Welcome to the beginning of our 30 day journey together.
“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.”
“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.”
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 .
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.
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
“We who have lost our sense and our senses – our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are, we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or spirit, hurting our earth and injuring ourselves: we call a halt.
We want to rest. We need to rest and allow the earth to rest. We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion. We declare a sabbath, a space for quiet: for simply being and letting be; for recovering the great, forgotten truths; for learning to live again.”
Sat Naam and Namaste, welcome to Day 10 of Amber’s Yoga Support Challenge.
I was reflecting on that title this morning, and I think of this project rather as a 30 day yoga support during a challenging time, as a little daily check in infused with self care practices. It is my intention as well that if any of the practices resonate for you, that you will revisit the video and practice as often as it would be supportive for you.
Today we’ll be sharing in a quiet reflective mindfulness based meditation. We are inundated with so much stimulation in our present day world and as a culture often push past our limits regardless of how we feel, this is a time to reflect.
. Our bodies start to break down, and we can suffer from mental and physical illness if we don’t give ourselves permission to integrate and process all the stimulation of our moment to moment life events. The use of breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, visualization, positive affirmations and sensory awareness practices can help to create a safe space for integration and an internal invitation for healing so we can stay strong and vital.
I’m presently taking an online 12 week breast health intensive with Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur and she reminds us that we ideally need to take a break every 2 1/2 hours to offset the external stimuli,integrate our life experiences, and keep our reserves full so we can keep going. When we lose sight of our self care, we fall apart. In our society we often neglect our body and minds need for this 20 minute or so break, we often replace this potential window for self care with another coffee, TV, sugar, emails, work, alcohol, recreational drugs rather than taking a break with nourishing activities that are needed to fill us back up; such as a nap, a cup of herbal tea, a walk, journaling, breath work, gentle movement, meditation or any other activities that will nourish rather than deplete you.
I hope you enjoy today’s practice, and give yourself this window to reset.
To view the practice click here
Thank you for carving out this time just for you,
With so much love, until tomorrow
Good morning! Welcome to Day 2 of our yoga support challenge, I’m so grateful you’re here! Please find our daily practice below
May you be filled with loving kindness
May you be peaceful and at ease
May you be healthy, safe and protected
May you be happy
My wishes for you.
Someone asked what time would these be posted everyday, at the moment it will be when I can manage, but hopefully by later next week I can post these practices at a consistent time. Learning to go with the flow.
Please know these practices and our online zoom classes are free, we know there is alot of financial stress in our world as a result of mandatory closures and social distancing, which is why it feels important to not add to that stress but rather provide you with some tools to help manage your stress. This is a gift, these videos are created from my heart to yours – remember this is also a huge learning for me, so please accept.
Some of you have asked and have been insistent with wanting to make a donation of some sort, we are very grateful for your generosity and kindness. If this feels important for you and does not create any stress or financial strain, you can send an etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to make a donation towards our studio and teachers. Just note it as a donation in your message. Please know this is certainly not necessary.
Sat Naam and Namaste!
Today we embark on 30 days of yoga together. Amber has put together a 30 day yoga challenge starting today, April 1st, and running through the whole month. The intention for these mini yoga videos is to help support you through this very challenging time. We find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, and I think from day to day our emotions are all over the place – this is normal and understandable given our current situation, please be gentle with yourself. Globally, we are all affected and I think there are times we feel the collective levels of anxiety, fear, hurt, and sadness. We are living in a world, and a time, of so many unknowns where each of us have been affected in our day to day rhythms as we adapt to this new normal – a normal we have no way of knowing how long we’ll be in.
Embrace the moments where you do feel peace, where you feel steady and filled with hope for what is on the other side.
Yoga may not be something you are leaning into right now, and if this period in the history of your life is calling for a break from your practice than you need to honor that. You also need to honor whatever it is that is helping to hold you and bring you back to your center.
If yoga is something that is helpful for you right now, please know there are so many resources to help to sustain you. We are trying to keep our support available for you during this time, and getting creative in how we can best continue to serve you. We will be posting extra practices, we have some free live zoom classes (please check our website schedule weekly to see which classes will be going live), some recorded classes and practices.
I decided to commit to 30 days of providing you with little 5 – 20 minute practices starting today, April 1st. These will be accessible yoga, movement, focused postures, pranayama and meditations – each chosen to help to build your resilience, to help ground you, bring you back to your center, nurture your nervous system, and to support you to invite daily movement into your body. This yoga challenge is also my way of extending my support out to you in your homes during this time of social distancing and self isolation.
Please join me this month, if you have little ones at home, these will be mini practices they too can join you on your mat for.
If you are having a hard time emotionally, don’t hesitate to reach out with a phone call or an email, we’re here and we will get through this together.
At the end of the 30 day challenge, if you showed up everyday from April 1st – April 30th to your mat, and if this practice helped you, please send us an email at email@example.com with the subject line: 30 Day Challenge Reflection. Deadline for submissions is May 12th. In the body of the email we’d like you to write a brief paragraph letting us know you completed the challenge and how it has helped you during this time, or how yoga in general has affected your life.
On May 15th, once we’re received your reflections, you’re name will be entered into a draw. The winner will receive their choice of one of: either a 5 class yoga pass active once we can join together for in studio community classes or a private yoga and massage session with Amber.
We would love to hear your feedback along the way, and we do hope you’ll join us on this journey. To watch Day 1, please click the link below
Today also marks the 2 year anniversary of when I took over the studio, and became the guardian of our torch. Thank you for being on this journey with me, I am excited to see how we evolve over time, and grow together as a community. Tomorrow I will be sharing a loving kindness meditation with you, as my thank you for all of your support.
Yours in health and happiness, with so much love and gratitude,
Please note this workshop will be rescheduled to a later date once we’re able to safely practice together again. Please stay tuned.
Yoga and Creativity Workshop for girls
Join Jessica and Amber for an afternoon of movement, exploration, creativity and art journaling.
This workshop is suitable for girls ages 8 to 13. We’ll start our journey together with a mindfulness based breath practice. Amber will then guide you through an accessible flowing yoga practice with the intention to release stress and explore your body and emotions through movement. When we give ourselves permission to move and feel better in our bodies, we also feel better in our minds and creativity starts to naturally flow through us. We’ll spend some time focusing our intentions. Jessica will facilitate the artistic exploration of our afternoon together. She’ll share techniques and ideas for creating journal pages, explore creative ways of self-expression, support you to play with colour, shape, words, pictures and mixed materials.
Each participant will leave with their own art journal to take home.
No artistic ability is required, just an openness to free your own innate creative expression.
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Where: Our studio located at 14 Mill Street, in the Heritage Court
Cost: $45 (HST inclusive)
All materials; including art journal to continue the process at home, connection, yoga instruction (we have mats and all the props needed) and healthy snacks.
*please let us know if you have any allergies or food sensitivities
Meet your guides:
Amber Young is the owner of Surya Daya Yoga & Wellness and she is a passionate yoga guide who loves to witness the process of body movement and self exploration translating into the way we express ourselves authentically in the world. She has been actively facilitating a teen fit club for 9 to 13 year old girls out of Heritage Fitness in Carleton Place for the past 3 years, she has co-taught yoga and art workshops for youth with other great local artists, and does private yoga sessions for youth. She has made it part of her mission to hold a safe space to support individuals, of all ages, to feel better in their body and their mind. Amber lives in Almonte, where she also practices massage therapy. She is the mother of 2 boys and loves being a part of this vibrant and community focused town.
Jessica Hibberd is an Almonte based artist who has been creating art ever since she can remember. Originally from the West coast of Canada, she rekindled her passion for art in 2012 while travelling back to the Pacific Ocean. It was there that her abstract style found its beginnings on a floating fishing lodge off the coast of Vancouver Island, inspired by the whales and peacefulness of the sea. Jessica has received a BA in Psychology from Carleton University, taught high school in Southern Thailand, volunteered at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre and has experience as a classroom assistant at an Ottawa based Montessori school. She currently works for the Government of Canada and lives in the artistic community of Almonte. Her most recent projects include hand-built pottery with carved designs inspired by nature and her travels. Art has always been a relaxing and joyful experience that she enjoys sharing with others!
Please give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions or would like to reserve a spot. 613-451-2891 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note space is limited to help deepen the experience for the girls
Please join us for a 4 week prenatal yoga series starting Wednesday March 4th
Yoga is an incredible way to honour yourself on all levels during the transitional time of pregnancy. It helps to prepare you for the birthing process and supports you physically and emotionally during one of the most intense and beautiful times in a women’s life. This class is also about connection, with your growing baby, with your body through the changes, and with a group of women as they travel their own path to motherhood.
Vichardeep will be leading you on this journey, connecting you to that deep place of wisdom within as you transform through your pregnancy.
The series will be held on Wednesday nights from 5:45 – 6:45 pm March 4th – March 25th
The cost for the full series is $60 (HST included).
Please contact the studio directly, or click hereto reserve your spot.
email@example.com or call 613-451-2891
Vichardeep Kaur came to yoga to find deeper meaning in life and a deeper connection to herself. She started teaching yoga in 2013, and in 2016, she followed her passion for pregnancy and birth and started her doula training. She chose to combine her life work to support women through yoga and birth support. She looks forward to supporting you on your journey to motherhood, providing a safe space to honour this very sacred time in your life.
We are soooooo excited to announce our Mandala Painting + Yoga for kids workshop.
Local artist Lily Swain and Yoga teacher Amber Young are teaming up to offer this beautiful afternoon for kids and a caregiver.
Our afternoon will begin with a yoga and breathwork practice designed to release stress and tension, get your energy moving and connect with your creativity. Setting intentions together for creating your own mandala painting.
In this child-led workshop the caregiver will work with their child to create a colourful, freehand mandala painting using mixed media materials (pencil, oil pastel & acrylic paints on canvas). This fun bonding activity requires no experience and strengthens connection through collaboration as creative equals.
Our next Relaxation and Renewal Workshop with Margie and Amber will be Sunday, December 22nd from 2:00 – 4:30 pm.
Honoring the darkest day of the year, a time of deep introspection and self nourishment, we will lead you through a beautiful afternoon of yin and restorative yoga practices, pranayama, connection, tea and snacks, an extended relaxation with the gong and the crystal bowls, and perhaps a little foot massage.
This workshop will help to set a beautiful peaceful rhythm for the holidays, and support you to gain clarity for the new year ahead.
Space is limited and these afternoons tend to fill fast, we keep these workshops very sacred and cozy with smaller numbers.
If you’d like to attend give us a call or send us a message, please note payment is necessary to reserve your spot.