Spring Classes

The Weather Network says that temperatures are on the rise! Must mean spring is really on its way…And so is the next line-up of yoga classes, workshops, and events. Come check out a class or two (and you just might find out about other events like private retreats and special events!). My regular classes continue to run as follows:

Maitreya Yoga Studio (http://www.maitreyayoga.com/)

Tues: HATHA 9:15  – 10:15 am 

Thur: YIN 9:15  – 10:15 am 

Nepean Creative Arts Centre (http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/parks-and-recreation/registered-classes-all-ages/recreation-guide)

Wed and Fri: YOGA-PILATES (formerly “Yogalates”) 9:45 – 11:00 am

Additional classes:

Mar. 27: YIN & MEDITATION

5:45 – 7:00 pm (http://www.empowermeyoga.com/)

Apr. 12: BOLLYWOOD GROOVE & YOGA STRETCH

**Sorry folks, Bollywood class is postponed due to a conflict. Will let you know when we can offer it again…

 

All classes are drop-in except for the ones at Nepean Creative Arts Centre which are registered programs. A few spots are left…

While I would really love you to come to MY classes, I highly recommend trying different studios, styles, and teachers to find out what yogic approach resonates with you. There are so many options, from traditional to vigorous to therapeutic to hot… If you are new to yoga, talk to your teacher or studio staff to find out what is the best fit for you based on your health and wellness needs. If you have been practicing for some time, why not try a different class or explore another perspective? Sometimes we can deepen our understanding of yoga (and ourselves) by simply opening up to a different point of view…

Happy Spring and Happy Yoga! See you on the mat…

 

Smile1

 

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Creating a Sacred Space

The rare times I get to read home decor magazines seem to be sitting in a dentist’s waiting room. I like flipping through the pages, seeing what the latest trends are in colours and styles, but knowing full well that I cannot possibly afford to makeover my house that way. That’s okay – I like my house and the warmth it gives. But it occurred to me one day while I was lying in Savasana in my living room (yes, I was “thinking” instead of “being”…) that after all the “inner” work I’ve been doing for body, mind, and soul it makes sense that my immediate “outer” surroundings might need to change as well. While my spiritual sacred space is within my heart, my physical sacred space is just as important. A cluttered, disorganized room FEELS very different than a neat and tidy space. Dull walls bring your energy down while vibrant fresh walls enliven. Old dusty knick-knacks that used to have meaning might have outlasted their importance. While I love practicing yoga in my living room – no piles of papers, no tv, lots of bright natural light, and a corner of flowering orchids – I decided it needs a little re-vamping to reflect my re-vamped self. So I got out the paint chips and started planning. My inspiration for change is partly driven by a deeper awareness of energy around me and what I want to absorb or not absorb, and partly by a beautiful painting I bought from an artist a couple of years ago. It was like this painting was made for me…called “Morning Prayers” by Mary Hardwick.

DSCF4178

I’m still in the planning phase, deciding what colours I will go with but there’s something about that orange that makes me feel so amazing…the same orange as the saffron robes of the holy men in India; the same orange as the marigold petals that were showered upon us that day on the ashram roof as we graduated from our program; the same orange as the tassle on my rudraksha mala that I hold every morning. While this colour brings back memories of wonderful experiences, there is also an energy in it that makes me FEEL connected. How can I not use it in some way in my sacred space?

I have a fun little book called “10-Minute Feng Shui” by Skye Alexander. She explains that the goal of Feng Shui, the Chinese art of placement, is to create harmony and balance in your work or home environment by placing objects in such a way as to allow energy or “Ch’i” to flow smoothly. Just like we practice yoga asanas and use pranayama to circulate energy or “Prana” within the body, Feng Shui is like yoga for your environment, and it works not only consciously but also subconsciously. In some cases you need to bring energy up by accentuating “yang” and in other cases, you might need to calm energy down by emphasizing “yin”. This can be done not only by re-arranging furniture but also by choosing different colours or objects (smooth, angular, large, small, etc.). It’s a very interesting idea that works so beautifully with yoga that I can’t wait to put some of these tips into use. According to this book, ten common Feng Shui “cures” include lighting, mirrors, living things, moving objects, heavy objects, sound, electrical objects (surprising to me), colours, scents, and images. I’m already using many of these things in my living room but I’m looking forward to taking a closer look at how I can create a more harmonious sacred space.

In the meantime, next time I’m in Savasana in my living room, I will simply enjoy BEING as the sun streams in the windows; while the temple in my painting stands firmly against the orange sky; while my orchids continue to bloom and we exchange energy one breath at a time.

Orchids in winter