5 Simple Mindfulness Tips for Everyday!

This time of year can be overwhelming with so many places to be, things to do, and emotions. Here are some simple mindfulness tips to help you stay centred to maintain your well-being, peace & joy!

 

Start Your Day off Right

Taking 5-10 minutes at the start of every day to gently move and come into a meditation makes a world of difference to the rest of your day. Don’t believe me? Try it for a week! Meditation can be as complex or as simple as you make it. You can simply focus on your breath – taking deep belly breaths, you can draw in mantra, visualization, energy work, and so much more. If you are new to meditation or mindfulness, I would suggest just closing your eyes and focusing on inhaling through the nose, bringing the breath into the belly, feeling your chest expand. On the exhale through your mouth or nose, allow your jaw, neck & chest to relax.

 

Take a Moment

I often recommend to clients who are starting to practice mindfulness or meditation to find something that reminds them to reconnect to themselves and their breath. It can be as simple as a red light. When ever you come across a red light, bring your awareness into your body, and take five deep inhales and exhales. If you’re not driving you can even close your eyes!

 

Check Your Breath

We often breath in such a hurried state and aren’t even aware of it – I know I can do this too – bad habits we’ve developed over years… but with practice we can become aware and catch ourselves to ensure we get full breaths. If we aren’t taking full-breaths, we are only getting a portion of the oxygen our bodies and brains need. Furthermore, a shortened or shallow breath makes our body believe we need to be in fight or flight mode. The best part? The reverse is also true! By focusing on bringing the breath into our belly, then into our chest – think of how a baby breathes – we tell our body we are safe and can relax. We are able to get a nice full breath to nourish our nervous system. Now try taking 5-10 of these deep, soothing breaths. Try this with your kids before bed and they’ll soon be off to lalaland! This is a very important aspect of yoga & meditation, called pranayama.

 

Thoughts Become Words, Words Define Our Path

We are deeply complex beings full of memories and stories that create how we see ourselves and in turn affect our lives. Mantra is a powerful way to become conscious of our words and to help develop new, healthy habits and pathways in our brain. You are welcome to use the mantra in the image above, or create your own! What qualities do you already or wish to embody more of? Repeat this mantra to yourself during your morning and evening meditation or quiet time. You can also do this with little ones!

 

The Power of Scent

Mindfulness is all about being in the moment and engaging our senses – being aware of what you are seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling. Scent is a particularly powerful way for us to reconnect to ourselves and memories. Give yourself a little gift of going for a walk in the forest or by the ocean – we have no excuse here on the shore! Take a deep breath in, really feel & smell it. What does it smell like? How does it make you feel? If you enjoy using essential oils, you can bring your favourite calming scent with you where ever you go.

 

Upcoming Events to Help You Reconnect & Restore: 

Dec 8 – By-Donation Crystal Bowl Sound Bath with Essential Oils

Dec 9 – Create Your Own Essential Oil Gifts using the purest oils on the market

Jan 13, 20, 27 – EFT Workshops*

Jan 16-Feb 13 – EFT for Kids*

Or join us for one of our many soothing weekly classes; Restorative, Kundalini & Gong Bath, Hatha, Yin & Crystal Bowl, YinYang and many more! We have a special Christmas Pass on sale for $69 (save $99) for Dec 17-Jan5.

*Early-birds on new year workshops & spring break camps until Jan 6th. Use the code #healthiswealth for 10% off weekly classes before Jan 6th!

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out: Katie@studio202community.com

We hope this season brings peace, light & joy into your hearts!

 

 

 

Yoga & Meditation for November’s Full Moon

Energy Healing

This is an interesting Full Moon – meditation and yoga are definitely in order! We’ll explore the aspects at play, followed by a little meditation and yoga sequence you can practice at home.

The Moon is at 0* in Gemini, a particularly creative and sometime fickle sign, so you may feel pulled in many directions. 0 also represents our infinite creative potential. This is wonderful energy to have with us as we reflect on the growth and changes we have made over the year, and begin to prepare for another year. The image I saw this morning in my meditation was stepping out of my skin like a snake – major shedding for major growth to come. It’s important to recognize and give gratitude to what was in our lives, what brought us to where we are, and at the same time be able to let go to make room for more growth and greater alignment. Release stories and your shadow aspects that no longer serve you – guilt, shame, fear. This was also a theme for November’s New Moon – forgiving and letting go. Forgiving others and most importantly ourselves, surrounding ourselves, situations and others with loving energy. Take time to nourish your nervous system through yoga, meditation, art to connect to and allow your intuition to thrive. Trust your heart. I find by taking the time to reflect and connect to our intuition, we are able to make healthy changes in our lives before they seem forced upon us.

Full Moon Astrological Aspects:

  • Moon squaring Mars – Watch your words & how others words affect you
  • Moon opposing Jupiter – This amplifies confrontational energy from Mars, particularly when we’re vulnerable
  • Mars squaring Jupiter – Enjoy your energy but try not to be impulsive with thoughts, words & actions
  • Moon conjunct to Alcyone – This fixed star has a feminine influence, but in the picture of what’s going on astrologically it points to cruelty & potential out-lashes by ourselves or on the receiving end

 

Full Moon Meditation & Yoga

Oils and crystals for this meditation could include Cedarwood, Palo Santo & Copaiba for clearing & calming the nervous system. I love sticking with my Obsidian & Clear Quartz when there’s a lot going on, perhaps bringing in a Rose Quartz. 417Hz is for clearing energy, so you may want to listen to something like this.

Begin by settling into your space, clearing or smudging if you like. I like to have a shower or bath with the oils first to cleanse my skin too. Getting comfortable and coming into your body, bring your awareness to your Root chakra and begin to ground your energy with an easy breath perhaps visualizing roots traveling from you into the Earth. Call in your protection in a way that speaks to you or begin to fill your body with white light with every inhale.

Once you feel grounded, begin with Sufi Grinds moving gently with the breath. After a minute or two in each direction, begin with Spinal flexes, hands on the ankles, then flexes with hands on the knees. Inhaling reaching your chest forward, exhale rounding the spine. This Kundalini warm-up helps to lubricate the spine and wake up the nervous system. Once you feel warmed up, bring your awareness to your Crown chakra and begin with gentle neck rolls, moving with the breath.

Let’s begin with Nadi Shodana – Balancing Breath. Covering the left nostril, inhale through the right. Cover the right, exhale left, then deep inhale. Cover the left, exhale right, inhale and continue. Allow your belly then chest to fill on the inhale, your shoulders, chest and belly to relax on the exhale. This breath slows our energy, improves focus, and with the belly breath tells our body we are in a relaxed state to bring us into a greater relaxed state primed for meditation. Continue your breath for 5 minutes, returning to an easy inhale and exhale through the nose bringing your focus to your Third Eye and Crown Chakras. Stay in meditation as long as you need, thinking about what you would like to shed and what you would like to bring into your life. Or simply surrender to your breath and allow what’s meant to flow to you to come. If you would like to repeat a mantra, Sa Ta Na Ma is an appropriate one: Infinity, Life, Death, Rebirth. 

 

You are more than welcome to join us Thursday for Yin & Crystal Bowl 8-9pm at the Studio for a Full Moon session, or to dive even deeper into release and connecting to your intuition, Linda is hosting EFT & Creative Art Therapy this Sunday.

If you’d like to learn more about pure essential oils, you are welcome to email me or join our Dec 2nd event ‘Make Your Own Essential Oil Gifts.

 

Have a lovely Full Moon. Sending love & light,

Katie

 

10 Reasons to Practice Yoga if You Live In North Vancouver

Yoga North Vancouver

Most of us in North & West Vancouver lead active lives outdoors, including participating in extreme sports. When the mountains and ocean are right at your back door, how can you not want to be outside hiking, mountain biking, skiing, swimming, climbing, going for a soothing trail run or road bike?! While these more strenuous forms of exercise are great for an exhilarating rush and often require you to be in a meditative or focused state, more and more of us are realizing the need to balance our outdoor passions with gentle forms of yoga for our longevity. Here are the top 10 reasons to practice yoga:

 

  1. Yoga encourages you to focus on the breath – during classes we work with the breath or pranayama to increase lung-capacity and breath control, which supports your cardiovascular strength & stamina. If asthma or allergies are a concern for you, pranayama can also help encourage full breaths and a strong respiratory system.

2. Yoga targets large muscles – by holding strength building poses in classes such as Vinyasa, we target our larger muscles in balanced and safe ways to support us and our posture. This helps you build greater endurance for your favorite sports.

3. Yoga builds strength in fine muscles – when we hold poses we activate the finer and often under-used muscles which are needed in our daily activities and for balance. These fine muscles support our larger muscles and the integrity of our bodies.

4. Yoga helps strengthen bones – by placing pressure safely on bones it causes the cells to regenerate, which keeps bones strong, helps to prevent osteoporosis and helps to reduce inflammation in some forms of arthritis.

5. Yoga encourages flexibility – this surprisingly to many, is not the goal of yoga, but rather a by-product of allowing our tight muscles and fascia to lengthen, which in turn helps to prevent injuries…and feels good! Many of us have very tight low backs and legs, which if not effectively stretched gently in classes such as Yin and Restorative, can cause tears, strains.

6. Yoga helps to balance our nervous system – through breath and mindfulness exercises or meditation, we learn simple techniques to calm our nervous system and release emotional tension. This allows us to be more self aware, less anxious, and get better sleep.

7. Yoga helps with greater self-awareness – you will notice you become more attuned to your body and what is happening around you, helping you stay present, focused, and better able to handle and mitigate potentially stressful situations.  

8. Yoga supports hormone balance – by learning simple tools to support the nervous system, get better sleep, live more mindfully and mitigate or better handle challenging situation, we allow our hormones to come into greater balance. Less cortisol is also present, which helps with weight concerns.

9. Yoga can help improve your relationships – by being more present, more objective, and understanding our stress responses, we are in greater control of our reactions and able to really be there for those close to us, which strengthens our relationships.

10. Yoga helps boost your immune system – by nourishing your nervous system, we reduce inflammation and stress hormones. This helps us to stay healthy so we can enjoy being outdoors in our beautiful city!

 

You can practice many of these techniques at home, such a simple slow breath work or pranayama – inhaling and exhaling for a count of four. I strongly recommend taking a few breaks to do this every day, and watch the difference in your sense of peace over a month.

While yoga can also be practiced at home, many find it more peaceful to come to a space dedicated to this practice, with a seasoned yoga instructor who can offer suggestions in order to help your alignment and relaxation. Many of us are used to practicing in large studios where it can be challenging for the instructor to support each student, and ensure the integrity and safety of poses. Smaller studios are able to dedicate the energy to the well-being of clients. This is particularly important to us at Studio 202, and one of the aspects we feel sets us apart. Our team is passionate about supporting your well-being, physically, emotionally, and spiritually in our North Vancouver oasis. Come check out some of our classes to help you stay strong and healthy for all of life’s adventures!

 

October Full Moon Meditation

This full moon meditation focuses on finding balance within our relationships and self. Stable Taurus is challenged by unpredictable and changing Uranus. The result, the unexpected and our vulnerabilities to surface. While it’s not always easy, it’s important to take a look at our ‘blind-spots’ or weaknesses in order to grow.

Here’s a glimpse into the astrological impacts right now:

  • Venus opposes Uranus, which can create tension in our relationships and our relationship with money
  • Moon conjuncts Uranus, leading to impulsive and detached tendencies
  • Moon opposes Venus, exposing our need for affection
  • Venus sextile to Saturn, emphasizing our need for companionship
  • Moon trines Saturn, which lends patience, intuitive & emotional strength
  • Fixed stars
    • Mirach symbolizes giving love. The Moon conjuncts this star signaling concerns with the opposite gender, furthered by Uranus conjunct leading to unbalanced perspective or approach.
    • Mira is about perseverance

Retrogrades:

  • Neptune is in Pisces until Nov 25, encouraging us to stay grounded, realistic & objective
  • Venus started in Libra and ends in Scorpio Nov 16, asking us to go within & look at our relationship to giving and receiving love

What does all this mean? We are still dealing with similar issues from September’s full moon. October’s new moon was about transformation, but we are now looking at our shadow in these areas in order to move forward. Again, it is important to tap into the self and really understand what it is your soul is longing for. Try not to seek a quick fix by just filling the void – this will lead to further problems. Scorpio encourages us to look deep into our hearts and souls to truly nurture ourselves.

 

Full Moon Meditation & Yoga

Let’s find some balance. I would begin by clearing your meditation space through prayer, mantra, sage – whatever speaks to you. Two beautiful oils to balance the masculine and feminine are Lavender (the Mother healer) and Frankincense (the Father healer). For crystals, choose those you are drawn to. I will be working with obsidian, rose & clear quartz, for the Root, Heart & Crown chakras. Perhaps turn on a 639Hz frequency such as this for harmony.

Begin with gentle movement – trust your bodies flow. Sufi grinds, spinal flexes or cat cows, allowing your breath to guide your movement. If you need to flow to let some energy move, do so. When you are ready, come back to a comfortable seat closing your eyes softly. Let’s begin with Nadi Shodana:

  • Covering the right nostril, inhale through the left
  • Cover the left nostril, exhale right then inhale
  • Cover the right, exhale left then inhale
  • Continue for 5-10 minutes feeling the flow of the breath through your body

Stay with an easy inhale exhale or Ujjayi (Ocean breath) through both nostrils once you are finished with Nadi Shodhana, noticing the full flow of the breath and ease. Imagining the breath being white light filling up every corner of your body, beginning to radiate out beyond and into your aura, creating further balance & peace around you.

Ask your soul or guides: What serves your highest and best right now? 

When you feel you are completed with your meditation, take time to journal your thoughts, inspiration & insights. Through the next few weeks, find something you can do every day to nurture yourself to bring greater peace – even if it’s just showering with the lights off before bed & applying a drop of your favorite essential oil in your lotion. Give yourself this gift of love, and more love will come your way.

 

 

Full Moon Yoga & Meditation: Thursday 8-9pm, join us for Yin & Crystal Bowl Healing where we will practice this meditation with pure Young Living Frankincense & Lavender essential oils.

If you are interested in purchasing your own essential oils, I would recommend starting with the Starter Kit, which comes with a diffuser and the 10 most popular oils – many of which will become your new natural medicine cabinet – perfect as the cooler season falls upon us. Please click this link or email Katie@studio202community.com. 

 

Essential Oils While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Pure essential oils can a huge support during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it’s important to know which ones to use and when. What we put on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream within 20 minutes max, which is then shared with our baby. This is why it’s so it’s important to be aware of all the products we consume, including those we use on our largest organ, our skin. As mentioned by the National Association for Holistic Therapy, the quality of the oil is incredibly important as is the quantity used. Many oils on the market have additives and are blended with other unnamed ingredients to be cost-effective. This is one reason I choose to only use Young Living Essential Oils. Young Living owns their own farms and takes great pride in ensuring quality from ‘seed to seal’. They care for the plants energetically and beyond – and yes, you can even visit their farms around the world to experience yourself! As these oils are pure, you need very little.

 

First Trimester

During the first trimester it’s important to be cautious, and I would not recommend ingesting any essential oils. You are safe to use the following oils topically or diffuse during the first trimester to uplift and help keep nausea at bay; Bergamot, Chamomile (german and roman), Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Petitgrain & citrus scents.

I would not recommend ingesting or using any of the following essential oils on your skin while pregnant; Aniseed, Anise star, Basil, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Cumin, Fennel, Hyssop, Jasmine, Oregano, Myrrh, Parsley, Pennroyal, Rosemary, Sassafrass, Savory, Sweet birch, Thyme, Wintergreen, Wormwood.

Yoga Tip: While active pranayama (breath-work) is not recommended during pregnancy, a deep slow breath is a wonderful way to help ease nausea, and help you to tune into yourself and baby. Find a comfortable space & close your eyes for a steady inhale to a count of 4 into the belly and chest, and exhaling to the count of 4 relaxing the chest then belly. Repeat for 5-30 minutes.

 

Second Trimester

The second trimester is a great time to start massaging a few drops of pure essential oils diluted into the carrier oil of your choice – coconut, jojoba, almond etc – all over your beautiful body. These oils are wonderful for nourishing the skin; Bergamot, Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Neroli, Rose Otto, Sandalwood & Ylang Ylang. I would suggest using organic carrier oils for their purity.

You can also continue to diffuse or apply the following oils to help energize yourself; Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint & citrus scents.

For an amazing sleep, I would recommend a few drops of Lavender, Frankincense or White Angelica in a bath with pure magnesium salts.

Yoga Tip: You may notice your lower back beginning to bother you a bit. To get ahead of this, try cat/cow every morning and evening as this involves pelvic tilts. This helps to loosen the back, allowing energy to flow through the spine nourishing all your organs (including baby), and strengthen the pelvic area. If you haven’t yet, try to get to a Prenatal Yoga class for more tips and poses to strengthen and calm.

 

Third Trimester

Below are a few recipes you can blend into a carrier oil or diffuse to soothe some common discomforts in the third trimester:

  • Frequent urination – Cypress, Neroli & Sweet marjoram
  • Heartburn –  Petitgrain, Roman chamomile & Sandalwood
  • Haemorrhoids – Copaiba, Cypress, Peppermint, Sandalwood & Sweet orange
  • Varicose veins – Cypress, Sandalwood, Sweet orange
  • Water retention – Geranium, Lemon & Petitgrain

Yoga Tip: One of my favourite parts of our Prenatal Yoga classes is our flowing squats. This helps you connect to your breath,  strengthen your legs, open the hips, and encourages baby to move to a head first position.  Start by rolling a mat under your heels, coming to standing hands above your head. Exhale slowly folding into a squat, and using your hands rolling up with the inhale. Try doing 15 when you wake up each morning.

 

Birth

During birth, Clary sage & Jasmine are welcome in addition to any of your favourite oils from above to help you stay in a space of peace and joy during this special time. Frankincense,Helichrysum, Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood & White angelica are some of the highest vibrational oils and wonderful to use at birth. Copaiba is another amazing oil to ease anxiety and compliment other oils – this is one of my absolute favourites. Oils are best diffused or you can blend into a carrier oil for massage.

Yoga Tip: The breath and meditations we do in class help you prepare for birth, by helping you connect to your intuition and your baby. Gentle breath, visualization, and mantra help us stay in a space of peace. Try the breath tip mentioned in the First Trimester section and creating a mantra for yourself. It can be as simple as ‘I am love, I am strength, I trust my intuition.’ Get creative!

If you would like a little extra support, Clara (certified Doula) and her husband Mathius will be hosting an intimate Birth Partner Workshop November 25th for 6 couples.

 

Breastfeeding & Fourth Trimester

Gentle Baby blend is an oil you and your little bundle can enjoy to soothe the skin and aid with sleep. I would suggest diffusing this oil, or blending with a carrier oil to apply along on the inner ankles, lower back and across the tummy to ease any discomforts.

Some oils to help you balance hormones include; Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clove, Copaiba, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon & Peppermint. These oils are uplifting, calming, and can help balance hormones. Wild Yam and Chaste Tree also help balance hormones – for these I would speak to your Naturopath.

Basil, Fennel & Geranium help to increase production of milk, while Peppermint slows the flow. You will want to place a drop or two above the breasts around the lymphs.

To soothe sore and cracked nipples, try using Geranium, Myrrh & Sandalwood in a carrier oil.

Mastitis? Massage Clove, Lavender, Orange, Thyme, or Rosemary into the lymphs above the breast.

A friend also recommended Clariderm spray on a pad to help soothe & heal. Please see below for details on purchasing Clariderm or other pure essential oils.

 

Just for you!

Until October 15th use the code #mamalove to save 10% on any of the following classes & events:

We also host Bellydance on the first Thursday of every month 615-730pm for $10 – perfect for Pre & Postnatal!

To purchase Clariderm or any of the oils mentioned above at wholesale, please click here. With Young Living you order what you want, when you want. The Starter Kit with 11 of the most essential oils and diffuser is a great value of $400 worth of products for $200! All who purchase $50 or more of essential oil products before October 31st will receive complimentary entry to our Dec 2 event where we will be making essential oil gifts for yourself and those you love!

If you have questions, please email katie@studio202community.com

 

September Full Moon Yoga & Meditation

There’s a lot going on astrologically at the moment, so definitely a good time for a compassionate meditation. The Full Moon shines light on what may be out of balance, as the moon and sun oppose each other. I like to look at it as a glimpse to see where I can grow more by shedding beliefs, thoughts, and energies that really aren’t building me up. I feel this is a common theme for many at the moment. Take a moment perhaps to tune into, or note down what’s really truly important to your core, your mission, your soul.

 

Here’s a glimpse into the astrological impacts right now:

Full Moon in Aries – a fire sign of courage, passion, optimism, and at times impulsive & aggressive.

  • Moon conjuncts Chiron bringing light to our shadows in childhood
  • Moon squares Saturn creating a heavy, restraining sense as we face challenges, particularly in relationships
  • Mercury squares Saturn & opposes the Moon, causing confusion in thoughts & communication
  • Sun quincunx Uranus can make us a little nervous or edgy
  • Moon sextile Mars gives us the courage and passion to overcome the challenges of Saturn
  • Sat trine Uranus encourages positive solutions & the ability make very methodical transitions

Retrogrades:

  • Pluto is in Capricorn until Sept 29, helping us clear the unnecessary for greater flow & ease
  • Neptune is in Pisces until Nov 25, encouraging us to stay grounded, realistic & objective
  • Venus goes into retrograde Oct 5 but we have been in it’s shadow since Sept 2. Venus speaks to our ability to give and receive affection. Affection and belonging being one of our basic needs can sometimes lead to unhealthy ways to seek this fulfillment if it is not being met, such as overspending, having unbalanced patterns with love etc. However; we can also chanel this energy in beautiful ways, like being creative and enjoying our close friends and family. During this time we will also overlap into sensitive Scorpio making it a bit more intense – so be sure to spend lots of time on self love, even if that means taking time just for you.

What does this mean?

Our relationships are getting a close inspection right now. Clarify what it is that’s bothering you – dig deep in order to let it really go. Try not to blame or focus on the past, but do take a peek into your past or childhood to see if current concerns or patterns are stemming from this. By looking to the root, we can better resolve once and for all! We have the strength to overcome these challenges!

 

Full Moon Meditation

Find your favorite essential oils and uplifting crystals – for me it’s Copaiba & Harmony, along with Rose Quartz & Black Obsidian. Make yourself a luxurious bath with these ingredients and add some magnesium bath salts to help calm the nervous system.

Clear and bring compassion into your meditation space with intention, candles, and smudging if this is part of your practice. Take a few nice deep inhales into your belly, your chest and exhale audibly and completely through your mouth. Visualize letting go of all that is no longer serving you. If you work with angels or guides, this is a good time to ask for protection and guidance. If you would like to take some movement here, I would suggest working with the spine and heart opening:

  • Gentle neck rolls
  • Cat Cow really allowing your breath to guide you
  • Sufi grinds – sitting in easy pose, take circles with your hips drawing chest forward on the inhale, exhale rounding the spine (similar to Cat/Cow – this targets the lumbar spine, our Root & Sacral chakra – centres of security, attachment to the physical world, creativity, relationships & values)

Settle into a relaxed and balancing ‘Diamond’ breath – inhaling for 4, hold 4, exhale 4, hold out for 2-4. Continue with this breath for 10-30 minutes, allowing your meditation to take you where you need to go.

Trust the journey, trust yourself.

We have a number of classes at the studio created to help you dive deep, nourish and soothe your mind, body & soul. For all our classes (many of which include sound healing), please visit here.

New to Studio 202? Try 3 classes for $20!

 

August Full Moon Meditation

Time to celebrate this Full Moon on August 26/27 in Pisces with a very intuitive meditation. We made it through powerful eclipses this summer, and are now ready to enjoy all the bliss of our transformations! While a Full Moon can often feel unbalanced due to the polarity of the energy, this one is beautifully aligned and balanced.

Let’s look at the major aspects at play:

  • Pisces is all about intuition and connecting to your emotional self. Listen closely & allow yourself the time to do so, everyday. Take a moment every few hours to connect to your breath.
  • Grand Trine
    • Sun trine to Saturn is about achieving our long-term vision and connecting to wisdom
    • Sun trine Uranus points to intuition and confidence
    • Saturn trine Uranus enables easy transition for greater flow and creative potential
  • Minor Trine
    • Moon sextile Saturn encourages us to be protective of those closest to us
    • Moon sextile Uranus is about the excitement that follows when we connect to our intuition
  • Fixed Stars
    • Sadalmelik first noted in the Persian culture is referred to as “Luck of the Kings” and at this time alludes to power of manifestation
    • Fomalhault is one of four Persian Royal Stars and symbolizes the Angel Gabriel helping us connect to the spiritual world and our intuition
  • Planets in Retrograde are focused on creating more alignment & ease in our lives
    • Saturn in Capricorn until Sept 6 – a time of positive karmic change if we stay aligned with our ethics
    • Pluto in Capricorn until Sept 29 – all about clearing the unnecessary for greater flow & ease
    • Neptune in Pisces until Nov 25 – stay grounded, realistic & objective

 

Full Moon Meditation

This beautifully aligned Full Moon is a perfect time to reflect on our growth over the past two months. What did you learn? How has your life changed? Surrendering may have been challenging at times, but did you notice that when you did everything seemed to flow more easily? What do you wish to create for the months moving forward?

Let’s tap into our intuition by really listening to what it is you need right now. Time in nature? A moonlit walk? A little self-love?

Oils and crystals for this meditation could include Frankincense, Lavender, Rose, Selenite, Amethyst, Black Obsidian and Clear & Rose Quartz. As you get into your meditation space, set intention, smudge if you like, and perhaps turn on this tune.

Let’s begin with Nadi Shodana – Balancing Breath. Covering the left nostril, inhale through the right. Cover the right, exhale left, then deep inhale. Cover the left, exhale right, inhale and continue. Allow your belly then chest to fill on the inhale, your shoulders, chest and belly to relax on the exhale. This breath slows our energy, improves focus, and with the belly breath tells our body we are in a relaxed state to bring us into a greater relaxed state primed for meditation. Continue your breath for 5 minutes, returning to an easy inhale and exhale through the nose bringing your focus to your Third Eye and Crown Chakras. Stay in meditation as long as you need.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Yoga is one of the most recommended forms of exercise during pregnancy, as it’s low impact yet gently builds strength for labour. Prenatal yoga focuses on specific exercises to help build strength and ease tension in the body, allowing for a more comfortable pregnancy. Yoga also helps you more deeply connect with your own body, building greater trust in your abilities, and connecting with your little one. What I love about Kundalini, and Khalsa Way Prenatal Kundalini in particular, is the focus on connecting to the nervous system to support the body inside out.

 

In 2012 I took my Khalsa Way certification with Gurmukh and Akal from Golden Bridge Yoga. On Gurmukh’s soul journey, she trained with Yogi Bhajan, who asked her to create such a program after training with midwives.This was an incredible experience and helped deepen my love for Kundalini. While meditation has been a part of my life since I was a child, I feel Kundalini helps me connect even more deeply, allowing my intuition to flow.

 

Kundalini yoga is based on the idea that the feminine energy lies at the base of our spine, our Root Chakra. After grounding, we begin to awaken this intuitive, healing energy through movements, sound, breath, and working with the nervous system. Through this practice, our mind, body and soul is primed for deep meditation. Kundalini is a blend of three forms of yoga:

  • Bhakti – devotion and chanting
  • Raja – meditation and self control
  • Shakti – expressing energy through movement

 

Khalsa Way Prenatal Yoga offers simple adaptations of Kundalini exercises to build strength and stamina for the mind, body & soul. These exercises are perfect for those who are beginners or those with injuries, whether you are pregnant or not. This practice is also recommended for those planning to conceive. Movements work with the lower body to gently ease lower body tension and built up energy. ‘Keep-up’ exercises focus on building upper body strength and overcoming the chatter of the mind with the practice of breathwork or pranayama, adapted for the health of mother and child. This class encourages you to connect to your intuition, to connect to your body, and to connect to your baby. All classes challenge strength, balance, and flexibility, followed by a peaceful meditation and savasana. This class will be led by Shideh, who exudes nurturing energy!

 

Even in utero our babies are aware of the energies around us. They can feel when we are at peace, just as they can sense our tension. There have been many circumstances which I have witnessed, where fellow teachers and students have gone into a meditation and known exactly what was happening while they were in utero, only to have it later confirmed by their parents. Taking care of our bodies and souls not only supports our well-being, but that of our childs. Learning to connect to your body during pregnancy can be incredibly empowering during birth, for a more conscious and intuitive journey. Connecting to our child early also helps to build a deeper connection after they are birthed.

 

This Fall we have many exciting classes and events to celebrate the journey of motherhood, and two of us at the studio are pregnant & we can’t wait to celebrate with you! 

 

 

August New Moon Meditation

We are almost through the eclipses and major astrological shifts! How are you holding up? I hope this pranayama and meditation offers you a chance to surrender and connect more deeply to your intuition. These past few months have been rather intense, bringing lots to the surface for us to look at making life shifts for our happiness and alignment. During these times it can be emotional and challenging to face certain aspects, and to let go… but look how far you have come!

 

Yesterday, August 8th (8:8) was the Lion’s Gate or Lion’s Portal. This happens when the sun transits through Leo, a sign of courage, strength and stepping out. You may have noticed the energy was particularly intense over the past few days due to both the sun and Sirius, a star system twice as bright as our sun, rising and setting at the same time. This ‘spiritual sun’ creates more heat, energy, and helps to illuminate our intuitive wisdom – due to all this, it may also be a little tiring and may cause anxiety. Take it easy on yourself.

 

The combination of the Lion’s Portal with the upcoming New Moon on August 11th and partial Solar Eclipse, brings our focus to new beginnings, greater insights and awareness. Pay attention to your dreams. This is a good time to ground, centre, and take a really objective look at your life and determine your top priorities, and let go of what isn’t needed anymore in your life – distractions, energies that aren’t serving your highest good, etc. This is a time of courage, strength and intention. You have and have always had the power to do as you wish and at this time, astrology is also supporting this. Take your time, meditate, and be very clear in your intentions.

 

A few interesting astrological aspects:

  • Mercury conjuncts the Sun, suggesting slowing down to tap into our intuition and wisdom
  • Jupiter is square to the Sun, alluding to fortune but the need for moderation
  • Pluto is quincunx to the Sun, a turning point
  • Planets still in Retrograde
    • Mercury in Leo until Aug 19 – take your time communicating & making decisions
    • Mars in Aquarius until Aug 27 – move slowly
    • Saturn in Capricorn until Sept 6 – a time of positive karmic change if we stay aligned with our ethics
    • Chiron in Aries until Sept 24 – healing time & self-love
    • Pluto in Capricorn until Sept 29 – all about clearing the unnecessary for greater flow & ease
    • Neptune in Pisces until Nov 25 – stay grounded, realistic & objective

 

New Moon Meditation

If you can, try to have a swim in the ocean or river in the coming days – the water helps to cleanse, why I normally suggest a bath during cooler months. Bring your crystals into the water with you, and leave them exposed to the moonlight. Enjoy a moon-light walk.

 

This New Moon calls for grounding and connecting to our intuition and universal wisdom – really listening. How can we do this? Through pranayama (breathwork), meditation, centering and grounding ourselves, and listening to the subtle information around us. I would recommend working with grounding and intuitive crystals and oils, such as;

  • Crystals – black obsidian, smokey quartz, crystal quartz, malachite, amethyst, aquamarine, celestite
  • Oils – earthy scents (Cedarwood, Palo Santo, Copaiba), frankincense, lavender, Envision (by Young Living)

 

When you are ready and have energetically cleared your space with crystals, oils, mantra, smudging – which ever speaks to you – settle into some easy Cat/Cow breaths. Allow your breath to guide your movements taking variations that feel right in your body. Perhaps move into your own flow, allowing the breath and energy to move through your body.

 

When you are ready, settle into rock pose (kneeling). Closing your eyes, connecting to your breath, allow your belly then chest to fill on the inhale, your shoulders, chest and belly to relax on the exhale. This breath tells us we are in a relaxed state, helping us reach a deeper relaxed state. Bring your awareness to your Root Chakra to ground your energy with cords or roots reaching into the Earth. Coming into the Venus lock (prayer then allow all fingers to cross keeping the index pointing upwards – traditionally males will have right thumb over left, females left over right). Bring your hands over-head, and begin quietly chanting ‘Sat’ on the inhale bringing light through the Crown Chakra & Pituitary, exhaling ‘Nam’ allowing the light to travel out through the Pituitary. Continue for 11 minutes. This cleansing and connecting practice can be done daily – it’s a journey!

 

Stay in meditation as long as you need – see what comes up for you and in your dreams…

You are welcome to join us this evening, and every Thursday for Yin and Crystal Bowl at 8pm.

 

Love & light,

Katie

July Full Blood Moon Meditation

 

Welcome to the Full Bloodmoon & Lunar Eclipse! This one is all about transformation, bringing February’s eclipse to a close, which likely ties back to 2011. Through this mediation, we will dive into ways to help you find peace while sifting through that which you no longer need, for a brighter, more aligned you! This moon is all about going with the flow and the ability to surrender & trust. 

 

 

Let’s take a peek at what’s happening astrologically:

  • Full Moon brings the tide high & the sun and moon are in polarity – our emotions are tied to water, and the polarity encourages us to look at finding more balance
  • Eclipses are a time of major transformation – as I mentioned this one is connected to February and 2011
  • Moon conjunct Mars speaks to a sense of bravery and strength
  • Moon square Uranus suggests impulsiveness or mood swings
  • Mars square Uranus shines on our rebellious side!
  • Moon sextile Saturn is about protection of those close to us
  • Saturn trine Uranus signals transition to greater peace
  • Retrograde planets – when they appear to be moving in a backwards motion
    • Mars in Aquarius (until Aug 27) suggests a sense of frustration
    • Saturn in Capricorn (until Sept 6) governs our karma and ethics
    • Neptune in Pisces (until Nov 25) encourages us to be grounded, realistic, and objective
    • Mercury in Leo (until Aug 19) rules communication & cognitive abilities  
    • Pluto in Capricon (until Sep 29) brings shadows to light, enabling us to clear what’s not needed
    • Chiron in Aries (until Sep 24) is about healing the subconscious & karmic wounds
  • Jupiter has come out of retrograde and speaks to transformation and adventure. Things we have been working on since February are finally coming to fruition!

 

What does this mean?

You may have felt a little pushed to your limits in the last month. This is a good time for self-love and reflection. Move slowly and methodically, everything will happen when it is supposed to. Think before you speak and do. This is time to tap into your intuition, to surrender and trust.

  • What motivates you?
  • Have you noticed a common theme since February? What does this mean for your life moving forward?
  • How is this theme tied to 2011? Are there any remnants that you can let-go of, to further move forward?
  • How can you bring more self-love into your life?

 

Self-Love

Self love is best practiced on a daily basis and doesn’t need to be complex. Simply doing what you need to function at your best is perfect! By doing this, you will also be your best for others. Here are some simple ideas:

  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – your body, mind & soul needs to be able to restore itself
  • Eat nutritious meals – perhaps this would be a good time to look at incorporating more minerals and vitamins you need into your diet & eating easy to digest foods to allow your body to lightly cleanse and get the nutrients it needs
  • Move your body everyday! Get into nature – go for forest walks, swim in the ocean, whatever it is that moves you, enjoy it and try incorporating mindfulness into your activity. Notice your breath, the smells, sounds & sensations
  • Take mini-meditation breaks. Every two hours, take a moment to check in with your breath. Perhaps incorporate a little seated cat-cow, allowing your breath to move you

 

Full Moon Meditation:

You are welcome to smudge your meditation space, mindfully clearing any energies that do not serve your highest and best. For oils, I would recommend Lavender and Frankincense – full body healers. Crystal, Amethyst, and a grounding stone such as Black Obsidian can be used. This link is tuned to 852Hz for strengthening intuition.

This is a simple meditation, focusing on the breath, feeling it move through your body. You may begin by closing your eyes, taking 10 deep inhales and exhales. Ground yourself by imagining a golden cord or roots from your Root chakra reaching deep into the Earth. Create a layer of pure energy around you for protection – there are many ways to do this, which we explore in Yin. You are also welcome to email and ask me, as different techniques work for everyone. Continue with a simple inhale and exhale through your nose, allowing the belly, then the chest to expand with the inhale. Chest then belly to relax with the exhale. If you would like to practice Ujjayi or Ocean breath, please do so. This mediation is all about going with the flow. Watch what comes up as you breath. I would recommend maintaining this breath for 10-30 minutes.

As I mentioned above, try to incorporate this a few times a day for 2-5 minutes.

You are welcome to join us for Yin Thursday evening as we work with the Full Moon energy. Please register here.

 

Love and light,

Katie