Saturday, December 24, 2011

2012 - A Mysore Challenge!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah!

Let's Celebrate the coming of the LIGHT together!
Darkness Be Gone!

The days are about to start getting longer once again, as we all settle in for a little time of Rest & Relaxation with family & friends!   Ashtanga Yoga Victoria will be taking some time to Chill from December 24 - 26, but we'll be back with Bells On come Tuesday December 27th!

We had a sweet little Christmas Gathering with many of our amazing students this past week!
A HUGE thanks to the talented & beautiful Laura Harris, who hosted the party this year.  I think I speak for everyone, when I say... "It was so much fun!"  It was a great opportunity to actually talk to the people you sweat beside daily in class, and also for us to hang out with everyone who was able to attend this year.  Santa's little helper was there making a list & checking it twice... so watch out for what shows up in your stockings come Christmas Morning!    

Thanks to everyone who brought delicious food & treats and made the party memorable!  As well... We missed all those who couldn't come... and we look forward to celebrating with you in the New Year!!  There will be more festive moments for sure!

As we turn to 2012... We are excited to welcome many new students to our beautiful Yoga School situated in the heart of downtown Victoria - Market Square.  We love it here, and we know you will too!

It is hard to believe that it was one year ago now that we opened our doors in this great space!
Every day as we practice and teach, we feel so blessed to be apart of such an amazing community -  we  are surrounded with some of the best people in this city, and it just keeps growing!

May 2012 be the best year yet - for everyone and for Ashtanga Yoga Victoria!  

So... 2012... Let's Kick Off the Year with a BANG!  Let's get started on the Right foot! 

In the traditional Mysore Style of practice, a student would typically practice 6 days a week.  
Usually Saturdays are taken as a days of rest from the traditional Ashtanga Yoga asana practice, as well as Full & New Moon days, so most months every other week is a 5 day practice week.  

We want to challenge you to take on this traditional method of practicing Ashtanga Yoga - Mysore Style - for the full month of January 2012!   

Starting Monday JANUARY 2nd - Challenge yourself to commit to a traditional 6 day / week Yoga Practice!  

You can come to our Mysore Classes held Monday - Thursday in the mornings from 6am - 9:30am or in the evenings from 4pm - 6:30pm... and if you can't make it to one of the Mysore Classes then come to one of our "guided" classes either at Noon or in the evenings at 6:30pm!  

There is lots of opportunity for you to fit your practice of yoga into your day!  

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, we have several "guided" classes for you to choose from, to make up your traditional 6 day / week practice!  

You can see our full Schedule for 2012 on our website!

(And if that's not enough... You can also find us at our Johnson Street neighbours lululemon on Sunday evenings at 7pm - teaching the community classes throughout the month of January!)  

Don't worry... there are a couple Moon Days in there for you to take extra rest!

Monday January 9th & Monday January 23rd - Two Long Weekends in a month!  
How Lucky! 

So - There it is... Our Challenge to You & to Ourselves - to make it Happen starting this January - A NEW YEAR - 2012!  

Let's turn our minds to things of a Higher Nature, to our True Spiritual Purpose here on the planet, and use this opportunity to Focus on the real practice of Yoga, to raise our consciousness and increase our awareness as we embrace another year!   It's going to be GREAT!

For those who want to delve even deeper into the practice and study of Yoga, we will start teaching our EDUCATION IN YOGA course starting JANUARY 13th at Ashtanga Yoga Victoria.
These classes are offered on the weekends, and if you attend all the modules, you can qualify for a 200 Hour Teacher Training Certificate.  Please read our details about Yoga Education for more Information.

We wish you all the best in 2012 & look forward to growing with you more & more! 

Love & Light

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Making Time...

So here we find ourselves stuck in this busy life filled with a million things to do, people to see, work that demands our immediate attention, text messages to send, phone calls to return, emails to check, planning our next week, or possibly our next year, rushing kids to activities, doctor's appointments, and all the other meetings or engagements that seem to relentlessly pop up, and then someone asks for a "small favour" and we're just about to loose it... but we stop & breathe, pull ourselves together, and add it to the growing list of things to do...

So, where in the midst of all the different, and seemingly important things that demand our constant attention, are we able to find the time to practice Yoga?  How do we find some time for Ourselves?

Now, I hear you... believe me - I can relate!  With a 9 month old son, who (bless his little heart), on most nights still feels the need to wake up every couple hours, try to think of your most hectic day and add chronically sleep deprived to the mixture, and you'll start to get a glimpse of my new "normal".

I've learned though that if you don't CHOOSE to MAKE the TIME, then you will NEVER FIND the TIME!

Time is funny that way - it's slippery!
It has a way of sliding through our fingers... "like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives... [insert music here]"  (hopefully a certain generation will be chuckling at this point!)

When we find ourselves overly busy, and becoming buried by life's complications, then it becomes even more important to create a sacred time, and space for our own Self - a time set apart for peace and practice.
It is during the busy times that we need our practice of Yoga the most!
It is during the busy times that we will feel the benefits of taking this time the most as well.

So set aside a piece of your day for silence, mediation, and a time to connect with your own body, breath, and spirit.

You will never regret time spent in communion with that deep, true, Inner Self.
You will make better decisions throughout the day, and I bet you will find that you can accomplished more as well.
Through the practice of yoga, you will find that your clarity of mind and creativity increases.
You will feel better physically and mentally, and you will find more balance and enjoyment amidst the periods of craziness.

So the question is Not how can we find the time to get back on our Yoga Mats for a Daily Practice, the REAL question is how can we possibly afford not to?-!

You need not take a long time... but make some time.

It is the best thing you can do!
Do it not only for yourself, but for all those other people who need you functioning at your very best, filled with peace and positivity!

Do it, because to miss it, is to miss out on your chance to truly connect with something very deep, untouchable, and unspeakable.
And you certainly don't want to miss out on that!


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Step'n It Up!

What a Fall!  Or is it simply the anxiety proceeding a FALL?-!

To me that's what this current season feels like.

Is it just me?
Or does it feel like an energetic shroud dropped onto Victoria the last couple of weeks?
It seems like everyone is fighting an internal tsunami of negativity and fear and it is more than simply a stuffy nose, cough or flu.

The fear of change is pervasive.  Uncertainty.  Big life transitions.  
It seems like there is an overall general breath-taking, overwhelming, anxiety in our culture at the moment, and I'm not sure where it comes from or why it's here.

Yet, in times like these, when I am on the verge of panic I realize that this is exactly the reason I practice yoga... All of our training is specifically for moments like these!
The real practice starts when the times are toughest.

I hear Guruji's voice shouting: "YOU BREATH YOU!  You breathing correct, fear going, pain going!"  And I think in that order.

Eventually we must all move our practice off our mats.
We must begin to stand tall - Samasthiti - in the face of nagging worry or anxiety. 
We must move from the core, and engage life with positivity, regardless of how we may feel in the moment. 

We must breath!
Big, Full, Ever-Expanding breaths, especially when we feel choked by life's challenges. 
We must engage the 4th bandha!  "SMILE!(Especially when we don't particularly feel like it)

Life is a series of choices! 
Are we trying to hide from our fears by pulling the covers over our heads, and sleeping in yet one more day?
Or do we choose to face the world, stand tall, smile, breath, and be the light we wish to experience.

Your city (wherever you may be), and your community need to experience your purposeful positivity.
 It needs your smile, your light. 
 It needs to sense your courage in the face of adversity.
So, what will you choose today?

Do I choose to get up, or choose to sleep late? 
Do I choose to lift my heart, despite feeling bone tired and fatigued, and smile anyway, or do I contract and give in to the negativity that surrounds? 

In times like these, we must refuse to allow our feelings to dictate our actions.

So, Step Up, Step Out, and Be Happy - if you wish to see happiness in the world!

Love you Guys.   Jeff

Friday, October 21, 2011

Recipes to Nourish: Holistic Tips to Keep Your Family Healthy

Recipes to Nourish: Holistic Tips to Keep Your Family Healthy: It’s that time of year again, the end of summer is approaching and the cold and flu season is around the corner. People are headed back-to-school, holidays are approaching and the commercial industry starts bombarding stores with processed candy and desserts. 

Nutrition is the key to health.  When the season changes and people start consuming large quantities of sugar-laden foods, immune systems weaken and become overworked.

Boosting your immune system is important if you want to stay healthy.  A healthy immune system will lessen your chances of getting sick.  If you do get sick, the duration of illness will not last as long and you will recover quicker. 

Now is the time to plan for the season change.  

Check out this blog with some wonderful tips for the coming winter months!  
We love to share these special Gems with you when we find them!  
Hope it helps to keep you healthy & strong, and full of energy for your Yoga Practice.  
We look forward to seeing you soon at ASHTANGA YOGA VICTORIA. 
Love, Light, Peace.

Jeff & Harmony

Saturday, September 03, 2011

For those of you who may be a little nerdy about Food, Health, Yogic Diet...
This video is adds some incredible insight into our modern problem with food & how we metabolize sugars! 
It is something everyone can learn from. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

One Year Later...

So, here we are... One Year Later.

A New Look... A New Year....

It is a tad shameful that it has taken us a full year to write a blog post about what we've been up to, and all that has happened... BUT hopefully after reading this post you'll understand how blogging about life may not have been on the top of our priority list (hard to believe I know!)

Life has suddenly become very full and yet sweeter then ever before!

It's our half year intention (we can have those right?-!!) to become much better at blogging about all the joy, love, excellence, challenges, struggles, growth, and everything else in between - ALL that comes with fully LIVING and leading a reflective and 'examined life' (enough to make even Socrates proud).

So here goes... the short & sweet version of the year as it has passed since we returned from India last summer!

Hang On - this is might get a little crazy...

Back in December 2010 we said a fond "Farewell" to The Shambhala Center, which was our home and landing spot since we arrived here in Victoria in the summer of 2009. We feel so fortunate for their kindness and support, and will definitely miss many things about their lovely Meditation Center!

We found a NEW and beautiful HOME in the heart of Old Town Victoria!

Market Square is a gorgeous heritage site that was built in the late 1800's when the city of Victoria was a hub of activity. It borders the trendy "LoJo" fashion district, and being only one block away from China Town, it is one of Victoria's oldest landmarks.

Finding the right location was Not an easy task... and once we found it... we had a LOT of work to do... this kept us busy right up until the New Year...

We officially opened our doors on JANUARY 1st, 2011... and despite a few minor glitches, everything unfolded pretty smoothly!

Classes began, and slowly but surely more students began to appear!

Meanwhile... while all this business was going on with finding and building a new Home for our growing Ashtanga Yoga community in Victoria, I (Harmony) was busy growing someone else!!

Still in early January, we were putting everything together, welcoming students into our new space...

...and hosting a Grand Opening party the second week of January!

During our Grand Opening Event on January 9th, lululemon and all the wonderful staff there made Jeff an Ambassador! Wow! We feel so blessed to be connected with such a phenomenal organization! THANK YOU.

At the same time, we were also expecting another kind of "ambassador" to arrive any day - The Captain of our Future Generation!!

Two weeks later, on January 29th - Jediah Om Douglas - came into this world to Light Up our lives! Daring us to Change, to become more Real, to get more Messy, and to Expand in a whole new direction.

Thus Begins "7th Series"...

February and March go something like this:

sleeping - what? practicing - what? eating - what? teaching - what? thinking - what?
How did this happen?? - WHAT? (Oh Right! - that's how! - seems like a long long time ago...)
Hang In! Hold On! There is a light... I can see it... almost through... pop! ouch! ahhhhh....

and finally... Sweet Surrender

And although we'll be the first to admit that we're still working through this whole new dimension of being a mother, a father, a family, we are starting to feel a little more comfortable in our new roles as parents and partners on this path of life long learning and loving.

Lots more to say on that front... but we'll save it for another day!

Two months later, Jediah gets a friend - Aya Rae! Sachiko Walton, our friend and fellow student, and AYVic teacher has a beautiful baby girl on March 26th.

In April... Jeff went to Calgary and taught at The Yoga Shala, and to Banff to help with a workshop that our beloved Teacher - Sri O.P Tiwari - was teaching. It of course was snowing in Calgary and Banff... but it was also snowing here in Victoria!

The day Jeff returned, he went in early to practice (as he always does) and the whole 2nd Floor of Market Square was filled with smoke! Holy Smoke?-!
He looked around everywhere, but couldn't find the source... so he called the Fire Department and Saved The Day!!
There was FIRE in Green Cuisine... and (thanks to God's Grace and Jeff's good timing) it didn't get out-of-control.

All this - just in time for Sri O.P Tiwari to arrive in Victoria, and bless our studio, and give our students the privilege of receiving his darshan.

The week long workshop was a great success! Tiwari taught pranayama in the mornings, we chanted together, and had a lecture with questions & answers in the evening...

It was a beautiful time with The Master. Having his presence in our space gave it an extra special boost of energy and prana. Having his presence in our lives gave Us a little extra special boost of love from the Guru.

We are so grateful to have had him here with us.

He is a living breathing example of True Yoga: "the science of experience and the art of living" and holds a lifetime of experiential wisdom within.

We humbly bow, and give pranam to his blessed feet.

Om Sri Gurubhyo Namah

This was the start of an incredible Teacher Training program that carried on through May and June and into the beginning of July.

What a great group of students we have learning and practicing with us!

We are so blessed by their presence every day!

And Finally... as we celebrated Canada Day... Chuck Miller joined us at Ashtanga Yoga Victoria to share his knowledge and 40 years of practice experience!

Students came from all over Canada, and the United States to join in this special intimate workshop with one of the living legends of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system.

We feel so fortunate to have be able to bring him here to Victoria to bless our space and spread the deeper teachings of this practice to our students and everyone who came! It was a real pleasure and joy to have him here! Salt of the Earth!

And after all that... it's time to put our feet up! least for a few weeks anyway before we head off to Calgary and begin teaching our FABULOUS Ashtanga Yoga Training Program at The Yoga Shala Calgary!