Let There Be Light

 

Candles, sparkly lights, stars, glitter…I love the glow of the holiday season! Light signifies warmth, beauty, radiance, sacredness – no wonder light is used in ceremonies, rituals, and celebrations around the world. As an adjective, “light” has so many synonyms – bright, merry, luminous, airy…and how about these ones: resplendent and bespangled!

From the teachings of yoga, we learn that light has a special significance – illumination, clarity, enlightenment. Moving out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of awareness and truth; into the light of love; into the lightness of being. Clearing away heaviness in body and mind through breath and movement. Honoring the Divine Light within each of us. Every time we step on the mat is an opportunity to recall this sage wisdom and bring it into our every day lives. When we shine our own light, we help illuminate the way for others.

Join me this season in celebrating the light! For the month of December, we will use the theme of LIGHT in our Hatha and Yin classes. Learn a new mantra, rekindle your meditation practice, try a new yoga pose, light a candle for a loved one…so many ways to brighten your day!

And on Dec. 27 from 9:15 am – 10:30 am, join me for a very special 75 minute CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT YOGA AND QI GONG class, with special guest, Salima Shamji. I was introduced to the beauty and flow of Qi Gong this summer and the gentle movements of this ancient Chinese practice surprisingly had profound effects on my energy. With Salima’s guidance, I moved with intention, awareness, and mindfulness in order to cultivate and balance my vital energy (Qi). Not only did I leave each session feeling light in body, mind, and heart, but learning this new practice also helped “shed some light” on postural and movement patterns in my body that needed attention. It was a lovely compliment to yoga and I’m excited to share this combined class with you! See HERE for all the details. (Update: this class is now full. To add your name to the waiting list, please email me at yogaimby@gmail.com.)

May this holiday season be filled with light for you! May we all increase our capacity for love, care, kindness, patience and compassion. May we not let the darkness of turmoil, confusion, and intolerance overshadow the goodness that is out there in this world. And may this last month of the year be merry, bright, and bespangled!

THE GAYATRI MANTRA

“Om Bhur Bhuvah Swah

Tat Savitur Varenyam

Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi

Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat”

“Evoking earth, sky and the heavens

Let us bring our minds to dwell

in the radiance of the Divine Truth.

May truth inspire our reflections.”

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Nov/Dec 2018 Yoga with Anne

My last post was at the end of August and here we are, already entering November. Such is the nature of this time of year – busy, busy, busy. Soon we will be thinking about…dare I say it…CHRISTMAS! In addition to the demands of work, school, sports, family, and social commitments, it can often be a time of scattered energy where we are adjusting to less sunlight, windy cooler weather, and disrupted sleep due to the daylight savings time change (remember to set your clocks back this weekend). It may feel like we are being pulled in many directions! While we may be able to adapt to busyness, movement and action, some of us feel the effects of this windy season more than others. This is a good time of year to focus on grounding practices, warming foods, and calming meditations on a daily basis.

  1. Read this interesting article about signs of imbalance during this time of year and dietary tips from an Ayurvedic perspective.
  2. Come to one of my yoga classes! Fall/early winter yoga classes at Denise Smith Dance Studio run until Sun. Dec. 30 (no class on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1, 2019).
  3. Save the date for a special morning Christmas Candlelight Yoga Class on Thu. Dec. 27. More details to come…
  4. Practice a grounding meditation with the mantra “So Hum”. Silently repeat “So” as you inhale, and “Hum” as you exhale.
  5. Treat yourself to a massage, or make your own massage oil and give yourself a foot rub before bed. My favourite combination oil at this time of year is 2 tsp sweet almond oil, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp jojoba oil, 1-2 drops lavender essential oil, 1-2 drops sandalwood essential oil, 1-2 drops bergamot essential oil. Makes enough for a couple of weeks or more and smells wonderful!

However you choose to stay balanced this season, I hope you include YOGA in your toolbox of wellness. Come join me on the mat!

As many of you know, I will be travelling this winter to India! Stay tuned for more info on January classes before I leave.

YOGA THIS FALL 2018 with Anne

Greetings and summer salutations! Looking ahead to your autumn yoga options? Join me on the mat this fall for joyful movement, conscious breathing, energy expansion, and monkey-mind taming! Here’s my line-up:

MORNING YOGA IN MANOTICK at Denise Smith Dance Studio:

  • Starts Tue. Sept. 4 with HATHA YOGA, Thu. Sept. 6 with YIN YOGA, Sun. Sept. 9 with YIN YOGA
  • Same time as before: 9:15 am – 10:15 am. Please arrive 15 minutes before class to set up your mat.
  • Drop in for $15 or buy a class pass.

YOGA & PILATES at Nepean Creative Arts Centre:

  • Runs Wednesdays from Sept. 19 – Nov. 21.
  • Registration opens online at www.ottawa.ca Aug. 15 at 9 pm and in person, Aug. 16, at any City of Ottawa community centre.
  • Bar code for Wed. class is #1188461 – look under “Fitness and Wellness”, then scroll down to Yoga & Pilates.
  • IMPORTANT INFO: Renovations will be underway at NCAC during December and January so NO CLASSES. Winter session is shorter, running Feb. 6 – Mar. 27, 2019. I will be in India during this time so Sandra T. will be covering this class. I will be back for the spring session.

TASTE OF MANOTICK:

  • Once again, I will have a booth at the Taste of Manotick event this Sat. Aug. 18 from 4 – 8 pm.
  • Come check out the street fair and drop by to say Namaste! Enter your name in my raffle for 2 free yoga classes!

NO MANOTICK CLASSES on the following dates:

  • Thu. Sept. 27 (Yin), Sun. Sept. 30 (Yin), Sun. Oct. 21 (Yin)
  • No classes from Jan. 15 – Feb. 21, 2019 as I will be in India. Manotick classes will resume likely the last week of Feb…but I will let you know for sure as it gets closer.

AUTUMN YOGA RETREAT FOR WOMEN:

  • Shanti Retreat Centre – Sept. 27 – 30, 2018
  • Retreat is now FULL.
  • Save the date for next year: Sept. 26 – 29, 2019.

Keep checking back to this site for up-to-date info. Enjoy the rest of the summer and I hope to see you soon!

In my backyard!

 

June 2018 Yoga Classes

I just love the season of spring! Getting my hands back into the earth as I plant my flowers; listening to the birds every morning as they nest; feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. New growth is happening within us, too, so come join me on the mat as we stretch and breathe and expand! This is the last month of classes for me before I take the summer off so here’s the line-up this June:
  1. One spot has come available for my Inner Work Day Yoga Retreat at Brookstreet on Sun. Jun. 24. Email me ASAP if you are interested!
  2. Hatha and Yin classes continue at Denise Smith Dance Studio until Thu. Jun. 28. Please note there is NO YIN CLASS ON JUN. 24.
  3. Yoga-Pilates classes at NCAC continue until Jun. 13. Registration for the fall session happens this August; check http://www.ottawa.ca later this summer for dates.
  4. Please join me for a special Candlelight Gentle Hatha Flow class on Fri. Jun. 22 from 6:15 – 7:15 pm at Denise Smith Dance Studio. Email me to pre-register and secure your spot. Use your class pass or drop in for $15. Afterwards I invite you to stay for a cup of tea and a sweet treat!

I encourage you to keep up your practice this summer by exploring the various yoga offerings around the city; by going on a retreat; by checking out online classes; or by simply rolling out your mat in your own backyard and meditating in the sunshine! I look forward to seeing you on the mat this month.

 

Namaste and Happy Spring!

To Be…That is the Resolution

Welcome 2018, full of promise, possibilities, and potential! Let this be the kick-off to another year of BEING. Being in health, being in peace, being in love…May all that I think, do, and say reflect this way of BEING. There will be pitfalls and obstacles along the way; there will be negative energies, naysayers, and temptations. There will be my own mind – doubting, judging, critiquing. But there will also be ongoing opportunities to release and let go. There will be beauty, goodness, strength, and happiness. There will be moments of wonder and awe, moments of pure silence, and moments that take my breath away. The key to BEING is tapping into FEELING…(check out this article from the Chopra Centre about setting intentions through cultivating feeling).

Day 3 of this new year and I’m feeling energetic, optimistic, and empowered. May this energy expand well beyond my own self and somehow seep into those who need a boost. Join me on the mat and let’s explore!

Namaste and Happy New Year!

 

 

December 2017 Classes

As we enter this season of hustling and bustling with holiday prep, shopping, and socializing, let YOGA be the very thing that grounds you in the midst of this busy energy. Choose slow, soothing, asana sequences along with deep abdominal breathing and heart-centered meditations during this time to help balance and restore your energy. Join me on the mat over the next two weeks before we break for the holidays!

December schedule:

  1. Manotick classes continue until Thu. Dec. 14 (last class before Christmas).
  2. Holiday yoga classes – Wed. Dec. 27 (Hatha) and Thu. Dec. 28 (Yin) – 9:15 am – 10:15 am at Denise Smith Dance Studio.
  3. No class on Dec. 31.
  4. Winter classes in Manotick resume Thu. Jan. 4, 2018 with Yin Yoga at 9:15 am.
  5. Yoga-Pilates winter session at NCAC begins Wed. Jan. 10, 2018 for those who are registered.

Wishing you all peace, love and light this holiday season!

Fall 2017 Yoga Classes

Home from holidays…I love how taking some time off and changing your scenery can do wonders for the body and soul! Space to breathe, space to move, space to create…All chakras spinning and balanced! I’m looking forward to the upcoming season of yoga classes and retreats and I hope you are, too. Check out my class page and my retreats page for more info about YOGA IN MY BACKYARD (www.yogaimby.com). See you in September!

Pyramid Lake, Jasper National Park

Summer In My Backyard

Today marks the summer solstice and International Yoga Day! I have chosen to forsake the pile of papers on my desk and turn my face to the sunshine instead, at least for a little while. I could say I’m procrastinating at my work…or I could say I am leaning into the light and breathing in the moment instead! So out I will go into my backyard and offer greetings and salutations to the sun – Om Suryaya Namaha. 

With the year just about half over, it’s a great time to re-visit those intentions and resolutions we may have made way back in January. Have they come to fruition? Are we living them? Do we need to re-set our goals or re-align our direction? As we enter a new season, we have another opportunity to start fresh and transition into a happier, healthier way of living. For me that means taking time off from teaching to revitalize my own practice and nourish my soul with travel. It means eating more fresh fruits and veggies every day! It means staying up late to watch the summer stars and sleeping in past the alarm. And it means cleaning my office – for REAL this time! Whatever YOU choose to do to support yourself during this season of light and warmth, may you enjoy the richness and bounty of the summer!

My last class this season is Jun. 29, 2017 (Yin).

 Classes resume again in the fall. Stay tuned to this space for updates and see you in September!

 

MAY/JUNE 2017 CLASSES WITH ANNE

I love spring! Birds hatching, tulips blooming, trees blossoming…a season of new growth and light! And that means many of you will be working in your gardens. Remember to take time to stretch, hydrate, cleanse, and restore after lots of forward-bending, heavy lifting, and pollen-breathing…That’s where yoga can help – drop in to my Hatha Yoga class for an active session to re-balance energy, or check out my Yin Yoga class for a deep, slow release of tight tissues. And if you don’t already do it, consider Jal Neti – a nasal cleansing technique yogis have used for centuries that not only helps clear a stuffy allergy-inflamed nose but is said to enhance pranayama (breath work) and meditation (check out this article on Jal Neti).

Hope to see you on the mat – my spring classes run until Thu. Jun. 29, 2017

(Note that there is no class this Sunday, May 21)

 

 

Spring yoga classes in Manotick

I just returned home from the Toronto Yoga Conference, filled with energy and inspiration! While I often saw what yoga is NOT, I opened myself up more to what yoga IS. I’m happy to be back in my backyard but was hoping that maybe…just maybe…the snow would be gone. Even though the remnants of winter are visible, the robins are singing and the squirrels are scampering. SPRING HAS SPRUNG! And so has another season of my morning yoga classes in Manotick…Come celebrate this season of new growth with me!

 

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