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!

 

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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…