Open Hearted Buddhist Warrior Yogi
Joshua is a yoga practitioner and teacher known for offering classes that encourage safe and compassionate inquiry into the pulsating experience of life – on and off the mat. His calm and supportive guidance is sought after by students of all level, age and life circumstance, knowing that he teaches humbly and with deep respect for each individual’s personal practice. He believes passionately that when we practice yoga, we are practicing for life and as such, each class is an opportunity to connect deeply with ourselves. On the mat, we develop an intimate relationship that allows us to heal, to grow and to transform.
Joshua guides his students with gentleness and precision. He desires for each student to feel that they can fully inhabit their practice, taking up residence in their physical bodies and feeling the surge of their energetic spirit. From here we endeavour to bring compassionate attention to the fluctuating realm of our mental and emotional experiences. We honour where we are – right now, right here – today.
Joshua began practicing yoga as a healing modality for a body strained by the demands of a life on stage. Dedicated from a young age to the art of movement and expression, Joshua ardently pursued a career in the theatre. This journey would eventually find him performing across the country. The practice of yoga became a unifying source of support and strength. He practiced for many years on his own in the safety of his bedroom (and with a league of yoga DVDs; thank you, Eoin Finn!) before he summoned the courage to attend a public class in a studio. As a result, his practiced flourished and led to a desire to dive deeply into the teachings of yoga. Joshua completed his 250 hour teacher training in 2009 at The Yoga Sanctuary under the guidance of Cynthia Funk and Karusia Wroblewski. Soon after, he became one of the first teachers in Toronto to be certified in yin yoga by Tracey Soghrati. In 2013 he will have the privilege and honour to mentor the current group of teacher training students. Currently, Joshua is working toward completion of a 300 hour advanced teacher training. He has studied restorative yoga and philosophy with Hali Schwartz, as well as yin yoga with Cathy Keenan. He draws inspired influence from his teachers, including Sarah Powers, Saul David Raye and Pema Chodron. Committed to lifelong learning, Joshua is looking forward to an upcoming teacher training with Matthew Sanford in adapting yoga for disability.
Off the mat, Joshua spends a great deal of time thinking about, preparing and enjoying food. A self-taught foodie alchemist, he can be happily found making his own nut milks, juicing like a fiend, brewing kombucha, dehydrating kale and eating as cleanly and flavourfully as possible! Quiet time is spent on solo pilgrimages to beautiful places and spending as much time outdoors as possible. Joshua’s yoga path is richly supported by the practice of kirtan and bhakti yoga and by an incredible web of family and friends.
“In peace and light, I thank you for sharing your practice with me.”
“Pure Thoughts – Kind Words – Compassionate Heart
These are among some of Joshua’s many qualities and teachings. These could just remain as words unless someone makes them have real meaning in a real world where so much negativity abounds.
When I first began attending Joshua’s restorative class, I was literally going through the second most difficult and tragic time of my life. There was so much emotional pain, I couldn’t feel anything. It was through Joshua’s tenderness and compassion that I was finally able to identify the pain and not only feel it, but express my grief and sadness.
Joshua’s healing power is his gift.
I now attend Joshua’s Hatha Yoga class and his Yin Yoga class. Joshua teaches us to be patient with our bodies as well as to reach out into the world and be compassionate with each other. My practice has deepened on all kinds of levels, physical, emotional, and, of course, spiritual. Joshua’s gentle yet persuasive teaching; his soothing words and his thorough knowledge of yoga allows your body to react in a way where you find yourself in poses you never thought you could achieve.
Not only is Joshua a special human being but he is an outstanding yoga instructor. His students love him and once you attend one of his classes, you will never view yoga as just a physical experience again.”
“Josh is a true teacher. In his classes, I feel that I am learning an approach to life, not merely yoga poses but a sense of self-awareness and self-discovery, and at times, of really “being in the moment”. This is an amazing gift!
Josh’s classes make yoga accessible and enjoyable for everybody. He is an attentive and caring instructor and his warmth and humour never cease to brighten my day. Josh’s insight, wisdom and teaching have a strong impact on my life, as I know they do on many other people’s lives.”
“Joshua Lewis is, for me, the consummate and definitive yoga guide. His instruction enables me to explore my own practice, within my own breath. I have had the pleasure of attending a number of Joshua’s classes from private sessions and small, intimate group sessions to large rooms packed with a wide range of students – and I have learned from all of them.
Regardless of the size of the class or its focus, if it is a hatha class or a restorative yin class or a vinyasa practice, Josh guides with a deft and compassionate hand challenging us all to explore the limits of our physical being while following our own breath and spirit.
From Joshua’s classes I have now embraced my practice and continue to explore it with thought and purpose and it has begun to expand into all areas of my life. I attend Joshua’s classes whenever the opportunity presents itself and I always leave the better for it.
Thank you Joshua! Namaste.”