Live Online Classes the week of June 1!

Sat Naam and Namaste!

Here we are, entering the first full week of June. How did we get here??  I feel like it was  a short time ago that we were all surrendering to the changes necessary to support our community through this time of Covid – 19, that was 2 1/2 months ago.  Such a reminder of how there is a need in our lives to surrender to what is, our lives as we have just witnessed, can change in a heartbeat.  We have all had to adapt very quickly to so much, steep learning curves, and we are still going through this evolution.

Slowly things start to reopen, and people are starting to emerge a little more everyday, unsure of next steps.

We continue to offer some classes online; live and recorded.  In our yoga community it will be a bit more time before we can practice in person together again, and when that time comes there are many adaptations to our classes, regulations for your safety, and increased spacing between our mats, that we will need to put in place to ensure responsible and conscious community holding.  Things will change, but being mindful and living in the moment we can all honestly acknowledge they already have.

We will be sending out a newsletter over the next few weeks, informing you of our news and everything we’re so excited for as we contemplate this next chapter for Surya Daya.  Our priority is to  deepen the way we can be of service, and to support you the best way we can in our new way of being in this world.

We need yoga and meditation now, more than ever.

If it resonates for you, take some time to write down your vision for your life.  What are you ready to let go of and what would you like to welcome in?  Your vision for yourself as a result of this time and how it has, and  continues, to affect you.  I invite you to reflect on how you’d like to feel inhabiting your physical and emotional body, write about your vision for the world.  Dive deep here, pull out the most intimate details of this vision, and put it somewhere you will read often.

“Your vision should be what is most important to you, what you believe is most fundamental to your ability to be your best self, to be at peace with yourself, to be whole.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living)

 

Please know, even from a distance, we are here holding safe space for you.

It is important to for us to continue to make our support and our yoga resources accessible and available to YOU, regardless of your present situation.  This is a time like no other where we need these tools and techniques, and the healing that happens when we dive a little deeper into our practice.

If you have been affected financially by COVID-19, and if it would be uncomfortable for you to have to start paying for our live classes, then we want you to simply register and show up  – there is no pressure of payment.

Some of us have decided to continue to offer our online classes (live and recorded practices), even after we can reopen our doors – wherever those doors may end up being.

We invite you to sign up for the classes you’d like to attend in the following way.

  • To sign up for the Live Stream Class first go to our class schedule
  • Second, just click on the class (es) you’d like to attend that week (or the weeks ahead) and the system will walk you through the registration process.  Please note you do need to reserve your spot a minimum of 6 hours before the class start time.   It’s easy, and only requires your name and email address to reserve your spot.
  • Once you have signed up for, and reserved your spot for any of our  classes, you will receive a confirmation email stating the Class Name, Date and Time you are signed up for.
  • 20 minutes before the classes you have registered for,  you will receive a second email with the Zoom access link and password for the class.  Click on the link to join the class via Zoom.

Payment options

We do have several different tiers of consideration for payment that we are offering.  If you are able to contribute a little, we would ask you to consider our pay what you can model – where you can simply send us an etransfer in the amount that you’re able, either class by class, or as a lump sum amount.  As I mentioned, our primary intent is to help support you right now, whatever that needs to look like with your present situation.

  • If you have an existing Class Pass in our system, we will be using those passes automatically (apart from the monthly unlimited passes unless you have directed us otherwise). Once you’re registered we can better keep track of your attendance and more efficiently use your pass.  However, if you would prefer to NOT use your studio passes until we can do in person community classes, then please send us an email at info@suryadaya.ca and we will continue to keep  your pass on hold during this time, but you still need to register. 
  • We have created a new Online live class option – with a drop – in fee of $7.00 to purchase click here or a 10 class live on-line pass package for $70 to purchase click here.  These new online passes can be purchased through our website or you can send an e-transfer to info@suryadaya.ca.  These passes do not expire and will extend  beyond the closure to once we’re able to practice together again for our continued online options.
  • If you don’t have a studio pass, no worries and no stress – remember we’re a yoga studio, the last thing we want to create for you is stress.  We have our pay what you can option  (these payments can be sent via e-transfer to info@suryadaya.ca or you can mail cheques made out to Surya Daya, PO Box 867, Almonte, ON, K0A 1A0.  Just send us an email to let us know, no amount is to small, here you get to choose.

 

AGAIN:

  • Once you have signed up for, and reserved your spot for any of our  classes, you will receive a confirmation email stating the Class Name, Date and Time you are signed up for.
  • 20 minutes before the classes you have registered for,  you will receive a second email with the Zoom access link and password for the class.  Click on the link to join the class via Zoom.
  • You will not be prompted to make a payment in the registration process, that is done either by etransfer, sending an email if you are mailing us a cheque, or by credit card on our website
  • If you register for any of Amber’s classes (Tuesday afternoon or Saturday morning), even if you’re not able to attend, she is now sending out a link to a recorded version of the class for you to practice along with her at any time.  These will be for personal practice only, but you are required to register to receive the recorded session.

If ANY of this is confusing, then please take a deep breath and take your time reading over all this information a second time. If it is still confusing, then please give me us a call at 613-451-2891 or send us an email at info@suryadaya.ca

We are here to support you, through this time and beyond.  We are excited at what the future holds for all of us.  It may look different, but hopefully we are all being given this time of uncertainty to clarify what is truly important as we move forward in our lives.

We have evolved our logo to mark this transition in our history, it’s new colours and iteration, are a symbol of hope, a reminder of the power of community and how we all support and uplift one another to thrive in body, mind and spirit.  Stay tuned……..

Take good care, always,

With so much love, Amber, and all of us at Surya Daya.

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Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of June 1st

Welcome to June! Be happy! 

Always remember that we are responsible for our own happiness- it is an inside job as they say. Cultivate happiness.

The focus of our practice this week is to relax, come into a state of stillness and inner peace, allow anxieties to subside and let happiness flow in.

Pranayam: Breath to Relax the Body

Sit in easy pose, close your eyes, relax all your muscles, take a few deep breaths. Once the body is calm, the mind will follow.

Inhale to the count of 4, Suspend the breath for 4, Exhale to a count of 6.

Warm ups:

  • Sufi rotations- both directions
  • Neck rolls- both directions
  • Continuous Seated undulating forward fold- legs out front. Inhale and stretch arms up to sky, exhale as you gently fall forward towards toes- come back up and repeat as if imitating a waterfall.

Postures: 1 to 2 minutes each

  • Child’s Pose- Start sitting on heels, bend forward into child’s pose with arms outstretched in front. Long deep breaths.

 

  • Seated Forward Bend- sit with straight spine, legs out front. Inhale reach up to the sky, slowly bend from the hips and place hands on shins or wherever feels comfortable. Stay and breathe deeply.

 

  • Heart energizer- sit in easy pose, raise arms up and out to 60 degrees. Keep arms straight if possible. Cup the hands towards the sky. Close your eyes, breathe deeply. Concentrate on the energy building in your cupped hands. Energize your heart!

 

  • Pumping stomach- stay in Easy pose, hands relaxed in lap, eyes closed. Inhale to count of 5, Exhale to count of 5, gently pump stomach to count of 5. Repeat cycle a few times.

 

  • Lie on back, arms by side. Take a few deep breaths. Raise left leg to 90, relaxing the rest of the body. Long deep breaths. Renews vigor!

 

  • Remain on back, raise head only keeping rest of the body relaxed. Take a few breaths, then lower head. Turn head side to side to release. Bring knees to chest, rock forward and back and come to seated position.

 

  • Sit quietly in meditation pose. Picture yourself surrounded in protection in all directions, trust that all will unfold as it should.

 

Chant or repeat:

Aad Guray Nameh

Jugaad Guray Nameh

Sat Guray Nameh

Siri Guru Dayvah Nameh

Close with Sat Nam.

 

Love to all,

Mary

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Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Saturday morning session for vitality!

“Over time the lessons we’ve learned, the knowledge we’ve gained and assimilated through practice and reflection become a part of who we are.  We use the deeper self knowledge, loving inner connection, and the ability to listen and trust ourselves to respond to our ever-changing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.  This is how practice evolves and deepens over time, resulting in ever more expansive ways of being with ourselves and in the world.”

Barrie Risman

Good morning, Sat Naam and Namaste all of you amazing humans!!

As I dive into the world of trauma informed yoga this weekend with Kathleen Burr, I wanted to send you a practice video for our Saturday morning class today.  It makes my heart happy that we can practice together in this way.

When I recorded the class, I imagined each of you from my regular Saturday morning community class with me, in my living room!  Adapting to this new way of holding space for one another, and feeling incredibly grateful to be on this journey with YOU!

When we come together in person or through these online classes, it’s really important to take a moment to connect with the community energy and draw strength from the collective of people practicing with you.   You can do this simply by taking a few deep breaths and imagining a circle of people – a circle of which you are a part of.  Breathe that image right into your heart, and notice the feelings that arise.

Today we’ll be moving through a very accessible kriya, for balancing your glandular system and bringing health and vitality to your whole body.  This specific sequence of postures is designed to keep your spine, organs, and nervous system strong and healthy.

To join me for this practice click here

This is a kundalini based practice, although  when I approach my mat, holding space for you,  I am finding as time passes and we continuously evolve so does the way I hold that space.  I have so much respect, gratitude and reverence for these ancient teachings (over 5000 years old) and a deep respect for all of my teachers.   When I approach this practice my intention is to honour and integrate the continual changes of a lifetime; encouraging you to always check in with yourself first, live and move with integrity in alignment with your own moral compass, embody your practice in a way that celebrates you and your unique needs in every breath, every posture, and in every moment.

Even if you’re not one of our regular students that come together on Saturday mornings, I do hope you’ll join us for this practice.  I have made the link downloadable, so if this session resonates for you, you can revisit it anytime you’d like.

I’m holding you in my heart, and I will be back offering a live online class next Saturday, I hope to see you then.

I’m also including Lindsey’s class from earlier this week here, as I know we had a few technical difficulties as we navigate this steep learning curve, and we wanted to make sure you had access to the class if it would resonate for you to practice with Lindsey, she’s really pretty amazing.

As a little extra bonus, I’m including a very short and sweet little breath meditation, which you can access by clicking here

When you hear the wind blowing, imagine it’s taking with it any stress, any tension, and any distracting thoughts.  The wind is our friend, and it makes itself very known in this little video, making space for health and healing.

Take care of yourself, and I’m so excited to share the information and the wisdom of this weekend with you all.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Much love

Amber

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Release and Energize – Yoga with Lindsey

Greetings fellow and (hopefully) future yoga-doers.
 As with so many things these days, recording a Yoga class and having it “out there” for all to see is new to me, unfamiliar and somewhat scary.
  We all get used to doing things one way, over and over, so that it becomes routine and comfortable.  For me, that comfortable and routine world was teaching Hatha on Tuesday evenings….at the studio…”in person”….nestled snuggly amongst many familiar faces I’d grown to know and love.
However, we are now exploring uncharted waters…and most, if not all of us, have had to bravely dive into something totally unknown.
In person, we can joke and laugh together.
In person, I can quickly and easily modify the class depending on the students, the energy level, the mood.
In person, I can witness human connection and a beautiful feeling of togetherness.
At this point, nobody quite knows exactly when we’ll be able to gather and practice “in person”…. I KNOW that time will come again, but for now, let’s embrace what IS available to us…. even if it’s not what we’re used to.
This class was recorded with love and with all of my fellow yoga students in mind and heart.  It focuses on RELEASING stress, tension and, in particular, expectations.
Enjoy with curiosity & compassion!
Perhaps we’ll meet again for a second video?
To practice with Lindsey click here
Missing you….
Lindsey
Lindsey Lambden

Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of May 25th

Morning is my special time of day. This week’s practice is one I love to do to kick start my day.

Here is a passage from “A Morning Offering” by one of my favorite authors, John O’Donohue.

I place on the altar of dawn:

The quiet loyalty of breath, the tent of thought where I shelter,

Waves of desire I am shore to and all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today to the invisible geography that invites me to new frontiers…..

May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer, but to do at last what I came here for- and waste my heart on fear no more.”

Warm ups:  My “go-to” 4:

Sufi grind (both directions)

Spinal flex  to Spinal Twist

Neck rolls (both directions)

Pranayam/Meditation for the Heart– 3 mins.

Get comfortable, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Place your palms crossed over your heart chakra. Breathe long and deep. Focus on a beautiful image that is special for you: a sunset, a rose, a loved one’s face, a happy place. Feel the love building in your heart and throughout your body. Breathe into the loving-kindness in your heart and feel that energy clear away stress.

Chakra Sun Salutations: 8 repetitions (one for each chakra)

Amber did this lovely practice in her class a few weeks ago at her Saturday morning live kundalini class, so many will be familiar with it. (If you prefer, can also be done with  standing forward bends in lieu of a full sun salutation.)

The chakras are our energy centres in the body and each chakra is a vision of the world- a collection of our feelings, thoughts and values. Each chakra offers us a gift.

Begin each sun salutation with “I  bow to my 1st (2nd, 3rd, etc) chakra”, followed by an affirmation of your own or the one below (these are the ones I personally use, but make sure you use what resonates for you). 

  1. First Chakra- (Root)- May I be rooted, grounded, steadfast and secure. 
  2. Second Chakra- (Sacral Area)- May joy and creativity flow through me today.
  3. Third Chakra (Abdominal/solar plexus) – May I be the lighthouse, may I be strong, disciplined and may I feel my power.
  4. Fourth Chakra (Heart)- May love and compassion flow through me today.
  5. Fifth Chakra (Throat)- May I speak my truth from a place of love and without fear.
  6. Sixth Chakra (Third Eye)- May I trust my intuition and be guided by it.
  7. Seventh Chakra (Crown)- May I feel the Creator within me, around me and within all beings. May I connect to my higher energies.
  8. Eighth Chakra (Aura)- May I be protected from illness and negativity. May I be radiant and project out strongly to the world.

Rest on your back to integrate your work. Just let go completely.

Finish with hands in prayer, one Sat Nam.

Love to all,

Mary

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Ahimsa – Can we be kind to ourselves?

Yogic greetings to YOU!

Sending you the biggest cyber hugs I can possibly manage today……

I wanted to share a little practice, a meditation for cultivating ahimsa – or nonviolence.

When we consider what violence is for us, we need to reflect on the potent power and effects of our body actions, our body language, how we listen (or not) to others and our selves, our words and the tone which we express them.  We need to consciously consider the foods we nourish – or not – our bodies with and the effects of these choices, the thoughts and the stories we tell ourselves, the people we surround ourselves by.  We also need to consider how patient and gentle we are with ourselves through changes in our lives and during times of uncertainty.  This is when we need to be extra gentle.

I invite you to bring mindful attention to this concept of nonharming, and understanding it’s thread in your own life.

During this time of change, I’ve been spending some time revisiting the ethics of yoga.  The foundation and roots of these amazing and ancient practices, which invite yoga to not only be a practice on your mat, but if it resonates for you, also a conscious way of living off your mat.   

To view the practice click here

This particular practice I found in a treasure called Mudras For Healing And Transformation, by Joseph and Lilian Le Page, this phenomenal book was introduced to me to by one of the  many incredible inspirations in my life, Kathleen Burr.  Kathleen is a phenomenal yogi, and a very dear friend.  She teaches us about resilience and trauma informed yoga, as well as powerful ways for us to remember to care for ourselves.  She  offered our teachers at Surya Daya a beautiful and nurturing afternoon of self care last year and it is our plans to have her back to hold a community offering when it is safe to do so.

I invite you to come into a comfortable seated position, and give yourself some time to explore this beautiful meditation practice.

Much love, Amber

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Online Live Yoga Classes May 19 – 23

Sat Naam and Namaste

We hope you all had a good long weekend!  It’s so wonderful seeing so many people out walking, even though we need to be respecting physical distancing, we can still connect in so many ways.

We sincerely hope you’re taking care of yourself, riding these waves, staying inspired in your practice whatever that has come to look like for you.  Perhaps you’ve had some time to pause and really examine what YOU do need to thrive and ideally you didn’t just reflect on what you need but rather you’re taking steps to ensure you are on your way to thriving.  Learning the art of self care is truly a life long process as we are always changing and our needs change along with the transformation of a lifetime.

Thank you so much to everyone that sent in your reflections from the 30 days of yoga support challenge!  They warmed my heart, and many even brought me to tears.  Your honesty and openness were beautiful, all of you – and such a testament to the power of yoga.  We will be contacting the winner of the draw privately.  We wish we could gift each of you a pass, we received so many beautiful reflections.  We have loved hearing from you, so please stay connected with us about how your yoga is helping to support you.  The yoga videos from that project will also be staying on the blog so you can continue to access them.   Stay tuned for more videos and more yoga support projects to come!

IF yoga is something that is helping you to thrive during this chapter of your life, then we hope you’ll join us for some of our live online yoga classes.  We also hope you’re finding time to explore your practice on and off your mat.

Just a reminder that all of our online classes now require preregistration.

Just click on the link below to see our schedule, choose the classes you’d like to join and our system will guide you through the registration process.  Please note you do need to register a minimum of 6 hours before the class start time.  All you need is your name and email.

We are now privately sending our login details to your inbox, after we receive your reservation.

To view our schedule click here

It is our goal to continue to offer our online classes in a way that is accessible for everyone.  We have different tiers for passes, including by donation to info@suryadaya.ca, or our new online pass rate.  If paying would be financially stressful for you at this time, then please just register and join us, no questions asked – we don’t  want money to be a deterrent from you being able to access our yoga support, especially right now when we need yoga more than ever.

If you have any questions, at all, we’re here.

We just want to be able to continue to support you through this time, and help to keep you inspired to show up for your practice  – for your own self care.

Have a beautiful week!

Much love, Amber and all of us at Surya Daya.

We miss practicing with you in studio, but look so forward to the day we can reopen our doors in a way that will best support you and come together in community.

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Mondays With Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of May 18th

We are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. 

Here are a couple of quotes to ponder as we transition.

“We need to sit on the rim of the well of darkness and fish for fallen light with patience.”  Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize winning poet 1904-1973

“I like the night, without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

Edgar Allan Poe.  

 

Pranayam: Meditation: Move into Darkness to Refresh

When feeling stressed, try this form of relaxation by withdrawing into darkness or blackness. Tired eyes seek blackness to shut us off from the outer world and to force us to look inside ourselves.

This simple technique can help you enjoy the darkness.  

When seated, put the heel of your palms directly over your closed eyes.  

Block out all light, without putting too much pressure on your eyelids.  See the colour black and focus on it.  

You can use a mental image – black cats, black holes in space, the back of a dark closet.  Tell yourself that you don’t have to look at anything right now.  Let the muscles around your eyes relax – your eyelids, under your eyes, the crease between your brows, your forehead, your cheeks.

After a minute or longer, slowly lower your hands and gently open your eyes. 

Remind yourself throughout your day that at any moment you can close your eyes and escape into darkness.  

Postures: To Bring Light into Your Body (1-2 minutes per posture)

  • Aura Builder– Sit on heels or in easy pose (or modify so you are comfortable) for the following three postures. Bring arms up to 60 degrees with elbows straight, palms flat and facing each other over head. Focus on the space between the palms and feel the energy your build between the hands. Begin Breath of Fire.

 

  • Aura Extender- Bring arms parallel to the ground, extended out to the sides, palms pressed out with fingers pointing up (strong bend at wrists). Hold with Breath of Fire.

 

  • Aura Arm Swings- Bring arms out front, palms face each other about 6” apart. Inhale and swing arms back (squeeze shoulder blades), Exhale and swing arms forward. Palms don’t touch. Continue back and forth.

 

  • Basic Spinal Flex- From easy pose (hands on shins) or sitting on heels (hands on thighs). Inhale and flex spine forward, chest high, Exhale back.

 

  • Standing Knee/Toe Raises- Slowly come to standing. Feet shoulder width apart, arms out front parallel to ground, palms face down. Inhale and raise up on tiptoes, Exhale and stay on toes if possible, push seat out and come down as if sitting in a chair. Inhale up, exhale down, staying high on toes as best you can.

 

  • Easy pose. Sit quietly, hands in guyan mudra on knees. Close the eyes. Meditate on the calm flow of breath in and out. Visualize purifying sun energy moving slowly up the spine to the crown. Stabilize and consolidate this energy by bringing the sun to the third eye. 

 

  • Frogs- Start with 10 and work up to 26 each day. Come to squat. Hands on floor in front of body, balance on balls of feet, heels touch and lift. Inhale buttocks up, head towards knees. Exhale down with head coming slightly up. 

To end, hand loose like a rag doll and come up slowly to standing, head up last. Stand quietly in Mountain Pose, palms facing forward. Feel yourself rooted to the ground- feel your power and your grace.

 

  • Relax on Back- give yourself a full body stretch. Inhale deeply through the nose and Exhale through the mouth with a huge sigh. 3x. Relax fully and allow your body to heal and integrate.

 

  • Finish with a long Sat Nam.

 

Sending love and a big hug,

Mary

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International Nurses Week

I just want to say a huge thank you to all of our nurses, in our community and beyond – all working the front lines during the outbreak of COVID – 19.  I can only imagine what this time has been like for each of you, and continues to be.  Our nurses working in hospitals, health clinics, palliative care units, in our extended care nursing homes, birthing units, in all capacities, our thoughts and strength are with all of you.

Please  know we are holding you in our hearts with so much love and support as we navigate this time in our lives, and look ahead to the time when we are able to reemerge on the other side of this.

A dear friend, who happens to be a warrior nurse, asked me if I would consider making a video for the nurses to celebrate each of you and help to restore your reserves for all the ways you give.   Such an honour for me,

To view the practice click here

Please make sure to honour the wisdom of your body, and be really gentle with yourself as you move through this 60 minute practice.  A yoga set to help restore your reserves and to remind you to take time for your own self care, especially during this time.

Much love

Amber

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Online Yoga Classes May 11th – 16th

Sat Naam and Namaste

Just a reminder that all of our online classes now require preregistration.

Just click on the link below to see our schedule, choose the classes you’d like to join and our system will guide you through the registration process.  Please note you do need to register a minimum of 6 hours before the class start time.  All you need is your name and email.

We are now privately sending our login details to your inbox, after we receive your reservation.

To view our schedule click here

It is our goal to continue to offer our online classes in a way that is accessible for everyone.  We have different tiers for passes, including by donation to info@suryadaya.ca, or our new online pass rate.  If paying would be financially stressful for you at this time, then please just register and join us, no questions asked – we don’t  want money to be a deterrent from you being able to access our yoga support, especially right now when we need yoga more than ever.

If you have any questions, at all, we’re here.

We just want to be able to continue to support you through this time, and help to keep you inspired to show up for your practice  – for your own self care.

Take a little bit of time and write down 10 things you’re grateful for, remembering and acknowledging the things we are grateful for makes less room in our heads and our hearts for the things that bring us stress and worry.  Doing this exercise when you’re feeling overwhelmed, or first thing every  morning, disrupts the pattern of stress, enabling a healthier and more relaxed internal state.  Wouldn’t that be a welcome ripple into the rhythm of your day?

What am I grateful for in this moment?  

The miracle of life

Our ability to create

The sacredness and support of  community

The sun and the moon

The Spring flowers emerging from the earth

My 2 beautiful sons

Trees

Butterflies and how they teach us to honor the darkness – it’s when we grow

A full deep breath

Homemade soup on my stove

My warm cozy bed 

Holding hands when we most need to be held

Much love, Amber

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Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com