December 31, 2016

Thank You 2016

One of my practices over the last few years has been to choose a word or phrase that I would either like to see for the coming year or I just feel is appropriate for whatever reason.  This tradition for me started at the end of 2012 which was a particularly rough year for me.  At that time, I was more than happy to say goodbye to a year that had caused a lot of pain, confusion and had me questioning a lot of things about myself and about my life.  It was from this place of feeling stuck and trapped that I started a few practices that have stuck with me over these years.  The first was a 5 year journal which I was hoping would help me to see that even if things appeared to be the same, they really did in fact change.  The second, within this journal, was a word for the year.  In 2012 I let go of making resolutions and instead just threw out a word/phrase of what general feeling or mood I hoped the year would bring.  I'm not sure if I did this every year, but this year I totally forgot about this word until today as I start to make my way to the end of my journal.  

November 03, 2016

Yoga's My Thang

As many of you know by now, I will be away in Asia for the next couple of months. As of today,

October 30, 2016

The 7th Chakra

mandala courtesy Sacred Centers, Anodea Judith
The first energy centre located outside the physical body – the crown chakra – is associated with awareness and consciousness.  Though it takes being aware of the physical body to reach this level, the 7th chakra is not as concerned with the physical.  In numerology, the number 7 is the number of trust, devotion and a deeper connection to ourselves and to the life force . . . . all qualities of the crown chakra.  Working with this energy centre is about trusting what you know, searching for truth, both about yourself and about existence in general, and  becoming aware that reality is often hidden behind illusions.  Getting past these illusions is often the key.

“Sahasrara” is the Sanskrit term assigned to this energy centre, and it refers to the one thousand petal lotus flower.  This flower is a spiritual symbol in many traditions and often represents spiritual potential.  The lotus flower grows through dirty, muddy water and experiences much of its growth before it rises out of the muck to become a magnificent flower.  Likewise on our path to awareness, we go through heavy, dark times in order to become fully conscious of our light and magnificence.  This week in class, we'll draw our attention to this space that sits just above our head, and the potential that we hold physically through inversions.  For more information and work with the crown chakra, continue reading below.

October 23, 2016

Free Your Mind

Mandala made by David Goulet of Pyramid Yoga Center
The 6th chakra, or third eye chakra, is associated with the element of the mind.  As we move higher up, the work is less about the physical and more about the mental and internal world.  The third eye chakra is about perception, with the verb or phrase associated with this chakra being “I see.”  This energy centre relates to seeing what is happening in our physical reality, but also being aware and seeing what is happening within our inner landscape.

“Ajna” is the Sanskrit term that refers to this energy centre, and loosely translated it means to perceive and command.  This centre is activated and strong when the two hemispheres of our brain are both used, valued and allowed to work in harmony.  The left, logical, analytical side is used to become aware of facts, logistics and to be a witness to the physical.  It is the “perceive” part of the equation.  The right, intuitive, imaginative side is used to assess our feelings and access our intuition to become clear on where we want to go.  It creates a picture and a “command” of what direction to follow.  This week in classes, we’ll be focusing on observing how the different sides of our body and mind work and simply witnessing our dualistic nature.  For more ways to work with the third eye centre, keep reading below. 

October 16, 2016

Express Yourself

Earth, water, fire, and air are elements that most of us are familiar with.  The 5th chakra, or the throat chakra is associated with the element of ether.   Ether is related to the concept of vibrations and is said to be the stuff that angels are made of.  While the heart chakra acted as a bridge between the tangible and intangible, the throat chakra tends to act as a gateway from the physical world to that of the spiritual.

In Sanskrit, the throat chakra is referred to as “Vishuddha” which loosely translated means to purify.  It is represented by the colour sky blue and is located at the neck or throat.  When working with this energy centre, it is largely about communication and expression.  What do you say?  What do you hear?  Can you purify your thoughts and recognize what thoughts are truly yours and what thoughts came from elsewhere?  When you express yourself, are you sharing what is true to you, or are you expressing what you think others want to hear?  Do you truly listen to what others say to you and what you say to yourself, or are you filtering the information and perceiving it from a certain slanted point of view?  Lots of heavy work and soul searching comes along when focusing on this throat chakra! 

October 02, 2016

Lovely Little Brain

We’ve moved from earth to water to fire and now to air. We make our way from the tangible to the intangible. Air will be the focus for all of my classes this week. Air is the element associated with the heart chakra or Anahata. Anahata loosely translates as “centre of unstruck sound.” It is our own unique vibration that emanates from our heart, which coincidently is the physical location in the body for the air element. The area of the heart, the chest and the lungs represents air in our body - the lungs which we use to breath in oxygen, and the heart which has the power to produce a light, airy quality in our body, mind and spirit. It is our heart that allows us to connect to such intangible things as our genuine and authentic thoughts. Due to relatively recent research, the heart is beginning to be referred to as the little brain. It was mostly believed up until this point that the mind was what controlled the brain, when in actuality the heart has it’s own ability to learn, remember and act independently of the brain.  In fact, the heart is being shown to send more information to the brain on a daily basis, than the brain sends to the heart. The air element is the element that represents things such as possibilities, inspiration, joy, and freedom. What better way to achieve these things than by allowing ourselves to be led by the heart. This week we will focus on feeling lighter by taking those amazingly deep, full breaths, and opening up our hearts in order to access the wisdom of our little brain. See below for further ways to work with this chakra.

September 25, 2016

Slow Burn

Moving from earth to water to fire. All of my classes this week will be focused on the element of fire and the third chakra. Physically, the area of the body associated with this chakra and element is the core. Manipura, or the solar plexus chakra, is very much about passion, determination and personal power.  Manipura loosely translates as “city of jewels,” and it is where our self-confidence, will power and clarity reside. It is the core where we build up our heat and where our strength, both physical and mental, radiate out from. There’s sometimes this misconception with the element of fire that in order to build heat and strength, we need to be continually moving at a quick, intense pace. Though this type of momentum does serve a purpose in some situations, it is ultimately unsustainable. True power often resides in going slowly, becoming focused and attaining true clarity. Even as we slow down, we still build heat and strength, and in fact often slowing down can be more intense and challenging both physically and mentally. So, focus this week will be on activating the core of the body, but also on slowing EVERYTHING down to build and maintain that heat, fire, light and personal power within the body and mind. Join me this week to help fan your flames and/or use the following techniques to build up your fire and shine your light.         

September 18, 2016

Feel Flows

This week we're moving away from the solidity of the earth element to the flowing, fluidity of the water element.  All of my classes this week will focus with the area of the body associated with the water element . . the hips and pelvis.  The energetic centre or chakra associated with this element and body part is Swadhisthana or the sacral chakra.  Swadhisthana loosely translates as "one's own abode."  It's where we feel most comfortable in our own skin.  It is often also referred to as the pleasure centre.  Are you not happiest when you can truly be who you are?  In order to get to this place, however, sometimes we have to work through those feelings and emotions that aren't so pleasant.  The hips and pelvis are commonly referred to as the junk drawer of the body where we store those emotions, experience or traumas that we can't deal with at the time, or we don't know what to do with.  This is were the water element comes in.  Using the breath and movement to help those things that are stuck to get moving or flowing until little by little we pick away at them, experience them and finally let them go.  Feeling the flow of all emotions, both those we label as pleasant as well as those that we associate with unpleasant, helps to create space and clear out that junk drawer.  Come see me sometime this week to get the body moving and flowing and/or use the techniques below to work on your own specifically with this energy centre.

September 11, 2016

Get Grounded

This week, we’re directing our focus and practice to the first chakra or Muladhara.  Muladhara means root support and is about getting grounded, and feeling secure and supported where we are.  All of my classes this week will focus on this energy center through the earth element.  Whether you are able to come see me in class this week or not, I’m including below a couple of different practices that you can do to feel more grounded and centered.  As the chakra energy centers affect us both mentally and physically, let’s focus on different ways that we can reach both.

September 07, 2016

Why I Do What I Do

One of the first classes I taught when I began teaching yoga was as a substitue teacher for an Ashtanga based class.  Prior to this, I had only taught a couple of Chakra karma classes at this particular studio in order to get experience and see if this “yoga teaching thing” was something I really wanted to do. When one of the students arrived, she saw me sitting behind the desk, asked if I was subbing and then said “You’re not doing any of that chakra stuff, are you?” (clearly not wanting to be involved in practicing any of that “chakra stuff").  First, I assured her that for an Ashtanga based class I would be teaching Ashtanga and that I had a strong background in this style of yoga.  After she was satisfied and had headed into the studio, I started to feel a bit offended.  She had been to one of my karma classes, didn’t she see how wonderful and holistic this practice is?  As I reflected further, I realized she had every right to this opinion.  Hadn’t I been to classes that didn’t resonate for me?  Hadn’t I tried different practices and teachers that I didn’t enjoy for whatever reason?  I had finally found my path.  I was discovering more and more what brought me to life, but it didn’t mean that it was everyone else’s path or that it would have the same effect on them. 

August 15, 2016

Summer Arm Balance Workshop

Find some balance and have some fun!  Join Maegan and I as we walk you through some foundation and alignment to help you take flight!  Contact myself, Maegan or Yoga You4ia for further details and to register. See you then!

May 02, 2016

Metta in May

I'm back from my training with some time to integrate and ready to put into practice what I've learned. Metta is a Pali word which means loving-kindness and is at the heart of Thai Yoga Massage. I am dedicating the month of May to this concept and to developing my skills in this art. Thai Yoga Massage works to open the body and encourage relaxation through gentle stretches, rocking motions and pressing techniques that work along physical and energetic lines. Interested in giving it a try? Purchase a 1 hour Thai Yoga Massage or Reiki session at Yoga You4ia and receive a second session for free. Your session must be paid for within the month of May, but sessions can be booked at any point during the year. Feel free to indulge in both sessions, or spread the loving-kindness and give your free session to a friend. 

Go to the mind body app online ( or access through your phone (go to the Yoga You4ia link) to see available times and to book. Sessions are available most Mondays-Thursdays. Saturdays and alternate times are also available on request subject to availability. Feel free to email me at to work something out, or for further questions.

I'm also beginning to incorporate some Thai Yoga Massage into my Yin classes, so feel free to come to any of my Yang/Yin flow classes to get a sampling of what a session could involve. Check out my schedule to find out when and where I am teaching.

Enjoy your week!!
In Metta,

March 20, 2016

Spring Begins Now (or close to now!)

10:30PM tonight in Medicine Hat marks the vernal equinox .  At this time, the sun will cross the equator and shed equal amounts of light on each hemisphere.  All over the world, day and night will be balanced to about 12 hours for each.  However, nothing stays balanced forever and after this time, we in the Northern Hemisphere will begin our journey towards the light. 

The vernal or spring equinox is also known here in the North as the official beginning of spring. Sunrises begin to get earlier, sunsets begin to come later and temperatures begin to rise. Energetically, this is a time of new life, new beginnings, optimism and hope.  To add to the celebration, this year will be the earliest arrival of spring (or the earliest spring equinox) since 1896! Looking for ways to mark this special occasion?  Here's three suggestions:

February 26, 2016

This Is Where It Ends/Begins

The first chakra outside of the physical body is the 7th chakra (also referred to as the crown chakra).  The journey doesn’t end here as there are more energy centres located higher up above this chakra, so there is continual energy flow moving upwards as well as energy moving back down into the physical form.  Like all things that seemingly end, it’s not so much an ending as it is a transformation.  All endings result in new beginnings. 

The Sanskrit term for this chakra is Sahasrara.  It is the only one of the seven major chakras that is located outside of the body, so it is where it all comes together.  By working on bringing all of the lower six chakras into balance we can more easily gain access to the crown chakra.  By bringing balance and awareness to all of these energy centres (which results in harmony and understanding of our bodies, minds and different areas of life), we can see how truly wonderful and amazing we are.  This is THE goal of the crown chakra . . . to help us identify our light.     

February 17, 2016

Can I See Clearly

How do you see yourself?  How do you see your life?  These are questions that are asked when working with the 6th chakra energy center aka the third eye chakra aka Ajna.  Ajna, however, is not concerned with what you see on the outside with your physical eyes.  How do you see yourself and how do you see your life when you turn inward?  When there are no outer distractions, when there is no one or no outside influence to plant ideas of how you SHOULD look, feel, act or behave, how do you see your life?  How do you feel about yourself?

February 08, 2016

Tune in to Your Sounds

How do you communicate?  Are you direct?  Do you choose your words carefully?  What feeling do you try to convey?  Often when thinking about communication, we have a tendency to focus on the output - what was expressed out whether it was through words, music, illustration, etc.  We’re not as apt to think about the process.  A big part of communication, however, is the listening.  Do you really acknowledge what others are saying?  Do you recognize what you are saying to yourself?  Do you notice where these words that form in your head as thoughts come from (are they truly yours or are they coming from elsewhere)?  This area of communication is the realm of Vishuddha, which is also referred to as the throat or fifth chakra.

February 01, 2016

Glowing with Gratitude

This week is all about the heart – love, joy, compassion, kindness, connection,etc.  In other words all the good stuff in life!  This is the domain of the fourth chakra, aka the heart chakra, aka Anahata in Sanskrit.  The element for this energy is air, so physically it is fairly easy to connect with this chakra simply by breathing deeply and focusing on our breath.  Of course we will be doing breath work in class, but we’ll also work on expanding and opening up the chest.  How often do you let your heart lead?  Does it feel natural to allow your chest to open, or do you tend to hunch the shoulders and close off?

January 25, 2016

The Fire of Forward Momentum

I always find it interesting when doing these chakra journeys how much my life at the time seems to parallel the chakra that we’re working on.  This week we move to the third/solar plexus chakra or Manipura in Sanskrit.  The element for Manipura is fire, so it is a very dynamic centre.  It is about forward momentum and doing the things you need to do and taking the steps you need to take in order to get to where you want to go.  The element for this chakra is fire.  This month, but particularly this week for me has been about constant movement, one thing after the other . . . . go, go, go!!  I love what I do, and I enjoy being busy, but I am finding that I am starting to feel a bit off balance.

January 18, 2016

Flowing to Lightness

The second/sacral chakra, or Swadhisthana in Sanskrit, is about movement and flow.  It’s easy to physically experience this flow within our yoga practice especially with vinyasa flow classes.  Part of the purpose of flowing through vinyasas at various points throughout the practice is to link movement to breath, but also as a way to release stuck or stagnant energy (physical, mental or emotional) that is making it’s way up to the surface as we move.  Getting things up and out, moving and flowing so it doesn’t become stuck or stagnant is the domain of this second chakra.

January 11, 2016

Base Building

Another round of Chakra classes starting this week to bring in this new year.  One of the things I love about the Chakra system is how incredibly in-depth and varied it is.  No matter how many times I go through it, something new always seems to come up for me.  It has been no different this time around. 

We're starting this week with the root chakra.  The root chakra, or Muladhara in Sanskrit, is about building a strong foundation. So, it involves things like strengthening our bodies which is our foundation in this reality, examining the foundation on which we base our thoughts and habits or doing things to ensure we feel secure in our lives (a place to live, finances to support us, food to eat, etc.)  It’s an energy centre that is very much involved in the physical. 

January 10, 2016

Now Available

Now available at Yoga You4ia . . . . .

1/2 hour Reiki treatments ($45)

1 hour Reiki or Thai Yoga Massage/Reiki treatments ($65)

Schedules for January, February and beginning of March can be seen and appointments can be booked directly from your phone by downloading the Mind Body Connect App

Feel free to contact me for further information or questions.