Paul McCartney Teaches Eye Yoga

Happy Labour Day long weekend everyone!

I’ve seen this video pop up on a bunch of websites lately, so I just had to share it with all the Vancouver yogis.

The video is of Beatle Paul McCartney showing various eye exercises he learned in India. Practice the eye-yoga moves along with him, and watch for the part when he starts rolling his eyes – too funny 😉

Leave a comment below if your eyes felt better or worse after completing the movements.

Hope you enjoy:

mobile yogi.

i travel.  a lot.

so much that i could probably post ‘@ YVR airport’ to my facebook status permanently.

luckily for me i’m a bit of a nomad so i LOVE to travel…but what i don’t love about traveling is having to leave behind my studio and my practice.

it’s not the major cities that are the issue.  new york, LA, hong kong…all have fabulous studios and best-in-class instructors just waiting for the chance to bend me into a pretzel.

it’s the smaller off-the-radar places i frequent, like china for work, or michigan to visit my family, that prove a bit more problematic.

usually when i know i’ll be traveling someplace where i won’t have a studio available, i’ll throw a couple baptiste or bryan kest DVD’s in my luggage.  not ideal, but like double-sided tape, they’re good in a pinch.

for some reason, however, last thursday when i packed for my week-long stint in michigan i remembered to pack the 4″ wooden platform sandals but forgot the yoga DVD’s.

faced with the prospect of not practicing this week, i quickly hopped online and began googling ‘free power yoga podcasts’.

below is a list of the best 3 ‘OMG how can a podcast make me feel so sore’ yoga podcasts i found that are guaranteed to make you sweat and save your asana should you ever find yourself in the middle-of-nowhere fill in the blank with no studio and no DVD’s to feed your type-A ‘i cannot possibly survive a week without practicing’ self.

these are all power yoga classes, since that’s my preferred style of practice, however, they are great for all levels.  (please feel free to add any other recommendations/styles below in the comments section.)

1. http://www.davefarmar.com/

my number one pick, hand’s down.  dave is a yogi based out of denver, colorado.  he’s got a massive selection to choose from, he’s super easy to follow along to, and best of all: he’s funny.   i’ve never done so many chatarungas in my life.  usually when i work that hard i expect a proper introduction and a couple of drinks first.

2. http://www.yogatothepeople.com/tryOnlineClass.shtml

i love love LOVE yoga to the people.  i used to frequent their studio when i lived in new york, and i love their philosophy toward making yoga accessible to everybody.  since moving to vancouver, i am no longer a regular, however, i still occasionally hit up the YTTP website where they have 9 recordings of actual classes available free for downloading.  i think it was class number 7 where i actually thought my thigh might give out.

3. http://www.baronbaptiste.com/podcasts/index.htm

the good baron has 1 full length 75 minute power yoga workout as well as a 20 minute meditation podcast for free on his website.  if you’re good with sanskrit, you shouldn’t find the practice too hard to follow along with.  i’m not that fluent yet, so i struggled…and i was just listening along while surfing the internet for other podcasts.

To Speak The Truth or To Not

Over the last couple of days, after attending a couple of classes at different studios and spending time with my own students, I got to thinking about Satya (Truthfulness). For those of you who do not know, Satya is one of five Yamas. The Yamas are the first limb in the eight limb path as outlined in the Yoga Sutra.

The eight limb path suggests a program of ethical restraints or abstentions (yamas), lifestyle observances (niyamas), postures (asana), breath control (pranayama), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana) and absorption into the Divine (samadhi).  The yamas are about restraining behaviours that are motivated by grasping, aversion, hatred and delusion. At this point you are probably asking what do a couple of classes have to do with Satya (Truthfulness), well….

I attended a class yesterday, that in respect of Satya, was not my favourite class to say the least. The teacher seemed nervous, unsure of what she was doing and sloppily guided us through a hatha flow class that wasn’t very flowy. Being new to the teaching world, I have come to respect and always take the chance to “give them a shot,” but find I quickly decide what I like and do not like. The class jumped from Mountain Pose to Triangle, with not much direction in between, sometimes the breath was directed and sometimes it wasn’t and the teacher rarely left her mat or made any acknowledgement of the students who were in the class. I thought to myself as we muddled through the 75 minutes, is it over yet, and thought perhaps I’m being too judgemental and if i could get into my practice a little deeper than maybe she wouldn’t distract me so much. I managed to survive the mismatch of poses and while I did enjoy a couple of her pose choices, I arose from Savasana feeling a little disappointed. I was leaving not getting the yoga practice I needed or was looking for to start my day.

Now, this wasn’t the first time that I had taken this teachers class but I have always told myself that you must try things at least twice. In order to get past the weirdness and the unexpected, to go again with a clear head and some expectations of what is to come may change your judgement the second time around. As I made my way to collect my belongings I overheard some ladies “reviewing” the class in a whisper to each other about how they greatly disliked the class and the teacher. And ironically as I relayed this story to a wonderful girlfriend of mine, she told me she had encountered a similar incident the other day at yoga where some ladies were remarking on a teachers teaching style, and their lack of the “spiritual side” of yoga and how could that teacher possibly teach. All of this got me thinking about Satya, we all have comments and feedback about teachers or what we like or don’t like but yet we either say things at the wrong time or say nothing at all and why is that?

Satya requires that you consider both the spoken and unspoken aspects of your words. You don’t want to mislead through omission; neither do you have to say everything that’s on your mind – especially if it is hurtful.

As I walked out the studio I thought to myself, maybe I should give her my thoughts on her class on what I did like and didn’t like or perhaps mention that I had overheard these ladies speaking about her class. Would it have made a difference or is it better left unsaid? I strongly believe that every person’s yoga journey is different than mine or yours and that there is a teacher for every person. There are teachers we love and teachers we think are okay and teachers that we avoid, but do we ever tell them this? People are very quick to tell you if they LOVE something but very quick to “zip their lip” if they have any formal criticism. Being a teacher myself I have had the praises of how I love your class, but have yet to hear any real negative feedback, which makes me wonder, why are we not being truthful?

We spend our lives omitting the truth or avoiding the truth, but as Satya outlines speak only of the highest, use your words to elevate the listener. I wonder how many of you tell your teachers what you like and don’t like, do you find that it makes a difference in their style of teaching or do you just stop going back to the ones you dislike?

a confession.

my name is katie and i am by no means an ‘enlightened’ yogi.

i am exactly what your yoga teacher tells you not to be:  a type-A, power-vinyasa-flow-loving, cursing-because-i-can’t-kick-up-into-handstand, multi-tasking, most-people-annoy-me-because-i’m-grumpy-if-i-don’t-get-to-practice, yogi.

case in point:  i’m typing this at the airport while waiting for my flight, eating breakfast, texting my brother, and struggling to not get annoyed at the 12 year old across from me popping his gum.

live in the moment?  i live in about 15.

by day, i’m a hard working, 20-something (i have two more years to get that in there) female struggling to find balance between the fast-paced industry i love, and the practice that has proved so beneficial to me in my life.  by night, i get the chance to be the side-crow rocking, vinyasa-killing rockstar yogi of my dreams.

(that last part might be a bit exaggerated, but this is my mental fantasy, so we’re just going to go with it.  this yogi-super hero image i have in my head also has the stellar rockstar yogi body of sadie nardini, but again, let’s just go with it.)

i’m excited to have this opportunity to join one of the several other newest bloggers on the vancouver yoga review as their saturday sweet-spot.  i can’t promise words of infinite wisdom (i can actually guarantee there will be few), tips on meditation (at which i’ve failed at, successfully), or new recipes for vegan cupcakes (i like meat, although i am intolerant of wheat…but perhaps i could give you a take on some wheat free cake after i learn to bake?) but i can promise some laughs (hopefully) and an honest take through my yogic journey.

Meet a Blogger!

I am elated to join the Vancouver Yoga Review team, and am excited to share my experiences, thoughts and insights into the world of yoga with you!

My name is Alison Boons, and I have had a personal yoga practice for almost 8 years, and have completed my 200 hr Teacher Training (Semperviva) as well as an additional 35 hr of Kundalini Teacher Training (Semperviva). I teach at a small studio in Coquitlam (www.therecroomyoga.com) and am the Teacher Registry Coordinator for Yoga BC.

As we all know, Vancouver has a thriving yoga community with many different styles, flavours and personalities to make it ever the more interesting. With events from workshops, to the yoga conference, to yogathons as well as many different styles of classes to try & explore, I look forward to sharing some of these experiences with you.

I have a strong passion for the philosophical and history of yoga and the exploration of the many different forms and styles, to the power of meditation. Look forward to a wide variety of topics and feedback on Vancouver’s beautiful yoga community.

So, stay tuned! More to come from me every Monday, or to read more about me, check out my website at www.sundarayoga.ca.

Namaste & Sat Nam!

Help Wanted: Want to write for us?

We’re hoping that if you’re reading our blog 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 join us for writing on the blog. 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?
– Are able to contribute regularly, such as at least 1 article per week?
– 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.

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 have been featured in Groupon:

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 writing with us. Looking forward to hearing from you! :)

Yoga Wear Profit for Vancouver’s Lululemon

During the early 2000’s, I was working my way through university and could only justify paying $100 for a pair of yoga pants because they were made in Canada, and I was supporting local workers.

However, around 2004 I discovered that Lululemon had just expanded their production to China. Opening up shop in China and charging the same price, for the same product and obviously paying these workers lower wages, I didn’t just think it was right.

Therefore, I wrote a disgruntled email to Lululemon headquarters and received a generic email response thanking me for my business and explaining the growth of their company, etc. How are they now any different from Nike, I thought? Well…at least they continue operate their main factory in Vancouver, I rationalized.

Lululemon has even infiltrated the Hollywood crowd, as seen purchased by Cameron Diaz.

[Source: popsugar]

Recently, the company’s profits have tripled in the last quarter.

According the the Vancouver Sun:

For the 13 weeks in the quarter, sales were $138 million US, up from $81.7 million US during the 13 weeks ending May 3, 2009. At the same time, costs of the goods sold increased only 37 per cent, from $46.7 million US to $63.9 US. As a result, profits jumped from $6.5 million to $19.6 million during the quarter, or 28 cents US a share compared to nine cents US a share a year earlier.

I like the description written on Wikipedia regarding what Lululemon Athletica has now become:

Originally marketed as yogawear, today the brand is best known by fans as very-well-fitting workout clothing that is more likely to be worn to and from the gym, on airplanes, and at home.

It’s so true! I never travel on international long-haul flights without my black Groove Pants, which I’ve had for over 7 years and they still look great. Seriously. I attribute my pants’ longevity to the fact they were actually manufactured in Vancouver! And I never put them in the dryer 😉

What do YOU think about Lululemon attire and their business practices?

Deepak Chopra Lecture in Vancouver Review

Last Friday, June 4th, we attended the Deepak Chopra talk at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.  It was a packed house of enthusiastic, like-minded people.

Dr. Chopra began with an ice-breaker explaining the time he had just graduated from medical school in India and arrived in New York City with no money in his pockets. Language barriers created confusion (British English vs. American English). For example, he asked for a torch (flashlight in American English) to inspect a dead body and the nurse thought he wanted to preform a cremation!  Roars of laughter erupted from the audience and their feedback continued throughout the over 3 hour informative talk.

He spoke of many ideas, including Quantum physics, genes being undeterministic, and the unity of consciousness.

Here are some quotes from his lecture which I felt were important ideas to think about:

“Consciousness is a singular that has no plural.”

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change. A choice in consciousness determines perception.”

“Your body is your subconscious mind. Your mind is not in your brain, it is everywhere, all cells are communicating with each other.”

“Don’t confuse the horse with the rider. You are riding the molecules, but you are not the molecules. You are not your physical body.”

“Your body is just the place were your memory and dreams call home for the time being.”

“Consciousness: water cannot wet it, wind cannot dry it, fire cannot burn it, weapons cannot shatter it, it’s ancient, it’s unborn…it does not die.”

“I am not in the world, the world is in me. I am not in the body, the body is in me. I am not in the mind, the mind is in me.

“There are 4 divine qualities: Love + Kindness, Compassion, Joy in the success of others, and Equanimity. See yourself as inseparable from the whole universe.”

“Happiness formula: H= S + C + V

S (Set point, in the brain…do you see problems or opportunities in a particular situation?) partly determined by genetics and conditioning during your early years of life.

How do you change the set point? Meditation…it re-sets the set point and activates the prefrontal cortex.

C (conditions of living, are you rich or poor?) If you win the lottery and it makes you very happy, set point will take you back to your baseline state after about a year or so.

V (voluntary choices/actions) personal pleasure i.e. sex, shopping, going out, etc.

But real happiness comes from fulfillment, choices that make other people happy.”

“The fastest way to be happy is to make other people happy.”

“Spend money on experiences rather than things: because first you look forward to the experience, you enjoy the experience, then you reminisce about the experience.”

“Spiritual well being begins with:

Yoga of being (meditation)

Yoga of feeling (love)

Yoga of thinking (creativity and understanding)

Yoga of doing (service)”

“Your body is a process, not a structure.”

“You can change your relationship with time (time is an illusion).”

Overall, it was a great experience and I’m really glad I attended. It was definitely awesome being there in the audience as there was such an amazing energy in the theatre.

Have you ever had the opportunity to attend one of Deepak Chopra‘s lectures?

Follow Deepak on Twitter for uplifting tweets!

Protein Packed Quinoa Cookies

I’m always on a quest to find healthy snacks, packed with nutrients to keep my energy high throughout the day.  That way I can fit in a work out session and yoga into my busy day!

Today I was reading a great local blog called i heart wellness.  It’s an awesome site about healthy eating, fitness and all around well-being. Kris’ post talked about vegan Quinoa Almond Cookies. What a great idea I thought! I love savory protein packed quinoa in salads and as a side dish, so why not try quinoa sweet.

So, I attempted her recipe this afternoon and started by grinding one cup of quinoa (in a coffee grinder) to create the flour.  Her recipe also called for brown rice flour, which I didn’t have – so I just used regular wheat flour.

Not being a vegan myself, I learned something new today: to substitute a regular egg in a recipe, you can use one tablespoon of flax meal with 3 tablespoons of warm water, stir, let sit and it will be turn into a gooey, ‘eggy’ consistency.

I also didn’t have almond milk so I used soy milk instead. And I replaced chocolate chips with raisins for a little bit of added iron!

My cookies turned out more cake-like, but I actually like the texture! They’d be great for a quick breakfast or another post-yoga snack.

Check out i heart wellness‘ Quinoa Almond Cookie recipe here.

How do you like to eat your quinoa? Sweet or savory?

An Evening with Deepak Chopra in Vancouver

Dr. Deepak Chopra will be coming to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday, June 4, 2010.  An evening to learn about finding your purpose, opening your heart and how uncertainty is the source of all possibility.

With over 30 Million books sold worldwide, Deepak Chopra is a global leader in the field of mind/body medicine, leadership & enlightenment. As an American physician, author and lecturer on Ayurveda and spirituality, his talk with surely be an informative experience!

Contact ticketmaster to purchase tickets ranging from  $48.70, $69.70, $90.70,  to $111.70, or you can opt for the full VIP package at $191.50.

Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver BC
When: June 4th at 7:30pm  (VIP Reception — 5:30-7pm on the Balcony Lobby)

Vancouver Yoga Review will be attending this event – will you?

Whistler Yoga Conference

Attention Yogis in British Columbia!

You will all be very interested in the upcoming Whistler Yoga Conference, which will be held for 3 days from June 4 – 6, 2010.

Open to all levels, so come deepen your knowledge as a practitioner, or try different styles of yoga as a beginner.

With over 20 experienced yoga teachers from across Canada and over 40 seminars and workshops to choose from, it is guaranteed to be an awesome event in beautiful Whistler BC.

Vancouver Yoga Review reviewed the Vancouver Yoga Conference back in October 2009, which was a great conference with amazing teachers.

Will you be attending the Whistler Conference?

Namaste!

Outdoor Yoga on Earth Day!

A morning outdoor yoga session is the perfect activity to start off Earth Day 2010!

YYoga‘s instructor Danielle Mika Nagel will be leading the reviving morning class tomorrow at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Mats will be provided by YYoga, so come on down for some downward dogs in the fresh air!

WHEN: Thursday, April 22, 2010 ~ 8:30am – 9:15am
WHERE: Vancouver Art Gallery ~ West Georgia Street side (750 Hornby Street, Vancouver BC)

Earth Day is celebrated every April 22nd and is the largest worldwide environmental event. For more information about Earth Day and what more you can do to participate in this important annual event click here.

Yoga Association of BC: Connecting your Community

The Yoga Association of British Columbia is an organization assembled in the late 90’s which acts as a forum for advocacy, dialogue, peer-to-peer connections, and continuing education.

Check out their website to see which studios and teachers are members of YogaBC.

Yoga students, teachers and studios can all apply to become members of the YogaBC and can members can apply for extended health/dental/insurance through the organization.

Want to know what’s going around your area? Click on their Community Calendar for the latest yoga events.

Which upcoming events are you attending in Vancouver?

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