March 1st Full Moon Meditation

 

This is a bit of an intense Full Blue Moon, so if you have been feeling slightly off or anxious…this may be amplifying underlying things to look at. A relaxing bath with epsom salts and oils is definitely in order. My essential oils of choice at this time: palo santo for energy clearing, and rose for heart soothing.

As with all Full Moons, we are working with polarities and strong ones this month, providing the need to find greater balance in our lives. Let’s look at the major aspects at play ;

  • Neptune can create confusion – take time to withdraw to understand your emotional reactions before you act or speak
  • Zosma star is linked to anxiety and depression – so if this is coming in strong for you, you are likely not alone
  • Saturn indicates strength & that we have the power to overcome our challenges at hand
  • Virgo is practical, and in conjunction with Saturn, we can move past that which is no longer needed in our lives

Virgo is also connected to digestion. As part of this time of release, try to bring into your life things that are simple and easy – this includes foods that are simple to digest, and surrounding yourself with energies that will enable greater flow. If you need to remove yourself from situations, you always have the power to and ability to do so with grace.

Full Moon Meditation

For this meditation, we will work with Nadi Shodana – balancing breath. First let’s move any excess or negative energy:

  • Bridge or Wheel pose to release stored energy in the heart
  • Lions breath (yes with your tongue out – no one’s watching)

If you have essential oils like rose or palo santo, apply these to your wrist and heart, and diffuse in your meditation space. If you burn sage or palo santo, this is recommended at this time too. If you would like music, try this 852Hz frequency for release: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vvpsIiUVKY&t=707s

Begin by closing your eyes and focusing on a steady inahle exhale, just feeling the breath move through your body. As you inhale brining white light into your body and down to your root chakra, grounding this energy. Continue with this breath, allowing the white light to shine out from within you, creating a protective layer around you – only positive energy can flow in, but any energies needed can escape.

When you are ready, we will begin Nadi Shodana:

  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. If emotion needs to be released through tears, movement, art or your voice (screaming works wonders too – so long as those around you know what’s going on!)  – go for it! We keep so much buried inside, which continues to sit with us until it spontaneously releases – I prefer a semi-planned release for emotional control and health. When animals are under stress they shake it off and make noise – humans are really no different at our basic level – we also need to release the energy or it builds. 

If you would like to take out your journal – create a list of challenges, a list of all you are grateful for, and a list of how to overcome your challenges. It’s much easier than it can seem at times, and often writing it down can help clear concerns and bring greater clarity to situations. If there’s something you don’t need in your life anymore, you can let it go – you have grown past it. You have the strength to overcome, and there is nothing wrong with taking time to honour yourself and your wellbeing. If we take better care of ourselves, we can take better care of those around us. 

 

You are welcome to join us for Yin from 8-9pm on Thursday, March 1st. $10 first class! We incorporate meditation, gentle movement, somatic energy balancing techniques, essential oils with a focus on the Throat Chakra this week.

Spring Yoga + The Power of Essential Oils

Yoga and oils – what’s not to love about it! Katie has been incorporating the use of essential oils into her yoga and meditation classes for adults and children for many years now. Why? Essential oils are a wonderful way to help centre and ground, especially when meditating. It’s fun to explore different ways to get into our body, as we are so often out of touch with busy-ness. Essential oils can also be incredibly powerful tools to help alleviate pain, promote relaxation, and much more! My oils have become my medicine cabinet – peppermint for muscle tension or headaches, lavender and copaiba for relaxation … it goes on. Each essential oil holds it’s own frequency, as does everything that exists. This is an interesting discussion unto itself – you can read our blog on frequencies here.

 

These are some of my favorite oils and blends:

  • Lemon ~ it’s refreshing, can be used for cleaning & great for battling colds, or to add to recipes! I use lemon oil to clean our studio mats
  • Purification ~ this is another amazing one for cleaning… for your whole house! A blend of lemongrass, rosemary, melaleuca, myrtle & citronella
  • Respiratory Care ~ is a blend of spearmint, eucalyptus, spruce, peppermint, cypress, pine & lavender. This is an amazing blend for joint & muscle or headaches, clearing the sinuses, and promoting mental clarity
  • Ginger & Fennel ~ two of my favorites for acidic stomach and digestion… and they taste great!
  • Cedarwood & Northern Lights Black Spruce (from BC!) ~ are very grounding scents to use for meditation & massage
  • Lavender ~ one of my all time favorites for it’s soothing power. It also helps with muscle & joint relief and for rheumatoid arthritis!
  • Gentle Baby ~ this blend of oils increases a sense of calm for better sleep & keeps skin smooth and supple! Geranium, coriander, palmarosa, lavender, rose, ylang ylang, chamomile, lemon & jasmine
  • Lemongrass ~ this is a beautifully uplifting scent, and helps upset stomachs, headaches, joints & muscles
  • Elemi ~ is a wonderful oil for supple skin & to soothe muscles and joints
  • Myrtle & Frankincense ~ support supple skin, help with acne & are very grounding
  • Envision ~ a beautiful blend to inspire & get creative! Spruce, geranium, orange, lavender, sage & rose
  • Surrender ~ a perfect blend for letting go of the day & coming back to you! Lavender, Northern Black Spruce (from BC) & chamomile

 

Spring Series

We just opened up our studio Spring Series for registration, with classes beginning the end of March. If you register for more than one of our Spring Series, you will get your choice of a complimentary essential oil! Here’s what we have coming up:

Yoga for Bike & Ski ~ Monday 630-730pm

  • Prenatal Yoga ~ Tuesdays 600-715pm
  • Yoga Nidra ~ Tuesdays 730-830pm
  • Bellydance ~ Thursdays 600-730pm
  • Yin for the Senses ~ Thursdays 800-900pm
  • Hatha ~ Fridays 1000-1100am
  • Alignment Series (limited to 6, open to all levels) ~ Saturdays 1200-100pm
  • Pilates ~ Saturdays 130-230pm
  • Kundalini ~ Sundays 900-1030am

We also have a number of other series and events coming up, hosted by amazing practitioners! To check them out, please visit the Workshops page:

  • Method of Modern Movement & Jazz
  • Yoga for Grief
  • Shamanic Intro Series
  • And many events!

 

If you have any questions about classes or oils, please send me an email! If there are classes or events you would like to see, I would love to hear!

 

February New Moon Meditation & Mantra

Movement – anything active, including yoga, meditation & mantra help me stay balanced and grounded – this was definitely necessary during a bumpy past two weeks! Many of us may not even be aware, but as we become more attuned, we begin to see how synced up we are to the moon – our sleep, emotions, and other subtle patterns. I find it’s good to just be aware of this, to better help ourselves, others, and to allow for the most successful outcomes. If you struggle with sleep at certain times of the month or on a regular basis, you are not alone! I have had many friends and clients reach out to me with this concern. Aside from the 3 M’s I mentioned above – movement, mantra & meditation – we have two classes which may be of interest to you to help you get better sleeps:

During a Full Moon, the earth is between the sun and moon, which is what gives rise to the polarity aspects. The New Moon is a little more grounding and tends to be connected with aspects of creation.

Since the last Full Moon (January 31st), there has been a great deal of clearing and endings – it may have been emotional and tiring, yet we found a strength to continue to shine and step into our power. This New Moon in Aquarius embraces this time of renewal with ease, calm, and support. Aquarius represents humanity, communication, ideas and creation. What is it that you would like to bring more of into your life? For yourself? For your relationships?

 

I would recommend doing something active before settling into your meditation space – perhaps a walk in the forest, a little run, flow style yoga – anything where you move with conscious breath.

 

New Moon Meditation & Mantra:

For this meditation, I would like to focus on one of the most simple breaths – Ujjayi, also known as Ocean Breath. Simply inhaling and exhaling through your nose, allowing the breaths to flow into the next. Begin by bringing your awareness to your root chakra, grounding your energy – you can imagine a golden cord or your roots reaching into the Earth. Slowly, bring white light up through each chakra from the Earth. Allow each chakra to glow and grow, as they balance and clear.

Once you feel grounded and aligned with yourself, continue breathing steadily, and begin to consider 3 ‘I am’ statements of your best qualities or qualities you wish to embody more of. When you are ready, write down your 3 ‘I am’ statements, and place it somewhere you will see when you wake up and fall asleep. Repeat this mantra to yourself before every meditation, every morning – even if it’s just 5 minutes of breathing and feeling yourself embody these qualities, it will make a big difference to your day! Another wonderful benefit to doing this, your neural pathways will begin to connect this mantra to a state of calm, so when you are in challenging moments, you can easily return to your breath and repeat your mantra to bring you back to a grounded, calm state.

 

 

This Saturday, we will have a host of amazing healing practitioners at the studio from 4-6pm. Anyone is welcome to join for this by donation event ~ suggested donation of $20. You can register on our website, following this link.

 

Love & light,

Katie

Using Sign Language With Your Baby is EASY!

Signing Babies

Signing Babies

Lee Ann has been offering her well-loved Signing Babies Series at Studio 202 Community in North Vancouver for the past year. She helps parents better connect with their infants, and connection is what we’re all about!

 

Have you seen your baby smile with big open eyes when you sing to them or tickle their tummy? Or noticed they scrunch up their faces when they don’t like something? Your baby is already communicating with you! Using sign language taps into babies’ natural ability to use their bodies to express themselves well before they have the ability to speak.

Imagine one day you are whisked off and parachuted down into a foreign country you’ve never even heard of. You see some people near you, smiling, waving and calling to you, but you can’t understand a word they are saying. You feel confused and frustrated.

This may be exactly like what our babies feel like!

Then, imagine if those sweet, foreign people realized you couldn’t understand them and they began physically pointing out where you can find a taxi, your hotel, a bathroom, and some other key things for your stay? I’m guessing you would pay attention and follow their lead. And if they motioned their hands a certain way every time you passed by a BUS, you’d begin to understand that hand signal means BUS, even if you didn’t initially understand the words they were babbling.

Aha!

Developmentally, babies as young as two or three months can start remembering your daily routines and begin anticipating what happens next when you create consistent communication with them. Do you always have milk when you wake up, or get dressed right after a bath? Let’s talk about it!

But, keep in mind that the acquisition of verbal speech typically happens way after many other developmental milestones, such as rolling, sitting, and crawling, for most babies. Babies may not be able to speak the verbal languages they are learning at home with you until closer to their first birthday or so.

This is where sign language can help! By adding some signs into your daily conversations with your baby about what you are doing, you can create a strong connection between what you say and what you do. Babies learn by watching us, so it makes sense to always show babies what’s happening and always encourage as much communication as possible.

Plus, research shows that babies in a study who learned some sign language ended up with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and had higher IQ’s at the age of 8 years than a control group of babies who did not learn signs. That’s a bonus in my books, but the real benefits happen when your young baby has a better bond with you and doesn’t cry or fuss as much because you’ve created some successful communication together.

 

HOW TO START:

Choose a sign for something you do often, like MILK. To sign MILK, hold one hand in front of the body and close up your fingers into a fist and then open it up again. Repeat that opening and closing action several times as you say MILK.  Always say MILK out loud while you are signing it so your baby hears the word and sees it at the same time, and then make sure you have MILK right away so it all makes sense. Every time you have milk, show MILK. That sign will soon become connected visually to what happens next and your baby will begin to recognize it. Try to always do what you say; context is important, and it won’t make sense if you say & sign milk but then decide to go change a diaper first.

Have fun and go at your own pace. You can start out slow with one or two signs and repeat, repeat, repeat. A little every day will go a long way to lowering that natural frustration that can occur when we are not understanding each other.

If you’re interested in learning more signs to do with your baby, I like this beginner website: www.babysignlanguage.com

You can also visit www.signingbabies.ca and join a registered or drop-in class to play, sing and sign together in Vancouver. I’ll be offering more classes and workshops on baby sign language at Studio 202 throughout the New Year, so please join my e-newsletter list on the website to be the first to hear about new classes.

Lee Ann is a local Vancouver, B.C. mom who put her background as a preschool teacher, recreation centre class creator, and parent of two together with her personal love of sign language. After teaching her first child American Sign Language, she realized the incredible potential of being able to communicate easily with her young daughter before she could talk at all. A strong desire to share this tool with others saw the creation of Signing Babies, an easy-to-follow program involving beginner ASL signs while singing, rhyming, and playing together. She teaches baby sign language classes for families because she feels passionately about how well sign language works, and how much successful communication affects the happiness of both little ones and their caregivers. Please visit www.signingbabies.ca for more information about sign language and classes in your area.