Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it present...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back on 2010...but moving forward into 2011

As we come to the end of 2010 I look back on what a remarkable year it’s been. I have achieved SO many of my goals, and been lucky enough to be rewarded with bountiful opportunities.
As this year ends it makes me think about what I’ve done over the last year, what I’ve accomplished, who I’ve met, and the new goals I have yet to achieve. I’ve been told over and over to write them down, set a date and I will have a better chance at accomplishing them. I think I will also write WHY it’s important for me to attain these goals too. Keeps me FOCUSED & present.

In no particular order...

To become a LuLu Lemon Ambassador by August 2011-I love Lulu Lemon. I wear it, I live by it, and I support it 100%. Everything they stand for as a company (their manifesto) I work to reflect in the way I live my life. They have helped me achieve my goals so far and I would love nothing more than to show my support and be a part of the LuLu Lemon team. I think it would be a great way to reach higher pinnacles as a community, as well as working with everyone involved to reach our own.

Make Planet Workout’s “Yoga Studio” and ACTUAL YOGA STUDIO BY 2012- I have been honoured to have my own studio inside PW and as grateful as I am, it’s not fully complete yet. I’m going to soundproof those walls so my students can practice in a quiet place. I ‘m going to change the floor to bamboo or cork so my student can feel safe, clean and balanced as they practice their flows. I’m going to have the ability to heat the room and practice HOT yoga for those who have never tried it and want to give it a shot. I’m going to change the lights so my students can have the comfort they deserve while relaxing in Savasana. I know the changes will only make the studio a better place to practice as well very beneficial for the gym as well.

Raise my clientele by 50% by the end of 2011-With the help of marketing, advertising, networking and the community I’m going to raise my clientele & get myself out there so I can be more recognized in the yoga and city community.

Participate in at least 3 fundraisers before the end of 2011 & to raise more than $1000 for April’s 2011 YOGA IN MOTION- I was part of an amazing team last year for Yoga in Motion-Team Kula. As a group we raised over $5000 and individually I was able to raise $800. I would like to reach my personal goal of $1000 and see what we can do this year as a team.

Put on my own fundraiser in the summer to raise money for charity (not sure which one yet) I have always wanted to set something up on my own with LOTS of people, friends and family, music and have it of course be yoga inspired. I’m thinking something maybe in the park, with a DJ and LOTS of yoga mats, a BBQ right beside the water.

I definitely want to travel. Bali, Costa Rica and Thailand are my TOP 3 choices. I would like to visit these 3 places before I’m I’m lucky I have 3 full years to do this. Maybe one trip a year?!

As I look back on 2010 I am reminded with each goal I have made and how I was truly blessed to attain EACH one. I am thankful for my entire family that stood by and supported each step in my journey to learning about who I was, who I am and who I want to be. I am appreciative of all my friends who have shown me support and been there to help me out when I needed it. I am SO grateful for my new friends who have taught me more than I could have ever imagined.
I am continually realizing that everyone who comes into our lives come to teach us something. Whether it be about the world or ourselves, and whether they stay or thankful for each of them! You learned something new and remember “The things we know best are the things we haven't been taught.”
There are so many more goals I would like to achieve. Personal and work related...too many to write down in this blog. I have written them down in my journal so I am able to keep track of my life and check off when completed. I also add new ones to the list daily.

Wishing ALL of you an amazing HAPPY NEW YEAR. All the best for 2011. Strive to think positive ALL the time as “GOOD THOUGHTS MAKE LIFE BETTER” Funny enough, this quote came from a fortune cookie. The ONLY fortune cookie that was ever REAL!
May you all have a joyful 2011 filled with LOTS of love, peace, good health, happiness, wealth and may good fortune follow you always!

Peace & Love

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


As a yoga teacher, there’s a lot asked of me during my class. Stay calm, be present, lead, guide, breath, help, teach and DO yoga!

I was blessed yesterday with an amazing class by my friend and fellow teacher Sophie. I hadn’t been to a HOT yoga class since my “incident” in the summer and didn’t even realize until I was lying on the floor in the heated room...enjoying the warmth. I was really nervous to get back into it, and didn’t want to step foot in a HOT yoga room for a while. It was funny how life brought me right back to where I belong as well as erased all fears. I was excited to see Sophie again, learn some new flows and sequences and ultimately be LEAD by someone. Although I practice everyday, whether it is with a class or on my own, personally I don’t push myself as FAR as I know I can. When you have a more experienced teacher “picking” on you throughout the entire class, you and your body work HARD!

I should clear up the term “picking on” I use this term in the most endearing way possible. I LOVE being helped and guided. She knows what she’s talking about and does her best to show me the before and after and helps me reach my optimal blueprint so I can learn and from there be a better teacher myself.

I noticed it most in my downward dog. “See how that part of your back is like a trampoline” *mouth noises* along with simple more trampoline back. I was secure, strong and WOW was I feeling it too. Have I gotten lazy? During the next 20-30 downward dogs we did I tried to adjust myself in the same way so I was able to feel what she helped me feel in the first place. I know now what I was missing, but WHY have I been missing this?

Have I gotten *GASP* Lazy?

When I’m teaching my class it’s multitasking at its say the least. I’m posing, teaching, adjusting, calming, centering, leading, walking, and talking. As a teacher do we find ourselves only doing the pose on the outside rather both inside and out?
I remember my roommate Lindsey and I were discussing this. We have to go quickly into a posture, and then out to help lead others in the pose. We’re walking around, and sometimes I’m not even doing the pose on my mat, obviously affecting the way I do the pose too.

I am very grateful I was able to attend Sophie’s class yesterday as it opened my eyes to the kind of teacher I want to be again. A gentle reminder of what I value in my class, in my students and most of all in myself.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wait...where are you going?

When given the option to take at least one minute to lie down, close your eyes and RELAX (not to mention right after a 90 minute yoga flow) Why wouldn’t you take that option? This is what I use to look forward to most after a long, sometimes very difficult, HOT flow. Although I don’t teach HOT yoga, I’ve started to use the heater to get the room up to a comfortable 25 degrees during these frigid Canadian months.
Not even a minute into my “Savasana speech” I have people rolling up their mat and heading out the door. I’ve practiced and repeated this “Speech” 100X and I’m pretty sure I have it down pat *monotone voice*. I don’t think it’s me, I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that we’re all so busy racing from one part of our lives to the next; trying to squeeze everything in to one day/night...hour.

How important is Savasana?

Before I had studied the yoga path and began my journey, I use Savasana to just relax and rest. I never thought about the benefits of it, and that could be because I just wasn’t told. At the end of my practice, I was soaked and exhausted and very hot, so ultimately I needed to lie down.

Savasana is a vital closing of the physical yoga flow where prana (the breath) is given permission to become grounded, focused and calm. When one is practicing their poses, connection to prana is important as it connects the energy within and around you. Ending a practice without Savasana may lead to a feeling of disconnection, and healing of specific parts of the body and nervous system may be missed. Savasana can also be helpful in releasing stress, anxiety and lead to deeper connections with your higher self when in a meditative state.
I can understand where those withdraw from Savasana. Not only is it a relaxation pose, but like all other yoga poses, you must learn to surrender.
Those suffering from tight hip flexors, low back tension, neck strain and/or pelvic conditions this can be a very uncomfortable situation mentally and physically. It is important for you as a student to discuss injuries and/or conditions with your yoga teacher prior to taking the class, as it is equally important for your teacher to ask and be aware of all her students. You and your teacher should talk about modifications and restorative postures that will aid in the healing of these conditions.
Mentally, Savasana can also be unpleasant, as you may have feelings and emotions arise within. This is something that you can’t really modify; it’s all about surrendering and dealing with things at your own pace, when ready. If only we could stick a pillow under those thoughts to help cushion the blow sometimes.

As a teacher, I can’t force my students to lie down and relax. I believe just like everything else in this world, you’ve got to WANT it in order to make it happen. I feel if you’re not ready, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Take small baby steps, start with being grateful that you’re given this time to just close your eyes and be present in your body. I can only guide you and offer you the time, space and permission of a safe, blissful state. Take it, and explore the ideal position and modifications for Savasana so your body can enjoy the greater physical release, along with its wide range of healing benefits.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


As I was starting to design my sequence for my class tonight, one of my regular yogi’s popped into my head. Actually, just her voice did. A few weeks ago she asked if the postures would become more difficult. I advised her that I always lead a basic class and give the option to flow deeper if it felt right for your body, at that time. I told her in the future we would definitely move to more challenging postures, but as of right now I have more new people in my class everyday and don’t want to “frighten” them away from yoga by making it too difficult. As much as I talk about only going as far as YOUR body will allow, and repeating my favourite phrase by one of my mentors “It’s not about getting the pose, it’s about getting the pose to work for you” I know that takes time to sink in to everyone’s brain. I still watch as my yogi’s push themselves to bend, stretch further than they’re ready for, I can only show them the path, and it’s up to them to choose to follow. Most of the time they back out because of the pain, and I’m able to show them that if they’re patient and surrender to what is, good things will happen within them and they WILL get to where THEY want to be in THEIR practice.

There are a lot of things I value in a practice, my practice specifically. I enjoy sequencing poses that lead to deeper postures working out every muscle in the body. Every pose works in conjunction with the next pose to move you through the entire flow. To me, that’s what sequencing is all about. Personally in my practice I would never have pigeon near the start of the flow, I always have it towards the end as there are a lot of things that need to release before getting into a deep hip opening pose like that. I feel it would be more beneficial to open and release those muscles first, therefore being able to really reap the full benefits of the pose in the end.

I remember my roommate, Lindsey coming to me asking what my opinion was with starting with a pose early in her sequence like fire log. I appreciate her style and need to really push the limits of her students. At the time I was very surprised that she would do that to her poor students (LOL) BUT she explained to me her reasoning behind it and I was very much impressed, and ultimately taken to a new level of sequencing, and in the end true surrendering.
Have you ever tried a 6am HOT yoga class? Ya, me neither! However, I have made it to the 9am classes before and had a few battles with my body/mind. The last thing your body wants to do in the morning is stretch (maybe that’s just mine?) especially in a HOT room. You’re tired, you’re sore, you’re STIFF! Especially if you’re like me who works out at night and can feel it first thing in the morning. I know my body NEEDS it, but tend to fight against rather than submit.

Look at this as a gift rather than an annoyance. Where usually at the end of a long day you might be able to touch your toes; you’re NO where NEAR that first thing in the morning. Knowing you’ve done it before, puts you in the state of mind where you might push yourself beyond what your body is allowing at the time and end up doing more damage than good. This is a great time to recognize where you’re at right now, and really let go of what you expect from yourself. Be in the present and fully enjoy where your body is right then and there.

Who knows where you might reach to tomorrow? What I have learned in the past is that it will be greater height’s if you simply practice TODAY.

Oh ya, regarding my last blog that I simply ignored because at the time I was slightly (not gonna lie) a little disappointed. I have since then decided to look at the positives and realize how CLOSE I am to achieving another one of my goals.
I have been given the opportunity to teach Sunday yoga classes @ LuLu Lemon in Oakville starting in the New Year. AMAZING! Not only will I be a part of this amazing community of yoga teachers, athletes, and inspiring human beings, I will also be able to learn more about the company and integrate as much of myself into this amazing manifesto.