Wednesday Wellness Reflections

Hello Beautiful YOU!

Perhaps today is a good day to think about a few simple things you can do on a daily basis to nurture yourself.  Keep them simple, we often think we have to carve out an hour and do grand things for our self care, but truthfully it’s the consistent practice of the simple things that help us the most.

I want you to feel the best you possibly can as you move through your life, today and every day!

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

You are integral to the whole, remember that, and no one can bring forward your amazing energy and what you are here to do – in the way you can.  It’s important to take care of yourself so that your drop in the ocean keeps flowing, unobstructed.

Did you know that your nervous system functions optimally when you take little periodic breaks throughout the day, breaks to restore equilibrium which  is easily thrown off from the constant stimulation and busyness of our external world.

Those breaks can be simple; 3 minutes to take some long deep breaths, singing something you love, walking with a clear intention to slow down – paying attention to your feet as they make contact with the earth beneath you – offering gratitude with each step, mindfully having a glass of water or tea, or if you’re able lay down for a few minutes in a restorative resting place and simply follow the rise and the fall of your belly with your breath.

Sometimes we don’t think we have enough time in our day to take even a 3 minute break, but I ask you, what is 3 minutes in a 24 hour cycle?  I have a sense as you prioritize your own self care, those 3 minute breaks will easefully make thier way into your daily routine.

Life is fragile and did you know that for every break not taken you are taking away from your own life force – from your own longevity.

The ocean would be less because of that missing drop that is you, remember that.

With so much love

Amber

xo

If you want to practice with Amber on your own schedule, in the comfort of your own home, consider subscribing to her exlusive weekly wellness capsules and practice videos.  To find out more click here

 

 

Wednesday Wellness Reflections

Wow, 2020,  this has been a year a year of passionate reflection, understanding my own guiding principles and a continuous recommitment to being and doing my best.  This has been a year of accepting, doing what can be done out of service to one another and our community, as well as a year of learning, definitely unlearning and relearning in an effort to try and make sense of it all.  I know this continues.

Like many of you, I am exhausted and tired, looking forward to the pause between 2020 and 2021.  I am grateful to my family, my friends, my inspirations and strong anchors who have encouraged me to keep going with courage, and to all of the people who helped us get through this year – from health professionals and essential workers to anti-racism organizers, and the pillars in our community that kept showing up because they knew it was important.

I’m grateful to our community, deep in my heart, I am grateful.

I sincerely hope you’re doing well.

Taking lots of time for introspection these days, reflecting on all that has happened and allowing time for healthy integration.

A few things to ponder:

What was your biggest learning from 2020?

What is important for you to repattern in your own life as we enter this next chapter in our lives?

What brings you joy, and how can you cultivate more of that in 2021?

Surya Daya was definitely not immune to the effects of Covid – 19.  Looking back at this past year, I can’t help but take a big deep breath as I too process all the change.

Many of our teachers stepped away from teaching to focus on their families and personal lives, after paying overhead for 3 months with the initial forced closure the reality of our lived experience amidst the pandemic hit and I realized we needed to vacate our sacred little studio space with rising costs and an uncertain future – creating an online yoga hub in this little pocket of the internet.

A few of us shifted gears to offer some zoom classes, which a few classes continue as an anchor for students.  I am surprised how comforting it is to be able to come together and practice in this way.

A collective of us came together during the summer and offered a special outdoor series called Under The Oak Yoga, at a dear friends sacred outdoor space.  Ahhh still breathing in the medicine from that wise old Oak.

I was able to offer some free community outdoor summer classes in partnership with Carebridge, The Mississippi Mills Youth Centre, and Ocean Bridge, as well as some small forest classes.  We offered a few karma classes; supporting local families, our local Food Bank and most recently, holding an online restorative yoga class on Christmas eve for Interval House (where we were able to raise $350 for this very needed resource).  Thank YOU, beyond words, thank YOU.

I am grateful for all of these opportunities to come together in community, through outdoor classes, online offerings, videos, and back doing my massage work.   I am repeatedly reminded that we live in such a special town.

As I think back over the past year, I am also reminded of the quote by Theodore Roosevelt, which Brene Brown often refers to

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…..”

Perhaps we could all bring this appreciation into 2021.  We’re all just doing our best, remember that, be gentle with yourself and those around you, we’re all just doing our best in new territory and during  this confusing chapter in our lives.

The future is so uncertain but I know in my heart that something beautiful and strong will be born from all of this.

Life has changed for each of us, please know I hold that in my heart for each of you.

Due to the impact of COVID 19 all passes can be used towards our online zoom classes, or email me and  I can send you links in lieu of classes for access to recorded yoga sessions.  I think the need for creativity is definitely needed here.

We’re unable to carry passes forward from Rising Sun as that was a very different chapter in the history of yoga in Almonte, one we’re unable to carry forward.

We’re also unable to offer refunds for passes, due to the financial impact of COVID on our studio.  For this we are grateful for your understanding.  Your passes will remain in our system and our support continues to be here for you,  and we encourage you to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.  Things are continually changing, for us too.

I too am learning to truly live and focus on the now of my life.

We hope you can find it in your hearts to understand our situation amongst this global crises, 11 months later.

I wish for each of you a peaceful winter, and a new year filled with ease, health, vitality and prosperity. 

I miss our in studio class sessions, so much, and look forward to holding that space again one day.

With so much love, and respect for each of you,

Amber

If you want to practice with Amber on your own schedule, in the comfort of your own home, consider subscribing to her exlusive weekly wellness capsules and practice videos.  To find out more click here
Photo credits to Jasmin Mori

Karma Yoga Class For Interval House

For the past 2 years, since transitioning into Surya Daya, we’ve held a karma class for Interval House on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  I can’t imagine this year going by without holding that safe container to help support a very needed resource in our community – as well to offer you a peaceful practice of self care to nurture YOU during the holiday season.
There are so many things I miss most about our studio space.  Seeing all of your beautiful faces, holding safe space for you to explore yourself in body and mind while offering a more personal in person support, and our monthly karma classes in support of our community.
We know this year is a different year in so many ways, but the strength within our community has only grown, and the realization of how important it is to reach out when help is needed.
 I will still be holding this special class, but this year you can practice in the comfort of your own home as we move through a nourishing restorative practice together – online.
The class will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursdsay, December 24th, and the cost to register is free, but we encourage you to take some time to reflect on the importance of Interval House in our community.
In years past we have collected items for Interval House, but this year we’ll be holding this sacred space inviting you to hold the women and children, and all the supports and services at Interval House in your heart. This special class will also give you the space to compassionately take some time in silence to hold all the people in your own circle of care that perhaps need a little extra support this year (that may include you).
If you’re able we would like you to consider making a donation directly to Interval House, or you can send an e-transfer to info@suryadaya.ca with Interval House in the message and once all donations are in we’ll get it to them to help support their work and the people they offer respite to.
Sadly, this year domestic violence numbers have increased and funding for these needed resources in our community have decreased.
100% of all proceeds will go directly to Interval House.
We hope you’ll carve out this time to recieve the nourishment of our practice together, taking time to be still and connect with the peace within your heart.
To register click here (preregistration is required)
Remember, we’re all in this together,
With so much love
Amber

On The Day Before Christmas

On this Christmas eve, I offer you this gift, from my family to yours.
We hope you’ll join us for our practice today, our full 12 posture sequence for the holidays! click here to join us for our special offering 
Thank you so much for being on this wild journey this past year, alongside me, as I offer you these teachings and hold you in my heart.  I want you to know how much YOUR support means to me.
Wishing you a peaceful holiday season, and please know I join you in the great exhale as we near the end of 2020.
Take good care of you,
With so much love,
Amber, Jay, Noah and Lucas

On The 2nd Day Before Christmas

Today I offer this to you: A reminder that you’re beautiful.  A reminder that you’re important. A reminder  that you’re very loved.  A reminder to laugh, and to move, and to give yourself some time to nourish your body and your soul.

To join me for today’s addition and see the video click here

Sending you love today, tomorrow we have a very special offering planned.  
Amber
xo

Wednesday Wellness Reflections

Welcome to our Wednesday Wellness Reflection, I’m so grateful you’re here.
Today  I offer you a little food for thought. 
I find this a powerful reminder to enjoy the journey, and all the paths along the way.
 
That we are where we need to be in this moment, not always “ideal” or comfortable – but the only place we can be at this precise moment in our lives.   I know this is especially hard right now.  
If we can release our attachment and clinging, to things being a certain way – or the way they used to be, we often find we can find peace and surrender into our life as it is now – Acceptance.  
It’s important to keep dreaming (especially right now), and to not ever give up on those dreams while you take steps forward, but also to feel deep gratitude for the life you’re living in this moment – sometimes messy, confusing, often hard, but part of the whole hidden picture.  
 The true gift of arriving in each and every breath.  
 I read this quote in class on Tuesday, written by Meggan Watterson, as I felt into today, it felt important to share again here. 

“The guru, the saint, the magi, the “perfected” ideal of yourself that can radiate beams of light like Princess Fiona after Shrek’s true love kiss, and remain that way, is an illusion.  This is often used as a way for us to feel inadequate.  To constantly compare ourselves.  To constantly suggest to ourselves that we’re not there yet.  We haven’t arrived.

The good news is we never arrive.  None of us.  Not even the holiest person you can think of in this moment…… We never get there.  That’s the whole point of being human.  The point is to constantly arrive.  For some of us with each breath.  We constantly return to love.  This is the good news; that we can.  That it’s set up that way.  That no matter who we are or how long we’ve been seperated from feeling the presence of love, it’s actually right here.

Within.” 

Take a few moments and simply notice what arises inside of you after reading these thoughts, perhaps take some time with your journal.

I wonder as you move through the next few weeks if you can offer yourself the invitation to arrive in every breath.  With all of your senses can you feel the complete cycle of each breath – inhale and exhale.

Can you be fully present in this moment – this one, right now, you will never be here again.

Can you give yourself permission to connect with the very beat of your heart.  Your center of compassion and kindness, bringing you back to that deep well of love – with every breath.

Sending you love today, from deep within,

Amber
xo
Just a reminder that tomorrow (Thursday, December 24th) is a live online Karma class for Interval House from 1:00 – 2:00 pm.  I’ll be leading you through a nourishing and restorative gentle practice, offering you a little nurturing self care before the holidays.  If you’d like to find out more click here
If you want to practice with Amber on your own schedule, in the comfort of your own home, consider subscribing to her exlusive weekly wellness capsules and practice videos.  To find out more click here

Honouring Winter Solstice – Mondays with Mary

Mondays with Mary: Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of Dec. 21st

Winter Solstice is upon us…. the shortest day of the year when we need our inner light to be strong within. Solstice is the time to go inwards and to quiet the mind. 

Our practice this week will begin with a 3 part sacred Solstice meditation to realign with the rhythms of the universe and to remind us that even in the darkest days of December, our inner sun is always there. 

Our postures will stimulate the heart chakra and allow light around all our inner organs.  Offering us a gentle reminder that we are all connected, we are all in oneness.

Feel free to do a few warm ups of your choice from past practices before the meditation. This is your yoga time, so the length of each segment is yours to decide.

Amber has also created a little special solstice practice and reflection for you, to view this sweet little offering click here

Sacred Solstice Meditation- Part 1– to build nerve strength and helps us to access our deeper self.
  • Come to a comfortable seated position.
  • Raise Left hand, fingers in guyan mudra (thumb and index connect, other 3 fingers extend up), at 60 degrees to the front of the body
  • Chant silently, Wahay Guru.
  • When ready, switch sides and repeat.
  • To end: Inhale deeply, hold the breath and allow the energy to circulate. Exhale, sit quietly and breathe.
Sacred Solstice Meditation- Part 2– to increase powers of concentration, balance and healing. Will stimulate the glandular system, release tension from both sides of the body and balance energy on both sides of the spine.
  • Bring Left palm over Right (males opposite), palms facing down about 4” in front of the sternum.
  • Focus at the Third Eye point between the brows.
  • Hold the pose, breathe normally and feel perfectly balanced between past and future.
  • To end: Inhale deeply, relax hands down. Interlace fingers and extend arms forward and stretch to your maximum. Then sit quietly.
Sacred Solstice Meditation- Part 3– to activate the central pathway of the spine. Imagine you are the universe- beautiful, timeless, creative!
  • Bring both hands into guyan mudra (other 3 fingers point up) and bend arms at the elbows, palms face forward (as if in a salute). Elbows press against the ribcage. Feel perfectly balanced.
  • Imagine you are looking at the tip of your nose.
  • Chant Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung
  • To end: Inhale deeply, interlace your fingers and stretch in all directions.  Then relax or stretch before beginning the postures.
Postures:

Swimming- to open the rib cage, create space between each organ

  • Sit comfortably. 
  • Begin big forward circles with your arms as though you are swimming across a lake.
  • Reach out, extend make the biggest and strongest circles you can.
  • Go as long as you can! Make this work for you! Challenge yourself!!

Rock pose- come into silence, listen to the beat of your heart. The spine will open, releasing fear.

  • Sit on the heels and come down into rock pose
  • Arms extend back, palms face the sky
  • The 3rd eye point must touch a pillow, blanket or the ground- use whatever supports you need to make that contact. Breathe normally.

Shaking the Spine

  • Remain in rock pose
  • Inhale deeply, hold the breath and move like a snake to shake the spine. Exhale when you need to.
  • Repeat 2 more times.

Curl up, sit in Easy pose and breathe from the belly.

When ready, come into your shavasana and let go completely. Relax every part of your body.

A Christmas Blessing:

May I be blessed with good friends

And learn to be a good friend to myself

May there be kindness in my gaze when I look within

May I journey to that place in my soul where there is love, warmth and feeling

May I experience each day of the holiday season as a sacred gift

Woven around a heart of wonder. 

 

From our hearts to yours, may the Christmas spirit shine brightly around you and  within you.

Love to each of you,

Mary and Amber

Amber and Mary at our Gratitude Celebration last winter. Feeling grateful for all of you.