Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of Sept. 21st

Welcome to fall! This is the time to take full, deep breaths.  Our built-in detox system allows us to aerate the lungs on the inhale and release toxic gas on the exhale. Our lungs are the biggest organ in the body and when they are in top shape, we are full of energy. Remember that although our body can be powerful, often our breathing is not. The breath must come to the lower area of the lungs in order to oxygenate and purify the blood and energize the brain. Take full advantage of the golden September days- get outside and breathe it all in!

Pranayam: Complete Yogic Breath– smooth, continuous flow of breath. The benefit of this breath is that it will train your body to be in a consistent calmer state.

Sit in easy pose, hands on knees in guyan mudra. Relax the body.

Inhaling: Allow the belly to relax as you breathe in. Allow the ribs to open up sideways while still breathing in. Lift up the chest and collarbones and fill the area beneath and around the shoulders.

Exhaling: First, allow the air to leave the collarbone, chest and ribs. Second, when all the air seems to be out, draw the belly in, exhaling even more. 

Postures: (1-2 mins)

  • Head Turns– In easy pose, grasp hands in Venus lock a few inches in front of the chest, palms face chest. Inhale and turn head to the right, Exhale and turn head to the left.

 

  • Spinal Twist Version– Place hands over heart and twist left and right moving from the navel point, using shoulders like a fulcrum. Move prana through the body.

 

  • Seated Bends: Hands on knees. Inhale lengthen up, exhale bend towards left knee. Inhale up to centre, exhale and bend towards right knee.

 

  • Arm Circles– Still in easy pose. Stretch arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground. Swing the arms back in a rolling motion as if swimming. Feel the heart open, lungs expand.

 

  • Cat-cow– come into table top and begin a gentle cat-cow, inhale as belly drops and head comes up, exhale and arch spine into cat. 

 

  • Child’s pose- stretch back with arms extended on ground out front. Take a few breaths.

 

  • Balancing prana/apana (intake and output of energy)- Come back into table top. Inhale and extend left leg straight back and lift right arm- gaze at a fixed point to maintain balance. Exhale down, switch sides and continue in a fluid motion. Take a few breaths in child’s pose to stretch the spine.

 

  • Triangle- curl the toes and push up into triangle and take a few deep breaths as you pump the legs to stretch the calves. Walk hands to feet and slowly curl up one vertebra and a time to standing. Head comes up last.

 

  • Frog Pose– come to a squat, heels off the ground and fingertips on the ground between the knees. Head is up. Inhale, raise buttocks high, head drops, gaze towards knees, fingers stay on ground. Exhale, come down, lift head and buttocks strike the heels. Exhale should be powerful! Start with 10 and work up to 26.

 

Stay down and dangle like a rag doll until your breath normalizes. Then bend the knees and come down onto your back for relaxation.  

 

Inhale deeply through the nose and sigh out loudly through the mouth, releasing any remaining tension. Let go completely.

Finish your practice with a long Sat Nam, filling your heart with gratitude for all that you have in your life.

Thought for the week:

“Make each day both useful and pleasant – and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.”

Louisa May Alcott

With love to all,

Mary

Mondays With Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of September 7th

Welcome to September, a month tagged by the ancient Stoic philosophers as one of fortitude and resilience. These are qualities we need to tap into and lean on during the transition from summer to fall, from carefree days to more structured ones as school gets underway.

For years now I have started my day by reading something that inspires me, maybe a daily reflection, a thought for the day, a meditation on wisdom. Without fail, it starts the morning on a positive note and sets the tone for the day. 

Here is an example from Apollinaire:

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness- and just be happy.”

Pranayam: Fresh Start- to revitalize your system, refresh your spirit.

Sit in easy pose, spine is straight, wrap your arms around yourself, giving yourself a big hug. If available, slowly tilt your head back- be gentle. Close your eyes, breathe normally and repeat the mantra “ Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung”.

To end: Inhale deeply, hold the breath and squeeze every muscle of your body. Exhale, relax and enjoy the effects.

Postures: (1-2 mins.)

  • Sufi rotations– hands on knees, make slow circles in one direction, then the other to warm up the spine.

 

  • Spinal Flex– hands on shins. Inhale lifting chest forward, Exhale tilt pelvis back.

 

  • Shoulder rolls– roll shoulders in big circles in each direction. Let stress fall away.

 

  • Neck rolls– consciously relax neck, throat, shoulders as you circle gently.

 

  • Wide leg life nerve stretch– legs are wide open. Inhale and stretch up to the sky, Exhale down to left leg, Inhale back up to sky, Exhale down to right leg. Continue.
  • Cat-cow- come into table top. Inhale and let the belly drop as you look up, exhale and arch into cat pose. Initiate the movement from the base of your spine.

 

  • Triangle Pose (Downward dog)– curl toes and push up into triangle. Pedal the feet to stretch the calves. Take a few deep breaths. Walk feet to hands and slowly curl up to standing.

 

  • Windmill- feet wide apart, arms outstretched at shoulder level, palms down. Inhale at centre, exhale and reach left hand towards right foot, inhale back up to centre, exhale as you change sides. Great for digestion!

 

  • Airplane forward bends- inhale, raise arms overhead, lift ribcage and add a backbend if available. Exhale as you bend forward from the hips allowing the arms to swing back behind you, palms facing ceiling. Continue this movement with powerful breathing and let yourself fly!

 

  • Calf stretch– start with arms by your side, inhale and reach up for the sky while coming up on your tiptoes. Hold briefly. Exhale, lower arms and heels. Repeat.

Relax on your back and let yourself melt into the surface beneath you. 

To end: Reflect on the following as you send out gratitude with a long Sat Nam.

 There is no remedy for love but to love more”

Henry David Thoreau

Love to all,

Mary

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers
Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Under The Oak Yoga

20200805_162819We have been feeling so grateful for our time spent under this most magical oak tree with YOU.  Our Outdoor Yoga sessions have been a highlight for us this summer.

This all-level class, from beginners to advanced students, consists of a gentler, flow combination of simple accessible poses to stretch and strengthen your body, mind & spirit as well as a soul nourishing relaxation supported by the birds, crickets and the winds softly flowing over us. Practicing with our feet on the earth and the trees as our practice companions gives us an extra boost in our mental emotional state, and a lift for our immune system.  There is no greater medicine than nature.

All you need is a water bottle, your own practice mat/blanket, and a willingness to release stress!

Our lead teacher for this class will be rotating weekly, you can check our  schedule to see whose teaching each week

WHEN: Wednesdays from 5:00 – 6:00 pm

September 2, September 9th ( we will be continuing into the fall – stay tuned for more dates)

WHERE: A private outdoor space close to downtown Almonte,
Exact Location will be disclosed to registrants through email 24 hours before scheduled class.

COST: $12 (HST Inclusive)

Maximum of 16 participants, with social distancing measures in place.

** pre-registration and payment are required due to maximum number (based on health regulations) 💚  Book soon as spaces will fill fast

20200805_162641Please click here to look at our calender and decide when you’d like to join us.

Search for the dates you’d like to attend and our handy system will walk you through the registration process.  Please double check the date before you complete your registration.  If you don’t receive a confirmation email, just send us an email and we’ll make sure you’re registered for the night’s you’d like to attend.

If you have any problems, or would prefer to pay through e-transfer, just send us an email at info@suryadaya.ca and we can answer any questions and help you with the process.

 

These classes are weather dependent, if there is rain or inclement weather you will be notified by email (a minimum of one hour before the class start time) if the class needs to be cancelled, in which case we’ll transfer your credit to another outdoor yoga session of your choice, we can offer you a refund, or it will be available on your account for an in studio class when we can safely practice indoors again.

We require a minimum of 48 hours cancellation notice, and no shows will still be charged for the class registered for, due to limited space.

Just a reminder: Mats and supports will not be available, you will need to bring your own mat or practice blanket

Class Two In Our For The Love Of Water Series

Good morning on this beautiful Monday.  We hope the weekend found you nourished and that you were able to savour sweet moments that filled you with joy.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, September 1st from 8:30 – 9:30 am) is the second class in our For The Love Of Water Series.  We are very blessed living where we do, with The Mississippi River running through the heart of our community.   Take some time over the next few days, and in the sacred pause consciously sit by the water and remember how essential this incredible element is to life; to our survival, the survival of our planet, and the survival of all living species we share our home, the Earth, with.

Water is where we begin this journey called life and it is pivotal in how we thrive during a lifetime.   Water also teaches us to go with the flow; as we adapt to our changing lives, moving with the tides of our emotions and life circumstances.

Did you know that we are all guardians of the waters, and it’s our responsibility to act in ways that lessen our footprint and help to care for our waters for their continued health and longevity, understanding the ripple effects of our actions. We have a found a few resources to get you started, reminding us all of simple ways we can actively do our part.   Protecting Canada’s Freshwater,   100 ways to conserve our ground water protecting our watersheds

We are so honoured to partner with Ocean Bridge to offer you this all levels 2 part yoga series dedicating our practice to water conservation and education on how we can all do our part to protect our waters.  Join us tomorrow morning for the last in this free community series from 8:30 – 9:30 am (Tuesday, September 1st) for a mindful and accessible yoga set honouring the rhythms of the water.

Ocean Bridge connects Canadian youth from coast to coast to coast empowering them to make a difference towards ocean and water conservation. Each year 160 youth (ages 18-30) form a national team engaged in co-creating and delivering service projects for their home communities and two immersive expeditions addressing Ocean Health and Ocean Literacy in Canada.

We have many amazing designated natural conservation areas within, as well as just outside of our town.  The Mill of Kintail is but one example of our many resources here in the Ottawa Valley, they have some wonderful initiatives and are a great  connection for learning more about the importance of our actions in light of water conservation.

We hope you can join us, as Ali from Ocean Bridge and Amber from our studio, lead you through these classes!  Please bring your own mat, whatever supports you will need, and your own water bottle.  This is a special opportunity to learn more about water conservation, to move your body and explore postures that will deepen your connection with the water that flows through you, to connect with community in a meaningful way, and to reconnect with the water we are all a part of. We’ll be meeting at our own local waters,  at  Metcalfe Geoheritage Park

We’ll practice with a socially responsible distance between all participants, and masks are optional.  These classes are weather dependent, although if a little rain is falling it will simply support our practice!

pexels-photo-133682

Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of Aug 31st

If you happen to have read a book on the topic of kindness, you undoubtedly learned that “being nice is not the same as being kind”. 

Nice doesn’t require much effort. One can easily be nice without investing too much of oneself or expending too much energy. Nice can mean holding the door open for someone, being polite. 

In contrast, being kind means caring, making an effort, reaching out, taking a risk.  Kindness usually involves jumping in without being asked, asking how we can help, extending ourselves, with no expectation of something in return. We all need more kindness in our lives.

Author Henry James says that kindness is the most important gift we can offer to others. 

Pranayam: Breath of Fire (or long deep breath) to charge the body

  1. Sit in easy pose, hands in guyan mudra on the knees. Begin a steady Breath of Fire.
  2. Next, extend both arms straight out to the sides horizontally, with the palms up. Continue with Breath of Fire.
  3. Bring palms together in Prayer Pose at the Heart. Continue Breath of Fire.

To end: Inhale deeply, press palms together, exhale and relax. 

Postures: (1-2 mins.)

  • Spinal Flex– Sitting on heels with hands on thighs (or in Easy Pose with hands on shins). Inhale as you flex the spine forward, Exhale as you flex back.

 

  • Head turns– Remain on heels (or Easy Pose). Inhale and turn head to look over right shoulder, Exhale and look over left shoulder. To end: Inhale and bring right ear to shoulder to stretch left side of neck. Hold briefly. Exhale and do same on other side. Come to Standing.

 

  • Standing hula hoops to Torso Circles– Begin making smalls circles with the torso, as if holding up a hula hoop. Reverse. Then place hands on hips and make bigger torso circles in both directions.

 

  • Windmill– Feet fairly wide apart, arms outstretched at shoulder level palms down. Inhale at centre, exhale and reach left hand towards right foot, inhale back up to centre, exhale as you change sides. Excellent for digestion and elimination.

 

  • Side Bends– Still standing, bring right arm up in an arc curved over the head, keeping left hand down along side. Bend gently sideways to the left. Inhale to centre, exhale and bend right. Be sure to inhale to centre each time before exhaling as you bend to each side.

 

  • Forward Bends– Feet shoulder width apart. Tighten core muscles. Inhale and stretch up, adding a backbend if available. Exhale and bend forward from the hips keeping legs straight, knees soft. Inhale back up and continue the motion.

 

  • Frogs– See how many you can do- try to work up to 26. 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 looking slightly up. To end, hang loose like a rag doll and come up slowly to standing, head up last. 

 

  • Mountain Pose– Stand quietly in mountain pose, shoulders down and back, arms by your side, palms facing forward. Feel rooted to the ground- feel powerful yet peaceful.  Take a few deep breaths.

 

  • To end: Inhale and reach up towards the sky, coming up on tip toes and hold briefly. Stretch!! Exhale down. Repeat 3x.

 

Relax on Back- Start by stretching everything. Take a few deep inhales through the nose, sigh it out through the mouth.  Then allow gravity to take over, relax fully and let your body integrate and heal.  

Finish with a long Sat Nam.

Love to all,

Mary

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Bringing People Together Through Yoga

Thanks to our community partners, we have FREE yoga this afternoon, Wednesday, August 26th,  from 2:00 – 3:00 pm at Gemmill Park (by the baseball diamond), brought to you by Carebridge Community Support and The Mississippi Mills Youth Centre, we are so honoured to be partnering up with these incredible and invaluable organizations in our community.

This program is supported by the Forever Young Foundation, and it is our hopes programs such as this one will help to bridge the gap between generations, working to build stronger communities.  These classes are intended to bring people of all ages together through an accessible yoga based movement practice; connecting, cultivating understanding and building resilience together.

Amber will be leading this all levels yoga class, to support you to invite a sense of calm into your body, and release any stress and tension as we prepare for the upcoming fall.

We hope to see you there!!

For The Love Of Water

We live in an amazing town, with The Mississippi River running through the heart of our community.  It’s important to take some time to reflect on our relationship with this essential element; essential to our survival, the survival of our planet, and the survival of all living species we share our home, the Earth, with.

We are so honoured to partner with Ocean Bridge to offer you this all levels 2 part yoga series dedicating our practice to water conservation and education on how we can all do our part to protect our waters.  Join us tomorrow morning from 8:30 – 9:30 am (Tuesday, August 25th) for a beautiful and accessible yoga set honouring the rhythms of the water.

Ocean Bridge connects Canadian youth from coast to coast to coast empowering them to make a difference towards ocean and water conservation. Each year 160 youth (ages 18-30) form a national team engaged in co-creating and delivering service projects for their home communities and two immersive expeditions addressing Ocean Health and Ocean Literacy in Canada.

We have so many amazing designated natural conservation areas within, as well as just outside of our town.  The Mill of Kintail is but one example of our many resources here in the Ottawa Valley, they have some wonderful initiatives and are a great  connection for learning more about the importance of our actions in light of water conservation.  Please take the time to increase your own understanding so we can all be an active participant in protecting our waters.

The classes in this mini series are free to the public and an amazing opportunity to learn more about water conservation, to move your body and explore postures that will deepen your connection with the water that flows through you, to connect with community in a meaningful way, and to reconnect with the water we are all a part of. We’ll be meeting at our own local waters,  at  Metcalfe Geoheritage Park

We hope you can join us, as Ali from Ocean Bridge and Amber from our studio, lead you through these classes!  Please bring your own mat, whatever supports you will need, and your own water bottle.

We’ll practice with a socially responsible distance between all participants, and masks are optional.  These classes are weather dependent, although if a little rain is falling it will simply support our practice!

 

nature water drops of water liquidpexels-photo-416528

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Under The Oak Yoga

We are so excited to share some Outdoor Yoga time with YOU, under the most magical oak tree

This all-level class, from beginners to advanced students, will be a gentler, flow combination of simple accessible poses to stretch and strengthen your body, mind & spirit. Practicing with our feet on the earth and the trees as our practice companions gives us an extra boost in our mental emotional state, and a lift for our immune system.  There is no greater medicine than nature.

All you need is a water bottle, your own practice mat/blanket, and a willingness to release stress!

Our lead teacher for this class will be rotating weekly, you can check our  schedule to see whose teaching each week

WHEN: Wednesdays from 5:00 – 6:00 pm

August 26, September 2 ( we will be continuing into the fall – stay tuned for more dates)

WHERE: A private outdoor space close to downtown Almonte,
Exact Location will be disclosed to registrants through email 24 hours before scheduled class.

COST: $12 (HST Inclusive)

Maximum of 16 participants, with social distancing measures in place.

** pre-registration and payment are required due to maximum number (based on health regulations) 💚  Book soon as spaces will fill fast

Please click here to look at our calender and decide when you’d like to join us.

Search for the dates you’d like to attend and our handy system will walk you through the registration process.  Please double check the date before you complete your registration.  If you don’t receive a confirmation email, just send us an email and we’ll make sure you’re registered for the night’s you’d like to attend.

If you have any problems, or would prefer to pay through e-transfer, just send us an email at info@suryadaya.ca and we can answer any questions and help you with the process.

typorama

These classes are weather dependent, if there is rain or inclement weather you will be notified by email (a minimum of one hour before the class start time) if the class needs to be cancelled, in which case we’ll transfer your credit to another outdoor yoga session of your choice, we can offer you a refund, or it will be available on your account for an in studio class when we can safely practice indoors again.

We require a minimum of 48 hours cancellation notice, and no shows will still be charged for the class registered for, due to limited space.

Just a reminder: Mats and supports will not be available, you will need to bring your own mat or practice blanket

Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of Aug 24th

One of my favorite books is George Kaufman’s Accidental Spirituality, a series of beautiful essays that remind us to slow down and live fully. 

To feel alive and vibrant, he urges us to create some ‘rules of the road’ to live by. Here are some of his:

“Do things that make a difference- to you and to others.

Exercise patience in performance and in results.

Random acts of kindness is not a tag line- it’s a prescription.

Get involved- stay involved. Make connections- keep connections.

Read poetry, listen to music, spend time outdoors, walk.

Don’t rush through life unless rushing will make a difference.

The heart of improvisational theatre is to make the other person a star. It works in entertainment and it works in life.”

Pranayam: To Uplift Your Spirit

Sit in easy pose, eyes focused at 3rd eye. Hands rest gently on the knees.

Inhale through the nose in 4 even sniffs until the lungs are filled. 

Exhale in one long breath.

To end: Inhale deeply and tighten every muscle as you hold. Exhale and relax.

Postures: (1-2 mins.)

  • Rock Pose with Breath of Fire: Sit on the heels. Interlace the fingers behind the neck in Venus Lock. Open the chest and heart, spreading elbows wide apart. Begin Breath of Fire (or long deep breathing).

 

  • Spinal Flex in Rock Pose (or Easy Pose)- Place hands on thighs. Inhale and flex spine forward, exhale and release back.

 

  • Seated Leg Stretch– extend legs out front. Bend one leg, placing foot against thigh. Inhale and reach up, exhale bend forward to the outstretched leg. Breathe long and deep. Switch sides.

 

  • Butterfly– Bring soles of feet together and clasp fingers around ankles or toes. Keep spine and head straight and gently bounce knees up and down.

 

  • Pelvic Lifts– Come onto the back, bend knees and place heels close to the buttocks. Inhale and lift hips up, pressing into the palms and heels, exhale and release down.

 

  • Single Leg Lifts– Arms by the sides, hands under hips to protect lower back, feet flexed. Inhale and lift one leg up to 90 degrees, exhale down. Inhale opposite leg up and continue.

 

  • Double Leg Lifts– Inhale and lift both legs up, Exhale down.

 

  • Bicycle– Remain on the back, hands under hips to protect lower back. Begin a bicycle motion with the legs.

 

  • Full body stretch- diagonal. On the back, begin by stretching one arm up above head while stretching opposite leg. Change sides. Then stretch both arms above head and both legs. Feel a full body stretch. To end, inhale and stretch every fibre of your body, exhale and release.

Stay on your back and move into relaxation. Let go and enjoy!

Finish your practice with Sat Nam.

Love to all,

Mary

20181116_173925

Did someone say SELF CARE???

I am so grateful you are here, honouring the journey and savouring every step along the way (yes, even the uncomfortable steps – it’s often when we learn the most).

Today I share with you a sweet little practice, the last recording from our cozy home in Almonte.  I have so much gratitude for this space that has nourished and nurtured my family, and has supported all the  live online classes and community yoga projects over the past few months.  So much gratitude.

Please join me for this precious little window of self care, and time together,  (to join in the practice click here)

A new chapter begins, and an opportunity to deepen my own practice, surrounded by the healing medicine of nature.   So much of my inspiration as a lifelong student, a teacher and as a massage therapist, comes from the lessons I learn from connecting with the collective energy found in the elements we are all a part of; the earth, the sacred forests, our precious waters, the air, the rhythms of the moon.

Taking time to simply sit, in awe of the miracles of life that surround us.

Our journey is many journeys, because everything we do affects something or someone else.  Learning to travel with dignity, with humility, and with respect for the creative energy in all things………..

There is life force in everything.  Everything is alive, animate, moving and, even if we can’t see that, we can learn to feel it.  When we do, we come to true awareness of our ongoing state of relationship.  That awareness lies beyond the brain.  We feel it in our spirits, our hearts.  It is there that the teachings live and learning occurs.

– Richard Wagamese (from One Native Life)

As we ponder our next steps as a studio and centre for well living in our community, we know in our hearts this next iteration will include a beautiful breadth of practices that reconnect us with our natural world and support us to simply sit, listen, and feel inwards.

A gentle reminder that I will be taking a 2 week break from my live online zoom classes from August 15th – August 28th while we transition, integrate and settle into our new nest.  I will be back offering live online classes August 29th (and into the fall), you can check our studio schedule here

We also have a few outdoor yoga offerings on Wednesdays through the summer!  Thank you to our community partners, we have FREE yoga on Wednesday afternoons from 2:00 – 3:00 pm at Gemmill Park (by the baseball diamond), brought to you by Carebridge Community Support and The Mississippi Mills Youth Centre, we are so honoured to be partnering up with these incredible and invaluable organizations in our community.  This program is supported by the Forever Young Foundation, and it is our hopes programs such as this one will help to bridge the gap between generations, working to build stronger communities.  These classes are intended to bring people of all ages together through an accessible yoga based movement practice; connecting, cultivating understanding and building resilience together.

As well we have our Under The Oak Yoga  back Wednesday August 26th (Please note there is no class this week Wed. Aug 19th).  A magical practice set on a private residence under the most majestic oak tree.  Join us for this opportunity to practice in community, come back home to your breath, and release stress and tension.  We will be offering these classes into the fall, weather dependent.  We limit our numbers for these sessions to offer them in a responsible way, and to help deepen the experience for you. preregistration is necessary.

Jenny and Simonne also continue to offer their amazing teachings through our adapted online live platform, you can register for their classes here.

If you have any questions, concerns,thoughts or feedback, we are always here, holding you in our hearts.

Everyday take some time to honour and give thanks to our true home – the earth, take time to nourish and nurture yourself – there is only one of you and you are pretty amazing, treat others with kindness – and remember to start with yourself.

Commit to your self care and see your light ripple out into the world.

So much love Amber, and all of us at Surya Daya

under the oak