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5 Drinks to Warm Your Soul This Holiday Season

I’m not sure about you, but 90% of the reason I can handle the wintertime is because I absolutely adore cozying up to a nice log fire place, wrapped in a fuzzy Costco blanket, holding a hot cup of something steamy.

Not being much of an advocate for chain cafes, I’ve cruised through the Edmontonian café scene and am reporting back to you with some of the best (and original) hot cups of heaven for you to try next time you’re craving a little more than a standard coffee.


Café Mosaics

10844 82 Avenue NW | https://www.cafemosaics.com

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Mellow Yellow.

Choosing just one drink from Café Mosaics may have been the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a while, but thankfully, I’m a bit biased in favour of turmeric.

Imagine pumpkin spice, but natural, good for you, and not drowning in sugar. This spiced turmeric latte is going to make you swear off of Starbucks when you taste the kick this latte leaves you with.


Woodrack Café

 7603 109 Street NW | https://www.thewoodrackcafe.com

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White Hot Earl Latte.

This was arguably the best original drink I’ve come across on my Edmonton exploration. This is a lavender London Fog combined with a white hot chocolate; each flavour being extremely delicate and ever-so subtle.

The only downside to most of the gorgeously crafted drinks out there is you really feel like you can’t have more than one. This, however, I reckon I could consume a bathtubs worth in a sitting and still feel pretty proud about my day.


Mandolin Books & Coffee Co.

6419 112 Avenue NW | mandolinbooks.com

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Red Symphony.

A red rooibos tea with white hot chocolate, topped with honey and whip cream.

I’m sorry, what? Whoever created this beautiful concoction must have a sweet tooth as big as YEG itself. Normally sweets are just not my forte (I’m more of a Salt & Vinegar chips kind of girl), but I could not be more than happy that I’ve stumbled upon it. Its perfectly creamy consistency pulling different yet complementing flavours in from every direction made each sip taste like Christmas without feeling like my teeth were about to rot away.


Remedy Café

Multiple Locations | remedycafe.ca

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Almond Kashmire Chai.

Let’s admit it: You can’t have a “Top 5 Hot Drinks” blog post and not include a chai off of Remedy’s list. Although the standard chai is equally as to die for, the kasmire chai just adds that touch of extra love and  delicacy with its added ground pistachios and rose petals that take this hot drink from spicy to smooth and florally.

My tip: change your standard 2% milk out for almond milk to make your chai add some more of those delightful nutty flavours.


Bru Coffee + Beer House

11965 Jasper Avenue | www.brucoffeeandbeerhouse.com

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Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha.

Bru uses 64% extra-bitter Guayaquil cocoa for all of their chocolate based drinks, and when it hits your lips, you will feel a wave of respect and gratefulness for it take over your body. Keep in mind all of the benefits dark chocolate: . You’re doing your body a favour by ordering this.

PS. Did I mention that that it comes with a candy cane and/or mini marshmallows, served in a Christmas mug? As if you couldn’t love a drink more.

Featured Yogi || Gabi Weaver

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Gabi - PRINT-3  

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.

5 reasons to get your kid(s) into yoga

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edmonton kids yoga Yoga is for everyone, which is why we are so excited to offer a five day teen yoga camp from July 27-31. Join Nicole from Blue Mango Children’s Yoga for a week of yoga movements, discussions on anatomy, visualization, journaling, jewelry making, smoothing drinking, art creating, and most importantly, laughing out loud with new friends.

This camp is designed for youth aged 10-15. This camp will teach you about body image, safe risk taking, trust in self and one another, strengthening courage, goal planning and the art of dreaming big.

 


“Yoga totally transformed me, and I just want to pay it forward and speak to the youth in a way they are going to understand.”

- MC Yogi on why he is a firm believer of spreading yoga to children


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Here's our top 5 reasons for getting children involved in this amazing journey:

 

1. Improves concentration: When your child gets used to the physical practice (asana or poses), they automatically improve their concentration skills. Your child learns how to sit still in one place and focus on what’s important as opposed to letting their mind wander and be distracted easily. This will help them at school, concentrate better, and achieve better grades.

 

2. Increases flexibility and balance: Yoga helps improve flexibility and balance and tones their muscles too. It makes them stronger and less likely to suffer sprains and fractures through accidental falls.

 

3. Improves general well-being: Kids who practice yoga regularly feel good about themselves and are healthier and happier than those who don’t. They feel both mentally and physically rejuvenated after a yoga session and this improves their mental and physical health.

 

4. Boosts confidence: When your child is able to display great agility and flexibility, it does wonders for their confidence. Their improved performance at school also helps boost their popularity and their self assurance. They become more poised and start to believe in their abilities. This feeling provides them with the adrenaline they need to achieve success in all their endeavours.

 

5. Relaxes their minds: Even kids are subject to a great deal of stress these days because of their workload at school and the high expectations that their parents/teachers have for them. They are pushed to be achievers at every single point of their lives, and when they fail, they take it to heart and become depressed. Yoga helps them relax and de-stress when they feel upset or depressed. It soothes their frayed minds and helps them get back to a normal mental state.

 

Kids are more flexible and agile than adults, so the earlier you get kids started on to yoga, the more benefits they gain.

 

About Nicole:

Nicole is passionate about teaching yoga to children/teens and cultivating play with in her classes. She has been working with young children in various capacities for ten years. With her extensive knowledge in early childhood development and her passion for yoga, her classes are educational, active, fun and relaxing. Nicole has indepth training with Next Generation Yoga and Yoga In My School and is currently working towards her Registered Children's Yoga Teacher credentials (RCYT). Nicole loves teaching yoga to children as much as she loves learning from her curious students.

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Yogalife Studios North | Nicole Owczarczyk July 27- July 31: 1:00- 4:00 pm Ages 10-15 $165 for 1 yogi and $300 for 2 Register Here!


Inner Glow Nutrition Recipe || Raw 'Tuna' Salad

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Kristin Fraser, the guru behind Inner Glow Nutrition, is back with another delicious recipe, perfect for summer potlucks and picnics!  

tuna salad wrap

 

Summer is here and it’s time for renewed commitment to your health. Winter comfort food cravings start to subside and fresh, lighter foods are where it’s at. A perfect recipe to add to your mix is the sunflower “tuna” salad below. Perfect for topping on rice crackers, cucumber slices or lettuce wraps with the recommended goodies. Go to http://www.innerglownutrition.ca/something-to-chew-on to read up on more health benefits of sunflower seeds and be sure to check out this month's Chew Tube Video as well! Just 2 minutes! http://www.innerglownutrition.ca/chew-tube


Raw "Tuna" Salad Wrap

Serves 2


 

This Delicious faux “Tuna Salad” is a huge hit. Enjoy on top of crackers, (rice crackers or raw), with just cucumber slices or as a wrap as per below. 2 Cups Sunflower Seeds, soaked 12-24hrs 1/2 Cup pickle Juice (Bubbies Brand is best for some fermented goodness!) ¼ Cup Lemon Juice ½ Cup White Onion, minced ½ Cup Celery, minced ¼ Cup Red Pepper, minced ¼ Cup Parsley, minced ¼ Cup Dill, minced 2 Tbsp Dulse Flakes (or ground fresh dulse) *Optional toppings: vegan mayo, cucumber, tomatoes, pickles, sprouts

 

1. Process sunflower seeds with pickle juice and lemon juice. 2. Mix in remaining Ingredients. 3. Place in Wrap of choice: Collards, lettuce or sprouted grain tortilla with fresh sliced cucumber, vegan mayo if desired, fresh pickles, chopped fresh cherry tomatoes, mixed sprout mix.


Send us your favourite recipes to be featured on the blog!

Foundation Friday: Swadhyaya

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Our Foundation Friday series delves into the basics of yoga—looking at its postures (asana), breath (pranayama), philosophy, and all the other essentials—giving you the foundations upon which to build a solid practice.  Today we are sharing a teaching from Pantanjali's classic yoga sutras, Swadhyaya or self-study.  

 


Foundation Friday: Swadhyaya, Self-Study


Swadhyaya, the 4th Niyama Sva | Self Adhyaya | investigation or inquiry

 

“Study, when it is developed to the highest degree, brings one close to higher forces that promote understanding of the most complex.”

 -The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 11.44

 

Swadhyaya is one of the five Niyamas (daily observances) presented in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  These practices are the foundation of a yogic life; the system of the Niyamas lend to simplifying clutter and observing/attaining stillness.  Pantanjali teaches that these practices progress your spiritual life on the basis that everything you need is inward.  What one looks for is already there.  These 5 observances are a system meant to work in harmony rather than isolation.

 

 

Patanjali also notes that this Niyama involves the study of the ancient scriptures pertaining to Yoga (The Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali).  These teachings are used to assist us in engaging in life spiritually through self-inquiry.  As we meditate and contemplate our own life's lessons - our thoughts, emotions, reactions - we begin to learn about our true Self.  Reflecting on our own flaws, patterns and stories rather than those of others gives us the opportunity to grow, allowing our mistakes to become lessons.  In your life and within your yoga practice, look at yourself with the same discernment you use with others.  As if you are watching your life on film, notice what happens with your sensations, emotions, feelings, thoughts and breath; feel empowered through your process of self-study.

 

The Five Niyamas

 

The first Niyama: Saucha

Saucha is cleanliness which involves keeping your body clean inside and out.  This includes eating the right food, decluttering your environment, communicating with clean and clear words as well as purification of the mind.

 

The second Niyama: Santosha

Santosha or contentment is the practice of being content with having enough in life.

 

The third Niyama: Tapas

Tapas is the practice of austerity or self discipline. This is a practice for simplifying your life, removing all the unnecessary things that do not serve you. It is a way of reflecting the external into the internal to refine your needs.  The interference of thoughts and emotions can prevent us from seeing our inner stillness.

 

The fourth Niyama: Swadhyaya

The observance of Self allows you freedom to step into your highest form through truth and discernment.

 

The fifth Niyama: Pranidhana

This practice allows us to surrender to the divine or higher reality.  Yoga is a spiritual practice but not a religion - the science and vehicle that enables us to understand our own beliefs better.

20 Characteristics Of Self-Love

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Adapted from Howard Falco at MindBodyGreen  

Falling in love with yourself is the TRUEST type of love. It is not selfish, egocentric or unjust - it is the most important relationship you can foster. This love transcends borders, liberates you and connects you to your surroundings.  Today we're celebrating 20 aspects of self-love and the positivity it brings back into you.

 

1. Self-love is appreciative of your journey, struggles, and determination to move forward and overcome.

2. Self-love respects your physical body and its absolute perfection.

3. Self-love understands, forgives, and honors your past for the lessons it has provided you.

4. Self-love understands that you cannot change the past, and can only make new, more empowered choices right now.

5. Self-love is grateful for the gift of life with all its ups and downs.

 

 

6. Self-love accepts the current circumstances and is appreciative of the knowledge every situation offers on how to begin powerful change.

7. Self-love results in a divine respect for who you are, which leads to respectful choices

8. Self-love understands that your existence is the self-evident proof that you matter in every moment.

9. Self-love trusts the process of life.

10. Self-love accepts the truth that all life presents is for you in some divine way.

11. Self-love provides a love that allows you to trust that life will bring you what you desire when the conditions are right.

12. Self-love provides you the patience and faith to wait for the conditions to be right.

13. Self-love allows you to be limitless in your dreams, hopes, and desires, and limitless in the actions you take to achieve them.

14. Self-love gives you a healing and comforting presence around others.

 

 

15. Self-love gives you the peace that is stronger than anyone’s negative comments.

16. Self-love gives you a knowledge that surpasses all fear.

17. Self-love is kind, gentle, forgiving, hopeful, optimistic, and energizing to the soul.

18. Self-love is kind, gentle, forgiving, hopeful, optimistic, and energizing to others.

19. Self-love is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your world each and every day.

20. Self-love is the greatest love of all.

 

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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!


 

It's Time To BLOOM 2.014!

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Yogis gather at BLOOM 2013, held at the AGA. This year they've got a new venue and even more to BLOOM you!  


THE BLOOM 2.014 EXPERIENCE: Yoga, Beats, Bliss

Yoga Music Meditation & Inspirational Speakers


Bloom is BACK! This years' festivities are a collection of events all central to conscious expansion... yoga, beats and bliss to get you blooming! The line-up is stellar and includes two of our own Yogalifers, Sarah Zandbeek and Myrah Penaloza. There's a lot going on leading up to big day on October 5th - check out the line-up below to schedule your BLOOM!

 


Together We Bloom: Flower Crown Workshops, Oct. 2 & 3


Together We Bloom is an opportunity to build your own floral crown or headpiece to accessorize, and express your style for this event.

Rock your newest flowered-creation to It’s Time to Bloom! The only other accessory required is a smile and an open-heart. And then literally, Together We Bloom!

 

ANTHROPOLOGIE @ WEST ED

Thursday: 5-7pm

Friday: 7-9pm

Open to ALL ticket holders, register your spot here!

 


BLOOM Opening Gala, Oct. 3, Muttart Conservatory 


Come celebrate the BLOOM festival weekend with our opening ceremony led by native elder Sequoia Truebloom, followed by talks and meditations and pranayama with Rameen Peyrow, Myrah Penaloza, Jacki Carr, Robindra Mohar and Taylor Eyewalker. Once you have had a chance to go through the 4 pyramids to experience a series of musicians, meditations and breathing in the tropical forest, you will arrive in the center foyer where we have converted it into a space to celebrate and dance with music by the one and only Dj Drez.

Appetizers, drinks and desert by Inner Glow Nutrition

Please purchase a separate ticket for this event or include it in your weekend pass!  Ticket info here!

 

 


Saturday BLOOM Sessions, Oct. 4


Be sure to check out the whole line-up here to plan out your weekend.  There are yoga and workshop passes that get you into different events, so pre-plan your path to ensure you're all set to BLOOM!

Highlights from Saturday's line-up include 'Jumping Timelines' with Taylor Eyewalker (kundalini yoga) and 'Maha Sadhana' with Reno Muenz and special musical guest Sheela Bringi - a deep immersion of purification practices, asana, and a deep guided meditative relaxation practice with live harp, bamboo flute and sacred Indian singing.

 

 


BLOOM 2.014: Sunday, Oct. 5


Sunday is the main event!  The day is packed with speakers, classes, music and more.  Again, plan out your sessions to get the most of your experience and save some energy for the live concert that wraps up the weekend featuring DJ Drez and MC YOGI.  MC YOGI’s music is inspired from India’s great epic myths, poems, and sacred texts such as the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita. He’s inspired by the life of Mahatma Ghandi and his message of peace.  Perfect.  We couldn't be more excited to experience BLOOM 2.014.  See you there!

 

Lindsey's Final Words

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Lindsey's final classes were on Saturday, September 6, 2014. As a parting gift to the studio, she wished to share a few final thoughts on her experience here as a Yogalife instructor.

Teaching at Yogalife was the reason I decided to quit my job and do yoga full time, which was the best decision I ever made.  Over the years not only have I grown so much as a student, a teacher, and a person, but I was blessed in watching the massive growth of our community.

Seeing familiar faces in my classes, and witnessing the amazing progression of each student reminded me everyday how lucky I am to be a yoga teacher.  

I received so much joy from being at the studio that I never wanted to leave!  I used to joke that I spent more time at Yogalife then I did at home, which wasn't much of a joke as it was absolutely true! (The couches are quite comfortable to sleep on really.)

There are so many great experiences that I will take with me as I transition into the next chapter of my life.

The friendships I made within the community, practicing and learning from the incredible teachers, ridiculousness and laughter with the amazing front desk staff, my forever loyal PUD crew, and so many more fantastic memories, that I will cherish for lifetimes.

The last 4 years have been beyond a rewarding experience for me.  

I truly feel that the energy and teachings that I offered, have been given back to me in exponential amounts by the students and community at Yogalife.

It has been a gift and a blessing to get to know each and every one of you, and I do hope that our paths will cross again.  

With infinite love and gratitude.

Lindsey

Taylor Nystad: On Completing the Ironman

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Before completing her shifts at the studio, we just had to get one last story from Taylor regarding a major accomplishment in her life, completing the Ironman Triathlon. Taylor gives us a detailed account of what it's like to be in one of the most esteemed triathlons in the world. Congratulations Taylor!


 

4am:

My alarm goes off, but it wasn’t necessary as I had maybe slept for 30 minutes total since 9pm the night prior. Cue the anxiety attack. Everyone is now awake and getting ready. Me, on the other hand, am crying and considering handing in my timing chip. At this point I’m too afraid to race, I don’t feel ready. I force myself to eat something but I think I might vomit.

 

6am:

We’ve finally reached Alta Lake via the shuttle busses. There are athletes everywhere in the transition area. I feel a little better but still want to bawl my eyes out every few minutes. We get our bikes ready and put our wetsuits on. It’s time to say goodbye to our friends and family as we head to the lake to warm up.

 

6:55am:

It is 5 minutes to the swim start. Everyone is floating in the water. I then realize I have misunderstood the swim course and am at the front of the line. In reality I wanted to be near the middle as I am an average swimmer.

 

There are people everywhere, so there’s no chance for me to move farther back.

 

The swim:

The cannon goes off and instinctively I start swimming. I am literally in a human washing machine; there are people everywhere. I’m getting kicked, pulled, grabbed, and shoved. I know I have to stand my ground or else people will swim over me. The course is a two-lap rectangle, so I know I just have to endure this until the first turn. Once there, I decide to swim on the outside of the course. I know it might slow me down, but it’s a better alternative to swimming in the flurry of people. I end up swimming 4.5km, and am 10 minutes slower than what I originally wanted.

 

Swim to Bike transition:

Everyone is running out of the water to his or her transition bags but I decide to walk. In the swim I didn’t use my legs so I’m still feeling a little shaky. I grab my bag and make it to the change tent.

 

Let me just say now that the volunteers for this event are absolutely amazing.

 

A volunteer finds me and helps me with whatever I need. Trying to put on compression socks out of the swim was probably a bad idea. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much difficulty putting socks on. I get the rest of my gear on and run out to find my bike. Volunteers lather my arms with sunscreen.

 

Now it’s off to bike 180km.

 

Bike Km 1, Alta Lake to Callaghan:

There are cyclists everywhere. This was my first triathlon and cycling event so I was for the most part, unaware of what was in store. I pass people, and people pass me. The first portion of the course was mostly downhill which gave me enough time to settle into the new demands that my body was putting on me. I started off easy on my nutrition, waiting for my body to adjust.

 

Km 25 Callaghan- Whistler:

This was the first real climb of the race. 12km uphill to the top of Olympic village where the ski jumping venue is. But what goes up must come down. I had biked this portion once before in May so I knew what to expect.

What I didn’t know was how my body would fare going 180km. The farthest I had biked before in training was 100km, once.

 

I went with the philosophy of taking it one hill at a time, and to not push myself too hard.

 

I made it up Callaghan at a good pace. Going downhill Callaghan was a nice break for the legs. Once at the bottom of Callaghan was the climb back up to Whistler. This wasn’t too hard as you had some downhill moments to rest. I made sure to maintain my nutrition plan: 2 gels, 1 bottle of electrolytes every hour. If I had any inkling of a muscle cramp or GI issues, I took a sodium capsule right away.

 

Whistler to Pemberton:

Biking through Whistler was the first time I saw my friends and family since leaving Alta lake. You only see them for a few seconds, but it gives you a boost of energy. At this point I was three hours into the bike and was on track for my goal time. Whistler to Pemberton was essentially all downhill with the exception of a few small climbs. 1500ft drop in elevation to be exact. This was once again an opportunity to rest the legs to prepare for the 80km you had left once you reached Pemberton.

 

Pemberton Out and Back:

I finally received my special needs bag. Mine had an endurance drink, dried mangos, ibuprofen, sodium capsules, gels and skittles. You’re probably questioning the skittle part, but if I was in serious risk of bonking, I needed a rapid sugar dose. Skittles do the trick. I took everything from my special needs bag and put it wherever I could on my bike.

 

Once you leave Pemberton there is a 25km out and back of dead flat road in the valley.

 

This was the most boring part of the course. That turn around point could not come soon enough. I knew I had to fuel and pace properly on this portion because the last 30km of the bike was the most difficult. I wanted to bike at my original goal pace, but I knew if I pushed too hard, the rest of the bike would be a suffer-grind fest. It felt as though a hundred people passed me. I just had to remind myself that I was doing my own race and I was on pace to make the cut-off.

 

Pemberton to Whistler:

I have been dreading this all day. I had done this portion of the course back in May, and let’s just say it went less than ideal, as in I had to walk up a few hills. There was one last aid station before the climb so I stocked up on everything that I could. I had saved a few espresso gels from the special needs bag. These gels would be my saving grace: just enough of a caffeine boost to keep you going when there’s no fuel in the tank. I went into the climb saying I would take it one hill at a time, just as I had done earlier. Everyone who passed me in Pemberton, I caught up to.

 

It was 32 degrees and there was no shade. People were dropping like flies.

 

There were people on the side of the road, walking, vomiting, and a select few receiving medical help. My legs felt good and I knew to just take it easy. I ended up staying with a few other cyclists. We all talked to help distract us from the constant stream of hills that never seemed to end. I kept drinking as much fluid as I could. At one point even my water was so hot that drinking it made me feel uncomfortable. I just knew I had to keep going.

Reaching the final aid station was like finding water in the middle of the desert.

 

I knew I only had 10km to go and that the end was near. I just kept biking but by this point I felt like I was going to bonk. I ate whatever fuel I had left and popped sodium pills like they were candy. I finally saw my family back into Whistler. I had made the bike course before the cut off; I was ecstatic.

 

Bike to run transition:

I don’t think I have ever been so excited to get off of a bike in my entire life. If you ever want a free bike you should wait by the athletes at the end of the bike course on an Ironman.

 

After being on that bike for 180km you don’t want to see it ever again.

 

The volunteer who relieves you of that bike is an absolute savior. I get into the women’s change tent to switch to my run gear. Once again the volunteers are incredible and help you with whatever you need. I change my gear and head out onto the course.

 

Run Km 1-21:

I get out onto the run course and am surprisingly jogging. Well, more like shuffling. My jog pace was a fast speed walk at best.

 

I had 7 hours to do the run, but I forgot to put ibuprofen and sodium in my bike to run bag and I needed it badly.

 

I wouldn’t get any of those items until the halfway point, in my special needs bag. I just knew I couldn’t stop moving. At every aid station I drank pepsi or chicken broth for sodium and ate a gel. There were people everywhere on the course cheering you on which helped.

 

Km 22-41:

I finally have my sodium and ibuprofen, which helped immensely. Every step I took pounded into my knees. I knew I had done some damage but I wasn’t exactly sure to what extent. I had done the first half in just over 3 hours so I knew the odds were in my favor to finish. I had just less than four hours to do a half marathon.

 

They were going to have to pull me off the course before I would willingly quit.

 

By KM 30 my dad had caught up to me (he was also racing).  We sped walk the last 10ish km and ran on every downhill. We were close to the finish line and could hear the music and crowds going wild. We were so close but it all felt so far away.

 

The finish line:

We had finally made it into the village area. I tried to jog but I could barely sustain it, even with everyone cheering me on. I made the last turn and there it was, the finish line. Suddenly any pain in my body had disappeared. After over 16 hours I had finally made it to the runway of the finish line.

 

Everyone was cheering for me.

 

One person stuck out their hand to high five me, and the next thing I knew everyone was doing the same. Running down that finish shoot was Euphoric, a culmination of raw emotion and exhaustion. Cameras are flashing everywhere to capture your golden moment and the announcer tells everyone your name. I crossed that finish line, and for the first time in over 16.5 hours, I could finally stop moving.

Crossing that finish line is an experience that I will never forget. It makes all the hardships endured completely worth it. I believe that it will be a source of inspiration for the rest of my life; if I can make it through an Ironman, what can’t I do?

 

-Taylor Nystad 

Catching up with the Yogalife Crew: SUP Yoga and BBQ Carnival

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This past Sunday, the Yogalife crew got together for a little fun in the sun to wrap up this amazing summer we've had in YEG. We started off the afternoon with SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Yoga on Lake Summerside with Waterman5. We learned a little about the background of SUP, practiced on land, and then it was off on our boards to play! The sun peeked out from behind the clouds, warming our backs and the water. We posed and flowed and found out you can do quite a lot on a SUP board—so long as you're not afraid to fall... we even discovered that some of our yogis just may have been surfers in their past lives as they took to the water like fish!

(If you want to give SUP Yoga a try, Waterman5 runs classes at Lake Summerside with Yogalife Instructor Kasandra Bracken and Karma Instructor Chris Shewchuk. This season ends soon—call 780-497-7558 or email programs-ssra@shaw.ca for more info!)

After drying off, our Studio Director Lindsey Park hosted us for a BBQ and mini-Carnival. We uncovered some of our yogis' more competitive sides with games like Plinko, the Potty Toss, and Ladder Ball.

With pay-a-play action, we raised $357.50 for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation.

Nice work, Yogalife crew!

All bets were off when it came time to eat, as we shared burgers (veggie too, of course!), and tasty contributions from our creative crew.

A big thanks to Lindsey (and family!) for hosting, to Sara for organizing, to Dean for taking photos, and to our team for being all-around awesome and up for anything. Big love to you, crew <3

Festival City: Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival

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Festival City: Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival


FRINGE: not part of the mainstream; unconventional, peripheral, or extreme (aka something you want to check out!!!)

 

This year marks the 33rd Edmonton International Fringe Festival, an 11-day event anchored in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona district.  The Fringe showcases a variety of independent theatre performances from more than 1,200 local, national and international artists.  Purchase a program guide from these retailers to plan out your Fringe experience.  Many shows sell out, so buy your tickets in advance!

 

Along with the Festival’s diverse theatre offerings, the festival features an abundance of outdoor fun.  The offerings are comprised of theatre performances, indoor and outdoor shows, street performers and buskers, vendors and beer gardens.  Check out the full line-up of festival events here!

 

A street performer entertaining Edmontonians gathered in Old Strathcona.

 

Bring your little ones to Kidsfringe, a fun and FREE area for ‘little fringers’ ages 0 – 12 and their caregivers found on the North end of the Fringe site. Experience plays, music, storytelling and more on the KidStage, hear a story at the Book Nook or get creative at the Craft Corner!

 

 

Let us know your Fringe highlights!  Know someone performing?  Favourite venue?  We'd love to hear from you! Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Happy Fringing!  

Brandon's Final Words

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Brandon's final classes were today, Saturday, August 16, 2014. He felt compelled to write one last thank-you to the Yogalife community.


 

Gratitude.

 

I am thankful that Yogalife was the very first studio that I was able to teach at. It’s actually the only studio I have taught at so far. I am thankful that a chance was taken on me, even though I was very early in my teaching career. I am thankful for you, all of the students, who have generously allowed me to guide you, share with you, and grow with you. Even share a quote or two. I am thankful for all of the knowledge I have gained over the past two years.

 

I am thankful for all of your support.

 

For attending my classes so diligently. For following me to the North Studio when I would teach there. For coming to my Warriors of Change and Art of Massage Workshops. For joining my wife and I in Nicaragua.

 

I am thankful for your trust.

 

Thank you for trusting me enough to feel as though I had something to offer you. My hope is that I have helped even one of you in your journey through yoga and life. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be even a small part in all of it.

I poured my heart and soul into this studio and everything I was involved in, and I promise to continue to do that for the yoga community.

If you want to connect with me, or find out where I end up and what I am up to, please follow me on Facebook at Brandon Jacobs Yoga.

 

“Letting go and moving on means to come to the realization that some people and some places are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”

Highest Regards,

 

Brandon

 

Brittany's Final Words

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Brittany's final classes at Yogalife Studios Edmonton were on Sunday August 10, 2014. She wished to say a few words as her parting gift to the Yogalife community.


 

Yogalife was one of the first studios that welcomed me in my infancy as a yoga teacher. I was so willing and excited to play a role in the growing community and taught a lot that first summer. So much has shifted since I began teaching at the studio over 3 years ago. Not only have I witnessed the growth of the community and studentship at Yogalife, but within our city as a whole.

 

We are truly so lucky to have such committed students and teachers of this practice just within our beloved Edmonton. 

 

I’ve been lucky enough to have had such fun, inspired and lively people in my classes at Yogalife. It would not have been such a memorable and enriching experience if not for the students. From putting holes in the walls in Power Upside Down to bringing us chocolate covered bacon, or even giving me (the yogi on the bus) a lift to the train after class. I’ve laughed so hard, felt so loved, so appreciated and so very inspired by everyone I’ve had the privilege of meeting in my time here.

 

Teaching the Tuesday night hot flow class has become one of my favourite teaching memories.

 

That class was truly unique from week to week, and I always loved showing up to that class knowing you would be making wild animal sounds, dancing in the dark, doing ridiculous amounts of core and purely delighting in your practices. I always felt uplifted after teaching that class, and for that, I am forever grateful.

 

Thank you for allowing me to be but a small piece of your practice these last few years. Words are not even close to being able to express the love I feel for this community. If you would like to reconnect, please follow my Facebook page, Yogi on the Bus.

 

I whole heartedly welcome the notion of crossing paths with each of you again one day. 

 

In Love and High Spirit,

 

Brittany

Edmonton Folk Music Festival

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Hundreds of festival-goers grace the Gallagher Park hillside, creating this iconic view that is EFMF.  Image used from festivalseekers.com

Festival City: Edmonton Folk Music Festival

www.edmontonfolkfest.org

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival (EFMF or Folk Fest for the veterans) is a four-day outdoor music event held the second weekend of August annually since 1980.  Though named a "folk music" festival, EFMF boasts a ton of different acts and genres.  You can find Celtic, bluegrass, blues, gospel, roots, and worldbeat acts performing on the multiple stages, through the day and into the evening. Staged in Gallagher Park in the Cloverdale community, Folk Fest is truly one of the largest highlights of the Edmonton festival collection.

The 2014 line-up is looking stellar.  Acts include Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Blue Rodeo, and Michael Franti & Spearhead.  Find the full performer roster here!

The festival gates open at 4:30 PM on Thursday & Friday and 9:30 AM Saturday & Sunday.  During the daytime hours of the festival, there are six active stages hosting workshops and concerts with one stage devoted solely to children's entertainment.  Face painting, street performers and roving acts are just some of the treats you'll find in between the stages.  This festival is so kid-friendly they have put free entry in place for festival-goers 11 and under.  There are dozens of food vendors, ranging from carnival fare to vegetarian and world cuisine.  The green onion cakes and elephant ears are two EMFM classics!  A large tent houses craftspeople and there is a CD tent where the performers' albums can be purchased.

"Like most festivals, the experience needs to be lived to understand why this festival continues to be one of the premier music events in Canada. The Folk Fest manages to create an atmosphere that goes beyond the music, into an experience in itself. The entire production—from the setting, of the stages, to the volunteer staff that keep it going, and even the festival goers themselves—generates a feeling we look forward to experiencing again and again." - festivalseekers.com

Are you going to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival this year?  Send us your pictures and stories for a festival recap!  info@yogalifestudios.ca

Foundation Friday: Drishti

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Zoran's drishti aids in his balance and concentration.


Foundation Friday: Drishti or Gazing Point


Drishti (meaning: "full seeing", vision, point of view, intelligence or wisdom)

Pratyahara: sense withdrawal

Dharana: concentration

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"The eyes play a predominant part in the practice of asanas." - BKS Iyengar


Drishti, or focused gaze, is a means for developing concentrated intention. It relates to the fifth limb of yoga concerning sense withdrawal, as well as the sixth limb dharana relating to concentration.  There are a total of 9 drishtis and each yoga asana is associated with one.  There are many yoga systems that use this practice and differences regarding which are used for specific asanas, but drishti is mainly part of the Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga traditions.

 

Why do we practice drishti?

 

Focusing your gaze as specific points allows your concentration and intention to flow in a circular manner.  The gaze first comes from within and is then directed outward to a specific point.  This intense focus creates an energy that is reflected back into your body to hold your concentration.  This allows the 'looking' to reflect inward, creating a withdrawal of the outward senses and a connection to Self.  The directed gaze also gives the mind a focused visual stimulus; wherever your eyes go your mind will follow.  Drishti allows the mind to be singularly focussed and balances our internal and external practice.  In a visually addictive world, our attention is like currency.  Spend it wisely!

 

Drishti may help...

 

  • concentration
  • inner connection
  • posture alignment
  • meditation
  • cleansing the mind
How is it done?

 

Though the gaze is fixed on an external point, the true meaning of drishti is meant to direct our focus to the subtle aspects of our practice.  We may become more aware of our breath, mind, and internal workings of our body simply by creating this circular focus.  In general, let your gaze move in the direction of your stretch.  Prana follows the direction of your gaze.
Yoga Journal states the following:

In Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose), for instance, we gaze at the nose tip: Nasagrai Drishti. In meditation and in Matsyasana (Fish Pose), we gaze toward the Ajna Chakra, the third eye: Naitrayohmadya (also called Broomadhya) Drishti. In Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), we use Nabi Chakra Drishti, gazing at the navel. We use Hastagrai Drishti, gazing at the hand, in Trikonasana (Triangle Pose). In most seated forward bends, we gaze at the big toes: Pahayoragrai Drishti. When we twist to the left or right in seated spinal twists, we gaze as far as we can in the direction of the twist, using Parsva Drishti. In Urdhva Hastasana, the first movement of the Sun Salutation, we gaze up at the thumbs, using Angusta Ma Dyai Drishti. In Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I), we use Urdhva Drishti, gazing up to infinity. In every asana, the prescribed drishti assists concentration, aids movement, and helps orient the pranic (energetic) body.

 

In some cases, an improper drishti can actually be harmful, like shoulderstand where the head should not turn to look left or right.  Keep this in mind when working with drishti in your practice.

 

Let the drishti be your guide in to the unseen, to your source, your truth.  Allow the flow of your gaze bring you into your true balance and nature.

 

 

 

Servus Heritage Festival

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Festival City: Servus Heritage Festival


www.heritage-festival.com

 

This year marks the 39th Servus Heritage Festival, known around YEG simply as "Heritage Days" or "the most amazing place to grab dinner". Featuring 60 pavilions and representing over 85 cultures, this festival is brimming with things to do and see.  The action runs from August 2nd to 4th in beautiful Hawrelak Park.  Enjoy cultural food (so much delicious food!!!), performances, crafts, clothing, artwork and more in Edmonton's largest park space.


Festival Hours:

Noon to 9 pm Saturday, August 2nd 10 am to 9 pm Sunday, August 3rd 10 am to 7 pm Monday August 4th


 

The Heritage Festival is an amazing place to connect and chat with people about their cultural roots and their present-day communities in Canada. Look for pavilions showcasing cultural displays with photos, paraphernalia, and stories about their culture or ethnic background in Edmonton. Check out the full pavilion listing here.

 

Admission is FREE but don't forget your donation for the Edmonton Food Bank!

 

What are your favourite YEG summer festivals?  What have you been up to?

Connect with us on Facebook and share your summer stories.

 

*photos in the article used from www.heritage-festival.com

 

 

 

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

 

How To: Modified Vinyasa Flow

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Step 1: From downward facing dog, bring yourself forward into a plank position on an inhale breath.  Shoulders over the wrists, legs strong and straight, core engaged. (*be sure not to collapse through your low back)  

Step 2: On the exhale, lower your knees to the floor and un-tuck your toes.  Keeping your elbows hugging into your side ribs, lower your chest, and then your hips to your mat.

 

Step 3: Using your core, inhale to lift your chest away from the floor hugging your shoulder blades together.

 

Step 4:  Root down through your palms, and on the exhale, lift up onto your hands and knees, tuck your toes under and lift your hips back to downward facing dog.

Modified Vinyasa Flow from Yogalife Studios on Vimeo.

A letter from Yogalife's owner, Caren.

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Dear Yogalife students, teachers & yogis,

Happy Happy New Year!!!

 

How should I start.... ;) If we haven’t had the chance to meet yet, let me introduce myself. My name is Caren. I was the very first Yogalifer pretty much ever. I have had the pleasure of seeing the growth of this little studio become what it is today. Thank you for all the love and support that you show our Yogalife family everyday just by showing up.

 

My resolution this year is to start 2014 with clarity, integrity and intention. For me, 2013 has been a full year of shifts and lessons, of opportunity and growth. I am so fortunate and blessed to be part of such a rich yoga community, to be able to find abundance in the relationships I have made and to love what I get to do everyday. Thank you for showing up and helping me see that.

 

It might get long… so thank you for continuing to read this.... : )

 

Gratitude to the teachers who pour their heart and soul out in every class they teach, gratitude to them for helping us inspire health, strength, vibrancy and more in our community.

 

Gratitude to the front desk yogis who keep up with the cleaning and the laundry with vigour so that we can practice comfortably in the studio. Gratitude to them for making our day a little brighter with their warm smile or when they offer tea as an alternative to when we show up late for class.

 

Gratitude to the social media yogis for crafting beautiful reads, photos and videos to keep us motivated, educated and excited.

 

And Gratitude to all the students who keep showing up for classes and workshops, ready to move, ready to breathe and ready to learn. Your determination and exuberance fills me with humility and pride.

 

It’s already 2014! It’s hard to imagine that life moves so quickly and that Yogalife has been open for almost 4 years now. No, it doesn’t feel like just yesterday that we opened our doors, but my body definitely still remembers that "night before open foot fracture", and the space boot that came with it. My foot still hurts when it’s cold out…

 

This year our intention is to craft classes, workshops, and blog content that will inspire you. So we are offering a January and February filled with workshops dedicated to motivating your resolutions and goals. Perhaps there’s a workshop that will move you, challenge you, and make you smile.

 

Share your thoughts with us on how you felt about 2013. What do you want to see this year and what interests you?

 

These past 4 years have been a wild ride! I can’t wait to see what this upcoming year brings. Feels like it’s going to be… wait for it…. LEGENDARY.

 

Love,

Caren