smile when you see how pristine and modern the wellness studio is. “When I left New York there was no concierge,” Rachelle says as we make our way into the yoga studio. “I lived in New York for so many years it really taught me about how to set the bar. There is such attention to detail there. There are so many things that are readily available especially for health and wellness so I really wanted to bring my experience from New York to Toronto and get people really into their health,” she continues as she offers me a choice between the customary herbal tea of the day or citrus-infused water. Since this winter has been long, harsh and punishingly never ending, I opt for both.
Intimate and Attentive Instruction
The class sizes at Chi Junky are deliberately small, a maximum of four people to be exact. The reason behind this is to ensure that yoga practitioners receive the best in instruction as well as corrections. Another notable detail is the fact that you can come as you are. Yep. No equipment or water bottles are necessary. So leave your Lululemon yoga bag and mat behind. Included in the class price is a mat, towel, and refreshments. You literally just show up. “I want people to walk away with inspiration. I want you to leave this place feeling that you can do this. I don’t want you to be frustrated or discouraged about forgetting something or having to pay extra to borrow a mat,” explains Rachelle.
Throughout the hour-long class we go through a series of vinyasa flows, and with each updog and warrior pose I go through, I feel empowered by what my body can do. I also feel a greater sense of awareness as Rachelle corrects my over extensions, which is something I normally don’t get corrected on when I take part in a larger class.
A Different Kind of Yoga Class
To be honest, this class is the best yoga class that I’ve taken in the city because of the on-going attention that is given to my technique. Rachelle’s focus on correcting muscle use, breathing and body alignment ensure your body receives the full wellness benefits of yoga and not the pain of injury.
The peaceful environment makes Chi Junky the perfect yoga haunt for a beginner or even a seasoned yogi. However, the goodness doesn’t end there. When you visit you can also take full advantage of the other services on offer, such as food therapy. With spring here those looking to vindicate themselves from a winter of rich, gut busting comfort foods may want to take in a session where Rachelle deconstructs the standard American diet and teaches you how clean and natural foods can slow the aging process or work out the winter kinks with a body therapy session.
Whether you come to Chi Junky for a yoga class or lessons on how to improve your day-to-day diet and wellness, one thing is for sure: you’ll leave feeling empowered about living a healthier life.