If you're curious about what yoga can do for you, his company, Grove Campus, is hosting a 9-day virtual yoga journey that's completely free and is happening from November 18 to 26, which you can register for here.
It begins at 7 p.m. every evening and the Zoom class has a maximum of 100 attendees, so make sure to join in on time to secure your spot!
During the sessions, you'll be able to learn about the neuroscience of yoga and the benefits that come with practicing it.
We asked Brandon a few questions about himself, Grove Campus, and how yoga can help be beneficial while living through hard times like a pandemic.
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Can you tell me all there is to know about Grove Campus?
Let's begin from the moment I realized that I had been extremely toxic to myself and those around me. I was in prison for the second time after breaching parole for a road incident that amounted to nothing. [...]
Shame and guilt consumed my mind and body to the point where I had trouble getting out of bed because I was so depressed. After about a year, my partner suggested that I try yoga. [...]
After two classes everything changed. My mental health issues faded and I set out to share the benefits of yoga with anyone who wasn't aware of them. [...]
The two main components to Grove Campus and what I believe sets us apart from others is not necessarily the yoga but that our practice does not end once we leave our mats. What sets us apart is that you are supporting a complete stranger. There is something very powerful behind that.
In efforts to maintain our classes donation-based, we just released our first product, a cork yoga mat. This mat is made from organic cork and natural rubber, its eco-friendly, plant-based, non-toxic, recyclable and 10% of profit go towards our events and initiatives in supporting underserved families.
Thus far we have been able to support about 600 people with food, toys, school supplies and drugs and alcohol rehabilitation.
How do you think yoga can benefit people during a difficult time like the pandemic?
I think this is an opportunity to slow down and check in on how we've been thinking, feeling and doing. However, this can give rise to the "monkey mind" where our minds have the ability to run rampant and at times seem out of control. I know from first-hand experience that this can be really uncomfortable, maybe even painful but nevertheless, it is necessary to acknowledge what is there.
Yoga can offer the tools necessary to cope with the experiences that we find difficult to face. It can be a beautiful reminder of our resiliency and our ability to overcome difficulties and heal.
This pandemic can be a waste of time or it can be a chance for self-study. When else will we have the time to invest in ourselves?
What positive aspects has yoga brought to your life?
The list of positive aspects for me has been acknowledging the power of my thoughts and understanding that they carry consequences, "good" and "bad."
Another positive aspect is yoga has allowed me to move further from the pole of victimhood, which is where I spent most of my days to understand that I am the creator of my reality and accepting responsibility for what goes on in my life.
I'm also able to do some pretty cool things with my body.
The Ciel en Fête hot air balloon festival in Quebec is floating its way through Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu next month, accompanied by a host of activities, including yoga, a Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) picnic and an illuminated night show.
In the event of good weather, the hot air balloon festival will take place every weekend during the month of August.
The festival will host two free yoga sessions at dawn, where you can practice your downward-facing dog surrounded by breathtaking floating hot air balloons.
The SAQ'scinq à sept style Pique-nique découverte allows you to picnic beneath the balloon-dotted sky. Tickets include a basket with a selection of wines or bubbles from Quebec, paired with agrifood products from the region.
Night Glow on August 7 will create a hot air balloon spectacle under the stars, illuminated in the likeness of Chinese lanterns, which you can view through your car.
On several dates, two professional acrobatic divers will perform extreme dives from a hot air balloon in mid-flight — they'll be jumping 20 to 25 metres, equivalent to an 8-storey building, and diving into the water below.
Food trucks and beer will be available at the free Budweiser tailgate on August 14, where you'll be able to watch the Volaria aerial festival.
Reservations for each activity are required, but entrance is free for most events.
Ciel en Fête Festival
Price: Mostly free entry, but prices vary
When: Every weekend throughout the month of August — dates for each activity vary
Address: At the corner of boulevards Saint-Laurent and René-Lévesque, Chinatown, Montreal
Why You Need To Go: Montreal always has a way of coming to life and night and the new installation "Place des Souhaits" simply adds to it. The wish tree part of the piece twinkles at night! It's also set up next to a patio where you can spend your day chilling.
Why You Need To Go: Seven spaces along avenue Mont-Royal will be recreating colourful urban gardens for the rest of the summer. You'll be able to find a colourful skate park, a light and shadow garden, a rose mural, and other unique spots to check out.
When: Every day until September 6 from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Address: Place des Commencements; 200, rue de la Commune O., Montréal, QC
Why You Need To Go: You can find Place des Commencements located at the end of the Grand Quai in Old Montreal, which has a lovely beautiful green terrasse where you can sit on chairs and admire Habitat 67 and the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.
Remember back in elementary school when spending time in the cafeteria was the best part of your school day? Well, at Time Out Market Montreal, we get to relive that childhood love for cafeterias — just in a much classier manner.
This culinary hot spot is officially opening again on Friday, July 2 with some new restaurants. I got to go try dishes from some new places yesterday and here's what I thought!
Naturally, I started to get pretty full after these two meals. But, I still made sure to leave room to try Le Blossom's salmon poke bowl. I forgot to take a photo of it first though, which tells you how good it was since I couldn't wait.
Other new restaurants that I didn't have space in my stomach to try include Campo, Tunnel Espresso and Le P'tit Dip.
It's been a fraught postseason for officiating during the Stanley Cup Playoffs as NHL referees have been accused of a series of blunders and non-calls that have influenced the outcomes of critical games and series.
But after Montreal's Game 4 loss to the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, many Habs fans are taking it to a different level: They are calling for a referee to be fired.
"In recent years, we have already noticed Chris Lee for all the wrong reasons in the hockey world. Whether it's for goals, or questionable penalties," states a Change.org petition, which has gathered over 26,000 signatures as of the time of writing.
"However, in the last two games, opposing the Montreal Canadiens and the Vegas Golden Knights, we have seen time and time again the inability of Chris Lee to do his job as a referee in the NHL. Whether it's for a number of dubious decisions, or for his ill-concealed favouritism, we, as NHL fans, demand the immediate dismissal of Chris Lee."
MTL Blog has reached out to the NHL Officials Association for comment on this story. This article will be updated when we receive a response.
Though the petition might not cost the veteran referee his job, Lee wasn't officiating Game 5, which the Canadiens went on to win, so there's that.
Many hockey pundits criticized Lee for his performance in Game 4 after not calling a roughing penalty on Brayden McNabb's punch to Nick Suzuki's face at the end of the second period, though he seemed to have a good view of the incident.
And then in the third, Tomáš Nosek's blatant hit on Shea Weber from behind, a potentially dangerous play, did not result in a penalty.