About Amanda Nickerson

http://westofyoga.wordpress.com/

Amanda became a Bikram yoga teacher in 2004. Her love of yoga and travel has taken her to the United States, Belgium, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia where she has taught yoga. She has since ventured into Prenatal and Kundalini yoga. Apart from yoga, her interests include music, reading, running, nutrition and travel.

Posts by Amanda Nickerson:

Why Can’t We Just All Get Along?

I read an interesting article recently about snobbery in yoga.  Having been a Bikram yoga teacher since 2004. I have experienced my fair share of this.  It posed the question for me, why can’t we just all get along?

I completely understand why Bikram gets a bad rap.  Copyrighting yoga poses, “Mcyoga”, etc.   I have been in Bikram classes where the teacher has told students who come from other styles that they don’t practice “real” yoga.  However, the argument goes both ways.   I have been told that Bikram is not “real” yoga.  The negativty is not limited to Bikram yoga.  I have a friend who is a Yin teacher.  A Vinyasa teacher once told her that Yin is not considered yoga because the muscles are not engaged during practice.

Why all the bullying?  To paraphrase Abraham-Hicks, the more you push against something, the more you bring it into your experience.  Why can’t we just allow people to be who they are and practice the style of yoga they want to practice?  The next time you find yourself dissing a style of yoga, unpack that, really look at it.  I am sure you will find something within yourself that needs love and attention.  Yoga is good in my books, whether you want to practice Bikram, Yin, Kundalini, Iyengar, Ashtanga, etc.

I would like to know how others feel about this topic.  Any comments would be appreciated.

Namaste.

The Food For All Summit

The Food For All Summit

With the holiday season fast approaching.  It is a time for us to reflect and be grateful for all that we have.  Not only are we lucky enough to be able to practice yoga.  We are fortunate enough to have access to an abundance of food.  This is not the case for billions of people around the world.  On November 30th, join me for a free one-day virtual event empowering you with practical tools and inspiration to make a difference and create a world where all are fed.  Please register at foodforallsummit.com.

 

The China Study

I just finished reading this book.  It is a must read for anyone interested in nutrition.  It gives some very compelling, scientifically proven evidence as to the benefits of eating a plant based diet.  The book speaks for itself. http://www.thechinastudy.com

Laughter Yoga

Laughter yoga was created by Dr. Madan Kataria in 1995 in Mumbai, India.  The idea came to him at a time he was writing an article ‘Laughter- The Best Medicine’.  It originated as a ‘Laughter Club’.  After two weeks of telling the same jokes, the participants became bored.  Dr. Kataria’s wife is a yoga instructor.  He consulted with her in further developing the ‘Laughter Club’.  They discovered that there were a lot of similarities between laughing and pranayama exercises.  Laughter yoga was born, resulting in a blend of Yogic Deep Breathing, Stretching, and Laughter Exercises that cultivate child-like playfulness.  Dr. Kataria came to the realization that the body cannot tell the difference between real and pretend laughter.

I took my very first Laughter Yoga class at Open Door Yoga on Commercial Drive.  I have to say, there were a lot of times when I thought to myself, what the heck am I doing.  However, the laughter was contagious.  I left the class feeling happier and lighter.

Give Laughter Yoga a try.  Go with an open mind and an open heart.

Namaste.

 

 

Hang With Angels

Hang With Angels

Looking for some new yoga music?  I haven’t been able to stop listening to Masood Ali Khan’s Yoga Sessions CD, Hang With Angels.  One of the most beautiful yoga CD’s on the planet.  He has combined angelic voices with the powerful, reverberating sound of the hang.  You must experience this CD the next time you are doing yoga, meditating or simply relaxing.  It will transport you with healing vibrations.  It is now available on Itunes.

Namaste.

Bikram Yoga Cambie

Bikram Yoga Cambie

I must admit.  I am a little biased.  I have been a Bikram yoga teacher for the past 7 years.  I first started practicing at Bikram Yoga Cambie many years ago.  Naturally, I was very excited when the doors to the new Cambie studio opened on Sunday.

I have taken 2 classes there now.  I have to say…the heat is perfect!   Even though it can get really steamy in the room, you never feel like you don’t have enough air.  They have a state of the art heat/oxygen exchange system. The bonus, there are 6 showers for women.  No more big line ups after class waiting for the shower.

Go check it out for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed.  Located in City Square Mall on the corner of Cambie and 12th.  You get free parking for 2 hours.  If you need more time, you can go purchase some fruit after class and get an extra hour for free.

Namaste.

Bikram Yoga Cambie
City Square Mall
#22 – 555 West 12th Ave.
Vancouver, BC
www.bikramyogavancouver.com

AntiGravity Yoga with Ingrid

There are so many variations of yoga popping up all the time.  When I heard about AntiGravity yoga I was intrigued.  Currently it is only offered at Steve Nash Sports Club.

You perform the poses in a hammock which is made of a structural fabric that is connected from two overhead points. It acts like a swing or soft trapeze.  You are very safe.  The benefits are said to be a relief of compressed joints and alignment of the body.

Ingrid was my instructor.  She was well trained, friendly and allowed that fun, playful side to come out.  I felt like a kid again when we started swinging.   I especially liked all the inversions that would not be possible otherwise.

If you are looking to mix up your regular yoga routine, I highly recommend you try this class.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Jennifer – Steveston Village Yoga

If you are looking for a change from your chain yoga studios?  Try Steveston Village Yoga.  Tucked behind Alegria Cafe in the heart of Steveston Village is this lovely, quaint yoga studio.

I go for Jennifer’s Tuesday 7pm Yin class.  I am greeted with a warm and inviting atmosphere.  The space has a real Zen feel.  I take my spot on a mat provided, which is decked out with all the props:  eye shade, 2 blocks, bolster, etc.  The candles are lit and the class begins.

Jennifer has a soothing voice that lulls you deeper and deeper into the poses.  I feel completely relaxed, even in the final moments of a 5 minute posture.  She is a natural Yin teacher, who exudes a friendly, nuruturing energy.  She is very personable and attentive.  I like the one on one instruction.

I highly recommend this class.  Just what is needed after a long, stressful day.  You will sleep like a baby afterward.

Namaste.

Meghan – Semperviva Kits Beach

It was my second time taking Meghan’s Monday noon class at Semperviva-Kits Beach location.  She teaches a kick your butt Vinyasa Power Flow.  I like that she is not afraid to try some of the more difficult postures.  She creates a lovely, fluid flow that seemlessly melts into one another as if you were doing a dance.

She starts the class with a small chat.  Today’s topic, how the people in your life reflect what you need to learn about yourself.  After the chanting of three OM’s she gets right down to business.  It is a non-stop Power Flow from then on.  The class is warmed up nicely, climaxes with some harder postures and is slowly brought down to Savasana.  You finish the class feeling that you really accomplished something.

This girl knows her yoga and obviously has a regular practice.  If you are looking for a more challenging Power Flow, this class is for you!

Eat Local

I am passionate about food.  It brings people together and fuels our body.  My Bikram yoga practice made me very aware of the food I was putting into my body and my bodies reaction to it.  I felt so clean from all the sweating that I no longer wanted to put junk food into my body.

In Vancouver we are so lucky to have access to a variety of amazing food.  Currently, we have a bounty of local produce.  Just go check out one of the many farms in Richmond or your closest farmers market at http://www.eatlocal.org.

Right now is the perfect time to take advantage of the 100 mile challenge.  Try to eat only foods produced, grown or sold within 100 miles of where you live.  This way we eat healthier and reduce our carbon footprint.  To learn more, read the book 100 Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon.

Bon Appetit!


Shark Fin Soup Ban?

Shark Fin Soup Ban?

As Yogi’s and Yogini’s we learn to live our lives with more compassion.  However, the practice of yoga is not only on the mat.  Yoga is about more than just the Asana.  We are living yoga each and every moment of our lives, by learning to see the divine in all people and all creations of the universe.

It was announced on CBC News that Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May is calling for a ban of Shark Fin soup in Canada.  She is collecting signatures for a petition she plans to send to the House Of Commons.  This is a topic that I feel very strongly about.  If you are unaware of the shark finning industry.  Please watch the documentary Shark Water by Rob Stewart.  It is important for us to live consciously.  To be aware of where our food comes from and how it got to our table.

Sign the petition here: http://www.divepro.ca/

A Complaint Free World

The book, A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen recently came across my radar.  The title really intrigued me, so I decided to ingestigate further.  Basically, one undergoes the challenge to not complain for 21 consecutive days.

A few months ago a good friend of mine gave me a Louise Hay cd on how to use daily positive affirmations.  Shortly after beginning the practice of using  my affirmations, I became very angry at myself for  just how negative most of my thinking actually was.  Here I thought I was a positive, glass half full kind of person?  However, this was a catalyst for me to begin to change my thinking.  I am a true believer that what we think about manifests into our lives, whether they be good or bad.  I believe this is why the book came to me at this time.

“Complaining is thinking about things you do not want rather than what you do want.  When we complain we are using our words to focus on things that are not as we would like.  Our thoughts create our lives and our words indicate what we are thinking.”  Bowen, Will.  (2007) A Complaint Free World (Kindle).  Retrieved from http://www.amazon.ca.

I have decided to embark on my own complaint free challenge.  I will blog about my adventures at http://www.westofyoga.wordpress.com.  Please join me in the challenge.  Maybe we can start a complaint free movement here in Vancouver?



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