Life in Balance

Through this online art blog/gallery we can encourage, inspire and share hope with one another…We invite who you to share your “NAPS” (News, Art ,Poetry, Songs) or inspirations. Email if you would like to share inspirations. Please note we can not post advice with regards to nutrition and exercise.

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Songs to Recovery 2017 Highlights

On Saturday, September 9th, Riverwalk hosted our fifth annual Songs to Recovery concert and art show! The event involved performances by local bands and musical artists, as well as a showcase of art curated from our Expressive and Therapeutic Arts program and local artists. All ticket proceeds went towards helping us keep on providing FREE arts-based programming in our community. (To learn more about what programs we offer and how to get involved, click here.)

Thanks to all the talented performers who volunteered their time and talents this year! We had performers from our Riverwalk community of musicians, as well as some new faces. We thank all of the wonderful musicians who came out to support Riverwalk:

Riana Isenberg, Matt Gerber, Michelle Scott (featuring Shaela Nathan-Turner), Daniel Ginsberg, Jess from the Jay Dee Band and Peter from Ravyn Red, and Ravyn Red.

Special thanks go out Ravyn Red for sharing their gear, Mel for helping organize the event, and Tyler for being our amazing stage tech and sound guy.

Here are some of our favourite photos from the event!

art 1

Art Journaling and Mixed Media

art 2

TeleStory and Photography


Riana sings musical theatre and pop favourites


Matt Gerber plays us his hilarious and whimsical original tunes


Michelle and Shaela share a song together


Daniel shares some inspirational spoken-word and rap


Ravyn Red closing out the afternoon with covers and originals

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The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga. The word itself comes from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means “to join” or to “yoke”. There are many opinions on yoga that I have come across. There are people who scoff and comment about how yoga is simply stretching and does nothing. There are people think of it more along the lines of “a great workout”. Then there are people who, like myself, decided not to categorize yoga into any boxes, and simply accept it as something we practice for our whole wellbeing.

I turned to yoga when I was going through severe anxiety and mild depression; I was seeing a counsellor at the time and was also looking at every possible way to make myself feel better. By chance I decided to try out the yoga studio not too far away from my home. Initially, my intentions were to find that calm in my mind, that lacked in my daily life, with negative thoughts cycling and creating ruminations. My first class was a very crowded beginner’s class, and it was an odd and new environment for me. Still though, after leaving the class, I felt like some weight has been lifted off my shoulders, because even if it was for 60 minutes or so, I did not think and anticipate and worry about everything surrounding me.

This was almost seven years ago. Am I always calm and worry free today? Absolutely not. However, yoga has helped me become aware of how my body reacts to stress, to accept this, and work with the difficulties in a gentle way. In yoga, you move from pose to pose, synchronizing breath with movement. Sometimes, you pause and hold a difficult pose, you feel strained, your mind is fighting your body – but after you move on from the pose, you are relieved, and you feel good about making it through that moment. Yoga teaches us to accept this difficulty, and try to remain calm and collected during times of stress, physical and emotional. The beauty of yoga is the non-judgmental aspect of the practice. It is not goal oriented; it is accepting, and it allows the individual to be where they are. The goal of yoga is not the pose, not the hand stand, or the beautiful bridge pose (although with years of practice, it does make the body stronger and able to go into some interesting poses). The goal is as personal as you. The goal is you, unifying your mind, body, and spirit, in a beautiful and sacred way.

As with most things, it is easy to get carried away or addicted to that euphoric feeling (exercise in general provides a “high” as the endorphins are released from the brain). This is where a word of caution must come in – as with everything, balance is vital in yoga as well. It is important to not replace one substance with another – a negative behaviour, although replaced with a positive one, can still be an addiction. The good news is yoga is multifaceted in this way too – it does not have to mean hitting the mat hard every single day. Yoga is also meditation; yoga can be a few minutes to appreciate the birds signing, the breeze outside – it could be finding a few minutes to pause and take a deep breath and arrive in the present moment. You can do yoga every day without even unrolling your mat. Or maybe you unroll your mat and lay down – sometimes that is what I am inspired to do if I am tired or I do not feel like movement. At times, this leads to a few poses, maybe a stretch or two. But the beauty of yoga is that there is no expectation, and no goal to be achieved. It simply means to give yourself the space you need, to be in the moment.

When the world gets busy, loud, and overwhelming with all the tasks, responsibilities, and obligations we are often faced with, it is helpful to slow down, take a deep breath, and remember, everything will be okay, one moment at a time.

by Natalia Schell

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Stouffville’s ‘Earl of Whitchuch’ breaks record for longest concert

They came, they played and they’ve conquered the Guinness World Record.

Stouffville’s Earl of Whitchurch Pub surpassed the record for longest concert ever by multiple artists officially at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 2, and raised more than $90,000 for the 16 charities involved.

“It was incredible,” said organizer Kevin Ker. “When it happened the whole room erupted, packed shoulder to shoulder.

“It was like 16 New Year’s eves combined into one,” he added.

Read the full story here.

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Third Cafe Series Concert in Richmond Hill!

Riverwalk had our third Cafe Series Concert event at Covernotes Coffee in Richmond Hill last Saturday! We had several performances by musicians from the Riverwalk community and we displayed art created in our art programs.

The Cafe Series Concerts have been really community-building among Riverwalk musicians. Several musicians from different bands have been trading spots and performing with one another at these shows!

The event was held to raise awareness about mental wellness in our community and to promote our programs, such as our Expressive and Therapeutic Arts Program, and in particular, our Music as Expression group which is taking place Sundays in mid-late July in Thornhill. 

Our arts programs are available to individuals seeking mental health support and who are interested in exploring the arts as a means of engaging in meaningful, recovery-oriented activity. A referral from Riverwalk or Addiction Services for York Region is required. Please contact to inquire about the referral process.


Thank you to our performers:

Michelle Scott

Jess from the Jay Dee Band and Peter from Ravyn Red

Mark from Slick and Asa , Mel from Ravyn Red, and Andrea

Matt Gerber