Take 5…

…5 breaths, 5 stretches, 5 minutes…Stepping back and taking this little break can do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit!

While longer periods of breathing with awareness, stretching and strengthening the body, and sitting in meditation are more beneficial, sometimes it may seem daunting to schedule in an hour of downtime. So taking these smaller 5 to 10 minute breaks throughout the day with conscious breathing and awareness might just be more “do-able”, and the effects can be felt immediately.

TRY THIS: set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes then turn away from your computer, sit tall in your chair with both feet on the floor and hands in your lap. Close your eyes; soften your shoulders, your jaw, and your face. Begin to breathe slowly and deeply, feeling the inhale and exhale in your body. Continue until the timer goes off. Notice how you feel! Imagine if you extended this to 10 minutes, 20 minutes, etc.!

For more info on the benefits of taking a mindful break, CHECK OUT THIS PODCAST (Episode 30) with me: https://thehowesgroup.com/podcast/

And if you are looking for MORE THAN 5 MINUTES of mind/body/spirit self-care, join me on the mat at a yoga class or retreat!

 

Musings, Mumblings, and Meditations

Oh what a busy mind I have! Lately it has been jumping around trying to multi-task and take care of so many things at once. Sound familiar? It wasn’t until I made a big mistake at work that I said to myself, “Whoa, take a breath and slow down!”. It’s amazing how caught-up we can get sometimes, without even realizing the trajectory of this runaway train of busy-ness. Caught up in doing, saying, thinking, planning, ruminating, mumbling…and the next thing you know, your plate is overflowing, or you make a mistake, or you say something you really didn’t mean and it comes out “wrong”. What’s an oh-so-busy modern person to do?

GET GROUNDED! Literally stand (in bare feet) or sit or lie on the ground…on your yoga mat…in the grass…on a carpet. Close your eyes and connect with your breath. Feel your body as it breathes. Relax your face and jaw. If you can’t sit on the ground, then sit tall in a chair with both feet firmly planted on the floor. Take ten full breaths…

No need to explain why grounding is so important. We’ve all been there with our heads in the clouds, thoughts scattered, and with feelings that the days are just going too fast. Are we inadvertently adding to this crazy momentum by our own musings and mumblings, racing minds and running feet, packed agendas and unrealistic expectations? I say YES…Until we get grounded. Until we catch ourselves and hunker down just before the tornado lifts us. Until we slow down and take stock of how we ARE. Until we rest in the present moment, rather than the past or the future. Until we MAKE THE TIME to re-connect with our own happiness. Until we are honest with ourselves. Every day.

A simple yet profound way of helping you ground yourself is with the Qi Gong exercise called “Bamboo In the Wind”. Stand with your feet together (or wider if you feel you need more stability), knees relaxed, and hands at the heart (I like to have my left hand at my heart centre, and the right hand at my lower abdomen). Feel your feet connected to the earth. Allow your body to sway gently and easily in all directions. Feel rooted, yet free to sway and bend softly. You can even close your eyes. Don’t forget to breathe! Like a meditation in gentle motion, simply be present as you move and sway. Try it for about 5 minutes and see how you feel…

At the end of a yoga class, we often chant the mantra “OM” or “AUM”. With a long exhalation, the sound of this vibration has the power to connect, to ground, to soothe, and to re-align energy. It is said to be a primordial sound or “the sound of the Universe”. Sound is another tool we can use to ground ourselves; even something as simple as humming can be therapeutic and soothing. Next time you have the chance to chant “OM”, find your voice, release the sound, sink into the silence following the vibration, and feel the inner resonance. As Richard Rosen from Yoga Journal writes,

“The silence is the crown of the mantra; it is described in the Maitri Upanishad as ‘tranquil, soundless, fearless, sorrowless, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, immovable, immortal, unshaken, enduring’.”

Now nothing can be more grounding than that. OM!

 

Join me on the mat at one of my classes this fall! Grounding awaits…

 

 

Welcome to Fall Classes with Anne

Well here we are mid-September already. The flowers in my backyard are still blooming, not ready to let go of summer just yet. Join me on the mat to transition into autumn with mindful movement, expanded breath, guided meditation, and sustenance for the soul!

    • Morning classes are underway in Manotick at Denise Smith Dance Studio, on Sundays (YIN), Tuesdays (HATHA), and Thursdays (YIN) from 9:15 am – 10:15 am. Click here for details. Note there are no classes on the following dates: Thu. Sept. 26, Sun. Sept. 29, Sun. Oct. 20, Sun. Nov. 17.
    • Fall session of Yoga-Pilates at NCAC has begun and the class is full! Registration is on for the Winter session so register soon. More info at https://ottawa.ca/en/recreation-parks-and-culture/recreation-programs. 
    • Inner Work Day Mini-Retreats are filling up! Click here for details. (UPDATE: The mini retreats are now full. More offerings coming in 2020!)

Recently I spent some time with my beloved teacher, Yogrishi Vishvketu (https://akhandayoga.com/) and he reminded me of the importance of honour. Honour for our ancestors, honour for our teachers and those who inspire us, and honour for this planet, this life, this Universe in which we are blessed to experience LIFE. To honour means “to hold in great respect or high esteem”. When I reflected more on that, it made me feel a deep sense of gratitude for YOU…those of you who practice with me, follow me, and open your hearts to my recounting of the teachings of this beautiful path of yoga. I honour YOU. My task is to serve and I look forward to sharing space with you for another season of YOGA!

YOGA with Anne this Fall 2019

Wow this summer is sailing by! Just a few weeks left then back to class, back to work, back to routine. Hope to see you this fall at one of my classes (see summary below). For detailed class info, click HERE.

  1. YOGA-PILATES at Nepean Creative Arts Centre – registration opens Aug. 14 at 9 pm online, Aug. 15 in person at any City of Ottawa client service centre. Classes begin Wed. Sept. 18.
  2. MANOTICK MORNING YOGA CLASSES at Denise Smith Dance Studio – Classes begin Sept. 8. Sundays (YIN), Tuesdays (HATHA), Thursdays (YIN). All classes are an hour from 9:15 – 10:15 am. Click HERE for full details and please take note of the dates on which there are no classes (Sept. 26, Sept. 29, Oct. 20, Nov. 17).
  3. AUTUMN YOGA RETREAT FOR WOMEN at Shanti Retreat on Wolfe Island – a few spots available for this annual extended weekend retreat Sept. 26-29. Click HERE for info.
  4. MINI-RETREATS at Misiwe Ni Relations Healing Lodge – save the dates for Sun. Oct. 27 and Sun. Nov. 24. More info to come this September.

Get your feet in the grass, your face to the sun, and smile as you take in these last weeks of summer!

Namaste…

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!

Yoga this Spring 2018 with Anne

Greetings and salutations! It feels like Spring is so close and I’m sure we are all more than ready to come out of hibernation after this long cold winter! Here are some things to look forward to:

1. The spring session of my Manotick classes starts Tue. Apr. 3 with Hatha Yoga at Denise Smith Dance Studio. Last class of the winter session is Thu. Mar. 15, then we are off until after Easter. Check back to this site for ongoing updates.

2. Registration for the spring session of Yoga-Pilates at Nepean Creative Arts Centre (Wednesdays at 9:45 – 11:00 am starting Apr. 4)) is now open, online and in person. See www.ottawa.ca under “Register for Recreation”. If you can’t get in to my class, consider a new Yoga-Pilates class on Mondays at 9:30 – 10:45 am taught by Sandra (the gal who subbed for me) starting Apr. 9. This is not in the recreation guide, but to register use barcode 1174804 or call 613-596-5783 for more info.

3. Join me for an afternoon yoga workshop, “JOURNEY THROUGH THE KOSHAS”, on Sun. Apr. 8 at Empower Me Yoga on Carling Ave. from 1 – 5 pm. Part lecture, part practice – we will review a timeline of the history of yoga and its roots, learn about the five koshas or “sheaths” of being, then experience the depth and beauty of an extended “Five Koshas Class”. To register, see www.empowermeyoga.com under “Events”.

4. Can’t make it to yoga? How about another option? Join Caroline Chapman for an hour of fun mindful movement with NIA – a combination of dance, martial arts, and mindfulnessShe’s offering sessions at Manotick United Church and Denise Smith Dance Studio. See this link for more info: https://nianow.com/caroline-chapman.

5. SAVE THE DATE! Inner Work Day Yoga Retreat – “Serenity in the City”

Sun. Jun. 24, 2018, at the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata. An urban retreat in the heart of Ottawa’s high tech district! Perfect way to unplug for a day with yoga, meditation, and nature walks along the trails surrounding the Marshes Golf Course…More details to come after Easter.

6. SAVE THE DATE! Autumn Yoga Retreat for Women – “Body, Mind, Spirit – Aligned”

Sept. 27-30, 2018, at Shanti Retreat on Wolfe Island. More details to come after Easter.

May this month go out like a lamb just the way it came in! Namaste and see you on the mat…

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!

 

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