Zen Habits & Inspiration

Empowered Body Book Launch

edmonton mosaic centre

Yoga Night in Edmonton!

Last week a bunch of beautiful friends from the Edmonton Yoga Community and beyond gathered to celebrate the launch of Michele Theoret's new book, 'Empowered Body'. Michele is the creator and primary facilitator of Empowered Yoga and Lifestyle, an organization that "empower[s] students through experience, movement, meditation, and education to become more engaged in their moment-to-moment experiences, transforming the way they show up in their bodies and life" - www.micheletheoretyoga.ca

The event was hosted at the Mosaic Centre in south Edmonton, an amazing net-zero building that is home to some really neat spaces, including Workshop Eatery who supplied the yummy snacks for the evening! With tons of natural light, earth elements and glowing yogis, this night was simply divine.

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The Event

Aside from the awesome snacks, space and company, we were all really there for one reason - Michele! She took her time to reconnect and give personal thanks for the support, greeting each and every one of us at the door with a huge smile and hug! The highlight of the whole event was the speech Michele delivered, drawing on her work over the past 20 plus years. Many of the Edmonton yoga teachers in the room were nodding along as she shared anecdotes of her own learnings, reminiscent of trainings past they had shared with Michele.

edmonton-mosaic-centre-view

The Message


Transform the way you show up in your body and life. Connect to your inner compass. make empowered choices. live on purpose. Lasting health and vitality is a result of awareness, alignment and integrity.


empowered body book-edmonton

As yogis, these are words we can get behind. Michele, we are SO proud of you and cannot wait to dive into 'Empowered Body'. Thank you for showing up in our lives, in your life, and for bringing us all together to celebrate! From our family to yours, namaste.


Purchase your copy of Empowered Body by Michele Theoret here!


The Relaxed Yogi Evening Guide

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This pre-snooze routine is the perfect wind down to transition into dreamland.

Settling down in the evening can be a task, especially if the daytime was demanding and your internal pilot is stuck on GO! Often we will come home from a crazy day and make choices that may not be the most mindful; our evening 'routine' may look more like 'fall onto couch until I slink into bed' or 'let the wired-ness from my day spill all over my home time'. With a few simple steps, the evening can be one of the most sacred times for self-care. There's something very comforting about prepping your nest: consciously winding down and reflecting from your day, giving your body a few gentle reminders to soften and release the tensions of hours past and even adding a few gentle herbs to assist the regime.

It is true that our morning routine sets the tone for our day - but our evening sets the tone for our morning! Plus, a good sleep is unparalleled.


It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. – John Steinbeck


 

Step One: Forward Fold

  edmonton yogi in forward fold before bed  

This is the perfect place to hang out after any sort of day - to find space and quiet the mind. Ground your feet, pour your heart out and breathe. This shape allows your spine to decompress; it sinks you into the structure of your feet and automatically grounds you to the earth. Forward fold calms the mind and quells anxiety as the stress of your day drips off your back. Spend at least a minute here, adding some weight to the pose by grabbing opposite elbows and swaying gently through your spine. Find more details on modifications for this luxurious pose here.  

Step Two: Supported Recline: Gentle Supine Heart Opener

  Edmonton yogi relaxing in a supine butterfly yin yoga posture.  

It's not uncommon for us to spend the majority of our day favouring the frontline - a nice way of saying rounding forward or hunching. Freeing up our heartspace before bed is not only relaxing and restoring to the body but helps us land from our day mentally and emotionally as well. This is generally best achieved by using a firm bolster, but you can create the same effect with pillows or rolled up blankets if that's what is available. Place your prop at the base of your spine and lay back, resting your head at the top or even letting it drape off the end if your neck agrees. Drape your arms open in a T and relax your legs in a butterfly shape, extended straight or with props underneath your knees for extra support. Breath is your masseuse here - focus entirely on the rhythm of your inhale and exhale as a means to soften you entirely. Enjoy the gentle stretch of your inhale and the full release of your exhale, giving into the shape that your body melts to. Hold your shape for at least 3 minutes, staying anywhere up to 20 if you're loving it! Learn more about yin yoga postures here.  

Step Three: Meditation

  Edmonton yogi in seated meditation  

Our poses always prep us to sit quietly, and although these last two shapes are most certainly meditative, it is always nice to continue with the cultivated silence and seal off your day. With spine softened and heart opened, connected to breath and intention of relaxation set, sitting for even 5-10 minutes is a natural step in your evening routine. Remember, it's ok if your busy mind has followed you into your evening, you are simply taking the steps to wind down, whatever that means for you. Come back to the intntion of relaxation and continue to indulge in your breath for as long as you can. Check out our "Busy Person's Guide to Meditation" for more tips towards your seated practice.  

Don't forget the tea!

  Edmonton yogi holding a cup of nighttime tea  

Anything herbal will be soothing and relaxing to accompany your evening routine, but if you're looking for an extra (un)boost, try a blend with valerian root, passionflower herb and lemon balm leaf.   Share your favourite evening routines with us! We'd love to hear what winds you down. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or never hesitate to say hello, caitlin@yogalifestudios.ca.

Namaste and sweet dreams! xo

Get To Know Our Favourite Yoga Jams

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Tunes to make you move

Sometimes there's nothing like an awesome playlist to sink you into your practice. Music can stir emotion, transporting you upward and inward. The style of yoga often reflects the style of music that accompanies; some practices are better left silent, some feel SO good with bangin' tunes. Whether you prefer "yoga" music - mantra inspired and calming - or something a little more unconventional, building your perfect playlist to take you through your practice can be a practice in itself! Here's a few suggestions to get you started. Follow us on Soundcloud as we continue to build our list of favourites!


If you practice at our studios regularly, you've probably heard this beautiful, soothing track floating around the room. We're still waiting for it to get old... we know it won't. Check out everything ever put out by Alina Baraz & Galimatias, you won't be disappointed!

When we heard "Could" last year, we immediately wanted to dance and stretch simultaneously. This is the mark of a good "yoga tune" - one that invokes playfulness and warmth.

Of course this list wouldn't be complete without a DJ Drez tune. Blending rich dub vibes and loving lyrics, any Drez track sounds good in a yoga room.

RY X's "Berlin" is hauntingly beautiful, the perfect addition to savasana or sprinkled into a softer practice. It speaks for itself.

We could go on for days; there's so much good music out there that makes us want to move (or be very, very still)! Are you a music junkie too? Send us your favourites! caitlin@yogalifestudios.ca

21 Benefits of a Regular Practice

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Yogalife 30 day challenge benefits  

We are into the last week of the 30 day challenge and we couldn't be more proud of all you yogis that have shown up day in and day out to deepen your practice. Making time for your mat is a huge commitment with even huger payoffs, as you're probably starting to notice. And for our whole community that shows up when they can, remember that yoga isn't just being on your mat. In fact, you probably practice yoga every day in different ways that might not be in the forefront of your mind. Conscious breath while you prepare meals, a relaxing bath, reading a book or listening to your favourite tunes, being mindful and clear in conversations - these are all examples of a yogic life.

Never judge or compare on this journey. Practice practice and all is coming.

 

We encourage you to keep up your regular practice! Please enjoy this list of benefits and notice which ones land with you. Celebrate your successes, celebrate your areas of opportunity.

 


This list comes to us from by Rucha Tadwalkar at www.mindbodygreen.com. You can view the full article here!


21 Signs Your Regular Practice Is Working

 

1. Your happiness comes more from nurturing your mind, body, and spirit, rather than from other people or material objects.

2. You're able to express yourself without hurting others.

3. You view challenges as opportunities for growth.

4. You know the right thing to do, and you do it.

5. You feel compassion for others, including people, animals, and the earth.

6. You accept your current circumstance or situation, and either feel grateful for it or work toward improving it.

7. You begin to appreciate things that you once took for granted.

8. You focus on the solution, rather than the problem.

9. You try to maintain an ongoing positive attitude and recognize when you feel off-balance.

10. You love, appreciate, and respect yourself.

Yogalife 30 day challenge benefits 11. You listen to your intuition.

12. You not only genuinely feel happy for others’ successes, but also try to support them in the best way you can.

13. You think more about what will benefit the greater good, instead of what will benefit yourself.

14. A willingness to work through resentments, let go, and move forward.

15. You feel calmer in your daily interactions with others, as well as in situations that may have once caused anger.

16. You realize you aren’t perfect, and life is a series of lessons to help you continue progressing.

17. You start making time for the things you enjoy doing.

18. In a given situation you ask yourself, What is happening here, instead of, Why is this happening to me.

19. Others feel happy and positive just being around you.

20. You continue seeking and finding ways to feel inspired and motivated.

21. You make conscious efforts to bring your awareness back to the present moment.

 

We LOVE having you around, so keep up your regular practice!  Share your challenge stories at info@yogalifestudios.ca for a chance to be featured on the blog!

Community Yoga Class For Keiran

Com·mu·ni·ty /kəˈmyo͞onədē/ A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Community Yoga for a Dancer's Dream

Yogalife community, meet Keiran. Kieran is fourteen years old and loves to dance. He started taking ballet when he was four years old in Vancouver. He danced for several years there and then took a few years off after becoming self-conscious of the fact that he was the only boy in class. He started again three years ago and is now working towards his dream of becoming a professional dancer. Currently, he spends about 20 hours a week training in studios, at home, as well as performing on stage.

community-yoga
community-yoga

Kieran started coming to Yogalife last February and absolutely loves it! He can be found in class in positions that show his flexibility and strength, alongside his mother. Kieran enjoys adding yoga to his dance practice to enhance his breathing, and add calmness to his very busy schedule.

He recently auditioned for the Alberta Ballet’s summer school intensive, which is held in Calgary in July for three weeks.

He was not only accepted, but also awarded a full scholarship for the tuition!

Unfortunately, he still is required to come up with residence fees, which are over $2000. The opportunity to participate in the summer program means the possibility of acceptance into the full-time professional program, which would give him the training he needs for attaining a career in dance.

melissa photo
melissa photo

Join Melissa Perret for a karma class at Yogalife Studios North on March 5 at 3:00pm. Melissa is leading a vinyasa-style flow class with all the proceeds going towards Keiran's dream.

Lighten The Load: The Carbon Footprint of Laundry

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The carbon footprint of one load of laundry.

The Carbon Footprint of One Load of Laundry

Hot yoga means sweaty things; towels, face cloths and the clothes we wear to practice in generally all get thrown in the wash after practice.  At Yogalife Studios, we offer a free towel service with our monthly membership.  We have upwards of 10 classes daily - over half of them heated - that usually require a towel over your mat.  Most days it feels like our washer and dryer are running non-stop, and while we love to provide this service to our clients, we also want to bring awareness around the overall effect of this process.

 


The carbon footprint of a load of laundry:

0.6 kg CO2e washed at 30°C, dried on the line 0.7 kg CO2e washed at 40°C, dried on the line 2.4 kg CO2e washed at 40°C, tumble-dried in a vented dryer 3.3 kg CO2e washed at 60°C, dried in a combined washer-dryer

Depending on how you do it, and how many loads you get through each week, laundry can contribute a surprising amount to your carbon footprint. Washing and drying a load every two days creates around 440kg of CO2e each year, which is equivalent to flying from London to Glasgow and back with 15-mile taxi rides to and from the airports.

Source: www.theguardian.com


 

The carbon footprint of one load of laundry.

How Can We Lighten the Load?

Our yoga practice teaches us mindfulness, which applies to every part of our lives.  Could you bring a shower towel or face cloth from home?  Do you have a yoga towel that you aren't using that you could bring instead?  If you are practicing yoga frequently, perhaps investing in your own towel is the next step (pssst, all of our retail stock is on sale for 40% off until Feb 14!).  That way you could wash your yoga stuff with the rest of your laundry, which you are going to wash anyway.  We know that laundry comes with the territory when things get sweaty, but let's all try and be mindful of our consumption.

 

 

3 Tips To Start Meditating

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Ready, Set, Meditate

Meditation, like any other form of self-care, can be daunting or challenging in the beginning, but holds innumerable positive benefits once you find your flow. Just as you wouldn't start by running a full marathon, start small and let your meditation practice develop at your own pace. Anything's possible - you may sit for an hour, undisturbed - but chances are your body (or mind!) simply won't want that. By nature, we are busy, cluttered and distracted beings. This is why we refer to meditation as a practice - something that we build and nurture, commit to and experience. Start with these three easy tips to give yourself the time and space to de-clutter.

1. Literally Clear a Space

Clearing your mind and dropping into your body can be a lot easier when you've set up your space to reflect what you need. You don't need a zen garden with trickling fountains and softly cooing doves, but you DO need some sort of sanctuary. This can simply be a comfortable pillow and a candle, away from distractions. If you are trying to sit and drop-in near a pile of unfolded laundry or sink full of dishes, perhaps choose a different spot.

2. Sit for 10 Minutes

There is no maximum time that you must reach in order to "have an experience" or "really meditate", but you should commit to a minimum. Start with 10 minutes: set a timer and see what happens - maybe it feels like an eternity and maybe it flies by. This practice is about steadiness; a commitment to 10 minutes may turn to 15, 30, an hour. A steady commitment WILL help build your practice.

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3. Use Props

You may not be used to sitting up tall for extended periods of time, so rather than suffering through your meditation, use props to find a comfortable seat. A block or bolster under the seat can alleviate tension in the hips and lower back. Blocks under your knees can help support and take pressure off the joints and a rolled-up blanket under your ankles can create a soft padding between your bones and the earth. There's always the option to lay back and rest your spine into the earth or a bolster as well.

Join A Class

Again, meditation is something you learn how to do, especially with the guidance of a teacher. If you are looking to build your tool box, consider joining a class to deepen your understanding of meditation, breathwork, mudras, mantras and gentle poses to prep the body to sit longer.

If you're interested in exploring meditation, join Sarah Zandbeek for Pranayama and Meditation, Wednesday nights at 7pm, Yogalife Studios North.

Yogalife Teacher Feature || Dawn McCorry

yogi in malasana

Get to know Dawn McCorry

 

Dawn has been teaching at Yogalife since 2012. She loves the playful, loving, welcoming environment at Yogalife Studios. Dawn mostly teaches and practices at the North studio, but enjoys teaching her Mommy & Me class at South each week. She loves having her students feel quiet, connected, and relaxed at the end of a practice. Dawn is also the Mom to three very busy hockey playing boys and a Certified Birth Doula. She is looking forward to working on her 500 hr teaching training this year. Side note: we're looking forward to when she brings in cookies! (her gingerbread yoga-shaped ones were a serious hit this holiday season)

 

Catch Dawn February 13 for Prenatal Partner Yoga

Yogalife Studios North

2:30-5:30pm

  REGISTER yogalife  


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

I started practicing yoga in 2005. I was looking for a way to heal and regain strength from my first pregnancy, yoga seemed like a great fit. My twin sister, Donna, and I went to our first class together at Shanti Yoga Studio in downtown Edmonton. The instructor was Zoe Stikeman, she was absolutely fantastic, so kind and knowledgeable. It was a beginner Hatha class, I remember feeling so comfortable on my mat right from the very beginning. What I wasn't expecting was how calm I felt right away. I discovered it was something that I was really yearning for in my daily life. Zoe has since moved to Toronto, if you are ever in the area, look for her classes!

Share a favourite quote, lesson, or teaching that inspires you.

'Live in the Sunshine, Swim the Sea, Drink the Wild Air' Ralph Waldo Emerson

'Heart in Hand, Feet on Ground' Jann Arden

'Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.' Howard Thurman

What's your favourite music to practice to (or do you prefer silence!?)

I love Wah!, Garth Stevenson, Mumford and Sons, and sometimes a little old school hip hop to get my booty shaking in a downward facing dog. ;)

Your favourite books, yogi-inspired and fiction.

Any of the BKS Iyengar books Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates Secrets of Meditation by davidji How to Practice the Way to a Meaningful Life by Dalai Lama All books written by Ina May Gaskin All books by Ray Long The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

For Fiction The Birth House by Ami McKay The Green Mile by Stephen King I am currently reading the Harry Potter series to my youngest son.

 

yogi prayer mudra

Tell us about your first teacher training.

My first teacher training was with Clare Newman at Mamata Yoga. I actually did my Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training before I did my 200 hr. I knew that was what I wanted to specialize in. It was amazing, I wanted the weekends to last forever. I then went on to do my 200 hr a few months later with Clare after I completed my RPYT Training. I connected with fellow students in those trainings that will be my life long friends. Yoga Teacher Training has a huge impact on your life and I am forever changed because of it.

Where's your favourite vacation spot?

Anywhere near the ocean. I am a water baby, it is quite funny that I currently live in land locked Alberta. But one day I will live near the sea.

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

I love cooking lasagna, chili, and stew. Any type of comfort food that warms you up from the inside out. I also like baking cookies.

What's the coolest experience you've ever had with a student?

Any time that my prenatal students come back to me to talk about their birth experiences and say how their yoga practice effected it in a positive way.

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

I really like to do a head to toe practice, with a bit of focus on a specific area of the body. I used to experience chronic lower back pain, which has disappeared after I started practicing yoga. So I really enjoy any postures that can strengthen my back.

Who inspires you?

My boys, they inspire me to do good in the world, to make it a better place for them to grow up in. As well as strong women who stand up for what they need and what they believe in.

What is your favourite festival to attend?

I had a fantastic time at Wanderlust 108 this year. I used to go to Big Valley Jamboree every year, it used to be like a big community out there every year. You would run into the same people year after year.

If you could study with one person who would it be and why?

In terms of my Yoga practice, Seane Corn. I love her honest attitude and strong practice. Her Off the Mat and Into the World organization is doing amazing things. I was able to attend a couple of her workshops a few years ago, they were brilliant.

For my Birth Doula role, Ina May Gaskin and Penny Simkin. They are both extremely knowledgeable in pregnancy and birth.

yogi with prayer mudra at heart

What is the best concert you've ever been to?

This is a hard one, I love live music. This past summer was really great with the Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons, and Taylor Swift always puts on a unreal show. Garth Brooks in Vegas a few years ago was a dream come true for me. But really any concert that I am with my friends and family dancing and singing loud is fantastic!

Where's the next place you want to travel?

I really want to take my boys to Disney World. (perfectly located by the ocean ;) ) My dream vacation is an African Safari.

Share your favourite self-healing practice.

Meditation, whether is it is for 5 minutes or 30. It always centers me.

Share one of your life goals.

To raise strong, independent, sensitive, kind, fair men.

How to find the right teacher training for you

Yogi in reverse prayer mudra  

Yoga Training... Where do you start?

  You've been practicing yoga for X amount of time and feel like you want to deepen your journey and perhaps switch up your role in the studio. You like a variety of styles of yoga, love travelling, want to learn it all; you also work a job in the city, have a family or are finishing your degree. There are so many factors that come into play when you start contemplating taking a yoga teacher training. Do you study locally? Do you submerge in India for 6 months? What factors in your life depend on this decision?  


  I took my first yoga training in 2010 in Edmonton. At the time I had just finished a 2 year program at MacEwan and was plugging away at my student loans, working full-time. Although I lusted over dropping into an intensive month in Costa Rica or some place of the sort, it just wasn't feasible at that time in my life. It takes a lot of planning and freedom in your life to be able to pick up and unplug. To each their own! My training complimented my schedule and needs perfectly; every second weekend, Friday evenings and all day Saturday/Sunday. I was able to let the teachings settle during my time off, catch up on reading and personal practice, and still head to my job every day and spend time with family and friends.     Yogi in a seated twist with a bind.     Yoga is about balance, so it's important to make sure that this is maintained in all areas of your life if you're looking to dive in deeper. I took my second training in this same style; weekend modules followed by a delicious retreat in the end. To me, maintaining my responsibilities and general life at home is a big priority. Will I pick up and take off, going off the grid and truly submerging? Yes, one day. It's always been in the plan, it just hasn't quite fit in yet.     Edmonton has an amazing yoga community with teachers offering trainings locally and around the world. The best thing you can do is reach out to them and get to know what they're about. Take their classes, workshops, read their blogs and maybe sit and have a tea with them. Resonating with your guide is a huge part of the experience.     Talk with the people that have taken similar trainings. Someone that has been through a similar process will be able to answer questions and illuminate the process a website or course outline may not.     Yogi in a crescent lunge     Investigate the styles of yoga offered. If you like a fiery, flow practice, yin training isn't what you're looking for. What is kundalini? Do you want more meditation-focused training? There are so many options out there, so narrowing down a style can be a good place to start. In that same breath, remember that yoga in general is essentially comprised of universal teachings. Don't limit yourself because you are hooked on one style in this moment. Yoga is yoga, and a teacher training of any sort will teach you far beyond what you thought you were going to get. One of my teachers says "this should be called human training". It really should.   If you're on the fence or want to know more, reach out. We love to talk about this stuff! I personally believe that every human in the world would benefit from taking a yoga training, and it definitely doesn't mean that you have to stand up in front of a class.   We have 4 spots left in our 200 hour Foundational Teacher Training with Sarah Zandbeek (another one of my amazing teachers!). Again, if you're on the fence, get in touch with us and ask all the questions that have been building. This might just be one of the best things you leap into.   - Caitlin, caitlin@yogalifestudios.ca

trainings@yogalifestudios.ca

A Quick How-To: Garland Pose

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garland pose in a winter wonderland

Garland Pose or Malasana: happy hips, inner peace


Make space in your hips

Garland pose, malasana, or simply "yogi squat" is a wonderful way to open and lengthen your hips.  If you sit at work, in your car or at school for long periods, your hip flexibility may suffer; the inner thighs, groin, and hip flexors can shorten and tighten, leading to poor posture and back pain.  Use this pose to create more mobility for your daily activities.  

Cultivate peace and focus

Malasana can be used to cultivate inner peace; a gathering to centre with prayer mudra creates a calm focus inward.  In India, mala beads are used in prayer and meditation as a steadying metronome to count prayers (the sacred cycle is 108 - the number of beads on a mala) and are often used traditionally in rituals offerings and altar decorating.

 

Benefits of garland pose

Garland pose is the perfect stretch for the groin, thighs, hips, ankles and torso.  It increases circulation and blood flow to the pelvis and improves balance, concentration and focus.  Garland pose helps to prep the body for for meditation by relaxing the hips and gathering focus, and is the best prep pose for crow, or bakasana.  Finally, this pose tones abdominal muscles and helps lengthens the spine.

 

** If you have complications with your knees or this pose doesn't feel right, don't force it.  Always listen to your body and work within the realm of your practice in that moment.

 

garland pose in a winter wonderland

 

How to get into garland pose

Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart (mat-width usually works!). Turn your toes out slightly, aligned with your knees.

 

Bend your knees, lower your hips, and come into a squat.  It can help to think about sliding your back down an imaginary wall and bringing your weight into your heels.

 

Gather your hands at centre in prayer mudra and press your elbows into the inner seam of your legs, just above the knee.  You may use some slight traction between these two places to open your hips and groin further.

 

Roll your shoulders onto your back body and lengthen your spine out of your waist.

 

As you press your palms at centre think about widening your collarbones away from your heart.

 

Yoga prayer mudra

Once you’re in malasana, try closing your eyes. See if you can hold the posture for a minute, or maybe even longer. Perhaps you can feel the downward flow of energy moving through your body. Notice, when you come out, if you feel a little more calm and connected. A beautiful counter-pose is forward fold.

 


If you're interested in learning more about your hips and the poses to open and nourish this area of your body, check out our happy hips hatha class!


 

 

5 Tips To Enjoy Healthy Holidays

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Allie White Wellness holiday health guide

Happy, healthy holidays!

Yogalife Studios meet Allie White, Transformational Holistic Health Coach and all-around wealth of knowledge in all things healthy and happy.  Her mantra is clear: Helping fun-loving women experience a whole new level of energy, beauty, and confidence so they can create the body and life they love with ease.  Allie will be sharing her expertise on the blog; watch for her informative posts.

 

Allie White Wellness, headshot

 

A check-in on holiday health

You’re trying to stay healthy this holiday season and make all the right choices, but it can get tricky to stay on that health wagon when there are so many gatherings to attend. I get it. Plus, the office is filled with chocolates and shortbread cookies. (It’s almost like someone is trying to secretly sabotage you. It’s not me, promise.)


True story: I used to reaalllly struggle during the holidays. I would tell myself I’ll “just have one” then I’d end up having a “little more” and then feel guilty and go on a screw-it-all binge. Good news -- I don’t do this anymore. And you can totally celebrate the holiday season without falling off track, worrying about your weight, or feeling crappy. All this to say, I’m so excited to bring you these tips for your holiday success.


You need to create a plan in advance because all the gatherings and parties begin this month. My goal is to help you enjoy the festivities to the fullest AND feel and look your best. Crazy? Nope, actually it’s totally possible!

So let’s get started.

You know when you tell yourself you have to stick to your diet and not eat anything “bad”? You convince yourself that “this time is going to be different” and then what happens? Motivation fizzles out and you fall off track. (Or you see your favourite dessert calling your name from across the room.)

 

christmas-treats

 

Yeah, that’s a bummer.

You really want to make good decisions, be healthy, look amazing, feel energetic and light and yet, when it comes down to it, you don’t always do what you know you should be doing. Instead, excuses, fears, worries, and other fun things pop up and prevent us from making healthy choices.

 

5 tips to stay healthy during the holidays

Check your bevvies!

Sounds crazy, but most people are severely dehydrated. It’s super important to make water a priority during the holidays when we’re filling up on heavy meals, sugar, and alcohol. Give yourself a head start and give your body the fuel it craves - water!

Bonus tip: If you’ve got the water thing taken care of and you want to take it up a notch, add green juice to your daily regime. It’s full of nutrients that will help keep your body balanced, your immune system strong, and your skin glowing.

Say no to diets Please stop - for real. You have enough to do over the holidays. Instead of worrying about dieting, eat whole foods and spend your time celebrating with loved ones. Eat regular meals to keep your blood sugar balanced all day. Never let yourself get ‘hangry’ (angry and hungry) because that’s when the crazy unleashes. That’s when your ability to make clear decisions vanishes and all you want to do is eat everything in sight. On the other hand, what happens when your blood sugar is happy? Cravings, overeating, binges, and grumpy moods disappear. Yay to that!

Plan ahead I’m sure you're wondering what to do about all the family dinners, parties, and social events that are just around the corner. Prioritizing is key. Eat healthy balanced meals all week - leafy greens, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, organic free-range eggs, organic meats, root veggies, and beans. On the days when you have a dinner or party scheduled, make sure you eat a healthy balanced breakfast and lunch. Load up on veggies and don’t “save calories” for later. The more you starve yourself, or go to any extreme, the more likely it is you’ll end up giving into unhealthy foods, especially if you’re drinking! (Yes, I’ve been there too).

If you want to resist temptations, make sure to eat a healthy balanced dinner so you can arrive to the party full and satisfied. This makes sure hunger won’t rule your choices. If you want to eat, drink, and be merry, go for it! It’s totally cool to have one or two nights of care free celebration. On these occasions I like to eat lighter during the day. Prioritize fruits and veggies - greens smoothies, chia pudding, salads, and roasted veggies so there’s room for grains, protein, and heavier foods.

A bowl of leafy green kale

Indulge and enjoy it

We all have that one food we love to indulge in during the holidays, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Decide in advance what your indulgence will be and make sure it’s something you love. There’s no point in eating processed food that will make you feel like crap if you don’t absolutely love it. If you want cake, enjoy a small portion. Instead of inhaling it (and pretending like you didn’t just eat that), try to be mindful. Eat slowly, taste and savour each bite, notice the sensations, breathe, and fully enjoy! When your present with your food you’ll feel more satiated and satisfied. Another option is to share with a friend. Sometimes a small taste can satisfy a craving.

Opt for healthy alternatives

Food: Bring your favourite healthy food to the party if you’re able to. There are so many gatherings and we usually can’t control what will be served. Most of the time I eat a full meal before I go and bring fruit, veggies with salsa and hummus, or other whole foods so I have healthy options to snack on.

Drinks: Ditch the soda and juice and go for simple bevvies like vodka soda with lime.

Dessert: So far I have never been to a party that has healthy treats. So what do I do? I carry dark chocolate in my bag. This way I never feel deprived. Instead I look forward to my special treat at the end of the night.

Remember, food is not the enemy. Do your best, let go of self-judgements and perfection, and enjoy the holidays. You’ve got this!

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


3 Reasons To Take A Beginner Yoga Class

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beginner yogaBeginner yoga, a very good place to start!

When you first decide to unroll a mat and try this yoga thing, it can be daunting to figure out exactly where to start. With so many classes, teachers and styles, it is nice to learn about the foundations of the practice to assist the navigation. As you go through this journey it becomes more clear that it really is about YOU, so why not start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, and allow yourself to truly find YOUR path. Here's 3 reasons to hit up a beginners yoga class, regardless of where you're at in your practice.


Get Acquainted with the System

Yoga is an ancient system comprised of asana (physical movement), meditation and pranayama (breathwork), amongst other things. Any of these facets may arise in a public class and work in unison to create this holistic practice. When you first start out, getting the sense of all these elements in unison may feel a little misaligned. The instructor may guide you to empty your mind, but your mind is trying to figure out what the heck to focus on. A beginner class will break down why and how we breathe the way we do in yoga, the most important piece of the puzzle. Once you harness this breath, the movement and meditation come with more ease.

Learn To Listen

Yoga can seem like a gymnastics routine. Any given class can and will have all levels of yogis there to do their thing, and it is your job as the ultimate teacher to choose YOUR practice for that moment. Whether you modify, rest or go deeper depends on what YOU need, not your acrobatic neighbour! A beginner class offers a pace that facilitates this learning to listen. You will spend more time breaking down poses and figuring out alignment so that you feel empowered to choose what works for you and what doesn't.

Reconnect Your Roots

The phrase "approach your practice with a beginner's mind" is heard often in a yoga class. If you are serving yourself for that exact moment in your day, then nothing you've done before on your mat and nothing that's to come really matters. Yes, your experiences are in your fibres and lend to how you operate, but when you cross the threshold to your mat it can feel like the first time, every time. Revisiting a beginner class can be a good reminder of this very foundation; to start fresh and reconnect with those original roots. Humility is one of the most tender offerings of yoga. begninner yoga 1


Yogalife Studios offers a variety of classes suitable for beginners. Check out Warm Foundation Flow, Beginner's Hot Flow, or Hatha Foundations to get a good base to move from.

View our full schedule!

We are also offering a 5-week registered Beginner Yoga course with Michelle Chung. This course is for those that have little or no experience to the practice of yoga. The registered classes will introduce you to fundamental postures (asana), breath work (pranayama) and the connection of breath and movement together (vinyasa), in a comfortable atmosphere with new yogis alike. Each week will be a progression in order to safely open up the body and build a solid foundation in the practice of yoga. Props will be used to help create space in the body, postures will be broken down to show proper alignment in order to prevent injury and emphasis will be given on breath and core control to help strengthen the body. Space will be limited so that new students will get the attention they need. Students should be able to easily go from standing to sitting on the floor and from sitting to standing.

Beginner Yoga - 5 Week Course with Michelle Chung Yogalife Studios South November 1 - December 6 || 2:30-3:45pm register here!

Kristin is Making Moves!

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raw food chef edmonton Kristin Fraser with Inner Glow Nutrition has been guest-posting with us since March of last year. Her mantra around food is simple: "At Inner Glow Nutrition we believe that health is not only about food, but about feeling good mentally, physically and emotionally."

A staple in the raw food catering and nutrition scene, Kristin has delivered hundreds of amazing meals, workshops, and recipes to our community and many. Now it's time for her to embark on the next leg of life's adventure as she sets off in just a few short weeks to Dubai!

Kristin shares on her Facebook page:


I'm officially MOVING TO DUBAI my friends! Selling all and starting new ...continuing to do all that I love in a bigger way. I've worked on a raw menu design for a Cold Pressed Juice Company over there and will be setting up their new raw kitchen, doing events, speaking, workshops, retreats and corporate wellness too....working with an incredible team. (I'll update you with more info soon!) ... Feeling super grateful to my mentors, family, friends, old and new, clients and my love who keep believing in me, and supporting these crazy ventures that make me feel like the luckiest girl alive.


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We are thrilled that Kristin will still be offering guest posts and recipes from afar, so stay tuned to see what she dishes out next!

Stay up to date on her offerings and adventures at www.innerglownutrition.ca

From everyone in the YEG community and all the Yogalifers, best of luck Kristin! The world is about to get a lot tastier!

Featured Yogi || Gabi Weaver

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Gabi joined the Yogalife Studios family in November 2014. She's brought along an awesome, bright energy and a unique skillset with her training in therapeutic yoga. Her classes are fun, energetic, and informative. You can check out her class schedule here and read more about her therapeutic yoga classes here.

 


 

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

I took my first Yoga classes in Vancouver from a pretty woman named Susan, in 1997. I took the class at the advice of the personal trainer at the gym where I went to work out. The class was in a beautiful spare room, and luckily, Susan was an excellent teacher, so I kept going. From the very first class, I knew I wanted to become a Yoga teacher. I felt the power of yoga coursing through my veins, my heart, my soul. The great tragedy of this moment was that I was in my mid-twenties, had a lot of student loan debt, and was just starting my career in Marketing. I knew that yoga would be in my future, but at that time, I could not afford to pursue it. It was difficult to find yoga classes, never mind a teacher training. Thankfully, that has all changed. Almost 10 years after my first Yoga class, in 2006, I became a Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. It was a life-changing moment in every way. I do not know of any other job that could bring me as much joy and contentment and gratitude. I absolutely LOVE teaching Yoga, and I love everything about our field. I think it is the best job in the world!!

 

Share a favourite quote, lesson, or teaching that inspires you.

My own beliefs about life are to: “Treat everyone you meet with love and respect, we are all equal.” “Be humble, be kind, be open, be soft, be sincere”. “Make goals, write them down, and never, ever give up.” “Do less, live more, breathe, stop and smell the roses.” “The way you treat those closest to you, says everything about you.” “ When you start living your truest life, the people and circumstances to help you make your goals and dreams come true will magically appear. “ Learn from your mistakes and past, only you can decide to treat them as lessons, and the reasons for your success, rather than reasons for your failure.”

And some famous quotes that have inspired me:

“If you judge someone, you have no time to love them.” Mother Theresa “The meaning of Life is to find your gift. The Purpose of Life is to give it away”. African Proverb “Live as if you were to die tomorrow” Learn as though you were to live forever” Mahatma Ghandi

 

What's your favourite music to practice to (or do you prefer silence?)

I love to practice to great music, and my tastes run all over the place- world music, Afro-cuban, Latin jazz, Bohemian ethnic music, Canadian alternative, instrumental, singer/songwriter,etc. One of my secret disappointments is not being a musician myself. I must content myself with being able to make a great playlist, and being able to use music to inspire, energize, and relax students in my Yoga classes. That said, I think the best yoga practice is when there is no music, but the steady and sweet sound of my own Ujjayi breath.

 

Your favourite books, yogi-inspired and fiction.

I read voraciously, and always have. I like to read about Yoga, Travel, Cooking, Nutrition, Food, Farming, and Healing. I tend to choose books that are funny, wise, and inspiring. I enjoy memoirs, some of my favorites were Mahatma Ghandi, The Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela. I have read some great Yoga memoirs: Yoga Bitch, by Susan Morrison, May I be Happy, by Cyndi Lee, Warrior Pose, by Brad Willis, Do your OM thing, by Rebecca Pacheco, Light on Life, B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, by Stephen Cope, and Hell-Bent, by Benjamin Lorr.

 

Tell us about your first teacher training.

I was lucky enough to study with a true Yoga master, Karen Claffey, in Montreal. She had certifications in practically everything, and was very wise, thoughtful, and supportive. She taught us more than just yoga, but a way of life, as she lived and breathed the teachings and philosophies of Yoga. It was a life-changing experience, and I feel very blessed to have had Karen as my first teacher.

 

Where's your favourite vacation spot?

Every year, I travel to Sivananda Ashram, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It is very different from staying in a resort. It is incredibly beautiful, and rustic. I go alone, stay in a tent, connect to nature, meet amazing new people who become life-long friends and enjoy the healthiest vegetarian food. I take programs and spend my days learning. Everyone at the ashram must attend the two daily Satsangs, which are made up of meditation, Kirtan, (group singing in Sanskrit) and presentations from the many visiting program teachers and spiritual leaders at the ashram. Our days start at 5:30 am, and are busy until 10pm. I always make time for a couple of daily swims in the breathtakingly clear turquoise ocean, and walks on the pristine fine white sand beaches. My yearly trips to the ashram are completely rejuvenating, nourishing and life-changing, both mentally and spiritually.

 

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

I am a huge foodie, and love to cook many ethnic foods that require hunting for exotic spices and ingredients. I love Vietnamese, African, Japanese, Brazilian, Indian, Mediterranean, French, Turkish, Lebanese, and Czech cooking. My meals can best be described as simple, very fresh, well-seasoned, very tasty and healthy. I could easily be a Chef, if my own Mom (herself a European-trained Chef) did not constantly dissuade me from a life of cruel hours and intense pressure.

 

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What's the coolest experience you've ever had with a student?

I have been lucky enough to have formed some strong and very honest friendships with some of my yoga students. Many of my students have hugged me and told me that I had changed their lives. I am grateful to be able to teach Yoga therapeutically for people in recovery in treatment centers and people suffering from eating disorders, severe PTSD, and intense anxiety and depression. I have been lucky enough to have influenced many people on their path in life. Each of these experiences has taught me about the real meaning of life, how to love, how to forgive, how to heal, how to overcome great tragedy, and become all that you are capable of.

 

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

I could never just pick one! But, I do love inversions, and I’m pretty sure I spent more time upside down than right side up as a child.

 

Who inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere, in my closest family and friends, complete strangers, and even in a bad situation, I try and see what I am meant to learn from it. I think it is so important to live consciously, mindfully, and to surround yourself with inspiring influences and people, and to constantly step outside your comfort zone and grow into the person you are meant to be.

 

If you could study with one person who would it be and why?

Hmmm…that’s a tough one. There are so many wonderful and talented teachers. I would have loved to have studied with the great masters of Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar and Sri K. Pattabi Jois. However, I would love to study with Kathryn Budig, and Kino Macgregor. They have qualities as teachers that I greatly admire. Tenacity, kindness, honesty, acceptance, humor and how to be humble. I would also love to study with some well-known Therapeutic Yoga teachers, Bo Forbes, Amy Weintraub, Timothy McCall, and Kelly McGonigal, among many others.

 

What is the best concert you've ever been to?

Jake Bugg, who is an almost unknown but very gifted and dynamic singer/songwriter from the U.K.

 

Where's the next place you want to travel?

Hawaii!!

 

Share your favourite self-healing practice.

Yoga, meditation and pranayama has always been my way to heal, whether it is body, mind or spirit.

 

Share one of your life goals.

To consistently make the goals and choices that will lead me to living the life that I have always dreamed of. To live consciously, simply, and from the heart.

6 Tips For A Digital Detox

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DIGITAL DETOX


 

Feeling overstressed and over tired are all too common in our collective work and family lives.

What are we doing wrong?

We are more connected via technology but somehow not connected to ourselves.

We have become focused on whats outside of us, what is external, instead of whats in here.

How can we connect to that inner voice and find balance?

Do you spend too much time on social media? on your phone?

Have you been out for lunch with a friend and interrupted the in person connection to check your phone, maybe more than once? Do you feel disconnected to your creative work?

Digital technology is forever changing the way we communicate, connect and develop relationships. The problem is that we have become so accustomed to instant gratification of our curiosity and our mental whims, that we have undermined our own ability to focus. The average human attention span is now less than 9 seconds, worse than that of a gold fish, we are giving ourselves ADD through our abusive relationship with technology.

 

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Join us this Saturday, May 2 at Yogalife Studios South from 2:30 - 5:00 for the Digital Detox Workshop. This offering kicks off with a conversation led by Robindra followed by a yoga class led by Myrah (founders of the Bloom Festival), all designed to bring your attention back.

We will go through the 8 limbs of yoga to find a new balance and new relationship with technology, practise a few addiction breaking kundalini yoga kriyas, and have a group conversation about what's working and not working and come up with how we can redesign our every day lives to be free of our addiction to technology.

The digital detox is not a total technology black out, rather we will outlay a 7 day program to study ourselves, our compulsions, and to give ourselves space from technology during power times of the day.


Here are 6 quick steps to getting your digital detox started immediately, borrowed from the geniuses over at MindBodyGreen.


1. Turn the phone off or into airplane mode before bed.

2. Shower and get dressed before you check your email or social media.

3. Resist the urge to check social media during a meal, especially dinner with family and friends.

4. Buy a real newspaper or magazine and get your fingers dirty from the ink.

5. Leave your phone at home or at the office for at least one walk or errand a day.

6. Stare into space at least one minute a day, without grasping your gadget. Call it meditating or simply "spacing out." Either way, it will be productive and challenge you to loosen your grip on technology.

You can do it! See you this weekend.

Personal Progress: keeping track of YOU

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edmonton yeg yoga 3  If you've been around the studio lately you've probably seen our Virya Challenge poster in the hallway, chalk FULL of checkmarks.  This "challenge" is intended to create accountability to a steady practice; students can see their progress and feel the benefits.  When you track your progress you have a tangible account of your journey.  It serves as a guide for the process, and although it's just a checkmark - or a journal entry or perhaps even a sticker! - it is a visual representation of your accomplishments.     edmonton yeg yoga 2   Tuning into your progress is a huge part of achieving goals.  Nothing happens overnight, especially when it comes to self-study and growth, so keeping track along the journey is helpful to stay on the path.  Keep on keeping on and remember, it's never too late to join the team or create your own commitments!  As per usual, the family at Yogalife Studios is mega proud of all of you and so thrilled to be a part of your progress.   edmonton yeg yoga  

 

 

Therapeutic Yoga with Gabi Weaver

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Yogalife Studios North is pleased to introduce a regular Therapeutic Yoga class with Gabi Weaver, starting this Sunday, April 5, 1:00-2:15pm. Learn more about this beneficial practice below in this guest post written by Gabi.  

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Therapeutic Yoga

Gabi Weaver


Yoga has long been practiced with therapeutic intentions as a way of healing and awakening both the body and the mind.  Therapeutic yoga is a particularly effective practice for those recovering from, or living with, injury or illness. Therapeutic Yoga blends restorative yoga (supported postures) gentle yoga, subtle strengthening exercises, breath-work, hands-on healing adjustments, and guided meditation techniques. It is excellent for those who need something gentle -yet effective for reducing pain, bringing the body into balance, opening it, strengthening it and reducing stress.

 

Therapeutic Yoga can be a deeply restorative experience and can help to access the deeper wisdom that resides within-to awaken our bodies’ own ability to heal itself.  Therapeutic yoga differs from a regular yoga class by focusing on the needs of students instead of the student modifying to fit the class. The class is catered to benefit the needs of students. Health issues ranging from chronic pain and injury, to cancer, depression, digestive issues, heart conditions and stress-related symptoms can be effectively addressed using yogic techniques.

 

Healing is a process of bringing the entire being into wholeness, not just relieving symptoms. Western or allopathic medicine diagnoses and then treats the symptoms of disease, but often ignores the root cause- which may be physical (due to a lack of movement or injury) emotional, (brought on by stress or negative mind chatter) or spiritual (expressed in feelings of despondency, depression or a failure to thrive).  Yoga’s broader approach reminds clients that they are not defined by their diagnosis and symptoms. It recognizes healing as a multi-faceted journey toward greater health and wellbeing. Therapeutic Yoga is not intended to be a substitute for modern medicine, but is a complementary and alternative method that enhances the healing process.

 

Yoga Therapy and Therapeutic yoga are only now emerging as a discipline in itself.  More and more health care practitioners are starting to include yogic techniques in their approach to healing-and more yoga teachers are giving a therapeutic intention to their teaching. People who have never tried yoga before are starting to consider including yoga in their treatment plan. Yoga is beneficial for our health in ways that modern science is just beginning to understand, though it has been applied with therapeutic intention for thousands of years. More and more research is being conducted on helping science and the medical community to understand and accept the benefits of Yoga Therapy.

Yoga Teacher Training: 11 Reasons to Dive In

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Yoga Teacher Training: take your next step

The following is a piece written by Sarah Zandbeek.  Sarah is directing our 200 Hour Foundational Yoga Teacher Training in the fall with faculty Stephen Thomas, Neil Dalal, Ian Hayward, Brea Johnson and Sean Haleen.  

 

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Any yoga teacher or human I know that has taken a yoga training has said they believe that this should be a mandatory life program. I agree. Here are 11 reasons why:


1) Remoulding Reality: There is so much we don’t know about what we know. Having been raised in a culture that deeply values hierarchy and money, we have been secretly trained to hold rules that might be enslaving us instead of propelling us forward. Our idea of success is buried in things that don’t touch the Soul. Yoga trainings begin to ask more, begging the question again and again, "is that true for you, are these ways of existing true for you?" Some how in some way, something opens and all of a sudden the need to hustle and feel stressed about not having enough transforms into “holy shit, I am so taken care of.”

 

2) Space Holding: Ever feel like no one ever really quite listens to what you are saying? Their physical ear is there, but they’re not hearing the words or the frequency beneath the words? Well, Yoga Training, helps you to not be that friend. As Teachers, we become guiders in Life, whether we chose that or not. When we begin to look at our lives with a higher resolution microscope, we learn things about life and the way it works and in that, we gain empathy, understanding, and compassion. So, when friends and family come to you, you can actually listen with a tuned in ear to the pains they are speaking of without needing to try and push it away with statements like, “it’s going to be all good, he is a jerk any ways, or you’re going to be fine.” Being able to listen is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, your community and humanity. edmonton-yoga-teacher-training-4 3) To Live: Yoga training helps you to understand life. In this you gain the courage to really start living it - outside the bounds of who and what someone told you you were suppose to be/do. When we start to observe what the body is experiencing, it becomes a beautiful guide that moves you towards your authentic truth. When we are in line with truth, ease arises, and the dance of life begins underneath our feet.

 

4) Freedom: I bet you often hear a calling for something more and you have been ignoring it for a while. There is something deep within you that is getting louder and louder, asking you to listen; the Soul's cry for freedom. Answer that call. The time for change is NOW.

 

5) Strength and SURRENDER: Learning the pulsation of life can help you move through the tough times with more grace. Unfortunately (fortunately), tough times are an essential part of life and learning; imagine learning from the rough patches in a much less stressful and tumultuous way. Not everything needs to be dealt with head on: yoga can teach us to surrender to that which we can not change and to look a little deeper in order to see the truth of the matter, which is always humbling and filled with powerful teachings.

 

6) Re-Inhabit Intuition: Living in a society that is mostly based on lies, we have grown to stop trusting our intuition - that which guides us to who we are and our highest purpose. This can lead us to wondering, “what am I doing, what is the point?” Not knowing your purpose can make it really hard to wake up each day, moving through the motions that aren’t moving you. Yoga training helps build Self-trust and confidence to stand up for what you are feeling. It offers a space for others to drop their lies and start moving toward speaking truth and having the strength to say the hardest of things. Moving lies out of the body makes space for deeper movements and more profound moments in life. Life becomes much more juicy!   edmonton-yoga-teacher-training-1   7) Dissolve Suffering: Suffering exists due to undigested emotional experiences, which tend to inhabit the tissues of the body in the strangest ways. As we practice asana, engage in breath work, and meditate, these stagnancies begin to move. This brings emotions to the forefront, giving us a chance to dissolve past happenings and release them from there grip on our day to day perspective of life.   8) Threshold meets Change: Often, when we reach the edge of something, there is that friction has built and it's hot, frustrating, and it feels like it might collapse us. We turn around and go back to what we already know and that courageous part of us turtles once again - the cycle ensues. What if we learned to meet these thresholds and had skills to yield through them? We may start to desire these times of great change instead of fear them. Grace may begin to exist as a consistency in our personality.   9) Authentic Self: Who are you? Be that. Scary? Maybe. Impelling? Most definitely. Yoga training can help you begin to move through life guided by what really serves you in all senses: food, relationships, work, and love life.  Live in complete accordance to that which you were designed for.   10) Navigation: Yoga training teaches us how to begin chipping away all the built in patterns that we have created over time through our experience in this life. How does one begin to “listen” to the inner guide, to have courage to follow it no matter what, to speak truth even when the voice quivers and the truth is hard. Observing the journey of Yoga in the body-mind-spirit continuum teaches us so much, allowing us to start observing moments in a much more profound way.   edmonton-yoga-teacher-training-2   11) Life becomes an Offering: Empathy. Through working on your Self, the vastness of what makes you begins to reveal itself.  Within that, we start to see that we are all things: crazy, wild, kind, and free. It is only through allowing yourself to experience all of Life’s emotions, that you begin to make space for the uncalculated pathway of others. Each life, each soul is having a different experience than you and your way and learnings may not be their way. Once this is realized, there is space for you to not attach to their experience but rather joyously (and sometimes frustrating) observe them as they unfurl, at their own special pace, way, and time. Not to be corrected or fixed, only loved through the process. The Ultimate offering.   Get in touch for more details around this upcoming program and stay tuned for information session details!

The Importance of Humility

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Humility
Noun
"The quality or condition of being humble"

 


"Being humble in all endeavours keeps you in the mindset of a student. You’re always open to learning, and never think you know more than you do. Sometimes getting too comfortable in any discipline invokes a sense of hubris that you might not even recognize."

Humility is a staple teaching of yogic philosophy. You have most likely heard, repeatedly, some offering on the importance of being humble; approaching your practice from a beginners mind and staying in the moments of discomfort to reach the softness within that lesson right around the corner. Many avenues of the practice lead back to the withdrawal of ego, which is in turn the art of humility.

 

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Understanding where you are at and what you need from your practice is incredibly important. This is very different than your neighbour's practice, what your teacher can "do", or how you practiced yesterday (or a year ago, or five years ago). Discerning what space you are in - the capacity of your head, heart and body in THIS moment - allows you to retain the respect upon which to build your practice. In this place of respect, patience and listening, you will find your humble self and be able to serve that person in the most fitting way. And if you try something and it doesn't work, even better. There are deep lessons in imperfection.

Thankfully, yoga is no cookie cutter game! Return to your beginner self, drop out of expectations, and just enjoy the ride.


"The discomfort of beginning is a healthy sign. It makes us vulnerable; it softens us. Remaining a beginner in everything we do — and trying out new things regularly — keeps us moving ahead." Beres