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YogaBiebs: 'Shameless' Fan Starts Bieber Exercise Class In Toronto

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The poster for a toronto mother's yogaBiebs class
The poster for a toronto mother's yogaBiebs class

Baby, baby, baby, breathe. A Toronto mother, and self-proclaimed "shameless Belieber," has launched yogaBiebs, a yoga class "set to the sweet vocals and hip beats of Justin Bieber." Or so reads the 300 flyers that the 40-year-old plastered Toronto's west end with.

"I have two daughters. My youngest, who was in kindergarten in 2010, brought the Bieber home and I really loved the music. It was always indie bands and cool stuff for me before that," Rosanne McCollum tells HuffPost Canada Music.

Of course, Bieber's had a string of bad boy incidents since that 2010 heyday — most recently that felony egg raid and the charges for limo driver assault as well as DUI and resisting arrest — but she's not at all dismayed. "I actually think that the good that Justin Bieber does in the world is far bigger than these misdemeanors, in terms of his charity work and just the sheer enjoyment that he brings to all the fans."

But does this mother of two think her yogaBiebs class somewhat condones his behaviour? "Absolutely not. Appreciating the music and other aspects of who Justin Bieber is [doesn't] condone anything that is yet to be proven. Second of all, there's a difference between him as an artist and him as a person in his life. I wouldn't condone anything simply by enjoying his music as a playlist in a yoga class.

"So much that is reported about him turns out not to be true," McCollum adds. "There have been allegations that have been dropped in the past, for example the so-called spitting on a neighbour; there was no evidence of that whatsoever and the charges were dropped. But it didn't stop it becoming international news, as if it had happened. So it remains to be seen what will be proven.

(Note: police investigated and sent the spitting case, which also involved threats, to a prosecutor, who declined to pursue it, saying Bieber's actions were "disproportionate and immature, but since the neighbor had entered the property without invitation Bieber's actions did not rise to the level of a criminal threat.")

She outright dismisses the egg incident — "I think that's extremely suspicious. If there was any evidence that it was definitely Justin Bieber, we probably would've seen it by now" — and remains suspicious of the assault charge, too. "The limo driver, the initial reports were that Justin Bieber has nothing to do with it; it was his people. There's just so much speculation. I would wait and see and go with the facts that we do know."

McCollum, a certified yoga instructor in the Roncy neighbourhood for the past 14 years, had a trial yogaBiebs class last Wednesday at the Village Healing Centre, inside a 100-year-old church building that also holds the larger private studio Yoga Village.

"We did a 'dress rehearsal' that Wednesday and then it's going to be every Wednesday in that space for a little while," says McCollum, "but then there's also going to be a big event [Feb. 7] in Yoga Village that MTV will be filming and [VJ] Phoebe Dykstra will be taking that class."

McCollum, who has a tattoo of Bieber's hands in a heart shape on her shoulder, says that yoga music doesn't have to be all soothing and new age. While she personally hasn't previously offered classes with pop playlists, she says for years there have been classes to DJ and dance music. She once did a live tabla class with Ed Hanley from Autorickshaw.

The playlist for yogaBiebs does not include "Baby," the 19-year-old pop star's breakthrough hit. "A lot of the songs are from 'Journals,'" McCollum says of Bieber's late-2013 compilation album, "like 'One Life,' which has a very slow groove and it's very ethereal, and 'Bad Day,'" which has rhythm. I don't want to give away all my secrets."

One thing she does want to confirm, however, is that doing this class at this specific time is not because of Bieber's current media omnipresence.

"No, it's happenstance that it's just now. It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time and I know that there are fans, especially for the younger fans, for teenagers getting into yoga. It's a great time in your life to do that and the response that I've had so far from young people to this class is that they just want to work out to the stuff they like, too.

"It has nothing to do with him in the overly sensationalized tabloid press."

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