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Can you breath into a moment?

Can you breath into a moment?

Have you ever been in a yoga class, where your yoga teacher says: breathe into your back? Or breathe into your lower back? I bet the answer is yes, and I bet you wondered how does one exactly breath into the back? Or lower back?

After a few classes of hearing this expression, I started visualizing my inhalations going to my back, my lower back or wherever I was feeling tense.

With the warriors 1 or 2 I felt tension underneath my shoulder blades, so I breathed into my shoulder blades, later on I continued breathing into the back of my legs in every forward fold, into my hips in triangle and so on. Then I realized, breathing into my body parts will not only release tension but also made good sensations even better, after a good Yoga class I would continue the pace of my breath and the relaxation feeling would linger even longer.

My breathing awareness kept expanding to different areas of my body or, should I say ? “different areas of my life”? I consciously lengthened  my breath whenever I felt stressed out, or confused or when my mind was foggy.

Lately I am breathing even deeper into “moments” I am practicing  what I call “good moments stillness”. Through this new breathing technique you can extend the life of the good moments, it also works with feelings, thoughts and sensations.

Just when your mind tells you that everything is great with your life, you take a “deep breath into that moment” savour it, with your soul and exhale. As the present becomes past the sensation remains.

However when your mind say things are not as perfect anymore, breathe into that moment as well, the “ “good moments stillness” technique will switch your mind’s thoughts for a feeling of hope, which is also a pretty good feeling.

So, here I share with you the expansion of my breathing techniques, I am sure have already heard about this, but probably you were not aware of the name.

Let me know if this pranayama also works for you, or if you find new applications for it

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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Stay committed to your practice, enjoying the life enhancing benefits

What Julie had to say about how she stays regular on the mat!

The community I’ve developed at open door supports my practice. Being engaged with the teachers and other students help me stay focused o the benefits of a regular practice. On the days when I just want to stay home for one more cup of coffee in my pj’s I receive a text from a friend encouraging me to meet up at the studio. It makes it easier to go when you have community counting on you.

Again to inspire other students, can you also share with us the benefits you receive from coming to class regularly?:

The benefits I’ve gained this past year are amazing. My posture and digestive system are better. My confidence and courage to speak my needs and show up in life have grown exponentially. My mind is clear and calm because of my regular practice. I even practice at home a couple times a week now (thanks to attending Hogan’s workshop ) when I just can’t make it to the studio. My body has started to crave yoga.

Posted in: Open Door Yoga, Student Profile

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6 reasons why you should not become a Yoga teacher

6 reasons  why you should not become a Yoga teacher

 

It has been a while since I started my yoga journey and at some point, I felt really inspired to become a Yoga teacher. Well, who wouldn’t want to be a Yoga teacher anyways? I mean look at them!  Always looking and talking pretty chilled, they smile when they greet you, lead you through a really good practice for 90 minutes and they go home!

 

It seemed like a pretty cool thing to do.  And I said; well even if I don’t end up teaching for a living, I can still learn how to practice on my own, right? Is definitely a good idea, I said. So I decided to sign up for the Yoga Teacher Training, last October.

 

Confident that after spending so much time as a student, learning the postures will come with no surprises. But let me tell you, becoming a yoga teacher was not even close to the simple basic idea of learning postures and Sanskrit I had in mind.

 

It was actually quite different, and let me give you 5 reasons to illustrate how things differed from my original simplistic expectations.

 

 

  1. You are stepping out of your comfort zone:

 

As a regular yoga practitioner, I thought I had at least 70% of the “homework” done, happily, I was wrong.

 

The teacher training approach is holistic, so it helped me setting goals for my overall well-being: focusing on better eating habits, setting a positive encouraging affirmation for the length of my training, and reviewing each goal every week, for a monitored personal development.  I can tell you I have improved in many areas and I still keep an eye on the ones I am still weak.

 

  1. Your world as you know it changes…and for the better

As you continue with the program, you become friends with your yogi fellas, they are the best, they are your strength and support when you are weak and in doubt.    

 

  1. You become one with your yoga community, students and teachers included.

You are more aware of your thoughts, and realize, that you can manage to “shut up“ ( read handle ) the chatting monkey that normally wouldn’t leave you alone, I call it “chatting monkey” I am sure you have a name for it and you know what I mean. That incessant internal conversation that is sometimes better on a leash.

 

  1. You become a more likable member of this society:

I thought that becoming a Yoga teacher in Vancouver was not a novelty. Turns out is totally the opposite, whenever I mention I am taking my training, people jump in happiness and volunteer right away to be your student if you need to rehearse your classes.

 

Believe me, this is really helpful, as practicing your class is fundamental: Your students are your teachers. (I will explain this in another blog entry)

 

I am currently setting up a practice with my colleagues at work, it will be a very short class but they can’t wait to get the rehearsal started. And I can’t wait either to practice my yoga teacher new powers on them.

 

  1. You’ll smile more

I am a very smiley person but for some reason, this program makes me happier, my yogi classmates and teachers make me feel accompanied in this journey, so I am happy throughout the lessons and the days when I need to practice on my own as well. As a result, I have new friends, teachers and yogi students friends, a brand new community in the making, and I am only halfway through the program.  Now, whenever I go to a class at the studio I can greet my teacher and say Hey! I am also becoming a Yoga teacher here at the studio and BAM! Yes, I am one of you!

    6.The gray clouds in the horizon are …still gray but

At least they won’t have the power to take over your happiness. When you practice yoga, or when you are a yoga teacher in the making, you are developing self-awareness. Whenever you feel sad or lonely, or wishing things were different, you with your new mindset, know that a fixed dwelling routine is not needed. Your less happy situations won’t anchor you for too long, you learn to let go, and carry on through the storms.

 

So, there you go, these are just a few reasons to make up your mind about becoming a Yoga teacher.

If you have other reason, I would love to read about them. I will post a few more in a few days.

 

Namaste

 

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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Take Shelter from the Storm

Take Shelter from the Storm

When we see a storm rolling in the horizon, it gets really scary and overwhelming.

There isn’t always a chance to prepare for what is coming, and ready or not whatever has to happen it will happen.

But not everything is bad news when the storm approaches, we can take shelter in ourselves and reflect on the external things that we want to change in life.

Here 4 benefits of taking shelter from a storm approaching in your life:

  1. Take your time to slow down: Start by catching your breath.  Breathe slowly and deeply. Savour this slow time and see how you can start settling everything that has been floating around in your life. The storm can only last so long, Before taking action you need a plan, start your plan, act on it once the the storm has passed.
  2. Clean up your “house” move things around, clean, get rid of the heavy stuff that you don’t need anymore, make room for the fresh air coming where the clouds have moved away.
    Heavy furniture and dusty floors only block the energy for new and better things
  3. Chill. There is nothing you can do to make things happen faster, go with the flow, build your resilience and optimism, get ready for when you come out to the sunshine.
  4. Stay optimistic, storms don’t last for ever, your time to shine will come back, and after taking shelter within yourself, you will feel stronger and wiser.So remember, we always go through stormy stages, but they only last so long, and we can overcome the rain. The sun is still out there, even when we don’t see it, the sun will shine again, better times will come our way.

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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The wisdom in others…specially older people

The wisdom in others…specially older people

Whenever I have the privilege of the “time” I try to take a walk to my yoga classes on Main Street, my walk to the studio is like a little adventure as there is always something new around the corner.

Since we are so lucky to have these 4 different seasons in the year, the landscape is always changing and these walks never repeat themselves.

The other day I was about to cross paths with this lady that was walking towards a garden on one side of the road. The lady slowly stopped in front of this big colourful flower, looked at me and looked back at this flower and said: Look at this beautiful flower here!.Her expression was so heartfelt and honest that I couldn’t resist feeling amazed by what she said.

I was more impressed with her amusement that with the flower herself, yes it was a beautiful flower indeed, but, is was unique to hear her saying what a great discover she’s just made.

My answer to her was: Yes it is a beautiful flower, we better enjoy it now, since it will be gone soon.

And as I walked away in my happy go lucky stroll I thought to myself, isn’t this lady a nicer approach to things than the one many of us have in life?

Is a better approach than the one person walking down the street Pokemon-going on their phone missing the beautiful summer as they catch non-existing weird looking cartoons. A better approach than that dude’s using headphones and ignoring everybody around him. A better approach to life than the one I have when I text my way to work and avoid eye contact with strangers.

Think next time I will keep my phone in my pocket longer and find a wiser way to spend time as I travel or commute, and maybe I can find and see even more beauty around me.

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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You have probably enjoyed the bliss of a class with Jeanne

You have probably enjoyed the bliss of a class with Jeanne

She has a contagious smile and you walk out of her class feeling surprisingly excited and calm at the same time

Now get to know her a little bit better through this short interview and treat yourself to one of her happy classes.

How long have you been practicing yoga? As a student and as a teacher?
I have been practising yoga for 5 years and teaching for 2 years

What was that “Aha!” moment that brought you to become a yoga teacher?

The “Aha!” Moment that brought me to become a yoga teacher was the immense joy in sharing yoga even in teacher training. Planning classes are a creative outlet and the joy in teaching is immense.

What are 3 of the biggest things you have noticed that yoga brings to your life?
The three biggest things that yoga brings in my life are:
1) Healing from past injuries and present day stiffness in shoulders. Hips, and low back.
2) Confidence on my mat transfers to confidence in my life to explore new opportunities that come up.
3) Peace in the present moment. Letting go of the past and not worrying about the future.

Can you now imagine your life without yoga?
I cannot imagine my life without yoga! When I first began I practised Hatha and power 3-4 times a week. Nowadays I’ve included yin and restorative yoga. I also practice postures in the morning before getting out of bed to warm up my body for my day. At the end of the day, I include a few postures before bed. If I notice I am sitting for a long period of time I take breaks and practice cat and cow. I include planks throughout my day to build strength.

What would you say to your Before yoga persona to encourage him/her to get on the mat?

I would say to my before yoga persona to schedule in yoga classes. It is as important as all the other appointments in my life. Try different styles of yoga and different teachers.

What would you add to finish this sentence: life setbacks are…?

Life setbacks happen for all of us…even yoga teachers. Yoga is a framework to give you clarity, creativity, courage, and community to live your life.

Here the schedule to catch one of Jeanne’s classes

Saturday 8-9:15 a.m. @ Main Street & 15th Studio
Sunday 12:30-2:00 p.m. @ Main Street & 15th Studio

Class Schedule

 

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The Love in your Life

The Love in your Life

I was walking down the street the other day, in an early morning, before heading to work. And I started reflecting on love, and happiness and about how much these two feelings blend in one for me, sometimes to mean the same thing and at the same time.

I realized that for me, love & happiness comes in little bits, in small pieces that build up during the day, for example, Love can be feeling happy for having that special person waiting for you at home, or the tasty meal you will have at dinner time.

Also feeling happy because when I woke up I felt fully rested, and had a sweet cup of coffee right after!… this is why I say love and happiness come in little bits, small lego pieces that build up my day or weeks. Some days I can be happier that others of feel more in love than others.

I may be in love with you or with my future plans, happy for what is coming or rearranging my thoughts to be happy with what didn’t quite worked out as I expected.

Just as I think about happiness and love and hear about it, I think is possible to fabricate it for ourselves, as live evolves you realize this love & happiness ideas are just possible under your own terms, and we can be also happing in the making of these ideas.

So as in one on my previous posts I said that we can dwell on good thoughts I think I am now going to dwell on love and happiness thoughts and see what happens

If you agree with me, (or not ) I would love to hear about it, in the meantime, I am going to be happy and add more love to my life at least for this weekend, I wish the same for you :)!

Loves
Rebeca Hernández

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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Who is in charge? YOU? or this chair?

Who is in charge? YOU? or this chair?

The other day we were introduced to a very special person whose job is to nurture companies cultures and to motivate groups.

I can describe this special individual, as the kind of person who vibrates at a higher frequency, someone that gives you peace and calm as soon as you shake hands with them. As he started his conversation it felt that he was going to deliver a very important message: I wasn’t wrong.

He told us this metaphor about a chair sitting in front of you, and the chair telling you who you are, after saying this he asked: who has the power in this situation? The answer: The chair has the power in this situation, what the chair says you are is what you believe you are, you are letting this chair dictate your situation, that is you depositing all the power in an external source.

Then he continues… if you put this chair behind you and decide not to listen to it, then you are no longer under “The chairs control” you have taken away all the power from it, so bottom line you decide whether you let external on internal sources to determine your circumstances, or you take control over the situation and work towards your goals in despites of what may be going on in your life.

How many times we have said to ourselves I can’t overcome this obstacle because I am too short, or too fat. That shouldn’t be the way to approach life, switch gears, take a deep breath and move that chair away from your sight.

I was trying to remember people that overcome obstacles that for others would have meant giant chairs and found these examples:

1. Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old _ He developed the theory of relativity

2. Jim Carrey used to be homeless – One of the best comedians of his era

3. Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a shark – She won first place in the Explorers Women’s Division of the NSSA National Championship

4. Richard Branson has dyslexia – He is the fourth richest person in the UK

5. Stephen King’s first novel was rejected 30 times – he has now sold over 350 million copies

And the achiever’s list goes on forever, just look around and you will realize that success is not equal to lack of obstacles, is more about overcoming these obstacles without letting them decide for us! Don’t let the chair take over when you are “The one in control”

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So sorry can’t be happy now, will re-schedule for a later date

So sorry can’t be happy now, will re-schedule for a later date

Have you ever said this?

Well, I have and many more times than I was aware of

I got caught saying this to myself the other day: I will be so happy when I am done with this “current project”…and realized hey! I have said this before, many many years ago when I was looking forward concluding my thesis, then again when I was trying to sell my car and again and again on multiple occasions.

Who knows how many other times I have inadvertently postponed my happiness? Why is happiness or satisfaction always a place in the future?

This doesn’t have to be the case I have set a definitive date and list for my happiness. Working to accomplish my goal of happiness instead of just adding to the list. I will end this cycle of procrastinating and reach my ultimate goal of happiness.

The phrase ” there is no time like the present ” now resonates within.

I am making up my mind to be here and now in the present, to forget that grass is always greener… to forget that I am a better person with this or that achievement, because I am good enough just now, this morning, as I open my eyes and walk down the street heading towards a new day.

I will complain less and appreciate more,I will stuff my brain with more good news and focus on good memories and store good laughs.

I don’t want to keep paying this fee to be re-scheduling my happiness, today everything is just so perfectly great.

So it’s Monday! the perfect day of the week to be here, and now, to be YOU and me !!

I can’t afford Procrastination anymore !!!! will capitalize on my life enjoyment from now on!

So how many times have you caught yourself re-scheduling happiness?

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Habemus New Yoga Teacher : Yvonne (Padma) Jaques at Open Door Yoga

Habemus New Yoga Teacher : Yvonne (Padma) Jaques at Open Door Yoga

We are pleased to introduce you to Yvonne (Padma) Jaques

Our new Yoga teacher who will be sharing more than 4 decades of Yoga Experience with you

Below a short 6 questions interview, done to introduce you to her practice:

  1. How long have you been practicing yoga?
    I have been practicing yoga for 44 years. As a student 44 years and as a teacher off and on for 35 years. consistently and regularly as an occupation since 2004.
  2. What was that “Aha!” moment that brought you to become a yoga teacher?
    When I found my teacher I spontaneously longed to share all that I was being gifted in the form of their teachings, because of the profound effects and results I was experiencing from their teachings.
  3. What are 3 of the biggest things you have noticed that yoga brings to your life?
    Clarity and single-pointed focus and ability to concentrate and hold my mind still – especially since completing a three-year silent meditation retreat from 2011 – 2013.
    More capacity to consider others and the effect I have on others in all ways.
    Wiser choices in all areas of my life.
  4. Can you now imagine your life without yoga?
    Unimaginable, because yoga IS MY LIFE, on and off the mat, whether teaching, studying, practicing or contemplating.
  5. Why do you think people should practice yoga?
    Because with Yoga you can experience a positive result whether physical, mental, emotional or energetic (i.e., prana, subtle body experiences)
  6. Lastly please finish this sentence: life setbacks are

    What we make them and how we view them, a setback to one person is a springboard for another, and what appears to be a setback in one moment for me, then has the potential to magically transform into a remarkable opportunity in the next moment!

     


Yvonne’s Practice has been inspired by her teacher: Swami Muktibodhananda

Swami Muktibodhananda is a preeminent Western yoga teacher who translated from Sanskrit and commentated the circa 1500 yogic text Hatha Yoga Pradipika, her translation is probably the most widely used in the Western world nowadays

Swami Muktibodhananda will be in town this month sharing her teaching in special workshops you can see her the events schedule

Treat yourself to some inspirational Urban Retreats with Swami Muktibodhananda right here in Vancouver Starting in August 20th

Namasté

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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