April 2010 - Issue 41
I have a favour to ask of
you. I have inadvertently deleted my March 2010
newsletter. If, by chance, you have kept a copy in your
files, I would be ever so grateful if you could email me a copy.
Spring classes begin this month. We're excited to be
offering some new classes, new instructors, and new locations.
Find them at
I hope some of you took the opportunity of checking out
www.FitDeck.com. These special playing cards allow you to
design your own fitness workout and make it different every
time. Affordable and fun, it's worth having a look.
I'm also experiencing a new kind of sitting stool. It's
great for people who have difficulty sitting on the floor.
I'll be bringing it to classes I teach and letting people try
it. But if you want, you can go to
www.freechair.net and have a look. It has some rocking
motion, so it allows you to find a sitting angle that's
comfortable while supporting the hips, pelvis and spine.
At the FreeChair website, you'll find the prices in Euros (sorry
free refers to the sitting style, not the price), but
as you go through the shopping cart, you can change it to
Canadian Dollars. The price is $69.99 Canadian, plus $12
for shipping. You'll also be asked for a Reference Code.
Please put INTOYOGA.
If you love to
cycle around town, try our new Yoga for Cyclists classes offered
at Hastings community Center. If you suffer from anxiety
(which can pretty much relate to all of us in someway or
another), our new Yoga for Anxiety Relief classes at Mt Pleasant
Community Center may be a class you're interested in.
Tots and Baby Sign Language are a couple of new
classes being offer at Mt Pleasant Community Center and
Queensborough Community Centers.
I hope we'll see you this month in class.
Enjoy our April Newsletter.
Intro to Yoga Philosophy
Recipe - Potato and
Sweet Potato Torte
Nutritional Cleanse Seminars at Work
Benefits of Baby Yoga
We Want Your Feedback
Promote YOUR Business
Quips and Quotes
Find us on Twitter and Facebook
Your Contributions Welcome
Email A Friend
By Richard Rosen
The Yoga Journal
stillness is as much a state of mind as a lack of movement.
of us don't spend much time thinking about the material nature
of human consciousness, but in classical yoga, consciousness is
at the heart of the practice. According to Patanjali's Yoga
Sutra, the so-called contents of our consciousness—perceptions,
thoughts, emotions, memories, fantasies, even dreams—have a kind
of material existence (though naturally, the matter is a lot
subtler than that of a tree or a rock). Furthermore, these
contents are in constant fluctuation. The word Patanjali uses in
sutra 1.2 to aptly describe this movement is vritti
(pronounced VRIT-tee), which means "to revolve" or "to whirl
While we can't physically touch the
vrittis, or fluctuations of mind, we can easily experience them.
Close your eyes and, for a few minutes, direct your awareness
away from the outer world. If you're a contemplative person,
you've probably done this many times before. It's possible to
consciously step away from the contents of your mind and observe
them more or less "objectively," at least briefly.
Of course, even trained meditators
get swept up in the tumultuous vritti parade again and again.
That's because, says Patanjali, we don't simply have
these fluctuations, we unconsciously identify ourselves with
them—so closely that we become them and define ourselves
through them. This is our big mistake. Because the contents of
our consciousness are circumscribed in both time and space, we
also believe ourselves to be ephemeral, finite creatures cut off
from all other creatures around us and from the world at large.
This nagging inkling of impermanence, temporality, and
alienation is a source of great existential sorrow, which taints
everything we do. In fact, the contents of our minds are simply
passing fancies, mere ripples on the surface of the infinite
ocean of our consciousness. Our thoughts and feelings are no
more us than the waves are the ocean.
This raises a big question then,
maybe the biggest: Who are we really? Ask yourself: In the
little self-observation exercise above, who was observing the
contents? According to Patanjali, it's the true self, called the
Seer (drashtri), who is eternal, illimitable, unchanging,
and perpetually joyful (1.3). The Seer is a light source, as it
were, that shines on our world—including the contents of our
mind, or "consciousness"—but is in no way affected by or
attached to whatever happens in those worlds. It isn't hard to
contact the Seer anytime you like. But maintaining this contact
for more than a couple of minutes is a huge challenge,
especially when going about your worldly business outside a
formal meditation session.
But that's exactly what Patanjali
instructs us to do: permanently shift our identity orientation
away from the contents and onto the Seer. Yoga, as Patanjali
famously defines it, is the "restriction of the fluctuations of
consciousness." The practice begins by sitting and calming the
fluctuations of the body, breath, and senses, and then the more
elusive whirlings of consciousness.
In the stillness we create, we're
able to recognize the fallacy and unhealthiness of our limited
and self-limiting identity, and allow it to spontaneously fall
away. What remains, Patanjali concludes, is the self or the
Seer, abiding forever in its true essence.
Richard Rosen, who teaches in Oakland and Berkeley,
California, has been writing for Yoga Journal since the
Finding Your Elegance: A Yoga Retreat
Living From Your Truth Tour 2010
The English Inn, Victoria, BC
Apr 23 - 25, 2010
Heather Eschuk in partnership with The English Inn, are
excited to announce the first stop on the Living From Your
Truth Tour 2010, Finding Your Elegance: A Yoga Retreat.
Whether you are new to yoga or a seasoned yogi you can
transform your approach to yoga by living from your trugh.
Gain perspective on what is holding you back from
detoxifying the old, embracing change and living up to your
fullest potential. Be prepared to find your elegance.
*Price Includes 2 Night Stay, 2 Vegetarian Breakfasts, A
Dinner Buffet, 10 hours of yoga instruction, and communal
Ro register or for more information contact:
Explore Tantric Yoga with Rod Stryker
SUN, MOON and FIRE: AWAKENING THE
TRUE POWER OF YOGA!
South Okanagan Yoga Academy and Okanagan Yoga Essentials
A YOGA RETREAT IN NARAMATA with Rod Stryker
Explore Tantra Yoga Friday 6pm to Sunday 1pm June 11-13, 2010
For more information or to register go
Potato and Sweet Potato Torte
Layers of potatoes and sweet potatoes meld into an
impressive vegetable "cake" that forms a golden crust during
baking. Serve as a vegetarian centerpiece or with roast
poultry or pork.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed, washed (see Tip) and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 small), peeled and cut into
1 pound all-purpose potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold (2-4 medium),
peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1. Position oven rack at the lowest level; preheat to
450°F. Coat a 9 1/2-inch, deep-dish pie pan with cooking
spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper or foil and
lightly coat with cooking spray.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add leeks and thyme; cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5
minutes. (If necessary, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water to prevent
scorching.) Season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
3. Arrange half the sweet potato slices, slightly overlapping, in
the prepared pie pan and season with a little of the remaining salt
and pepper. Spread one-third of the leeks over the top. Arrange half
the potato slices over the leeks and season with salt and pepper.
Top with another third of the leeks. Layer the remaining sweet
potatoes, leeks and potatoes in the same manner. Cover the pan
tightly with foil.
4. Bake the torte until the vegetables are tender, about 45
minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the torte to loosen it.
Invert onto a serving plate. Remove paper or foil and serve.
The torte will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Reheat, covered, in a 350°f oven.
To clean leeks: Trim and discard coarse green tops. Split leeks
lengthwise with a sharp knife, beginning about 1 inch from the root
end and cutting toward the green end. Leave root end attached. Swish
leeks repeatedly in a basin of cold water to remove grit.
Alternatively, trim roots and ragged tops. Slice leeks and place in
plenty of water, then drain. Repeat a few times. The slices do not
absorb water or lose flavor and the process is faster.
Nutritional Value Per Serving:
3 g fat (0 g sat, 2 g mono)
0 mg cholesterol
30 g carbohydrate
4 g protein
4 g fiber
221 mg sodium
& Nutritional Cleanse Seminars
Have you achieved your New Year's Goals yet? Spring
has arrived. So if your answer is no, and your goal is better
health or weight loss, then perhaps it's time for a "Spring
Our nutritional cleanse systems offer rapid results, with little or
not cost. A combination of meal replacement shakes, regular
meals and a cleansing drink, can give your body the healthy look and
feel you've been striving for. It's easy to get started, just
firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 604.421.9872.
All health regimes should include a good dose of exercise.
Yoga or Pilates at work allows you to obtain that without having to
use precious "after hours" to head to the gym.
We have instructors available to suit your time - early
morning, lunch time, or after work. You choose. Clear a
room, bring a Yoga/Pilates mat and we'll be there!
If you want to look and feel better this year, what could
be easier than taking a break at work and moving into a state of
perfect bliss for 45 minutes once or twice a week?
Call 604-421-9872 or email
email@example.com. Visit our Corporate page on our website at
Benefits of Baby Yoga
by Sarah Matthews
Many brand-new mothers look for a gentle exercise class that
will not only help them ease their post-pregnancy bodies back
into shape, but will also improve their posture and flexibility
while giving them back some pre-baby physical confidence. But
finding quality childcare while they waltz off to the gym for an
hour or two is not always feasible - either practically or
Baby yoga classes are a fun way for both baby and
parent to interact.
Wouldn't it be great to find a class where both mother and
baby are welcome, one that actually encourages the child to
participate and thus facilitates parent-child bonding at the
same time? Well, mother and baby yoga classes are designed to do
just that. In fact, studies have shown that the more a tiny baby
is touched, the more secure and loved he or she feels. And the
more a woman gets back to her pre-baby shape after giving birth,
the better she feels as well.
Baby yoga, therefore, can be a win-win situation for
everyone. But if the thought of attending any class that begins
with the words "Mommy and Me" makes you want to retch, look away
now. However, if you have the stomach for a Mommy and Me baby
yoga class - and most new moms have big tummies indeed - then
this could be the perfect exercise course for you.
Baby Yoga Basics
Forcing two-month-old Arabella or tiny Tristan to do
complicated yoga poses might put you off, so think again. Baby
yoga is designed with both child and mom in mind, and aims to
have both perform safe, gentle exercises that are calming,
relaxing and stress-free. Neither parent nor child has to do
anything that is too difficult or beyond their abilities: the
goal is to go at a gentle, soothing pace, with lots of breaks
for feeding, sleeping or screaming.
Classes concentrate on breathing, meditation, stretching and
achieving basic yoga postures, which are designed to give new
moms inner balance and help them build up their strength after
they have given birth. Often the muscles used in childbirth are
the ones concentrated on the most, such as the pelvic floor
area, the shoulders and the upper back.
The idea is to prepare women for more intense yoga classes
once their children are a bit older - and to help the baby not
only sleep and eat better, but to feel better overall. Holding
your child as you perform the yoga exercises will help the time
go by quicker - and helping him or her to do some basic
postures, such as the knees to chest pose, can make them feel
more comfortable and calm as well.
What to Expect
Baby yoga classes usually take babies from age six to eight
weeks until they begin to crawl, depending on the class. Very
young infants are usually incorporated into the exercises
themselves, with the adults holding them or exercising over
them. The key is to follow your baby's lead: often smaller
babies sleep while the mother exercises; when they get a bit
older they can actually begin to participate.
Yoga is good for new mothers for a variety of reasons. It not
only increases flexibility, movement and the heart rate, all of
which are important for shedding that pesky baby weight, but it
also restores the alignment of the body, helping to put muscles,
tendons and ligaments back into place following the previous
nine months of pregnancy. Finally, it helps reduce stress, which
any new mother knows is an integral part of new motherhood.
Yoga followers say that even tiny children can perform basic
yoga postures (see above), which can help them sleep better,
digest their food better and be happier overall. "Physically,
one short yoga session is the equivalent of being carried and
touched all day. At the end of the day your baby will sleep more
deeply and healthfully," the It's a Mom's World website
"Developmentally, your baby's internal organs will be
stimulated, improving the function of the nervous and digestive
systems. Psychologically, the baby learns to cope better with
stress and enhances the mother-child bond which increases
communication between them.
"Yoga is a perfect way to spend quality time with your baby.
Babies' in-born love and physical need for movement and touch
are combined naturally in the practice of yoga movements,
positions and stretches. The pace is slow and concentrated,
which is perfect for the baby's ability to integrate and absorb.
Go yoga - and have fun with your baby!"
What to Bring
To get the most of your yoga session, make sure you have the
following on hand:
Yoga mat. Real yoga mats are best and they are fairy cheap -
get one at a good sporting goods store.
Comfortable clothes for you and your baby. This is not a time
to dress up little Tiffany Marie to show off to all the other
moms, nor is it the right place to squeeze yourself into
tight-fitting Spandex workout gear that you last fit into way
back in 1988. Wear something that you can move around in -
without worrying if it will split!
Drinks for both you and the baby. Don't ruin the moment by
allowing you or Junior to get dehydrated. Make sure you have
food - or a breast - on hand as well if Junior is likely to need
a feed during the yoga session.
Diapers. Unless your little genius is toilet-trained by six
months, take a few more with than you normally would. If you
expose Junior to the open air during a massage, he may wet
himself - and you don't want to be caught short.
Blankets. Sometimes babies fall asleep during yoga, which
gives their mothers time to have a work-out without any
interference. Make sure you bring either a blanket or something
equally comfortable to lie your baby down on should he or she
actually fall asleep. Don't waste the moment!
Baby yoga benefits both mother and child, with exercises
designed to help the adult become more flexible and better
balanced, while helping the baby digest food easier and sleep
better. The classes also help new moms bond better with their
babies, feel more confident as a mother and even make new
friends. Be warned: your little one might like the experience so
much that you'll soon find yourself signing up for toddler yoga
Sarah Matthews is a writer for
Local, a business directory and online advertising
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Have you experienced classes with us before? If so, we'd like
to hear from you. The good and the bad. Tell us what you
like. How have they improved your life? What keeps you
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kind). What can we improve and what would you like to see that
we're not providing? Email your comments to
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interested in creating more referrals for your business?
I am an
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Our events are
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in both personal and professional ways.
Consider joining our Heart Link Networking Group. You can find more
www.meetup.com/Burnaby-Heart-Link. Or simply register and
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Quips and QuotesThe
person who can live in the world without letting the world live in
him is the clever one. ~Zen saying
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