December 2015 yoga classes with Anne Stubbs

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GREETINGS OF THE SEASON!

With December arriving and holiday plans in the making, it’s hard not to get caught up in the busyness of the season. This is a time when we have many opportunities to practice patience, unattachment, moderation, gratitude, and balance…but sometimes we need a little help. That’s where your yoga practice comes in – it can help ground you, calm your mind, restore your energy, and gives you tools to navigate the challenges of the season. Make it a priority for yourself, then all others around you will benefit!

Info about my classes this month:

  1. Manotick classes at Denise Smith Dance Studio continue until Dec. 17. Last Meditation and Movement class for this year is this Sunday Dec. 13 – 2:00 – 3:00 pm (great way to treat yourself to some downtime in this busy season!). Effective immediately, we will be using the rear entrance (walk around the parking lot to the back and look for my sign – Yoga In My Backyard). Classes for the 2016 winter session resume Tue. Jan. 12 and Thu. Jan. 14. Don’t forget the new Sunday morning YIN classes starting Jan. 17!
  2. I am pleased to announce a special 75-minute holiday class on Tue. Dec. 29 from 9:30 – 10:45 am at Denise Smith Dance Studio. This is a DONATION CLASS – all proceeds will go to children/youth in need both in our backyard and beyond…To register, send an email to Anne to confirm your attendance (class size is limited to 30). ***UPDATE: CLASS IS POSTPONED DUE TO WINTER STORM***
  3. Last chance to catch me at Empower Me Yoga this month for Hatha Yoga – Sundays in December from 9:30 – 10:45 am.

In this holiday season, and always, let your yoga practice reveal the light within you so you may shine brightly for your self, for your loved ones, and for this world.

“Right here, right now, you are whole and complete. Let yogasana bring you light and peace. Hari Om.” – Yogrishi Vishvketu, “Yogasana”

Namaste and Happy Holidays!

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Minding My Own Business

Lately I’ve been pre-occupied with spreadsheets, account balancing, advertising, networking, and ongoing trips to the print shop. I knew that the biz side of this little yoga venture of mine would take up more of my time and I was psyching myself up to deal with a huge pile of administrative projects. But the interesting thing is that I’m not stressed, I’m not overloaded, I’m not disorganized. In fact, I feel content and happy and on-the-ball. I feel inspired, creative, and focused on what needs to be done. In tending to my little business with mindfulness and present-moment attention, my work is getting done. And what is at the core of it all is the wisdom of YOGA.

More and more I’m feeling that the seeds I’ve been planting and nurturing in myself all these years through yoga have sprouted and are growing. There is a depth of “knowingness” about myself that I am feeling more often, and this understanding is guiding me in what I think is the right direction. Sure, there are still weeds that sprout up, too, and it’s a never-ending job taking care of those ones that have deep roots. But an inner voice keeps reminding me of the key principles of the yoga tradition as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – AHIMSA (non-harming), SATYA (truthfulness), ASTEYA (non-stealing), BRAHMACHARYA (continence), APARIGRAHA (non-grasping), SAUCHA (purity), SANTOSHA (contentment), TAPAS (discipline), SVADHYAYA (self-study), ISHVARA PRANIDHANA (surrender to God). As much as I’m trying to apply this to my day-to-day life, I am also trying to apply it to my business.

I can only imagine how ancient yogis would look in dismay upon our yoga business today…We could say, “Ya but that was a totally different time and culture” and argue that today’s yoga has evolved to meet the needs of our technologically-driven stressed out “more-is-better” society. While I believe yoga is needed so desperately these days, it has to be something other than just a once-a-week attendance in a class, and something deeper than a yoga pose selfie. It has to be a day-to-day LIVING in awareness and a commitment to BEING all those things that we strive so hard to be – kind, compassionate, loving, patient, forgiving, trusting…Can we bring these qualities to our work life? Can we show up daily and do our jobs with guidance and trust from within? Can we discover our DHARMA – our purpose in life – without being so driven by the mistaken idea that we MUST have or CAN have IT (whatever IT is…) all?

I’m reminded of the wise advice of Narvada Puri Mataji, a beautiful life-long yogi I met in India at the Shri Santosh Puri Ashram who has sinced passed away. When asked what she thought about living a yogic life in today’s world, she simply said “Just live it”. Again we could say, “Ya but it’s not so easy…” and the truth is, it is damn hard at times. But she also said that in the West, people are the VICTIMS of their own suffering whereas the spiritual are MASTERS of suffering. So to be a master in your craft, your job, your life, you have to take the ups and the downs, let go of the clinging to MORE and be present with what IS.

Back to work now…I have a papers to file, a desk to organize, and emails to answer. But as I mind my own business with skill, care, and wisdom (and take a break now and then to breathe…), I know that this work day, like any day, is simply another yoga practice.

“Do your daily duty, and let the rest go. Poke away systematically at your little calling. Tend the garden a little bit every day. You do not have to exhaust yourself with great acts. Show up for your duty, for your dharma. Then let it go.” – Stephen Cope, “The Great Work of Your Life”

Photo by Michelle Lachance

Photo by Michelle Lachance