New Moon Meditation – January 2018

This is a powerful NewMoon, charging us up and calling for a bright, light meditation. January 16th’s New Moon sums up the last five months since August’s Solar Eclipse, and presents a Learning Triangle – an opportunity for change and growth. Capricorn shines on stability, leadership, and the desire to open up emotionally. This is a good time to connect more deeply with ourselves and others to open emotionally. With Venus present, family and relationships flow with ease, but there is a push to open for growth. Mars lends us courage and passion to do so.  This is a time of renewal and ease, as we are connected to our intuition and imagination – ensure you stay grounded for alignment on your journey.  

 

New Moon Meditation

If you’d like to get comfortable in your meditation space, we will begin by closing our eyes and settling into our body. If you have a gentle, nurturing essential oil that can be applied to the skin, take a few drops in your palms, rub them together and inhale about five times slowly. Relaxing your palms on your lap, bring the awareness of your breath down to the Root Chakra, and grounding by imagining a golden cord or roots reaching into the earth. Take time to breathe and deepen this connection.

We will continue by allowing our belly to expand with breath and relax with exhale. As you continue filling your belly, feeling your rib cage expanding with breath, slowly relaxing as you exhale. Continue with this steady breath.

Continue with this breath, bringing your awareness to your Heart Chakra. With your inhale see a soft rose light shining into your Back Heart Chakra with every breath. Allow this light to sit with you, and flow out through your Front Heart Chakra.

Continue for 10 minutes, or longer to really deepen your experience. When you are ready, consider the following. You are welcome to journal – it’s a nice way to see your progression.

  • What were you working on during August 2017 around the Solar Eclipse?
  • What were your big goals, and where do you stand with them now?
  • What do you want to learn and what changes are you making? Subconsciously has anything shifted?
  • Are you creating enough time to deeply connect to your higher-self? Through this, we more deeply connect with others.
  • What changes would you like to see in your home-life? Family? Relationships?

Return to your breath for 10 minutes with your eyes closed to close your meditation. Allow any thoughts, inspiration to flow.

Meditation & Yoga for Better Sleep

Yoga for Better Sleep

Yoga for Better Sleep

 

It is challenging for us at any age to get a good night sleep if we are not relaxed, which then has a ripple effect. Meditation, yoga, and pranayama (breath-work) can help us get to the root of the concern, so we can begin with a good night sleep. We need our 7-8hrs minimum, in order to allow our body to restore, and our mind to sort in an uninhibited manner – much like it does during deep meditation. Check out our blog on Brain Waves! Read on to explore the interactions of our endocrine and nervous system to effectively help make changes for better health and more joy!

 

Our Endocrine & Nervous System

Our bodies are governed by about 50 different hormones that through our endocrine system, regulate our digestion, moods, sleep, growth, sexual activity, and our smooth and cardiac muscle functions. The endocrine system consists of glands that produce hormones; the hypothalamus and pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pineal, reproductive glands, and pancreas. Each of these glands is responsible for secreting specific hormones into our blood-stream to help us function at optimal, homeostatic levels:

  • Hypothalamus – satiety, metabolism, body temperature, and control of the pituitary gland
  • Pituitary – growth, prolactin (milk) & oxytocin (uterus contractions), water retention in the kidneys, and stimulates the thyroid, adrenal, luteinizing & follicle-stimulating hormones
  • Thyroid – metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, muscle tone, reproductive functions, growth & development of the brain and nervous system
  • Parathyroid – calcium levels & bone metabolism
  • Adrenal – metabolism, salt-water balance, immune system, sexual function, stress response (heart rate & blood pressure)
  • Pineal – melatonin to regulate our sleep (this is where the Third Eye or Pineal chakra is located)
  • Reproductive – sexual development & function
  • Pancreas – digestion & blood-sugar levels

Our nervous system plays into our endocrine system by sending sensory information about our experiences to our brain, which tells our endocrine system what we need more or less of. Everything from the air we breathe, the food we consume, the products we put on our skin, the environment (sounds, people, energy) we surround ourselves with, our thoughts, and sleep, all impact our hormonal balance. When we are not taking proper care of our mind and body we tend to have swings as our body tries to correct itself. If we endure perceived ‘stress’ for long enough, our endocrine system becomes taxed with trying to constantly correct the balance, which then leads to adrenal fatigue, more stress, and emotional or physical concerns – our body goes into a depressed state and it becomes difficult to function.

I think it is very important to understand this, knowing several people to include myself, who have experienced adrenal fatigue and burn-out. Unfortunately it seems more common than we would like to think. Why? We put ourselves under a great deal of pressure to constantly perform at nearly perfection, not exercise in a balanced manner, not nourishing ourselves with whole foods, not to mention we are almost always ‘on’ – constantly on our phones or in front of screens. This can lead to poor sleep, depressed hormonal states, anxiety, depression, the inability to cope, and other physical, emotional and or mental issues. It’s a vicious cycle!

 

Managing Stress for Better Sleep

My greatest concern is that I am hearing of more and more children who are experiencing high levels of anxiety. As adults, we hopefully have better coping skills and the ability to make healthy choices. Regardless, it seems as a society we could all do with a little more self-compassion – not an easy thing to do! So, how do we begin? As my very wise Love put it last night, Worksafe BC is on the right track! As a young girl and adult I used a similar model, which I assume I learned from my wise mother. This works well for children too!:

  • Identify stressor(s) – Doing something physical, then a little meditation can help you with clarity
    • What’s the root issue of your (various) stressors?
  • Assess stressor(s)
    • Does this stressor impose an immediate threat to your well-being?
    • Why does it create a stress response for you? Is it past conditioning you can change?
  • Control stressor(s)
    • How can you mitigate or remove the stressor(s)?
    • Create an action plan for yourself to nourish your well-being & find more balance
      • What is not essential that you can either put to the side or remove?
      • How can you treat yourself with more compassion?
      • Put yourself first and express this need to others – this can be challenging
      • Create a mantra you repeat to yourself in the morning and during times of stress
      • Make time for meditation or pranayama (breathwork) everyday – even 5 minutes!
      • Schedule activities that nourish your mind, body & soul a few times a week
      • Get 8 hours sleep every night – I know this can be hard for those with young ones
      • Plan healthy meals and snacks
      • Minimize toxins: on your skin, caffeine, alcohol, sugar & allergens
      • Listen to healing tones – check out Solfeggio on youtube
      • Surround yourself with positive thoughts & people
      • See medical specialists to help support you if needed

 

Meditation & Yoga for Better Sleep

If you are still struggling with deep, regular sleep, here are a few more ways to help:

  • Skip the afternoon coffee, tea, or other stimulant (including alcohol)
  • Get exercise during the day – not within 3 hours of bed
  • Don’t eat within 2 hours of bed
  • Turn off all electronics at least 1 hour before bed – and preferably, don’t have them in your bedroom
  • In that hour prior to bed, create a ritual for yourself:
    • Yoga – try calming poses, such as; legs up the wall, forward folds, and child’s pose
    • Pranayama – Find a simple breath that relaxes you: Ujjayi/ Ocean breath is a steady inhale-exhale through the nose
    • Mediation – Once you have practiced breath-work, allow yourself to simply sit and unwind with your eyes closed. Let thoughts come and go, without getting attached to them. If they take you on a journey, that’s fine, but try to not get emotionally involved – rather follow it objectively, as if you are watching from a birds-eye view

If you have a child experiencing anxiety and you haven’t already tried this, make time in the morning or before bed to practice pranayama (breathwork) together. Simple is often best. Belly Breath – feeling the steady, easy flow of the breath in and out of the body works wonders! Slowly lengthen the breath to a comfortable pace. Children can practice this on their own to help them tune into their body for greater self-awareness, which leads to greater self-confidence. Getting a good night sleep so our body & mind has the time to restore is half the battle!

If you would like to learn more techniques, we seem to be focusing on sleep this January at the studio:

Jan 15th-Feb 17th: Kids Winter Series

Jan 27th: Yoga for Sleep

Jan 30th: Yoga Nidra – A Journey Through Yogic Sleep

As always, I am happy to answer any questions or connect you with those who may have more information.

Katie

Meditation to Harness Your Intuition

We are all intuitive and have the capacity to know things, like many other highly intuitive animals. The problem is we often don’t listen. Yoga and meditation are particularly helpful to deepen this connection. Children generally haven’t been streamlined into our rational world and are naturally open to their intuitive experiences. Sadly, they are often dismissed as many adults who are now trying to reconnect were. So let’s try to deepen this natural connection to ourselves!

Different Forms of Intuition

There are a few different forms of intuition you may have experienced in your waking life, during meditation, or dreams:

  • Clairvoyance is the ability to see things that are going on in the future or another part of the world but you are completely unaware of – a very visual depiction or dream.
  • Clairaudient is ‘hearing’ something future oriented or that which you have no other way of knowing other than a supernatural connection – this happens to me frequently during meditation.
  • Clairsentient is the ability to feel into another, think extreme empathy, when you can experience sensations of another person. For example, feeling when another is in emotional or physical pain – something I experience often.
  • Claircognizant is a strong knowing sense of something future oriented or unrelated to you – you just know.
  • Clairolfaction is knowing through scent. For example I’ve met a few who can smell when someone is about to pass away (within a week), and many men can actually smell when it’s a woman’s time of the month!

Chances are you have experienced at least one of these forms in your life, if you don’t experience it on a regular basis. It’s a gift to be connected, but can also be an overwhelming amount of sensory input. If we are unaware as to why we are experiencing certain emotions and sensations, particularly for those who are clairsentient, it can be upsetting or create anxiety.

What To Do With Intuitive Information

Positive intuitions are wonderful! I generally like to keep them to myself, note in a journal, or share with someone close to me.

If you experience anxiety from intuitive knowing, meditation is a great way to release it. Try to find a quiet space where you can sit, breathe, ground yourself, create a layer of protection around your body with white light, and relax. It may take some time, but you will likely find the source. If you are more visual, journaling prior to or after meditating can help – this is a great way to help children experiencing anxiety too. Once you have found the source, release by exhaling it in a bright indigo light. If you need to move, run, dance after your meditation to fully release – this helps me. Signing, painting are also great ways to release this energy that is not needed by us. Burning sage, or placing a clear crystal in your hands while you meditate are also great ways to release this energy.

Sometimes still it is a struggle to release this, which is where energy healers come in. Different people will connect to different healers. If this is something you are in need of, I would be more than happy to pass along some healers that I have felt do incredibly valuable work. They simply use clean energy to help balance the body, removing ‘toxins’ or energy that doesn’t belong to you. Katie@studio202community.com

How to Deepen Your Intuitive Connection

We are all already connected to our intuition – butterflies in our stomach in anticipation of something we aren’t already consciously aware of, or just a knowing feeling. This is our instinctive nature to warn us if needed. Often we pick up so much information but may not consciously process it all. We process this information in dreams and meditation. Here are some ways to develop your intuition:

    • Meditation. Try practicing at least 10 minutes a day – nothing magical may happen at first, but overtime you may notice interesting synchronicities and events happening in your life.
    • Meditation with cards. Tarot, angel or other cards can be an interesting experiment for yourself. Record your experiences with cards in a journal.

 

  • Dreams. Start recording your dreams, particularly the ones that are strongly emotional or sensory. There are many layers to dreams as information is being processed, but the very emotional ones are often speaking to us.
  • Eat clean. Try to minimize your caffeine and alcohol intake. Be conscious of the food you are eating, and the people and situations you are surrounding yourself with. Everything is energy.
  • Awareness. Notice your feelings and thoughts throughout the day. Taking little meditation breaks every few hours is another great way to stay connected and bring more peace into your daily life.

 

Enjoy! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Fullmoon Meditation for a New Year!

 

Beautiful way to welcome the New Year with a Super-Fullmoon Meditation! This Fullmoon in Cancer flows with ease if we are aligned to our values and purpose. Take a peek at those goals you set for the New Moon December 18th. Does anything need to be refined? Maybe think about this while you enjoy the meditation below. Cancer opposes Venus, with the Moon opposing the Sun. What does this mean? Let’s shine a light on our perceptions and ensure there is balance in our lives.

  • Are our relationships balanced and healthy? Could you be more open, or do you need to moderate your emotions? Is there anyone you need to forgive, including yourself, and any healing to be done?
  • How is your work-life balance? Are you creating enough time to nurture yourself in your 2018 goals?
  • And your health – are you pursuing balance in your diet, your physical activity, your emotional responses, your pursuit of goals? An over-emphasized focus on health and the physical body is also not balanced.

If something is not balanced, take a deeper look. Are you trying to protect yourself? How can you be more authentic? This moon represents creativity to raise your vibration higher and achieve more, simply by being in alignment.

 

Meditation

Begin by creating a comfortable, quiet space for yourself.  This link is a beautiful to tune into the natural tone of nature 432Hz is the tone of nature linking back to 8Hz which is the basic ‘heartbeat’ of frequency, as documented by Schumann. Music helps because our bodies automatically try to align to the vibration – this is why I love using the crystal bowl in class.

Once you are seated with your eyes lightly closed, begin by inhaling deeply into your lungs, stomach, and exhaling through the mouth completely. Try this 10 times as your bring your shoulders to your ears, and exhale to relax.

Coming into a steady flowing Ujjayi breath (inhale and exhale flow into each other creating the sound of the ocean), imagine drawing pure white, cleansing light in. As you exhale, allowing any unnecessary energy to leave in the colour of bright pink- indigo to evaporate. Continue your breath bringing this white light to your Root Chakra, imagining roots or a golden cord extending from you into the Earth. Allow this white light to stream through your body, shining out from your body a little more every time, until you are surrounded with bright white light.

From here you can come into Nadi Shodana as explained in the meditation of our December New Moon blog, if you need more balance. Or you can continue to practice Ujjayi, slowly extending the inhale and exhale to 7 counts or more. We are slowing the breath, yet it should be effortless. As you continue to breathe, bring your awareness to your Heart Chakra. What do you sense here? And to the Third Eye. What is it telling you?

 

May this new year be filled with blissful peace and alignment,

Katie

Fullmoon Meditation January 2018

Yoga for Beginners, Osteoporosis & Arthritis

Yoga for Beginners

When I began this class in 2014 it was designed as basic beginner yoga, however; I had a few ladies close to me who wanted to start yoga to help with their arthritis, osteoporosis, and chronic back pain. As I enjoy a challenge and being able to really help make a difference to the well-being of others, I began researching like a mad woman. Having taught swimming for years through high-school and university to children, adults and triathletes, I already had some strategies to work on the core to help alleviate back-pain. Yoga for Beginners quickly began to have a focus on helping to support those with chronic pain, to include arthritis and osteoporosis. You can also be in tip-top shape and join our Intro Yoga: Winter Series – we have the tools to ensure you learn to practice safely to receive the greatest benefits for your mind, body & soul. Let’s take a peek at these common concerns.

 

Yoga for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the decrease in bone mass. Normally our cells replace themselves, but over 30 years of age this rate of replacement declines, resulting in our bones becoming brittle.

Did you know that 1 in 3 women will experience an osteoporosis caused fracture? It’s 20% for men, but still too high. 80% of fractures in those 50 years and over are due to osteoporosis.*

Solutions:

  • Build healthy bones when you are young!
  • Calcium & vitamin D are critical components to building bones. I like to try to get my vitamins from my diet, as they are easy for the body to extract.
  • Strength & balance activities put strain on our bones, which encourage replacement of bone cells – there are actually 4 types of bone cells, but I won’t dive into that at the moment.

How Yoga Can Help: While yoga can’t fix your bone density retroactively, the gentle impact (strength building) and balance exercises can help to generate new bone cells at a healthy rate. When you place impact on the joints and bones, some cells will naturally deteriorate and be replaced – keeping bones healthy and strong. Remember, begin with yoga you are comfortable that you can practice safely. If you are unsure how to do a pose safely – please send me an email: Katie@studio202community.com. Walking is another gentle way to build bone density.

 

Yoga for Arthritis

16% of the population over 15 years old is affected by arthritis in Canada. When looking at 55 years and older, this jumps to over 30%, again with women being affected at a higher rate.** There are over 50 forms of arthritis, but we will look at the three main groups, with the majority of the others falling into these categories:

  • Osteoarthritis is due to ‘wear and tear’ – the cartilage between bones becomes thinner with the impact of our daily lives, until it’s bone rubbing against bone.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is auto-immune, meaning the body attacks itself thinking it is fighting off something that shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately this results in painful inflammation of the joints.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis is inflammation of the bone and skin, and often affecting nail health. Gout is also a more common inflammatory arthritis due to build up of uric acid creating crystals between the joints, limiting mobility.

How Yoga Can Help: Yoga for arthritis needs to be looked at case by case, as there are many forms. Generally a gentle form of yoga is best, such as yin. Swimming is also a great form of exercise if you are suffering from arthritis, as it is almost no-impact. Gentle forms of yoga allow the joints to open to give you a bit of relief. For Gout, much like osteo-porosis, gentle pressure can help to break-down the crystallization. It’s very important to listen to your own body and not put pressure on yourself, as things change from day to day – even the weather can impact how we feel.

 


Yoga for Back Pain

Back pain can be a tricky one, and I always ask that clients bring a doctor note so I can really understand what the problem is. Our spine is obviously our protection for our delicate nervous system, so we need to treat it tenderly. Much of our back pain comes from moving incorrectly, without engaging our core. The core is one of those misunderstood areas of our body. To feel it, take a deep breath in and ‘hiss’ out as you exhale. What just contracted in your body? Chances are it was the muscles between your pelvic bone – this is your core. The superficial abs don’t count – they are pretty muscles, functional but not going to protect your low back or give strength to all your movements. Try taking an arm to the side, relaxing your core and bring it to the centre of your body. Now try doing it with your core engaged. Feel the difference? Sitting, generally you don’t engage your core, unless you are consciously or sitting on a ball – great idea for work!

How Yoga Can Help: Subtle exercises using breath and core muscles help strengthen, which reduces the pressure on your low back. Intro Yoga is a great way to begin to tap into this, and once you have the basics down you can try Ladies Vinyasa for Core or Yoga for Bike + Ski.  Ladies Vinyasa for Core we focus on regaining strength – a perfect gentle class for women of all ages, pre and post-partum – even if you had children years ago.

As in all classes, we encourage you to be conscious of your core and offer many little pointers to reduce stress on your low-back and shoulders – common areas of injury. Yoga for Bike + Ski is a yin/yang combination of vinyasa (flow yoga with breath) and some yin to help reset tired muscles to prevent injury.

 

Tips for Practicing Yoga Safely

As with all classes, it is most important to listen to your body first and foremost. Instructors can offer suggestions, but we are not in your body and don’t know all your experiences. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s important to let your instructor know at least after class so they can offer an alternative. You can always move into a comfortable pose during the class – you should never feel pressured to continue moving – this is your time for peace of mind and to connect to your body and soul.

As I mentioned, there are many common injuries in yoga, namely the low-back and shoulders. I feel it is very important to take an Intro Yoga class, even if you have been practicing for years but aren’t 100% sure. I know prior to doing my teacher trainings, I had been in some poses incorrectly. Correct alignment is important for yang or active styles of yoga (hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga etc) to prevent injury and help you flow with your breath. This is ultimately the purpose of active (hatha) forms of yoga, and of course to prepare your body for a peaceful meditation.

 

*https://osteoporosis.ca/about-the-disease/fast-facts/

**https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2015001/article/14178-eng.htm

Recounting My First Kundalini Experience

Kundalini for Intuitive Connection

Kundalini for Intuitive Connection

My personal experience with Kundalini yoga is that of magic and wonder … and getting over big time fears. I recall the first class I ever experienced; it was 6:30am on a Tuesday morning. I remember because I knew to expect chanting and chose this class because I thought it would be the least populated.

On that sunny summer’s morning I entered the second floor studio, one I had been to a handful of times before. The studio was in an older walk-up building at the foot of Lonsdale in North Vancouver with many artisans occupying the other suites. Leaving my shoes at the door I entered the studio and walked towards the front of the room to take my place on the hard wood floor at the edge of a long brick lined wall. There were two other students in attendance that morning, and the warmth of the sun spilled through the window across our mats.

At promptly 6:30am, the teacher all dressed in white, closed the door and walked to the front of the room and sat upon an elevated platform. She was Caucasian and in her late 60’s with soft gray hair that framed her kind and gentle face. She was warm, welcoming and I immediately felt safe in her presence. She mentioned we would tune in with a mantra and if it was unfamiliar to us then simply follow along with the breath and mudra and allow the words wash over our bodies.

So although I was relieved at first that I wouldn’t have to chant, I remembered my motivation for being there; to change, to not hide and to not be afraid anymore. So anxiously I listened; to one round, then two and on the third, in a tiny, barely auditable voice, I joined in. It was exhilarating! My heart was pounding, I felt so alive! … And also embarrassed, anxious and a little like a fraud because this was not my religious belief. But I did it! I was really proud of myself and realized this was a safe way to begin confronting my fears.

As the class continued we practiced exercises I’ve never seen nor heard of, some so strange I was beginning to wonder if there were hidden cameras in the ceiling and we were being taped for a prank show. But again I summoned my motivation to be there, to overcome fears, to not worry about what I look like, what others think of me, if they like me, accept me, love me. I was here to experience the fear and do it anyways. I was here for change.

Not only were the exercises unique and the chanting exhilarating, but the way the teacher spoke about energy, frequency and technology, and shared how each pose was activating our bodies was fascinating! She shared how moving the body at one particular angle detoxified the liver, then chanting a mantra changed the vibration of our electromagnetic field and rewired the neural pathways in our brains with the movement of our tongue. This was absolutely fascinating and I knew it to be true. I experienced the physical alchemy and understood on a visceral level that it’s within our power to change the way we think, feel, our physical bodies and thus our outer experience.

Another beauty of Kundalini yoga is that it is {mostly} practiced with the eyes closed so you experience You. I recall being aware for the first time how much energy I spent outside of myself judging my own actions. On that morning I experienced my awareness outside my body looking back at myself doing, saying, and acting the way that I was. It was mind-blowing. I didn’t realize how much time I spent in survival mode.

What I walked away with that day was this: I have been granted this one body at this particular time and space on earth and am ready embrace life and try new things. Kundalini yoga offered me a way to experience challenging myself in a safe and healthy way. Perhaps that’s what you’re seeking at this time? I personally hadn’t felt that alive in years!

About a year after my first class I entered into teacher training, not to become a teacher but to understand the teachings on a deeper level. The part they didn’t mention was that once you learn the technology you must pass it on. It’s not ours to understand alone, the knowledge must be shared. At first I was terrified to teach. I would sweat profusely and worry about what people thought {surprise, surprise} but as it was from day 1, I’m here to conquer fears. And now after 6 years of teaching I can honestly say it’s my pleasure.

Are you ready for an awakening? This is yoga magic. This is where life can change!

Kundalini yoga is open to all ages, fitness levels and religious denominations. This class is as gentle or active as you choose because you are the creator of your experience. Once the exercise is explained just close your eyes and embody the movement while honoring where your physical body is at in that moment.

Sat Nam,

Kara

Kara will be guiding our Kundalini: Winter Series beginning January 7th. Kara’s Lotus Wraps (see wrap in image) were named one of the top gifts in Yoga Journal! These wraps help to support healthy posture during meditation. For more information, please visit Earth to Ether’s website.

 

December New Moon Meditation

Heart Opening

Heart Opening Pose – Camel

December New Moon – Preparing for a New Year 

December’s New Moon is a wonderful opportunity for one last big release! Below is a special meditation with breath-work (pranayama) and yoga poses (asanas) for release, to help you align with your true purpose as you set your intentions for the coming year.

2017 has been a big year of changes, almost like a re-birthing in at least one aspect of our lives. This New Moon in Sagittarius represents passion, amplifying whatever it is we need to release – bringing it to the forefront of our attention so we can clear it for a fresh new year. The Saturn, Venus, Uranus trine represents growth in our relationships. Through our relationships we grow and are capable of much more than on our own. Given these themes, let’s begin our meditation and intention setting for 2018. I would allow an hour to an hour and a half so you can really relax.

 

Reflection Before Meditation

Begin as always, by finding a comfortable, quiet space you won’t be disturbed. If you would like to burn sage, please do!  If you would like meditative music, try this link.

Taking out your journal, answer the following questions to help define your path for 2018:

  • What fulfilled you the most? Made you feel like you were on the right path?
  • What worked well for you? In your career, relationships, personally, a daily ritual?
  • What did you learn in 2017? How did you grow? What were your biggest achievements?
  • Were there any difficult challenges in these areas? How do you feel about them now?
  • Is there anything you are holding that you wish to cleanse yourself of? Forgive someone else for?
  • What would you change for 2018? Are you taking enough time for yourself?

On a scrap piece of paper, note down anything you wish to release. Burn it in a safe space and make sure it’s completely evaporated before you begin your meditation.

 

December New Moon Meditation

I would like to start with a two yoga asanas for release. If you are not comfortable with Wheel, Bridge is just fine.

  • Bridge – laying on your back, place a block, bolster, or pillow under your sacrum with your knees in the air. Feel your rib cage expand against the floor as you inhale, and your body melting as you exhale. Continue for 3-5 minutes.
  • Wheel – if you are comfortable with wheel, this is an incredible heart opening pose and way to release tension in the chest. Hold it and breathe for at least 30 seconds & relax on your back for a minute. Repeat up to 3 times if you like. Please be careful with this asana to not tighten your glutes, which places stress on the low-back.

Coming to seated and closing your eyes, inhale through your nose and exhale completely and slowly through your mouth – allowing your rib cage and stomach to expand as they fill with breath. As you inhale, imagine drawing pure white, cleansing light in. As you exhale, allowing tensions, fears, and unnecessary energy to leave in the colour of indigo. Anything or emotion brought to your attention you wish to release, surround it in indigo and let it evaporate – it is no longer a part of you. Continue as long as you like.

Begin a steady inhale and exhale through your nose, as you imagine roots or a golden cord extending from your Root Chakra reaching into the Earth. Continue breathing until this feels like a natural, strong, supportive connection. Continue breathing in this warm white light, feeling it flow through your body to the Earth. As you continue, feeling this light expanding throughout and beyond your body, creating a protective layer around you.

When you are ready, we will begin Nadi Shodana – balancing breath:

  1. With your right hand, begin by covering your left nostril and inhale through the right.
  2. Cover your right nostril and exhale through the left, then inhale through the left.
  3. Again cover your left nostril, exhale through the right, then inhale through the right.
  4. Continue this pattern of breath for 5-10 minutes.

Return to a steady easy breath through both nostrils simultaneously. Notice how your breath has changed. Continue with this easy breath for another 10 minutes, bringing your awareness with white light into your Heart Chakra and then to your Third Eye. Sit in peace and allow inspiration to come to you – this can take time, be patient and enjoy this time for yourself.

 

Intentions for 2018

Note down your thoughts from your meditation. Now let’s get what fulfills you into action:

  • Note down everything that brings you peace, joy, and a feeling of love
  • What is your greatest gift to share?
  • What’s your one burning desire that you need to bring to life? It doesn’t all have to happen in 2018. If you are stuck, you can try asking yourself what is the most important quality to you? Then ‘why’? Continue asking until you really uncover what it is your soul craves. Take a look at my example below:

Freedom. Why is this valuable? It allows me to do what I want. Why? It means I can take care of myself and help others achieve their goals. Why? Because it helps me feel fulfilled. Why? Because it I like seeing others happy. Why? It gives me joy. Why? We share joy with each other. Why? We are connected.

For me, freedom offers me the ability to connect deeply with others to share inspiration.

  • Note down a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goal for each area of your life & how you will achieve it on a weekly basis:
    • Personal development
    • Wellness (mind & soul)
    • Health (body)
    • Relationship
    • Career
    • Financial
  • Now let’s look at your week:
    • What does your ideal week look like? Describe it in detail using your senses. Make sure to include a step towards your goals above.
    • How can you structure this ideal week around your responsibilities, so you have time for yourself? Is there anything you need to change to ensure you have balance in your life for both?

I like to create monthly check-ins to see how I am doing with each goal. It’s ok to refine, so long as you are staying true to your purpose – this is for your peace and joy! Enjoy this powerful moon ushering you into the new year, bringing you closer to your dreams. 

Thursday Dec 21 from 8-9pm is our Yin night for the community – please join us for this free event and bring a friend. Our regular classes are taking a holiday over Christmas, and we will be back with our Winter & Kids Series January 7th. 

Christmas Events: Yoga + Dance

Yoga & dance for all ages

In our last week before a little Christmas break, we have some exciting yoga & dance events coming, including two free classes! Please make sure you register for each class you wish to attend.

We are also offering 15% savings on our Winter Series & Spring Break before Dec 15th – you just need to use the code GIFTOFPEACE ✨

This code applies to the following: Yin Yoga, Bellydance, Intro Yoga, Vinyasa for Core, Kundalini, Kids Spring Break Camps & select yoga and healing private sessions. We also have many more exciting workshops & classes coming up in the new year, all to help you achieve your wellness goals in a safe, cozy setting.

 

Sunday Dec 17th:

9-1030am: Kara will be hosting Kundalini to help you deepen your mind, body & soul connection. This is a great class to begin the day with to refresh you for the busy and fun week ahead! Kundalini helps to activate and rejuvenate the central nervous system and bring you into a deeper state of meditation. Kundalini and Yin are without a doubt my favourite yoga practices as the sense of balance in mind, body, and soul are immediately realized, bringing such a sense of peace regardless of where you have just been.

12-1pm: Join Janelle, life-long dancer & co-founder of MoMM – Method of Modern Movement. She will be hosting a free pop-up shop and express class for you to get a taste of what’s to come in January! MoMM is a conditioning class that works through a flow of movements where fitness meets the foundation of classical dance techniques with a Latin flare. A full body workout that focuses on stability, flexibility, strength, endurance, and technique. Free event.

2-4pm: Yoga Winter Wonderland is a children’s yoga event is created to bring connection to kids in a safe and creative environment through yoga, story, dance, games, arts & crafts. Two hours packed with laughter, connection & joy! Ages 8-12, $20. Hosted by Leyre Murillo – Rainbow Kids Yoga Instructor & 200Hr

Thursday Dec 21st:

8-9pm: Our Christmas gift to you! Join us for a free Yin for the Senses class. This class will help you unwind from a busy week to help restore your mind, body and soul for the Christmas celebrations ahead, and helping you to better connect with yourself. We work with scent, crystal bowl and pranayam (breath-work) in our gentle, yet deep-releasing poses. This class is accessible to all levels, including beginners.

We look forward to seeing you and please make sure you register in advance! Questions, please email: Katie@studio202community.com

 

 

A Different Approach to Sensory Integration

Family meditation

Family meditation

Working with children is very close to my heart. Although I never became a teacher, as many of my teachers said I should,  I guess I offer guidance through yoga and mediation with an amazing community of teachers; academic, yogis, healers, doctors, and more. Together I can see the difference we are making in many people’s lives…especially helping children who are experiencing increasingly high levels of anxiety and many children with sensory integration challenges; such as ADD/ADHD, various degrees of Autism, and other forms.

 

Seeming Increase in Anxiety and Sensory Integration Challenges

We live in an overwhelming world these days, with so many choices, endless information at our fingertips – much of which must be sorted through for truth, constant stimulation, and pressures. Of course subjecting ourselves to this is somewhat our choice as adults. We can also choose to minimize our screen and phone time, escape into nature, enjoy face-to-face time with others, and take time to be alone.

 

Children don’t have the same framework for sorting sensory stimulation as adults, nor do they often have the same degree of choices of the stimulation they are subjected to. Children are incredibly sensitive to the stability of their environment and the emotions of those they depend on. In addition, I have felt for years that the different generations coming to us have different vibrations. If you haven’t heard of Indigo, Crystal, and Rainbow Children – take a read here. These children are highly sensitive and this discrepancy in vibration makes it overwhelming to settle into our current environment. These children need more time in nature, quiet and calm environments, more art, meditation, and movement to release excess energy and to communicate. They need to know they are not alone and can rely on their families for support – regardless of the situation.

 

For the longest time I thought I was the only one who believed that children facing sensory integration challenges could tap into something beyond the visible and known, but recently Dr. Diane Powell conducted studies on children with autism. Dr. Powell, MD  (http://dianehennacypowell.com) conducts incredibly interesting humanitarian work, and studies related to neuroscience.  

 

The excerpt below is from www.learning-mind.com:

Testing telepathic abilities
Last spring, Powell conducted an experiment with a severely autistic child named Haley. In the experiment, Haley and her therapist are separated by a partition but yet seated at the same table. The therapist was given various pictures and equations and would glance at them one by one. As she looked at the images or equations, the therapist would hold another card with numbers, letters or images in front of Haley. Haley would point to the number or image that she was thinking of.
The results were astonishing. The numbers or images that Haley pointed toward were the same numbers or images on the therapist’s hidden cards. In one particular test, her answers were 100% accurate. During the entire experiment, and through all the tests, Haley never once scored below 90%. If this proves that something remarkable is going on within the autistic child’s mind, then I don’t know what would.
As Powell studied these abilities in autistic children, she realized that there must be a common brain pattern present. Aside from the abilities present while being tested, Powell discovered the second most common state of being, where telepathy was present, was during sleep. This could be the reason for questioning dreams and their deeper meanings.
Similar results appear with ADHD and ADD affected children
When children who suffer from supposed ADD or ADHD become hyperactive, it could be their way of trying to dispose of a huge amount of energy, the energy that most adults aren’t even familiar with. This same energy can be incoming telepathic messages that these children cannot understand or accept.
Apparently, these children also have a linked left and right brain – it’s harmonious. Utilizing our left and right brains in a harmonious manner is something that most people only accomplish through a lifetime of meditation and enlightenment practices.
Those with mental illnesses could also possess telepathic powers
According to my latest reading and research, patients who are administered into inpatient therapy at many psychiatric institutions are first screened for telepathic abilities. It is only after the patient claims supernatural abilities. Now, I am not sure why they do this, but many times, patients do show signs of being gifted in this area, but most of the time not enough to be conclusive. It’s just a bit of extra food for thought.
Individuals suffering from mental disorders, like those who live with ADD, ADHD and also autism, also show a remarkable ability to see things that others cannot. Intuition is stronger, which can be the mind’s effort for warning of something the subconscious can already detect, but yet the conscious has yet to see. There could be some sort of boundary yet to be broken, but thin enough that telepathy appears as intuition instead of straight-out supernatural abilities.

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”  ~ Tesla

 

This is a beautiful and important reminder that we all possess incredible gifts, far beyond what we can often comprehend. In each challenge is a gift. We are responsible for helping lift each other up, to share our gifts with our community and beyond. There is a need for greater acceptance and support, greater understanding and allowing the light these children carry to shine. I strongly believe more art, meditation or mindfulness, and movement is necessary for children – particularly those struggling with sensory overload and integration challenges.

 

How can we help ourselves and support today’s children?

So the take-away from this?

  • Encourage children to talk freely about their experiences & dreams – even if we can’t understand 
  • Understand everyone communicates differently – movement, art &  intuitively
  • Take time to be in nature, and if you have children, bringing them too
  • Run, dance, move! We are animals & animals get rid of nervous energy by twitching and moving 
  • Encourage more creative and solo time – away from screens and technology. Find calming activities – reading, painting, being with an animal…
  • Show your children how to breathe. You can try this with a body scan, first feeling into your toes all the way up to your crown chakra at the top of your head.
  • Have a personal mantra that brings you peace – sit and continue to repeat it
  • If you meditate, offer children simple tools – meditation shouldn’t be complicated, it’s breathing and allowing yourself to be an observer of your thoughts and intuition.  If you work with light in your meditation, ask them to imagine drawing warm, white light into their bodies and let it shine out – this acts as energetic protection and helps calm
  • Suggest your child write down their stressors and think of creative ways to help reduce them or how to solve the situations. Why are they making you anxious?
  • Provide support and boundaries, but allow them to guide you

 

When you or your child feel anxious, have a healthy solution you can turn to on your own. It’s important they learn how to do this on their own. By supporting the younger generations, offering practical and inspirational guidance to help navigate this increasingly complex, media-bombarded world, we can all help to create the next generation of inspired leaders.

 

Our classes & Spring Break camps are designed to support all children. Use the code GIFTOFPEACE to save 15% before Dec 15th on our Spring Break Camps.

Return to Light & Unity – Indigo, Crystal & Rainbow Children

Star Children

Children of Change

Light and unity is what yoga is purely about. If you haven’t heard about Indigo, Crystal & Rainbow children – this is an interesting idea. I first learned about Star Children about 10 years ago, and was immediately drawn to it. Throughout my life I have had interesting encounters with intuits and lightworkers approaching me; telling my mam I was a child of light, and other often bizarre but truly amazing experiences. I know I am not the only one, and I’m sure many children and parents these days also encounter similar experiences. I think those of us that are open and here with clear purpose encounter such people and experiences as reminders to stay connected to our mission. This is why working with children, who are naturally open, intuitive, and here with purpose, is so important to me. These children often experience high levels of anxiety, ADD/ADHD, may be on the autism spectrum, or may encounter other sensory integration challenges. I believe this is because they are of a different vibration, and struggle to fit into the current environment and or be understood by others.

 

The challenges these children face can also be gifts, but it’s finding the tools and support to allow these gifts to shine. Communicating and sensing the world differently does not make it easy to integrate and can be isolating, nor can it be easy for parents. While our current systems do offer many tools and are becoming more open to alternative tools, I feel it’s valuable to keep diving into alternative and more intuitive approaches. I don’t think it matters how we help others, even if it’s placebo or perceived as placebo due to our current limited understanding, so long as it holistically supports. The challenge is to find the right fit for the child, or adult. Star Children get it and see through things very easily. For more information on understanding and alternative ways to support children with sensory integration challenges, see the blog on A Different Approach to Sensory Integration.

 

What are Star Children?

Star Children are Lightworkers, here on a mission to make this world a better place, through compassion, healing, driving change, and healing. They understand the greater purpose and are relatively selfless. This also poses a problem as these children and adults tend to take on the pain of others, and may not have the skills to protect themselves energetically.  Each Star has it’s own characteristics with the same purpose: to create positive change for all, by bringing a new way of being and more light into the world.

 

Indigo Children

Indigo children are stubborn warriors and change-makers born between the 60’s and 90’s. Their role is to dismantle the systems that are not serving the greater good. They are entrepreneurial in spirit, trying new experiences and intrigued by finding innovative solutions.

 

Crystal Children

Crystal children are pure – seeing the best in all, highly creative, empathetic to a fault, incredibly sensitive, and intrigued by the supernatural. They feel it all, which can be painful, yet manage to flow through it. Crystal children are here to create new ways of being. They are born between the 80’s to 2000’s.

Rainbow Children

Rainbow children are just that – full of colour and vibrancy! They are lovers of people, animals, easily adaptable yet will not to conform to old ways that the Indigo have helped to clear. They are fearless, see unity and will to continue to bring this into the world. These children embody our pure potential and have come to Earth since 2000.

Each Star Child brings inspiration in their own way. So how do you nurture yourself or your child to help bring out the best in them? I believe each parent knows their child, and am truly grateful my Mam had the understanding that each of us was very unique and encouraged us to express ourselves, yet have the wisdom to step back and be there with unconditional love and support. I don’t feel that labeling really matters – it serves as a framework to better understand. This and the blog on A Different Approach to Sensory Integration are simply tools to look at a situation differently, and hopefully to gain more insight to better support you and your child on your journey.