Yoga

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:

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?

Healthy Post-Yoga Snack: Homemade Oat Bars

Have you ever felt famished after a strenuous yoga class or demanding workout? I often do.  Occasionally during savasana while I’m supposed to be calming my mind, I’ll be thinking about what I’m going to eat after class! (I know, so bad right?!)

Usually, I’ll stash a granola bar in my yoga bag in case I get the munchies – always a healthier alternative to grabbing a croissant or equally calorie laden ‘Island Oat Bar’ from Starbucks.

Luckily, I found an easy AND healthy recipe for oat bars from Healthy Foody (who got them from eat, drink & be vegan).  They’re wheat free, have no refined sugars, fast and inexpensive to make, and will fill you up!

I tweaked the recipe a bit and added 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, cause I love the aroma it creates as it’s baking.  Also, I used regular honey as that’s all we had in our pantry.  However, they turned out great! Here’s a pic right out of the oven:

They’ll last for at least a week and are so much healthier than store bought granola bars with loads of preservatives.  Plus, I was surprised at how quick they were to make!

Steve Nash Fitness World

I recently joined Fitness World in Kitsilano to add some cardio into my usual yoga routine. It’s great because they also offer group classes like yoga, aerobics, spin, pilates, etc.  Watch out, however, because some ‘specialty classes’ are an additional fee on top of your monthly membership dues.

I had to sign on for 2 years and my membership works out to about $40/month. I live next door, so I have NO excuses not go to the gym!

Now called “Steve Nash Fitness World” because of their recent merger with the NBA star’s company, I can work out at any location around the city.  They offer different membership packages, and if you pay a bit extra you can also go the Steve Nash Sports Clubs in either downtown Vancouver, Surrey, or Richmond.

Watch out for high pressure sales consultants who will try and persuade you to sign up right there on the spot. Ask for a trial pass to check out the club before you make the plunge on a membership.  Remember, you’ll usually be locked in for 2 years, and will have to buy-out the membership if you want to cancel!

How to Start Yoga

Confused with all the different types of yoga? Don’t know where to start? Fret not, Vancouver Yoga Review is here to explain it all!

1. Decide which type of yoga you want to try first: If you can’t decide, most beginners start with Hatha, as it is a slower paced yoga.

2. Find a class: Most studios offer ‘Intro to Hatha’ classes for beginners. Check out Semperviva or Open Door for their schedules, as they offer great beginners classes.

3. What to bring: comfortable, breathable clothes so you can stretch easily. Most studios in Vancouver provide mats, blocks, bolsters etc, so you don’t need to worry about them.  Do bring a water bottle and a light jacket, in case it’s chilly in the studio.

4. What to expect from you first class: Usually, students place their mat facing the teacher’s mat at the front of the room.  Make sure you leave a bit of space around your mat so that your neighbors have room. You can sit cross-legged waiting for class to start. Your teacher will take you through varies poses and will usually go around the room adjusting students’ alignment.

Anytime you feel dizzy or lightheaded, you can take child’s pose: drop to your knees, spread your knees as wide as the mat, keeping the big toes touching, bring your forehead to the mat, and stretch your hands out in front.

Your teacher will finish by saying ‘namaste’, which literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

Open Door Yoga Vancouver

Tanisha and I have started to get back into yoga again, after a bit a of a hiatus.  She was in Hawaii for December and I was in Phoenix with my husband, visiting family.  I know, I know,  it’s already February, but we’ve been busy!  Plus, a great reason we started back into yoga (almost) daily is that we found an amazing deal from Open Door Yoga: $99 for 9 weeks of unlimited yoga at their 3 locations, to new members. Amazing deal right?!

Their 3 locations in Vancouver are on Main Street, Commercial Drive and the recently opened Arbutus/16th. Since I live fairly close, I’ve only practiced at the Arbutus location.  It’s a really great studio – smaller classes, so lots of room to stretch, great instructors – Brenna (has a great energy-really calming, encourages us to close our eyes to focus within,.  It has a really great vibe, no pretentiousness, just people there to practice yoga for themselves.

The studio itself is always nice and warm, which I love.  I find most studios around Vancouver (unless it’s hot yoga of course) are always quite cool.

Mats are provided free of charge, as well as tea, water and cookies! The studio is carpeted, which is great for extra cushioning.

The only drawback is there is only one stall toilet and a small change room.

My First Introduction to Yoga

My first introduction to yoga was through my mother, in the early ’90s.  My family and I were living in Brunei, South East Asia, at the time and lived in the same housing complex as K. R. I. Jagadish – an Ayurveda master from India.

jag_1

Jagadish, or ‘Jag’ as he is affectionately known as, offered Ayurveda therapy in his home to locals and ex-pats. My mother would sing his praises – Jag could heal holistically, without pharmaceutical drugs. Nutrition, yoga and massage were the main components of his practice, along with herbology and aromatherapy.  Holistic health, nowadays being quite mainstream, was a new experience for many western ex-pats living in Brunei. How fortunate they were to learn from such an amazing practitioner!

During my early teens, now back in Victoria BC, my mother once again attempted to show me the benefits of yoga, but I was resistant.  Perhaps I was too young to understand yoga’s benefits or had too much energy and not enough focus. Now, being in my mid-twenties, I have started practicing yoga as often as I can.  Yoga is truly about being in the moment and listening to your body.  I have listened to my body, and my moment to dedicate myself to practicing yoga is now.

For more information about Jag Therapy, visit the website: http://www.jagtherapy.com/jagtherapy/index.htm

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