Have a look at our teacher Lydia’s new music video ‘Heading North’

Have a look at our teacher Lydia’s new music video ‘Heading North’. This song is about having confidence to do the things that scare you the most, and looking for light everywhere.’

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Open Door Yoga

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Add Love to This Winning Recipe and you Have the First Prize Dish at Open Door Yoga’s Party


1 onion ( finely chop)
3 tomatoes ( dice)Heart
5 clove garlic ( finely chop)
1 can coconut milk
2 table spoon curry powder ( I use the guyanese curry powder) sub with other curry powder.
1 sweet pepper ( any color)
1 cauliflower cut into small pieces
2 egg plant cut into small piece
1 zucchini ( small pieces)
1 bunch cilantro ( finely chop and at the end of the cooking)
Cooking time…
Sauté onion with coconut oil ( any oil will do) until lightly brown add garlic 1 mins add dice tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes low heat. Add 1 cup water cook everything for another 10 mins( cover pot)
After 10 mins add veggie bring to boil and cook for another 10 mins then add coconut milk. Bring to boil add salt to taste also u can add some heat ( small Thai chill pepper )
Everything is done…. Enough liquid for your taste…. Last add cilantro

Posted in: Eating

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Home Remedy: Flu-fighting Tea



November is upon us, and with it comes the colder weather. It’s that time of year when we prepare for hibernation by cozying up at home, yet still foolishly opt to walk outside without a jacket; the Indian summer makes us feel invincible. Enter: flu season. As we adjust to the changing climate our immune system plays catch-up, which creates a gap where bacteria can slip through. You may wake up with a tickle in your throat, or an aching head (and I don’t just mean after Hallowe’en), but these symptoms are a reminder to take care of yourself.

When you wake up feeling groggy, there is no need to run to the pharmacy for an over-the-counter cure. You can use natural ingredients to help nip the common cold in the bud. Whether you’re looking for a preventative holistic measure, or a way to soothe existing symptoms, try this flu-fighting tea recipe:

Flu-fighting tea:

1 bag good quality organic echinacea tea (optional)

3 or 4 thin slices fresh organic ginger root

3 tablespoons organic lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 tablespoons raw organic honey

1/2 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon organic ground clove

Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste


1. In a large mug of hot water, steep the tea bag and sliced ginger for 4-6 minutes (tea bag is optional).

2. Add the lemon juice, honey, and spices. Stir well.

3. You may strain the tea through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, but it is perfectly fine to drink as is.

The cinnamon, clove, and cayenne give the concoction an extra dose of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aching properties. This spicy combination also helps break down blockages in the nasal passage.


Once you have tried this recipe, it will become a staple during your hibernation. You may want to double or triple it to maintain a healthy household—your friends and family will thank you for it. Now cozy up for the cool weather, and soothe what ails you with this spicy flu-fighting tea.

Stay well and enjoy. 










Posted in: Eating, Mindfulness, Miscellaneous, Nutrition, Yoga

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ODY Workshop: Yoga Nidra with Kristen McCarthy


Harmonize with Yoga Nidra

Join Kristen McCarthy for an evening of Yoga Nidra, an ancient method of deep relaxation designed to harmonize the three levels of the mind. One hour of practice is equivalent to four hours of slow-wave sleep, which we experience as greater equanimity and peace within our waking lives. The October session will work with the seven rays of gold throughout all the major systems of the body to create a profound feeling of wellness within. The next session is Saturday, October 24th, from 7 to 8pm. Please click here to register. 

Kristen has been doing yoga for 13 years and describes her own practice as being “focused on moving energy, and watching the mind.” She says that although she doesn’t mind which style she practices, she prefers slow and grounded movements.

With 6 years of experience since finishing her 200 hour teacher training certificate in 2009, Kristen currently teaches at Open Door Yoga. She has earned a variety of certifications and has studied with many teachers. Among them, one has been particularly inspiring. She says “The teacher who has most impacted my perspective of yoga has been Swami Sivananda Radha, a yogi and transpersonal therapist who founded the Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay, B.C.”

When asked why she loves teaching, Kristen speaks of how teaching is an art:

“I love the act of creation, and the fine art of transforming raw energy into healing power. It is an alchemical process that is mysterious and sacred in its origin. When a class gathers together, a group field is created that we all contribute to, whether we are aware of it or not. It’s my role to become receptive so that I can direct the energy in a balanced and beneficial way. Teaching is an art form that grows out of a lot of self-study, and a clear understanding of the tools of practice. I can help others sharpen their perceptive tools that is beyond the physical. When we come to perceive the life force energy that runs through us, our lives will change. It reveals the truth to us, and it’s only the truth that allows us decide.”

Kristen continues to deepen her knowledge at the Four Winds Society and the Pneuma System at Inkarri Cultural Association, studying energy medicine and transpersonal psychology, respectively. She hosts monthly Yoga Nidra sessions at Open Door Yoga; the next session happens this Saturday, October 24th, from 7 to 8pm. In Kristen’s words, Yoga Nidra is “an ancient meditation practice that harmonizes the unconscious, subconscious and conscious levels of the mind. It utilizes guided relaxation and visualization to move students through the five koshas. It’s profoundly effective.”

If you are looking for inspiration to maintain a regular practice, let Kristen’s words guide you:

“The more that a student inquires into their practice, the greater the transformation can occur. A regular practice will set the stage to arrive at the doorway for an amazing adventure. It is the foundation that you can rely upon to hold you steady through all the challenges that arise along the way.”

Outside of Open Door Yoga, you can find Kristen enjoying her favourite things about Vancouver: the four distinct seasons; the mountains, the ocean, and the air. Otherwise, she may be resting in her favourite pose, Savasana.


Kristen McCarthy has a website coming soon, but until then, please contact her by email: kristenopendoor@gmail.com





Posted in: Meditation, Mindfulness, Personal Growth, Teacher Profiles, Upcoming Workshops, Yoga

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Tryptophan-asana and Other Post-Turkey Poses


Look up and embrace the rain.

As the rain begins, reminding us of the weather we have to look forward to in the coming months, our instincts tell us to start hibernating. Now. And what better time to start than the first long weekend of Fall? Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful; if we have not been practicing gratitude daily, this holiday can illuminate its presence once again. It is a perfect time to relax, share moments with those you love, and eat. We tend to give our digestive system a bit of an overload during this holiday as we indulge in the long-awaited delights of home-cooked turkey or tofurkey, tangy cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying all this delectable cuisine, but there are a few poses we can practice that will aid our digestion instead of staying stagnant, like the weather makes us feel.

A lot of our body’s energy serves the digestive system, so it’s no wonder that we feel lethargic with full bellies. We may feel a bit drowsy after consuming turkey due to the amino acid tryptophan, which indirectly increases production of melatonin in the brain. To combat this inevitable sleepiness, here is a short sequence of poses that will help conserve energy for whatever task calls your attention.


Vajrasana – Thunderbolt Pose

  • Start in a seated position on your knees
  • Have your toes untucked, big toes touching, and sit back on your heels
  • Rest your hands gently on your thighs, palms facing down

Stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes after a meal to ease digestion. Focus on your breath and close your eyes for deeper relaxation.


Supta Padottanasana – Reclined Leg Lift, half and full


  • Lie on your back, arms by your sides, palms facing down
  • Inhale and raise your right leg up ninety degrees, hold, exhale and lower down
  • Repeat with left leg


  • Lie on your back, arms by your sides, palms facing down
  • Inhale and raise both legs up to ninety degrees, hold, exhale and lower down

*if you have lower back pain, you can place your palms underneath your backside

Practice 5 repetitions with each leg, followed by 10 cycles of the full leg lift.


Supta Pawanmuktasana – Wind Release Pose, half and full


  • Lie on your back
  • Inhale, bring your right knee to your chest, interlace your fingers around shin
  • Exhale, bring your forehead to your knee
  • Inhale, lower your right leg while bringing your left knee to your chest and repeat steps


  • Inhale, bring both knees to your chest, and interlace your fingers around shins
  • Exhale, bring your forehead between the knees, compress your abdomen

Practice holding for 5-7 seconds each time, doing 5 cycles of each. 


Supta Matsyendrasana – Reclined Twist

Any variation of a twist will massage the inner organs and aid digestion, this is just one example:

  • Lie on your back
  • Bend your right knee, place your right foot on top of your left knee
  • Use your hands to gently guide your right knee toward the floor on the left
  • Spread your arms in a “T” shape on the floor, keeping both shoulders grounded
  • Look towards the right and close your eyes

Hold the twist for several cycles of breath, then repeat on the left side.


Ardha Shalabhasana – Half Locust Pose

  • Lie on your belly, hands under thighs with palms facing down, chin on the mat
  • Take a deep yogic breath into the lower back
  • Inhale, raise your right leg (option to support it with your left foot)
  • Exhale, slowly lower
  • Repeat with left leg

Practice 5 times on each side. If Full Locust Pose is part of your regular practice, feel free to incorporate it as it is a wonderful posture for massaging the inner organs.


Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

  • Lie on your belly, bend your knees, and grab hold of your ankles or shins, big toes touching
  • Inhale, kick your feet into your grip, as you lift your legs and chest at the same time
  • For an extra internal massage, rock forward and backward with the breath

Hold the pose for a few cycles of breath, releasing with an exhale onto your mat.


This short sequence can be done at home; you are always able to maintain your practice even if you can’t make it to a yoga class, or the studio is closed for the holiday. Remember to make space and take time for yourself, and use this holiday to reflect on your blessings. Maybe after a few digestive poses, you will have a little extra energy and motivation to be productive in the coming days, weeks, and months.

The rain has come, which is a blessing in itself; the rain cleanses, nourishes, and washes away all the things we are ready to let go. Channel the powerful natural energy, and spread your love with the best intentions.






Posted in: Eating, Nutrition, Yoga

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Grounding During Fall Transitions


Photo taken by Troy Ashley (@donttrustthehorse; troy.wr.ashley@gmail.com)


As we move through another week, moon cycle, month, season, and year, I’m noticing that so many people I speak to or come in contact with are going through a transition. Changes and transitions are notorious for making us anxious and overwhelmed. And it’s just as easy to get swept up into the Fall transition as it is the Summer one.

Kids and adults go back to school, workloads fluctuate, jobs are quit, lost, or maintained.

Halloween and (gasp!) Christmas plans are discussed more frequently but we also become more picky with our social activities and commitments.

Meanwhile, the hibernation season brings out new relationships. Friendships and personal relationships are formed for the winter months, while all the marriages from the wedding season are tested.We struggle to maintain connection with old friends yet sometimes old ties are cut due to busy lives. In addition, family bonds and strengthened and perhaps even questioned.

Throughout all this transition and with all the people that dislike or are afraid of change, I’d like to pose the questiono to you: what is the one thing that keeps you stable and grounded?

Do you have your daily ritual of brewing a cup of tea and sitting alone with your thoughts under the stars? Do you take breaks throughout your day to be thankful and write in your gratitude journal? Is your routine to get up and move before rushing into your busy day?

Whether you stay grounded with a yoga or meditation practice, or by enjoying time with loved ones, we all need and deserve something that cares for our bodies and feeds our souls.

Perhaps during the next few weeks of October, we can consider and take note of what these grounding activities are for us and how they impact our mental and physical health. Can you actively carve out intentional time for these vital tasks to keep you centred for the next season? In addition, can you encourage others to create their own self-care routines?



Feel free to leave your thoughts and ideas below in the comments.


Wishing you peace, groundedness and self-love for the next season,


Posted in: Breathing, Meditation, Mindfulness, Personal Growth, Yoga

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ODY Teacher: Sarita



Read all about Sarita, our resident Smiling Yogi and Radio Show host!


Farah [Sarita] Nazarali: Teacher, student, and seeker!

I have been teaching for over 10 years and in 10 years, I have realized how much more there is to learn!
I consider myself primarily a student and a life-long beginner! I completed the Open Door Yoga Teacher Training program and in 1997, and met my Beloved Guru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda who opened the door of my Heart. My favourite part of teaching is the satisfaction that comes when student shares with me the results of their practice or when a students offers me their trust and shares with me an intimate part of their life.
Open Door is a yoga community where teachers and students know each other by first name. We practice together and also converse, laugh, and share our lives together.
My favourite Asana is sitting in Sukhasana and practising my Guru mantra and my favourite Thing about Vancouver is being by the ocean and mountains.
My own practice is slow moving and includes Asana, pranayam and primarily mantra meditation. Of all the practices of yoga, I love mantra the most! It has completely transformed my mind and heart.
Sarita has an upcoming Retreat with Hollyhock next month: Ancient Wisdom Yoga @ Hollyhock; September 20- 25 2015. Go here for more info.
Sarita teaches a calming and centring Hatha class at our Kerrisdale Location on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:15am. As well, she will be running a workshop on 108 Prostrations Practice on September 12th at Main & 14th. Go here for more info.
You can hear Sarita hosting the Drishti Point Radio show. Listen to her podcasts here.

Catch Sarita at our Kerrisdale Open House today!

Saturday August 22nd from 2-5pm @ Kerrisdale #303-2309 W. 41st Avenue

Posted in: Pranayama, Teacher Profiles, Upcoming Workshops, Yoga

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ODY Teacher: Georgina

Get to know Georgina, Open Door’s Co-Owner & Founder
What is your name?
Georgina Varveris

What is your position at Open Door?



How long have you been teaching yoga?

17 years

How long have you been practising yoga?


Where & when did you receive your credentials/education/certification?


Prana Yoga

What is your favourite part about teaching?

students and being present

What makes Open Door different than others in Vancouver?

the teachers are very dedicated to the path of living consciously

practicing and living yoga
It is not about the place but the people (students and teachers)

What is your favourite asana (to practice and/or to teach)?


What is your favourite thing about Vancouver?

nature, mountains

Tell us about your own practice?

go to classes at Open Door, practice at home and in nature (weather permitting) , a daily meditation practice 

Are you involved in any other projects?

Open Door’s Yoga Teacher Training starting in October: http://opendooryoga.bc.ca/teacher-training/

Georgina is organizing an Open House at our Kerrisdale Location this weekend. Come on down and meet her in person and check out our newest community & gorgeous studio.


Want to learn more about Jennifer? Check out her Hatha class at our Kerrisdale Location on Mondays at 9:00am-10:15am.

Jennifer is also organizing an Open House at our Kerrisdale Location this weekend. Come on down and meet her in person at check out our newest community & gorgeous studio.

Come and bring your friends! Here is what you can expect:

$99 Intro Pass with FREE $50 Gift Certificate

Win Pass Prizes,

Eat snacks,

Listen to Live Music,

Meet teachers.

Saturday August 22nd from 2-5pm @ #303-2309 W. 41st Avenue

Posted in: Teacher Profiles, Teacher Training, Yoga

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ODY Teacher: Jennifer

Meet Jennifer, one of our fabulous Studio Coordinators and a Hatha Yoga teacher at Open Door.

What is your name?  Jennifer Clarke

What is your position at Open Door?  Yoga Teacher, Studio Coordinator

How long have you been teaching yoga? More than 10 years

How long have you been practising yoga? 20 years

Where & when did you receive your credentials/education/certification? My first certification was with Fiona Stang, then the others were with Catherine Munro with Yoga Works

What is your favourite part about teaching? Seeing people blossom

What makes Open Door different than others in Vancouver?  Open Door Yoga resists trends. It is humble yet reaches out to all communities and supports people in whatever unique way they need.  It supports all and includes all body types, ages, abilities, gender identities and needs from emotional to physical to spiritual.

Are you involved in any other projects? I teach Qigong and am completing a 3 year program in Medical Qigong. I’ve been a movement professional, performer of dance and movement artist for almost 20 years. I have a dedicated movement practise where i use movement as a tool of inquiry, embodiment and to find presence.

How do we find you?  http://www.jenniferclarkeprojects.com/


Want to learn more about Jennifer? Check out her Hatha class at our Kerrisdale Location on Mondays at 9:00am-10:15am.

Jennifer is also organizing an Open House at our Kerrisdale Location this weekend. Come on down and meet her in person and check out our newest community & gorgeous studio.

Come and bring your friends! Here is what you can expect:

$99 Intro Pass with FREE $50 Gift Certificate

Win Pass Prizes,

Eat snacks,

Listen to Live Music,

Meet teachers.

Saturday August 22nd from 2-5pm @ #303-2309 W. 41st Avenue

Posted in: Teacher Profiles, Yoga

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