Open Door Yoga Summer Retreat!


The Open Door Summer Retreat is almost here! This week is your last chance to join us for our 2nd Annual Open Door Summer Retreat July 3rd to 5th (this weekend!) It’s time to relax, cultivate community, and explore personal growth. Lots of hiking, swimming, yoga, meditation, dancing, singing. Relaxation is required! The intention is connection… lots of healing, love, and fun!

We are offering a $50 discount if you book the retreat with a friend – $300 each for two people! (regular price is $350.) Children & families are welcome and children under 12 are FREE!

Register now:




The Retreat is happening at Cheakamus Centre: (2170 Paradise Valley Rd, Brackendale, BC V0N 1H0)

Established in 1969, Cheakamus Centre, formerly the North Vancouver Outdoor School, is an overnight field school and environmental studies facility located on 420 acres of ecological reserve in Paradise Valley. This Centre is owned by the North Vancouver School District (NVSD) and offers a wide variety of experiential environmental programs to children and adults from the Sea to Sky corridor, lower mainland, and beyond. The flagship K-12 Outdoor School program includes field studies, youth leadership, outdoor recreation, and other direct experiences in nature intended to instill in young learners a sense of respect and appreciation for the natural world.

Cheakamus Centre also hosts visitors from around the globe for special events, retreats, conferences, seminars, and workshops. In July 2012, the BlueShore Financial Environmental Learning Centre opened its doors in the heart of Cheakamus Centre campus, allowing for exciting new educational programs and environmental initiatives, and expanded conference and event space. The NVSD has partnered with Listel Canada Ltd. to advance the broader vision for Cheakamus Centre as a centre of excellence in environmental education and sustainable hospitality.


Personal Nutrition Consultation


What better way to focus on self-care and healing our bodies then by a private nutritional consultation with our resident Nutritionist, Sharon Pendlington? Sharon is offering a deep discount on nutritional consultations during the retreat so that you can rebalance. She will help you reach your wellness goals by assessing your symptoms and creating a wellness plan for you that addresses your nutritional deficiencies through food, natural supplements and lifestyle changes. $95.00 for a personal 1 hour consultation (value of $125.)

Click here for more info on Sharon’s promotion. More info about Sharon can be found on her ODY Profile. You can also visit her website, follow her on facebook, or e-mail her at


Some FAQ’s


Canoe Pond


1a) What are the accommodations like? You will share a room with one other person. They are bunk beds. The building is set up so that each room opens up to a common area (with washrooms, showers and sitting area.) Go here for a floor plan.

1b) Is this appropriate for small families? Not really. This is more appropriate for a single person, 2 friends or a couple. If you are coming with your kids we can book you in a cabin that sleeps 10 (2 or 3 small families in one cabin)

2) What is the menu like? The food is really great! The chef has a variety of meal plans and there will be gluten free options and vegan options. Go here to enter your dietary restrictions if you have any.

3) How much yoga will we do ? Lots! See below for the schedule.

4) Will there be meditation? Yes. Check out the schedule for more info.

5) I do not drive and would like to go. How can I get there? There is a carpooling page. Closer to the date, we will hook you up with someone to go up with together. Go here to put your name down if you are needing a lift up.

Please e-mail if you have any further questions.


Schedule (subject to change)




~Friday, July 3rd ARRIVAL~

6:00-7:00pm Dinner

7:00-8:00pm Welcome Circle

8:00-9:15pm Hatha Yoga


~Sat. July 4th FULL DAY ~

7:00-7:45am Meditation

7:45-9:15am Hatha Yoga

9:00-10:30am BREAKFAST

10:15am – 12:30pm or 2pm (Silent Portion on the Return Back) FREE TIME TO EXPLORE: Swimming, canoeing (fee not included,) shorter hike /longer hike (self directed maps provided)

10:30-12:30pm Yin Yoga Class

1:00-3:00pm LUNCH

2:30-4:30pm Affirmation/Creative Visualization Workshop

4:00-5:00pm SNACKS

5:00-6:30 Hatha Yoga

6:30-7:30pm DINNER

8:00-930pm Yoga for Social Connection

9:30-11:00pm Mandala Yoga with music offered by Singing Heart Yoga (Esther Bérubé) & Mars Pitre:
“Coming Full Circle to Close the Day” – Mandalas are circular drawings, often used to depict and integrate various aspects of the self or the world.  Stay for as little or as long as you’d like to create and colour your own mandala, with musical inspiration evoking various states.  You may even be moved to dance! Paper, crayons, and colour pencils will be provided.  No talent necessary, just a willingness to doodle and decompress: or


~Sun. July 5th GOODBYE ~

7:00-7:45am Meditation

8:00-9:00am Hatha Yoga

9:00-10:15am BREAKFAST

11:00am Checkout time: please have everything in your cars by 11am and meet in Melody Hall for feedback and close

10:45-11:30am  Goodbye & feedback forms

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ODY Teacher: Vesna


My name is Vesna Zdrale. My yoga journey began in 1995, as my hope to heal my neck and back injury. Since then yoga has been my passion and quickly became my central focus while taking a 2-year Relaxation Therapy program. I had chosen yoga as the main relaxation technique that would help people bring their physical, emotional and mental body into the balance. To deepen my yoga knowledge, I completed a yoga teacher-training program at Prana Yoga and Zen Centre in Vancouver in June 2000. To complement my yoga knowledge I also completed the following programs and courses:

  • Mindfulness – Based Stress Reduction and Integrative Energy Healing at Langara College. This 3-year program explores the principles and foundations of energy-based holistic healing concepts.
  • Creative Visualization course at Vancouver School Board. This inspiring course teaches how to focus the energy and live from the heart through different meditative techniques.
  • For the last five years I have been travelling to Sedona, Arizona, and studying the Merkaba meditation and ancient teaching of Sacred Geometry with Drunvalo Malchizedek.


My personal asana practice is my intimate time to look within for the answers, using my own intuition as a spiritual guide. I love to practice different asanas every time, as all of them are great tools for developing observation and awareness that I use in all areas of my life.


Since September 2001 I have been a regular Hatha yoga teacher at Open Door Yoga Studio, and since 2006, I have been teaching the students enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training at Open Door. For number of years I was a Senior Yoga Teacher in this program, but as my Energy Healing Practice expanded, my current involvement in Yoga Teacher Training is to teach Yoga Philosophy. The main focus in this course is that Yoga is a way of life. By gaining a deeper understanding of ancient teaching, the students are able to integrate its application to everyday life.


The Open Door Yoga Teacher Training program is a profoundly transforming experience, where students strengthen their own yoga practice. A strong emphasis is placed on our students to discover their personal voice and teaching style. And what makes this program different than others in the city is that the graduates will possess a solid foundation for teaching classical Hatha Yoga with confidence and ability to structure their own yoga class.



Vesna teaches beautiful and inviting Hatha classes at our Kerrisdale studio on Tuesdays at 9:30am-10:45am and at our Main & 14th studio on 10:15 am-11:45 am on WednesdaysRead more about Vesna’s classes at Open Door here or e-mail her at


The next Teacher Training program starts this Autumn on Sunday October 4, 2015 and runs every Sunday from 8:30am-5:30pm until the end of March. Read more about Open Door’s Yoga Teacher Training here.


Our Information Sessions will give you a chance to meet our teachers who will guide you on your journey. These sessions give you insight to how we developed the program and help you answer questions that can direct you to make the right decision. The next info session is July 19th @ 9:30-11:00am at our Main & 14th studio. To thank you for attending you will receive 2 FREE weeks of yoga! Reserve your spot here.


Open Door Yoga 200 hours Hatha Teacher Training Program is celebrating 12 Years of guiding students into teaching what they love… yoga! Are you ready to start your journey? Register for here.

Posted in: Personal Growth, Teacher Profiles, Teacher Training, Yoga

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Guest Blogger: Sharon’s Recipe



The Second Annual Open Door Yoga Summer Retreat is two weeks away! The retreat is taking place from July 3rd-5th at Spakwus House in Cheakamus Centre in Brackendale, BC. The cost is $350 or $300 when you register with a friend. Children are welcome and are FREE if they are under 12!

We can’t wait to get together with our students, teachers, families,  neighbourhoods, and communities, to enjoy two full days of rest and relaxation. Activities will range from: hiking, swimming, yoga, meditation, dancing, and singing. Relaxation is required! Our intention with this retreat is connection… We are looking forward to lots of healing, love, and fun done together as a community. Disconnect from the busy city life for a weekend and enjoy some self-care this summer.

What better way to focus on self-care and healing our bodies then by a private nutritional consultation with our resident Nutritionist, Sharon Pendlington. Sharon is offering a deep discount on nutritional consultations during the retreat so that you can rebalance. She will help you reach your wellness goals by assessing your symptoms and creating a wellness plan for you that addresses your nutritional deficiencies through food, natural supplements and lifestyle changes. $95.00 for a personal 1 hour consultation (value of $125)


Sharon can help with delicious recipes like the one below that satisfy cravings, but provide healthy, whole foods to nourish your brain, soul, and body.

Personal Nutrition



Click here for more info on the ODY Retreat

Click here for more info on Sharon’s promotion.

More info about Sharon can be found on her ODY Profile. You can also visit her website, follow her on facebook, or e-mail her at



See you at the retreat and Happy Sipping until then!

Posted in: Eating, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nutrition

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Guest Blogger: Claire LeGresley, RHN

Invest in Yourself

Stress: Change Your Lens, Change your Life

June’s arrived and summer finally feels like it’s in full swing. If you’re looking to increase immunity, improve energy, boost mood and get back to your best-self this season, look-no-further!

Let’s start with a struggle that I see in my practice DAILY. Stress, stress and more stress. It’s important to know that you are not alone in feelings of being swamped by stress. However, everyone perceives stressful events differently. One’s perception of events will determine their emotional and behavioural reaction to them. We use the word perception because we can never know true reality – only our perception.

There is a huge difference between the events as they are and events as the way we experience them – change your perception and your reaction changes. Say it with me now – change your lens, change your life!

It’s time to take ownership of your feelings. Having a deeper awareness of your own reality will enable you to have power over your behaviours.

Let’s dive in deep!

Understanding Stress

  • Your autonomic nervous system is divided into two branches: the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (rest and digest).
  • The sympathetic and parasympathetic branches are always in balance with each other, very much like a see-saw.
  • However, if you are chronically stressed to make the sympathetic system dominant – that’s where problems pop up.

Stuck in Fight or Flight

  • The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) is more commonly known as the flight or fight response. Although we have evolved as a species the way our bodies react has not changed.
  • Whether your stress is emotional (most stress is) or physical your body reacts in the same way.
  • Some people will be stuck in this stress response cycle and have no idea. This happens when there is no ‘before and after’ frame of reference.
  • Things to look out for: reduced focus and concentration, difficulty handling stress, feelings of frustration, anger, anxiety, depression, fear and being overwhelmed.

Keeping the Balance

Here’s the deal – it’s unrealistic to attempt to remove all stress. So, I encourage you to move your mindset to “how can I best help and support my body to take on difficult daily stressors?”…not sure how? Well, that’s what I’m here for!

  • Meditation / Mindfulness: My absolute favourite resources! & & Open Door Yoga’s Meditation on Self-Love.
  • Yoga: Soothe stress, strengthen the body & mind, learn how to breathe. Check out:
  • & Hatha or Yin classes on Open Door Yoga’s Class Schedule.
  • Priority Management: Pick priorities – your “To-Do” list should only have 3 items, max. Feel impossible? Ask yourself: “what are the top 3 things I can do today so that I when I go to sleep I will feel satisfied from the day?”
  • Exercise: Uses the sugar secreted in your “flight or fight” response, BUT be careful not to overdo it which can have opposite effects. Check out a Power class on Open Door Yoga’s Class Schedule.
  • Nutrition: It’s importatnt to avoid Caffeine & alcohol, heavy meats and fast/processed foods & sugar. I’m hosting a Summer Eating Challenge that starts this weekend and includes support, recipes, and tips on how to avoid stress through good nutrition! It’s your last days to register so see the info below to get started!

You can find all of the challenge details here.

You can check out my website here and subscribe for my weekly newsletter, “Wellness Wednesdays” here.

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Breathe in, breathe out; repeat.


Claire LeGresley, RHN

Posted in: Ayurveda, Breathing, Eating, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nutrition, Personal Growth, Yoga

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Ayurvedic Tips for the Summer

Happy June and Full Moon! This is a powerful and exciting time for many of us as we enter into the summer months. This means more BBQ’s, patio drinks, and beach days in the sun. All the relaxing and celebrating and indulging can create imbalance in our bodies. In Ayurveda, we recognize this imbalance having excess Pitta – the dosha associated with youth, digestion, warmth, and summer. We thought we would share some ways to re-balance your Doshas and body by calming and pacifying the Pitta ways.


Cut down or eliminate: foods that are fried, oily, greasy, salty. Avoid meat and alcohol.

Increase: foods that are bitter, astringint, and sweet (fresh fruits, cucmber, herbs.)

Smell: Diffuse, spray, mist, or dab on floral scents. Use rose, jasmine, lavender essential oils.

Colour: Wear or surround yourself with cooling colours like white, light blue, and grey.

Hydrate: Sip enough cool, filtered water to calm, cool, and balance any excess heat but avoid ice. Add in lemon, berries, rose water, cucumber or fresh herbs to help with the cooling and add an extra exciting taste.

Skin: Keep your skin healthy and protected by covering up from the sun and using sun screen with a good SPF. Use rose water & witch hazel as a natural toner, or make a spray out of it with a floral essential oil to mist on, freshen up, and cool down. Use coconut oil all over the body as a natural SPF and moisturize.

Activities: choose swimming or other water sports during the summer to cool the body instead of over-heat. For yoga, practice Moon Salutations instead of Sun Salutations to create the same benefits, but in a more cooling and organic way.


How are you going to keep cool this season? Happy Summer!

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

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Yin Yoga with Joan


Yin Yoga is a practice where students stay in relaxing postures for long periods of time – anywhere from 2 minutes to 20 minutes. Often, blocks, blankets, and other props are used to promote complete relaxation and softening of the muscles. Rooms are kept dark to allow the eyes and eye muscles to rest.


The poses can be very similar if not the same to poses practiced in a “Yang” class, however the names will often be different. This is because the muscles are meant to be relaxed and stretched (rather than engaged and strengthened.) We aim to get deep into the muscle tissue and joints rather than the surface tissues. For many students – especially those used to practicing Yang Yoga – it’s difficult to stay still and silent in these poses. However, the benefits of quieting the mind and softening the body are endless; to start, Yin Yoga can lower stress, calm the nervous system, improve sleep, aid in concentration and brain function, along with many other mental and physical benefits!


All the factors that make up a Yin class can lead to a very calming practice than can leave you feeling quite dreamy and dazed but invigorated and empowered. Almost like having a really good cat-nap. In fact, I often describe a good Yin class as “nap time for adults.” That being said, if you are able to stay awake and aware, the mind can get into a very meditative state, allowing for a deep and reflective practice.


Yin Yoga is not something that is new. Holding postures for long periods of time goes back to the beginning of yoga. However, over the course of the last few decades, more of a “Yang” practice has come into popularity, especially in the Western World. We see almost an obsession with more of a heating yoga practice that is more focused on fitness, muscle toning, and weight-loss. “Vinyassa,” “Power,” “Flow,” and “Hot” classes are more popular than ever, meanwhile, the classic Hatha and more cooling Yin classes are hard come-by. Although sweating and getting the heart-rate up is very important, this Yang-only practice is contradictory to yoga because a well-rounded yoga practice should offer balance. That why we see a perfect harmony of heating poses and cooling poses + Shavasana in most yoga classes.


A great way to jump into Yin is with our up-coming special event, Yin & Reiki with Joan De Verteuil and Reiki practitioner Marie Tran. Happening this Saturday May 23rd at our Main & 14th Studio, from 1:00pm-3:00pm, you will be guided through a deeper exploration of Yin Yoga, supported by the powerful effects of Reiki Healing. Emerge feeling open, rejuvenated, and in a state of serenity and well-being. The cost is $35.00 – tax included. You can learn more here and you can register here.


Learn more about Yin Yoga from Bernie Clark’s website here. Bernie was Joan’s Yin Yoga teacher. Check out Joan’s Teacher Profile here. You can also read more about her on our website here or book a Private Session with her here.

Posted in: Mindfulness, Teacher Profiles, Yoga

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Discounted Personal Nutrition Consultation at our Retreat!


Our 2nd Annual Open Door Yoga Retreat is taking place July 3rd-5th, 2015 and is fast approaching. If you haven’t taken a look at this wonderful community event, you can do so here.

As another incentive, or if you have already signed up, consider the big discount that Sharon, our Open Door Nutritionist will be offering at the retreat:

$95.00 for a personal 1 hour consultation (value of $125)

WOW! Get the most out of your retreat by identifying imbalances and receiving feedback on diet with Registered Holistic Nutitionist Sharon!

To learn more about Sharon, check out our community post about her here or her website here.

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ODY Community: Sharon


In her work as a Holistic Nutritionist, Sharon Pendlington is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Instructor, Birth Doula, educator, and group facilitator.  Sharon offers private nutritional consultations to address the root cause of her clients’ health concerns. Once she has assessed their dietary intake, lifestyle and symptoms profile, she recommends nutrients (food and natural supplements) and lifestyle changes specific for each client. Sharon also offers group cooking classes, educational seminars, grocery store tours, kitchen cleanes, and menu planning.

Sharon will be at our 2nd Annual Yoga Retreat this July! Her company, Personal Nutrition will be offering a deep discount for everybody attending the retreat this year! For $95.00, you will get a 1 hour, private nutritional consultation ($125.00 Value.) Read on to learn more about Sharon and her experience.


I began my professional career as an Environmental Consultant in the Fraser Valley, after receiving a Science degree in Biology from McMaster University. Having practiced yoga and received its many benefits for years, I was drawn to share the practice of yoga with others, following the birth of my son. I became a certified 500-hr Yoga Instructor, and began teaching at my home studio and at various studios in the valley. I particularly enjoy guiding Prenatal Yoga classes that prepare mom for the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy, labour, birth and motherhood. After my daughter was born, 8 years ago, it became increasingly important for me to live in alignment with my values, and with the support of Be the Change Earth Alliance, I was able to clarify new roles for myself as a Birth Doula and Holistic Nutritionist. In July 2014, my family moved to the beautiful community of Mount Pleasant, with the intention of choosing a more walk-able lifestyle and reducing our carbon footprint. We have been warmly welcomed to this community and we are grateful every day for the friendliness and community of this neighbourhood.

In the past year, I have been teaching yoga classes, assisting with cooking classesa and preparing food for members at InspireHealth (a supportive, integrated cancer care clinic in Vancouer). I opened Personal Nutrition in January of this year, with the intention to work in the wonderful community in which I live. I enjoy supporting my clients to reach their health and wellness goals, by working one-on-one with them to address their health concerns, through customized food and lifestyle planning. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to share my experience in yoga, prenatal care and natural nutrition to support my clients to bring their highest selves to the world! Sharon works under the belief that the body has the innate wisdom to heal itself and rebalance, given the proper nutrients and lifestyle.


Posted in: Mindfulness, Nutrition, Yoga

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Mother’s Day At-Home Spa Day & Yoga Class


Happy Mother’s Day!

To celebrate all the Mama’s out there, for this week, we are doing a post for an at-home spa day complete with yoga poses. This is a great, thoughtful and inexpensive gift that allows you to spend time together while bonding and relaxing. Yoga is the gift that keeps on giving and usually welcome to new and experienced mothers alike. Yoga helps to relax the body and mind while creating flexibility and strength; all things that are important to Moms, Step-moms, Aunts, Grandma’s and Care-givers!


If you want to go the extra bit, this Mother’s Day, consider a Gift Certificate to Open Door. The equal value will be donated to our grass roots charity, We Are One.


Otherwise, check out our fun DIY spa day below:


What you need

  • Space
  • Fresh towels and wash-cloths
  • Bath robes and comfy clothing
  • Essential oils (lavender)
  • Bentonite clay
  • Boiling water
  • Filtered/mineral water water
  • Yoga mats/blankets/props
  • Bowls
  • Oil (sesame, olive, coconut)
  • Brown sugar
  • Ice
  • Epson salts


  • Rose water (for foot bath/clay mask/toner)
  • Cucumbers slices (for eyes & infused “spa water”)
  • Baking soda
  • Tea tree oil
  • Herbs (mint, rosemary)
    Lemon slices
  • Witch hazel
  • Rose petals/fresh flowers
  • Fresh fruit
  • Candles/electric candles/incense/diffuser/nebulizer
  • Tea
  • Glass bottles
  • Distilled water
  • Golf ball(s)

Set the mood

  1. Put out fresh flowers and cut-up seasonal fruit to snack on.
  2. Make some herbal tea.
  3. Put out plenty of water – add the cucumber slices, mint leaves, or lemon slices to it if you want to make the infused “spa water.” Drink lots of water and stay hydrated throughout the day – it’s the easiest way to detox!
  4. Light any candles/incense and prepare any diffuser or nebulizer if you are using one. If there are allergies, or repository issues, check and see if electric candles would work better.
  5. Boil water and prepare your clay mask. Usually it needs one hour to sit. Include any essential oils or rose water if you are using them.
  6. Get comfy by donning fluffy robes and slipper, or at lease some loose fitting clothing.
  7. Start relaxing!

Spa time!

  1. Start with a face steam. Boil water and pour into bowls. You can add rose water or essential oils. You can also add herbs or rose petals. Drape towels over your heads and stand with your face well above the bowls. Breathe in the steam and allow it to open up the pores, initiating sweat production. This is a great detox! But be very careful and keep a lot of space between you and the boiled water to avoid a steam burn.
  2. Once your steam is complete, rinse off your faces with warm water and apply the mask all over the face and neck. Take care to avoid the eyes. Any left-over clay can be applied on the soles of the feet. Find a comfy space to lie down, with the feet up and above the heart. This creates a relaxing effect on the body and calms the parasympathetic system. Put some cucumber on the eyes, relax the body and still the mind. Enjoy some quiet deep breathing together for about 10 minutes.
  3. Once your clay masks are hardened and cracked, you can rinse them off with warm water and use your baking soda – and optional tea tree oil – for a refreshing exfoliation. Rub all over the face, avoiding eyes, and concentrating on problem areas and black heads. This method can also be used as a face mask.
  4. Rinse the face again with warm water. Use an ice cube and gently run over the face to “close” the pores. Finish with an optional toner (rose water or witch hazel) and a bit of oil to moisturize and replenish healthy oils.
  5. Next, run yourselves a foot bath. You can use the bath tub or large bowls/basins. Include some Epson salts and any optional herbs, rose petals, rose water, or essential oils. While it’s running, mix up some oil and brown sugar until you get a good consistency for a foot exfoliator. You can add essential oils to this mixture too. Soak feet for about 10 minutes then gently exfoliate the feet and legs. Rinse off with fresh water and apply oil to moisturize. Take turns massaging each other’s feet if you’d like. You can also use the optional golf balls on a yoga mat to release facia from tired feet. Use caution when doing this and move slowly to avoid injury.

Yoga time!

  1. Start with a Child’s Pose to centre yourselves and calm the mind. Relax the back and belly completely and breath deeply into the front and back body.
  2. Do a few Cat-Cows’s to increase flexibility to the spine and relax/strengthen the back muscles and core. Breathe deeply and link the breath with the body (inhale: arch, exhale: round.)
  3. Take a Down Dog to stretch tight hamstrings and get the head bellow the heart. Breath deeply and take breaks if you need them.
  4. Next, enjoy an Easy Reclined Twist by lying on the back and bringing the knees to the chest. On the exhale, let the knees fall to one side. Breathe deeply in the belly to increase detoxification, elimination, and digestion.
  5. Finish with Corpse Pose to let everything settle and relax. Clear the mind and quiet the body. Enjoy some easy breathing and quiet time together. Take an optional meditation focusing on the love you feel for each other.

How are you celebrating Mother’s Day this year?

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

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Guest Blogger: Farah Nazarali


Farah NazaraliOriginal Post from Hollyhock – Hollyhock exists to inspire, nourish and support people who are making the world better. Our learning centres are located on Cortes Island and Vancouver, BC.

By Hollyhock Presenter Farah Nazarali

Sitting at my desk with a warm cup of tea, I gaze outside and listen to the sound of the rain against the roof.  It has been raining for 2 days straight and despite the seeminly miserable weather, I am comforted by the sweet sound of rain and the smell of wet earth. Thoughts of puddles that I playfully step into with my rubber boots and the yellow rain poncho that makes me feel like a super-hero flood my mind as I plan my day.

Spring is my favorite time of year- not just the fluffly, cherry blossoms that burst forth in pink, rain pink petals on windy day and litter the streets like a pink carpet but also the rain, the storms, the wind and the uncertainty of not knowing whether to bring an umbrella or to bear skin that hasn’t seen the sun for months.

At this precious time of year when Mother Nature re-births, I am reminded how perfect Nature’s teachings are for yoga and dharma practitioners. The perfect example of karma, dharma, giving, impermanence and bodhicitta (divine Love); we need only to observe the cycles of Mother Nature and the infinite bounty she provides unconditionally to know and understand bodhicitta.

Like the plants, fruits and trees that grow from seeds- so too is our power. Our thoughts, speech and actions bear results -either positive or negative, pleasant, or unpleasant, bringing the fruits of happines, freedom, or suffering. ‘Whatever one’s sows, that [s]he shall also reap’ is a unverisal teaching so perfectly embodied and exemplfied by Mother Earth.

“Relaxing with the present moment, not resisting the fact that things end, that things pass, that things have no lasting substance, that everything is changing all the time—that is the basic message”, teaches Pema Chodren.  The end of winter, the coming of spring, summer picnics, ocean swimming, berries, cherries and peaches last only a short duration before the leaves change color, fall to the ground, and daylight diminishes giving way to cold, dark nights and barren trees.

Yet, as Mother Nature draws her energy inward, she is always there; omnipresent, supporting us throughout the seasons. Offering harvest even in the coldest months, she eternally gives unconditionally to all the creatures of her home allowing us to feast and forage all year round. Though we pillage her minerals, plunder her forest, and pollute her waters, she continues to offer all that she has providing the most supreme example of bodhicitta- ultimate love for all beings.
Yes, these wet, cold, seeminly dreary days provide me with insight and inspiration and allow me to reflect upon the teachings that have transformed my life and as I finish the last sip of my tea, I relish and delight in the Divine teachings of Mother Nature.


About Farah:

Farah Nazarali is a yoga teacher, dharma practioner, and founder of Drishti Point Yoga Podcasts. Join her September 20 – 25 for Ancient Wisdom Yoga at Hollyhock on Cortes Island. The retreat will be co-presented with Jimena Mendeita and weaves together yogic wisdom and indigenous practices that honour Mother Earth and the Divine Feminine.

Farah is also a long-time teacher at Open Door Yoga. Read more about what to expect from her class here and join her on Fridays at our Commercial Drive Studio for a beautiful Hatha class at 9:00am.

Posted in: Mindfulness, Personal Growth, Teacher Profiles, Yoga

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