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Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

I’m sure you’ve heard me talking about Wanderlust, a Yoga and Music Festival that takes place in Whistler every Summer. I’ve been a couple of times and I have to say that I really love it.
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It’s a truly a magical experience!
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Over four days there are so many interesting classes, talks and workshops with world renowned teachers and then in the evening there’s a concert. The whole village comes alive!
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Some of the highlights for me are doing a Yoga class with hundreds of people – the energy is amazing, the silent disco, the Speakeasy talks – always enlightening and just the general buzz.
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At night there’s a Silent Disco; everyone wears headphones so when you walk in the room it’s silent but everyone is dancing. There are three DJ’s each one with a different colour, the headphones have three settings/colours, so you can choose which DJ to listen to. Sometimes the whole room turns to one colour, it’s so cool! And there’s no alcohol, no pick-up scene, it’s just people having fun – I just love it!
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You can attend one or multiple days. I literally go all day from 8am to 1am because I don’t want to miss a thing. You do as much or as little as you want, there are meditation workshops, stretching, all kinds of Yoga, etc. It’s so fun, enlightening and soul nourishing. I highly recommend it!
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Hope to see you there!

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Recently I listened to a podcast by Joe Rogan and Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

He beautifully expressed many of my feelings regarding exercise and it made me want to share it with you (warning: swearing):

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or you can read my summary below
I hope it motivates you!

Some people don’t want to exercise; they’d rather go to a doctor and get a pill. There’s a fear of discomfort, they don’t want to sweat and strain. It’s an extreme feeling in the mind.

What it really is however is the discomfort of the beginnings of getting in shape. Because once you’re fit, exercise is something you look forward to. It alleviates stress and makes you feel good: relaxed, carefree, more appreciative of things and less reactive.

Neuro-imaging studies show that exercise improves executive function and calms the amygdala – the brains emotional centre. Exercise helps you think logically and be less reactive from the gut. Meditation has similar effect.

So how to get started? Create momentum. Resist the resistance. Realize that discomfort is your friend. The choice to resist creates momentum, just as the choice to avoid creates momentum. The more you resist the more you can resist. The more you avoid, the more you continue to avoid. When we consistently resist the avoidance it creates a force that propels us forward.

Often when we are not happy and content with life it’s because we have given into the avoidance. We have stayed in our comfort zone. The need to act is so strong yet we avoid it. We feel that resistance all the time and we have to fight it in order to get past it so we can progress and succeed.

When we choose to avoid working out, it’s not only bad for us physically but also mentally. When we decide to stay on the couch we tell ourselves that it’s an option, that avoiding is an option that is at our disposal and that creates momentum to continue avoiding. Our choices create neuro-pathways in the brain: to avoid or to resist. Once the neuro-pathway is created we tend to stay on that path. If we choose to avoid, we may then find ourselves avoiding other things in life too: conflict, uncomfortable decisions and making changes.

When we get off the couch and go workout we feel successful and a sense of accomplishment. A year from now you could have a completely different body working out just 2 -3 times a week. It’s not a huge commitment and the outcome is incredible. You could add ten years to your life! It’s not about vanity; it’s about the quality of your life, not only as you age but also right now, how it affects you today. And it not only affects you but everyone that comes into contact with you.

When we live a sedentary lifestyle and eat badly we accelerate aging; we become broken and start to fall apart. We can delay the aging process and improve the quality of our life simply by being active and eating well. What could me more important?!

If you could take a pill to prevent your body and mind from a decaying from old age would you take it? Everyone would say yes, but there is no such pill. The pill is exercise and healthy eating. Actual pills don’t always work and they have side effects. And a pill is not going to make you feel better in a true sense. A pill is not going to clear your mind, change the shape of your body and give you confidence and ease. Yes pills are sometimes necessary for a medical condition but often the medical condition is caused by unhealthy habits to begin with.

Our consciousness is in charge of making the choice. What will you choose?

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Gord, who attends my Stretch Class, shared this beautiful short film with me and I want to share it with you.  It’s a beautiful story, a beautiful film and a beautiful project. I hope you will take the time to watch it.

I think any exercise program, not just yoga, can have a significant impact on your life.

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Although the main reason people exercise is to look good, there are many other benefits; some can be extreme, like this one:

Our bodies are made to move and they work best when they move a lot.  As a society in general, we tend to spend a lot of time inactive: sitting at the computer, driving, watching TV, etc. This inactivity is the hardest on our bodies. For instance, notice how stiff you feel after sitting on a long flight!

People tend to think they don’t have time to exercise but if you consider all the time that is spent dealing with ailments, that time could be much better spent pro-actively taking care of yourself. Of course always check with your doctor to get the go ahead before you start an exercise program.

Consider the effect regular exercise could have on your life and your health.

 

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As you may have read in my previous post I recently had little magic infused into my life and got to go a little adventure.

If you missed the original story, here it is.

Many of you have been asking how it went so I thought I’d share my experience with you.

I’m always amazed when I get on a plane, and in what seems like an instance, I’m in another world.

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I flew out Friday morning November 6th early and arrived in San Francisco by 8am. I rented a car and explored a little of the city before heading to Napa.  San Francisco is stunning!  Just beautiful, reminds me a bit of Vancouver.

I then drove to Napa and settled in at the hotel. That evening a group of us attending Elizabeth Gilbert’s workshop met up for dinner at the hotel bar. It was such fun meeting new women with similar interests. I really need to do this sort of thing more often! It fills the soul.

Dinner in Napa

Dinner in Napa

The workshop started at 9am Saturday morning. We were all very excited!  About 300 people attended, there were about 5 men.  The energy of the group was fantastic!

Liz is such a great speaker, so articulate and insightful. I hadn’t really considered that it was a writing workshop, I had thought more that she would just be talking to us.  She had us write six letters with different themes.  I really enjoyed it and found it very enlightening.  At the end of the workshop I got to meet her briefly.   It was very exciting! Unfortunately she did not allow photos.

Shortly after the end of the workshop I hit the road back to the San Francisco airport. My goodness, those American highways, wholly smokes they are big!

Oh la la! ;)

Oh la la! 😉

I traveled all night (13 hours door to door) and arrived in paradise the next morning: Tulum, Mexico.  I went straight to meet with my group.

I had a really wonderful week with some wonderful women! We ate incredible food, enjoyed the sun, went floating down a river, salsa dancing, walks on the beach, jungle adventures, exploring shops, did Pilates, yoga, stretching, had some really great sessions goal setting, spa treatments. It was all wonderful!

Our guide was a little Tarzan.

Our guide was a little Tarzan.

All in all, it was a dream!  I am so glad I went and it all worked out.

I invite you to think up an adventure for yourself, big or small, at home or away.  Think of something you can do to infuse a little excitement in your life, a little magic.  When you believe in magic it really starts to happen.

One thing I’ve noticed about an exciting event is that it lasts way past the event itself.  There is the anticipation leading up to the event, then the event itself and then afterwards there is an afterglow, the event stays with us in our memory where we get to relive it over and over. So really it becomes so much more than just the event itself.

Ah the fruit!

Ah the fruit!

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We all know that working out is good for us and we should do it more often but sometimes we just can’t find the motivation.  In my 30 years of teaching fitness classes I have noticed a few things that help in the motivation department:
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1) Enjoy It
If you don’t enjoy the exercise you won’t want to do it.  So find a physical activity you enjoy:
  • If you enjoy being outdoors do something outdoors like walking, biking, running, beach volleyball, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing.
  • If you love to socialize join a team: baseball, cricket, volleyball, basketball, soccer or exercise with a friend.
  • If you love dancing take a dance class like salsa, ballroom, hip-hop, ballet, etc.
  • Find an instructor you really like.  If you like their class you’re more likely to go.

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2) Attitude
Your attitude towards working out is very important.  If you have a negative attitude and consider it “work” that is how it will feel, difficult and unenjoyable.  You will basically feel what you think so regard it with a positive attitude and the positive feeling towards working out will follow.  This also applies to how you talk about your workouts.  Be positive!  Even if you don’t feel like working out don’t say, “Ugh, I should go to the gym now but I’m just so tired I don’t want to go”, you will invariably talk yourself out of it.  Instead say, “I’m off to my class, I always feel so good afterwards”.  Focus on the positive.
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3) Set a realistic goals and expectations
So often when people want to get in shape they set huge unrealistic goals and expectations.
For instance, you wouldn’t go out tomorrow and run a marathon.  It would be impossible and you would fail, not mention probably injure yourself.  Realistically you would make a plan.  You would start slowly; long walks at first, building up to walk/run intervals, then just running, then increasing your time, etc.  Each step of the way would empower you to move to the next step.
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Set small goals that you can easily attain and then when you attain them you can set the goal a little higher and then a little higher, etc.  As you attain each small goal you will feel good and this will fuel you to keep going.  When we set goals that are too big and unrealistic and then are unable to fulfill them we can feel like a failure and quit.
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In terms of expectations.  Know that it takes a lot of working out and eating right to look like the fitness models you see in magazines.  Don’t expect that by taking one “Six Pack Abs” class once a week will magically produce six pack abs overnight.  Also, people often come to class for the first time expecting to be able to do everything at the top level even though they haven’t been working out for while.  Patience and persistence is key.  Workout regularly and you will see changes in your body.  It won’t happen overnight.  Depending on how often you work out it will take at least a week (if you’re working out every day) up to a few months (once a week) to feel and see change.
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4) Convenient
Whatever you are doing, it must be as convenient as possible.  The more convenient it is the more likely it is to stick.  Make sure the time is a good time for you, make sure the location is convenient for you and make sure what you’re doing is also convenient.  For instance, I love hot yoga, but because after class I am literally soaked head to toe I need to factor in extra time to shower.  So it becomes a longer time commitment which at times deters me from going.  Whereas going for brisk walk down to the beach I can control the amount of time, it can be short or it can be long to suit my convenience.  Also if the location of your activity is far away, has limited parking or you do not like the feel of the location, all these things can deter you from going.  Take them all into account and try to have everything stacked in your favour.
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5) Commit
When people sign-up for a weekly class and put their money down they are  more likely to go then if they just have a vague plan.  Same goes when we make a commitment with a friend to meet for a walk or run at a certain time on a certain day every week.  Same goes if you join a team where other people are depending on you.  So make a realistic commitment and then stick to it.  And if you’re buddying up with a friend make sure it’s a friend who will help you, not hinder you.
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6) Make It a Routine
Humans love routine.  Whatever your form of exercise slot it into a routine at the same time same day every week and then make it a priority.  Put it on your calendar to ensure you don’t schedule anything else in that time slot.  Once you stick to your routine for a while it will feel second nature and you won’t question it you will just do it.
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7) Connect
Connect with how working out makes you feel.  Notice the changes in your mood and body as a result of the exercise you’re doing.  When you connect with those good feelings you will want to workout more often.
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Connect with the people.
If you go to a class every week, chances are you’re seeing the same people every week.  Yet so often people don’t acknowledge each other.  If you start to connect with other participants you are more likely to continue to go to the class.  Why not become friends?! You have something in common.
Start by simply making eye contact and smiling.  Then say, “hello” and acknowledge that you recognize your fellow participants from the week before.  Then, introduce yourself and make small talk.  Be friendly.  When the class is over say your good-byes and say, “See you next week”.  You may even make some new friends!
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I make a point of doing this in my classes; I introduce people to each other and facilitate this friendly exchange.  It’s wonderful to see a sense of community build in the class.  I have seen many friendships form and even some couples!
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7) Music
Music can be huge motivator when you’re working out.  If you workout on your own in the gym or go for a run find music that gives you energy and propels you forward.You can use this same playlist if you’re sitting at home finding it hard to motivate yourself to go workout.  I often do this when I’ve settled in for the evening but have to go teach a class but feeling low energy.  I put my music on loud and it totally wakes me up and energizes me, I continue with the music in the car and by the time I arrive to class I’m full of energy.

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It’s not too late to come on my RETREAT to Tulum, Mexico

just 9 weeks away!
November 8th to 15th, 2014
Know someone who would love to come?  Please share!

 

 

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Did you know?

Statistically, airfare is at it’s lowest 60 days prior to departure
Best time to buy is Tuesdays at noon PST

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