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 For example, the child could be acting out with angry temper tantrums or be completely withdrawn, however their outline is covered in just one emotion: fear.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

Ocean Bridge Learning Journey To The Saugeen – Bruce Peninsula

I was so excited to open my inbox to recieve this beautiful piece from Ali Paul.  You may remember Ali from our Yoga by the water sessions this past August.  She is the incredible young woman who spearheaded our yoga by the water initiative, as an ambassador for Ocean Bridge.

Those mornings were so special for me, such a powerful reminder of our connections with nature, our intimate relationship to water,  our wise old friend the heron, and the need for us to look within and do our part.

I am SO excited to share  Ali’s contribution with you here, a beautiful reflection from her Ocean Bridge learning adventure.

Thank you so much Ali, you are a huge inspiration to me!

Ocean Bridge Learning Journey to the Saugeen (Bruce Peninsula)

 Ocean Bridge focuses on connecting and empowering Canadian youth to make a difference towards ocean and waterway conservation. The program supports youth in delivering service projects within their communities. I am so thankful that one of my service projects has been “Yoga By The Water” with Amber Young. The purpose of this project was to connect our community, a space for us to connect to our local waterway and to each other.

 Each Ocean Bridge ambassador attends a learning journey somewhere in Canada. My learning journey took place in the beautiful Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. Each day started with a yoga practice, oftentimes looking out over Lake Huron or Georgian Bay. We participated in various experiences, from standup paddle boarding while taking water samples, to hiking with an Ojibway First Nation biologist learning about traditional uses of the land and water. 

 Although there were so many takeaway moments from the trip, the main message that I want to share is that the more we think of ourselves as part of nature, rather than as co-existing with nature, the better.

 Thank you to Amber. Amber’s energy, presence, and perspective on this project has been amazing throughout. 

 Thank you to everyone who joined us for Yoga By The Water and thank you for reading this!

 If you would like to learn more about Ocean Bridge, feel free to have a look on their website: https://bridge.ocean.org/

Best, Ali Paul

Welcome to Day 1 of Amber’s 30 days of yoga support – Riding the precious waves of gratitude

Welcome to the beginning of our 30 day journey together.

Thank you for accepting my invitation – this is truly an invitation for you to become better acquainted with yourself and with the gifts of a practice infused with gratitude, as we explore our breath, movement, traditional and exploratory postures as well as some beautiful meditation practices.
Beginning on Thanksgiving Monday is no coincidence, as this 30 day challenge is anchored around the vibration of deep appreciation and the pure exchange of kindness in our experience of life.
We are living in wild times, but one thing that remains certain and can give us stability is our daily practice and the daily acknowledgement of gratitude.  
Gratitude can help us to understand the light at the center of the darkness – and to appreciate the darkness around the light.  Consciously exploring gratitude reminds us to celebrate the small miracles of our moment to moment life, and helps us to not take the gifts in our life for granted –  food, nourishment, friendship, family, a roof over our heads, the sun shining, a simple breath, the moonlight, the fire that warms your hearth – we have much to be thankful for, and it can be all to easy to forget.
For these next 30 days we’re going to cultivate and nurture an attitude of appreciation, remembering the importance of gratitude.  Often our biggest challenges can hold within them amazing gifts and growth.  The more we attune to what we feel gratitude towards, the easier it is to recognize these gifts, and the more it would seem we have to feel grateful for.   As we build on this practice, we attract more of what we need to feel supported in our heart of hearts, and we begin to notice we feel happier, more open to life,  and more connected to the people and the earth surrounding us.  
“Enough.  These few words are enough.  If not these words, this breath.  If not this breath, this sitting here.  This opening to the life we have refused again and again until now.  Until now.”
                                                                        David Whyte
Today we begin with setting intentions and connecting with our breath. I encourage you to grab a journal, take a few deep breaths, acknowledge and embrace the life in front of you – even if just one tiny element of your life, and let us begin.  Click here to view today’s practice video.  
If you want to follow along with the whole 30 day challenge, daily practices will be posted on my patreon page
(as above)
If you’d like to just check in throughout the 30 days; Day 1, Day 10, Day 15, Day 20 and Day 30 will be posted additionally here on our Surya Daya blog, as check in points.  Even if you just join me for today I AM SUPER GRATEFUL!
May these practices nourish you, bring you balance, and help you to feel more at home in yourself.
With so much love
Amber

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

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!!

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

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

Non – Negotiable Time For YOU

Sat Naam and Namaste Beautiful You

Happiness is a state of mind, so the real source of happiness must lie within the mind, not in external conditions.

– Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatoso

This is not always that easy to attain.  We all have a history and our own unique story that brought us here, to this moment in time.  I want to offer you a very gentle reminder to take some time for YOU.  We need to carve out windows for our self care, to access that state of happiness that lives inside of each of us, it just gets lost sometimes.  Did you know that your nervous system gets overwhelmed by the constant stimulation of our present day world; we start to break down if we don’t take time to restore equilibrium.  It is vital to our health to take the needed breaks in our day to re-calibrate, reconnect with our breath, and give ourselves space to let go of the stress we accumulate over time.  This can be as short as a 3 minute breath practice.

To join Amber for a simple little practice and a check in click here

The majority of individuals use only 1/3 of their lung capacity; we have forgotten how to breathe fully.  People are often unconscious to their breath, letting the chaotic external rhythm of life dictate their internal rhythm.  When our bodies are under a lot of stress, or we’re deeply concentrating we often hold our breath, or revert to rapid shallow breathing, which in turn creates more internal stress on the body and the mind.  Only when you’re breathing fully is your body actually capable of responding positively to stress.  Taking a simple full deep breath helps a person to relax, decrease their stress, and calm their mind.

HOW TO BREATHE FOR RELAXATION:  THE FULL RESTING BREATH – TECHNIQUE

  1. Sit in a comfortable position, with your back as straight as supports you (using support if needed) – this allows for a greater ease in your breathing.
  2. Inhale slowly, through your nose – breathing deeply and consciously
  3. Take 5 seconds  – first fill the lower part of your lungs, feeling your abdomen push out as you inhale making space for your diaphragm, bring the breath to the middle of your lungs feeling your ribs expanding, now into your upper chest – the upper part of your lungs
  4. Slowly begin your exhale to a count of 5, allowing the air to leave from your upper chest, your rib cage, and now slowly pulling your abdomen back and in towards your spine – allowing your body to rid itself of any stale O2 and stagnation in the bottom of your lungs
  5. Briefly pause after the exhale, and allow the next inhalation to begin
  6. Repeat steps A to E at least 5 times in repetition, 3 times a day
  7. If it helps, while introducing this breath into your body, do so with your eyes closed and simply concentrate and feel the inflow and outflow of your breath, if your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your breath.

Did you know that a seemingly simple resting breath, as described above, provides your body with the following benefits:

  • Purification of the blood stream
  • Relaxes the chest and diaphragm
  • Allows a more relaxed state in the muscles of the chest wall
  • Strengthens the lungs, thorax and abdomen
  • Increases resistance to colds
  • Calms the nervous system, calms the mind
  • Aids digestion, massages your internal organs
  • Increases confidence
  • Clears phlegm
  • Helps to lift depression

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With so much love

Amber

 

Introducing Alexandra Grace

We are so incredibly excited to introduce Alexandra Grace to our community at Surya Daya.  Alexandra is one of the kindest, warmest and most compassionate humans you will meet.  You may have found yourself in her company at some of our classes and celebrations over the past year.  We are honoured to have her joining us as part of our teaching tribe, and with her growing involvement with our studio.

Alexandra is a passionate yogi, following her joy-filled personal practice for over 15 years. She shares her experience from practicing in studios, ashrams, and on retreats around the world.

IMG_9429In 2017 she received her Yoga Teacher Training Certificate in Hatha and Vinyasa Lineage at Union Yoga in Toronto lead by an esteemed faculty.

Grateful for her practice and teachers that have inspired and shaped her as a practitioner and teacher.

She aspires to follow in their teachings and inspire her students to connect within and feel empowered, with the beauty of Yoga’s benefits; strengthening mind- body, through breath and movement.

In addition to her passion for Yoga, Alexandra is surrounded by her two young boys, loving husband, family and friends.

Spending her time outdoors, and enjoying the special community of Almonte.

She will be leading our outdoor yoga session this coming week, Wednesday, July 29th, from 5:00 – 6:00 pm.  Collaborating with Surya Daya’s outdoor yoga series, “Under the Oak Yoga” combines two of Alex’s greatest loves: being in nature, and mindful movement.

We hope you’ll join us in giving her a warm loving welcome to our yoga family.

If you’d like to find out more information, and join us at our special summer series “Under the Oak Yoga”, please click here