About Alison Boons

Alison Boons is the Vancouver Community Coordinator for Power of Movement. Visit the website PowerofMovement.ca, connect on Twitter and Facebook.

Posts by Alison Boons:

Give Your Time to the Power of Movement 2013

Give Your Time to the Power of Movement 2013

2013 marks the 7th anniversary of the Power of Movement, Canada’s Largest Yoga Fundraiser in support of the Arthritis Research Foundation.

The Arthritis Research Foundation raises, manages and invests funds for arthritis and related autoimmune disease research taking place in labs and clinics across UHN. They strive to increase awareness of this large family of diseases, which affects over 4.6 million Canadians. Through leading edge research and a greater awareness of the realities of arthritis-related diseases, they hope for a brighter future for those suffering from these debilitating conditions, and for better musculoskeletal health in Canada.

Did you know that Arthritis consists of more than 100 different conditions, which range from relatively mild forms of tendinitis and bursitis to crippling systemic forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It includes pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia and arthritis-related disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, that involve every part of the body. Other forms of the disease, such as gout, are almost never thought of as arthritis, while osteoarthritis is often thought to be the only form of this disease.

In yoga, we often talk about Karma, and how we can help others without expecting anything in return. Karma means action or activity that produces a result and leaves behind an energetic impression inside our heart and minds. It can originate from many different places, whether it’s a thought, a word, a deed or perhaps even something that we perceive with our senses.

If we are looking to contribute to the universe on any level, the energy of kindness and compassion, positive energy gives off more positive energy. Karma encourages us to act selflessly and for the benefit of others. It may take a long time for karma to come back to us, but I invite you to not worry about that part, look and see how it feels to act selflessly and for the benefit of others.

When we can act from a place that is loving, warm and caring, we invite this in to our lives. Karma is ultimately our “action” of everyday life, what we put out and give off, and how this affects our lives and those around us, projecting what will come back to us as we continue along our paths.

Power of Movement is one of the Arthritis Research Foundation’s signature, annual events, which takes place nationally from Vancouver to St. John’s, NL.

It all started in 2005 when Dorna Chee, a yoga instructor, placed a call to the Foundation. Dorna had turned to her yoga breathing exercises to help her get through a lengthy stay in the hospital after being diagnosed with lupus. Dorna believed that with more than 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis, the benefits she experienced, thanks to yoga, could benefit others, and Power of Movement was born.

To date the Power of Movement has raised $1.3 million dollars and our goal is to raise an additional $400,000 through the 2013 campaign!

Last year’s Vancouver event had 154 participants and raised $11,000. This year, we hope to exceed that goal with 250 participants and over $15,000 in fundraising. Lets show how the Vancouver community gives back and supports those in need. Minimum registration is $20.00, which includes a tax receipt. Create your own team, or come solo.

Lots of prizes to be one on the day of the event, including prizes from Halfmoon Yoga Products as well as Luna Bars, Cocos Pure Coconut Water and much much more.

The event happens: Sunday March 3rd, 2013 with the class starting at 11:00am at the Creekside Community Centre in Olympic Village. The class itself is an all styles class, with something for everyone.

To register: http://beatarthritis.akaraisin.com/POM2013Vancouver

Need more information or have other ideas on how you would like to participate send an email to Alison Boons, Vancouver Community Coordinator for the Power of Movement, [email protected]

“All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.”

An Afternoon with Thich Nhat Hanh

I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to yesterday’s “Open Mind, Open Heart; Touching the Wonders of Now” talk at the Orpheum with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh {source: http://wkuplondon.wordpress.com/about/our-teacher-thich-nhat-hanh/}

Thich Nhat Hanh, who turns 85 in October, is one of the most respected Zen masters in the world. Also a poet and peace and humans rights activist he is the founder of several organizations, including Plum Village, and has spent his years working with refugees, political prisoners, hungry families throughout the Third World, veterans, and on meditation retreats. Author of over 85 titles of poems and prayers, Thay, as he is known by his students, practices “the art of mindful living” and wrapped up his week in Vancouver with a public talk at the Orpheum.

While I wasn’t able to attend the whole retreat that was held at UBC last week, it was an honour and a privilege to spend a few hours at the Orpheum yesterday afternoon. The afternoon included guided meditation and songs of prayer, along with his lecture that focused on the practices of mindfulness and being happy in the present moment, the here and now.

He explained that being mindful is being present in the here and now, and when we practice mindfulness we are always in the here and now. While the concepts he describes are so simple, so easy to understand we, I know I, struggle with remembering to be in the present moment, to let go of the past & not rush for the future but to enjoy everyday for what it is because “this is all there is.”

Today, I still find myself processing the day looking for the simple ways to bring mindfulness more readily into my daily life, but was left with the overwhelming feeling of content, content in my here and now. If you did not have a chance to hear him speak yesterday or attend the retreat last week, here is a clip on Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings;

Thich Nhat Hanh

Retreating!

In Vancouver we are usually lucky with a beautiful summer, this year Mother Nature seems to be on vacation. As the rainy days continue to pound down on us and the torrential rain pounds outside the window, I’ve begun to look deeper into sunny and warm yoga retreats.

{Source: www.yogaretreatgreece.com}

Not only are there many studios locally who offer there own annual or semi-annual yoga retreats, there are retreats offered world wide, so where do you begin. Here are some tips to think about when planning a yoga retreat;

  • How much can you afford?
    Set yourself a budget, start here and set yourself a budget. Most retreat costs do not include airfare, keep this in mind.
  • Who are you travelling with?
    Many retreats are based on double occupancy and the price increases if you are a single occupant, while others offer shared accommodations. Decide if you are looking for a solo journey, a journey with you partner, friends or use it as an opportunity to make new ones.
  • Meals;
    Make sure you read the fine print and determine what meals are not included in the price and that you will be responsible for.
  • Type of Yoga:
    If you are going to take a retreat with a teacher you have never practiced before, find out as much you can about the teacher and what style they teach. Many retreats offer two classes a day, are you going to be happy with the teacher.
  • Other Activities:
    What other activities are included in the retreat? Tours, events etc?
  • Free Time:
    How much free time do you get to explore and be on your own?
  • Where do you want to go?
    We are lucky living in Vancouver to have places like Galiano and Salt Spring Island to find a retreat close to home. Decide where you want to go; somewhere far (Europe), somewhere closer (California), somewhere tropical (Costa Rica) and see what’s in your budget.

These gloomy rainy days have got me looking deeper into the yoga retreat wish list. Here are a few that are on the top of my list;

Have you been on a yoga retreat? What did you like or not like?

Learning to Fly

Through instinct and practice we learn to walk, just as a bird learns to fly. Just as we cannot walk right away, many birds cannot fly right away and must wait for their muscule structure to develop but in order to survive learning to fly is envitable.

As a baby bird takes its first leap into the air, they are not overcome by fear and merely, awkward as it may be, are following their instincts. Since fear is a learned behaviour, a baby bird does not yet know to be afraid of jumping off the edge, as they watch their siblings take that leap and their parents flying overhead they know that that is what they are supposed to do. With many hard falls from nest to ground followed by an even longer journey home, the bird begins to learn, through their challenges and dissappointment, the mechanics of flight.

Day 29: Learning to Fly {Source: http://games-strike.com/games/577/learn-to-fly.aspx}

As they continue to practice, their falls to the ground become more controlled and with a little encouragement from their folks, they begin to leave the nest for longer periods of time as they learn more advanced techiniques on how to utilize the wind and begin to control their landings. Eventually all of these tools become instinictual and requires no thought or analyzation on how to get from Point A to Point B.

As we watch a bird soaring through the sky, and a few flaps of their wings as they play in the wind, diving and circling around we think how wonderful it would be to be able to fly.

In yoga, arm balances are often referred to as our chance to “fly.” But unlike a baby bird, many of us, for years have developed a fear of stepping outside our comfort zone. A birds body is made to fly, just like ours is made to walk. They are able to use their lungs, and their pectoral muscles to float through the air as the air below them keeps them afloat.

Our years of overdevelopment of fear causes us to be afraid to fall, afraid to learn through trial and error, whether from embarrasement or the determined words “I can’t do it!” As we watch the people beside us, with ease, jump into crow or handstand or even bird of paradise and stare in amazement “how do they do that?” 

To start, let go of the fear! Let go of the fear of falling on your face, you probably will at one point or another, probably in front of a room of people. It’s OKAY! Everybody else in the room was there at one point or will be in the future. Use your falls as way to learn what NOT to do next time. We learn to let go of fear and learn lessons from the challenges or falls every day, whether its taking a chance on a relationship and then learning from the mistakes to not repeat them in your next relationship or getting in front of a crowd of hundreds to speak.  Fear is constantly with us! Yoga Journal has a great article on the “Fear of Falling” and says;

“it’s time to consider another necessary ingredient for progress: mental discipline. Just as much as you’ll be excited by your first successes, you’ll be deeply frustrated and discouraged by your failures. Arm balances are therefore the perfect poses to practice persistence in the face of challenge, as well as non-attachment to the fruits of your labors.”

While I’m no expert on arm balances and continue to tackle this “fear of flying”, I’ve slowly come to realize that it is really only fear that is holding me back. If I take a deep breath, and not worry if I fall on my face and who sees me, it makes Bakasana that much easier to get into and perhaps even hold for a few breaths but there are still the days when my fear wins and I can’t for the life of me even take one foot of the floor. It’s an ongoing battle, this fear and me, I know it exists and try with every effort to bring it out in the open. Some days I win, some days the fear wins, but knowing that it exists is the first step to letting it go.

{source: http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-birds-learn-how-to-fly.htm)}

Finding Your Own Meaningful Mantra

Most of us are familiar with “Aum,” or “Om” as it is referenced in the West, as not only the opening but the closing of your yoga practice. While many teachers do not use any mantra in their classes, many do and although “Aum” is the most common and the root of all mantras there are many more that you may hear or even grow to love as you embark on different lineages of yoga and different teachers.

From the Ashtanga Invocation to various Kundalini mantras that are used throughout the class, we are introduced to the idea of using mantra in our yoga classes and slowly become familiar with them. 

When finding our own personal mantra do we have to use pre-existing ones? Not necessarily, but there is certainly something to them. A mantra can be as simple as a phrase that you repeat to yourself over and over again, a reminder to yourself everyday that there is a purpose to your action. While we have the opportunity to explore and hear all of these beautiful words, we also have the opportunity to create our own, take them from our favourite songs or poems or even quotes finding whatever resonates with us.

A Mantra is clearly defined as;

A sound, syllable or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation.”

My Bedroom Wall

Perhaps you have come across a mantra in yoga that really speaks to you, that touches you deep to the core every time you hear it or perhaps you have created your own or even have yet to come across something that talks to you.  Personal mantra’s or affirmation are likely to progressively change as we move through our lives based on the challenges and opportunities that face us, but how do you even begin to find your “mantra?”

While not an easy task to find something that fits you and speaks to you here are some steps when considering your own personal mantra, whether you make your own or find one;

  • What Do You Want to Achieve? What is your passion, what do you want from your life? Take a look at where you are today and the challenges that are before you, what would help you get where you want to be?
  • Positive Language! Look for things that use positive language. By changing your language not only in the use of a mantra but everyday, you can change your life. Look at the difference between “I will” and “I want to.”
  • Choose a Few! Nobody said you only have to have one. Can’t decide take them all, and write them down!
  • Visualize! Post your mantra somewhere that you will see it every day, whether that’s on the bathroom mirror, or the front door. Leave yourself a constant reminder!
  • Repetition! Find ways to bring your personal mantra into your life, share it with others, make modifications that make it more suited to you.

Finding your own personal mantra can be a challenge, when there is so many to choose from. Remembering to look inside to find what really touches you, that makes you feel good, that brings a smile to your face and leads you to YOUR definition of happiness or where you want to be in your life.

One of mine;

“Everyday, think as you wake up: Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive. I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself to expand my heart out to others for the benefit of all beings.” ~ 14th Dalai Lama

Do you have your own personal mantra? Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Vancouver Yoga Riot 2011!

In the aftermath of the unimaginable events last week, and the showcase of love for our city and our community the following day, make sure you check out the latest event; Vancouver Yoga Riot 2011!

“Join together as a community to heal and rekindle the beautiful energy of our city using the powerful practice of yoga.”
With a variety of teachers expected, make sure you check out the Vancouver Yoga Riot 2011 details are as follows;

Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict — alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.
~
Dorothy Thompson

Uncovering the Internal Drishti

As we stand in Vrksasana (tree pose), our bodies waver back and forth, our gaze turns to those beside or in front of us and we stumble and fall. Teachers remind us to find our “drishti point”, a focal point, to help with our strength and stability in a balancing posture and a way to bring our focus on ourselves instead of others around you. A Drishti point, is so beneficial to us in our balancing postures, allowing us to have that little extra stability that we need to get through, but how else can a Drishti help us?

{Source: http://most-interesting-pictures.blogspot.com}

Our eyes are one of our most powerful senses, giving us the ability to see the world the way we want, the colours, the shapes but are also, for many of us, a doorway to our soul. Our eyes control our brains, enhance our ability to concentrate and based on how the eyes “see things” we alter our emotions. When we want to be sincere, or show our concern or cares for another, we look them in the eyes. It is difficult for our eyes to hide our feelings or our emotions when they have the capacity to smile and show sadness.

Our Drishti can be in the literal sense, that spot on the floor or the mark on the wall that helps us to stay strong and focused on our balance postures, or the figurative sense; that point that is inside of us, our centre, our inner truth, our third eye point (Ajna) . But what does it all mean?

As you delve into your yoga practice you begin to hear more and more about inner truths, centres, still points that sometimes leave us wondering “what are you talking about?”  But ultimately causing us to take a bigger look at ourselves, who we are and what we want to be and how we see the world around us. This can be overwhelming and a huge lesson as we begin to take a deeper look at how our internal drishti changes based on our perceptions as we try to find “balance” in it all.

So, what do we do? While training our minds to find this drishti point during our yoga practice can sometimes offer a challenge as our curiousity about others gets the best of us, it is even harder to find this internal drishti. How do we deal with what is there, what if we don’t like what we see, how do we change what we don’t like?

First off, nothing is a bad as it seems, our minds have a way of telling us that things are worse than they actually are, since our minds are ruled by our emotions. For many of us, we may learn a lot about how we interact with the world, and how others can be cruel and unkind to others that perhaps we never really noticed before. This internal drishti will ultimately change how we interact with those around us and cause us to associate with those with similar qualities and let go of the ones in our lives that don’t. We may come across our inner truth that what we are doing and how we are living our lives is not what we really want, its not our dharma.

The internal drishti can uncover a “wow” moment or a “what am I doing” moment but whatever comes up take a deep breathe! Look at what you want to see and where you want to be, what little things can you change to ultimately live the life you imagine? How can you make small changes in your life to be kinder to those around you, to make a difference in somebody else’s life and in by doing so making a difference in your own life? Don’t be afraid of what you uncover, it is there to help you, to make you even happier and even to learn a thing or two. Remember, the simplest thing to bring even more happiness into your life and those around you is to smile!

What have you uncovered about yourself in your yoga practice and what did you end up doing to make a change?

Canucks Asana?

So unless you live under a rock, you are aware that the Canucks have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals after 15 years and the city is alive with “Canuck/Cup Fever.”

{Source: http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=453790}

As we all know Vancouver is a yogi’s little slice of heaven with so many different studios and class styles to choose from that it only makes sense that the Canucks added yoga to their physical regime. How else could Luongo pull off some of those crazy saves?

It was reported back in 2007  that Yoga was added to the Canucks program and has become a part of many players workout regime. The major reason behind the decision to add it was to reduce injuries and the recovery time associated with them, while it can’t possibly prevent all injuries (ie. puck to the face) it can help to prevent muscle strain or groin pulls.

While there have been no clear reports as to whether yoga is still a part of the Canucks workout plan, it has been reported that our competition, Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins, has been claimed as somewhat as a “yoga master.” It is reported that he began a yoga conditioning program to increase his flexibility & strength in order to increase his abilities as a goal tender. (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/715484-2011-nhl-stanley-cup-finals-comparing-the-goalies)

Check out the Canucks in an old yoga video for Canucks TV:

Canucks TV: Yoga

And an old interview from 2009 with NHL Players including Luongo on their views of yoga, hopefully Luongo has changed his mind since this video;

NHL Players and Yoga

Check out our competition goalie’s yoga practice;

Tim Thomas Yoga

What are your thoughts? Does yoga improve their playing abilities? Tune in Wednesday for Game 1 and find out!

GO CANUCKS GO!

Yoga Teacher Telesummit

Have you heard about the 2011 Yoga Teacher Telesummit?

If you haven’t, you don’t want to miss out. It’s completely free and a great way to connect to a variety of yoga teachers from Mark Whitwell, Sadie Nardini, Rolf Gates and many many more.

”Telesummit is designed to motivate, inspire, and educate yoga teachers and dedicated students from all over the planet; to connect and share and inquire; to provide tools for teachers, studio owners, and other yoga-related entrepreneurs to become more authentic and more sustainable, to broaden their reach and focus their attention on what really matters; to create a dialogue between many different styles, traditions, and schools of Yoga to find our common ground, the shared pscyho-spiritual ‘trunk’ that roots the yogic tree into the cosmic ground of our being.”

You can register for FREE on their website at; http://www.yogateachertelesummit.com and view the daily call schedule. They will send you email reminders about the upcoming call with login information, but don’t worry if you can’t make the time, all the call are recorded and available for download.

What an amazing opportunity to hear some fantastic teachers share their insights, without having the cost of attending a weekend workshop. Don’t miss out calls with Mark Whitwell and Susanana Harwood Rubin have already happened.

My Doctor Told Me To!

Things are rapidly changing not only with yoga but in life itself, and views of yoga and meditation practices are slowly becoming a recommended form of “self maintenance” and an over the counter prescription. 

{Source: http://health.howstuffworks.com/}

Yoga and meditation is not only being brought in to businesses at Lunch or after work, it is used to help cancer patients, children with autism, prenatal yoga and baby yoga, depression or anxiety and much more, the list goes on and on. After reading an article on www.myhealthnewsdaily.com, it appears that doctors are beginning to recommend yoga and/or meditation, as they continue to become more accepting or perceptive to the ideas of alternative medicine or organic alternatives, yoga naturally makes it’s way into the mix.

According to the article,

“the 2007 National Health Interview Survey found more than 6.3 million Americans used mind-and-body therapies due to provider referral. That compares with 34.8 million who were self-referred.”

One comment in the articles states that while most patients are referred as a last resort when other options have failed;

“It makes us wonder whether referring patients for these therapies earlier in the treatment process could lead to less use of the health care system, and possibly, better outcomes for these patients.”

Similarly, the Harvard Medical School released a publication titled “Yoga can blunt harmful effects of stress, from the Harvard mental Health Letter” in April 2009. According to the report;

“Yoga appears to blunt the harmful effects of heightened stress by influencing the body’s response to stress. This is reflected in slower heart and breathing rates and lower blood pressure, all of which are good for the body. There is also evidence that yoga helps increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s flexibility in responding to stress.”

While not all doctors may be on the Yoga/Meditation band wagon yet, it appears that they are beginning to take a closer look at the benefits and how yoga is not only a means of helping somebody with health problems but also in preventative maintenance.

Interestingly enough, when researching the Internet I did not come across any representations of yoga being harmful or damaging except for the occasional post of an individuals experience.

If you practice yoga, you most certainly have noticed these benefits in yourself from feeling less stress, less anxiety to eating healthier, all which of improve our overall health. So, if yoga has been around so long what has taken them so long to figure it out? Perhaps yoga and or meditation should be covered under our Medical Services Plan (MSP) or Extended Health Benefits just like Massage Therapy, perhaps that’s not too far down the road, here’s to hoping!

To read the full Harvard Medical School Report, visit; http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/Yoga-can-blunt-harmful-effects-of-stress

To read the full My Healthy News Daily report, visit: http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/complementary-alternative-medicine-yoga-mediation-doctor-referral-1488/

What do you think, should more doctors’ recommend yoga and meditation for their patients? Has your doctor or another medical professional recommended yoga to you?

6 Tips to Deal with the Elephant in the Room

Okay so I’m just going to say it! Many of us our ruled by our emotions! 

{Source: http://www.function1.com}

 There’s the over emotional, unemotional or those who deny emotion. There are the people that react or overreact or just act, or the people who are boisterous, quiet or confident all of which are tied to our emotions. Sure our emotions encompass our personalities, but they shouldn’t have to define us. Our patterns, actions and behaviours, that result from our emotions, can be “trained” without changing our personalities, but for some reason we seem to grow up with this disconnect. 

What are emotions exactly? Well, according to the dictionary; 

Emotion is the complex psychophysiological experience of an individuals state of mind as interacting with biochemical (internal) and environmental (external) influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves “physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience.”Emotion is associated with mood, temperament, personality and disposition, and motivation. Motivations direct and energize behavior, while emotions provide the affective component to motivation, positive or negative. 

Therefore, those individuals who say they aren’t “emotional” are wrong. They are, they just don’t see their anger or aloofness as an emotion. So what are we supposed to do with all of these emotions in our lives?

Well, here are 6 tips to begin dealing with the elephant in the room; 

  • Be Aware– Start to take notice of how you interact with the world. Notice when you are acting or reacting or even overreacting. While in the moment your emotions may not let you see this, take a moment after a conversation or any social interaction and review how it went. Were you polite, interruptive, reactive to their thoughts, beliefs or opinions, this affects you and them!
  • Practice Patience –  While a fairly simple concept, be patient with yourself and others around you. Remember that everybody has to deal with their own emotions and while you may not like the way somebody interacts with you, remember you don’t know where they were or what happened to them 5 minutes before they saw you. Take a deep breath and let it go, maybe they are dealing with something really hard, don’t take it personally.
  • Keep a Journal – Keeping a journal is a great tool to “get it all out” or make sense of the clutter in your head. It is a great resource to say the things you wish you could say but feel you can’t, and to “let go” of everything that weighs you down.
  • Do One Thing a Day That You Love – Whether its yoga, or a hike or a run, or something a simple as reading a chapter of a book. Take that 10 minutes or 2 hours to do something for you! Your emotions and your soul will thank you and your presence will show that happiness to all.
  • Be Authentic –  There is a way to express your feelings, desires and emotions to those that surround you without causing them any ill emotions in return. Don’t do the things you don’t want to do if it doesn’t serve you, but let people know why. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Suess.
  • Breathe – You know in the heat of the moment that you are either angry or upset, take a moment to breathe before reacting. Remember that everybody has problems, challenges and obstacles in their lives and we can interact and still be our own person without being ruled by our emotions.

Our emotions shouldn’t define who we are, and while they can make all the difference in our lives by building lasting emotions of love and happiness, they can also make us live a life of bitterness or sadness. Remember, when you wake up in the morning you have a choice; choose to smile!

3 Ways to Pamper Your Soul!

{Source: http://www.portalmico.com/?p=244}

Who doesn’t love a relaxing massage or a stroll on a beautiful spring sunny day, but how can we continuously pamper our soul? How do we make the time to make our soul and or our heart feel good? We may get these feelings from the above, but generally they are only temporary solutions.

Our lives are made up of a bunch of moments, and while every moment may not be the best experience it makes an impact on our soul and our subconscious.

Here’s 3 Ways for Long Term Soul Pampering;

  • KARMA
    Seems to be pretty self explanatory, especially with the old adages “what goes around comes around” or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”Derived from the Sanskrit word “kri,” karma literally means “to do.” Then if we take the meaning of yoga as “union”; karma yoga translates to the path of union through action. In some philosophies the word karmanot only means action but the effects that your actions have and can be further described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which someone acts in accordance to their dharma (one’s duty) without personal self-centred desires, like or dislikes.In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says:

Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.

           Take into consideration how your actions influence life around you and your life.

  • SEVA
    Otherwise known as Selfless Service, Seva is the action of giving back, it is a sincere sharing of wealth (money, talents, service).  Our community is nurtured through voluntary gatherings, where teachers and students can connect with each other while, at the same time, doing something that makes the world a better place.Swami Niranjan, a modern master of yoga, explains the word Seva is made up of two words, ‘saha’ (with that) and ‘eva’ (to). Therefore, the word Seva means ‘together with’ and is describing actions that is an expression of compassion, of the desire to uplift and assist people and can be a strong practice for self-purification.How do you do this? Start small, maybe helping a senior citizen with their groceries or offering to run an errand for a friend. Or take a look at www.govolunteer.ca which lists countless of opportunities to volunteer from bringing your dog to visit the local care home or teaching yoga.

Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.
Anthony Robbins

  • DHARMA
    Buddhists believe in the Law of “Dharma,” which means, the purpose in life. This law says that we have taken manifestation in physical form to fulfill a purpose. You have a unique talent and a unique way of expressing it meaning there is something that you can do better than anyone else in the world. By understanding your purpose and special qualities, you will be able to reach your goals and get closer to your dreams.Is what you are doing in life your dharma, are you not sure? Write down all your biggest hopes and desires and work to live by them!

Souls have different journeys. The best thing to know is, not what everybody else does, but what you do. Self-discovery essentially is finding your own dharma, your own rhythm.
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While all of these items are life skills and or lifelong ways of interacting with the world, they can lead to healthier, happier you and a pampered soul!

Yoga Pants or?

I’ve heard a LOT of talk over the last little while that “Yoga Pants are Not Pants!”  From newspaper articles, word of mouth, to even a pol on Virgin Radio a couple of weeks ago. While yoga pants, specifically lululemon branded ones, seem to be the staple in the yoga community around Vancouver, there seems to be a lot of huffing & puffing about whether or not yoga pants should be worn out in public.

Whether you want to call yoga pants and all the accessories, tanks and hoodies as part of the fashion industry or not, there are certainly enough styles and colours and fabrics to enter them into this category, as I’m sure all the designers who make these items would agree.

So being the devils advocate that I am, I’ve compiled a list of 3 Places to NOT where Yoga Pants and 3 Reasons Yoga Pants are Pants!

3 Reasons Yoga Pants ARE Pants;

  • Well, let’s just say – They are PANTS!
  • They are more cleverly designed than a pair of sweat pants from the 80’s with the elastic ankles.
  • They are available in multiple colours, fabrics and styles and there is something for everybody from straightlegged to tights to capris.

Posted in a Gastown Shop Window; Ishara boutique, 38 Water Street, Vancouver, BC

While the argument can be construed that they are great if you are going to or coming from yoga they aren’t meant to be worn everywhere. Sure, but in reality how are most yoga pants different from regular pants? Form fitting? Yes, but so are tights or pencil skirts for that matter.

But realistically, there is a time and a place for everything! While I will admit, I do wear yoga pants A LOT, as tights or in the summer as capri”s, they are multi functional when I want to run in & take a class, I don’t need to go home and change first. But there are places that we really don’t need to see the lululemon logo!

3 Places to NOT Wear Yoga Pants;

  • Funerals – Take the extra 5 minutes and put on a pair of slacks that will make you come off as being a little bit more modest, especially if you are in a church.
  • Weddings – Unless the wedding involves a yoga class they are probably way too casual to pull off at a wedding.
  • Job Interview and maybe the job depending of course what it is, if you work in a business office downtown, the lulu’s won’t fly!

While I’m sure there are the lover’s and the haters out there on where they should and shouldn’t be worn, but my vote is in; Yoga Pants are Pants! What do you think?

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