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!

 

Welcome back to winter yoga classes!

The holidays are over and winter is here in full force! Need to stretch? Need to bend? Need to breathe? Look no further than your yoga mat! Hope to see you at one (or more) of my classes this season.

With the fresh perspective a new year brings, the cooling and cleansing energy of a full moon (tonight), and a deeper appreciation of the healing power of the body and mind, I’m looking forward to investigating with you what yoga has to offer us both on and off the mat. AND I can’t wait to try out my new boots…super-duper-non-slip-really-warm-and-cute-too boots from Sperry!! Look out, black ice, you will not get me again!

boots

 

Winter 2017 Yoga Classes with Anne

Season’s Greetings! I am making progress in the healing department slowly but surely. While I continue to work around my own physical limitations on the mat, I’m looking forward to coaching and guiding you through YOUR practice come the new year. I appreciate your support and patience during my recovery period. Here’s my schedule:

YOGA-PILATES (at Nepean Creative Arts Centre)

Wednesdays starting Jan. 11 – 9:45 – 11 am (registered program only – no drop-ins)

YIN YOGA (at Denise Smith Dance School)

Sundays and Thursdays starting Jan. 15 – 9:15 – 10:15 am

HATHA YOGA (at Denise Smith Dance School)

Tuesdays starting Jan. 17 – 9:15 – 10:15 am

Click HERE for full class descriptions.

I wish you and your family a joyful, safe holiday season! See you in January!

snowy-tree

Yoga classes with Anne this fall 2016

Here we are in hot and steamy August and we know what’s just around the corner…Back to work, back to school, back to yoga class! If you’ve been missing your yoga mat, it’s time to visit it again (see my post What The Yoga Mat Said).

Here’s my class schedule starting September 6, 2016:

HATHA YOGA in Manotick – Tuesdays @ 9:15 – 10:15 am

YOGA-PILATES in Bells Corners (Nepean Creative Arts Centre) – Wednesdays @ 9:45 – 11 am

(Registered program only, 12 classes starting Sept. 14; registration on now at http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/parks-and-recreation/registered-classes-all-ages/recreation-guide)

YIN YOGA in Manotick – Thursdays and *Sundays @ 9:15 – 10:15 am

MEDITATION AND MOVEMENT in Manotick – Sunday Sept. 11, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 18 @ 2:00 – 3:00 pm

All Manotick classes held at Denise Smith Dance School. Drop-ins welcome!

Full class descriptions and more details HERE.

Hope to see you on the mat!

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Your Summer Retreat

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Summer is here with the anticipation of sunny days, spectacular sunsets, and hopefully some more down-time in your life. Where do you go to retreat from your busy routine? A cottage on a lake? A tent in the woods? A day at the spa? Or maybe your own backyard? One of my favourite places to retreat when I need a break is my own patio, where I can curl up in my comfy green chair overlooking the garden, and simply take a breath. And when I need even more space, into nature I go…

The definition of the verb “retreat” is to withdraw, to step back, to move away from something. And it’s in this moving away from something that we create space…space physically, mentally, and emotionally. In stepping back we can see from a broader angle and look at the thing we’re moving away from with a different perspective. Then we can make a conscious choice to proceed, whether that means walking away or turning right back around to face that “thing”.

Think of the many “things” that we might want to retreat from in our fast-paced lives: time-consuming projects and tasks, challenging situations, difficult people, noise, clutter, family and work demands, negative thought patterns, health issues, financial concerns…Such circumstances, conditions, and states are the reality of modern life. Running away to escape might seem like a good option but we may then forever be running as life deals us a new “thing”. We might think, “If I can just get past this ‘thing’, then everything will be okay”. But the Universe often has other plans for us and it turns out that the “thing” has something to teach us. Sometimes it’s just hard to learn the lesson…

Conscious awareness or MINDFULNESS is a great way to BE with our stuff of life. It teaches us to be present with whatever is there in our bodies, minds, hearts or surrounding environment, whether unpleasant or pleasant. It requires that we slow down and take notice. It asks that we step back in the moment (retreat) and allow space for what is there in your own backyard. But sometimes it is helpful (and perhaps necessary) to move beyond your backyard into a totally different space in order to re-calibrate and re-balance your energy, away from the usual environment that holds all those stressors and challenges of daily life. Whether that is in the form of an organized retreat or taking a day off work or just going for a walk in the forest out of the noise of the city, find some way to step back and make space regularly. It’s an important gift you can give to yourself…

Have a safe, happy summer…maybe I’ll see you on retreat!

 

Spring 2016 – Classes and Retreats

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While it’s hard to imagine the green grass under all this snow and ice, we know spring is coming! Not only will the geese return, but so will all the “snowbirds” who have traveled south for the winter. Lots of opportunities to practice with me this spring – looking forward to seeing some of you “snowbirds” back on the mat!

Yoga in Manotick @ Denise Smith Dance Studio:

  • HATHA YOGA (Tuesdays 9:15-10:15 am)
  • YIN YOGA (Thursdays and Sundays** 9:15-10:15 am)
  • MEDITATION & MOVEMENT (one Sunday afternoon a month, 2:00 – 3:00 pm Mar. 20, Apr. 10, May 15, Jun. 12)
  • **NO CLASSES on Thur. Jun. 16 and Sun. Jun. 19.

Yoga-Pilates in Bells Corners @ Nepean Creative Arts Centre:

  • Wednesdays 9:45 – 11:00 am (Apr. 1 – Jun. 8 registered program only; registration begins online Mar. 9 at www.ottawa.ca)

Inner Work Day Retreats 2016 @ Wakefield Mill and Spa:

  • Fri. May 6, Fri. Jun. 3, Mon. Jul. 18, Mon. Aug. 22  (9:30 am – 4:30 pm)
  • Contact me to request a registration form

UPDATE: June retreat is sold out; spaces available in JUL and AUG retreats

Akhanda Yoga Festival @ CAMMAC in Harrington, QC with Yogrishi Vishvketu and guest teachers (including ME):

  • Jun. 15 – 19, 2016

AUTUMN YOGA RETREAT Sept. 2016 @ Shanti Retreat Centre on Wolfe Island, ON

  • Sept. 22 – 25, 2016 Women’s only retreat!
  • Contact me to request a registration form

As always, I am grateful for all of you who continue to practice with me.

Peace and Namaste…

 

Yin Yoga – The Quiet Practice

Yoga has so much to offer in the way of practice – poses for strength and poses for flexibility; sequences that stimulate and flows that calm; breathing techniques that heat you up and those that cool you down; focusing skills that help you concentrate and meditations that allow you to expand…In the span of a week, one can tailor their practice to include all these areas so that by the end of seven days you are well-balanced to start the next week. One great way to finish off your week is with the practice of Yin Yoga (you can practice yin with me on Thursdays and Sundays at 9:15 am!).

Sometimes referred to as “the quiet practice”, Yin Yoga has become a wonderful complement to more active styles of yoga. In the context of yin and yang (contrasting dualities of existence), yin is slow/passive/inward/cool while yang is moving/active/outward/warm. Yin Yoga is done with little movement and no warm-up, and one is guided to passively release into a pose for an extended period of time, bringing their mental focus inward. This is not a restorative practice – it can be challenging and even stimulating to remain still and work with the sensations that come and go in the body. Our goal on a physical level is to gently bring a traction-like stimulation to the joints and deeper connective tissues in order to bring about a release of rigidity, promote better energy flow, and therefore improve mobility. Sometimes the pose will feel like a squeeze or squish as we lean or fold into it; other times the pose will feel like a pull as tissues are gently coaxed apart. Body sensations can become intense and then they subside…and we learn not to over-react or under-react. The goals on energetic and mental levels are to breathe, to stay connected, to stay present. We breathe through the experience with mindful awareness and of course, with wisdom – knowing what you know and feel of your body (your health situation, your injuries, your current mind-state, etc.), you are asked to make skillful decisions in guiding your body to its appropriate edge, not pushing beyond that edge. And you always have the choice not to go there at all if this practice isn’t right for you at the time (recent injury, acute health condition, high anxiety, etc.). So there is a huge component in this practice of mindfulness – being very present at all times as a discerning participant and keen observer.

My experience of Yin Yoga has run the gamut from profound release to frustration (as one of my dear teachers calls it, “from blissed to pissed”…). It reminds me of the ebbs and flows of life…Some days I let go completely and allow the practice to unfold, gently releasing my muscular gripping and feeling into the pull of the tissues. When I’m focused and present, I can direct my awareness to my breath and actually feel a deeper energetic release that sometimes defies explanation. Not just a physical release in the body, but mentally and emotionally letting go. Other times, I am impatient and restless as I resist the “pose I don’t like”. My hips ache, my mind wanders, I need to hurry up to get to my emails, and I can’t wait until it’s over as I fidget and silently complain. On those days, my practice is self-compassion and acceptance…

All yoga is about finding harmony within oneself – balance in body, breath, emotions, mind..and this balance allows us to connect on a deeper level to one another, and to Spirit. Yin Yoga, as a complement to more active, yang-style practices, offers one more way we can return to harmony.

 

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