I’m an adult who is sometimes scared of the dark. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a recurring dream which (thankfully) doesn’t occur that often. In my dream, I wake up in the exact spot I fell asleep, but I am in total darkness. It doesn’t matter if I fell asleep in the middle of the day to have a nap. When I wake up it is dark. I don’t realize at first that these are dreams. They are so vivid and lifelike, that I just think that I have simply woken from my slumber. It isn’t the actual darkness that scares me, however. In these dreams I am paralyzed - I can’t move, I can’t speak and I feel powerless. At first, I’m confused. My confusion soon turns to fear and then the realization that I am sleeping and if I can just wake up, I will be safe. Unfortunately, the more I try to move and the more I try to use my voice, the deeper into the dream I go and the more difficult it is to wake myself up. Because of these dreams, darkness (for me) has become associated with fear, uncertainty and powerlessness.
December 21, 2015
December 14, 2015
Another thing that is important for me to bring into the classes I teach is the energetic system of the body. My background is in Chakra Yoga and when I plan classes, I often have some kind of energy line or centre that I am thinking of when I put my sequences together. Reiki is a modality that works on increasing the energy flow within the body to help with healing and vitality.
If you are curious or are interested in either of these natural therapies, I will be at Yoga You4ia's 3rd Year Anniversary Party on January 2 offering FREE 15 minute sample sessions of Thai Yoga Massage or Reiki. First come, first served. There will be a sign up sheet at the studio on that day. Even if you miss me, there will be other freebies including massages, classes and food! It's shaping up to be a great day!!
If you have further questions or want to see the list of vendors and events, feel free to check out the Yoga You4ia 3rd Year Anniversary Facebook page
December 06, 2015
It's that time of year again. Another changing of the seasons. Come help us celebrate with 108 sun salutations. I was just talking to someone today who was nervous to come to her first 108 sun salute event in September. She is super stoked to do it again. Whether you have done this practice before, or it is your first time it is always a new experience. Need more details? Connect with me to find out more.
December 05, 2015
I'm back, unjetlagged and ready to bring the spirit of oz to the mat. Click 'My Calendar' to see the latest (and continuing to be updated) schedule of where/what/when I'll be teaching. Looking forward to seeing you on our mats!
November 09, 2015
I'll be away for a few weeks to "practice" getting out of my comfort zone (and escaping winter for a bit longer in the process!) Chakra classes at Garden of Breathin will be covered by the amazing Ty. Though I won't be there, there are still amazing teachers and wonderful classes going on at Yoga You4ia and Blue Butterfly. I will be back around the end of the month or beginning of December - because when you live outside the comfort zone, you don't have set dates ; )
My schedule will be posted when I return. See you on our mates when I get back!
October 28, 2015
This week we are arriving at the top step in our chakra stairway. Just because it is at the top, however, does not mean it is any more important than all the other steps that came before it. We must be rooted and grounded in our bodies (root chakra) before we can start to interpret our emotions (sacral chakra) which will lead us to our passion and give us clarity on the direction we want to go (solar plexus chakra). Once we have set our sights on our path, we can make decisions and lead with our heart (heart chakra) while we share our dreams (throat chakra) with those around us becoming even clearer on developing a picture in our mind (third eye) of where exactly we want to be. The 7th chakra is what brings it all together. It’s almost like hindsight. We now know exactly why things happened the way they did and why we had to go through certain experiences on our journey.
October 20, 2015
On the heels of a federal election campaign and the beginning of the formation of a new government in Canada, we move our focus this week to the third eye chakra. This 6th chakra, also known as Ajna (to perceive and command) is all about perception. Perception makes all the difference in how we form our reality. We can see this by using the simple “is the glass half empty or half full” idiom. Two people are seeing the same thing – a glass with water, but one person chooses to see the abundance in the scene, while the other chooses to see the lack. One picture can create two different perceptions that result in two very different realities. So it is with the current
election results, but instead of two options/perceptions, you can choose to
election results, but instead of two options/perceptions, you can choose to
October 13, 2015
From the love of the heart, we move our focus this week to the throat chakra. The throat chakra, or Vishuddha (purification) is the 5th step in our chakra ladder. This chakra is in charge of communication – external communication and how we express our ideas, but also (and maybe more importantly) our internal communication and how we talk to ourselves or how we receive our ideas that we want to express out and share with the world.
Vishuddha is located at the throat, which is the narrowest part of our body along the spine. This chakra is often seen as a gateway or doorway to our upper more spiritual chakras. The element associated with this chakra is ether. No one can really
October 05, 2015
What better way to get ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend then by focusing on the heart chakra. The heart chakra, also known as Anahata (centre of unstruck sound) is the 4th of the 7 major chakras, so it is the midpoint between the outer, physical reality of the lower chakras and the inner, other realms of the upper chakras. This chakra illustrates the importance of balance and how both sides of any coin are important. The yantra (symbol) for Anahata is a triangle and an inverted triangle intersecting to form a six-pointed star. The upright triangle points up towards the higher chakras and the inverted triangle points down towards the lower chakras with the heart chakra located in the center. It’s important to lift up and awaken to higher consciousness and spirituality, but it’s just as important to root down and stay firmly grounded to the earth and the physical reality we came here to experience.
September 28, 2015
This week we’re bringing our attention to the third chakra which is also referred to as the solar plexus chakra or Manipura (lustrous gem). Manipura is that shiny core of our being where our true power resides. It’s about having the courage to trust our gut and follow our own instincts because we know that this internal knowing is more valuable than any external validation we may receive. This chakra addresses self-perception issues such as personal power, inner drive or willpower. It is associated with the energetic, dynamic, transformative element of fire. So, manipura is about finding that spark of passion within us that makes us want to move forward and do what we need to do to reach our goals or dreams. When the 3rd chakra is out of balance, we may have poor self-esteem, be overly critical of others, be overly nervous, or we could be dominating, aggressive and extremely competitive
September 25, 2015
September 21, 2015
This week is second chakra week. The second chakra is also known as the sacral chakra or Swadhistana (the dwelling place of the self). The element associated with swadhistana is water. Water is fluid, flowing, light, moldable, and is often associated with emotions. While the root chakra was more concerned with the physical body, the sacral chakra is more focused on the emotional body. We want our emotions - ALL of our emotions - to flow through us like water. Unfortunately, many of us tend to repress or turn away from those emotions that we consider “bad” or uncomfortable. When we don’t allow these things to flow, we’re creating blockages in our emotional bodies, which can eventually affect us on a physical level. When our sacral chakra is out of balance, we may be fearful of change, either feel numb or feel overly emotional, be stiff or rigid physically or mentally, be unfocused and scattered, etc. Things are not moving and flowing and we feel stuck.
September 15, 2015
September 11, 2015
August 14, 2015
“You’re sooo quiet.” “You’re the quietest person I’ve ever met.” “Do you ever talk?” I’ve spent a lot of my life with comments or questions like this directed towards me. I realize now that people are simply stating the obvious. I tend to be a quieter person and have realized that’s the way I express myself. The ways I feel most comfortable and am most successful sharing myself are not necessarily verbally. But as a child, a teenager, a young adult and if I’m to be totally honest, sometimes still to this day, these comments felt hurtful and mean. I created the story that interpreted these comments as really meaning “there’s something wrong with you”, “you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do” and “you’re not good enough!!” Needless to say, the issue of my verbal communication skills has been a huge trigger for me throughout my life.
June 25, 2015
We've come to the end of our chakra journey together - for now : ) The series of chakra classes will be taking a break over the summer. It's time for you to go out and shine your light and go outside to enjoy the abundance of light and warmth!! I will still be teaching various flow, gentle, yin and possibly some outdoor pop up classes over the next couple of months, so keep checking back either here or on the Facebook page to see my schedule.
June 18, 2015
Do you know your magnificence? Do you know how brilliant you really are? Can you feel that bright light shining within you? These are the things that we touch upon as we make our way up to the 7th or the crown chakra. The crown chakra is a bit different than our other centers as it is the first one that is not located within our bodies. So, this chakra moves beyond form and is not so much about the physical. It’s about awareness. Knowing and feeling that “thing” . . . that spark that is in everyone and everything – it’s the very essence of our being.
June 11, 2015
We’ve come to a place in our journey where turning inwards is the key. Last time with the throat chakra, we spent part of our time turning in to deeply listen to what our heart had to say, and the other part expressing out this truth that we learned. With the third eye chakra we get ready to settle in and discover our inner world. While the throat chakra was about finding our inner sounds, the third eye is more about inner seeing and the pictures, colors, visions, images, words, etc that are created in our mind. Our mind is what is focused on in this energy center. While the other chakras worked in some way with the body and were associated with various body parts or organs, the third eye starts to move away from the physical and is all about the workings of the mind. Working with our thoughts (and trying to sort through the thoughts that are actually ours and those that come from other people) and creating a vision of what we want our life to look like (instead of allowing these pictures to develop unconsciously) is what the third eye chakra is all about.
June 04, 2015
As we learned last time, the heart chakra is where all our answers to any question we may have lie. The fifth chakra, or throat chakra is about accessing this information. It’s the place where we discover what is on the inside, so we can express it out to the outside world. The throat chakra is in charge of communication, and often when we think about communication, we are focused on the words we are expressing out. But, a large part of this energy center is being still and silent and listening deeply to weed through the voices and sounds that are inside us to discover which ones are truly ours (our own personal truth) and which ones have been put in there by other people. The following are a few ways to feed our throat chakra in order to help us find that stillness and allow us to access our inner sounds.
May 28, 2015
From the dynamic, exciting, sometimes intense fire element of the solar plexus (3rd) chakra, we move up to the more gentle and flowing air element of the heart chakra. This 4th chakra is where we can find all of our answers. It’s that place inside us that knows everything we need to know. It’s the best teacher we will ever have (the Guru Haridya Manas (inner teacher) chakra lies within the heart chakra), and contains the only voice we should work on hearing and following. It’s the bridge between our three lower chakras (the physical world and feelings) and our three upper chakras (the unseen world and thoughts). So, our heart chakra is that place of perfect balance or the union between our feelings and thoughts and our conscious and subconscious minds.
May 21, 2015
From earth to water we move to the element of fire. We spent time in the second (sacral) chakra having experiences, letting our emotions flow and figuring out what it is we like and don’t like. Now that we have a clearer picture of what it is we want, it’s time to go for it. This is what the third (solar plexus) chakra is all about.
Our solar plexus chakra is our “get up and go” center. It’s about recognizing our passions and expressing these passions in our own unique way. This third chakra is about getting things done –not allowing ourselves to procrastinate and make excuses anymore. The fire element is about transformation – becoming either who we want to be, or who we know we can become – and moving forward. So what are some ways we can feed and fuel this fire and start to move forward?
May 13, 2015
May 11, 2015
From the power, strength and stability of the first (root) chakra, we move up to the more fluid, flowing and soft second (sacral) chakra. The root chakra allowed us to build a strong foundation. We became grounded and solid in order to move forward, knowing that even if we falter we will have this strong support to hold us up. Now that we have this base, we can move towards figuring out what we want from our lives. The key to discovering what makes us shine and lights us up is through our emotions.
The sacral chakra is all about our emotional bodies. We need to feel and experience things in our lives in order to realize what we like, what we don’t like, what we want or what we don’t want. A major challenge for us in our society is how we are taught to deal with these emotions and what experiences we are “encouraged” to have.
May 04, 2015
The root chakra largely focuses on our physical body and the things that contribute to our physical experience on this planet. We can sometimes get a bit caught up in wanting to reach the higher chakras where we have the potential to have “mystical, psychic” experiences, that we glaze past the lower chakras in a rush to learn about how we can reach these heightened states of awareness. I won’t lie when
April 30, 2015
I am a Filipina Mestiza which is a term used in the Philippines to describe someone who is a mix of Filipino and another ancestry. Growing up in a very small town, I wasn’t surrounded by the Philippine culture very much, but I did have enough exposure to know that food and feeding people is extremely important. I couldn’t leave my aunt’s house without having at least three servings of food, and still being “encouraged” to eat more. Now you might be asking yourself . . . . what exactly does this story have to do with yoga?
April 18, 2015
February 28, 2015
"The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure." Joseph Campbell
I'm not really going fishing . . . . . that's not my thing! I am "closing up shop" for a brief period of time though as I will be going on retreat in Guatemala. I learned about this place a few years ago, and I keep finding different connections that are coming up for me. Now feels like the time to go, so I am saying YES to this adventure : )
I hope to come back with some new offerings and things to share and already have ideas floating around about new classes, products and treatments that will be available on my return. I plan to resume teaching sometime in the next 1.5-2 months, so check back then to see what is shaking! Until we meet again . . . . . . shine on!!
February 20, 2015
“He who knows others is wise, but he who knows himself is enlightened” Lao Tzu
As mentioned in the last post, our society and culture seems to be based on the concept that someone or something outside of ourselves knows what is best for us. We rely on our society to tell us how to behave, on our government to tell us what rules we should follow, on our religion to tell us how to be moral, on corporations to tell us what to buy, on our doctors to tell us what medical treatment we should follow, on our friends and family to tell us what path we should take in life, etc. I’m not proposing that we chuck everything and allow a free for all. What I’m trying to illustrate is how maybe the decisions we think we are making for ourselves are actually decisions that are based on how we are told we “should” be living. Have we really taken the time to get to know ourselves, to know who we are and what is best for us? Or, is it easier to let those things and people outside of us tell us who we are and answer these questions for us?
February 17, 2015
“It is not so much a matter of trying to get somewhere as it is removing the blocks to seeing that we are already there. The goal is not to climb to the crown chakra as quickly as we can, thinking our journey comes to an end in some conceptual enlightenment, but to be as conscious as possible about the entire journey – to bring as much depth and wisdom as we can to each and every level” Anodea Judith
Coming up past the crown of the head, we arrive at one end point of our chakra journey. We reach up to find the crown chakra. I won’t refer to it as the end as our energies are continually moving up and down, around and through all of our chakras in continual motion and action. We can never truly arrive as the minute we feel that we have reached a destination, or learned a lesson or acquired some knowledge, we come to a new beginning with so many more areas to explore.
February 16, 2015
February 12, 2015
“Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true”, Buddha
We have numerous thoughts running through our heads over the course of a day. Many of these unconscious thoughts are either based on beliefs that have been passed to us from outside sources (family, friends, media, etc.), or they are thoughts that are driven by fear. One of the major hurdles of working with the third eye chakra is sorting through these thoughts, pictures and images we’ve created in our heads and figuring out . . . . which of these things do I truly believe based on my experience and which of these things are there because someone else has put them there?
February 09, 2015
Continuing along our chakra journey, we come to the last of the chakras that lie within the physical body (the crown chakra rests above us, but . . . . you’ll learn about that next week). Making our way up this rainbow staircase, the physical becomes less important and now we are more focused on working with our mind and inner world. This sixth chakra or third eye chakra is located between the eyebrows and is known as the “command center” as it is here where we work on learning how to master our minds – the center that is in control of everything. Last week with the throat chakra, we focused on the sounds within our inner world. Here at the third eye, we enter into the world of intuition, clairvoyance, imagination and visualization. We work on what we can see on the inside.
February 05, 2015
Many people carry tension in their neck, shoulders, jaw or all of the above. This is the domain of Vishuddha or the throat chakra. Why is this such a problem area for most of us? “Our modern world bombards us with dissonance – vibrations that we tune out of our conscious mind while our body and nervous system continue to endure” Anodea Judith. Not only are we surrounded by constant, insignificant noise on the outside, but we are encouraged from a young age to ignore the very thing on the inside that we should be listening for – our inner voice. We are trained to “fit in,” avoid being different, and to look outside of ourselves for not only the causes of problems in our lives, but also to find the solutions. As we are growing up, we are taught to believe that “somebody/something” else knows what is best for our lives. We are not taught to trust our own internal wisdom.
February 02, 2015
The next stop on our chakra journey brings us to the throat chakra. While the heart chakra was a bridge between our earthly connections and our divine world, the throat is a gateway between our inner world and our outer world. By entering and going through this gate, we enter into “the symbolic world of the mind. Words, images, and thoughts . . . “ Anodea Judith become most important here for us. It’s more about intangible things and concepts that may be more difficult for us to grasp, yet can have the biggest impact on the course of our lives.
January 30, 2015
January 26, 2015
Halfway up our chakra journey, we come to the heart chakra, which is located here at our hearts in the center of our chests. This energy center is all about love, compassion, forgiveness and joy. It is our ability to both give and receive love in order to feel a connection to ourselves as well as those around us. Ultimately, this connection allows us to come to the realization that we are all one. The Sanskrit term for this energy center is Anahata, which means "unstruck sound." It refers to that sound that is reserved for only us to hear. It is our unique vibration, where if we are silent and really take the time to listen to our hearts, we will hear it and hopefully follow its wisdom and guidance.
January 22, 2015
The third chakra or Manipura, is where our ego identity is developed. If we are strong in this energy center, most likely we have a clear vision or purpose for our lives. We’ve traveled through the root chakra developing our foundation and support system, been through the emotional turmoil of the sacral chakra to identify our likes, what feels good and starting to see who we are, so now it is time for us to express out to the world this uniqueness that we are starting to discover.
January 19, 2015
Continuing the journey along our spine, we come to the third chakra. This energy center is located around the solar plexus area, which is above our stomach and just below our chest. Also known as the solar plexus chakra, the Sanskrit name for this third chakra is Manipura, which means "lustrous gem" It is focused largely on the self, and its many aspects (self-esteem, self-worth, self-perception, ego, etc.). It is where we come to recognize our true power and direct our activities, using this power, towards a higher purpose.
January 15, 2015
As we discussed in the first chakra, every chakra has a basic right – something that we are all entitled to as human beings. The basic right for the second chakra is The Right to Feel. “A corollary of this right is The Right to Want, since if we cannot feel, it is very difficult to know what we want”, Anodea Judith.During the past week in classes, I have been encouraging all of you to let your emotions come up, feel them and let them go.
January 12, 2015
Our second stop along our chakra journey finds us at the sacral chakra located in our lower belly just below our navel. The Sanskrit name for this energy center is Swadhistana which means "one's own abode". It’s our own personal home, the place where we feel comfortable and at ease. It is also where our personal impressions and habits from past experiences are stored. Swadhistana is often referred to as the pleasure centre as it is asking us to experience all of the joy and abundance in our lives. Hopefully after our work with the root chakra last week we are starting to realize how much we have and how strong our foundation is that we’ve created around us.
January 09, 2015
“The quickest way to minimize the divine within
is to interfere with its basic rights”
Each of the chakras in the chakra system has a basic right – something that we are all entitled to as human beings on this earth. Looking at these rights and reflecting on how we feel about them gives us a good indication of what is going on with that particular chakra in our body. The basic right for the first chakra is The Right to Be. Do we feel that we have the right to be on this planet, to exist, to take up space, be ourselves and do what we came here to do? To go along with this is The Right to Have. Do we feel that we have the right to have not only the things that we need to survive, but also the things that we would like to have in order to thrive? This is a very basic concept and something that we are all entitled to, but many of us have problems or issues in this area. Take some time now or at some point throughout the day to really sit with these questions. Do I feel worthy of being here? Do I fully participate in my life, or do I tend to hold back? Do I apologize for being who I am? Do I feel like I need to justify my existence? Am I comfortable with the things that I have, or do I feel like I don’t have enough? By looking at how we feel about these rights we can recognize how healthy this energy center is. If we feel we are not claiming these rights in our life, we most likely have a block in this chakra. An important part of healing in this area is reclaiming these rights.
January 06, 2015
Our journey through the chakra system begins at the Root Chakra. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Muladhara meaning “root support”, so it is the foundation for the entire chakra system as well as our connection to our physical body. Each chakra has a number of different qualities and characteristics. The root chakra is located at the base of the spine. The color for this chakra is red (having the longest wavelength and slowest vibration), and the element for this center is earth. So, it is in charge of the very solid, tangible aspects of our being. It governs over the solid things in our bodies such as bones, muscles, legs and feet. The root chakra deals with how we interact with our physical existence through things such as our body, home, finances, work, environment, etc.
January 03, 2015
I taught a couple of chakra introduction classes today in order to celebrate a few things happening at different studios, but also as a way to promote and kick off my various chakra series that are starting up this week. I was asked by one student “so . . . . . what is a chakra?” Valid question when coming to a chakra yoga class, but it made me realize that I have been so immersed in learning about the chakra system over the past few years, that I forgot there was a time when I also had no idea. Because I had been a yoga student for so many years, I had come across the word before, but didn’t really know what the concept was. I remember for the first little while all I could think about when I heard the word “Chakra” was “Chaka Khan” (if you’re also a child of the ‘80’s, you know what I’m talking about!)
January 01, 2015
Welcome 2015 and welcome to my online space - one of my projects for the new year. I stopped making New Year's resolutions a few years ago during a particularly tough emotional time where I looked back and realized I was setting resolutions based on what I thought I "should" be accomplishing. When I got to the end of the year, I didn't have these things and it made me feel like somewhat of a failure. I realize now that I wasn't basing my goals on what it was I truly wanted, and as I didn't really know at the time what it was I really wanted for my life, I came up with a word to set the tone for my year. This seemed to work for me, and I've been coming up with words or phrases for each upcoming year ever since. It wasn't until now that I realize that I was coming up with my own personal mantra, or intention, for the year.