Workshops

New Year Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation

tibetan singing bowl meditation

Sound healing meditation to reflect and renew

Many cultures recognize the importance of music and sound as healing power. In the ancient civilizations of India, the Orient, Africa, Europe, and Native Americans, the practice of using sound to heal and achieve balance from within has existed for years. The Tibetans use bells, chimes, bowls and chanting as the foundation for their spiritual practice. In Bali, Indonesia, the echoing, gamelong, gong and drum are used in ceremonies to uplift and send messages. The Australian aboriginals and native shamanists use vocal toning and repetitive sound vibration with instruments created from nature in sacred ceremony to adjust any imbalance of spirit.

 

singing bowl meditation workshop

 

We are excited to bring this healing practice to Yogalife Studios this holiday season with a New Year Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation with Neil Haggard.

 


Celebrate the New Year with an Asana and guided Meditation practice to reflect on the important things in life. Wellness. Peace. Health. Family. Renewal. Movement. Focus.


 

When we hear inspiring stories and take time to reflect on what is important in our lives, taking stock, we can see our lives in new ways, focus on what is great about life! Taking some time to relax, listen to our hearts, move the body, calm the busy mind, restore the senses and learn to breathe - a sure way to being healthy and a great practice to take into the year to come.

 

Walk away with a renewed sense of well being and deep commitment to the important things in our lives! Click here to register!

 

new years singing bowl meditation workshop

YOGA FOR ANXIETY, FEAR AND STRESS RELIEF

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Finding the tools that work for you to manage and overcome anxiety.

Yoga is a practice of many things: self-love, awareness, quiet, patience, balance.  We often refer to our mats as a sanctuary where we can escape into peace.  For some of us, this may be the only place we feel this relief.  Yoga aims to teach us to live our practice off the mat and into the world, but the power of anxiety and stress can overshadow the positive qualities of our practice in our day-to-day lives.  Anxiety disorder (and the stuff that comes along with it) is very real for many people - around 12% of Canadians to be exact!  This goes beyond pre-exam nerves or date jitters; this form of stress can be debilitating.

 

Being a human is a work in progress and our yoga practice is just that, a PRACTICE! (not a perfect).  Sri Swami reminds us “practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness” in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  In other words, keep at it.  Sometimes we just need the tools, and then to be reminded of them.

 

Yoga triangle pose in autumn.

Talk about your anxiety

Anxiety has been a prevalent topic on our blog because it is a very real issue.  We believe in the commitment to self through the regular practice of self-love, meditation, asana, pranayama, and whatever else works in YOUR toolbox of life.  Above all, it's important to talk about it.  If you're feeling alone, know that you don't have to be.

 


A bit from a past blog:

 

"The thing that kept me coming back [to my mat] was the knowledge that there was a quiet place within that offered a sensation of control and self-patience I had never quite been able to harness. I guess you could simply say it offered me SOURCE.  I found that even when I was off my mat I could slip into this place and enjoy my inner sanctuary.  As yoga has become a huge part of my life, it is most certainly a deeply-rooted impulse to honour why I’m here. I absolutely fall off course, have the occasional panic attack and most certainly have bad days, but I know deep down that the place I first fell in love with – that sanctuary in my heart – exists."


 

Learn more about managing anxiety

If this is something you would life to learn more about join us December 5th for an in-depth offering, Yoga for Anxiety, Fear and Stress Relief with Michelle Chung.

 

This workshop is specifically designed to help those that suffer from anxiety and stress. Using LifeForce Yoga ® principles and techniques, you will learn to move into more balanced (sattvic) state and move towards positive emotional, mental, physical state of equanimity and self-awareness. You will learn yoga practices that calm feelings of anxiety, which includes asana (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), relaxation (yoga nidra), yoga chakra sounds and mantras. No previous yoga experience necessary.

Mountain pose to calm the mind.

 

LifeForce Yoga is a practice of compassion that creates a big enough container to embrace and accept all the dualities of mood.

 


Saturday, December 5, 2015 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM Yoga for Anxiety, Fear and Stress Relief with Michelle Chung Yogalife Studios South


Yoga Tune-Up Balls

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Bring the tune-up balls technique to your yoga practice

Created by Jill Miller, Yoga Tune Up is a head-to-toe health and fitness system combining yoga, calisthenics, body therapy and corrective exercises in a way that heals damaged muscle tissue, increases overall strength, and bolsters the immune system. Its restorative techniques create balance and flexibility in the body, while relieving painful injuries, improving coordination, and reducing stress. Yoga Tune Up brings a practical yoga philosophy into the nuts and bolts of healthy movement, challenging the body from every conceivable angle until breakthroughs occur – literally changing the nature of the tissues in the area being addressed.

 

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Yoga Tune Up is built around the three P's – Pain, Posture and Performance. It helps eradicate pain, improve posture and enhance performance by helping to identify and target your "body blind spots"; areas that are most overused, underused, or misused, YTU heals damaged muscle, increases strength and establishes healthy movement patterns to help you live better in your body.

 

adapted from www.yogatuneup.com

 

 

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Yoga Tune Up Balls provide targeted self-massage trigger point therapy by using specially designed high grip rubber balls and focused movement routines that help penetrate through layers of skin and muscle to massage deeply into your high tension areas.

 

YTU Therapy Balls help relieve:

• Stiff Neck & Headaches • TMJ/Tight Jaw • Frozen Shoulder • Sciatica & Back Pain • Tight Hips & Hamstrings • IT Band Syndrome • Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain … and much more…

 

Yoga Tune Up Balls also help to improve:

• Flexibility • Strength • Pain Relief • Weight Loss • Stress Reduction • Increased Energy • Improve your existing Yoga Practice • Maintain a continuous Practice • Improve your performance in sports and other activities • Heal and Prevent Injuries

 


Join Kim Wilkinson at Yogalife Studios North for the Yoga Tune-up Balls Workshop

Saturday, November 21, 2:30-5:30 pm

register here!


Yoga For Trauma and PTSD

edmonton yoga workshop PTSD 3 The following is a guest post from Yogalife instructor Gabi Weaver. Gabi brings a special element to our team with her experience in Therapeutic Yoga and her involvement with helping at-risk groups begin to stabilize and heal.

Gabi is excited to share a special 3-hour workshop with the community October 31 at Yogalife Studios North.


My name is Gabriela Weaver, RYT, RHN, YoR. I am a practicing Yoga therapist. I have used Yoga’s many tools to heal and support others with anxiety and depression, alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders and PTSD. I have worked with people who have cancer, fibromyalgia, HIV, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis and neurological and neuromuscular diseases. I have used Yoga countless times to support and strengthen thousands of practitioners, and lead them back to better lives, happier lives, with better health, and a new vitality for living that is so exciting and wonderful to see.

I’m going to ask you to think of yoga as medicine - a concept which may be new to you. You have probably seen many pictures of yoga practitioners in very advanced postures and have heard about the sauna-like conditions that accompany many modern yoga practices. This has convinced many people that yoga isn’t something that could possibly be for them. But take a closer look; you will find yoga being used in ways you may have never thought of before. Yoga is now being used in many capacities to heal both body and mind. edmonton yoga workshop PTSD 2

Yoga may be the most powerful overall system for healing ever discovered. The relief of suffering has been the central aim of yoga for thousands of years. Part of the reason that yoga is so effective is that it aims to heal the mind, body and spirit together. Yoga not only addresses the symptoms of PTSD, but has the tools to do it. A number of yoga practices, starting with simple breathing exercises that almost anyone can do, can reliably shift the body from the flight-or-fight response to relaxation (Colonel David Grossman -Tactical Breathing author of ‘On Combat’). It is even possible, using yogic tools, to shift your mind and body into a relaxed state when you are experiencing PTSD symptoms. Keep in mind though, that while powerful, yoga isn’t a quick fix. Yoga becomes more and more effective over weeks, months, and years of practice.

edmonton yoga workshop PTSD

Therapeutic yoga awakens in you the ability to heal yourself. Therapeutic yoga is supported by psychology and neuroscience. It is brought to life by my students who share their stories of struggle and healing. By connecting with your mind and body, you’ll gain a glimpse of what lies beyond the emotional pain of PTSD, trauma, and heightened states of anxiety. Yoga opens a window to a new world. This includes a connection to a deeper part of you that lives within and also transcends your mind and body: your spirit or vital essence.


Yoga For Trauma and PTSD w/ Gabi Weaver Yogalife Studios North Saturday, October 31 || 2:30-5:30pm


A little bit about Kevin Naidoo

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image2 Yogalife Studios South is excited to welcome travelling yogi Kevin Naidoo this Sunday for a unique 3 hour workshop. Come explore a non-dogmatic, contemporary, compassionate approach to Ashtanga Yoga.

Moving slow and mindful together creating a powerful vibration as we support each others Greatness.

Includes: Pranayama, Philosophy, Asana, and Yoga Nidra

 


Love Light Liberation with Kevin Naidoo Yogalife Studios South Sunday, April 19, 2:30-5:30 $35


   

Kevin is a true yogi traveler. He hitchhiked across 50 countries, discovered yoga in the Caribbean, lived on remote islands, trekked across Africa, and bathed in the Ganges. He truly lives his life through his heart.

Through Yoga, Kevin discovered a deep mind-body connection, and an increased sense of mental clarity and purpose. He travels, practices and teaches Yoga, with the intention to spread that sense of Oneness, firmly believing that the ancient practice of Yoga is for everyone. Spreading the message of yoga to the next generation, he has also taught yoga to children, inner city youth, and children with disabilities.

 

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Kevin teaches Hatha, Yin, and Vinyasa flow classes, inspired by positive island vibes. His classes are both creative and challenging, focusing on igniting the Prana, and finding stillness and oneness in each asana. Woven with Indian Vedic Philosophy, each class is a journey in itself, culminating in Yoga Nidra that will leave you feeling bliss as you float your way home.

 

Kevin completed his teacher training in Classical Hatha Yoga, at the Sivananda School in India, has completed a 200 Vinyasa TTC with Ryan Leir, and has certifications in Yin and Yoga Nidra. He continues to study, and teach yoga around the world, and teaches in a studio when at home in Canada.

Yoga and the Psoas with Brea Johnson

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If there is one set of muscles you want to work on to make your whole body happy, work on your psoas.

Learn how to support, relax and nurture these important muscles both in a yoga practice and in your everyday life to prevent back pain, create stability and strength in your yoga postures and enjoy more freedom and ease throughout your whole body.

The psoas is one of the most important muscles in the body and yet often the least understood.

It is involved in moving your body and stabilizing your spine so that you can move, run, dance, jump and play with more freedom and ease. It is also intimately tied to your fight or flight response. If you have had trauma or been under stress, your psoas will hold that in your body. In this dynamic workshop, you will learn about this fascinating part of your body and how a relaxed, functional psoas relates to and improves everyday movement, back and neck pain, pelvic floor issues, sleep, posture, flexibility, digestion, immune, adrenal & hormonal function just to name a few.

 


 

• Discover important postural keys to align your body in a way that your whole spine is supported and your core will work more naturally and effortlessly. • Learn about the emotional and energetic elements of this powerful, deep core muscle. • Explore a variety of movements, postures and stretches to release deeply held tension and emotions in your psoas. • Utilize simple and effective techniques for daily self-care. • If you are a massage therapist, chiropractor or bodyworker of any type, you will gain insight and effective tools to augment the healing work you are doing with your clients. • Yoga, pilates and many other movement practices will be enhanced and pain-free through a deeper understanding of your psoas.


Yoga and the Psoas with Brea Johnson Saturday, March 7 || 2:30-5:30 Yogalife Studios South


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The following is a piece from an informative blog post written by Brea. Check out the full article here.

 

While there are a whole bunch of things we can do to support and release the psoas, here are three things you can do everyday.

 

Psoas Releases

 

Psoas Release on Block

Place block (or bolster) underneath your pelvis. You want to have the block fairly low down, toward your tailbone to allow your pubic bone to lengthen toward the ceiling.

 

This tilt will allow your low back and ribcage to move towards the ground. Start to feel the back of your ribcage soften down and the belly relax completely. If you have the habit of thrusting your ribs, then you can place your hands on the front of your ribcage to remind yourself to relax toward the floor. Stay for 5-10 mins.

 

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Psoas Release with Bolster Under Shoulders

Place one edge of your bolster between your shoulder blades. The rest of your spine and ribcage will be off of the bolster and relaxing towards the ground. If your psoas is really tight, the front of your ribcage will be lifted and most of your back will be off the floor. Over time, the psoas will relax enough that most of the back softens down and connects more on the floor. This isn't something that you can force, you just have to hang out and allow your psoas and muscles to relax. Stay 5-10 mins or as long as it feels comfortable. You can also place a blanket over your body for more warmth and grounding.

 

Stack your bones, not your psoas

 

One very simple cue that you can remind yourself of all day long while you are standing, is to back your hips over your heels. Most of us have the habit of thrusting our hips forward which places strain on your back, knees and feet. Just by backing your pelvis so it is lined right over your heels, your bones get to do the weight bearing that they are designed to do and your psoas doesn't have to hold you up.

 

If you are looking to learn more about your psoas and enjoy a nourishing and supportive practice, join us on March 7th at Yogalife Studios South and click here to purchase Your Supple Psoas video.

 

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Happy Psoas, Happy Mama

Core Cleanse with Sarah Zandbeek

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The following post comes from Sarah Zandbeek, our friendly neighbourhood yogi, acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine magician.  Join Sarah this weekend for Core Cleanse, a two part-offering involving conversation and asana to understand and cleanse your digestive system more deeply.

 


Digestion, the actual breaking down of a whole into its parts so that the pure can be extracted and incorporated into the body and the impure can be expelled.

 


 

We tend to think of digestion as a physical act of our food being broken down and made into usable energy (ATP) for the body, which it is; however, we tend to forget that we are digesting everything all the time.  We digest emotions, reactions, life events, basically anything that is brought in to the body from the external and is internalized needs to be digested.

 

When we don’t slow down enough to allow the body to shift into our parasympathetic nervous system, rest and digest, we not only literally put our active food digestive system to halt, we don’t digest life’s events either, both of which get stored in the body in different ways, shapes, and forms, eventually bunging the body up and cause a reaction.

 

Typically IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, indigestion, epigastric discomfort, etc are our digestive tract issues; emotionally we see a restless or dull mind, anxiety, and even depression from lack of glucose able to go to the brain.

 

How to cure digestive woes? It is a life style.  It is NOT a momentary diet, though these can be helpful to get the digestive system back on track.  If we want to truly nourish our health, it is through our food and it is over our entire life span from the moment we choose to be healthy to the moment we pass on.

 

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It is healthy living, it is choosing to love yourself so much that you only want to put good things into your temple/vessel/body.

 

People change their diets when they are pregnant so that the baby has a chance to come out healthy, but why do we ourselves not want to be healthy?  Marketing?  Corporations tell us otherwise?  If you are truly wanting to uplift your digestion, you must uplift your Self first, so  eating healthy comes from a place of truth and yearning for well being, not from a place that wants to be skinny so that other people will think you are perfect.

 

It is meditating so your mind is clear and free of desire, it is avoiding rag mags, tv, and general advertising that makes you think you need to be anything more than your truest self.

 

At the core of your being, you want to live a fruitful, healthy, happy life and I can guarantee you, that truth does not say ” I want McDonald’s.”

 

Amen, Namaste, Om Sarah Z

 


CORE CLEANSE:

The Conversation || Saturday, January 31 || 2:30pm The Practice || Sunday, February 2 || 3:30pm register here


Laughter Yoga With Graham Parsons

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If you've never partaken of a laughter yoga session, chances are you've maybe pondered already what it could entail: Do we practice belly laughing while we do headstand? Do we sit in pigeon and tell each other off-colour jokes? Maybe we just get lifted on our own manic delight & float through the universe like this crazy human:    

 

In the end none of these three truly get close, it's more so something you have to experience for yourself. But to do so is well worth it, because in exactly the same way that we yogis strive for years to harness the subtle energies of our breath to cleanse & revivify ourselves physically, mentally & emotionally, getting deeply immersed in laughter can offer these same treasures in mere minutes.  


Some tangible benefits of laughter itself:

~Tones the core - When we laugh freely we are rapidly contracting our abdominal muscles in a way that promotes stability through center

~Improves Respiratory & Cardiac Health - Ever laughed so hard as something that you felt near passing out with sheer joy? Hearty laughter quickens the breath & blood circulation, allowing more efficient circulation of oxygen throughout the body. This is why we feel that warm afterglow long after the belly laughs have ceased & we've wiped the tears from our eyes.

~Reduces Stress- The physical act of laughter naturally reduces the prevalence of hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, thus greatly reducing the state we sometimes find ourselves in of being 'wired for stress.' Reduction of these hormones has a wonderfully beneficial effect on immune system health as well

~Dissolves social conditioning - Milton Berle once said that 'the shortest distance between two souls is a shared laugh.' When we're really absorbed in a moment of mirth with someone, so much social patterning as resistance freely falls away


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Graham leading the laughter at Astral Harvest Music & Arts Festival, photo by the talented Tinka Kalajzic

 

Now, all of these benefits and more are derived from incidental laughter as we move through our day, and this laughter usually requires a stimulus: a witty meme, an inside joke from a friend, someone letting a fart go in an elevator, etc.

But something odd & unexpected happens when a group of people get together & start laughing for no reason whatsoever: the act of laughing is mechanical at first, but the more we share the collective sound & sight of laughter around us, the more the analytical mind quiets down , the more the laughter flows freely without particular stimulus, and the more the body & mind are able to reap these benefits enduringly. Think about how good you feel when you stop to take a few deep, mindful breaths. Now think about how good you feel after a 90 minute yoga class of mindful breathing. The benefits deepens into our very cells, and patterns us toward continuing to be receptive to this same nourishment in times to come.

Laughter Yoga as a specific practice was begun by a Physician in Mumbai, India a few decades back, and since then has expanded to untold numbers of laughter gatherings and clubs all over the globe. Think of the sun just rising over a pristine, tree-filled park in India. Now think of it filled with hundreds of men, women & children, washing their hearts with laughter to start their day. It may seem ludicrous, but that is precisely why it is of such benefit.

So come join this mirthful gathering of humanity, make a joyful noise, and heal, both inwardly & outwardly. All it takes is a chuckle.

 


Join Graham this Saturday, January 24, at Yogalife Studios South from 2:30-5:30 for the giggle-fit of a lifetime! Register here.


Featured Yogi Of The Month: Suzanne Slocum-Gori

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Suzanne Slocum-Gori is joining the YEG yoga community this Sunday to share "Architecture, Mystery & Radiance within the Subtle Body" at Yogalife Studios South.  In the past few weeks I've been getting to know this woman through emails, reading her website, and chatting with fellow teachers; we are HYPED, to say the least.  She holds a doctorate within Counselling Psychology, a E-RYT 500, Co-Owner of One Yoga for the People Vancouver & the SARA Foundation for Cancer Prevention.  Amazing.

 

Suzanne's teachings encourage students to dissolve barriers & to dance through an intelligent practice in order to create more intimacy with Grace.

 

We simply can't wait!

 


Architecture, Mystery & Radiance within the Subtle Body Sunday, January 18 || 1:30-3:30pm

Click here to register


 

A conversation with Suzanne:

 

How did you get your yogic start?  Who brought you to your first class, what was that like, and where was it?

 

A memorable jump into yoga was when I was living in Boston and completing my Master’s Degree . I was a marathon runner. One of my running buddy’s mother recommended I attend a ‘breathing’ (pranayama) and restorative class with her. She took me to an Iyengar instructor where we primarily focused on witnessing & feeling our natural breath, developing a steady Ujjai and relaxing our muscular-skeletal system. All I can remember is I left the class feeling as if I was walking on a different planet embedded with a new atmospheric system. I was so heavily rooted yet incredibly buoyant. My senses were awakened to a point I felt I was smelling, tasting, seeing and experiencing myself and the elegance around me for the first time. I dove into the practices of yoga and all of its components from that day on.

 

Share a favourite teaching that inspires you.

 

One of my favourite teachings is to ‘look for the good or magic ~ in every situation’. We will find it if you look long and deep enough. Applying this motto requires a triggering of our cognitive functioning, and the rippled effects are immediate, soothing, uplifting and permeate into the physiological and emotional layers. An additional teaching that changed my life: ‘you need to ask in order to receive’. Our needs and longings are more likely to be nourished (satisfied) when we send out a request, prayer or intention. My little piece of advice when you send a request: be very specific.

 

Your favourite books, yogi-inspired and fiction.

 

There are too many favourite books to list…I am officially a book junky. Here are a few that have been in my hand in the last month:

- Avatar: The Last Airbender (Book Series) - Gene Luen Yang

- The Power of Myths - Joseph Campbell

- Bless the Space between Us - John O Donohue

- Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine - Dr. David Frawley

- Anghora - Dr. Robert Svoboda

- The Sacred Path of a Warrior - Chogyam Trungpa

- Take your pick of yogic texts: Upanishads, Mahabharata, Shiva Sutras, Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, etc.

 

What is your favourite meal to make and share with friends?

 

I cherish my time in the kitchen. It grounds my family, friends and myself. Preparing food creates an internal and collective cohesion. When the kids and our family unit seem to be scattered, stressed, dense or sad, I immediately pour a focused and loving attention into a curry…usually one that includes tumeric, cumin, mustard & cardamon seeds, ginger, cinnamon and coconut oil & milk. My curries most often utilize lentils or moong beans, served with squash, kale and quinoa (or rice). The mixture of ingredients slowly (at a low heat) metamorphose into aromas which provide a deep anchoring in our beings. The nourishing food enters our systems ~ creating an ignition of our innate fire and energetic centre points, which ultimately cultivate an internal magnetic force, a feeling of 'wholesomeness' and a cohesion of all of our fragmented parts. The element associated with smell (or our nose) is ‘EARTH’. The earth element is stable and medicinal, but is also incredibly rich with diversity and strength. Therefore, the aromas bring forth an abundant amount of sensation to experience from a deeply rooted & cohesive stance. The kitchen also serves as a fire place….a space for family and friends to gather and tell stories. This process often stimulates the power of healing, synthesis and even ancestry. Fire is a ceremonial element, inviting alchemy and transformation. The kitchen is my fire ground.

 

What's your favourite pose/sequence/area of the body to work on?

 

My practice prioritizes attention into my legs, hips and pelvis on a daily basis. I open and strengthen my thighs, hamstrings and hips. Mobility of my femur bones allows me to clear the pelvis, (specifically a widening of the pelvis) leading to more freedom in my low back and additional power to broaden my chest and heart. I couple this with a strengthening and activation of pelvic floor and deep core muscles with the aim of directing an energetic force up my center line (as I internalize a divine flame (or deity) rising up to the sacred space of my heart). I find these practices can be incredibly purifying as they tend to assist in eliminating energetic debris, toxins or emotional blockages and ultimately assist in healing wounds. As our channels are cleansed, prana and awareness flow more freely filling in imprints with sprinkles of the most important ingredient of all - LOVE (i.e., bliss).

 

Who inspires you?

 

My mother has been the most inspiring being for me. Her ability to serve others and emanate compassion in a reliable and consistent manner is extraordinary. Her energetic system must be incredibly strong in order to hold and direct the amount of light that she does so gracefully. Light is a refined force which vibrates at a high frequency, and my mother exudes this medium as her primary pulse. Yes - she oscillates, as all humans do, but she never grasps on to any of the various energies moving through her. She always traverses back to the middle path, serving out abundant amount of

 

Love.

 


www.suzannefaith.com


 

Journey To Self-Healing

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Negative self talk & self criticism is an ongoing issue for many of us. Whether it be through constantly comparing ourselves to others, focusing on our flaws, or caring too much about others opinions of us, we eventually tear ourselves down to the point of self loathing & unhappiness.   As a result of obsessing over her "imperfections" & consuming her thoughts with continuous negativity, Courtney Kennett struggled with every known eating disorder, body dismorphia & major depression. However, through Journalling, Meditation, Mantras, Breathwork & Yoga Asana, she has overcome many of the horrible habits that trapped her for years.

 

Join Courtney at Yogalife Studios South as she helps you explore a path of Yoga that will guide you towards self healing, self worth & self love! From struggling with many issues herself, Courtney has found ways to integrate Yogic techniques to calm the mind, repair the body & uplift the soul.

 


Journey To Self-Healing w/ Courtney Kennett Saturday, January 10 || 2:30-5:30 pm Yogalife Studios South register here


 

The following is borrowed from Courtney's "Yogi of the Month" piece from October's month of self-love.

 

For years (and even to this day) I struggle with that constant battle of negative self talk & the never ending strive for “perfection”. Although it is a positive thing to set goals & to be productive, this can also be a very slippery slope that can result in a damaging outcome. But how do we draw the line? And how do we Love ourselves even if we aren’t quite where we want to be? These were questions I asked myself for years & after submersing myself in the true roots of Yoga I have finally been able to show gratitude, love & positivity towards myself!

 

Below are a few things I have learnt that have helped transform my perspective on practising Yoga.

 

1. Rather than thinking of Yoga as a way to “burn calories & workout” I started looking at it as a healing modality… It’s became a time for me to disconnect from my worldly commitments/distractions & an opportunity for me to focus on my journey towards becoming a calmer, kinder, patient individual.

 

2. Instead of letting my mind wander towards envy of the girl with the “flat abs & perfect head stand”, I’ve learnt to set a personal intention & create an individual Mantra every time I step onto my mat. If my thoughts start to shift in a negative direction I gently remind myself of my Mantra ” I AM BEAUTIFUL & I AM ON MY JOURNEY TO BECOMING MY BEST SELF”.

 

3. Speaking of Journey, I often tell my students “It is called Yoga PRACTISE, not Yoga PERFECT”. As a result, we must realize that teachers do not expect us to be perfect or to never fall out of a pose… And if they do, then please find another instructor lol ;) I purposely try to fall in class & make a fool of myself when I teach, just to show my students that it’s ok to slip up & struggle at times (it makes us human).

 

4. Lastly, I encourage everyone on their Journey to take what they’ve learnt in class & start applying it throughout their day. For instance, if I learn about a new Pranyama (breathing technique) to calm my mind, then I try to use it when I feel agitated, nervous or hard on myself.

 

Yoga is an amazing tool we can all use on our “Journey To Self-Healing”.

 

Architecture, Mystery & Radiance within the Subtle Body

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2015 is right around the corner and we couldn't be more excited about the offerings that are gracing our studios.  On January 18th we have Suzanne Slocum-Gori, Co-Founder & Co-Owner of One Yoga for the People in Vancouver, joining Yogalife Studios South to guide Architecture, Mystery & Radiance within the Subtle Body. This offering is an exploration of the discerning, intuitive, refined and sophisticated layers of our pranic (energetic) system. Suzanne will review the structure of the subtle body; and she will delve into how the subtle body provides pathways to sculpt awareness and consciousness. The session will include a few asana postures, pranayama and mantra meditation in order to invite in the mysterious and to ignite more clarity for the body, mind and heart.

 

"May our inner radiance light the way to recognizing the contributions & beauty that other human beings provide to this planet"

-Suzanne Slocum Gori  

 

About Suzanne

 

With a doctorate within Counselling Psychology, a E-RYT 500, Co-Owner of One Yoga for the People Vancouver & the SARA Foundation for Cancer Prevention, Suzanne's teachings encourage students to dissolve barriers & to dance through an intelligent practice in order to create more intimacy with Grace. In the context of international workshops, retreats, teacher trainings and mentorships, Suzanne offers devotional, mythical, dynamic, bold, mighty and introspective experiences for all. Anchored in ancient teachings and woven to attune to modern duty, Suzanne's teachings progressively awaken students to their own humanity and auspiciousness. Suzanne continues to feed and share her curiosity in life by studying with several highly esteemed scholars and teachers. Suzanne's heart is captivated and mesmerized by her husband, two children & malamute husky and by her Gracious yoga community in Vancouver.

 

 

Suzanne was born into a family of devotion and has led a life of ritual and sadhana practices ever since she was a young girl. Suzanne stepped into her yogic journey as a way to deepen her training as a marathon runner and triathlete, and to heal a broken heart. She traveled to southeast Asia in 1999 and participated in a teacher training in Thailand before exploring Cambodia, Vietnam and Loas where she participated in Vipassana retreats. She completed certifications in Thai Massage and Reiki. Her studies in graduate school slowly led her into researching complementary and alternative medicine and psychospiritual approaches within mental health. During this time she was incredibly fortunate to study in an intimate setting with Anodea Judith and Sufi teacher Kabir Helminski. Suzanne's tours of India led her to various ashrams and intensive studies with the Iyengar and Sivananda lineages. Her travels to Nepal led her to Tibetan Buddhist teacher Thrangu Rinpoche, and she has studied in his monastries throughout North America, India and Nepal. Suzanne is deeply honoured to have studied with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness the 17th Karmapa while in Dharamsala, India. After doctoral studies Suzanne received federal funding from Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) as Principal Investigator to examine the impact of yoga therapy on breast cancer survivors. Out of her research and practical experience with clients, Suzanne created the SARA Foundation.

 

Learn more about Suzanne and her offerings at www.suzannefaith.com

 

Architecture, Mystery & Radiance within the Subtle Body

January 18, 2015, 12:30-3:30

Yogalife Studios Edmonton South

Register Here

New Year Restore & Renew

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On December 28, Neil Haggard will be offering New Year Restore & Renew at Yogalife Studios South.

Aligning with the new moon, enjoy the resonant sound of the Tibetan Bowls, while finding a healing meditation practice.

"I think when we hear inspiring stories and take time to reflect on what is important in our lives, taking stock, we can see our lives in new ways, focus on what is great about life! Taking some time to relax, listen to our hearts, move the body, calm the busy mind, restore the senses and learning to breathe is a sure way to being healthy and a great practice to take into the year to come." - Neil
This offering is designed to create a renewed sense of well being and deep commitment to the important things in our lives. Join us from 2:30-5 pm at our south location to enjoy this unique offering to ease you into the new year with peace and clarity.
Click here to register.
 
Read Neil's bio here and revisit his "Yogi of the Month" feature!

Slow Flow Chakra Glow

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This weekend, Yogalife Studios Edmonton North is hosting "Slow Flow Chakra Glow" with Cole Williston and Kris Elaschuk. Chakras are located along the spine. Each of these energy centers can be felt in the body, exercised through yoga, and balanced to create an overall state of well being. With Cole's background in Chakra Yoga he will lead us through a warm flow designed to bring awareness to the elements that represent each chakra. As we practice Kris will be serenading our souls with a variety of sounds intelligently created to stimulate the chakras. The afternoon will close with a 30 min meditation complimented by the crystal bowls. Let's continue to glow this winter solstice even when the sun won't.

 


Slow Flow Chakra Glow with Cole Williston & Kris Elaschuk

Yogalife Studios Edmonton North

December 21, 2014, 3:30-6pm


 

We've talked chakras before; those whirling discs of energy throughout our system that govern a whole host of connections to our health, harmony, history and human form.  Sarah Walsh at MindBodyGreen explains "the chakra system is a complex energetic system, and chakra balancing is one path that can lead you to spiritual growth...  when you discover and become aware of your unique chakra system, you can balance these energetic systems not only to reach higher consciousness, but also to achieve more peace and balance in your everyday life."

 

You can/will take a lifetime or two studying the things that make your wheels turn, but Walsh suggests this simple written exercise to get in check with the imbalances that may be affecting your life.

 

1. Muladhara Chakra The first chakra is where the Kundalini energy lies dormant. Muladhara is the most physical chakra and the energy therefore is grounded and rooted. When this chakra is out of balance, greediness and the desire to hoard appear. When this chakra is in balance, feelings of security, calmness and connectedness to the earth are present.

 

What is your relationship like with your family? What is your relationship like with money?

 

2. Svadhisthana Chakra The second chakra is the center of creativity and sexuality. When this chakra is out of balance, jealousy, anger, promiscuity and codependency can be found. When this chakra is in balance, creativity and love blossom.

 

What are ways in which you express your creativity? Do you feel creatively blocked or open, and why?

 

3. Manipura Chakra The third chakra is the seat of power. It's the center of our identity and selfhood. When this chakra is out of balance, the emotional dysfunctions are fear, guilt and intimidation. When the chakra is in balance, there's a strong sense of trust, self-esteem, responsibility and power or strength.

 

Would you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert? Reflect on times in your life where you may need to stoke your fire (power) and times when you may needed to contain the flames (power).

 

4. Anahata Chakra The fourth chakra is the home of love and compassion. This is the central chakra, where the lower and upper chakras meet. When Anahata is out of balance, feelings of resentment and loneliness exist. When it's in balance, you're at peace with yourself, others and the environment.

 

What injustices in society break your heart? Write a forgiveness letter to someone (you do not have to send it unless you want to).

 

5. Vishudha Chakra The fifth chakra is the doorway to liberation. It's the center of self-expression. There are 16 petals to represent each of the 16 Sanskrit vowels. When the chakra is out of balance, criticism, bitterness and addiction may be present. When it's in balance, purity of speech, expression and choice are present.

 

List 10 adjectives that best describe you. Do you tend to be the talker in the conversation or the listener? Does this change with different people in your life? If so, why may that be?

 

6. Ajna Chakra The third eye sees the future while the physical eyes see the past and present. This is our center of intuition and wisdom. When the chakra is closed, learning disabilities and untruthfulness may result. Often referred to as “a gut feeling,” when the third eye is open we intuitively find the answers to our own questions. When the relationship of the self and the spirit are heightened, there's great access to inner resources and insight.

 

If you had one question to ask a psychic, what would you ask? Name a time when you listened to your intuition and it worked, and name a time you didn't follow your intuition and the results were unfavorable.

 

7. Sahasrara The last chakra is the highest both physically and spiritually. The individual merges with the whole here creating oneness with the universal life force. When the chakra is blocked, genetic disorders and selfishness may occur. When the chakra is spinning open, one feels spiritually alive and connected.

 

How does the word God resonate with you? Identify the times when you feel the most connected to your spirituality.

 

For more in-depth reading and writing, check this book out.

See you this weekend!


 

 

Body Talk

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Body Talk: Are You Listening?


Self study happens on many levels.  Each cell in our body shares our human experience; love resonates in our every fibre, as does shame, guilt, fear and anger.  You may hear the hips referred to as the "emotional junk drawer of the body" or notice that certain parts of your body ache more with certain stresses.  Humans store emotional experiences in their bodies and a yoga practice is a way to not only study these imprints, but to release them.

 

Alanna Kaivalya at MindBodyGreen shares the following:

 

"What we hold in our bodies as tightness translates into what we hold in our bodies as energetic stress and tension. For example, most of us recognize that someone with a hunched upper back has more than just shoulder and chest tightness, they also may have depression, sadness or fear. Other portions of the body store specific kinds of energetic tension that are exhibited as tightness and inflexibility.

 

Energetically speaking, our hips are where we store the emotional stress caused by a lack of creativity, difficult intimate relationships and the coinciding emotional roller-coasters. The hips are the energetic location of the second chakra, which is ruled by emotions, creativity and intimacy. Life stressors in these areas become lodged in the hips, resulting in difficulty opening up - both literally and metaphorically."

 

 

If you're looking to deepen the way you release in your yoga practice, we have the perfect offering coming up on November 22 at Yogalife Studios South.

 


Yin, Partner Massage & Self-Healing with Sara Cueva


 

Join Sara Cueva for a three hour workshop designed to educate you on the various methods to incorporate a more well rounded approach to your existing yoga practice. This workshop will include a short discussion on the relevance of, and importance of exploring, fascial release. Sara will guide you through the various techniques used to incorporate instrument assisted fascial release into your body to ensure the proper flow of nutrients within, followed by techniques for partner yoga massage, and will complete this nourishing journey with a yin practice to focus on the connective tissue of the body. This workshop will involve hands on work, so come with a friend, partner, or spouse, OR ensure you are comfortable touching and being touched by someone you may not know. This workshop is open to all levels (no prior yoga experience is required).

 

Register here!

 

Acro Yoga Fundamentals

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Meet Luc Felicidade, Gaiatri Yoga Training grad and acro yoga LOVER, amongst other things! Luc is joining us at Yogalife Studios South to offer Acro Yoga Fundamentals, a playful workshop to learn the basics of acro yoga. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and deepen the ones you may already have.

 

 

In AcroYoga Fundamentals, not only will you learn the 7 fundamentals of AcroYoga, you will learn how to safely practice at home with friends. AcroYoga Fundamentals will take the foundations of yoga into the air in a fun and playful way. This interactive workshop will include foundational postures including therapeutics.

 

 

If you have been thinking about giving AcroYoga a try, this is your chance.

All levels of yoga and fitness are encouraged to attend as you explore partner yoga poses and take flight in AcroYoga!

No partner required. Only a desire to have fun with others in your community.

If you are registering with a partner, there is a discount!

 


Acro Yoga Fundamentals Yogalife Studios South November 8, 2014 2:30-5pm register here!


 

Ayurveda with Ian Hayward

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Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge

 


Ayurveda is the traditional system of Hindu medicine that is rooted in the idea of balancing the body, mind and spirit to maintain health.  The wisdom in this science of life is drawn from an understanding of the laws and rhythms of nature rhythms and laws, based around the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth.


 

The following article comes to us from Ian Hayward.  Ian was first introduced to Vedic knowledge in 1984 as he searched for alternatives to Western medicine to aid his health.  He was initially instructed in the practice of Vedic mantra meditation. The profound effects of this effortless technique propelled him to learn more about this ancient health system. Over the next ten years Ian attended countless Meditation Retreats and Vedic Science Courses at home and abroad. He learned and regularly practiced Advanced Meditation Techniques including the Siddhi Yoga Sutras and eventually, in the summer of 1993, emerged from the Maharishi Vedic University in Valkenburg, Holland (Deepak Chopra’s training was in the same lineage) fully trained as a Panchakarma therapist offering an extensive range of bodyworks and elimination therapies and as an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant offering pulse diagnosis and lifestyle solutions.

 

http://elementallifesolutions.com/pages/ian-hayward

 


 

Fall season is now well under way and this can be an excellent time to do a cleansing program. However any cleanse must be approached with a realistic attitude or the results could lead to a destabilization not just to the physical but to the mental & emotional levels as well. When you remove a physical toxin you also disturb the mental and emotional pattern that was involved in the forming of that toxin. This is why the experience of detoxification can be a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions.

 

Before you contemplate the level of detox you want to achieve take a realistic look at your present toxin level. If you are new to cleansing or have not been living a particularly pure lifestyle then you need to start gently. If you release too many toxins at once you can feel like you are being poisoned, this is disheartening, destabilizing and can set up a negative pattern towards purification. It is much more effective and positive experience to cleanse at a rate that leaves you feeling fresh and clean rather than sick and unstable.

 

It is also important to do a cleansing program that is right for your Elemental body type and dosha. Click here for more information and specific cleansing guidelines for different doshas.

 

Ian Hayward, Elemental Life Solutions Inc.

 


Join Ian at Yogalife Studios North on Saturday, October 18 from 11am to 6:30pm for 'Elemental Intro to Ayurveda', the first instalment of workshops geared towards building the key concepts of the Ayurvedic approach to health and wellness.


 

Register here and contact us (info@yogalifestudios.ca) with any questions!

Rock Your Bliss!

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Are You Ready To Rock Your Bliss Edmonton?


www.rockyourblissmovement.com/

Rock Your Bliss debuts in Edmonton on OCTOBER 3rd at Yogalife Studios South. It is a co-designed program — one part yoga and one part life coaching — where retreaters will discover how to “live a radical life rooted in choice, personal power, and sweat” using yoga, goal-setting, music, and laughter.

 


“Come in vulnerable,” LaRue says. “Be ready to show your underbelly, sing karaoke, and drink margaritas!” The goal is for retreaters to leave the workshop feeling empowered, sweaty, connected, ambitious, blissful, and maybe a little tipsy. They should come expecting “everything and nothing,” Carr says.


 

So, what does it mean to “Rock Your Bliss,” and where did such a concept derive? The movement is actually in its infancy. Carr and LaRue met through various work at lululemon athletica. While on a Wanderlust trip in February 2013, Carr, a life coach, and LaRue, a yoga instructor, found themselves sitting on a beach discussing the serendipitous relationship between their two fields. A week later, while back home in Venice Beach, Rock Your Bliss was born, and it’s been on a fast track ever since. In February 2014, Carr and LaRue took 22 yogis to Mexico for an “insanely magical” retreat.

 

However, while on a mission to help others unleash their potential, these two blisscrafting trailblazers have been on a self-discovery mission of their own, all fueled by their travels, encounters, and experiences. For LaRue, creating Rock Your Bliss has helped her discover her own vulnerability. “Learning to speak your truths so it doesn’t build up is the most important thing [to do] while collaborating with another person,” she says. “You have to hold yourself more accountable. You have to show up even when you don’t feel like it.”

 

For Carr, Rock Your Bliss has been about developing trust. “The art of collaboration is like being in a relationship,” Carr says. “It’s all about unraveling your ego and admitting that you can’t do everything yourself. We created this business in such a rapid way, so it was a huge leap of faith to learn how to open my mind and body to trusting Mary Beth. We leaned on each other, and it all just happened beautifully.”

Read more here: http://whirlmagazine.com/ready-rock-bliss-pittsburgh/

 


Rock Your Bliss || Yogalife Studios South || Friday, October 3, 7-9pm register here!


 

Meditation 101 (Guided Meditation Audio Included!)

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Starting a meditation practice can be daunting - where do you start? How do you sit? What exactly does it mean to be "in meditation" anyhow? How can you navigate through your inner landscapes with more depth and authenticity? Who am I, beneath all these layers of body and mind? This workshop with experienced yoga & meditation practitioner and instructor, Amanda Ings, provides a space for you to explore each of these questions, and much more. A simple, easily approachable 4-step meditation will be shared and broken down, both in practice and in discussion, step by step. Exactly what we are doing in each step and why, how it works in the body-mind-energy-consciousness field, and how each step can be integrated into your daily life to bring more presence, power, and stillness, in yourself and your relationships with others. This workshop is appropriate for everyone; those wishing to deepen their current practices (in yoga or meditation), and those completely new to meditation and/or yoga. Everyone always takes away exactly what they need.

Amanda will be leading the first workshop of a 2-part series, Meditation 101 this coming Sunday at our North location. Find out more here!

Bonus—for a sample of what you'll learn this weekend, try out one of Amanda's guided meditations here: Guided Meditation with Amanda Ings

 

Learn to Fly: This Saturday with Sara Cueva

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This weekend, Yogalife Instructor and Karma Coordinator (and co-host of our current Instagram challenge!) Sara Cueva is leading her popular Arm Balances and Inversions workshop at Yogalife South. Check out the video we shot with Sara last year to learn a little more about why she's so passionate about taking flight within yoga practice—and gain some insight into the goodies you'll learn in Saturday's class!

Arm balances and inversions with Sara from Yogalife Studios on Vimeo.

Learn to Fly with Sara Cueva runs this Saturday, September 6th at Yogalife South from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Sign up here.

Welcome Back Meghan Currie!

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We are SO pumped to welcome back Meghan to Yogalife Studios July 25 and 26.  This time she is here to share her juiciness on LOVING.EVERY.MOMENT.

 

Every moment is a magical recipe of sorts. Even the most sour of flavours are important and serve purpose. We can collect and assimilate nutrients from every flickering moment if we chew slowly and stay present to the complex flavours of life. This weekend is an opportunity to indulge in all the flavours of You. To simmer in your own experience and let it take you to where you need to go. The classes weave together to create a complete transformational journey, taking your practice to another level of deliciousness!

 

Perfectly Imperfect

 

You are here. We begin here, as we are. This is where all the power lives. In truth, rather than in ideas of perfection. How is this all not perfect, as it is? Once the contraction of the idea of perfection relaxes, expansion can then occur. Prepare to sweat and have fun. We flow, opening up the corners of our bodies. Hips + upside down + gentle hearts

 

 

Surf School

 

Swim on air, surfing the breath in each moment. And whatever arises from each moment, we surf that too! This is where we discover the grace and power that comes to our practice from listening to each moment with sweetened ears. Arm balances + deep twists + hearts

 

A little bit about Miss Currie~

 

she loves...

handstands, motorcycles, smells, grafitti, safety pins, bicycles, pigeons, music, moss, languages, books, beets, mud, dancing, hydro lines, diagrams, sewing, teaching, surprises, shaking, yard sales, anatomy, instruments, sleeping outside, wisdom, nonsense, sprouts, spoons, body parts, seeds, insects, fears, rocks, giving, essential oils, foods that vibrate, photos, ocean, laughing, naps, spinach, crying, sewing machine parts, singing, love, wrinkles, long walks, good talks, all creatures, trees, apples, raspberries, learning, breathing....being...

 

Visit Meghan's site to get more acquainted!

 

Join Meghan at Yogalife Studios South || register here!

Perfectly Imperfect || Friday, July 25 || 7-9pm

Surf School || Saturday, July 26 || 2:30-4:30pm