Saturday, December 27, 2008

Good morning and Happy holidays,
The winter schedule is almost done. We have had a few changes. We are excited to announce that we are going to be offering classes in Waterloo again for those who have missed us in that area. Watch the website and the newsletter will be out by Monday to give you all the details.

The schedules will be similar to the last session. A few small changes in times and teachers. Look at it carefully and send us your feedback.

Please begin to register for classes as soon as possible.

This is a time of reflecting on the past year and looking at how far we have come, all the changes that have come our way and to contemplate where we are going in the new year.

Send me your ideas, insights, suggestions about where you think we should be going with this blog, the website, the studios and yoga in general.

As always we are interested to hear your feedback.
Om shanti,

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ashtanga Yoga

I taught a class for Serenity today at the Kitchener Studio, just to give her a day off. There was a great group of hardworking students there today who were excited to be on the mat and it was inspiring to be guiding them as they each gave their absolute best efforts. Yoga is awesome. I am really looking forward to teaching primary series tomorrow. I would enjoy sleeping in and snuggling with my kids but once I get rolling in the am I am really a morning person.

2 hour primary series. Should be fun. Come on out and play.
See you on the mat,

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thai Yoga Massage

The new thai yoga massage therapist are the best. We are crazy busy with students coming in for 25.00 thai massage. Come on in, call or email to book your massage. If you are interested in training to become a thai massage therapist we will be offering Level I and Level II in the new year. Watch the website for upcoming trainings.

See you on the thai yoga mat,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sunshine & Stretching

Time does fly. Each session we start weeks ahead analyzing the schedule for the upcoming sessions. Taking in survey results, students comments, and teachers schedules and the changing yoga world around us. We try to bring fresh programing, new teachers and innovative ideas to you each and every day. I am working on an update to our current schedule all classes are the same so far but there are a few changes in teachers. Lot's of new offerings. Come on out and take a class. If you haven't been in a while please come on in. The Kitchener studio is a warm toasty 82 degress and the sun has been blasting through the windows this week keeping us all smiling and stretching.

We are in need of volunteers at the Kitchener studio this week. If anyone has time or interest this week let Serenity ( know and she will put you to work. Remember volunteers get free yoga in exchange for their time and efforts.

Be well and happy,

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Daily Blog: Pay it forward

Hello again,
Wheww it has been a busy couple of days. I have been teaching and working on the next newsletter.  Trying to take in everyone's feedback from the survey that we sent around.  Thank you sooo much for all of your responses.  

Todays theme, paying it forward.  

Benjamin Franklin, in a ltter to Bejamin Webb, dated April 22, 1784:
"I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you.  When you (...) meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity.  I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its progress.  This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money."

Others have spoken this same sentiment, movies have been made of the same title.  Give it a try and see how you feel.  Write your name on the inside cover of a good book, leave it on a restaurant table, ask others to write their name in the same book and pass it on when they are done reading.  I think that there is even a website for this fun activity.  

When someone asks to borrow something and you can afford the time, money or cup of sugar, ask them to pay it forward and impress upon them the importance of doing something nice for someone else.  Share what you can.  Give what you can.  Some how it does a heart and soul good to give, without a need for gratitude or recompense.  

Write to me and tell me about how someone has given you something special or unexpected.

Be well and happy,

Monday, September 29, 2008

Daily blog: Raw food

There has been great discussion of late about what being vegetarian means.  I have been vegetarian now for about 24 years.  I have only been experimenting with raw food for the past three years.  I am not ready to go completely raw yet.  It could happen one day. For now, I am content to occasionally make a vow and stick to a raw food diet for 2-3 weeks depending on the time of year and the number of stressful or traumatic events on the agenda.  The first few days are by far the hardest.  Visions of pasties, baked goods and warm potatoes dance through my head.  But, as I try to convince myself, here on day one of a three week commitment, that it will be different in a few days.  Relationship to food changes and the taste improves as there are fewer additives and preservatives. The less fat, the less salt, the less mysterious ingredients in my food, somehow it begins to taste amazing.  Very much so at this time of year. Harvest, could food really taste any better?

A very sweet, well meaning, young man was trying to understanding eating raw and asked about cooked vegetables.  I looked at him askance and said, "Well, only raw food is raw." He replied, "They were once raw." To which I immediately replied, "Exactly." I am still not sure that he gets it.  I am accustomed to misunderstanding around food in my life.  Very few people actually commit to eating vegetarian let alone raw.  It is rare and somewhat of a novelty at parties.  

I have been asked what led me to becoming a vegetarian and there is a good story behind that. I will not bore you with it here. If you want to know send a message in the comment section here and I would be happy to talk about it.

If you would like to learn more about Raw food and the benefits of eating raw you can speak to my friend Rosemary Radford here in Cambridge or visit my favourite Raw restaurant, over in Guelph, call WOW Cafe, I think that stands for Wild Organic Way, the owners are lovely and Karen is a very special, incredibly knowledgeable raw food chef.  

Great Raw food website:

WOW Cafe

Be conscious in all that we do, in all that we are, wake up, and wake up again,

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Daily blog: The Uncarved Block

The tao talks about the Uncarved block. How do we get back to a place of being the Uncarved block? Is that possible or even desirable? Or is that the point? Pooh, just is. I somehow, am not. At least not presently. There are deep fissures, creases, designs cut into the block of my life that limit my story to the paradigm that I have subscribed to.  Reading, writing, practicing yoga are all sand paper on this carved block. Erasing the pre-conceived, the identification with the external, the beliefs.  Creating a smooth surface. How to keep the surface smooth and calmly release the carpenters (ego) creative hand. How to surrender? Moving into the flow? What does that look like for you?

How can you begin to move into the flow of the tao?  Right this minute, how could we resist less and be more? How could we just practice being.  Owen wants the light out, Olivia wants her roots done, my blackberry just buzzed, the house is becoming quiet, I type, I am just here now with these words. Letting them flow.  Allowing a sense of beingness to flow over me.  How to practice just being?  

Experiment, look for moments of doing and ask, "What would it look, feel, be like to just be right now?"  Take the time to journal and write your reflections on being. How are you carved or uncarved? Let me know that you are reading this blog by commenting, tell me how you feel, what you are thinking.  

Schedule some empty time. Make a date with yourself. Make a regular date with an alloted time to just be with self, put it on the calendar.  Leave the time empty. Do not fill it with last minute emergencies, or spend it putting out fires.  No social commitments, work or workouts in this time. Keep it sacred.  Ritual requires commitment.  Name it. Respect it and be present for yourself.  It may take time to just be with yourself.  It may feel awkward at first.  Be patient and kind.  Ask how can you make this time sacred and give yourself time to just be.  Let thoughts flow, unhindered, let emotions flow or not. Exercise the muscle of just being.  

Journal, write, blog, express in someway your experiences.

Writing from the block,

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daily blog: What do you ache for?

I have seen this question before. Expressed differently with sometimes different answers everyday and other times the same answer everyday.  What do you Ache for? Can you answer this?  How can we do what we love, so that the money can follow, if we do not stop and occasionally ask ourselves this question?  Not just love, because there are many things that I love that I don't really ache for. Like right now for instances, I am sitting in bed, my children are sleeping, I am surrounded by warm comfy white linens, it would be lovely to have someone bring me a nice decaf soy latte from Starbucks and leave with a light thank you kiss, for me to meander around in  my thoughts this am.  Do I ache for this? No, meandering around is fine without the coffee. 

I ache to know that there are fewer children going to bed hungry tonight.  To know that  I have somehow been instrumental in making the world a more compassionate place.  I ache to make things easier for my children.  I know I must sit back and let them fall, fail, deliberate to become the strong, intelligent, compassionate beings that they are meant to be.  I ache to be on the open sea, wind in my hair, arms open wide to the elements, salt water on my lips, the feel of rushing water under my feet and the feeling of wonder, amazement at the magnitude of beauty in the world.  

When I am drawing I ache for the just the right perspective to express what I am seeing to come through my hand.  When I am teaching yoga I reach out for those moments when transformation takes place in a student, the light in the room, my awareness, those little and sometimes big moments of beingness that give thrill, goosebumps that wakes up the kundalini energy and sends a chill up the spine. 

The Buddha taught moderation, the middle path, but he also taught about right livelihood as one of the steps of enlightenment here on earth.  Finding our passions, living a passionate life, uncovering what you ache for, these are the stepping stones to finding ourselves on the journey of life in this spiritually material world.  We may all experience our creative, sexual, spiritual selves differently and that too is one of the wondrous gifts of being human. Find your gifts, through contemplation, search engines, be in nature, they are there waiting to be discovered, re-discovered, brought out of hiding.  There is an old native story that says  "when the individual is getting ready to be born into this world the creator give each person a special gift that is theirs and theirs alone and that they can only use that gift when they have learnt the lessons that they have come here to learn."  Get the lesson.  Move on.  Use your gifts.  

Take the time to journal, blog, draw, paint, build, express your ideas.  Find your medium.  Start with lists, ask yourself the same old questions.  Find what you ache for.  Even if you live to be 85 you only have 4,420 Saturdays.  How many do you have left? What are you going to do with them?

See you on the open seas,

 One of my all time favourite books for find my way, not just for job hunting but for prioritizing all kinds of things in life.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Daily Blogging

Day 1, September 25, 2008. 8:15pm
Clearing up the clutter. We all know the feng shui benefits of clearing clutter from our lives, but, somehow clutter sneeks up like a stranger in the night and becomes this terrifyingly overwhelming mess of paper that is out of control and can trigger an adreanal response in the most kaphic of personalities.

Getting a plan and sticking to it seems to be the solution for many people. Sarah Ban Breahtnach in her book, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, suggests that it is simply a matter of having all the right baskets in all the right places and budgeting the time to sort through the mess on a monthly basis. Friends have been telling me this for years, experts extol about the mental, spiritual and physical benefits of knowing where all your paper is. Some, like me, are delighted when we find an extra $400.00, cleaning up paper, in cheques that we forgot to deposit.

While simple strategies do not work for all of us who collect paper in our purses, our cars, the kitchen table, the kitchen cupboards, piles on our desks at home and at the office, cardboard boxes, rubbermaid bins and plastic containers in every corner of our lives - there is hope.

I have found that the best solution for me is to find a friend or pay someone to sit with me and keep me company. So I am there to help with the decision making and they are there so that I do not feel so overwhelmed and alone in the process. Now if I could just convince myself that this is nescessary on a regular basis and keep this process a priority I am sure I would find the paper nirvana that my friends, family memebers and organizational experts around me elude to.

The creative and emotional energy saved can go into a bank for really important things like hanging out with my children, being present in my relationships, practicing yoga and painting or drawing. What ever does make your heart sing. Half the stress of paper piles is the worrying about getting to them. Find what works for you. When it stops working find a new way to work. Buy into the idea that you are perfect just the way you are and find your system, not someone else's.

Be well and happy,

Interesting article on the Feng Shui of Clutter...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Atlas Studio Survey

Hello again,
I have just created a survey on constant contact to check in and see how we are doing. We have been working hard to improve our service and communications over the past few months. The survey is to see how we are doing. To get our readers opinion. So let us treat you to a yoga class and a coffee/tea and share your thoughts with us about how we are doing. You can find the survey here at this link:

I look forward to hearing from everyone.
Om shanti,

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Well my friend Susie passed on Wednesday and we will go to her funeral today. Yoga Teacher Training is happening this weekend and I find that I am a little distracted but generally grateful to do the work that I do and to be able to focus on something else so intensely.

I have been eating comfort food - popcorn, apple pie, humm 1/2 a bag of chocolate peanut butter cups. I think that I am trying to fill up the empty feeling of missing her. Hummm, maybe this afternoon I will just watch that space and see what happens.

New course starting next week at the Cambridge Art Center. For those of you who would like more anatomy this is a great fun way to integrate your knowledge about the body.
See you on the mat,

Anatomy of Life Drawing

This course will explore the complex workings of the human body. Many of the great artists used the cadaver to understand the body. This course will cover the skeleton, the musculo-skeletal relationship, and kinesthetics of movement. Through drawing assignments and explorations, we will discover bone structure, how muscles drape over the bones, and what happens with movement. Nude models will be used at class end.
Instructor: Denise Davis-Gains
Thu, Sept 25-Oct 30, 1-3pm
$60 (Members $51) + GST
Bar Code: 130231

To Register in this course contact:

Tamara Louks
Arts Coordinator
Cambridge Centre for the Arts
60 Dickson Street
Cambridge, ON N1R 8N1
Tel: 519.740.4681 ext. 4367
Fax: 519.624.0379
TTY: 519.623.6691

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reiki healings for the body, mind spirit and soul.

Reiki healings for the body, mind spirit and soul.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

What does a Reiki treatment feel like?

A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results.

What can Reiki help us with?

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.
Cost per treatment is $70 an hour.
To learn more please visit
Email me at
Thank you and blessings
Cindy Pearce-Jacobs
Reiki Attunment September 27&28 Level I
Contact Serenity at Atlas to register 519.884.9877
post a comment on this blog with your email address to receive a free yoga class when you register for the Reiki Attunment weekend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Entry Door Kitchener!!!

Hello All,
I will send out a constant contact newsletter asap. But in the mean time the doors at the Kitchener studio may be blocked from time to time with our new construction. So we have a new entrance for when you cannot get in the regular door please go to 113 Charles Street. We have the schedule posted on the door and the "Yoga Class On Now" sign in front of the new door. Serenity is posting signs as I write this to help everyone find their way in. Not too complicated as old buildings go. But do excuse any inconvenience that this might cause as we will have a wonderful newly rennovated building through the process.

Exercising the muscles of patience and holding the pose of acceptance,
Yours in yoga,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More exciting News from the Frontlines of Yoga

Hi Everybody,
The fall schedule is in full swing and we have great energy in all the classes this season. The weather remains sparklingly (is that a word?) beautiful. A weekend on the boat in Dover has left me feeling well rested, strong and feeling great. A great practice this morning and a good work out at the gym and may I say, God Bless the Steam Bath, ooohh, that feels good.

The website is a little behind the times I will cut and paste the most recent newsletter here so that you can see the most up-to-date schedules and list of workshops and events.

Schedule Additions & Updates
Here is the complete up-to-date schedule for next week.
Fall closures: September 1, October 13,
December 22 - January 4, 2009
(open for special celebrations & classes watch the website)

Cambridge - Galt
Free Class for a friend with a food bank donation in September & October
Cambridge Food bank -learn more
10am Deepen Your Yoga Practice, Elizabeth
12pm Hatha Yoga, Elizabeth
5:30pm Intro to Yoga, Matt
7:00pm Intro to Ashtanga, Matt
9:30am Basic Back Care Yoga, Denise
12pm Hatha Yoga, Elizabeth
4:30pm Hatha Yoga, Heather
6:15pm Prenatal Yoga, Heather
12pm Hatha Yoga, Elizabeth
7:30pm Ashtanga Yoga, Intermediate, Matt
9:30am Deepen Your Yoga Practice, Denise
12pm Hatha Yoga, Elizabeth
5:30pm Hatha Yoga, Elizabeth
9:30am Deepen Your Yoga Practice, Matt
10:00am Ashtanga Yoga, Matt
10:00am Atlas Hot Vigorous Yoga, Matt

Free Class for a friend with a food bank donation in September & October
Kitchener Food Bank - learn more
7:00am Asthanga, Serenity
10:00am Intro to Ashtanga, Serenity
12:00pm Kundalini Yoga, Ashley
3pm-5pm Kids Yoga, Ashley
5:30pm Kundalini Yoga, Ashley
7:00pm Hatha Yoga, TBA
12:00pm Hatha Yoga, Matt
4:00pm Mysore, Denise
6pm YTT, Denise
7:00am Ashtanga, Denise
10am Deepen Your Yoga Practice, Serenity
12:00pm Stamp Out Stress, Chantal
5:30pm Deepen Your Yoga Practice, Denise
7:00pm American Tribal Belly Dance, Valizan
8:00pm American Tribal Belly Dance, Valizan
7:00am Ashtanga, Denise
12:00pm Yoga, Serenity
6:00pm Ashtanga, Serenity
7:45pm Dance, Tanya
7:00am Ashtanga, Serenity
12:00pm TGI Belly Dance, Chantal
10am Ashtanga, Intermediate, Asia
2:30pm Community Yoga Class, Matt

Atlas Fall Events & Workshops
September is Yoga Month
Bring a friend to yoga as your guest on us
Please bring a food bank donation

Yoga for Cyclists - 30.00
September 14, 12-2:30pm

For mor info and registration contact Serenity at Atlas Studio
Kirtan - with Cindy Pearce
bring an instrument if you have one, a cushion to sit on and an open playful heart
by donation - sliding scale 5-20.00
September 26
October 24
November 21
December 19

Reiki Atunement - with Cindy Pearce
Level I September 27 - 28
Level II October 25-26
Level III November TBA
Atlas Children's Workshop
Professional Development Days
children 3 and up
9am - 3pm (early and late arrival/departure available)
45.00 in advance
November 7
December 5

Monthly Reiki Circle Share:
Sunday, September 14th, 6-8pm
An Evening of Indian Classical Music & Dance - Tabla Guru Pandit Divyang Vakil Workshop & Perfromance
Friday, October 3
workshop 5-6:30pm 30.00
concert 7:30-9pm 25.00 advance 30.00 at the door
45.00 for both advance ticket purchase
Students 20% discount
To learn more about Rhythm Riders click here

Thai Massage Workshop
October 27 - 30

This 4 day/30Hr workshop is for anyone wishing to learn healing knowledge for themselves friends and family or as a foundation for those wishing to practice on a professional level.
For more info and registration contact Serenity at Atlas Studio.
watch the website for more information or email

Life is hard. It's breathe, breathe, breathe ... all the time.
My new mantra - Change - greet it with joy. Noticing when sadness is really love disguised by my minds attachment to the past.

We apologise to any and all who have missed classes in the last year. We are offering an amnesty for the month of September. Come out and celebrate yoga month on us. If you have come to Atlas Yoga for a class and due to weather, missing keys, missing or sick instructors have missed a class for any reason come out in the month of September and enjoy a class on us.

Office Hours for Serenity our divinely wonderful and gifted ashtanga yogini and administrative wizard. If you have questions, concerns would like a private introduction to yoga Serenity can now be found at the Kitchener studio from 11:30am - 2pm, Monday - Friday.

Bright Beautiful Blessings,
Denise Davis-Gains
Atlas Studio

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nothing stands still

Hello me again,
The fall newsletter went out and there are already a few corrections and instructor changes.  An update is on its way.  Elizabeth is also off for the weekend, so there will not be a Sunday Hot Yoga class in Cambridge this Sunday, August 31, 2008.

Taught one of the worst classes of my career on Monday night, I was distracted and forgot what I was doing at least 15 times.  It became comical as one student almost feel over she was laughing so hard.  The really surprising part of this event was the lovely email message that came from a student who was in her second class, complimenting the me and the class, excited about her new journey.  You just never know what is going to inspire us : )

Tune in for more updates shortly.
In the moment,

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hello everyone,
The Fall schedule is a little later then we expected.  My challenges with life and technology continue.  My mother starts chemo and radiation on Monday and my friend Susie's liver is failing.  But the house is free from head lice and the basement, the whole house actually is cleaner than when we started.  Small gifts in everything.  This morning I was supposed to be in three places.  So I called in late to one, taking my children to help me with the second and here I am updating the blog and finishing the fall newsletter so hopefully it should be out today. 

I have been reading Tole's book again "The New Earth", while I did not really take to the guy before he is starting to grow on me.  And thank God for Byron Katie's book, "Loving What is".  Two incredible gifts to the human race.  Through all the challenges of the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to look carefully at my ego and my oh my what a wild beast it is.  Hummm, talk about the taming of the shrew, hehehehehhe.

I have been carrying my mala beads around this week, fingering them, and asking for the right mantra to come.  I find that ganesh mantra comes up as my old stand by, and I practice but my heart is not in it.  I think of gyatri mantra and it feels too global. Susie does not want healing mantras right now and I have not talked to my mother about it yet.  I toy with the the great mantras and find, the real question is what do I want in all of the swirling chaos.  I can see clearly what ego wants, as my ego is really good at shouting in my face.  The more real question is harder to sit still long enough to discern.  I sit and watch, maybe I will learn.

We are at the Cambridge Center today for the Active 8 "Tryathalon" come on out and say hello to my children. They are helping out today as I will be at the Kitchener studio at the Ashtanga Specialization.  

See you on the mat,

Monday, August 11, 2008

7am and all is quiet in my house.  I have been up for a while.  You can see the kitchen table again and the carpet of crunchy bits from the kitchen floor are gone.  The laundry is turned over and the the machines are spinning.  We woke up yesterday to head lice, fortunately only one child was infested, but 7 heads to check,  4 beds to strip, pillows to bag, phone calls to all those who have been in contact with my son and the places he has slept over the past week, so they are stripping beds and doing laundry as well.  One head to treat (thank you God).  

My head feels like it is crawling but apparently I am clear to.  This is a persistent little parasite.  I have had some experience with.  I have had so much experience that I have been on the head lice check team at the local elementary school.  

My mother has stage three lung cancer.  She is pissed off as she feels great right now and believes that the treatment that will ensue will make her sick.  My friend, Susie, is doing well, better than the doctors expect.  But, she is not a candidate for chemo.  Right now they are just managing her pain.  

We have two great young men staying with us that my son, Conor, met while in Montreal this summer.  They are a joy to have around.  The three of them flip back and forth from English to French all day and all night.  There is no shortage of music around this house.  They have set up the computer in our tiny little kitchen so getting a drink of water can require a dance of its own through the throngs of teenagers that all seem to be glued to the computer.  What is it with one person on msn or facebook and the others all gathered around .... wouldn't it be more fun to just call that person, or msn them and tell him/her to come on over too?  How could one more hurt?  Just another pair of stinky white sport socks under the kitchen table.  My house kind of smells like teenage boy.  I think that Laurie Anderson (female musician) got it right in her song, teenage boys smell like of like old goats.

Ok, time to practice just  nauli kriya and surya namaskar A & B this am.  6 rounds each.  Then wake the sleeping princess (that can get ugly) and get her over to the Kitchener studio this am to help with summer camps.  We  have the little ones this week they are soooo cute and soooo willing to hold hands and explore.  

Each day is its own adventure.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Hello all,
Our webmaster is away on holidays in France and Belgium and will not be back until August 13, 2008.  So the fall schedule will not be on the website until then.

The Sunday Kitchener class at 10am has been cancelled due to the instructors work schedule being changed.  We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.  If you enjoy yoga on Sunday morning, please join us in Cambridge at 10am for hot yoga.

We will be closed this holiday Monday as well.  

If you have any questions about the schedule please feel free to call Serenity at 519.884.9877 or call me, Denise at 519.240.9642.

Om Shanti,

A new day.

It is a new day.  I read something from Ram Das yesterday that helped with perspective when I was informed last night that I had a flat tire.  Hummm.  

"Attraction or aversion colours your perception of what you call reality." Ram Das
I have read this before.  I have heard it before.  Seems I needed to hear it again.
Ram Dass
Ram Das always seems to have the wisdom that I need to hear.  Thinking that my tire should be anything other than flat is what causes suffering.  I changed my thought process and surrendered to the process and belief that today would be taken up with putting on the spare and fixing the tire.  I rode my not so great bike to my fabulous massage appointment with Autumn at the Fernandes Natural Family Heath clinic this morning and just took joy in the wind blowing through my hair.

As I rode back looking forward to a day with my kids getting ready to go to the beach I was planning what to pack and what groceries to pick up.  When I got in, Owen with some trepidation informed me that he called his father and told him that there was nothing to eat here.  Hummm.  I had made him waffles before I left and had suggested if he was still hungry that he have a plum or some blueberries.

I felt a reaction coming up.  Aversion.  I called his father to tell him that it was not necessary that we had lots of food here.  His father had already bought him lemon poppyseed loaf.  I paused for a moment and thought, "What is my problem?  Lemon poppyseed loaf sounds way better than waffles, humm.  Let it go."  The need to be right, was hindering my feelings and my judgement.  He brought the loaf, Owen ate about 1/3 of it and was off doing something else.  If his father wants to spend money on that sort of thing and drive all the way over here to bring it to Owen, I can let that be their deal.  I do not have to plug into feelings of guilt about, waste, car emissions and more.  I can and did let it go.

be well and happy, it is a decision,

Thursday, July 31, 2008

white light and negativity

I just reread a wonderful meditation on the light this morning.  A gentle reminder to bring the light into everything that I do and to surround myself with light.  It was lovely this morning to feel the tingle of bright white light washing through my body, clearing my mind and uplifting my spirit.  It was a great way to start the day.  

Another day of putting out fires, even in the yoga business we carry the water and chop the wood and we do that with other people so there are the challenges of doing that with as much grace as we can find within.  

Reading the feedback from the course evaluation for this past years yoga teacher training program there were some disgruntled students, students who did not express their dissatisfaction to me.  Who did not come to me and talk to me about what was not working for them.  The comments are sharp and cutting.  In a format that leave no recourse to help these students get what they need from the program.  Had they communicated through out the program in a more direct manner we, I may have been able to do something to make the course a better experience for them.  

As I sit here trying to bring light to this feeling in my stomach I find that maybe this is the test once again.  Not just to be able to bring in the light in my bedroom, surrounded by my favourite things but in the challenging situations of life.  The way through this is to look carefully at the comments and decide what I can truly learn from.  What comments are there for me to learn and grow from.  Students would generally like more focus on Asana. The curriculum comes from the knowledge base expected by the Federation of Ontario Yoga Teachers, The Yoga Alliance and the British Wheel of Yoga.  To take away those elements and focus on Asana alone would bring the program into the same category as that many of the quick courses on yoga of just focusing on asana.  Yoga is not just about asana.  

This could be more clearly articulated on our website.  One person commented on my lack of knowledge on the subject of yoga and this is something that moves inside me.  I feel that lack on a daily basis.  I read, I study, I take classes, courses, work with my teachers and no matter how much I learn about yoga I really feel that I will spend my whole life and barely scratch the surface of what is possible to know about yoga. I have worked with Doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists and physiotherapist who have found my understanding of the human body and yoga interesting and enlightening.  The comments, long story short, hurt most when they tap into my own fears and doubts about myself.  

 There are also lovely comments from happy students who got what they needed in the program.  As I practice repeating those comments and teasing out the juice of change and opportunity in the negative comments I am reminded of my teachers and how they have grappled with the same tension.

A work in progress. 
loving all unconditionally,

Saturday, July 26, 2008

summer mishmash

Well, a first comment.  Means somebody is reading this.  I am encouraged.  We are working on the fall schedule.  Waiting for teachers to let us know what they desire for the fall.  I think that we should ask the students what they like, maybe we should do a survey.  To see when students want classes and what teachers they are interested in working with.  

Getting ready this weekend for next weeks yoga camp.  Jim, Owen and I papered the halls in Kitchener with a story and a collection of great teachers and marine maps.  We had lots of fun, got very sticky with spray glue and still have one wall to go.  If you are reading this come on out and send me a comment here to let me know what you think.  

The Ashtanga specialization starts next week, so if you are into improving your practice or expanding your teaching skills this one is for you.  Check out the website to see more details.

Any bike experts out there.  My gears are not working right.  I have been trying to walk the green talk and now my bike gears are not working, hummm.  I am willing to trade massage for bike repair.  Any takers?

Thinking of going to Toronto for a yoga class or an afternoon workshop with Danny Paradise, he is at the Downward Dog from 4-6pm tomorrow.  Let me know if anyone wants to car pool, my van holds 8.

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine - I am off to the Dover to sail and swim. Lalalalalalala.

live, love and laugh,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Holding Space

One of my dearest friends is struggling for her life right now.  She has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  She is young and strong, she is fighting.  I watch her and I am in admiration of her strength of character.  My mother has a mass in her lungs, yet to be determined and another friend is going in to check her lungs on Friday.  I pray for them all, I pray for their highest good to be realized in this moment.  I pray for them to heal.  I pray for them night and day.  I cry from time to time.  This is life - real time.  People get sick, people die.  Why does it feel so wrong?  It is perfectly normal, it happens everyday.  I feel alone.  I know that is not true.  I have seen the truth that I am never alone.  All those who have gone before, my guides, my teachers, my angels, my poppy, are all there guiding me, watching over me.  Archangel Michael spread his wings around me the night before last and held me while I feel asleep feeling alone and afraid.  

I got up the next day and with some resolve turned to my yoga practice, it was soft and lazy.  I looked inside and asked is this how Nadia built her business. I remembered why I practice and got busy and worked hard enough to break a sweat.  

 I thought a lot about my romantic relationship and realized that I was pulling away and turning inward, I found myself thinking Susie would speak up and tell her partner what she wanted.  I did.  

Feeling sorry for myself  I looked around at the mess of my kitchen and the mound of laundry in the basement, not knowing where to start to tackle the disaster and I thought of my mother and how she always found the energy to keep her house clean and I found the determination to get it done.

As I thought about writing a meaningful blog today, I realized, that the great gifts in my life are the inspiration that my friends and family provide.  They inspire me to get up every day and be my best self possible.  They may not always be with me but they will always be a part of me.  

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Fun

Excitement and anxiety are very close cousins, sometimes these emotions feel the same in the gut and but the body knows the difference.  One stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and the other the parasympathetic.  One feels great and the other feels chokingly life threatening.  Life is full of both if we are out there living it.  

This past weekend was jam packed with Olivia's horse show and Conor performing in the Montreal Jazz festival.  It made me proud to hear them both conversing fluently in French.  Only one speeding ticket in a 36 hours trip to Montreal and back to Cambridge.  Owen has been a joy this week, helping out with the very first week of the "1st annual summer camp program."  

Camp Namaha is off to a great start.  We saw a giant Osprey fly over head, circle around and dive straight down into the river to catch her morning snack.  We watched, mesmerized as she gracefully carried her little black fish through the air back to her nest.  It was a good omen from nature and a real gift to our little group as we explored along the Grand River.  We found fossils, fresh mint and a wonderful sacred stone.  We found a great piece of drift wood that will be come the staff of Camp Namaha.  Fun was had by all and I was reminded of how much I adore 3 year olds, they are so squishy and loveable and they still want to hold hands.