How to Start Meditating

Many of us know the benefits of meditation but really can’t get in into it. We practice mindfulness and awareness in yoga class all the time, but when it comes to finding a personal yoga practice of our own, we tend to get stuck. There are so many new studies and pieces of information coming out to support the gains of a regular meditation practice. So why is it so hard to get into it?

We complied a list of tips to start meditating that we hope will help to inspire a regular home practice of mindfulness.


Create space – clear out a corner, clean up an area and plop a pillow down. Decorate with flowers, plants, candles, crystals, anything that makes you happy and excited to meditate. Having an oasis away from the noise and distractions of the rest of your home will make meditating so much easier to get into a space to relax.


Set a timer – many of us worry about the unanswered e-mails, unattended children, or the dinner that is not going to cook itself. Pick a time where you can escape from everything and set a timer so that you don’t worry about escaping for too long. If you can use a smart phone to set the timer, be sure choose some relaxing wake-up music like sitar or nature sounds so that you aren’t rudely awaken by an abrupt alarm clock.


Pick you time – Are you a morning person? Well then integrate your meditation practice into your morning routine between brushing teeth and cooking breakfast to prepare yourself for a positive day. More of a night owl? Sit quietly before bed to let go of the day and unwind. It’s best to get into a routine when you start a meditation practice. But if this is too difficult, allow yourself to take short meditation breaks throughout the day. If one day you “don’t have time,” don’t stress yourself out, our beat yourself up, just fit in a short session wherever you can manage.


Experiment with different types – There are so many different forms of meditation. You can try candle gazing, focusing on the breath, using a mantra, visualizing a place, colour therapy, crystals, diffusing essential oils, anything where you are training your mind to focus on something. You can use YouTube videos, research the internet and books, or download apps to get ideas and to practice guided mediations.


Start small – Don’t assume that you  need to meditate for an hour each day. Start with a simple 2 minute mindfullness for a week and build from there. Add on a minute each day, week, or even month. Whatever you are comfortable with. And know that your practice will be fluid and ever-changing. Be open to what comes up and work with what’s going on for you that day.


Happy meditating!


What are your tips to keeping up on mindfulness and meditation? Share in the comments section below.

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

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Open Door YTT

Are you at the point in your yoga practice where you would like to learn more? Do you want to deepen your practice and learn the ins and outs of the base poses? Would you like to add some holistic experience and certification to your resume? Do you want to experience more than a regular yoga class and have one-on-one support?

Consider Open Door’s Yoga Teacher Training and Do What You Love!

We are celebrating 12 years of Certifying Yoga Teachers and guiding students through a life-changing experience through our well-rounded YTT Program.

Open Door’s YTT Vision: A student that graduates from the program will be qualified to teach a comprehensive, safe, hatha yoga class and will have improved their understanding of yoga, teaching techniques, business opportunities, and one’s direction in life. They will be equipped to teach a comprehensive, safe yoga class that nurtures and supports, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.

Our program is based on Prana and Kripalu Yoga style of teaching and is a well-rounded program where you will learn Teaching Techniques, Teaching Methodology, and get hands-on experience with the Practicums. The program is also Yoga Alliance Certified but goes above and beyond the standard requirements to include teachings on topics such as: Anatomy and Physiology, Philosophy, Ethics, Balanced Lifestyle, Practical Business  Skills, Goal-setting, Ayurveda, Laughter Yoga, Kids Yoga, Yin Yoga, Power Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, plus processes and exercises that will change your life.

The Program is led by experienced instructors that well educated in yoga. One of our March 2013 grads says:

“The variety of instructors provides the opportunity to see various styles and methods of teaching yoga. It is not a cookie cutter program and it encourages the students to think for themselves and figure it out by understanding the asana’s through the contras and modifications.”

Georgina Varveris – Co-director

Hogan Poon – Co-director

Vesna Zdrale – Teacher and Philosophy Teacher

Charlotte Juras – Senior Teacher

Jack Resels – Philosophy teacher

Marjorie Haynes – Anatomy Teacher

Karen Heaps – Teacher


The Fall program is starting in less than two months! The Program will run from Sunday October 4, 2015 until the end of March. The YTT Group will meet every Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm. The tuition includes a One Year Open Door Yoga Membership!! see Prices and Payment for more details!

Apply Now to change your life and Do What You Love!


Still need more info? We have a great info session coming up this weekend on Sunday, August 16th at our Main & 14th studio.

Click here to sign up and receive 2 weeks free Yoga for attending.

Posted in: Personal Growth, Teacher Training, Yoga

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Guest Blogger: Sharon’s 5 Must-Have Tools for Hormone Health



I was at Sarita’s Hatha Yoga class yesterday, and she spoke of a Buddhist teaching of the body’s four necessities: FOOD, REST, HOPE and CONCENTRATION. The first is obvious – we certainly need nourishing food to sustain us. It seems to me that the last three necessities are provided through yoga.  During our practice, we can embrace the opportunity to REST the body, the racing mind and let go of emotional attachments. With this rest, we are able to change our perspective on challenges we might be experiencing, and have the experience of HOPE. I, personally, have left yoga class with a more positive outlook more times than I can count. Lastly, the moving meditation of the physical practice, as well as guided imagery, pranayama, savasana and isolated meditation practices all improve our ability to cultivate single-pointed awareness or CONCENTRATION.

It seems to me that a lot of us underestimate the importance of these last three necessities to a healthy body and mind. As an example, I work with a lot of hormonal imbalance in my nutritional consulting practice.  Of course I always make recommendations for particular foods and natural supplements to address deficiencies that may be contributing to the imbalance. However, one of the root causes of the imbalance is often stress. Which means that if the stress isn’t addressed, it is difficult for clients to see lasting results, even with clean eating habits. The body will struggle to deal with the chronic stress, even more so as we grow older.

As a nutritionist, I will always suggest a shift away from depleting processed foods to vitalizing whole foods. But part of my job is also to guide clients toward lifestyle changes that are beneficial for their specific condition. When it comes to hormone imbalance, this often involves resolving digestive and intestinal issues, supporting the thyroid and adrenals, but also making recommendations to manage stress, REST, and cultivate more mindfulness!

All of these topics are covered in my new ebook ’5 Must-Have Tools for Hormone Health’.  Whether you experience irritability, difficulty sleeping, anxiety or depression, hot flashes, bloating, difficulty losing weight, abdominal pain, loss of memory, fibroids, endometriosis or cysts – this book can help you take your health back into your own hands! The book focuses on 5 tools that YOU can easily incorporate into your life, including dietary and lifestyle changes (hint: Yoga is one of the 7 suggestions) to support hormonal balance. You can sign-up for your complimentary copy at  And if you know of someone who might benefit from this information, please share it with them as well! Once you have had a chance to take a look, send me an email with any questions you have about incorporating the changes for yourself. I will be happy to answer them for you.



Sharon Pendlington, BSc, RHN, NNCP, RYT
Holistic Nutritionist


Posted in: Eating, Mindfulness, Nutrition, Yoga

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How to Cultivate a Home Practice

One of the most important parts in a yogi’s life is when a regular home practice is created and held. During busy times and summer holidays, it’s difficult to make it to the studio as often as the cooler months. Carving out an hour or more to practice with your community and factoring in travel time and getting ready can really leave us feeling overwhelmed, especially when there are so many other things going on in our lives. That’s why, taking the time to practice at home can be much more of a relief as it is so accessible and accommodating. Below are some tips for starting up a home yoga practice and sticking to it.


Start small – Dedicate just a few minutes a day to start. From there grow your practice to something well-rounded. Allow yourself that hour or hour and a half to breath and move. When the day gets away from you and you feel like there are no hours left in the day for you to take time for yourself, well, that’s when you really need to make it happen. But don’t beat yourself up if some days you just can’t make the 60 or 90 minute practice happen. Allow yourself the space to have a small 20 minute session if that’s all you can do. Even if you only roll out your mat for a 5 minute Savasana, at least you are keeping up with the practice and listening to what your body needs.

Create space – It’s important to create a space that you can go to for your practice. This might be somewhere that has a door that closes and that is the quiet part of your home. Maybe you need to have a conversation with family to let them know that when you are there, it’s your you time. Perhaps having a “Do not disturb” sign up is something else you will need to maintain your space. Whatever you need to do, allow yourself to be selfish and do it. Add in some items that make you happy and help to relax you and get you in the yoga mood. Some great ideas are essential oils, flowers, plants, crystals, candles, and incense. Some people find that having some yoga books, or putting up some yoga pictures in their space helps them to get inspired. Get the right mood lighting too so you can relax the eye muscles.

Equip yourself – Of course you will need the basics item to get started at home: a yoga mat. It’s not necessary to go all out with home props and equipment, but consider putting a few things aside in your space so that they are always accessible and available in case you need a bit of support. A block, or large book can help with forward folds and balancing in a Half Moon, and a strap or scarf can assist with shoulder openings and seated leg stretches. Other items that are nice to have around are cushions, pillows, and blankets to get comfy and golf balls, tennis balls, or dowels, for self-massage. It’s also important to keep your home mat clean so invest in a natural mat spray or make your own with distilled water and tea tree oil.

Find a routine – There will be days where you won’t feel like practising, but having a go-to set routine that you can always turn to will make those days so much easier. The routine can be the simple foundation poses like Cat-Cow, Down-Dog, Warriors, Forward Folds, and Twists. This can be your rock in your home practice by always being there to stabilize and maintain you. Memorize it or better yet, write it out with pictures and put it up in your space to inspire you. That way, when you have uninspiring, long, tough days, you won’t even have to think about what kind of practice you will have to come up with. No excuses!

Switch it up – Having a go-to routine is great, but try not to always fall back onto it. Consider having a practice where you just move intuitively . Check in with yourself and ask what your body and mind need today and then use that as a guide to creating the perfect practice personally catered to you. Some people have trouble guiding themselves through a practice but it is a great exercise for intuition and direction. Otherwise, there are plenty of resources for yoga videos, sequences, and poses. Explore and find something that works for you and enjoy how your needs change from day to day. Doing something different with each one of your self-taught classes brings more excitement and joy to your home practice.

Be safe – Know the importance of safety when practising at home. You don’t have a teacher watching out for correct alignment and checking that you are not hyper-extending or over-doing it. As well, you don’t have someone reminding you to breathe, and check in on how you are doing. It’s extra important to be aware of any pain or discomfort when you are practising on your own, so really be sure you are listening to your body and backing off when needed.


How do you practice at home? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted in: Mindfulness, Yoga

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Summer Inspiration

When it’s hot and muggy in the city,  it can be a challenge to keep inspired and cultivate healthy habits with all the BBQ’s, weddings, lounging by the water, and other summer events. When we would much rather be lazy and “relax,” it’s difficult to keep up with your yoga practice. We’ve come up with a few easy and do-able tips to integrate into your summer routine and stay inspired and healthy this season!


Spend more time outside Get outside and enjoy the fresh air, warmth, and gorgeous weather! Whether it’s your yoga practice, a swim, a bike ride, a hike, group sports, or a walk around the neighbourhood, get your activities outside and allow nature and your surroundings to inspire your exercise and activities.

Hydrate This one is pretty obvious. If we don’t drink enough water, we can feel sluggish and tired. Start your day with a big tall glass of pure or filtered water. Better, yet, sip on some warm lemon water to flush your liver of toxins and kick-start your body’s functions for the day. Aim to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces by 2pm so you aren’t interupting your sleep to go to the bathroom. Keep a trusty water bottle with you that you like and sip, sip, sip, throughout the day! You can even add herbs, fruits, and a couple drops of essential oils to make your h20 more exciting!

Watch the sunset – or sunrise! How often do you get to gaze at a beautiful pink sky? Get to a good view and watch the sun say goodbye to the world. Even better is to wake up extra early and greet the day and the sun. This naturally wakes up the body and can help with getting us into better circadian rythms. This can help with getting a better sleep at night and being less groggy throughout the day and afternoon. These are also great times to expose yourself to Vitamin D as the sun will not be as strong at dawn and dusk.

Check out a local farmer’s market Enjoy the bounty of the season and get inspired by all the colours, flavours, smells, and tastes. Pick out a vegetable or fruit that you don’t usually buy and find a creative recipe to try out for dinner. Berries and corn are especially sweet and in-season at this time of year. Rather than weigh yourself down with heavy processed foods and salty meats, aim to eat lighter and more plant-based this summer to keep your cool, fresh, and healthy.

Create Find your inner-child and some seasonal inspiration by writing a poem, painting, dancing, or doing something artistic that will uplift your spirt.

Be exposed to inspiration A great way to get inspired is to watch others who are inspired themselves. Some great ideas to get yourself exposed to inspiration are: attend a yoga workshop, see an outdoor theatre performance, attend an art show, take a dance class, head to a sporting event, or head to a local music festival. Seeing others succeed and do what they love can be a very powerful tool to get yourself out of a summer rut. Whether it’s the teacher of the class, the performer on stage, or the artists behind the photograph, these individuals are following their dreams and that is an amazing thing!


What inspires you? Let us know in the comments below.

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

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Summer Cool-Down

This summer in Vancouver has been extra dry and hot, so this week, we’ve put together a list of ways to stay cool and beat the heat!


Find a hidden beach – We all know that beaches in Vancouver can get pretty crowded. Check out this great list of hidden gems within the city and take a dip! But don’t forget to stay hydrated, cover up from the sun, and wear some SPF to avoid heat/sun stroke.

Sip on a Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca –  We love our friend and Nutritionist Sharon Pendlington’s recipe for this awesome cool-down drink. Sharon can also help with your summer nutrition and weight-loss goals. Read more and find her contact info here.

Take a Yin Yoga Class – Yin is traditionally a cooling yoga practice that can help with the fatigue that we experience from the heat. Open Door has plenty of Yin classes to choose from. Including Joan’s Wednesday class at Main & 15th from 4:30 pm-5:45 pm. Take a look at the other Yin classes (in blue) on our schedule here.

Summer Slim Down & Healthy BBQing – We love Claire’s easy, no fuss way of looking at nutrition. Read her latest post on increasing your healthy eating confidence with a summer slim-down. Also take a look at tips for hosting or attending a summer BBQ.

Take a Spa Day – Relaxing is important during the summer months. Take it easy and avoid overexerting yourself but having a calming and rejuvenated at-home-spa. Remember, rose water, peppermint essential oil, and witch hazel is cooling.

Try Ayurveda – This ancient way of living looks at ways to cool down the body during the hot summer months for natural healing and optimal health. Most of these tips are no-brainers: like wearing lighter clothes, and cooler colours and avoiding heavy foods.

Salute the Moon – Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutations) are a great way to continue to enjoy your yoga practice through the warm months while honour the cooler/feminine side of the body.

Cool down with yoga – Open Door’s classes are air conditioned. And we always have a safe haven away from the hussle and bussle of the hot, loud city. Take a break and come relax and rejuivante with us at any of our studios. Check out our class schedule to find a class that suites your needs and feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns.

Bring your practice outside – Take it to the beach, poolside, backyard, park – anywhere! There are endless outdoor classes in Vancouver and what better way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors then to Vinyassa in  nature!? Check out the Outdoor Yoga Meetups and stay tuned for a potential ODY outdoor class too! But again, don’t forget to stay sun safe.

Start a Home Practice –  Too hot to leave the comfort and cool of your own home? Consider starting a home practice to keep up with your fitness and mindfulness goals. A daily home practice is the ultimate step in cultivating daily health. Hogan is holding a Home Practice Workshop at our Main & 14th studio this Sunday July 12th.

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

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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

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

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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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