Breaking Out Of Boxes To Be Who You Truly Are

Welcome To Your Wednesday Wellness Reflection

Flowers don’t open and close according to who walks by. They embrace all of what they are and show it to the world around them. The peony doesn’t try to compete with the cherry blossom, and the cherry blossom doesn’t try to compete with the tulip – they own what they are and trust the timing of their true nature. You’re being called to do the same.

Rebecca Campbell

Do you own the truth of who you are?

Or do you change depending on whose company you keep?

Regardless of past patterns, or how others sometimes like to put you in a box – it’s important at this stage of our lives to break out of any boxes.

In yogic anatomy we think about this being human in terms of having 10 bodies that comprise components of our unified self. We consider all these precious aspects; the good stuff and the stuff we often try to hide away, understanding that there are many elements to living a balanced life. On our practice mats we have the opportunity to remember that we are more than just a body, or just a mind, we have the opportunity to reconnect with all these amazing elements that make us whole.

In last week’s reflection, I mentioned taking just 3 minutes in your day – is it that hard to find for your self care.

Well it definitely can be, I understand. Being in another round of lockdown with my boys home, I am juggling the responsibilities of not only my own care, my professional responsibilities, but also the new territory of having us all home yet again, establishing a new rhythm with school, work and hmmmm self-care.

Finding 3 minutes is not always that simple, but it is essential to maintaining peace of mind and moving from a place of wholeness and truth, especially when we’re being challenged. Believe me, I understand.

If that window becomes blurry, be gentle with yourself as tomorrow is yet another opportunity to find at least those 3 minutes.

The place we’ve been finding most of our deep breaths together has been in our backyard forest classroom, where we’ve also been greeted by many friends whom we share this land with. A beautiful buck, many white tailed deer, our friend the wise owl, all the winged beings, the voles, and our constant companion and new friend the woodshed bat. Breathing in the healing that the forest offers us, I find my 10 bodies and all the aspects that come together within me, seem to easefully weave together as one.

From a yogic lens, what are your 10 bodies??

This is a very brief snapshot, simply intended if you’d like to keep reading, to give you a little more insight and a consideration in supporting these elements within yourself. Which might I add, spending time in nature is the best medicine to help you integrate all these beautiful aspects of yourself.  Perhaps this isn’t of interest, but I thought you would like the choice to read on or not.

I realize, this is a bit of a longer piece, some food for thought.

1) The Soul Body – your inner light and foundation, where you connect with feelings of safety. When strong and balanced you easefully live from your heart and there exists a gentle flow with the ups and downs of life. We accept easier, and we find comfort and stability in our inner guidedance. To support : Singing, dancing, heart opening postures and practices, truthfully anything that helps you feel alive and inner joy.

2) The Negative Mind – provides you with discernment and protection.  Important as it helps to warn you of danger, helping to keep you safe, strengthens your trust in your own intuition and personal judgement. To support: Commit to yourself care, no matter what –  commit and value that time for you. Quiet time in meditation is very supportive, practicing saying no when something doesn’t feel supportive.

3) The Positive Mind – allows you to see all possibilities and opportunities in front of you. The positive mind creates an expansive worldview within, it supports an inner framework of hope and trust. To support: Use positive affirmations, doing postures to strengthen and support your naval point, open around your heart centre, waking up the energy inside of your body every day.

4) The Neutral Mind – This aspect of yourself corresponds to your heart centre, allows you to weigh in the positive and the negative coming to a neutral and equanimous place. To support: adopt a daily silent meditation practice, working with breath practices where we allow a pause after our inhale and again after our exhale, tuning into your heart centre when making decisions. Increased awareness of breath patterns.

5) The Physical Body – This is your sacred body temple, it requires your consistent and dedicated care. When your physical body is at ease you’re able to more fully participate in life. This also represents our teacher aspect and gives us confidence when we feel strong physically. To support: move your body daily, nourish yourself with water and foods that support you, ensure a balance between exercise and healing rest.

6) The Arcline –An aspect of your energy body. This gives you the ability to clearly project your truth out to the world, and supports you to feel stable and centered.  This corresponds physically with your heart center and your pituitary gland. To support: spend time in meditation with your eye focus at the point between your eyebrows, and explore movements that move the arms across the front of the body and over the head.

7) The Aura – The protective energy around your body. A strong aura supports you to attract what you need to thrive, and to repel anything that drains you or negatively affects your life force. Helps you to feel confident and secure. To support: hot and cold showers, dry brushing, practices that help you to clear negative energy and create healthy boundaries, meditation, singing, cleansing pranayama.

8) The Praanic Body: Life giving force, the flow of energy through you. Helps you to feel awake and alive, and often more trusting that you are exactly where you need to be and have clarity in steps you need to take to move forward in your life. To support: Any pranayama (breathwork) practices.

9) Subtle Body: Your sensitivity, your patience, and your calmness in whatever life hands you. Your ability to respond to your intuitive knowing. To support: Quiet listening meditation, and committing – with an open heart – to a spiritual practice for an extended amount of time.

10) The Radiant Body: This is your radiance, your courage, your personal power and presence. When this is strong you feel you are the flow of life, and attract what you need to do what you’re here to do in this lifetime. To support: daily exercise, pranayama, dancing and singing, surrounding yourself with people that uplift you, committing to your daily self-care.

Sending you love as you travel on your path, holding you in my heart

Till next week,
Amber
xo

If you want to practice with Amber on your own schedule, in the comfort of your own home, consider subscribing to her exlusive weekly wellness capsules and practice videos.  White Pine members also get unlimited access to online classes with their membership.  To find out more click here

Wednesday Wellness Reflections

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

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

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

Within.” 

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

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

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

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

Sending you love today, from deep within,

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

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

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!!

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

 

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

Day 30, Celebrating Your Commitment, Honoring Beautiful YOU!

Big beautiful blessings to YOU!  Welcome to day 30 of our 30 days of yoga support, such a celebration of your commitment to YOUR self care!!

What a journey this has been.  On April 1st, when I decided to commit to this project for our community, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me (and my family).

For the past 30 days, this little window in my day has been a gift to come back to my own centre, supported by my family, holding space with compassion and kindness for myself and for each of you – each time you have opened the link to these daily writing reflections and practice videos you are supporting the collective of our global community, you are helping to hold one another up.

Yoga can serve as an anchor, especially during unstable and confusing times in our lives.  Our practice can serve us with guidance, refuge, and perspective in periods of uncertainty.

We are in this together, and I have faith we are going to emerge so much stronger and solid on the other side of this – please just keep leading with your heart.  Let yourself feel whatever is coming up for you, let it move through you, that’s important.

I sincerely hope you’re doing okay, on all levels.  The primary intention of this project was to help to offer support from my heart in the only way I know how with our present day circumstances – I hope it has given you that; physical, mental and soul support.

“Even the most exalted states and the most exceptional spiritual accomplishments are unimportant if we cannot be happy in the most basic and ordinary ways, if we cannot touch one another and the life we have been given with our hearts.”

Jack Kornfield

Now that we’re here, on day 30, I feel such deep gratitude to YOU for keeping me inspired to keep going.   These videos will stay up, so if you’d like to start back at day 1 that invitation is there.

Today we’ll be exploring a gentle and very accessible yoga and movement sequence for the whole body.  Our practice will be a little longer, sharing this time together.

To view the practice click here

If yoga has been a support for you during this time, I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to send me an email at info@suryadaya.ca outlining your experience through this challenge, or perhaps even a simple reflection on how yoga in general is helping you right now,  it would really mean a lot to me.  Please type Yoga Challenge into your subject line, and everyone that sends a reflection will be entered into a draw to win your choice of either a 5 class pass for when we are able to practice together again, or a personal one – on – one session with me (in person when we’re able or online).  A winner will be drawn on May 16th and will be notified by email.

I leave you now with the words of Arianna Huffington from her work on becoming fearless:

“When we know who we are, we can overcome our fears and insecurities.  We surpass our smaller selves who suffer the slings and arrows of our conditioned reality, and we move to the unconditional truth of our larger selves.  The answers to the questions of what to say, what to do, whom to let in, and whom to keep out become a clear and simple matter of listening to our hearts.  That inner voice helps us align with our purpose, because each of us has a purpose, even if we judge it to be insignificant.  

The voice is there, we just need to listen to it,

When we do, we live in fearlessness”

Thank you for showing up during this time and I hope you continue to while we find ourselves here, for yourself, please keep showing up.  Practice a little bit of time in stillness everyday – it’s when we make space to hear our hearts wisdom.

You are an amazing human, and I am honored to be connected to you.  I am grateful beyond words that your path and my path have traveled alongside one another.  May you keep approaching your practice with curiosity and an open heart, may you continue to listen to the wisdom of your body and your soul, and  may you know how very loved you are.

Till we meet again

With so much respect and gratitude, for the seeds you plant in your practice, nurturing yourself with kindness and compassion.  I see you shining so brightly

Much love,

Amber

 

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Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

Day 5 Yoga Challenge with Amber

Namaste and Welcome to Day 5!

I’m so grateful you’re here!  

In today’s  practice we’re going to be exploring one of the primary muscles (the iliopsoas)  that crosses through our pelvic girdle.   Opening up the hips and helping to create ease in the low back as we explore our breath and movement to open space across  our pelvis.  This muscle is intimately connected with our breathing patterns, our organs of elimination, our low back, as well this muscle and the surrounding muscles often react by tensing when we experience emotional stress.

I invite you to really take your time with these movements, explore your body and the sensations you experience in the postures.  Notice how you feel emotionally as the muscles soften and release.

To view the practice click here

I’m here, holding space for YOU.

On your next breath in, please send gratitude into every cell in your physical body, gratitude for showing up for YOU today.  You are amazing!

With so much love, Till tomorrow

Amber

gratitude