Studio Updates

“In the end though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives.  In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices”
Elizabeth Gilbert
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Thank you to one of our many angels, Chris Hume, who created this amazing piece.  It was born from the wisdom of her heart, as a symbol of hope.  Chris very generously donated 50% of the sale of this beautiful work of art to our studio to help to support our operating costs and start up for when we find our new space.  Thank you so much Chris, you are such an integral part of our community.
We are so grateful for all the love and support we have received from all of you during this time.  There are so many of you to thank, and we can’t wait to celebrate each and everyone of you when we can come together in community again.
Please feel in your heart all the love and appreciation in our hearts.
We are excited to officially announce we will be having some outdoor yoga sessions this summer!
Space will be limited to the first 10 people who register to offer these classes responsibly with our current climate.
The lead teacher will be rotating each week and we’re so excited to welcome some new energy to our teaching team as well as welcome back some amazing guides who will be rejoining our teaching tribe, stay tuned for more details.
Did I mention how excited we are…….
The cost for these sessions will be $10/person (HST inclusive) and prepayment is necessary to reserve your spot.  We are so grateful to Christa Lowry for giving us her blessing offering these community classes.
I would like to share a sweet and simple pranayama practice with you,  a lovely breath exercise, known as bumblebee breath (or Brahmari) to help to nurture your nervous system and calm your mind.
To view the practice click here
I also wanted to share a gentle mindfulness class with you, culminating with a guided relaxation, from Amber’s living room sessions.  It’s a beautiful and very accessible practice to help calm the mind and prepare you for a restorative sleep.
To Join Amber click here
We continue to offer our online live zoom classes through the summer, and possibly into the fall (we would love to hear your feedback, and if this is something you’d like to see continue even once we can hold studio classes again)
Our live online class schedule will be updated weekly, please bookmark our schedule for easy reference, and note you do need to register for all classes a minimum of 6 hours before.
To review:
a little more information about our zoom classes

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.

 

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 will 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.

Stay tuned……..

Take good care, always,

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

Love From Our Mats To Yours

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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 .

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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.

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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

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

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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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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