You cannot predict the future; you can only connect the dots looking backwards:

You cannot predict the future; you can only connect the dots looking backwards:

Steve Jobs said it… a long time ago yet it was not news when he said it, neither is news now that I recover it from your collective memory to bring relevance to this post.

With fluctuating levels of uncertainty in our life, is necessary to take a deep breath trust in faith and keep moving forward.

The way I see it the dots are the milestones, little or big successes we’ve bothered to work on, achievements that take us closer to our goal, the goal: a complete outlined shape, that will look as our dream, the direction to draw the line is compassed by our “gut” check back with your instinct it helps to make an effort to stay focused.

Slow down, ask questions, listen, pause, recover lost energies and start over, hit the road one more time, is worth to keep trying as long as there is live to be lived.

And remember, you may not be there yet, but the journey is also part of the fun, do not hold your breath until you get there, chill and enjoy the ride.

Is worth reading about the life of Steve Jobs, not only because he was a genius unable to predict that his ideas would keep this new wave of humans ignoring life by stuffing their faces with their smartphones, but also because he had setbacks and comebacks just like any other of us.

He didn’t make it out alive just like any of us will, so keep working towards what you really want, and relax!

Posted in: Breathing, Meditation, Mindfulness

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Be Thankful

Be Thankful

I usually take many things for granted: Power, tap water, a hot shower,breakfast any of the daily things we can easily access. Is only the times when I can’t use these things that I realize how important they really are, and I should be aware that the basic things are not granted.

Somewhere I read that been grateful generates more blessings in your life.

So be aware of the things you can be thankful for, write a thank you note to a co-worker who made the effort to help you, it’s not necessary to spend money on a “Thank You” card if you are short of cash, just write a note and with an honest thankful message, pause, say thank you, along with the person’s name, add a “Thank you very much” to your e-mail reply it takes less than 2 seconds, it will boost your working day good vibes, if you need more ideas about how to give thanks : 365 ways of giving thanks

You can be thankful beyond the good manners, been thankful will help you and others feel better.

So I decided to start with a pretty simple practice: I will start making a list of 5 things I am grateful for, and I will also say thank you to the people around me more often, I know this is not a super original idea but I will implement it because it helps

These the first 5 things I am thankful for:

1. My good night of sleep
2. My hot coffee this morning
3. Because I can feel my loved ones close
4. Because I found a white feather in the garden the other day
5. The warmth hope brings to my heart

…and I will add one more, THANK YOU for reading this post

How about you? Would you like to add 5 things you are thankful for today?
Here some insights about thankfulness: On Gratitude

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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When your head panics, your heart trusts

When your head panics, your heart trusts

Life gives us lemons from time to time, and not quite “Lululemon’s” things shift all of sudden and we are unexpectedly seated in the “get a new plan going” living room.

A relationship is over, a relative departs to higher grounds, one or two doors close.

You name it, and is this does not only happen to you no matter what Facebook and Instagram photos say, these are only edited versions of what we want to show, we all go through sh*! … say less bright days,

These breaks are painful sometimes, but also push us forward to new heights where we have never been before.

When we look back we realize things have worked out every time they have gone wrong or different from the plan we had in mind.

Once a friend said to me: no matter what our head decides to think about the outcome of a situation, things do work out the way they should is just our head the one making the decision “this is good or this is bad”

Your head can be all over the place, while the heart just peacefully keeps biting like he knew a secret the head has not heard about yet, is a funny good conflict, intensively happening.

Since we are equipped with a great deal of resilience we can harness to this place of hope and compassion we carry inside.

Breath and get your plan in action, act on your positive thoughts and stay enthusiastic.

When the head panics Trust with your heart

And here a video by my teacher Lydia Hol to illustrate this hope concept 🙂

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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A walk in solitude (among the crowd)

A walk in solitude (among the crowd)

As a highlight of my day is my walk to the studio, the day is over, all the pending things are done (hopefully), I just had a light dinner and start to head down to the studio for my yoga session of the day.

Is not a short walk but certainly, but there is nothing I enjoy more than its length, is sunny, not hold cold just the perfect temperature for a walk before a yoga class if you know what I mean, and all the flowers are calling with their special scents.

Along the busy street, I am already getting into a special solitude mode, nothing like a crowd to make you feel like you are on your own, completely.

I become a smiley observer of my surroundings and I don’t feel lonely I feel part of something bigger that’s not by my side yet to me.

I heard them talking I heard them laughing, the inviting aromas of the food are a constant reminder that I will be back soon to seat on that table on one side of the road.

So many details, traditions, and novelty is all a very enjoyable walk in solitude through a busy street.

I have arrived and I am feeling pretty satisfied, yet there is more to come, welcoming smiles at the studio, I hear my name and reply with their name, there are peace and more inner space, time to just to brush off the dust of the soul.

Posted in: Ayurveda, Breathing, Meditation, Mindfulness, Open Door Yoga

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Unhealthy choices can come back to haunt years later

Unhealthy choices can come back to haunt years later

I want to share this post I found in the newspaper the other day, it made me realize how our everyday’s decisions build up either a good or bad quality of life

By Dai Manuel
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Skip the fast food — future you will thank you for it

I don’t have time. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to do it. And most of all, I have no idea why I’m doing it. Whether someone has a goal to be more active, release a few pounds, eat a little healthier, or simply read a book, these are a few of the most common excuses why people don’t change.

I’ll admit that change is hard. As creatures of habit we find comfort in consistency. Roof over our head, food on the table, a stable job and an annual vacation, all are arguably life constants we never expect to change. But when we experience an event like losing a job or having our home destroyed in a fire, all hell breaks loose. We never hope for these types of events to happen, but with some forsight can plan for them “just in case.”

We can buy house insurance, and we can pursue a path to continuously develop our skill sets to retain and gain career opportunities. These pro-active approaches to protecting your assets not only provides peace of mind, but also takes the fear factor out of the unknown. So if — or when — that life altering event occurs, you’re covered.

As a lifestyle mentor, however, I see more and more people gapping when it comes to being proactive with their health. We eat what we eat and have always eaten, without paying attention to the quality of what we consume. We take our cars to work, work an eight-hour day at a desk, most of the time sitting down. We drive our car back home, eat again, sit down on our couch and spend a few hours winding down after a stressful day while watching Netflix and surfing the web on the phone. We go to sleep and the cycle repeats — for years in some cases.

Fast-forward five, 10 or 20 years, and we are now carrying an extra 15 to 20 lbs. of fat on our bodies. Our knees and backs ache from carrying the extra weight. We have little energy and feel lethargic most of the day. We have little to no motivation to do anything outside our daily routine. Then all of a sudden one day we wake up and can’t bend over to tie up our shoes, we can’t walk up a flight of stairs without keeling over gasping for air, or worse still, we can’t play with our toddler at the park because our newly diagnosed type-2 diabetes has us riding the bench in life.

Unlike an accidental house fire or losing a job, when your health is too far gone, no amount of money will buy you a new body and no amount of continuing education will take your diabetes away.

The negative repercussions of compounding effects of time are apparent over months, and in many cases, years. One doesn’t wake up one day and discover they are morbidly obese, this happens based on poor lifestyles choices being made day after day for a long period of time.

Four weeks ago, the Kin’s Farm Market Transformation participants said, ‘Enough is enough!’ They committed 30 minutes a day to improve their body, mind and spirit. The plan was simple: 15 minutes a day for movement with purpose (body), 5 minutes a day for mindfulness (spirit), 10 minutes a day for personal development (mind). For 30 days the participants followed a plan, they invested the time into themselves and the benefits were immense. By day 28, each participant accomplished 420 minutes of exercise, 140 minutes of mindfulness and mediation along with 280 minutes of concentrated personal development! This is how the compound effect can work for us, rather than against us.

We’ve been following the progress of three very different challenge participants. All of whom experienced different benefits from a 30 minute a day ritual. Kevin, 52, said, “I’m proud of the progress I have made even with a busy schedule and a slight injury. There is no excuse not to get in shape as there is a way to work around anything. Just need the will to do it.”

Michelle, a busy mother juggling a full-time career, said, “The scale is slowly dipping — and I’ve made small changes every day in what I choose to eat. I’ve swapped out a carby breakfast for an almond milk protein shake, I plan out my meals for the week so I don’t hit the drive through. I guess that’s a few things. But being mindful of keeping active every day is probably the biggest accomplishment I’ve achieved!”

Abhay, our 26-year-old full time working student, was most impacted by the mindfulness practice. “It was amazing to see how half an hour, which is only about 2 percent of the day can have a significant change on your overall thought process. The meditation and self reflection part of the challenge might not have a quantifiable measure at the end of it, but it is actually the part which impacts the physical fitness the greatest,” he said.

The Japanese call this idea of constant and gradual improvement “Kaizen”. Using this principle, daily choices and actions were compounded over 28-days, bringing them closer and closer to the desired goal. One small decision, then another, followed by another, eventually leads to something far greater and sustainable. And in this case, health, happiness and all around, a life of awesome.

The Kin’s Farm Market Transformation participants shelfed their excuses. Said enough is enough and made a choice to choose health first. Are you ready to take action and choose you?

If so, feel free to join the next 28-day phase for free by visiting wholelifefitnessmanifesto.com/jointhetribe.

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Yoga cures

Yoga cures

Yoga cures:

This is true, but this is also the title of the book I have been reading this last week.

Yoga offers a better life: from the simple teaching of been present right at the moment and place where you are, to the relieve of different physical ailments that we may be suffering

In my case and as in many other cases I have heard about, yoga grounds me, when I know that I am going to be in the room for short laps of time, I can leave everything out of the studio, and this puts everything in perspective.

My yoga journey starts when I walk out from my place when the weather is sunny, I can enjoy a stroll to the studio, and everything seems brighter and warmer. The anticipation of the great relaxation that I am about to have makes my walk down on the street a very short and pleasant one.

Yoga has healed multiple ailments in my body and soul, I feel less anxious, more sensitive to smells which are good and bad, the practice enhances my inner peace and I am more capable of listening to others, well as long as they have something interesting to say, just kidding, I do feel my patience to listen has increased.

And going back to the book I first mentioned there is really a yoga cure for everything, is only a matter of trying and repeating your practice the more you attend to the classes the better quality of life you will acquire.

Do your practice and all is coming

Namasté

If you want to learn more about the yoga experience
Here is a good opportunity with our teacher Kristen McCarthy
Yoga Nidra Workshop

Find the book: Yoga Cures

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Cleanse or no to cleanse?

Cleanse or no to  cleanse?

Chances are this great sunny weather is kicking you to get started on a healthier diet, and to get rid of your winter body or just maybe a gets you in the mood to change gears to feel more energized.

I have started juicing out my days, and I really enjoy it, its so convenient, doesn’t require a major effort to have a different juice every day, I am sure most of you have already implemented this habit, and maybe just need to resume were you left off.

Juicing is so easy that I have created the graphic above to better illustrate it, I know it wasn’t necessary but it’s kind of fun…and it got your attention
Juicing is not rocket science, is only a 3 step task: chop-blend-repeat: juice is ready to enjoy!

Here two pretty simple juices recipes I keep using and swapping as the time goes by, first start with a cleanse juice

½ cup of pineapple
1 celery stalks
1 lemon ( optional )
½ cucumber ( optional )
1 teaspoon flax seed ( optional )

Yields one person

Sometimes if I feel like I want something sweeter then I try a fruits juice instead:

1 cup of fruits mix
1 cup of Vanilla yogurt
1 cup of almond milk

Yields one person

My favourite time for these juices is the morning because it makes my breakfast tastier and I don’t crave for other snacks as much as if I didn’t have this juice

I am going to leave you with these links ( below ) to infinite juices options, enjoy and combine the recipes ingredients all you want, go ahead treat your body to a gentile juice cleanse I am sure you will feel better after a few days of doing it

Crazy Sexy Juice

Juice It!

Easy Smoothies & Juices

The Healthy Juicer’s Bible

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Did you sleep ok last night?

Did you sleep ok last night?

So many times we wish the answer to this question was: Yes I did, I slept like a baby. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

And is funny that nowadays a good night of sleep is not granted just by laying our head on the pillow.

Back in the days, there were no as many reminders about getting enough sleep, or about purposely focusing on getting to bed and sleep well as part of a daily routine. It seems like more and more we attempt to forget that resting is as important as working.

Frequently we fall in the mistake of “catching up on lost sleep” instead of consistently sleep as needed. The truth is we never get to catch up on the sleep we lose.

After losing sleep the next day I live through the consequences, I get grumpy, want to eat more than usual, feel irritable, and can not even think properly. So in order to avoid these feelings if they ever happen to you I am going to share my ritual for before bedtime, maybe you have implemented in your life already but if you haven’t here you go:

1. Yoga: I don’t suffer from insomnia, but I heard friends saying that yoga healed their insomnia, and for me,it works like a charm sends me straight to bed in a beautiful baby sleep mode. If you are super busy and can’t make it to a class chose one of these podcasts so you can practice at home.

2. Chill out music: Drift away from your mundane thoughts, go to Youtube and search for exactly that “chill out music” plug a speaker into your phone or computer and you are all set from when you arrive home until you are ready to go to bed, this will let you unwind.

3. Aromatherapy: look for a diffuser, incense or candles, I recommend using a diffuser it is safer and it turns off automatically in case you “fall asleep”.

4. Lavender essential oil: apply lavender oil to your hands and neck, is also a great idea to spray it on your pillow and linens, notice how it opens up your lungs and let you breath better

5. 8 hours of sleep: 8 is the magic number, yes is hard to make this 8 hours since you will have to go to bed quite early to make it, but trust me, try it at least once and you will notice the difference: Guaranteed

oops, I almost forgot one last recommendation, and you are not going to like this one:

9.NO PHONE: quite using your phone at least 2 hours before bedtime, those blue lights in the phone keep us awake, so no Instagramming away until next morning, sorry! ( this applies to the computer as well )

So I leave you these few tips, you can follow them as you want I promise they all works since I have tried them myself, they are quite simple, and there is no secret but that is why not all of us follow them.

Let me know if you get to try either one or all of them and share how the worked for you

… and good night!!

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Tuning in with spring

Tuning in with spring

It was already a beautiful sunny day, the second in a long weekend, I was feeling great after a good night of sleep and the anticipation of the coming yoga class, this one was a special Ayurveda workshop, new word for you? so it was for me, it made sense to me when I also heard that we’ll be combining essential oils and yoga these words are music to my ears now the two of them together is as good as it gets.

Put in simple words we were going to tune in with spring and leave the winter behind release all the energies that the cold had blocked out in the last few months and make room for the coming warmer seasons, at least that’s what I understood.

But in case this is not extended enough here is the explanation in KristenMcCarthy’s (our yoga teacher) words:

The workshop was inspired by Ayurvedic Science, Shamanism, and the wisdom of plant medicines. I combined yoga and essential oils to offer students an experience of the five elements of nature through their practice. Each season enhances or pacifies certain elements to maintain balance.

I want to empower students to view their practice as a medicine that acts in specific ways on the body and mind. There is a wisdom in learning how to apply the right practice at the right time in our lives. When we align our practice with the natural rhythms of the season, it helps us return to homeostasis in body and mind. The real medicine is alive in the world around us, and healing occurs when we remember that we are apart of the fabric of nature.

Here is the original synopsis of the workshop that Kristen wrote up:

Essence Yoga for Spring: Fire and Water

The finest material of our bodies are made of the five elements of nature: earth, water, fire, air, and space. These elements live in dynamic movement within us and are influenced by the same force that cycles one season into the next. Balance the variable qualities of Spring through the medicines of yoga and therapeutic grade essential oils. Seasonal yoga postures are enhanced through the application of pure essences that support the seven dhatus (tissues) of the body, and the five koshas (layers) of the being. This month, we connect with the elements of fire and water through a Yin / Yang practice: Cypress, Frankincense, Marjoram and other synergistic oil blends promote the quality of flow through the connective tissues, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Return to the Spirit of Life.

After the workshop I realized: maybe acknowledging all the changes that our bodies go through every season helps soothing the unpleasant effects of these changes instead of just fighting them by trying to feel the same way all 4 season long which is one of my struggles.

This 2 hours Ayurvedic Science workshop, for me was an experience of deep relaxation,I don’t think I walked home I must have just levitated, it was really that relaxing.

Today, one day after the workshop I still feel its effects, more flowing, letting go some blockages.

I have now I had officially said goodbye to winter reset and ready to keep smelling all the flowers also taking all the sunny days plus the rainy ones too, those are not as bad as everybody say they are.

I am tuned in with spring !!!

And if you are curious to learn more about Ayurveda, you can ask questions to Kristen at the studio or, how about consulting these Ayurveda books for free from the Vancouver Public Library?
Let us know if you enjoyed the workshop and want to learn more about Ayurveda or Yoga in general

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A refuge within yourself

A refuge within yourself

The first time I stepped in a yoga studio it was like those times in a movie when the fast paced music stops all out of sudden…and everything else stays still, my whole life which was in hectic motion suddenly stopped.

There I was: no cell phone in hand, no signs to read, no watches to keep track of the time, no one to talk to, for the next hour or so I was the beginner, right on the very edge to start a challenging and rewarding yoga class. I had no idea about what to do next, just listened to the teacher’s instructions and flowed through the class.

This was a while back, in my first year as an immigrant in Canada little did I know about where this yoga journey will take me.

My name is Rebeca Costa Rican born now living in Vancouver, a graphic artist and marketing professional, I started my journey in yoga as a way to cope with the daily stress of life and it has become a lifestyle. Sometimes I find obstacles in life and also create a few as if they were necessary, I found in yoga a save space to slow down recharge and clear my path.

I have been given the great opportunity to write for this blog as a new “Karma Yogi” for “Open Door Yoga” in Vancouver, in this blog I will share thoughts and experiences related to yoga, and how it enhances life around it. As a yoga student I find many changes in my life with my practice, and often wonder if other students experience the same changes.

I remember one of my first aha! moments in my practice it was when the sentence: “Mind and body aligned” that I’ve heard many times before finally made sense to me, the teacher said: if your mind is wandering, you wont achieve your posture, there you go, cut the noise, focus in what you are doing right now, nothing else! It was that simple, well, maybe not that simple, in theory it was, but you get skilled with the time, “Mind and body aligned” both doing the same thing at the same time: I am here, right now, breathing relaxing in the cozy studio, not at the store lined up to pay for my groceries, neither on the phone texting away, I am here right now and it feels so good.

I think as my yoga practice develops with time the benefits constantly evolve, lately for me it has become a refuge within myself, a peaceful warm feeling I can bring along with me.

How has your yoga practice influenced and changed your life? Have your surroundings changed or have you adjusted how your surroundings affect you?

Lets start this yoga conversation; tell me if your experiences are similar or different

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