Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- week of July 6

Next time you are asked how you are doing, try answering “best day ever!!”

Make it your mantra. If we can still say it and mean it, our minds will hear it, others will hear it. 

Gurmukh says that what we are experiencing may well be the most transformative period we will ever live through. With transformation everything is possible! Dream big!

The Dalai Lama says that our only purpose in life is to help each other. So this week, make a point of extending a helping hand to someone. Be kind, be happy and be grateful.

Postures:

Our practice this week will be a more meditative one, starting with some gentle movements to get the energy flowing.

10 of each

  • Standing torso rolls in each direction (legs a little wider than hip width apart, make circles with the low back/pelvis – much like sufi grind but standing)
  • Standing cross crawls (lift opposite arm and opposite leg, continue alternating sides)
  • Standing Forward Bends (hinging from hips, fold forward bringing hands towards the floor)
  • Frogs (from a squatting position – on toes, plant hands on the floor in front of you.  Lift hips up towards the sky on your inhale and exhale back to the squatting position – Amber did these on week 2 of her 30 day challenge)

Meditation for Happiness:

Sit in easy pose, hands in guyan mudra.

Facing front, close down eyes, focus at 3rd eye.

Take 3 inhales (equal sniffs) through the nose, each time mentally vibrating Sat Nam. Hold breath, turn head to left, pause slightly. 

Exhale through the nose in one release, mentally vibrating Wahe Guru and return head to centre.

Repeat 3 inhales while head is centre with Sat Nam, hold breath, turn head to right, pause slightly. Exhale mentally vibrating Wahe Guru and return head to centre.

Keep repeating as head starts at centre, turns left, back to centre, right etc.

Upon completion- unfold legs and give them a shake out front.

Inhale and reach arms to the sky, stretch the spine, exhale down towards feet, circle hands back up and continue like an undulating wave or a waterfall.

After 10 or so times, inhale and stretch as high as possible upward, exhale down and hold on to shins, ankles, toes- wherever is comfortable. Hold here with long deep breathing, relaxing the neck and upper back as much as possible. 

Slowly release and shake the arms vigorously. Shake everything.

Move into shavasana. Take at least 3 big inhales through the nose, then sigh it out forcefully through the mouth, releasing all tension from the body.

To end: repeat the following prayer 3 times

Loving Kindness Prayer

May I be safe and protected from harm;

May I be healthy, may I be happy;

May I live with freedom and ease;

May I love and accept myself just as I am.

Second round- substitute May I with May my Loved Ones be safe…

Third round-  May all Beings be safe…

Sat Nam

Have the best week ever!!

Love to all,

Mary

aquatic bloom blooming blossom

The Ebb And Flow Of Life

Sat Naam and Namaste Dear Ones

I write this today, on Tuesday, June 30th, as we say goodbye to our Heritage Court Studio Space.  Today I mopped the floor for the last time, well not the last time of the act of mopping – but that particular floor!

I sat in silence honouring our time being held on Mill Street.

Honouring the teachings that have been shared and the growth we have witnessed in ourselves, in each of you and in eachother.

I give deep gratitude to all of our neighbours at Heritage Court for their support and kindness over the years.

I give deep gratitude for the brick and mortar that held us safely within it’s confines so we could do such magical and profound work together.

I give deep gratitude to each of you for showing up and sharing so much of yourself in this chapter of our history, as we prepare to lay the foundation for a new chapter to begin.

Deep breaths, honouring the ebb and the flow of our lives – like the ebb and the flow of the waters and the phases of the moon, resonating with this human experience.  We are visited by happiness, laughter, loss, grief, new beginnings, expansion, restriction, pain, ease, adversity, pause and reflection, times of solitude, times of busyness and change, times of connection and community – honouring the ebb and the flow is where we find our strength, our resilience, and our source of true joy.

Your hand always opens and closes, opens and closes.  If it were always a fist or stretched open, you would be paralyzed.   Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding – the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings.”

Rumi

We move in and out of equilibrium, it’s part of the wholeness of life.  When we can accept this constant shifting as part of the human experience we begin to witness the process and not become so attached to an outcome – so attached to the highs and the lows, so attached to the past and expectations for the days ahead.

We find we start to begin authentically practicing acceptance.

We look forward to the future with hope, as well as renewed dedication and inspiration. We are so grateful that you are with us on this journey.  Please stay tuned as we continue to evolve and prepare for the next chapter in our story.

Surrendering to the great mystery.

With so much love and gratitude

Amber, and all of us at Surya Daya

20200630_170312
Thank you so much to Jamie and Laura at Acanthus. You have given us medicine for our soul every time we opened our studio doors.

animal avian beak bird

 

Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of June 29th

Every season has its gifts, and summer is the season to really celebrate life, to grab it by the tail!  Summer is when our yang energy cycle reaches its peak- yang is all about outwards energy and projecting positivity. 

We have a huge source of energy, will power and inner strength at our navel centre which can help us to uplift ourselves and others. We can be the lighthouse for those around us. This is the true gift of our Third Chakra and it is available to you!

Pranayam: Inner Sun Breath- to bring us from inertia to vitality!

Sit in Easy pose (or any comfortable seated position) spine is straight, eyes closed with focus at the third eye point.

Left hand is at shoulder level, left arm bent with elbow touching ribs (as if saluting), facing forward. Hold down 4th finger (surya finger) with tip of thumb.

Block off Right nostril with Right Index finger or thumb. 

Begin a steady Breath of Fire, feeling the beat at your navel point.

To end: Interlace fingers in front of Thymus (sternum/breast bone), just below throat. Inhale and try to pull fingers apart to create tension. Exhale. Repeat 3 times. Relax.

Warm ups:

  • Sufi grind in both directions
  • Shoulder Shrugs
  • Spinal Flex or Spinal Twist- your choice.

Postures: (1- 2 minutes per)

  • Alternate Leg Lifts– On back, palms by the sides, palms down or place under buttocks to support lower back. Inhale and lift one leg to 90, exhale and lower leg. Switch legs. Deep breathing.

 

  • Cross Crawl– On back, start with palms down by sides. Inhale and bring left knee to chest, bring right arm up towards the ceiling and over to ground behind you (backstroke motion). Exhale down and continue with right knee and left arm. Continue is smooth strokes.

 

  • Rock and Roll on Spine– massages the spine and moves energy up to higher centres.

 

  • Downward Dog/ Triangle– from tabletop, push hips up into triangle pose, intending the heels towards the ground. Start by walking the dog to stretch the calves, then hold with long deep breathing.

 

  • Cobra or Sphinx to Child’s Pose—start flat on stomach, hands by shoulders, lift up on forearms into Sphinx or higher into Cobra. Then push back into Child’s Pose. Continue moving between the two postures. Finish in Child’s Pose and take several long deep breaths. Slowly come up to Seated, legs out front.

 

  • Tapping– making slight cups with your hands, being tapping with alternate hands, every part of your being. Tap from head to toes to awaken all your energy meridians. 

 

  • Boat Pose- Stretch legs in front of you. Place palms on the ground behind you. Raise both legs to 60 degrees and hold (legs can be straight or bent if necessary). Being a steady Breath of Fire. Work up to 30 secs or 1 minute!

 

  • Boxing– Brings hand into fists at the shoulders. Inhale deeply and hold. Begin alternately punching forward as if boxing rapidly. When needed, release the breath and stop boxing.  Take another big Inhale, hold breath and box. (Box only while holding the breath). Great for stress release!

 

  • Neck Circles– gentle neck rolls in both directions.

 

Relax on the back and send gratitude to every part of your being.

To end: Reflect on the following thought from Rumi: 

When you feel like complaining, give thanks instead.”

Sat Nam.

With love and gratitude,

Mary

bouquet bunch of flowers flowers holding
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of June 22nd

When we meditate, our minds are often distracted by our monkey mind, jumping from here to there. In Buddhism, a focused mind is often pictured as an elephant: calm, steady and deliberate. This week, when coming into your stillness, perhaps you can visualize a beautiful Surya Daya elephant- a symbol of our collective strength, wisdom, memory and community.

Pranayam: To Balance your Emotions-( for whenever you feel overwhelmed.)

Come into a comfortable seated position, straight spine.

Press palms together at heart centre, thumbs against sternum.

Inhale through the nose in 4 equal parts, filling the lungs

Exhale through the nose in 4 equal parts, emptying lungs.

To end: Inhale and hold, squeezing every part of your body. Exhale, release and sense the energy moving through the body.

 

Postures: To Move in the Morning (1-2 mins per posture)

  • Heart Opener: Easy pose. Interlace fingers behind your neck. Pull elbows back to fully open chest and heart. Take a few long deep breaths, then move to Breath of Fire. To end, deep inhale and hold, exhale. Circulate the healing pranic energy to any part of your body in need.

 

  • Cat-cow: Come into table top position on hands and knees. Drop belly, inhale deeply and look up coming into Cow. Exhale and arch spine up into Cat. Initiate the movement from the base of the spine. Keep it fluid.

 

  • Child’s Pose– push back into child’s pose and take a few breaths. 

 

 

  • Slowly make your way up to Standing

 

 

  • 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. Wonderful for our digestive organs.

 

  • Forward Bends: Feet about shoulder width apart. Tighten core. Inhale and stretch up, adding a backbend if available, exhale and lower down. Inhale back up and continue.

 

  • Side Bends: Still standing erect, bring right arm up in an arc curved over the head, keeping left hand down at side. Bend gently sideways to the left. Inhale to centre. Exhale and bend right. Remember to inhale to centre each time before exhaling as you bend to each side.

 

  • Cobra or Sphinx pose: Come onto belly. Inhale up on forearms for Sphinx or push up into Cobra. Be mindful of the lower back. Breathe powerfully. To end: release down to floor, take a few breaths on the belly, head on arms, then push back to sit on heels.

 

  • Spinal Flexes: Sitting on heels (or in easy pose with hands on shins), hands on thighs. Inhale as you flex spine forward, vibrating Sat,  Exhale as you flex backward, vibrating Nam.

 

Take a few moments to relax fully on the back to integrate the postures.

To close: recite a Loving Kindness verse 3 times (Amber led us through this on one of the first few days of her 30 day yoga challenge) . First time beginning with “May I”, second time with “May We”, and third time with “May All Beings”.

May I be filled with loving kindness;

May I be free from suffering;

May I be happy and at peace.”

Love to all, Sat Nam, 

Mary

pexels-photo-85773
Photo by Unchalee Srirugsar on Pexels.com

Love From Our Mats To Yours

20200620_084055

These were the messages received from this mornings summer solstice practice.  I look forward to sharing this powerful practice in community next year.

.A wonderful way to honour the cycles of 108 sun salutations on summer solstice, is to pull a card or to write a personal reflection as you complete each cycle of 10, ending with a final cycle of 8.  If 108 is not accessible for you, sometimes it’s nice to rest in child’s pose or in mountain and visualize yourself moving through one or a few of the cycles of 10.  Remember your practice is always your practice, you are offered guidance, but your true teacher rests right in your heart.

Taking time to ponder between each cycle and integrate the messages received. 

Listening. Understanding the deeper impact of sun salutations on your body, mind and spirit.

We continue to hold some zoom offerings through the summer, as well as some other special outdoor classes – don’t worry we’ll keep you posted!

We are actively looking for a new space for our studio for when we’re able to practice together in a socially responsible way.  We look to this time as an opportunity for us to reassess how we can better serve our community and we know in our hearts a safe and supportive space is waiting to welcome all of us, allowing us to dive even deeper into these practices.

You can check our schedule weekly to register for our online classes and see what classes are being offered.  This may change week to week through our summer so please keep checking on a weekly basis.

It is important to for us to continue to make our support and our yoga resources accessible and available to YOU, regardless of our present situation.

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 new doors. 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 for our live online classes.  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 to info@suryadaya.ca 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, always.  We acknowledge that our world has changed, but hopefully we are all being given this time of uncertainty to clarify what is truly important as we move forward in our lives.

Take good care, always,

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

Joy Filled Blessings for the Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice is a time we celebrate all the light in the world, as we honour the tilting of the earth wrapping us in the longest day of sunlight of our calendar year.  We move through the cycles of seasons and witness our own  rhythms, being mindful of the ebb and flow of life.

2020, the year that was prophesied to be the year of clear vision, the year of clarity and truth.  I understand this is not what we expected this unfurling to look or feel like, but it is our reality and an uncovering of so much truth, so much for us to ponder.

Summer solstice is an invitation to lean into what works, and to release what no longer serves us.   It is a time to uncover what you know deep inside of you is waiting to be revealed.  We are sitting on the edge, a precipice of sorts, wondering what happens next.

For many there is an increased anxiety during this time, as people begin to venture out of the safety of isolation, exploring this concept of reemergence.   It’s important to be responsible and respectful to others, and also to lean into the practices that support you to rise above any fears that may be surfacing.

It’s okay to take your time with these next steps.  It’s okay to not follow the crowd and simply do whatever those around you are doing.  It’s important to follow the lead of your heart, now more than ever.

Silence to me means the calm quiet that comes when fear has lost its voice.

Silence…is not an absence of sound, but it’s the end of the clamour, the racket the ego makes.  It’s the rest we can receive when all we are hearing is the sound of what the heart contains.

– Meggan Watterson

This summer solstice we are also blessed with a new moon, making it extra powerful.  A time to take steps to actualize our dreams.  We have been reminded through this time to not live with regrets, because wow, the unexpected can occur at any moment, our lives have the potential to change in the blink of an eye .

pexels-photo-356661

Light a candle, and honour your connection to the light.  Honour the light inside of you, and the light you bring forth as you move through your life.  Honour the seeds of creation within you, reflecting on the life you lived, but also on the life yet to come.  Sat Dharam Kaur reminds us of a powerful practice, to consciously reflect and write out 27 visions of the life ahead of you.  Not as a means of wanting to be somewhere you’re not, but rather as a way to plant seeds for what’s to come.  Feel it in your breath and in your bones, see yourself in those moments of your life, remind yourself why this life is worth living.  It’s powerful to allow the pictures to run through your minds eye as you move your fingers along a mala, cycling through the visions 4 times to come to the full 108 beads.  I am so grateful for this practice. 

As part of a solstice ritual, it’s beautiful to set a clear intention honouring the energy of solstice and then  move through 108 sun salutations as the sun is rising.

I’m attaching a reminder of the sequence in a simplified sun salutation, the flow we often move through in our Saturday morning kundalini class.

To view the practice click here .

Last year we met at the park and moved through these in community, that morning is etched in my heart.  This year, honouring the circumstances of our present day reality, I will be moving through them, imagining you with me at my home – I invite you to  join me energetically.

When we move through our sun salutation flow, Surya namaskar, we are creating space inside of ourselves for our life force to move through us, giving reverence to the energy of the sun.  We give ourselves an invitation through the sequence to allow a deep inner awakening, as we honour our bodies, releasing stress and connecting with the dance between the flow of asana and our breath.  It’s a good idea to move through in 10 sequences of 10, and a final sequence of 8 repetitions – in the final 11th round I like to honour each chakra with each cycle of the flow.  Here is a variation of  beautiful affirmations to cycle through the chakras as an anchor.  I have adapted the affirmations for my own practice and I invite you to do the same,  this was originally shared with me by Mary, and it’s an honour to share with you here.  This is a powerful daily practice.

Root Chakra – Muladhara – Self Acceptance – May I be rooted, grounded, and secure.

Sacral Chakra – Svadhistana – Fearlessness, Creativity – May joy and creativity flow through me.

Abdominal Chakra – Manipura – Inner Strength – May I be a lighthouse, May I feel my strength and my power – grounded in kindness and truth, May I be committed to my self care.

Heart Chakra – Anahata – Compassion, Forgiveness, Service – May love and compassion flow through me.

Throat Chakra – Vishudda – Trust, Truth, Integrity – May I speak my truth fearlessly.

Third Eye Chakra – Ajna – Purpose – May I trust my intuition and strengthen my connection to my inner wisdom.  May I be guided by it.

Crown Chakra –  Sahasrara –  Highest Self – May I feel my connection with all of life, May I confidently align and step into my higher purpose.

Aura – Radiance, Vitality, Protection – May I honour my radiance and project out strongly to the world. May I remember my purpose and surround myself by who and what nourishes and strengthens me.

At the end of your physical practice, take some time to allow any movements to move through you, and when you’re ready come laying in shavasana for a at least 10 minutes, sense yourself, notice sensations, notice your breath, invite that flow of life force into all the space you created, notice the quality of your thoughts, acknowledge the healing that’s happening inside.

Coming back to a seated position, closing your eyes down and maybe inviting a little more depth into your breath.  Remind yourself of your intention and breath it right into your heart.  I am going to share a lovely little meditation with a  pranayama practice to help seal this sacred time on your mat.  The meditation is for a calm heart.

To join me in this practice click here.

This practice helps to calm and soothe our nervous system, it can bring us back to our center.  It is also a powerful practice if you are being challenged, invite that challenge and all those involved, into your awareness, and try sending an invitation for peace and an easeful resolution.   Life is so  short to hold on to the experiences that cause us pain and suffering, this is a good time to give gratitude for the lessons learnt and release it’s hold on you.   This practice also teaches us patience on a subconscious level through the breath practice – patience with our process, and patience with the dance of life  and others we are in connection with – we are all doing our best in every given moment.

I too am learning, a lifelong student on this journey of life.  There is no urgency, life is unfolding in the only way it can.

Just in case you  missed our last newsletter, here is the link studio news

Wishing you so much love and light, as we celebrate this time of great change.  Know we are here holding you in our hearts, as we too evolve in ways that will only strengthen our community.

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

20170901_113648

 

Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of June 15th

Go for a Gratitude walk. 

This week I encourage you to take a gratitude walk- a walk for noticing, for really being in the moment. It needs to be done in nature. You may find that almost anything can inspire gratitude- a tree, the song of a bird, a joyful dog, the warm breeze on your skin. Take time to really look and reflect on all the beauty around you. Gratitude is not just appreciation; it is part and parcel of our being here. As the Buddhists say “Gratitude is this moment.”

Pranayam: To fill the body with sun energy

Sit in easy pose, hands rest on knees palms up, hold down your ring (surya) finger with your thumb. With each long inhale allow the belly to expand and infuse your body with sun energy. Exhale slowly and repeat.

Warm ups:

10 Standing Forward Bends

10 Frogs

Postures: (1-2 minutes each)

  • Sufi Grind- circles in both directions to warm up spine

 

  • Neck circles- both directions- slowly and consciously

 

  • Right Nostril Breathing- Easy pose- block Left nostril with thumb or index finger. Begin Breath of Fire through Right nostril. To end, inhale deeply, hold the breath, exhale and relax. Meditate on a clear mind.
  • Bicycle- Come onto back. Tuck hands under buttocks to protect lower back. Begin a bicycle motion to balance the energy of the lower chakras.

 

  • Single or Double Leg Lifts- Raise one or both legs to 90 degrees on the Inhale, Exhale and lower. This will raise the energy from the lower chakras.

 

  • Knees to nose- grab onto knees, slowly lift head and breathe long and deep. To end; gently lower head to mat and turn head side to side to release. 

 

  • Spinal rolls- rock and roll forward and back to massage spine and distribute energy. Roll all the way up to standing.

 

  • Lifts: Standing, raise arms out front, palms facing down and shoulder width apart. Inhale up to tiptoes, Exhale down to flat foot. Continue. This will raise your energy to your higher centres.

 

Come into a comfortable resting posture and let go.

Mantra to complete your practice.

May I live this day

Compassionate of heart

Clear in word

Gracious in awareness

Courageous in thought

Generous in love.

Sat Nam to everyone!

Much love always,

Mary

close up photo of ulysses butterfly perched on red flower
Photo by EDD Sylvia Nenntwich on Pexels.com

COVID, Kids and all the feelings

Written by Nicki Gallo (as published in the June edition of the HUMM)

There’s this exercise that I like do when I work with kids. It helps us to explore how our feelings are something that we experience in our bodies as well as our minds. First, I give the child a piece of paper with the outline of a person. I ask them to colour the location on the body where they feel certain emotions and match it with a colour. For example, they may feel red – anger in their hands “I’m so mad I could punch someone!” Or feel yellow – nervousness in their bellies “I have butterflies in my tummy!” 

Nicki_June_Humm_PictureSometimes, a child may fill the outline of the person with one colour, but this may not match what behaviour is happening on the outside. For example, the child could be acting out with angry temper tantrums or be completely withdrawn, however their outline is covered in just one emotion: fear.  

Anger and disengagement can mask more vulnerable and raw emotions like sadness or fear. 

When I personally take the time to shave down the layers of an emotional outburst, it usually comes down to “I’m scared.” 

This may not be the reality in every case; however, it can give us insight into what may be happening under the surface. 

This is an unfamiliar and uncertain time. Children are extremely empathic and can pick up on the stress that this virus is having on our daily lives. It’s often scarier when things aren’t being said as they can tell that the energy has shifted, but they don’t know why. With the recent news of schools in Ontario not returning this year, despite initial excitement, this can be scary and a big loss for kids. Loss of routine can mean a loss of control. 

We may all be feeling a lot of big complicated emotions right now and not know how to express them. What we are feeling on the inside may not be what we are expressing on the outside. 

How can we help our children increase their emotional vocabulary and express feelings in a positive way?  How can we do the same as adults? 

Here are a few ideas that may work with kids and kids at heart:

Name it to Tame it

The idea “name it to tame it” is a strategy to help make sense of our experience and feel more in control. When big emotions are out of control (right-brain) telling the story of what’s upsetting us (logical left-brain), integrates the brain, names the fears and helps to tame them. 

Rose, Bud, Thorn

Many of our routines have disappeared. Having a simple daily check-in with each other is a great way to put words to emotions. A popular check-in tool is “Rose, Bud, Thorn.” This is good to do at dinner time or at the end of the day.  

Rose: share your favourite part of the day

Bud: share something you are looking forward to doing tomorrow

Thorn: share your least favourite part of the day

Play!

Some of the best conversations take place while doing something else. Play is a child’s language and sometimes, to talk about big feelings, it’s easier to play while doing it. We can gain insight into their inner worlds or it may just be a great way to distract ourselves. Doing activities your kids like to do makes them feel connected and more secure. This goes for adults too. 

Providing space for kids to express themselves and acknowledge that it’s okay to feel a lot of feelings right now is a wonderful way to support them in this bizarre time we’re in. 

Nicki2Nicki Gallo is a Certified Play Therapist. She runs play and creativity workshops and is not afraid to use glitter. She is a retired Toronto SickKids Hospital therapeutic clown and is currently creating online content to help children recognize and express emotions with her new clown, Emerald. You can check out the videos here.

We are super excited to have Nicki joining our collective at Surya Daya.  She’ll be helping to support and assist in making sure we can continue to offer you inspiring and educational events and community initiatives (as soon as we’re able to), as well as be another support for each of you as we reopen.  Nicki is excited to be offering amazing workshops and one on one sessions to support families and individuals in our community.  She is magic and reminds us to stay connected to our inner spark of joy and play, she looks forward getting to know you better!

 

Resources: Anxiety Canada, About Kids Health/Covid19, Child Mind Institute

Mondays with Mary

Daily Kundalini Yoga- Week of June 8th

It is often said that our greatest teacher is found in gratitude. When we remember to count our blessings, suddenly we see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty.  When we are awake to the wonder of simply being alive, gratitude flows.  And, when we fully appreciate the gift of each new day, we find the peace and the strength to face life’s challenges as they come. 

Our practice this week focuses on the solar plexus, your physical power centre. It brings a boost to your self-control and confidence and allows energy to flow. 

Pranayam: Breath of Fire to fire up the belly!

Easy pose, hands placed at the belly. Begin a continuous Breath of Fire (or long deep breathing if preferred).  Continue up to 2 mins.

Warm ups: 

  • Standing Torso Rolls- Make circles with the hips, big or small, in each direction to flush inner organs.

 

  • Standing Forward Bends- Inhale reaching up and back (if available), Exhale bend forward gently.  Keep legs straight to stretch life nerve, knees soft.

 

  • Standing Cross Crawls- Inhale one arm up, opposite knee up, then switch sides. Imagine you are marching. Brings balance to the body and mind.

 Postures: (1-2 mins each)

  • Pressurize navel- Easy pose, clasp hands together, push sides of thumbs into belly just below navel. Inhale deeply and hold breath a few seconds, pressing hands into belly. Exhale and hold breath out, apply pressure of hands on belly. Repeat cycle several times.

 

  • Sat Kriya- sit on heels and raise arms overhead, press palms together (or cross hands over heart). Pull navel in as you chant SAT, relax navel as you chant NAM. To end, inhale and squeeze entire body, exhale and sit perfectly still to sense the energy flowing through your body.

 

  • Front leg lift- Stretch legs out front. Place palms on ground behind you. Raise both legs to 60 degrees and begin strong Breath of Fire. (Legs can be slightly bent, or lift one at a time- modify as needed). To end, inhale deeply, hold briefly and release. Bend forward to release.

 

  • Punching- Bring hands into fists at the shoulders. Inhale deeply and hold the breath, punch alternately until you need to exhale. Inhale, suspend and continue punching. Feel the release of tension!

 

  • Shoulder Shrugs- Inhale and lift shoulders to ears, exhale and release

 

  • Neck Circles- slow, gentle circles in each direction.

 

Come onto the back for relaxation. Scan every part of the body for tension and totally release. Inhale deeply through the nose, exhale a big sigh through the mouth. Allow your body to become heavy and let go.

Close with reciting the Longtime Sun or a simple Sat Nam

Sending love till next week,

Mary

pexels-photo-791024

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.

pexels-photo-1438404