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March 2010
- Issue 40

Well, Olympics have come and gone.  I hope you had a chance to enjoy yourself during those hectic 18 days. 

I'm always looking for new things to do with Yoga and Wellness.  Someone sent me information about a company called FitDeck. Using a series of special playing cards, you can set and design your own workout from Yoga to Pilates to Fitness to Sports and many more.  From $10 - $15 they have lots of different playing packs.  Each card represents about a minute of activity.  Decide how much time you have, pick your cards, and have fun!  Check out their website at www.FitDeck.com.

Many of you have asked me about our Nutritional Cleansing support system.  On Saturday March 6, I'd like to offer you the chance to come find out.  There will be an information presentation being held in Richmond and I'd like to offer a reserved seat to you.  If you are interested, please let me know.  You can attend in the morning, or you can stay all day.  Please feel free to invite your friends.  You'll find out how to be healthier, release excess weight and inches, increase your energy and more.  You'll also find out how you can do it with little or no cost (and should I say - no exercise?). There is absolutely no obligation.  Come just for the information, or to implement another path on your journey to creating the best YOU! Email info@intoyoga.ca to reserve your seats now.

March begins our Spring season of classes. Along with our regular classes we will be offering a few more specialized class, Yoga for Cyclists at Hastings Community Center and Yoga for Anxiety Relief at Mt Pleasant Community Center.  We've also included a Yoga Tots for 2 - 5 year olds at Mt Pleasant Community Center on Sunday mornings (parent participation is optional), and a new Baby Sign Language class in New Westminster at Queensbourough Community Center.

We've changed some times for a few classes, so please be sure to check classes at www.intoyoga.ca/classes.htm.  To find each facility easier, we've added a link to a map to each of the locations.

We look forward to seeing you this month.  I hope you'll enjoy the topics of our March Newsletter.

Happy Feet
Yoga Retreats
Recipe - Mega Veggie Burrito
Yoga/Pilates & Nutritional Cleanse Seminars at Work
Baby Signing
We Want Your Feedback 
Promote YOUR Business
Quips and Quotes
Find us on Twitter and Facebook
Past Newsletters
Your Contributions Welcome
Our Privacy Policy
Email A Friend 

Happy Feet
by Melanie Haiken

Give your feet just a little attention, and your whole body will feel better.

They hold us up all day long, they get us everywhere we need to go, and they connect our bodies to the earth. Some yoga teachers even call the feet the "roots" of the body.

Yet for all that our feet do for us, we don't do much for them in return. We cram them into tight shoes, pound along on them all day, and generally ignore them unless they're giving us serious trouble. The result is that at some point in their lives 7 of 10 people will suffer from foot problems, many of which are entirely preventable.

Robert Kornfeld, a holistic podiatrist in New York City, says he's seen it all: people hobbling in with knobby, inflamed bunions and hammer toes, the dull throb of tendinitis, the achy soles of plantar fasciitis.

Those aren't just niggling minor ailments; some foot problems can alter the foot's structure and trigger pain elsewhere in the body. "I sing that song to my patients," Kornfeld says: "'The foot bone's connected to the leg bone...'" In fact, experts say one of the most important reasons to treat foot problems early is to prevent them from throwing the knees, hips, back, and shoulders out of whack.

And one of the best ways to take care of your feet is with yoga. "I recommend that all my patients start yoga immediately," Kornfeld says. "When you treat foot problems with yoga, you end up treating back pain, hip pain, all kinds of structural problems. Not only does it stretch out the muscles and lead to a greater range of motion, but it helps heal the root issue of inflammation as well."

In fact, yoga gives feet a healthy workout that they rarely get any other way. "You couldn't ask for a better set of tools to reawaken the feet," says yoga teacher Rodney Yee, of the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California. Below, some tips from the experts on how best to use yoga to prevent or treat foot pain.

Throw Your Weight Around
The first place to begin building awareness of your feet is in standing poses such as Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Before you start the pose, think about how you naturally stand, suggests Janice Gates, a specialist in therapeutic yoga and the founding director of the Yoga Garden Studio in San Anselmo, California. Do you tend to put your weight on the inner edge of your foot, which tends to make your legs bow inward, or on the outer edge, which tends to make the knees bow out? (If you can't tell, check the bottoms of your shoes—you can often tell from the way the soles are wearing.)

Notice how your weight falls, and then play with it by rocking forward and back, lifting first your toes, then your heels. If you tend to stand perched a little forward, try shifting your weight back a bit, and vice versa.

Next, try lifting the arch of your foot while pushing down around the edges, creating both a sense of rooting into the earth and lifting energy up from the center, to form the Mula Bandha (Root Lock). "Sometimes I use the image of a jack-in-the-box: collapsing down, then springing up," says Gates. "You're pushing down to lift up." Once you start to do this, you'll find yourself more aware of your feet and distributing your weight better in your everyday life.

Work Those Toes
One great way to limber up stiff, underused feet is to work on the articulation of the toes, which in most of us have lost at least some of their range of motion, says Tias Little, director of YogaSource in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Little considers the feet so important he not only focuses on them in his regular sessions, but has also created a separate class he calls Feet as Foundation. "Think of the way babies spread their toes and crawl by pushing off with them," he says. "We need to regain that." Little guides students through a routine in which they try to move each toe separately from the others and practice picking things up with their toes.

In standing poses, focus on elongating the toes to stretch the sole of your foot. Press down into your heels at the same time you press forward with the base of the big and little toes, grounding forward with the ball of the foot. "Think of it as stretching the sole of the foot like a drum," Little says. This can improve circulation, pumping blood and lymph back toward your heart, and potentially stave off edema and varicose veins.

Be Square
Paying attention to—and correcting—the way your feet connect with the earth can correct foot and ankle problems that have repercussions throughout your body. For example, pronated feet (which roll inward from the ankle down) tend to cause knee problems and back pain.

One way to think about foot stability is to think of your feet as having four corners: the big and little toes, and the outer and inner heels. Some teachers use the image of a car with four tires; others conjure up an X on the bottom of the foot. Use whichever works for you, because distributing your weight evenly across your feet is central to healthy alignment. And that, in turn, may lead to a surprise: By resolving foot problems, you may discover you've resolved your knee, back, hip, and shoulder problems as well. Anusara Yoga instructor Amy Elias Kornfeld—who works with patients of her husband, Robert Kornfeld—suggests looking down to make sure that the second toe, shin, and knee are all aligned as you start a pose.

If you still need proof of the importance of foot positioning, think of what happens when you try to go into Vrksasana (Tree Pose) or Garudasana (Eagle Pose) and your feet aren't positioned right. "You have to use the feet or you fall over," Gates says. "Wherever the instability is, it's going to show up." There's a reason your yoga teacher is always telling you to spread your toes: Creating a stable base is essential when one foot is all you have to stand on.

Stretch for Strength
Any pose that stretches the arch or the sole of the foot improves flexibility and loosens tension. Little suggests a simple exercise to warm up your feet before yoga: Stand on a tennis ball and roll it back and forth under your foot, working the toes, the ball of the foot, the arch, and the heel. Virasana (Hero Pose) stretches the top of the foot and elongates the arch, while kneeling with the toes tucked under is the best way to lengthen the plantar muscles on the sole of the foot, which, when contracted, can become inflamed, leading to plantar fasciitis.

Little also teaches students to go back and forth between Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) and what he calls "broken toe pose." From Vajrasana, lift your hips, curl your toes under and lift your heels, and then lean back so your weight rests on the "necks" (not the pads) of your toes.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) is another way to give the feet a good stretch; Gates teaches her students to lift the arches of the feet as high as possible, then extend the heels toward the floor to work the plantar fascia. "At first it feels impossible when you try to lower your heels, but it just takes practice. And it feels so good when you do," she says.

Make these exercises part of your life, and your foot bones (not to mention your leg bones, hip bones, and maybe even your head bone) will be forever grateful.

Melanie Haiken is a freelance writer in San Rafael, California.
Article published in http://www.yogajournal.com.


Yoga Retreats

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.

Registration Before Mar 1st $450*
Registration After Mar 1st $499*

*Price Includes 2 Night Stay, 2 Vegetarian Breakfasts, A Dinner Buffet, 10 hours of yoga instruction, and communal acupuncture. 

Ro register or for more information contact:

Heather Eschuk


Explore Tantric Yoga with Rod Stryker

South Okanagan Yoga Academy and Okanagan Yoga Essentials present…
Rod Stryker
Explore Tantra Yoga Friday 6pm to Sunday 1pm June 11-13, 2010

For more information or to register go to www.soyayoga.com/stryker.html


Mega Veggie Burrito
(4 Servings)

These veggie-filled burritos become a hearty lunch entrée, and they pair nicely with sliced melons and strawberries. For a complementary starter, whip up a tomato-rich gazpacho in summer, or offer a thick cheddar cheese soup in cold weather.


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

  • 8 oz. seitan, thinly sliced

  • 3/4 cup corn kernels

  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms

  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 4 tomatillos, diced, optional

  • 1 cup salsa

  • 1 Tbs. taco seasoning or chili powder

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 jalapeño chili, minced, optional

  • 4 10-inch-round flour tortillas

  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced


  1. Preheat broiler.

  2. Heat large skillet over medium heat, and add oil. When hot, place seitan slices in oil, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add corn, mushrooms, green pepper, tomatillos, if using, salsa, taco seasoning, cumin, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in coriander leaves, and remove from heat.

  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese and one-quarter amount of jalapeño, if using, on tortilla, and broil until cheese melts and bubbles. Remove from broiler, spoon on seitan mixture, sprinkle with one-quarter avocado and wrap. Repeat with remaining ingredients until used up. Serve while hot.

Nutritional Value Per Serving:
Calories: 620
Protein: 39g
Total fat: 34g
Saturated fat: 15g
Carbs: 44g
Cholesterol: 50mg
Sodium: 1440mg
Fiber: 6g
Sugars: 2g


Yoga/Pilates & Nutritional Cleanse Seminars at Work

It's time to start the new year off right.  The top two resolutions every year for most people are to get healthier and to lose weight.  Into Yoga can help with that.  Invite us to your work place and we'll provide a qualified instructor to guide you and your fellow staff in Yoga or Pilates classes.  For the month of January, request to have your first class for FREE!

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?

Or ask us to come talk about nutritional cleansing.  This is an easy, affordable, proven method of ridding body fat bringing your body to optimal health, recommended by doctors.  A 45 minute talk at lunch, you can brown bag it, or try some of our delicious products that will fill you up in no time.  There is no charge for these talks.

Call 604-421-9872 or email info@intoyoga.ca.  Visit our Corporate page on our website at www.intoyoga.ca/corporate.htm.


Baby Signing

Wondering if signing with your baby during infancy really works?  Here's what an in-depth review of baby signing prepared by Eve Savory and Corinne Seminoff, reporter and producer respectively, of The National reported in the March 10, 2004 CBC News Online declares.

How many times have you looked at your crying, frustrated baby and just wished the poor thing could talk to tell you what's wrong, what hurts, or what's needed? An American researcher believes they would, except they lack the ability to form words and say them. So he and a growing number of parents are teaching another method of communication – signing. Never mind baby talk.  Read more.....



We Want Your Feedback

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 coming back?  Plus, tell us what we could do better (but be kind).  What can we improve and what would you like to see that we're not providing?  Email your comments to info@intoyoga.ca.  We're listening. 

Promote YOUR Business

Are you a woman business owner, professional or entrepreneur interested in creating more referrals for your business

I am an area coordinator for The Heart Link Network, a fun, non-threatening, non-membership networking event showcasing women who are serious about growing their business.

Our events are held in a warm environment with dinner provided. It is a powerful, unique and effective marketing tool specifically designed to link women so they can nurture, support, enrich and resource one another in both personal and professional ways.

Consider joining our Heart Link Networking Group. You can find more details at www.meetup.com/Burnaby-Heart-Link. Or simply register and lock in your business category at www.V5A4B7.TheHeartLinkNetwork.com.  Be added to our news updates and invites by emailing sheri@cleanseyourbody.ca with ADD ME TO HLN in the subject line.


Quips and Quotes

The person who can live in the world without letting the world live in him is the clever one. ~Zen saying

Twitter and Facebook

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Past Newsletters

You may read past Newsletters on our website by going to www.intoyoga.ca/articles.htm and clicking on the Newsletters link.


Your Contributions Welcome

If you would like to contribute in some way to upcoming newsletters, please contact us at info@intoyoga.ca.  We welcome your views, thoughts, enlightenments, articles, etc.  When contacting us, please be sure to let us know that you'd like to have your contribution inserted into our newsletter.

To submit articles for our website you can visit http://www.intoyoga.ca/articles.htm to review our guidelines.

We'd love to hear what you think of this issue!

Please send your comments, questions, and ideas for upcoming issues to info@intoyoga.ca. Your feedback matters to us!

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