Heat it Up!

As an opportunity arose to teach in a Hot Yoga Studio, not Bikram’s; I’m told there is a difference, I decided it was time to try out “hot yoga.” I have to admit, if there wasn’t an opportunity to teach I probably would have continued to actively procrastinate on trying out this style of yoga, for many reasons.

1) I’m not a heat person, don’t like it, it doesn’t like me and chooses to tell me this immediately, so I therefore avoid it as best as I can. Needless to say, summer is not my favourite season!

2) Everything I have heard about Hot Yoga from sweaty people rolling around in their own sweat, to the smells of the floor & the studio itself. I personally think the “smell” of the floor is important, since you get your nose right down there!

North Shore Elements YYoga Infrared Sauna

3) Injuries, having been teaching for awhile now I’ve had lots of students tell me that they injured themselves doing hot yoga, for various reasons of course, but the possibility of getting hurt doing one of the things I love is enough to make me steer clear.

And then, things happen, thoughts change & you go out on a limb & try something you thought you never would. Mind you, I also have the people who have told me all of the opposite points as well, that they LOVE hot yoga & gives them everything & so much more! Just like any yoga practice or anything in life, you have to see for yourself, so off I went.

[Image Source:North Shore Elements YYoga]

The first class was a Saturday morning, as soon as I walked in it was stuffy, another thing I hate is breathing warm air, instantly I had to turn my head around & say give it a shot, maybe you’ll get used to it. The class was fantastic, the heat didn’t like me so much, I spent the next day and a half in bed with a killer migraine, perhaps I didn’t drink enough water before, during or after or perhaps, I was right, my redheaded self doesn’t like the heat. Nevertheless, with believing in giving everything a second chance, I made my way back. The second time with two bottles of water in tow, and an optimistic attitude, with the sweat dripping & the feeling that you are working, I survived through a second class unscathed, no migraine to be seen of woohoo!

However, I haven’t been back since, decided that maybe teaching this “hot yoga” is not the thing for me, with the unknowing if the migraine was a coincidence or the not having one was the coincidence, so at this point I’m completely undecided. But with my Passport to Prana in hand & lots of choices of Hot Yoga and Bikrams to try out, perhaps this is my year to finally decide if I am ready to “Heat it Up!”

How do you feel about Hot Yoga, fan or not?

yoga and community.

i’m starting to feel a bit weird posting on a blog about yoga in vancouver, when, in fact, i haven’t done yoga in vancouver in almost two weeks.

i miss my vancouver yoga–i miss my power classes, i miss danielle (mika nagel–she teaches the power classes i miss attending at y yoga), and my only interaction with her has been the occasional ‘girl, where are you/don’t worry, i’m not cheating on you, just traveling’ emails.

while i travel (which is often) i rely on podcasts (per my post last month, posted while traveling) or dvd’s (i ‘borrowed’ a baron baptiste dvd from the library at work i’m going to try today).  but so far, nothing replaces the feeling i get when practicing with other students in a classroom.

one of the things i love so much about yoga is the sense of community.  i’ve been to some pretty bad classes (i shouldn’t say bad, i should say: classes that weren’t for me) but as loooong as that hour has felt, i still felt better leaving the studio.

i’ve been living a fairly nomadic lifestyle for the past 5 years, and yoga has always been a grounding force in my life:  i started a consistent practice in ohio, and since then the first thing (aside from a grocery store) i’ve sought out in every new city i’ve visited or lived in, is a yoga studio.  and what’s amazing, is that no matter what the city/country/language (yoga in hong kong is phenominal) that sense of community, and being of one is always the same.

there really is no point in my post this week other than:  i love you guys.

namaste.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving long weekend to all our fantastically loyal YVR readers!

I’m sure many of you were grateful to have extra time during your holiday to squeeze in an additional yoga class, or two.

We hope everyone enjoyed the festivities with friends & family and have started this new week with thanks & gratitude in their hearts.

From the entire Vancouver Yoga Review Team, we give thanks to each one of you for your support of our website 🙂

Do you feel over-stuffed like this little guy?

Savasana-Pup or Too-Much-Turkey-Dog?

A Sacred Space

“Sacred: Highly Valued & Important”

I recently visited A Sacred Space on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, and all I can say is it most certainly lives up to its name. The space is beautiful, absolutely beautiful! You enter through a glorious old antique door, with store front windows that let in a lot of natural light and enhance the beauty of this small studio.

I love small studios, the energy & the atmosphere, especially at Sacred Space, is warm & inviting from the moment you walk in, it feels as if you have been practicing yoga there for years. With hardwood floors and an old radiator in the corner, the space contains so much of its own natural energy. From years & years of people walking along those floorboards, walking past those walls, you can feel the history & the stories of the space as you sit and prepare yourself for class. During the day the windows are covered with thin blinds that still let in a lot of natural light but keep the lookie-loo’s at bay, and in the evening, beautiful, lustourous curtains that don’t let any of that comfort escape from the windows and make it a cozy environment to practice in.

My first class was a Vinyasa Flow on Saturday morning, with Renee, it was a great powerful flow and a wonderful way to start the weekend. I was excited to return Sunday night for the Restorative class with Lindsay, which was the perfect way to end the weekend & prepare yourself for the long week ahead. With the big curtains pulled, the candles lit and the ambiance that the space creates just all on its own, the class was perfect. I left completely and utterly relaxed and it sealed in the notion in my mind that A Sacred Space really is Sacred.

The studio having only been open for the last couple of weeks, lets you take a different look at your practice, no mass amounts of people to distract you but a small contained space where the energy radiates into you. The space has been there for years and has been previously rented out for other activities, Mysore etc, throughout the years but Cindy Shaw’s plan to open it into a yoga studio permanently was the best decision ever.

I cannot wait to return to the wonderful people and this breathtaking space and more fabulous classes that leave you wanting more. There are some great membership deals on, including your first class for only $9.00! Make sure you check it out & let me know what you think!

You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.- Winston Churchill

fly yoga = cirque du soleil yoga-style

i’m traveling (again) and this time i’m in chicago, getting ready to cheer on some 40 thousand runners in tomorrow’s marathon.  so today’s post is brought to you by the letter ‘F’…as in Fly!

part of the perks of my job (and one of the many reasons i *heart* it so much) is that i get paid to do yoga wherever i go. yesterday morning i was treated to a fly yoga class with my chicago lululemon peeps….and all i can say is fly yoga: PLEASE COME TO VANCOUVER!

for those of you who’ve never heard of fly yoga (otherwise known as antigravity yoga), fly yoga involves a silk hammock suspended from the ceiling (think: circus) that are utilized to provide support for inversions, standing postures, and more.

don’t get me wrong:  vancouver has an amazing yoga community, however, i miss the variety that i used to find in larger cities and often find myself craving something a bit more intense than the usual anusara-inspired practice.

i wish i would have taken pics (but then i wouldn’t have been able to live out my circus fantasies to their fullest) so i’ve stolen some from facebook:

Q: what’s more fun than yoga in a hammock?

A: yoga in a hammock…upside down!

for more information check out:

http://www.antigravityyoga.com/index.aspx

http://id-gym.com/fly_yoga.html

4-Minute Yoga At Your Desk

If your job requires you to work at a desk for long periods of time, then you might find your back getting stiff throughout the day.

Here is an excellent video by world-renowned yoga instructor, and Gaiam Yoga Club developer, Rodney Yee.

(We were fortunate to take a class from Rodney and his wife, Colleen Saidman, at last year’s Yoga Conference in Vancouver.)

Try the following routine for some instant upper and lower back loosening.

What tips do you have for keeping your body moving at your desk-job?

Treloar Yoga Studio Review

The Studio at Treloar is centrally located on the corner Broadway and Heather, in Vancouver. You can access the studio either via Heather Street or West Broadway. Do sign in at their Physio office located on the 5th floor before you attend your very first class.  A great perk for new guests: you are only charged $5 for your first class at The Studio at Treloar!

After I checked in with reception, I headed downstairs to the Yoga studio and was greeted and graciously welcomed by their Studio Director, Erin Treloar. Erin gave me a bit of background on the Treloar company and I learned that Treloar Physio has been around for and impressive 27 years! Their Yoga Studio is Vancouver’s first physio-based studio offering a variety of Yoga, Pilates and specialized classes.

Their studio is a large, open space that feels expansive, yet intimate at the same time. Lights were dim and candles were lit to create peaceful, calming surroundings. It’s definitely a bonus for physio recipients to be able to come downstairs, after they receive treatment, and participate in specialized yoga classes that accommodate for injuries.

I attended Kat Sovio’s Hatha class on a Tuesday evening. Kat’s not only a Yoga teacher, but she’s also a certified physiotherapist.  Kat‘s class was lovely –  I enjoyed her spoken interludes, especially when she discussed the importance of remaining centered. Be at the center of a ‘spinning wheel’ while all the ‘craziness goes on around you in the universe’. She also referenced Eckhart Tolle, a favorite of mine, and a Vancouver resident! The class began in standing meditation, a nice change from the usual seated cross-legged position, Sukhasana. Each pose flowed nicely together and I left Kat’s class feeling invigorated and limber.

I will mention that the receptionist I dealt with was less than courteous – quite unexpected for a yoga studio. I will give her the benefit-of-the-doubt and assume, based on her attitude and misinformation she provided, that she is new to the business and hasn’t yet had training in proper customer service.

Nevertheless, my overall experience at The Studio at Treloar (thanks to Kat and Erin) was wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone looking for specialized classes and physio-based yoga.

For more information, visit their website: http://www.treloarphysio.com/studio/

Connect with Treloar Studio on Twitter and Facebook!

Yogacara Studio Review

Yogācāra is an intimate studio conveniently located in Kitsilano – on Traflagar & Broadway. I was lucky enough to try out a Hatha class by Christine on Monday of last week. Upon my arrival, I was warmly greeted by Studio Director Helene, who kindly gave me a tour of her lovely studio.

Yogācāra is translated from Sanskrit as “one whose practice is Yoga.” One of their mantras is “Yoga…not about being trendy…just about being!” I feel they have achieved a warm, inviting and authentic space that really is about ‘being’.

Complimentary tea, water and cookies!

They have a 13 mat limit, creating a perfect atmosphere for individualized attention from the yoga teacher. Also, they have a raised platform in which the teacher conducts her class from – great for beginners to see how to properly attempt each pose.

Yogācāra offers delicious teas, snacks and water for guests to partake in, in their front waiting area. This room is also a lovely area to meet and chat with fellow yogis before or after each class.

Choosing to affix large Buddhas on the wall (instead of large mirrors) adds to the peaceful atmosphere of their studio. The studio was also exceptionally clean and tidy, which enhanced the zen ambiance.

Mats are provided, as well as all yoga props – all extremely clean as well (cleaner than any other yoga studio I’ve been to in Vancouver). Even if I’m attending a studio that usually provides mats, I will always bring my own. When I return to Yogācāra, I don’t feel the need to bring my own yoga mat.

Zen Buddha Wall

Zen Buddha Wall

Christine provided an excellent Hatha class. Rain pattered gently on the window, calming music played quietly in the background, and candles flickered softly during the rejuvenating class.  I felt like all my major muscles were properly stretched and left class with such a buzz (calm, yet energized all at the same time) that I would have sworn it was a bright, sun-shiny day outside and not a dull, dreary, rainy one!

Yogācāra just might be my new favorite studio – check them out today http://yogacara.ca/

Private, individual Far Infrared Sauna sessions are offered. Your first session is $15.00. Teaching training is also offered by the studio, click here.

Connect with Yogācāra on Twitter and Facebook.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga Everywhere!

Like most Yogi’s in Vancouver, I spent the weekend at the Vancouver Yoga Conference. While I only took two classes, the options seemed to be endless, below is some of my thoughts about what the Vancouver Yoga Conference had to offer & what could be improved next year;

  • Friday the Garden classes didn’t start all afternoon & when they did were not per the times scheduled on the listing.
  • Heard from many friends who were taking sessions that sessions were starting or ending late, while not overly surprising for the first day, it is one thing that makes me crazy is when people forget how valuable everybody else’s time is as well.
  • The Trance Dance, having never experienced anything like it before was interesting to say the least, the room was HOT, and I mean HOT, no air conditioning seemed to be on & people stood in the hallway to get a breath of fresh air, stay out there too long there was no hope of getting back into that room, therefore I didn’t make it to the end.
  • Worked at the booth for YogaBC all three days, meeting lots of friendly faces from yoga teachers to students, great opportunity to network.
  • The tradeshow was smaller than I expected and a lot of really expensive solutions, although one of my favorites (even though I didn’t splurge) were the 3 minute Egg, if you missed out on these or didn’t get to try them out, check out this video; Intro to the 3 Minute Egg
  • The tradeshow seemed to pick up on Sunday, perhaps that was the little bit of rain that we had, but was a lot busier Sunday afternoon than it seemed to have been earlier in the weekend.
  • Sat in on two workshops (Intro to Kids Yoga & How to Teach Yin), both fabulous and left me wanting more, more, more.
  • Certificates for Workshops were an additional cost, not really sure why, with the amount of money lots of people spent to attend the yoga conference, the least they could do is “throw in” a certificate for the classes you attended.

In conclusion, having not been able to attend the yoga conference last year, I found this year to be an insightful, fabulous networking opportunity to build relationships & make some new ones. However, living in Vancouver us Yogi’s are VERY lucky, we get the opportunity to experience many different styles, workshops, retreats and events that happen within our yoga community, so the yoga conference is just an added bonus to a yoga community that already offers so much. If you missed out, no worries, like I said there are LOTS of events happening around the yoga community every week, all you gotta do is find them.

What were your thoughts about the Vancouver Yoga Conference? Did you enjoy or does it need some improvements for next year?

Passport To Prana Contest Winners!

Our Passport To Prana contest has closed and we are now ready to announce the 3 lucky winners!

  • Colleen (@ColleenCoplick)
  • Debbie (@debdebbed)
  • Henry (@henryjue)

Congratulations to our winners!

Henry, Debbie and Colleen, please email your mailing addresses to [email protected] and your cards will be sent to you ASAP!

Once you have received your card in the mail, please refer to the website http://passporttoprana.com/home.php for participating studios in and around Vancouver. Also, your card will need to be activated on their website before you attend your first class. Your card will expire on July 31, 2011.

For those interested, there’s still time to purchase a Passport To Prana card on their website ($30).

Thanks to everyone for entering and keep posted on our site for more yoga contests in the future 🙂

it’s the vancouver yoga conference this weekend!!

i don’t know about the rest of you, but this is pretty much as exciting as christmas for me and i’m actually (almost but not really) bummed that i signed up for a continuing education course today @ UBC (decor and dress in the victorian period) and can’t go all weekend.

i was here last year when the yoga conference was in town, but i had literally just landed off the plane after a 12 hour journey from new york (via houston) with one small slightly (very) opinionated cat that does not (read: hates) to travel (esp. by airplane).  needless to say, namaste-ing with some of the industry’s best was not high on the list of priorities when there were things like litter boxes to be bought.

this weekend however–it’s ON.  there are SO many great instructors coming, and SO many different types of practices to sample!

want to finally stick your headstand?  take michael stone‘s ‘headstands from the inside out’ today from 5:30-7:30.  want to get your boyfriend (or girlfriend) into some crazy poses (of the PG-variety)?  sign up for ‘contact partner yoga’ with marita wieser and christ brandt today from 10:30-12:30.  i’m pulling a double header tomorrow:  seane corn‘s ‘chakra flow’ from 9am-11am (it’s going to be awesome–i don’t normally see the light of day that early on a sunday, so trust me) and natasha rizopoulos‘ ‘take flight–arm balances’ from 11:30-1:30 (arm balances are my FAVE.  i’ll be like a kid in a candy store).

Seane Corn

sessions aren’t cheap, but they’re totally worth it.  when was the last time a new pair of shoes helped you align your pelvic floor?  the conference itself, however, is totally free–and free 1/2 hour yoga sessions will be taking place throughout the day on the main floor, not to mention there will be tons of yoga-related booths to check out, and probably lots of free loot and samples to score (because we all know that’s what yoga’s really about: scoring free stuff).

hope to see you there.

www.theyogaconference.com

sept. 30-oct 3 @ the vancouver convention centre

Help to Improve Yoga in BC!

Are you a member of Yoga BC?

Yoga BC is a non-profit organization, that provides information and services in relation to the Yoga Industry in BC.  As the popularity and interest in yoga continues to significantly grow in Vancouver and BC, Yoga BC offers up-to-date information and assistance to yoga teachers, studios and students.

Having been in operation since 2000, the association runs mainly on the assistance of volunteers. There are currently 426 active members and Yoga BC strives to bring people together in the spirit of unity & co-creation through the awareness, knowledge & practice of yoga.

Even if you are not a teacher, Yoga BC has a membership level for you;

  • Student Membership – $35 for 1 Year gets you Specials from other Yoga BC partners and invitations to special events.
  • Teachers – $99 for 1 Year get you specials from other Yoga BC Partners (Right now includes Meditation Village, Banyen Books & LuLu Lemon), invitations to special events, unlimited postings in community calendar workshops, events & retreats, discounts on First Aid & CPR Training & Discounts on insurance!
  • Studios – $225 for 1 Year gets you 3 Teacher Members, unlimited event postings, discounted banner advertising, discounts on insurance, invitations to networking events!

In 2010, Yoga BC has strengthened its vision, its presence in the community & value to members focusing their energy on initiating continuing education programs, launched a Code of Ethics, negotiated a spectacular membership rate for liability insurance and continued to facilitate its role as a hub for all questions yoga in BC with thousands of requests to support students, teachers and studios along their journey.

In 2011, Yoga BC is looking forward to supporting the advancement & standards of teacher training curriculum, developing a teacher training recognition program & mentor-ship program, expanding the professional development series by offering webinars, luncheons & workshops, and begin the process of developing best practices for yoga teachers in collaboration with BC yoga studios.

Join them, in helping to improve the practice of yoga for students, teachers and studios in BC. Want to learn more? Come and see us at Booth #507 at the Vancouver Yoga Conference all weekend, or stop by just to say Hi!

deadlines.

work has been killing me this week and as i’m feverishly working to hit a super important 9 am deadline monday morning (which feels quite like staring into the barrel of a gun) my blogging duties have fallen by the wayside and i’m left empty-handed for my saturday post.

HOWEVER, have no fear:  i will give you something ELSE to read!  (insert best ‘underdog impression HERE.)

one of my all-time favorite blogs is written by david romanelli, a yogi based out of arizona.  i came across his ‘yoga for foodies’ site one night in new york while i was stressed out with work and desperately googling ‘yoga retreats’.  i like food+i like yoga, so i figured he might have something worth checking out.  while i never made it to the retreat as i left new york to come to vancouver (come to vancouver Dave!!!) i still subscribe to his weekly newsletter because he’s  hilarious.

http://www.yeahdave.com/blog/

also, i’ve just started reading Eckhart Tolle’s ‘the Power of Now’ (the irony that i’m scrambling to post this blog while the clock is ticking down to my usual saturday morning yoga sesh while also multi-tasking work emails and sketches is so not lost on me here).  i recommend you read this one too.  rather than check it out of the library, i bought the book last month during a lay over at the chicago airport.  i actually wanted ‘a New Earth’ but they were all sold out so i started here instead.  best decision ever.  buy it, email me, let’s start a yoga/power of now’ book club.  i’m only on page 34–you don’t have far to catch up.

happy reading!!!!

(ps: i hear it’s suppose to be sunny out today.  save this reading entry for tomorrow, when it’s raining and go get some vitamin D!)

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