May 29 – Full Moon Meditation

Super-moon Meditation

This Fullmoon has a lot at play, with the Moon in Sagittarius and the Sun in Gemini. Let’s look at the aspects at play, to help you dive more deeply into personal exploration with the meditation below!

  • Moon and Sun polarities, as in every Fullmoon encourage us to seek balance. What isn’t aligned in our life?
  • Gemini asks us to explore & question. Is there something we could see from a different perspective? Are we seeing the whole picture? This is much healthier and easier on us that opposition!
  • Sagittarius encourages us to open our hearts. Is there something we are missing in our relationships? If we open up more, if we live what we wish to attract, it will come to us. Sagittarius Decan 1 signals swift changes – so be clear about what you wish to attract.
  • The Water Trine of Venus & Cancer on May 31 further asks us to work with our intuition, wisdom, and emotions to resolve or heal any pieces we wish to transform in our lives.
  • Saturn’s Semisextile signals ego versus responsibility. This is an interesting opposition as for many they tie into each other. Focus on what you are doing for true soul fulfillment. What can you let go of? What can you change or change in how you approach?
  • Mar’s Sextile is a playful one. Similar to above, make more time for true soul fulfillment!
  • There are two very interesting fixed stars, which are considered Royal in the Persian culture:
    • Antares tying to Scorpio, Mars & Jupiter –  a tough, strategic, powerful star
    • Aldebaran in the eye of the Taurus bull – energy & tenacity

A strong combination, able to make things happen. The question here, are we looking at the full scenario? Are we using our intuition and wisdom when making choices? Are we doing things to win, or for the greater good and in alignment with truth? Be a wise leader for yourself and others.

This is a lovely meditation to connect more deeply to your Third Eye, your centre of intuition. Sometimes it can be tricky to always listen to our intuition, but our body knows. We just need to slow down and listen, which is definitely not always easy. When you are faced with decisions, try to take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes, ground yourself, and ask your higher self (getting the ego out of the way), ‘What would you do?’ Wait. Be patient. Listen, and you will know.

 

This is the longer version of that mini-meditation for you to really soak up this Fullmoon:

As always, I like to start with a bath, bringing in my favorite healing stones and essential oils. This Fullmoon I would recommend Smokey Quartz, as it’s grounding, clearing & playful. To connect with your intuition, Amethyst or Black Obsidian. For essential oils, I would recommend Young Living’s Northern Black Spruce (their farm is in BC!) to ground, Lavender in the bath, and a drop of Frankincense on your Third Eye. If you do not have Northern Black Spruce, you can use another earthy or woody essential oil.* For music, try this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdl8mpoeG2Y

For the meditation, set up your space so you won’t be disturbed. Bring your healing stones, sage if you wish or burn palo santo to clear the energy. Make yourself comfortable. Close your eyes, take 5 deep inhales into your stomach and exhale through the mouth relaxing your shoulders, neck & jaw. Bring your awareness to your hips and root chakra to create a strong connection with the Earth. Placing your tongue tip on the roof of your mouth, inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, exhale open-mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat 10 times, then return to an easy Ocean or Ujjayi breath – inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Bring your awareness to your Third Eye, ask to see more clearly how to approach a specific situation, or you can just listen and watch your thoughts as you connect more deeply to your intuition.

You can try this anytime, anywhere. Practice daily connecting to your intuition, and you will become aware of the subtle signs your body is telling you, helping to bring you into greater alignment with your Higher Self.

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You are welcome to join us for Yin, where we practice this every Thursday 8-9pm. This is a gentle class focusing on deep fascial & emotional release, breath & mediation.

Love & light,

Katie

 

*I use only Young Living (YL) oils as they are held to the highest integrity in the industry. YL can ensure this as they own their own farms, monitor the entire process of ‘seed to seal’ (bottle), going so far as to harvest appropriate plants by horse and carriage or hand so as to protect the energetic balance of the plant. Oils that do not pass testing, are put back in the organic soils on YL farms. Why do they take such care? It’s part of Young Living’s mission, and they know what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies between 20 seconds to 10 minutes.

To purchase your own oils, please follow this link and order as Wholesale to save 24%. Again, I am happy to answer any questions.

Self-Healing – How Muscle Memory & Yin Yoga Works

Yin and restorative forms of yoga help the body to release stored emotions and memories, through holding gentle, supported poses for an extended period of time. The idea behind it is when we feel supported, we are able to breathe deeply, and we enable our body to surrender. During this release, we are in a meditative state, allowing our minds to more objectively connect to what is being released, also allowing an emotional release. It’s not uncommon at all to cry during yin, or gentle forms of yoga – it’s a good thing. So often we don’t allow ourselves the chance to process emotions until it becomes a huge build-up in our body.

 

How We Get Stored Muscle Memory

Think about learning to play an instrument – our body forms the muscle memory in our synapses so we don’t even really need to think about our reactions any more. This also works when you experience negative physical and emotional situations. Think about when you get startled. Your body tenses up. This tension is now connected to that emotion and stored in our synapses. You get startled again, your likely to have the same reaction, compounding on this tension in an area in your body and making it a greater part of your reality. It may not even be obvious to us. Most of us stop breathing when we’re stressed, which is the very thing we need to do to stay alert for critical thinking. When we don’t breathe we also put our bodies into a further state of stress. Or perhaps it’s a little more serious, with more emotional ties to tension in your body. Many of us have experienced trauma in some form in our lives, however; unlike animals who process it immediately by making noises and shaking, we tend to bottle it up. We keep this bottled and continue to add to it – often subconsciously,  until we finally need to let it out.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to give ourselves the space to process these emotions. Sometimes it takes a few hours, days, or even years. There can be layers to it. By regularly giving yourself the time alone to process, through movement and meditation (mindfulness) in whatever form you like – swimming, walking in nature, painting, music, breathwork, you will find you are more at peace. Sleep is also to help us process, but often the messages get jumbled. Unlike sleep, when we are in a meditative state, we are slightly more conscious, allowing the emotion to process as it is connected to intuitive thought – which can bring greater healing.

 

Somatic & Sound Healing

Using somatic (sensation) and sound healing can be very powerful during yin and healing sessions. Somatic can be through gentle touch,, similar to how craniosacral and some healers work. EFT can also help us tap into ourselves intuitively. There are also non-touch approaches, yet the client or student still feels sensations of release through their body, or energy moving. Sound therapy, using crystal bowls, tuning forks, the gong, and solfeggio frequencies helps us reach a deeper state of relaxation with greater ease for greater release.

It’s important to trust your body, and know it knows exactly what it needs to do. To do this you need to feel safe, and it’s completely ok to take the time to find the practitioner that feels right to you – in fact I think most teachers and practitioners would appreciate this, as we have also done our intuitive & healing work.

 

Sharing the Knowledge

This is an important skill to teach children for self-awareness, self-confidence, and peace in our communities. When we are better in-tune with ourselves, we are able to communicate more effectively, and understand others. This is why we teach children breath-work and mindfulness in our kids classes and summer camps. Showing children this very simple tool at a young age can make a world of difference to their lives. Children are receptive and naturally intuitive. If we can give them a healthy coping skill at a young age – think about the difference it can make!

You are welcome to join us for Meditation & Pranayama or Yin anytime! Both are gentle practices, open to all levels. If you are looking for more assisted healing, please contact Katie for referrals: katie@yoganorthvancouver.com

Here’s an interesting article if you want to read more about this!

May New Moon Mediation

This is a fiery new moon on May 15, igniting our passion and leadership skills. In this meditation we will focus on gaining an objective perspective, as Taurus and other signs at this time are quite fixed. By being objective, we are better aligned with true purpose and needs of the whole, which becomes organically supported. During this time, it is important to lead for the greater good, with purity, and compassion. Let’s look at the signs at play:

 

  • Taurus Decan 3 lives for the senses, but can be quite stubborn and temperamental when it doesn’t get its way
  • Perseus is bright, forceful, bold and will do what it needs to get what it wants
  • The stars Agol & Capulus in Perseus are known for misfortune, but this emphasizes the need to lead with higher, positive thoughts
  • Venus focuses on love, fortune and healing
  • Pluto brings our awareness to intense transformation, working harmoniously  with Venus
  • Uranus adds a little more adventure and risk to our already passionate and intense Taurus
  • Neptune softens these aspects with it’s gentle, flowing and community-minded approach

This Newmoon, really pay attention to your thoughts. Your self talk. Your emotions. Your actions.  What is is you wish to achieve. How does this better your community? How does this help you become more aligned with your higher consciousness?

 

New Moon Meditation

I like working with polarities to find the balance, particularly at the New Moon. Find a grounding stone – obsidian, hematite or smokey quartz, and a more ethereal stone like amethyst or sodalite. Find a grounding essential oil – cedarwood, spruce, patchouli, fir, black spruce, cypress, and an oil for the upper chakras – frankincense, sandalwood, lavender, Harmony, Inspiration, Transformation, or Release.* For music, I would suggest this frequency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCW1xbXPRDY&t=2251s. If you use sage or palo santo, you are welcome to cleanse the energy in your space and around you too.

Dab a grounding oil on your root chakra at the base of your spine, and the upper chakra oil on your forehead. Lay down, placing the grounding stone near your root chakra, and the ethereal stone near your forehead.

Begin by taking a deep inhale, hold, and exhale through the mouth. Repeat another nine times. Nine being the number of completion, letting go of what you have completed, what is no longer needed. Time to begin a fresh phase, connected even more deeply with your intuitive strength and gifts to share with the world. Ease into whatever form of breath is comfortable for you, perhaps a flowing Ocean or Ujjayi breath. Allow yourself to be here for 10-30 minutes.

 

If you would like to join us on Thursday for Yin or Monday for Meditation & Pranayama, we will be doing a similar meditation as a group this week. If you are new to Studio 202, please register for the 3 classes for $20. Please feel free to send any questions to katie@yoganorthvancouver.com

*If you are looking for pure essential oils, you can order Young Living’s oils through this link. Many of these oils are food grade, and the farms owned by Young Living to ensure the care & purity of the plants. Please ensure you sign up for wholesale to save 24%. You’re welcome to email Katie with any questions. We use these oils, as Young Living owns their farms, and are energetically very careful with how they treat the plants.

 

Love & Light,

Katie

5 Benefits of Yoga for Children

Kids Yoga

Kids Yoga North Vancouver

Yoga for children is very close to my heart, as I have seen first-hand how it has helped me throughout my life. My Mam taught me meditation and breath-work as a child, breathing slowly, mindfully, and working my way from my toes to my head until I fell asleep. Such a wise, intuitive woman! My intro to the physical yoga practice began when I found one of my Gran’s yoga books from the 70’s and found shoulder stands aid in digestion (of course when your stomach isn’t too full). As a highly sensitive and somewhat anxious child, as we see with many children today, my little yoga practice became a way for me to process and retreat. Children today are overwhelmed with so much to do, to achieve, social media, and aren’t getting the much needed time to sit with their thoughts, emotions, be bored and thus get creative. 

The best part of yoga, breath-work (pranayama) & mediation (mindfulness) – you can practice, anywhere, anytime! This self practice is such a gift and can help transform lives, as many parents and teachers have seen. Yoga means ‘oneness’ – with ourselves and others. It’s non-denominational and a personal journey. The purpose of Studio 202 ~ Community for Inspired Living is to nurture this connection to ourselves and others, allowing our creativity and strengths to shine. Our kids program, EMPOWER was created to help nurture the whole child – emotionally, socially, physically and mentally. Simply offering a child the opportunity to sit in peace without any distractions and to feel their breath is a wonderful beginning to this practice, and can offer great peace. 

Below we explore the top 5 benefits of yoga for kids:

  • Improve Physical Health

Yoga for children is taught through age appropriate games, working on balance, flexibility, strength & endurance. We need to move our bodies! We are not designed to be sitting all day. When we move, we need more breath. More breath leads to better blood flow to keep our minds alert and our bodies healthy! Through breath, we also release toxins and emotions. 

  • Support Emotional Health

Through movement, we also release all sorts of chemicals to bring our bodies into a naturally healthy state, including:

  • Serotonin – happy hormone
  • Norepinephrine – alertness & memory
  • BDNF – brain-derived neurotrophic factor to help build new connections
  • Dopamine – motivation & reward hormone
  • Endorphins – feel-good chemical

In addition, breath-work and movement help us to release our stored emotions and stress, and be able to look at situations objectively and with clarity to make better decisions.

  • Improve Energy & Focus

Exercise and breath-work makes us feel good! The norepinephrine helps us to stay alert to learn and work. By getting little bits of exercise throughout the day we function better. Try taking a break every hour to move, do jumping-jacks, whatever makes you feel good!

When we are happy, we are in a receptive state to learn and grow. The mix of hormones mentioned above, work together us stay motivated and interested… as does learning and doing something meaningful, but sometimes we have to do the not-so fun stuff to get to the fun stuff!

  • Self-Empowerment, Confidence & Intuitive-Skills

It’s empowering to understand ourselves and our bodies! We are very complex creatures, and by practicing breath-work and mindfulness through art, games, movement and more, we are able to better understand ourselves, see our talents, and things we can work on. Being able to overcome challenges is particularly rewarding and further builds our confidence and intuition.

  • Encourages Greater Self Awareness & Understanding of Others

By understand ourselves, our emotions and how we communicate, we also become more mindful of others. While we are all connected, it is empowering to recognize we all have our own little worlds. And sometimes when something is not right in our world, we can react poorly. When we are mindful, we are better at managing our communication and emotions. Understanding this also helps us help others when they react poorly. We learn our boundaries, what feels healthy and not healthy for us, and how to effectively communicate this. It’s humbling and teaches us to be kind to ourselves, and be kind to others.

 

For more information on our approach and classes we offer at the studio, please visit our Kids Yoga page. If you are interested in having us offer our EMPOWER yoga + mindfulness program at your child’s school, please email: Katie@yoganorthvancouver.com

By giving your child the gift to better connect with themselves,

you have given them a tool they will have for the rest of their lives!

5 Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis through Yoga, Diet & More!

Kids Yoga

I’m sure you’ve heard that 1 in 3 women will experience osteoporosis, and 20% of men. This is sadly far to high, and as we age, weak bones and breaks can become detrimental. The best way to prevent this is by keeping our bodies strong & healthy now, and yoga is a great way to do this!

Osteoporosis is the result of our bones becoming brittle, and prone to fractures. As women, our bone mass begins to decline around 30, or when we start having children as our body uses our reserves to nourish this little being. So how can we get ahead of the curve? Read on…

 

Five Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis:

  • Strength building by using appropriate weights at the gym and yoga help by causing compression on our bones, which leads to natural regeneration of our bones and muscles. We want our cells to turn-over to keep fresh, healthy cells in our body! Try doing something once a day to build strength – go for a walk, hang out in down dog, plank, any weight bearing exercise will do the trick! While I do enjoy working out at the gym to really feel a burn, I find yoga and using your body weight just as effective when you hold the poses – like true power yoga – and easier on your body. It’s much safer if you aren’t sure what you are doing in the gym.

 

  • Balance activities challenge our brain and muscles, including our core. This is incredibly important as we age to prevent falls and breaks. Breaks in our bones when we are young will always be susceptible to damage as we age. So taking the time to strengthen these bones, and encouraging regeneration of cells through safe strength & balance activities will help as we age.

 

  • 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. Natural sources of calcium are found in dairy & dark leafy greens. Enjoy some time in the sun to get your vitamin D fix!

 

  • Boron & Potassium can naturally be found in prunes! These minerals help keep bones strong and healthy. Prunes are a powerhouse of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory to help with arthritis & digestion. The high dose of potassium helps with heart health, they are also high in vitamin A for vision, and keep skin & hair healthy!  

 

  • Build healthy bones when you are young! Don’t wait until you are 30 or starting to have children. Try incorporating more leafy greens into your family’s diet… and bonus if you can get prunes in your salad or yogurt – it’s quite delicious! Encourage your children to do age-appropriate weight bearing exercise with you. Walking, running, skiing, and yoga are all wonderful ways to do this. Have a plank holding competition!

 

If you have any questions about appropriate yoga poses to help prevent osteoporosis for you or your family, send me a message! Our kids classes & camps work with appropriate power (balance & strength) poses, as does Yoga for Bikers (Vinyasa) on Mondays.

This Mother’s Day we have three by-donation events for Moms and children of all ages! Please make sure you register, as space is limited.

Join us for our Summer Party Weekend May 26 & 27 for free Kids Yoga, Zumbini, $5 Adult Yoga & more!