Writers

Help Wanted: Want to write for us?

Help Wanted: Want to write for us?

We’re hoping that if you’re reading this it’s because you love all things YOGA! You consider yourself a ‘yogi’ and enjoy practicing yoga on a regular basis. We love doing yoga in Vancouver as much as you do and we’re currently looking to find people to write for us. We need help reviewing things you attend such as yoga studios, conferences, products, clothing and anything else related to yoga! If you want to join us, here’s what we’re looking for in new writers:

– Knowledgeable and passionate about yoga, fitness, health and wellness.
– Would like to share your yoga experiences through writing. Do you think you have what it takes?
– Your writing doesn’t have to be award winning, but you should be able to write well. We don’t have enough editors to correct basic grammar and spelling so your writing should be polished.
– Are able to contribute regularly, such as 1 article per week?

The above is a summary of what we’re looking for in new contributors. Writers here are not paid. Your reward, we hope, is that you’ll get to write about your love of yoga, health and wellness, share your experiences doing yoga in Vancouver, and to be apart of and connect with the Vancouver Yoga community. If you have your own blog, feel free to post links to it in your posts. We’d love to help promote you as well! Our authors have been featured in such print publications as the Georgia Straight and have been quoted multiple times in Groupon for millions to see.

If you think you have what it takes, please contact us at [email protected] Tell us about yourself, why you think you’re suited for our site. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Time Rich Cash Optional: “An UNCONVENTIONAL Guide to Happiness”

Time Rich Cash Optional: “An UNCONVENTIONAL Guide to Happiness”

PART 2: A Review of Time Rich Cash Optional, a book by Cliff Harvey

Hap.pi.ness ~ state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

Un·con·ven·tion·al ~ not bound by or conforming to convention, rule, or precedent; free from conventionality.

Cliff is the Author of Time Rich Cash Optional (an unconventional guide to happiness) and Choosing You! ~ How you can choose to live the life of your dreams.

I have spent the last week nose down, knee deep in Cliff’s book “Time Rich, Cash Optional. An Unconventional Guide to Happiness,” and seriously I cannot put it down.

Apart from the raw and down to earth feel, ability to paint a clear and “unconventional” picture of how to tangibly achieve our purpose, and even getting to the root  of how we place meaning on words like: “TIME,” “RICH,” “CURRENCY,” “HAPPINESS”… etc. – this book offers well-crafted exercises helping you along your own journey to the age old mantra…. “Don’t worry, be happy.”

I would like to share with you a couple of my favorite chapters.

 

Chapter 3: Becoming Unconventional “Why being normal doesn’t work”

“If you are not living the way you would like to, you have to ask yourself: why not? What ever you are doing is leading to a set of results. If those results are not the ones you want, then you obviously have to change your actions. Taking this step is not easy. We have been told over countless years that normal is good and abnormal is bad. We have been conditioned, and we have told ourselves that “fitting in” is the best way to progress in life. The problem is that this isn’t even remotely true.”

Fitting in is safe. Fitting in provides the anonymity to “fly below the radar” and not open yourself up to criticism; however, no one who ever changed the world did so by being normal”

“There will never be the “perfect” time to do something.”

I love this chapter! Why? Quite simple really, I have never tried to be normal, quite the opposite actually. Many of my students enjoy the “unorthodox or unconventional” nature of my classes and workshops and my whole life has been centered on being authentic and unique to the best of my (at sometimes eccentric and nutty) ability. However, with that being said, I have also found myself straying from my real purpose to fit others definition of “normal” and so this chapter truly re-affirms self coaching strategies to hone in on staying true to your path and your own truth in life.

 

Chapter 4: Work, Live, Play “Becoming a ‘Life Artist’

“Our relationship with “Work” defines how we feel about it. The idea of work provides a lot of mental stress to us – it is our relationship with our work situation that makes it stressful. The approach that we take to our work day defines how we actually perceive it. We can love what we do because we enjoy the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment it gives us. When we are very good at something, and we are able to translate it into a career, it can be as if that’s what we were put on this earth to do.”

What if we don’t have this? What if we do not know exactly what we want to be doing?”

We have all pondered these questions, and luckily practices like yoga and martial arts, even long distance running (since I do this, I can preach its value), enables us to tap into the center of the brain that starts to process… the larger, more profound questions of life. Ultimately, Cliff, and other wise peeps before our time, distinctly state that we, and we alone have the power to change and manifest our purpose – our happiness in life.

As Cliff so valiantly puts it; “your job is a conduit for your life’s purpose. Creating YOUR art, expressing YOUR truth,’ it’s pretty simple when you take away all the smoke and mirrors and fluffy stuff we humans like to put forth to make it all so dramatic. Reality is this – if you loved your job, loved how it made you feel, well, would this not make you in essence “happy.”

Happiness is an experience, a connection, not a store bought item. It’s a fragment in time, and if we choose to live and love to the fullest in every moment, then we can string all of those moments along to make a lifetime of – happiness.  Dalai tells it best…

Consider this passage from one the Dalai Lama quotes on happiness:

 “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.

Happiness is determined more by the state of one’s mind than by one’s external conditions, circumstances or events- at least once one’s basic survival needs are met.” – Dalai Lama

 

Last week we introduced Cliff and his message of lasting “awesomeness.” I gave snippets into his life, and why he chooses to pass on his experience to help others live happier, healthier lives through his lectures and workshops. Read the following Q&A segment to learn more about Cliff’s up coming workshops and book tour.

Part 2: Interview with Cliff Harvey

Q. In writing your book Time Rich Cash Optional, what was your ah-ha moment? What brought you to write this book about time, currency, and unconventional means of achieving happiness?

A. I think the ah-ha moment actually came well before actually writing Time Rich. The most profound awakening (in this respect at least) came when I was traveling inSouth America. I spent many months wandering, and in some respects I think I was trying to reconnect to my purpose.

I absolutely love what I do, and at the time I also loved what I did. But I felt like I could do so much more and was struggling to get a handle on ‘how’ I could work and be in order to be of the most service.

I came to realize however, that the most important thing that I can do in my practice, life, writings and teaching is to encourage happiness. I can do this moment-to-moment, day-to-day…in any job! And so finding my ‘perfect’ job or work-life path completely imploded in upon itself as a concept, and all that was left was each breaking moment.

And so in many respects even as I was writing Choosing You!, Time Rich Cash Optional was beginning to formulate in my mind and many of the themes began appearing on cliffdog.com (my blog).

Its eventual form was heavily influenced by what I could see occurring in the world economy at the time and the situation that we are still playing out (with the GFC and its aftermath.) Many, many people have begun to re-evaluate what actually drives their happiness, passion and purpose…

Q. “Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust…stop being who you were and become who you are.” – Paulo Coelho (The Zahir). This quote resides on your facebook page and considering this article is about being “Unconventional” I am told you religiously wear no shoes, you prefer bare-feet. How does a strength coach winning world records in weightlifting, stay so zen and balanced? How do you regulate this duality?

A. Ha ha ha. They key is that there is no duality, and no dichotomy. The moment is the moment, whether sitting in meditation or lifting 380lb with one hand from the floor! We can so easily fall into the trap of seeing thing as being of the mind, or of the body, or of the soul or spirit. But in reality these are all aspects of the human condition and cannot be separated. Although we may have a focus there is no such thing really as a solely physical, mental or spiritual exercise. The bare foot thing is interesting. It was only when I lived in Vancouver that I realized this was something out of the norm. Growing up in Aotearoa (New Zealand) it is pretty common for people to not wear shoes for a good portion of the year (although this is declining.) There are so many health benefits in my opinion for this, but also other subtle nuances. Being barefoot is a great metaphor for a simpler, less material existence. Walking barefoot is also a beautiful, mindful exercise – one that connects us with Mother Earth. Finally it’s a great way to encourage people to walk more softly (another great analogy for taking care of this planet we share…)

Next week we explore, “Conscious Communications with the self and other” and relate this to how we explore our meaning of communication and connection on and off the mat.

 

Sources:

Time Rich Cash Optional: an unconventional guide to happiness:  http://www.timerichcashoptional.com/

Website: www.cliffharvey.com

Blog: www.cliffdog.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/choosingyou

THE RADICAL ROAD OF A SPIRIT JUNKIE

to heal is to make happy. Spirit is in a state of grace forever. Your reality is only spirit. Therefore you are in a state of grace forever.’ ~ A Course in Miracles

 

On Monday night I was joined with many friends and like minded powerful women as we sat and listened to Gabrielle Bernstein tell her personal journey on her North American book tour, “Spirit Junkie.” An event held at the Planetarium and hosted by Conscious Divas, a local company that holds “Dive Date Nights” and events that empower young women to follow their dreams share and tell stories of life, success and well… everything! And as always, the universe seems to unfold when it is needed most.

Touted as a role model for Gen-Y women, Gabby’s writing sets a vibe that draws you in with a down-to-earth tone and she speaks to you almost like a loving sister imparting wisdom for inner peace and joy.

So, how does a New York City publicist and party girl turn into an urban go to guide and inspirational guru for the next generation?

Part memoir and part guide, In her new book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, Gabby shares her personal story of how she transformed her life, offering her spiritual journey as a guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for. She has traded self-doubt and addiction for a new kind of high and In 2005 she became a student of A Course in Miracles.

Spirit Junkie is Gabby’s second book of brilliance, “Add more ~ing to your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness was her first, and since then she has been guided to teach those spiritual principles to the next generation of seekers. Spirit Junkie is her personal story that acts to instruct us all on how to “expect miracles” in our own lives, and to Be the Change, by Be-“ing” the Love throughout our own lives.

One of the topics Gabby spoke of most was her delight in dropping the “f” bomb – FEAR. The most important lesson is that we have a choice to live in fear or love. When we make the decision to project our fears onto the world, fear is what we will experience, its that simple. When we begin to shift those fear-based perceptions to love, then miracles occur and we start to make changes that affect the rest of our lie decisions.

I highly recommend this book, as well as checking out her numerous online websites that give you the opportunity to download meditations, inspirational vlogs and of course connect with other hip and fab women co-mingling in what Gabby calls – Power Posse’s!

Gabby Bernstein ~ http://gabbyb.tv/

Her Future ~ http://www.herfuture.com/

Conscious Divas ~ http://www.consciousdivas.com/

Love Yoga And Writing? We Might Be Looking For YOU!

Do you enjoy practicing yoga on a regular basis and love writing? Would you like to combine your two passions? Vancouver Yoga Review is looking for an enthusiastic yoga blogger to join our inclusive yoga community. We’d like for you to commit to submitting one new and unique yoga/health/fitness related article per week. Contact us at [email protected]ryogareview if you’d enjoy being apart of Vancouver and the lower mainland’s yoga community!

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?



YOGA. BELOVED PETS. SONG BIRDS UNITE! A 2012 CALENDAR PHOTO CONTEST

HOT OFF THE PRESS: An opportunity for yoga teachers and students to get involved in something revolutionary AND play with their pets?! You bet!

Three songbirds of renowned talent and compassion; Melissa McClelland, Janine Stoll and  Lisa Winn founded Ladybird Animal Sanctuary, a multi-tiered safe haven for abandoned animals, a means of advocating for our furry friends, and a call to action in our communities Canada wide to help reduce the extraordinary number of cats and dogs euthanized each year.

Social Change meets Yoga once again; and Ladybird Sanctuary is pioneering a great marriage of sorts, by combining our devotion to Yoga and the devotion to our beloved pets to help animals everywhere! 

Leveraging their talent as musicians, songwriters and singers; they have co-created the Yoga Calendar 2012 project; which is generating a huge blissful buzz amongst Canada’s Yoga community!

Ladybird is currently calling for submissions across Canada; photos that capture and convey the playful, poignant, relationships we have with our pets and our yoga practice. Take a photo of your best downward or upward facing dog, cats flow, pigeon pose or any other pose displaying you and your lovely pet and you could win a spot in their 2012 calendar and be featured on their website!

Proceeds from the 2012 Yoga Calendar will go towards a safe haven/ rescue adoption space for animals to help take the load off local shelters bursting at the seams, as well as therapeutic programs for animals, community outreach programs and workshops on important topics; such as spaying and neutering your pet.

 If you don’t have a pet, but advocate for the protection of our furry friends you can still take part! Full spectrum of contest guidelines can be found by visiting their website or Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ladybirdanimalsanctuary  or by simply emailing [email protected] on how to get involved!

 What a great way to combine Yoga, your beloved furball and social change for the betterment of all creatures big and small!

Sources:

Ladybirds Animal Sanctuary: http://ladybirdanimalsanctuary.com/

Melissa McClelland:http://www.melissamcclelland.com/

PLAY. BUILD. REACH. LEARN! How do you practice sustainability in the real world?

Ideas Worth Spreading.  Riveting Talks By Remarkable People, Free The World!

Does this sound familiar? If you guessed Ted.com, then Namaste to you!

Over the course of the last decade through the art and science of Yoga I have sought out Dharana (inner conceptualization and compassionate awareness). Through the service to others and much like Yoga intends – found a place of union with something larger then myself; which we know to be the basic fundamentals of the yamas and niyamas of Yoga teachings. Yet, it is no easy task as the landscape of the global revolution changes daily.

At a cross roads I continually find myself asking, how do we practice sustainability in real life?  Today I ask all those who embody the Yoga way to take their practice off the mat and consider this opportunity…

Imagine for one moment, if we could harness that potential as kids? Imagine for one moment the potential if we START with our kids? And lastly, imagine for one moment we could return and re connect with that child-like potential as adults?

It takes a community to raise a village, therefore empowering kids’ means they don’t even have to be your own! We live in a generation where; yoga, get your green on and sustainability are part of our evolutionary process, WE are passing these teachings onto the next generation! Humanity’s framework is always under construction.

This is what [email protected] is preparing to achieve on Sept 17 2011.  Vancouver will host the conference’s first home. [email protected] is a platform for facilitating opportunities to empower kids and support authentic learning. A gathering of remarkable people with young hearts will aim to share their captivating stories borne from genuine curiosity and bold ideas. Much like Ted.com conference, except with the color and vibrancy of play, build, reach and learn and as adults, I say we embrace our inner kids!

In a recent Ted.com video with Jacqueline Norvogratz, called “Living a Life of Immersion,” she coined this closing statement, and I ask each of you to meditate on it for a moment during your next Dharana practice…

Robert Kennedy once said, “few of us have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and it is in the total of all those acts that the history of this generation will be written.”

If you know a speaker, nominate them! If you have a story to tell please apply @[email protected] Story telling, this is one way we create sustainability in the real world!

Sources:

Ted.com: www.ted.com

[email protected]: www.tedxkidsbc.com/

KARMA YOGA: DO YOGA, DO GOOD

Yoga for Social Change! 

Karma (meaning to do or action) Yoga (meaning union):  in its simplest meaning literally translates to selfless service, the discipline of action or the union through action; which ultimately brings us closer to dharma.

A growing trend in the West, Karma Classes have been gaining momentum at a steady Vinyasa. More importantly, karma classes are finding their own place amongst social change makers and the Sports Philanthropy Movement; harnessing the Ying to the Yang in the therapeutic sense. This movement is designed to engage industry leaders and professional teachers in a dialogue about the value of sports/therapeutic philanthropy and aims to connect them with social change tools and causes that best fit their passions, recognizing their efforts to inspire others.

About a month ago I posted an article on Yoga & Activism, and karma class, my Yogic friends is the vehicle from which the compassionate-asana is driven! Karma classes also allows for a unique space, where the energy from inside a class is solely dedicated to a greater purpose!

From a business perspective the Yoga Industry can leverage their business in a socially responsible manner and showcase great grassroots initiatives/causes that can have a deep impact towards sustainable, positive change; both locally and internationally. More over; foster social change from a place of hope, opportunity and positive prana on a larger scale.

You can find a karma class at almost any Yoga studio these days, but if you are looking for a larger unified front, this has recently come across my radar and I felt compelled to share…

“Why stretch when you can reach?”  – The Engage Network

…is their tagline. Founded by Sean Crone, Hala Khouri and Suzanne Sterling” Off the Mat, Into the World ® (OTM),” is a non-profit program of The Engage Network, and is dedicated to bridging yoga and activism and is geared towards communities around the world who collaborate for social change. Understanding the idea that we are stronger and more powerful together then we are apart, making a difference starts from the foundation, our roots.

As Yoga teachers and advocates for compassion, a karma class is an incredible tool in our toolkit to bring awanress to social change and connection to our global community!

Sources:

 The Engage Network: http://www.offthematintotheworld.org/community.html

 Charter for Compassion: http://charterforcompassion.org/site/

 SAVE THE DATE: Camp Moomba Yogathon & Blissfest, July 24th Vancouver BC.

My Top 5 Favorite Vancouver Yoga Review Articles

This was tough! But, here are some of the articles that have lately spoken to me and have stuck to my heart. Hope you enjoy! I would love to hear your fave!

1.  Memory Dredging by James Liang. Time traveling through the senses – how smell, sight, taste, sound and touch can revert us back to a time that was significant in our lives. We hold onto these moments (both good and bad). Sometimes we may not even be able to remember the entire instance, but select pieces and parts of it, but for whatever reason, a particular sense captured its imprint. I believe that perhaps a reason we record this instance is for energy. In those places (memories) we experienced something profound, memorable, a particular feeling or emotion. Perhaps they are also places for us to return to learn from and use the experience and its energy for strength to keep going.

2.  Coming Back To You by Leeana Anaka. Yoga helps us to reconnect with our bodies in a way that we become more in tune with it and, in a way, we become better at listening to what it’s telling us. Yoga also helps us to take control of the mind, especially when it comes to dictating unrealistic expectations or negativity. As Leeana has written, yoga cultivates a calmness that allows you to believe that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

3.  Browse with Moderation by Sophie Legrand. In this article, Sophie talks about not squandering our energy and exercising our will-power in a modern world of cyberspace. We often resort to things like the television and endless hours of Internet surfing when we are bored, lonely or in need of stimulation. Sophie has some great recommendations for nurturing ourselves instead of giving in to mindless surfing.

4.  How to Start Your Day Calm & Relaxed – Without Yoga by Taya Ng. An article from Vancouver Yoga Review’s founder, Taya describes some very nice ways to start the day without yoga. Not everyone can or chooses to start the day with asana practice, and that there are other ways to capture and manifest a sense of relaxation and calmness upon waking up. Yoga can be done at any time of that works best for you.

5.   21 Beautiful Benefits of Yoga by me. One of my self-written faves, this article covers some of the benefits of yoga practice. Perhaps it’s a bit weird to choose one of my own, but I constantly come back to this. It’s important we believe and trust in the process of yoga, surrender ourselves to it and know that the more we do yoga, the more we believe and dedicate ourselves to discovering our true selves, the more will be revealed.

Namaste.

If You Can Breathe, Then You Can Sing

Sitting cross legged, arms raised straight out from each side, palms up, music on. We can sing along if we want to. And to my surprise, we all do. And it sounds…awesome?

I didn’t expect a group of random people – some with vocal talent and others (like myself) with none whatsoever – to sound so lovely. And it wasn’t just this once either, it is every time we repeat a mantra or sing along to a popular song. We sound good. The combined voices are somehow in sync with great tone. It sounds better than any cover band I’ve heard or any church choir performance I used to be tortured with. Yet, these bands and choirs rehearse.

So why does an unrehearsed group at yoga sound better?

The author of Yoga Solara offers many parallels between practicing yoga and singing, offering explanations about why us untrained singers find our voices in yoga.

Relaxation, releasing our egos. The best singers strive to let go of all physical and mental tension and allow their voices to come from an authentic, natural place. If you allow your ego to run your singing, your voice will sound false and manipulated.

Presence. Singing is the epitome of being present in the moment. If you let your mind wander, your voice can become unstable.

Posture. Correct singing posture is identical to mountain pose, with hands at the sides.

Technique and Heart. A great singer understands and cultivates a solid technique, and then, when performing, lets go and just sings from the heart.

Breath, the focal point in both yoga and singing. The ‘First Secret’ to singing is the control of breath. When you have control of your breath that means you have control over the muscles of your diaphragm, larynx, and vocal chords (Singing and Breathing – http://singinglessons4u.net/).

So, a singing voice and the courage to find it is one of the many benefits of practicing yoga. Although I’m not about to start belting out Donna Summer songs or create my own cover band, it is nice to acceptably sing out loud and believe I sound better than I would otherwise.

What are your thoughts about singing in yoga?

Want to sing in yoga? I recommend Gloria’s Kundalini at Semperviva.

Love Yoga And Writing? We Might Be Looking For YOU!

Do you enjoy practicing yoga on a regular basis and love writing? Would you like to combine your two passions? Vancouver Yoga Review is looking for an enthusiastic yoga blogger to join our inclusive yoga community. We’d like for you to commit to submitting one article per week, from now until the end of April (with possible extension).

Contact me at [email protected] if you’d like to be apart of the lower mainland’s yoga community!


[source: benefitsofyoganow]

Elizabeth Gilbert: A New Way To Think About Creativity

Author of the international bestseller ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Elizabeth Gilbert thoughtfully and encouragingly reflects on the idea of encouraging creative minds to not be afraid to do the work they were put on this world to do.

I am sure a lot of us have experienced fear-based reactions when telling others about our own personal creative dreams or goals. Perhaps we have even been on the other end interjecting fear on someone else’s creative dreams or goals. Either way, I really enjoyed this video and truly believe that everyone has a truly unique innate talent waiting to be discovered and that most talent and skill are a result of hard work, vigilant dedication and by embracing eccentricities.

Click to hear to watch video.

Interested In Writing For Vancouver Yoga Review?

Vancouver Yoga Review is a site for YOU and the entire Vancouver yoga community. A place where like-minded yogis and yoginis can come together to share their yoga experiences and how yoga affects their daily lives in the lower mainland.

Are you interested in being featured on the site and sharing your thoughts? Because we are an inclusive community, we encourage all kinds of diverse voices on our site. Anyone, of any age, and at any level of yoga can submit a post for publication on the blog.

For consideration, submit your best original content to [email protected]. Write “Submission for Blog” in the subject line.

  • Include a photo, and site your source
  • Include a short (1 or 2 line) bio about yourself
  • Provide original, honest content
  • Post length is up to you

Note: Your writing may be edited for clarity. Currently, there is a 2 week wait to be featured on the site, but we are always accepting new submissions. We look forward to sharing your unique voices with the Vancouver yoga community!

[Source: YOGUE]

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