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Lauren MacRitchie, yoga instructor at the North Shore Winter Club

5 Minutes of Yoga Shop Talk with our own Lauren MacRitchie

08/11/2014, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

Learn more about the Fitness Well's head yoga instructor.


"Never think of failure, for what we think, will come about.”

This is one of Lauren MacRitchie’s favourite quotes, and after spending a half hour chatting with the North Shore Winter Club’s head yoga instructor, it’s obvious why.

I’m sitting with Lauren in the cafeteria at the club in between sessions - she’s coming from a yoga class and needs to teach another one in 30 minutes, I just finished a lesson and I’m heading back onto the ice in an hour.

In short, Lauren fits right in with the busy culture of the North Shore Winter Club. 

For Lauren and the future of the Fitness Well, however, failing to push the bar higher and higher even though it might be exhausting isn’t an option. 

The Fitness Well

“I really believe in that quote. It’s tough to have a sunny outlook every single day, but you can train your mind for success,” Lauren says.

The Fitness Well is being built to match that mindset. 

As a space where people can do a wide range of activities like yoga, Zumba, dance classes, Pilates, and different specialized classes, The Fitness Well is steadily growing into a one-stop shop for alternative fitness methods.  

"We’re constantly growing and moving towards better and more innovative ways of doing things. I’ve developed my own personal mindset over the years, and I want to work at solidifying that culture at the club in yoga and other classes."

The Philosophy

The Fitness Well was created to have a dedicated alternative fitness space that caters to the membership of the North Shore Winter Club as well as public guests. 

"We wanted a universal space so you didn’t have to go to a rec centre to do yoga or the YMCA to do Zumba. Everything is right here at home.”

Lauren also stresses that there are always different ways of doing things for different people. That’s why the focus of the new space was to provide various options. Physical, mental and emotional needs necessitate this variety, a mission that was important during the studio’s renovations.

"You can go to classes to relax, you can go to work out, you might be there to test and improve yourself mentally and physically,” Lauren says. 

“It’s important to have the balance of relaxation and pushing yourself. Both elements are nice if you want to have a balanced lifestyle in general, whether you’re at the club, at home, at work or on the road, it’s all in the mind."

Lauren’s Background

Like everyone at NSWC, Lauren took a unique route to the club.

She started taking yoga classes in high school with her mom. 

“It was nice because it was something we could do together. Then, over time we both saw improvements in flexibility, balance and strength. I continued taking classes and started to really appreciate the mental benefits yoga was having on me, but it was difficult to afford, money and time-wise.” 

Lauren took the fitness route during university, completing her personal trainer certification. 

“Getting my certification opened me up more to the philosophy side of yoga that I didn’t notice before. This opened a whole can of worms.”

Yoga began to speak to Lauren, the wisdom that it brought, the philosophy and the poses all merged as one constant element at this point. Lauren quickly took her yoga teacher training and has been teaching classes ever since. 

The Future of Yoga at NSWC

“I’m wired to constantly look forward, to grow and to make things better. We’re building more focused dryland sessions for athletes in our specific sports - hockey players, tennis players, swimmers and so on. There’s so much we can do here.”

“Without clear goals, you’re kind of just floating.”

Lauren is the right person to lead the yoga charge in North Vancouver not only because of her experience with combining yoga and specific sports, but also her ability to relate with people and help them grow. She’s passionate about watching people and athletes leave a class after finding the flexibility, strength and balance they didn’t know they had. 

“For sure, a lot of people come in new to a class, they’re tight, so it’s extra rewarding to see them developing to the point where they can control their breath in all aspects of life. I teach them to think of success consistently, no matter what their daily routine is, and interestingly enough, success seems to find those thoughts.”

The complete passage from this article’s introductory quote is a perfect reflection of Lauren’s beliefs. Indeed, Lauren has modelled herself and the Fitness Well’s Yoga Studio after the teachings of Maharashi Madesh, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program.

“When we think of failure, failure will be ours. If we remain undecided nothing will ever change. All we need to do is want to achieve something great and then simply do it. Never think of failure, for what we think, will come about.”

 - Maharashi Mahesh.

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