yogalife studios

The International Day of Happiness

All photos featured in this blog are by Jenn Clara Photography

All photos featured in this blog are by Jenn Clara Photography

The International Day of Happiness was founded by a United Nations special advisor by the name of Jayme Illien, as a means of pushing forward the global happiness movement. Jayme Illien conceptualized the idea for a day that recognized the pursuit of happiness as a human right and “fundamental human goal”. Selected to fall on March 20 of every year, in line with the March Equinox, the International Day of Happiness was developed as a means of highlighting one of the major goals of the UN, which was “happiness for the entire human family”.

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The International Day of Happiness, since it’s inception and first official celebrated day on March 20, 2013 has sparked multiple initiatives centering around happiness. HappinessDay.org is the official website of the International Day of Happiness. Another associated website includes Speakhappiness.com which offers two free workbooks titled “One Day of Fluent Happiness” and “Happiness in the Workplace Every Day” for all visitors to their website.  Finally, The Secret Society of Happy People offers International Happiness Day graphics that can be shared on social networks, and also attempts to define various types of happiness through 31 different categories.


As part of celebrating the International Day of Happiness, we asked a handful of Yogalifers what their “happiness hacks” are. We wanted to get to know what pick-me-ups help our fellow staff-members stay positive, and also see where these happiness hacks fall under in The Secret Society of Happy People’s definition of happiness.


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Caren on retail therapy and dancing like no one is watching:

For Yogalife owner, Caren Hui, her go-to happiness hacks include going for a walk with a friend or lover, online shopping, and dancing, or as she aptly describes as “turning up the music and shaking that booty”. According to the Secret Society of Happy People, Caren’s happiness hacks would fall under social happiness (walking with a friend), anticipatory happiness (the happiness of looking forward to acquiring something in your life such as online shopping), and playful happiness (dancing for the sake of dancing).


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Kristine on good reads and indulgent baths

Kristine’s happiness hacks fall under the category of “Mellow Happiness”. According to their website, feeling mellow includes feeling carefree, and allowing ourselves to be submerged in the moment and enjoy it to its fullest – this includes things like prayer, meditation, taking a walk, diving into a good book or listening to music. For Kristine, a luxurious bath, with a lot of bath salts and essential oils, paired with a good book, and a tasty beverage is a surefire way to get her on the road to happy when she’s feeling down.


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Sarah on giving back to her friends and family

Sarah’s happiness hacks, while considered “Social Happiness” also falls under the category of “Giving Happiness” as well as “Helping Happiness”. Sarah considers her joy to come from making those around her happy, especially when the kind gestures are unexpected. This can include making friends or family their favorite food by surprise, leaving cute notes to bring a smile to their faces, or helping people out with a task that they need completed.

 


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Dean on being creative

As for me? My happiness hacks lately fall under the category of “Inspired Happiness”. To nurture my creative side, I’ve reignited my love for photography, and writing (like putting together a few blog posts), and have sought inspiration in the people and environment around me. This has also given me another avenue to give back to my friends and family in a different way – I’ve found photography a great way to connect with people on another level, helping to facilitate the “Social Happiness” side of my life.


Happiness comes in many different forms, so finding our own version of happiness, and developing a method of acquiring it will be different from person to person. Share with us your Happiness Hacks!

The Yogalife Team wishes you the best on The International Day of Happiness!

For more information on the International Day of Happiness visit their website at:

For more information on The Secret Society of Happy People and their 31 definitions of happiness visit their website at:

The Great Canadian Fitfest 2018

Photos in this blog entry are by Dean Tumibay

Photos in this blog entry are by Dean Tumibay

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The Great Canadian Fitfest 2018 was hosted in Edmonton on February 10 and February 11, and once again Yogalife Studios was proudly represented by GSRs and Instructors alike. Best of all, we partnered with our friends from Modern Gravity to have a joint booth, designed to be reminiscent of our yoga tea lounges at both our north and south studios merged with the style of Modern Gravity’s foyer at their space. To read more about Modern Gravity, check out our previous blog on their fantastic float studio here.

The vibe for our booth was chill and calming.

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The vibe for our booth was chill and calming, with interested festival goers meandering into and out of our lounge, stopping to chat if interested in taking up yoga. The vibe for the event itself, was high energy and upbeat, encouraging participation in various types of fitness classes and challenges at different vendors.
Again, over 70 different fitness-oriented businesses were present at this years’ Fit Fest hosted downtown in the spacious Shaw Conference Centre. Many of our very own Yogalifers tried out different obstacle courses and programs available at different booths (you can ask me about my experience with pole dancing and I’ll send you a gif).

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Yogalife got to lead two classes that weekend with Sadie leading the first session on Saturday, and Emerald leading the second class on Sunday.

There's me playing with the booth!

There's me playing with the booth!

Yogalife got to lead two classes that weekend with Sadie leading the first session on Saturday, and Emerald leading the second class on Sunday. We also had passes and product packages up for grabs through a prize draw that we invited all attendees to participate in. All in all it was a fun time with our team, and hopefully some new clients. We even had a photo booth with both still scene and gif options – that was definitely a hit with festival attendees!

There's Yogalife North's Sarah on stage demonstrating for Emerald's Sunday class.

There's Yogalife North's Sarah on stage demonstrating for Emerald's Sunday class.

And the winners of the prize draws are:


One Year Unlimited

Dawn Dextrase!

One Month Unlimited

Michalene Giesbrecht!
Sam Wilkins!

Lululemon Namaste Mat

Shristi Bali!
Dallas Trimble!

2 Seats at the Yogalife Yin & Massage Workshop

Sayla Day!
Nikki Han!
Vanessa Drobig!
Antony Argueta!

Yogalife Swag Bag

Jon Hills!
Jacqueline Degroot!
Geneva Estabillo!
Paul Moffat!

Please contact either of our studios to claim your prizes!
 

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Foundation Friday: Savasana

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  This post is the first in a new series that 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. First off, we’ll be taking a look at the quintessential yoga asana, or pose—savasana.

 


Foundation Friday: Savasana


 

Asana

Corpse Pose, or “Savasana”

(sava=corpse, asana=pose)

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Savasana is the most important—and perhaps, the most difficult—pose in yoga. While it may appear that someone in savasana is simply setting up for a nap, the goal is not actually to fall asleep—rather, savasana intends to mimic the restful effects of sleep by rejuvenating the body, mind, and spirit while the practitioner remains conscious. Since we are not distracted by sensory sensation in this restful position, we are perfectly prepared to lie in quiet awareness of our breath, of our mind, and our humble presence. Without attaching any judgment on to our pattern of breath or to any thoughts that may arise, we may simply be conscious of them.

 

Why do we practice savasana?

 

Savasana is a perfect place to pause and find some peace before yoga, to settle our minds and bodies, to get ourselves into a quiet space, setting the tone for our practice. After asana practice, it is so important to take savasana—savanasa is where our bodies make sense of everything that happened throughout practice. This is the time that we can integrate any new sensory information throughout our bodies—where we can soak up all the goodness of practice and let it sink in. It is also an exercise in calming the nervous system, and just like any muscle in our body, the more we can train our brains to find quiet—to slow down and simply notice things the way they are—the stronger our brains and nervous systems will be at mimicking the same quiet, stillness, and calm throughout the rest of our lives.

 

Savasana may help…

 

• Decrease your heart rate • Lower your blood pressure • Alleviate muscle tension • Lessen anxiety • Heighten your ability to concentrate or focus • Increase your energy levels

 

 

How do I get there? 

 

  1. First, lie on your back. Lay your feet outstretched from your body about hip-width distance apart, with your arms outstretched a few inches away from your side body, palms face up.
  2. Let your toes relax to the sides (your feet may rotate outwards slightly).
  3. Slightly tuck your tailbone under to lengthen your spine.
  4. Tuck your shoulder blades underneath your body to open across your chest.
  5. Slightly tuck your chin in to keep the back of your neck long.
  6. Close your eyes.
  7. Relax and soften everywhere that you can in your body.
  8. Release any breathing technique you may have been using in class—breathe naturally.

***Note: comfort is essential in savasana—find whichever variation of savasana is the most relaxing to you, so that it will be easier for you to avoid distractions.

If this position is uncomfortable, you can:

 

  • Keep your upper body the same, but bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall wide
  • Place the soles of your feet mat-width distance apart and rest your knees together (helps if you are experiencing lower back discomfort)
  • Place a bolster under your knees (also helps with lower back discomfort)

 

We hope this helps you better understand the concept of savasana. Please feel free to comment with any further questions. And let us know if you have something you would like to see featured in Foundation Friday!