Posts Tagged asana

Can you breath into a moment?

Can you breath into a moment?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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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

Posted in: Open Door Yoga

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Tryptophan-asana and Other Post-Turkey Poses

leaves

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

Half:

  • 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

Full:

  • 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

Half:

  • 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

Full:

  • 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.

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Eating, 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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Utkata Konasana

In light of International Women’s Day, we would like to invite you to take a moment to honour you inner-goddess, no matter what gender you identify by practising Utkata Konasana, or Goddess Pose.

This asana has several benefits:

  • Opening the hip joints
  • Opening the chest
  • Stretching the groin and hips
  • Strengthening the upper back and shoulder
  • Strengthening the inner thighs, quadriceps, and legs
  • Strengthening the biceps, triceps, and arms
  • Toning the belly and core
  • Toning the buttocks
  • Increasing circulation and warming the body
  • Creating more space in the pelvis

If you have any injury surgery or inflammation in the hips, legs or shoulders, do not practice this pose.

When you are ready to honour your Goddess, start with the instructions below:

  1. Start by facing the long-side of your mat with a wide stance – about one leg’s distance between your feet. Turn your toes out to the corners of your mat.
  2. Bend deeply at the knees until you are in a comfortable squatting position that you can hold. You can go as deep as having your hips in line with your knees.
  3. Stretch your arms out at shoulder-height and parallel to the ground. Then, bend at the elbows so that your fingers point up to the sky. With your palms facing forward, spread your fingers. *Modification: For shoulder pain, you can modify by bringing the hands to heart in prayer.
  4. Keep the spine long and strong and the core muscles engaged. Tuck the tailbone and hold here breathing. *Mantra: “I honour my inner-Goddess by awakening my strength.”
  5. Stay for as long as comfortable or 5-10 deep breaths. Feel the strength and power you are cultivating for yourself. If your breath is choppy, come out of the pose slightly so that you can breath deeply. Step into mountain pose and place the hands over the heart to notice how you feel.

How are you celebrating women on International Women’s Day? How do you honour women every day?

Posted in: Breathing, Yoga

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Partner Yoga for Valentine’s Day

Love Day is drawing near. Whether you have a hubby, hunny, a close family member, or friend, grab hold of someone you trust and try some partner yoga with them for Valentine’s Day.

Remember, when you practice with someone else, it is very important to communicate throughout the whole practice. Get into the habit of asking each other “How are you doing?” and “Does this feel okay?” Check in often by saying “Let me know if this is too much,” or “Tell me if I should keep going.” If someone feels uncomfortable or unstable, gently move away or out of the pose, pause and take a moment to chat about what was going on. If it’s safe, try again.

A great mantra to offer during a partner practice is: “The light within me honours the light within you.”

 

  • Sukhasana (Connected Easy Seated Pose) Start by sitting back-to-back, facing away from each other. Lengthen the spine and sit tall (use a block, pillow, or blanket to help if you need to.) Begin to feel the support from your partner’s back. Notice each other’s breathing. If you feel comfortable, you can do this pose facing each other with knees and finger-tips touching. Gaze softly into each other’s eyes and allow love to shine forward from the heart. This is a great time to practice a favourite breathing exercise, mantra or meditation together. Stay here for as long as you want, breathing and connecting with each other.
  • Uttanasana (Connected Standing Forward Bend) Face each other while standing about 8 feet apart. Have feet under knees and hip-distance apart. Keep the knees soft and gently engage the belly. Lift up through the spine and as you inhale, sweep the arms up. As you exhale, hinge forward from the hips until your hands meet and connect in two prayers. (Someone may have to step back or forward a bit to adjust.) Stay here with a flat back and breath 3-5 deep breaths. Engage the core on an exhale and on an inhale lift up back to standing. Pause here and then repeat for 2-5 times.
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Double Downward-Facing Dog) One of you start by making your way into a comfortable Down Dog. This person should focus on alignment and engagement of the arms, legs and abs. The other person will lie on the lower half part of the body (bum & legs) of the person in Down Dog. This person should focus on slowly, gently, and easily putting pressure and weight onto their partner’s Down Dog. They may not be able to completly relax, making it more of a core work out. If it’s okay, and the body is completely relaxed, they can stretch the arms up and feel supported by their partner’s Down Dog while the other person gets a deeper stretch from their partner’s weight. Stay here as long as you can or for 5-10 breaths, then switch.
  • Vriksasana (Twin Tree Pose) Come to a standing position, facing the same direction. Both of you will lift the outside foot up to the ankle, calf, or thigh (avoid the knee) and come into a Tree Pose. Use a soft focus on a single point in front of you and your engaged core to stay balanced and stable. On an inhale, lift the outside arm up and connect it with your partner’s outside hand in prayer above your heads. The inside hand can lift up and connect with your partner’s inside hand in another prayer. Your own palms will face toward your own faces. Press both palms into each other to stabilize and allow your trees to wobble, sway, or stay planted firmly into the earth. Feel the support of your partner and enjoy having to rely on each other for this challenging balancing pose. Don’t forget to breath! Stay here for as long as you can, or for 5-10 breaths. Then, switch places to do the other side.
  • Shavasana (Partner Corpse Pose) Lie down on your backs, side by side, feet to feet, or head to head. You may want to place a blanket over top of the both of you to keep the body warm. Lie with your feet as wide as your mat and relaxed out to the side. Let the palms turn up and relax the facial muscles, jaw, and tongue. Begin to relax the entire body, as you breath together. Together, you can work with a favourite mantra or a certain meditation. Otherwise, just try to keep your focus on your breathing. You may want to set a timer to be sure you get up. 2-10 minutes is good. When the time is up, be sure to take your time moving out of this pose.
  • Namaste Sit facing each other in a tall seat and look softly into each other’s eyes. Gaze gently at your partner and give each other smiles. Bring the palms to your heart and allow the love to shine forward to each other. Now is a great time to acknowledge how important each other is. Share what you love about your partner and thank them for practising with you. Bow to each other.

 

Want to practice some partner yoga with your little one? Check out Baby & Me Yoga at our Commercial and Main & 15th Studios. Click here for more info.

Happy Valentine’s Day! How will you be spending the holiday of Love?

Posted in: Breathing, Meditation, Yoga

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Yamas & Niyamas

s &j

 

The Everyday Value of the Yamas and Niyamas: 10 Principles to Nurture You in Life (from the Patanjali Yoga Sutras)

-By Soorya & Jack Resels

 

Over four decades of our spiritual practice, we’ve observed the many blessings of Yoga, its philosophy of Oneness and meditation. Our most recent discoveries have grown through the gift of teaching 10 core values to inspired Yoga Teachers in Training at Open Door Yoga. The heart of Yoga is this ethical basis of how to live and love consciously.

Is this true for you?

“I feel terrific after my yoga class (my meditation, an inspiring workshop…), but by the time I come home or interact with people in school, at work, or anywhere, I often can’t remember the amazing benefits. Why won’t the expansion I experienced stick?”

If you resonate with this, then the 5 Yamas or Restraints (non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-excess, non-possessiveness) and 5 Niyamas or Observances (purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender to your higher self) are invaluable guideposts to living from yourawakening heart every day.

In life, the Yamas may appear as: appreciating yourself and others, speaking your truth without harming yourself or another, not hiding your gifts, cultivating your center of equilibrium, and loving what’s so.

And the Niyamas: clearing clutter, enjoying this moment, cultivating endurance while building new habits, observing your progress, and embracing your pure essence.

So what’s in it for you?

To be your best self means moving through your worst habits and fears on the yoga mat and off it. How? First commit to the possibility that you can consciously transform. Then, follow these 10 guidelines and ceaselessly recommit daily with small loving acts of realignment.

In a gem of a book, The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, Deborah Adele meticulously explains and enlivens through stories and engaging practices 3 verses of the 196 Yoga Sutras that deal directly with this subject (Verses 2.30-32).

How to succeed?

Refer to these 10 Yamas and Niyamas. They speak volumes of wisdom to help keep you on your path of ease. To cultivate a connection to your clear mind and happy heart takes ongoing loving repetition and appreciation for your efforts, over a long period of time (Yoga Sutras, Verse 1.14). This is skillful practice.

When you aim to live by these universal standards of truth, well-being, respect for yourself and others, in balance with life, you will falter. Don’t be surprised and don’t make a big deal about it. What can you do? Just befriend your efforts and feelings by taking a full breath and recommitting. Begin again to forge and deepen these new pathways connecting you to your inner peace, aliveness and joy.

To help you continue, have conversations with people in your life on topics that reflect on your process of aligning with your inner spirit. Cultivate that connection. Find simple language to convey your intentions while allowing for your drifts and realignments. Your highest nature is just waiting for you.

 

Soorya and Jack Resels are meditators and practising yogis for 44 years, having frequently visited India to deepen their spiritual practice. They currently enjoy meditating with and coaching people inConscious Living and Loving in Vancouver, BC.

You can read more about Soorya and Jack here. They are also part of the faculty of Open Door’s Yoga Teacher Training Program.

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

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Yoga Class Ettiquite

 

Imagine being deep in a pose, relaxed and focused, breathing steadily and going deeper into the assana then ever before. Then all of a sudden, you are disrupted by something. Maybe a strong smell, or a loud sound. You – and the rest of your classmates, and the teacher – turn to look in the direction the disruption and the focus of the entire class is quickly lost. This is a scene that can happen quite a lot in a modern day Western yoga class. Not only that, but it’s very possible that all of us can be guilty of committing acts against yoga etiquette. Take a look below and  let us know if you agree or disagree or if you can think of any more!

  1. Don’t bring your phone to the mat – Unless there is an emergency, there is no need to have your phone strapped to your body during a yoga practice. Whether you are texting, checking social media, or answering e-mails, phones in the studio are disruptive to the class, distracting to your fellow students, and destructive to your focus. In such a quiet room, the buzzing, tapping, and ringing of a smart phone or cell phone can ruin the restful and relaxing setting for yoga class. As well, the bright screen of a phone can kill the soft light and ambience of the studio. If your phone really needs to be there, turn it face down, put it on silent, and step out of class when you need to use it.
  2. Arrive on time – Punctuality is important for any class or commitment you take on. However, everyone runs late once in a while. Open Door has a great policy where you can wait at the door if you are a few minutes late and be let in after the teacher opens the class. This avoids disruption for teacher and students alike.
  3. Remember personal hygiene – This one seems quite obvious, but sometimes we can forget how close we are to our neighbours in some yoga classes. Remember breath, hair, armpits, feet, yoga clothes, and even your yoga mat can get quite stinky. Pay attention to these areas to create a comfortable space for yourself and your fellow classmates.
  4. But remember the scent-free zone – On the other hand, if you wear perfume, cologne, aftershave, or any strong-smelling soaps, hair products, or deodorant, be mindful that some students are allergic to these strong smells and they can really disrupt a yoga practice.
  5. Dress comfortably – Ill-fitting, revealing clothing that is too tight, too loose, or too small, is usually frowned upon in the yoga classroom. Dress appropriately for class so that not only your neighbours and teachers are comfortable, but you are too.

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Open Door Yoga, Yoga

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An Ayurvedic August

komorebi

 

As we head into the last -and hottest – part of summer, take a moment to reflect on the last few months. How is your mental and physical health? Have you been keeping up with your yoga practice and staying active? Are you taking the time to relax and rejuvenate? Most importantly, are you keeping cool during these humid and hot days? Below are some Ayurvedic tips to cool down and pacify the active Pitta Dosha that is usually in excess during this time of year.

  1. Eating – Enjoy the abundance of BC produce and increase local fruits and vegetables, especially ones that are “sweet,” “bitter,” and “cool,” and “light.” Examples are tree and vine fruits, berries, squashes, greens, and herbs.
  2. Drinking – Eliminate your intake of alcohol and of course, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fresh, filtered water with added cucumber or coconut water with added mint to decrease pitta energy.
  3. Yoga – Take on more of a cooling practice that focus on opening the hips. Asanas such as Pigeon, Reclined Bound Angle Pose, and Dragon Pose. Take more time for meditation and sitting quietly with your breath. And definitely enjoy a longer Savasana!
  4. Skin – Take time to give yourself a cooling massage with coconut oil and peppermint oil. Work from the scalp all the way down to the toes using circular motions, or just pick one spot that feels extra tight and focus on releasing tension with pressure from your fingertips.
  5. Smell – Keeping fresh flowers around you is a real treat in the summer. If you have access to lavender, even better! If not, use lavender essential oil to calm the system. Using a bottle of rose water to spray your face, neck, chest and head is also very beneficial.

What are your favourite ways to stay cool during the summer?

 

Posted in: Breathing, Eating, Meditation, Miscellaneous, Open Door Yoga, Yoga

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Summer Solstice

Photo © Cody James Briggs (codyjbriggs@gmail.com)

On June 21st, we celebrated Summer Solstice. Solstice happens twice a year, in June and December, and is the date when the season changes. In summer, solstice is regarded as the longest day of the year and the day of the most daylight. In Vancouver, where we have a wet and grey sky for the majority of the year, it is the beginning of something exciting. We get to enjoy beautiful, sunny, and warm weather for the next couple of months. There are lots of activities happening around the city and people are noticeable happier and excited. Already, we see an influx of walkers, bikers, and runners on the streets. However, during this time, yoga classes and studios tend to be empty. We all know that it’s difficult to maintain a regular yoga practice when you could be lounging on a local beach. We encourage you to take yoga outside or start a home practice if you haven’t already. Embed yoga into your morning routine so that there is no getting out of it. Honour your Summer-Self by maintaining a practice and keeping healthy. Read below for some healthy ways to celebrate this wonderful time of year.

  • Surya Namaskar – The Sun Salutations are used to build heat, build core strength, and warm the body. Each cycle of breath is connected with each movement which creates a sort of moving meditation. Of course, Sun Salutations are used as a tribute to the sun as their direct translation is “to adore” the sun. Summer Solstice is an ideal time to start practicing Surya Namaskar regularly. Try practicing Surya Namaskar at the beginning of your practice, first thing in the morning, or any-time throughout the day. See if you can keep up practicing once a day for the rest of the summer.
  • H2O – Don’t forget to stay hydrated as the mercury rises! We all know the benefits of keeping hydrated: clear skin, detoxed organs, assistance in digestions and elimination, appetite control, energizing muscles… The list goes on. Keep a bottle of water with you wherever you go and add herbs, or fruit like lemons, cucumbers, or mint.
  • Music – Create a summer playlist to get you pumped up and dance like nobody is watching! Or, click here to try one of the playlists from 8 Tracks.
  • Retreat/Get Away – Summer is the perfect time to recharge and enjoy some time with your partner, family, friends, or just yourself. Take a trip. Whether it’s near or far, one night or one month, taking time off to unplug and relax is crucial during the summer months. For a semi-local, inexpensive option, check out Open Door Yoga’s first annual retreat happening this July! The package is family-friendly and includes yoga, healthy meals, activities. It’s a nice way to get out the city and connect with others. Click here for more info.
  • Stoke the Fire – Light candles to honour the sun. Go one step further and click here to try a candle gazing meditation which cleanses the eyes.
  • Grow Something – There are lots of wonderful plants you can start growing in the summer. Things that grow on vines like squashes, cucumbers, and beans work well at this time of year. It’s also always nice to have edible flowers (such as Borage) to add to salads, drinks, iced cubes or water. If you are new to gardening, try something easier like herbs or just sprinkle native wild flower seeds.
  • Go Green – according to Ayurveda, in summer, it is best to eat sweet, bitter, and astringent tasting foods that are light and wet to balance the Pitta. Bitter greens, cold drinks, and raw foods work best. Good examples of these types of food are salads made of radishes, arugula, mint, kale, and cucumber, fresh fruits and coconut water. This is easy enough to accomplish with all the fresh berries and greens that our province produces this time of year. Hit a local farmer’s market to hand-pick ingredients for your next meal. Click here for a list of Vancouver Farmer’s Markets.

How do you celebrate Summer Solstice?

Posted in: Eating, Meditation, Miscellaneous, Open Door Yoga, Yoga

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