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!



All month long, my students and I have been practicing gratitude. Not just the expression of a “thank you”, but the true embodiment of the feelings of thankfulness, appreciation, contentment, kindheartedness. We committed to gratitude journals, writing every day who we are grateful TO, what we are grateful FOR, and how we are grateful THAT…We reminded ourselves of our blessings, our fortune, our inner wealth; and we remembered that we are not alone in all of this and how we NEED others as much as they need us. Even in spite of challenges in our lives ranging from health issues to tragedy to hardship to loss, we realized that practicing gratitude helps us face these hurdles with strength, confidence, and hope.

Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean that thankfulness is over for another year. When we make gratitude a regular practice, we recognize that every day is a gift. Dwelling on the negative only reinforces the negative! Seeing the positive and consciously acknowledging it creates more ease in your day, and helps you deal with whatever comes your way with a more grounded, centered perspective. Bad stuff will happen – that’s a guarantee – and we will surely feel the effects. But when we can step out of the darkness, even for a moment, to appreciate even the smallest of things, we begin to pave the way for light to shine through.

As I write this, I am basking in the glow of a wonderful day retreat with my students. The weather was glorious, the food was excellent, the venue was stunning, the service fantastic, and the energy of all of us together living our yoga just filled my cup to the brim. To simply say “thank you” seems so not enough…yet it is everything.

Click HERE for a great article on gratitude from the Greater Good Science Centre at the University of California, Berkeley.

Welcome Fall!

I’m thrilled to be back on the teaching mat after a summer off! Join me for a class or retreat this season to nurture your body, mind, and soul. Classes are now underway – see you on the mat!


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 ( 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!



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)



Bliss On An Ordinary Day

No big revelations during a yoga class; no touching piece of music; no idyllic beach setting…just driving in my car running errands and it hit me. An overwhelming sense of joy, contentment, gratitude, and feeling so alive that it brought me to tears at a red light. THIS is what all my mind-body practices are for; learning to be a witness and take in the moment and THANK GOD, UNIVERSE, SOURCE that I’m right here in the midst of it all. Maybe you’ve felt a “Samadhi” moment like this; a feeling of strong connection and bliss. In the middle of an ordinary day, in an ordinary life with its ordinary ups and downs, doing ordinary things – I find it amazing that there is that possibility of a “knowing” of the EXTRAordinary!

So on this ordinary day, the rain has stopped and the temperature is warmer. I have work to do and meals to make. I have a day retreat to prepare for this Friday at Wakefield with twenty beautiful souls. The world keeps moving on with me in it – feeling stronger, lighter, and more spacious than the day before. In this moment I AM BLISS…I AM BLISS…I AM BLISS…

 “Anandoham, Anandoham, Anandoham”

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” 

– Mary Jean Irion





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!


Mountain Meltdown

It sure is hard holding stuff in, putting on a brave face, trying to be strong, denying instead of accepting…the energy it takes to conceal, ignore, suppress, and control can be exhausting. Sometimes you don’t even realize just how much emotional weight has accumulated. Maybe you can cover it up for awhile but at some point, often unexpectedly and maybe at an inopportune time, you have to crack. And crack I did right there on the Trans Canada Highway with the mountains drawing it out of me like magnets. It was like they whispered, “It’s okay, let it rip and give all your heartache, anger, frustration, grief, worry, doubt, and fear to us because we will ground it…we will ground you…”. So I pulled off the highway along a road leading to a frozen lake, and trudged through the snow to face those majestic hunks of rock. I wasn’t looking for solutions, answers, or explanations. I just wanted to get out of my head and release whatever it was that was tightening around my heart and weighing me down.

All I had to do was let go of the energetic grip and open my heart. All I had to do was take a few long, deep, fresh breaths. All I had to do was say to the Universe, to God, to myself…”Okay, so be it…lead me from the darkness into the light” and then let the tension drain away. And when I said it, felt it, and believed it, then drain away it did, with those mountains there as non-judgmental witnesses gently yet firmly encouraging me to let it all go. I also wasn’t alone…all the souls of my loved ones, both here and gone, were there supporting me, too.

Ehagay Nakoda Range

I like to think that these mountains have magical powers of healing. Maybe that’s why I am so moved when I see them. For someone else, maybe the ocean would do it, or a forest, or a beautiful piece of music…whatever makes one step back in awe and helps put things in perspective is just the catalyst we sometimes need for transformation, growth, repair.

Feeling a million times lighter, I wiped my tears, thanked God, and carried on my way with a smile. I know I will need to do this over and over again, not necessarily in the mountains, but every time I step on my yoga mat or sit in meditation or walk out into my backyard…the key is to keep on letting go, keep on opening my heart, and keep on listening to those nudges from the Universe. I might need a helping hand once in awhile and I will reach out trusting that the right hand at the right time will fall into mine…

Mid-winter blooms

Last week we were in the midst of record snowfall and here we are today, with sunshine, warm temps and melting snow! What a difference a week, a day, a moment makes…Instead of the mid-winter blahs, I’m rejoicing in my mid-winter blooms!


I think there is something magical about flowers blooming in the winter. They remind me of the beauty and grace of nature, even in spite of a raging blizzard outside. They offer a splash of colour to an otherwise grey and dreary day, uplifting my heart and soul. At this time of year, we often get antsy, restless, down…Tired of hibernating we may want to be somewhere warm or at least anywhere else away from the cold and darkness of winter. However, as author and meditation teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn reminds us, “Wherever you go, there you are”…You can’t run away from yourself and you can’t always get on a plane to the beach. Instead, I am choosing to be HERE in this moment, with snow and ice outside, and the miracle of life unfolding in front of me in the form of a tall amaryllis, a baby orchid, and a soft buttery phalaenopsis.


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