And it’s happening in Toronto.
If you’re sick of Tinder and OkCupid, tomorrow night Studio Blue Yoga is hosting it’s first ever I <3 Yoga Speed Dating event, Thursday February 26th from 7:30-9pm. Toronto singles will be stretching it out on yoga mats… together. With five minutes for each “date,” singles will do couples yoga poses like hand-holding seated twist or wide legged forward fold, giving them a chance to get up close and personal with a potential date. With more men and women turning to yoga for their physical and spiritual wellness, I <3 Yoga Speed Dating allows for two singles to touch, hold and breath together and see if there’s a spark and deep connection in a short amount of time.
“Yoga intensifies self-awareness of ones body, feelings and desires, and practicing with a partner increases ones trust, openness and sensuality,” says yogi and owner of Studio Blue, Jessica McIntyre. “It’s a great way for singles to get in touch with themselves and a partner. I’m excited to see sparks fly with some partner stretching, holding and joint poses. It will definitely bring a new meaning to a down-ward dog.”
Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I’m incredibly skeptical about new dating trends – especially ones that involve potentially touching other strangers. In fact, as soon as I read the phrase “joint poses,” my mind immediately jumped to this post I wrote years ago. So, naturally when Studio Blue got in touch with me I had some questions (mainly, “will I have to touch people?”)
Yesterday I had a chance to catch up with Jessica McIntyre, owner of Studio Blue and organizer of I <3 Yoga Speed Dating. Jessica was incredibly sweet & lovely. After chatting for a few minutes she managed to answer all of my questions and quell any anxieties I had about the possibility of looking for love on a yoga mat (in fact, I’m totally pumped to try I <3 Yoga Speed Dating next time I’m in Toronto!)
When I asked Jessica what inspired to her to create this event, she explained that typically February can be a really tough month for many people. Although it’s already Spring on the West Coast, in Toronto it’s still the dead of winter, which can feel very “blah” (having lived through 12 winters in Toronto, I can attest to that.) Since Studio Blue did a couples event on February 14th, they wanted to do something fun for their single clientele. Hence, I <3 Yoga was born.
So, how does it work? The evening starts by enjoying a glass of champagne (YES!) which is then followed by some solo yoga practice to allow everyone to get warmed up and comfortable. Mats are lined up in two rows, facing each other – men on one side, ladies on the other. The teachers then demonstrate the poses and each couple has a chance to try them while they connect. Each “date” lasts 5 minutes.The men rotate from mat to mat, while the women stay put.
When asked how much physical contact is involved (because, the photo at the top of this post seems pretty full contact!) Jessica was careful to point out that you’re never required to touch your partner – unless that’s something you’re both comfortable doing. The teachers will demonstrate a variety of poses with different variations to suit all comfort levels so that you always have options.
Yoga speed dating is then followed by a “mix and mingle” from 8:30-9pm with light refreshments (more champagne!) so that singles connect some more.
As Jessica points out, “It’s meant to be a fun and light event that provides a different way to meet people.” After all, Studio Blue’s mantra is “practice playfully.” With regular classes like “Hangover Helper” “Hip Hop Yoga” and “Yoga Ballet Fusion,” Studio Blue aims to offer classes that are playful, welcoming and vigorous. Creating a vibrant community is also really important to Jessica. As she shared, “I want to create a safe space for women, where they can connect and feel less alone” – a statement I can definitely relate to. I <3 Yoga is just a small part of that.
While Jessica didn’t meet her boyfriend on a yoga mat, they do enjoy practicing together on a regular basis 🙂
Maybe living on the yoga-obsessed West Coast is finally getting to me, but I actually think Yoga Speed Dating sounds like fun. If I’ve learned anything over the past few months, it’s that while online dating is all fine and dandy, nothing beats the rush you get from meeting someone in person. Considering I logged on to OkCupid last night and saw the same 20 guys that are always on there, switching up my dating strategy sounds pretty appealing right now. Besides, doing Yoga feels good – even Joe the Intern is onboard.
“After a long week of interning, I really look forward to my candlelit yoga sessions with my girlfriend Milly. It’s a great way to connect as a couple. Last night we reached a meditative state together.” – Joe the Intern.
If you’d like to give I <3 Yoga Speed Dating a try, here are the details:
WHAT: I <3 yoga, Studio Blue’s Yoga Speed Dating. Toronto singles between 22-35 will be meeting on the yoga mats to do couples poses. All levels welcome! To register visit www.studioblue.co.
WHEN: Thursday, February 26 from 7:30-9pm with “mix & mingle” from 8:30-9pm.
WHERE: Studio Blue Yoga and Fitness at 1457 Dundas St West (Dundas and Dufferin)
WHO: Toronto singles between 22-35 years of age will enjoy Yoga Speed Dating with Jessica McIntyre, yogi and owner of Studio Blue Yoga & Fitness.
Would you try Yoga Speed Dating?