SUCCESS IN THE NEW YEAR…

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New Year resolutions give us hope that we will make a change in our life.

A new approach is to choose an intention, think of it as a “what if ?”. You may find this approach softer and gentler with yourself.

Be firm in your resolve and make this part of your daily routine to feel what it would be like and visualize the outcome.

In yoga, this is called a SANKALPA. It means an idea formed in the heart, a solemn vow or determination to perform.

You may wish to try this simple approach.  Create an intention, feel it and visualize it daily and open yourself up to the universe…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

THE EASIEST WAY TO ELIMINATE STRESS

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Over and over I have heard the expression “open yourself up to the universe”.

What I have come to understand in the past few years… and I hear others noticing as well, is quite simple.

When something happens and it feels like I have run into a brick wall, I used to become upset, frustrated and, in some cases, angry.  After reading many books, I began to try to look at things differently.

I began choosing to tell myself that everything really does happen for a reason.

Eventually, I would find that, indeed, I was better off. That had I pursued the other course, I would have missed out on something that was a much better result or outcome.

So now, I rarely become upset. I let things go and accept what happens gracefully. That is to say, I will give my best attempt and if it is not successful, I trust and “open up to let the universe” evolve. I have yet to be disappointed!

No question, there are times when this is difficult to do. It is in those moments that I stop and choose to breathe the “belly breath”. With the “belly breath”, serotonin is released and it helps to stay calm and make the right choices.

Life is so much more joyful when we can control and eliminate the stress!

There are many benefits, including:
–  more energy
–  sleep better at night
–  better digestion and elimination
–  normalized blood pressure

As we say in yoga, ” your thoughts affect your physiology” or more simply put, “what you think is what you feel”!

Add a yoga class and you can feel relaxed and energized, at the same time!

CHRISTMAS WISH!

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2014-12-25 23.44.06HAPPINESS is my first wish for you… may you discover it as you choose:

–  gratitute, recognize your blessings

–  service, helping whenever possible

PEACE is my second wish for you… may you choose:

–  kindness, at every opportunity

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

 

 

LET’S TALK TWISTS!

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My students hear me say over and over again, “lengthen your spine, create space between the vertabrae”. The reason is explained in this great exert on TWISTS from Ekhart Yoga.

“TWISTS, what are they good for?

SPINE MOBILITY AND BACKGROUND HEALTH
Twists rotate the spine and stretch the muscles of the back. This helps to restore and retain the spine’s natural range of motion. If we don’t employ our natural range of motion, we run the risk of our joints hardening and fusing. The surrounding supportive soft tissue can also become short and dysfunctional. By extending the muscles to their full length regularly with twists once or twice a day we can help to prevent this – according to yoga teacher and anatomy specialist Julie Gudemenstead

ENERGIZING
In twists you work with the spine and the action of ‘LENTHENING’ IS TO CREATE SPACE BETWEEN THE VERTABRAE. (You hear me say this over and over in class.) When there’s a lack of space our spine tends to slump or get stuck and our energy levels drop. Through twisting we lengthen the spine and get space between the bones. Then our energy can flow better. Twists give us an instant energy lift and decompress the vertebrae in a safe, healthy way.

COMPREHENSIVE AND NEUTRALIZING
Twists are neutralizing poses so they’re good to include if you’ve been doing lots of strong back bends or forward bends. Twists incorporate the center of our body, working the abdominal, obliques, the muscles that support the movement of our spine, our shoulders, pelvis, neck etc… that is when you are doing them correctly.

AIDS DIGESTION
Twists are commonly known to aid digestion. It is important to realize what that actually means! Twists are great for creating movement in and around our organs (mobility and motility). So in terms of helping our food being moved along.. twists are great!”

There are twists for everyone, whether you are a Senior or an Athlete!

Remember…
YOU CAN do yoga… no matter the Season of Your Life!

!

Moving through a Vinysasa Flow

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VINYSASA  – Breath-synchronized movement

It is literally moving your body in sync with your breath.

So, when we create a sequence of poses and move through these poses following our breath, it is called VINYSASA FLOW.

When teaching a BEGINNER class, my focus is learning to do the poses properly, hence safely. I take time to correct and adjust so the feeling of the correct alignment in the pose becomes the norm.  This is what the pose feels like and with time it affects not only our yoga sequences, moving with ease and grace, but, also, our day to day postures and movements.

As a teacher, I have learned to cue the poses and the sequence of poses.  To cue the poses, means I describe the movements and show you by demonstrating with a student what I mean.   With time you begin to learn a shorthand version of what the teacher is saying.

It is important for me to be able to walk around and see each person from different angles, as they move into a pose or through a sequence of poses.  I have to be able to see when an adjustment is needed so I can ensure proper alignment and safety.

Now an INTERMEDIATE class has learned the shorthand cues. They know many of the basic safety rules, like knee above the ankle.  More time is now given to working on new poses which are then learned quickly because they understand the basics.

Ĺearning yoga can bring a new quality of life.

–   Ability to focus and stay in the moment, we learn in meditation.

–  Ability to to manage stress and stay calm, we learn through the breathing techniques.

–  Ability to move with ease and grace, being comfortable with our body and in control, we learn through yoga.

The goal in yoga is to be the best you can be!

If you would like more information about the classes,  please contact me.

Remember…

YOU can do yoga… no matter the SEASON OF YOUR LIFE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts for your yogi…

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20141007_200420Gift Certificates

Classes (any value you would like)
and/or
YOGA MAT BAGS $25
Donation of $2. goes to the CHARLOTTE COUNTY SPCA

These beautiful yoga mat bags are part of the SHER ACHESON Collection.   Sher, a graphic artist, has turned her talents towards her passion – sewing. Working from home enables her to be a full time Mom, her most important role!

The bags:
– ergonomically designed, with wide shoulder strap so your bag sits comfortably on your shoulder
– extra wide for thicker mats
– 3 large pockets for water bottle, wallet, keys, sunglasses etc…

New Business of the Year 2014

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On October 22, 2014 the St. Stephen Area Chamber of Commerce Gala Awards Banquet took place. I was very honoured to have been voted by my peers to receive the award for NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2014.

The beautiful glass trophy is inscribed as follows:

2014

NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD

Presented To:

SOL Seasons of Life Yoga

In recognition of outstanding performance as a new business.   A good example of quality entrepreneurship having sound business initiatives combined with ongoing community involvement.

St. Stephen Area Chamber of Commerce

David Archambault,  President

and

Business Development Bank of Canada

October 22, 2014

It was truly a surprise and I am very grateful to my family, friends and other businesses who have helped me get to where I am today. 

Being surprised and totally unprepared at the event,  I only mentioned a few of those who have helped me.  I want to expand and give recognition to those who have played such an integral part in my journey.

Barb Tucker

Abby Pond, Drop In The Pond Web Design

Kim Stubbs & Tim Greer

James Garcelon and Pat Leavitt

Darrell Spires, Guy R. Day & Son

Mandy & Ron Albert, Oak Haven Auto Repair

Richard & Pat MacKay, Stationary Plus

Cindy Ganong & Aimee Townes, Money Saver

Barb Raymont & Randy Hogge, St. Croix Printing & Publishing

St. Croix Courier

Of course,  my students, all those dedicated people who attend class and share their stories of how yoga has changed their lives.  They inspire me to keep learning, sometimes researching and, always, excited and happy to get up in the morning because I love what I am doing.

My hope for the future is to continue helping people improve their lives with Yoga.

One day I will employ additional yoga teachers and the studio will be a fulltime haven of wellness and joy…

Remember, you can do yoga… no matter your Season of  Life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A REVOLVING PRAYER FOR PEACE

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Today, on my daily walk, I enjoyed the quiet peacefulness, listening to the birds signing.

It occurred to me somewhere in the world, actually, in many different places, someone is experiencing the opposite. Whether it is a war zone, or safe place where people are just being unkind, they have no peace.

Tonight and every night, as I go to bed I am going to say a prayer for peace throughout the world. Will you join me and perhaps we can have a revolving prayer for peace?

Thoughts create energy. We go to bed at different times.   I just think, perhaps, if many people say a prayer for peace as they go to bed, we can create a revolving flow of energy changing the world for the better. A continuously revolving peaceful energy… imagine!

MINDFUL ATTENTION MEDITATION

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MINDFUL ATTENTION MEDITATION

This is the most commonly studied form of meditation focusing on developing:

attention to and awareness of our

breathing

thoughts

emotions

“If we listen to our hearts, in that deepest silence we will be guided toward the appropriate action.”   Pelle

 

We search for guidance within our own being.

When we still our thoughts we can allow the depth of our own inner wisdom to surface.

When our mind is peaceful we will think more clearly and be able to access our intuition, allowing for easier and better decisions.

 

Meditation teaches us to focus and select our thoughts.

Our thoughts affect our physiology… how we feel.

How we feel based on what we CHOOSE to think affect our emotions.

A healthy mind, a healthy body and our spirit soars.

MOON SALUTATION ON 10TH OF AUGUST (108)

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The number 108 has significance for a variety of reasons in yoga.

10th day 8th month (108)
is this Sunday. (2014)

It also happens to be the Super Moon.

I invite you to join with me in spirit at 10:08 pm to do your own Moon Salutation with a candle under the Super moon.
Many of you are spread all over the world and I think it would be very cool if we shared this..

MOON SALUTATION
( giving us inner awareness …the moon can teach us to slow down, listen to our own needs, and be receptive to change.)

Many traditional cultures revere the moon as a manifestation of the divine feminine force in nature.

According to hatha yoga, this force also resides within us. Whereas solar energy is warm, active, and outwardly oriented, lunar energy is cool, receptive, and inwardly focused.

Society typically encourages our solar, more masculine impulses, making it easy to pursue worldly achievement rather than inner awareness. Although the aim of hatha yoga is to balance our lunar and solar energies, even our asana practice tends to reflect a bias for the solar, often emphasizing sun salutations and heating practices in the interest of physical fitness. If the lunar force could speak, she might lovingly remind us to “chill out before we burn out.” Like a mother, the moon can teach us to slow down, listen to our own needs, and be receptive to change.

We can enjoy the lunar energy in nature and within by practicing chandra namaskara (moon salutation). The 15 steps in the sequence below represent 15 lunar days; a 16th step honors all that is perfect, complete, and beautiful.

An inward-moving and mildly calming practice, chandra namaskara is appropriate for any time of day, including late afternoon and evening. Try it during the new and full moon phases, or outside anytime under the moon itself. The sequence is safe to explore for anyone who practices sun salutations, and many women find it soothing during menstruation or pregnancy.

Move through chandra namaskara slowly and mindfully, maintaining a smooth, deep, diaphragmatic breath. (Avoid using ujjayi breathing, which is heating). Tune into to your senses as you honor all the cycles of your life.

MOON SALUTATION (Chandra Namaskara)

1. Stand tall in tadasana (mountain pose) and take a few moments to establish chandra bhavana. (A bhavana is a subtle feeling created through the practice of visualization.)

Close your eyes and relax your jaw. Imagine that the full moon is in your mouth like a large, soft “moon lozenge.” Picture it slowly rising through the roof of your mouth just past the center of the brain, then drifting to the back of your head, where it rests steadily at a point called the bindu. Hold your awareness of the full moon resting at the bindu throughout the practice; open your eyes two-thirds of the way and maintain a soft gaze.

2. Inhale slowly while raising your arms overhead. Bring your palms into prayer position to salute the moon.

3. As you begin to exhale, touch the thumbs to the brow center. Continue exhaling and start to fold forward, touching the thumbs to the heart center. As you complete the exhalation, fold completely into uttanasana (standing forward bend) with your palms open to the earth. Hold the breath out as you step your left foot back into anjaneyasana (lunge) and drop the left knee to the floor.

4. Keep bending the right knee to anchor into the lunge as you inhale and raise your arms, bringing the palms into prayer position overhead.

5. Exhale slowly as you lower your arms in front of you, touching the brow center, heart center, and then the earth. Finish the exhalation as you step your right foot back into adho mukha shvanasana (downward-facing dog pose).

6. Inhale and drop both knees to the floor into table pose, then gently look up.

7. Exhale and fold slowly into balasana (child’s pose).

8. With the next inhalation, rise onto your knees, lift your hips up off the heels, spread your arms wide, and look up, feeling flooded with receptivity and gratitude for the sacredness of life.

9. As you begin to exhale, bring your palms together in prayer position overhead, then bend your elbows to touch the thumbs to the back of your neck; bring your seat toward your heels, the chest toward your thighs, and the elbows to the floor. Finish the exhalation by settling into “praying child’s pose.” Rest your awareness in chandra bhavana for a few rounds of breath. Then extend your arms and place your palms on the floor in front of you.

10. With an inhalation slide your chest forward between your hands and press up into a mild urdhva mukha shvanasana (upward-facing dog pose).

11. Exhale and press back into downward dog. Hold the breath out and step your left foot forward between the hands. Drop the right knee to the floor.

12. Keep bending the left knee to anchor into the lunge as you inhale and raise your arms; bring the palms into prayer position overhead.

13. Exhale slowly as you lower your arms in front of you, touching the brow center, the heart center, and then the earth; step the right foot forward and fold into uttanasana.

14. Inhale to stand up tall, raising your arms overhead with palms in prayer position to salute the moon.

15. As you begin to exhale, lower your palms to touch the brow center; complete the exhalation with palms in prayer position at your heart center.

16. Finish in tadasana. Close your eyes and imagine your mind as a still lake. A full moon rests at the point at the back of your head as in chandra bhavana, but now it shines a moonbeam onto the lake of your mind, which is then reflected out through the point between your eyebrows. Let this focused awareness shine from your calm, steady mind for a few rounds of breath.

You may feel complete after just one round of chandra namaskara, or you can choose to do four rounds, remembering all four seasons. If you have a large practice space, do one round facing in each of the four directions, beginning by facing east and moving clockwise. To complete the practice return to face east and allow yourself to linger in step 16.