Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Breathe (extended, instructional version)

It seems so simple because it really is. It's always there with us, it's free, it's portable, and it really can turn your entire day around. Next time you are stressed turn to your breath and let go. ahhhh....


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

East Vanity Parlour

Lets face it "yogi or not" we all like to get pampered once in a while (and yes we like to look good too!)

I am not your typical girl in a lot of ways. I'm not a big fan of shopping and honestly, I used to dread going to the salon. I have been colouring my hair for what feels like a million years. (since 1978 actually. really has been a million years!)

I always enjoyed flippin' through the fashion magazines at salons, but honestly couldn't wait til it was over so I could get home and 're-do' my hair before heading out and doing something fun.

Finally nearly 6 years ago. (My 40th birthday to be exact) my boyfriend took me to meet Kristi. Kristi Johanson. Kristi is the sweetest, kindest, funniest...and most talented hair gal out there! And she's a wicked burlesque performer and musician to boot! (a.k.a. Camero Luvroc & The New Black)

East Vanity Parlour is a super fun and chill little beauty parlour located right here in our amazing hood.
Kristi and the gals (who are all equally cool and incredibly talented) will fix you up and beautify you any old time you like. Any old way you like! I'm talking guys, gals, colour, cuts. Updo's....Literally everything and anything you like. Whatever the occassion.

And you'll have fun! (I have never gone to get my hair done so much in my life since Kristi opened her shop!) Even when my hair doesn't need to be done. haha! I can't stay away!

Anyhow...I thought I'd include this little promo video (bottom of page) that somebody made for EVP because I find it adorable. Keep in mind though that there is no smoking or drinking on the premisis and this is just a promo. But yes, they are all that cute! That cute and then some!

Lot's of guys frequent this place as well. It's not just for gals.
I love Kristi.
I love my hair.
and I love the fun.. the atmosphere..the harmless gossip.. and all the hair tips I get every single time I go. And you will too!

East Vanity Parlour is located directly across the street from Mt.Pleasant Community Centre at 46 Kingsway Av. To make an appointment the number is 604-637-1122.

What's left of the old Mt.Pleasant Community Centre

Here are a couple of shots I took yesterday of the old Mt.Pleasant site (Victoria Day long weekend/16th @ Ontario st) I find it sort of funny that all thats left are some weights from the gym.
*If you have not yet checked out the new location it is a MUST SEE and is located at 1 Kingsway. (Main and Broadway) It will blow you away. It is one wild facility.

Click here for the website

Change is inevitable and constant. It's all good.

Ahhh...the old Mt.Pleasant CC.
I rode my bike past there yesterday, and that extremely well used community centre is now a pile of rubble.
I couldn't help but reminisce about all the classes I taught there or the many mom & baby picnic's I held on those grounds in the past half dozen years. Many good times.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The 8th annual camp moomba yogathon & blissfest is right around the corner!

On Saturday, July 24, 2010, two thousand people will participate in the 8th Annual Camp Moomba Yogathon & Blissfest to raise awareness and funds for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. The much needed funds raised from this event will help send a child to summer camp for an experience of a lifetime. ...

**For more information click here**
And keep in mind that this event has it all!
(I mean even if you weren't into yoga!)
It is also a sustainability fair who's marketplace is bursting with organic, sustainable, and healthy consumer products, clothing and services.

You can find me at the Shanti Uganda Society booth all day long. To learn about one of my ALL time favourite charities and what they do and how you can help you can click here for the Shanti Uganda website.

Looking forward to seeing you there! This fabulous event takes place Saturday July 24th at UBC MacInnes Field here in beautiful Vangroovy, British Columbia.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Have you ridden your bike lately?

I've been back on my bike a lot lately and it feels so good. I often hear people say that there is no way they would ride in the city because it is far too dangerous, and believe me, nobody is more nervous at times than me. (I nearly lost my life in an accident in 2001)

Hopping on my bike is something that I always did without a single thought. (I'm talking riding in the snow in the winter in ontario...whatever the weather, I rode). For years. I am nearing 46 years old and don't even drive a car.

I love cars mind you, and my partner and I have loads of fun with our little car and car club as well. Tons actually!

But as far as driving goes, I've never really had to. I have always made sure that I live close enough to my work to ride transit, ride my bike, or walk to work. (I also spent most of my adult life living in Toronto where more people don't drive than do). There is simply no need. You live downtown and a car would actually slow you down driving in the city.

I have lived here for 13 years now and initially was disappointed in the lack of off road bike paths. It surprised me really. But then again Vancouver is so new compared to the other cities I have lived in, and these things take time.

And it is starting to catch up!

The city is adding more bike routes all the time and improving existing bikeways which is a really wonderful and necessary thing. *see the map above
(the dark green lines are major bike routes/pale green lines are alternative routes)

It is pretty amazing though how quickly you can get to and from certain parts of the city on our 'on road bike streets'. 10th Ave, Yukon st, Heather st, Cypress st, Ontario st, 29th & the off Broadway path are just a few off the top of my head. Yes you do share these roads with cars but they are really set up with the cyclist in mind.

Although I do not hop on my bike with the same wild abandon I did in the 80's & 90's (there are a lot of things I don't do with that same old 'wild abandon' I did back in the day haha!)

I still greatly enjoy riding my bike.
There is just something about riding your bike that feels so incredibly great whether you are commuting or riding for pleasure.

Cycling is a clean green & healthy mode of transportation, and thats just a fact. And it's enjoyable, invigorating and a major calorie burn.

I mean just look at the that is heaven.
And Stanley park? I haven't even gotten into those bike paths on this post!

Bike to work week is coming up the week of May 31-June 6, and if you haven't been on your bike for a while you should give it a whirl!
Just for the fun of it, or to commute.

Bikes are cheap, fun, and like yoga a bike ride fills you up with that incredible life force energy prana like few other things can!

If you aren't sure that you want to invest in a top of the line bike, don't! Don't let money hold you back!
There's Craigslist, garage sales...
(you should see my rickety old bike!)

Just make sure it is tuned up, that you have a helmet (and a fender comes in handy in these parts with all the rain we get! )

Here are a couple of links for ya to get started;

City of Vancouver site- for the latest on cycling, cycling safety etc. (search for cycling)
click here

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This is amazing. This is really and TRULY amazing!

Have you ever heard of a "pop up shop" that donates 100% of it's net profits to wonderful local charities? (And has beautiful and amazing merchandise from local businesses that you would totally buy?)

I stopped by Capers in Kit's today for lunch and while on the patio sadly noticed that Duthies Books had closed down. :(

I looked a little closer and saw that a 'pop up shop' was going to be temporarily taking over the space. I looked in the window and saw beautiful household furnishings, art, clothes...all sorts of things.

I went inside and was told the place wasn't opening until June 2 but that all of the profits were going to two wonderful children's charities that I happen to love!

This is hard to believe but it's completely cool and legit!
What a wonderful concept!

The place will only be open for 4-6 weeks so I suggest getting down very soon!

I may do my Holiday shopping early this year just to be able to partake!

The exact location is 2239 W 4th Ave right next to Capers (where Duthie's Books used to be) 4th Avenue, just E of Vine.

Make sure you check it out. I'll be seeing you there!

For more information here's their site-

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Victoria Day! Happy May Two Four! Happy May Long weekend!

Just wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy Victoria Day long weekend!

There will be no yoga on Monday

If you come to any of my Monday classes they will resume the following week, and I'll see you then.

Have a blast this weekend & play safe!
I intend to as well;)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Brain Tumours are more common than you think

Did you know that there are currently 55,000 Canadians living with a brain tumour right now in Canada? And another 10,000 will be diagnosed this year?

Thats a lot of people.

I know it sounds shocking (and believe me when someone you love is out of the blue diagnosed with a brain tumour?) it can send you reeling...

Take it from me. Someone I love very much is a brain tumour fighter/survivor.
My niece. She is the strongest, coolest, wisest, most intelligent and bravest human I have ever known.

Some things we just can't explain in this life. There are simply no answers for certain events, but thankfully there IS HOPE.

There is always hope.

And thanks to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada there is more than hope.
There is support, research, education and information available to everyone affected by a brain tumour. But they need our help.

Sadly there are certain types of cancers that people don't like to speak about and this is one of them. I suppose the mere thought is so frightening to many of us we choose to not even go there in our minds, but the truth is...we can not ignore it.

We need to at least raise awareness and support those affected by a brain tumour. There are many different types of brain tumours but they are all very dangerous. Sometimes babies are born with brain tumours. :(
No one knows why.

We need more research and more treatment options. Sadly brain cancer is considered one of those 'orphan cancers' (meaning that it doesn't get a lot of press or funding compared to some other cancers). But thats not to say that it is any less. A brain tumour diagnosis is absolutely devastating.

We want to eradicate every cancer out there one day thats for sure.

Wouldn't you love to say to your children one day that "There used to be this thing called cancer"?

I know I sure would.

Anyways, the Spring Sprint is coming up and it is SUPER fun!!!

You can walk, run or sprint in support of those affected by a brain tumour and it really is...amazingly fun! You can raise money or awareness or both.

Or just come out and enjoy the festivities and show your support!

It takes place Saturday May 29 at Burnaby Lake East at the Rowing Pavillion and check in is 10:00am. Its a 5 km walk/run, and the scenery is spectacular. It is a guaranteed amazing experience.

Come on down and join us!

Here is a link for the Spring Sprint to find out all about it
Hope to see you there!

I'm taking a 6 week hiatus from my roundhouse baby & me yoga class.

Well I did the inevidable. I cancelled my first class in 6 years.

(only temporarily though!! )

*This class will resume Thursday July 8 at 12:30pm, and registration is on.

Its Baby & Me Yoga at the Roundhouse. There were a number of reasons and it was a difficult decision in many ways but attendance was down and honestly...

I don't know any Vancouverites who don't want to be outside as much as humanly possible right now! And I sure am one of them.

I really needed to carve out a little extra time in my life to get caught up on some charity projects I have committed to, and something had to give, so this is the class.

I had a little cry with the mom's and babes I love so much last Thursday and they all completely understand. And besides everyone is busy right now, not only me! And with Stanley park and the seawall for a backyard... Truly there is nowhere more beautiful then Vancouver in the Springtime, let's face it.

If you would like to attend a Baby & Me Yoga class with me in the next 6 weeks (and of course beyond) my Mt.Pleasant CC (Main & Kingsway) is still going strong.
That class is Monday mornings from 10:45am-12:00pm

And for those of you in Yaletown or downtown...
I'll see you in 6 weeks!
Enjoy the sunshine!

Friday, May 7, 2010

See these two?? Well I love them.

How do you feel about the HST?
Yeah I thought too!

I don't know about you but I know that I don't want... my YOGA, massage therapy, airline tickets, naturopathy, concert tickets, non prescription meds, movies, bus fares, spa services, vitamins, dietary supplements, chinese medicine, movies, taxi's, home maintenance, parking, school supplies, membership fees (including the gym), hockey tickets, hair cuts, golf fees increasing in price by another 7% in tax if I can help it.

If you enjoy any of those things (which we all do) then add up what you would spend on those items/services per year and multiply it by 7% to see how much more you (and I) will be spending with the HST.

Anyways..I ran into these TRULY adorable folks directly in front of The Roundhouse this morning and if you live in Yaletown and would like to sign the Stop the HST petition these two are who you want to see!

I had a few laughs, received some words of wisdom and learned a heck of a lot! He's a ballroom dancer and has not had a sniffle in over 6 years! (he even showed me his ancient head rubbing/ ear pulling technique!) And he'll show you too! haha!
And did I mention he is 80?

And the lady is lovely. Just so incredibly lovely, sweet, vivacious, and as smart as a whip!
They really made my day And they can make yours too!

These two will be in front of my favourite place in the world.. The Roundhouse each day from 900am-11:30am.
The Roundhouse is located at the corner of Davie St @Pacific Blvd.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One of the most special days of the year is quickly approaching...

With Mothers Day approaching I am nearly at a loss for words this morning and am actually getting choked up just thinking about what to say here!

Mothers just mean so very much to me.

Firstly I am just so truly blessed with such amazing examples in my life, and I am just so incredibly grateful to the many pregnant momma's, daddies & families I have worked with in the past half dozen years..

Yoga wise, I originally started off teaching exclusively prenatal & postnatal (baby & me) yoga classes.

I have always cherished my own yoga practice, and pre & post natal yoga was was a natural progression for me from working as a Doula.

My yoga practice would come and go since the 80's, and that is the wonderful thing about yoga. It is always there waiting for you regardless of the decade, or your lifestyle.

Or your hairstyle!! LOL!

To me, mothers are the most incredible humans on the planet. Truly.

I say it sooo often that it must sound cheesy after a while, but it is just so true and comes from the bottom of my heart..

Although they may not be aware of it these women are the greatest teachers in my life.

And thats whether they are expecting, are enjoying/adjusting to their first year of motherhood, have older school age, or grown children... they have all touched my life in such remarkable ways. I can not even find the words.

They are all so beautiful to me. And each has an aura of magic around them. (although they may not always feel that way themselves!! haha)

I only wish that they could see themselves through my eyes, and that I had the chance to thank the great many (no doubt thousands by now) that I have witnessed come into their mothering right before my before my eyes.
There just aren't words.(I keep searching!)

Mothers are our most valuable resource, and each one deserves a medal and for it to be Mothers day everyday.

And yeah, baby daddy's are SUPER cool too! All of this certainly takes nothing away from them.

What makes me the happiest of all of this? It's the final result.
Happy healthy children. Our future!
All I can say is that there sure are some lucky babies/children out there.
And YES, that is what makes me the happiest. ♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.

I have lot's and lot's of hope for the future. For all of us. I really do.:)

Hope you plan something really special for the wonderful mothers in your life this coming Sunday.

And dad, your "day of days" is next!
Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Brand new Roundhouse sessions starting up all week beginning tonight! Have you registered?

There was a little confusion at last thursday evening's mixed levels class at the Roundhouse as to whether we would be changing rooms beginning this week (therefore restricting/capping class sizes for our beloved tues & thurs classes)

But with the exception of May 4 we get to keep Room B! Yay!

So if you have been coming and were worried that we may be doing one too many "sardine pose" up in multi media, hahaa..worry no more! Not only will you not be turned away, but we also have lots of glorious room in room B!

So go ahead and register! Or drop in. Whatever you choose.
I'll be there waiting for you and there will be a mat with your name all over it

I still have to recommend registering though. It's cheaper, (it ensures you a spot no matter what) and it's always nice to have a consistent date with yourself and your yoga practice each week. Consistency is key with yoga.

Yoga has a multitude of benefits anytime and everytime you practice, so one yoga class per week is certainly amazing. But if you can do more than? Even better!

It's because of that I offer (with the exception of baby & me yoga) two classes per week at both The Roundhouse (if you are downtown/yaletown) and Mt.Pleasant CC (should you be in the east van/mt.pleasant areas)

And all for a special price to make doubling up affordable.

*2X's per week-Mixed Levels Hatha classes are-Tues & Thurs at the Roundhouse-7:30pm-9:00pm
To register: or 604-713-1800

*2X's per week-Daytime Yoga-(mixed levels)classes are- Monday & Wednesday Daytimes at Mt.Pleasant CC from 12:30-2:00pm
To register: or 604-257-3080

*2X's per week-Prenatal Yoga -Roundhouse Tues & Thurs from 5:45-7:15pm

And in addition to those I have a Wednesday evening Prenatal Yoga class at Mount Pleasant CC as well from 6:30pm-7:45pm, (but just the one evening per week.) This class is always full, although I always leave a few spots open for drop in's!

I know that price can be a factor for me in my own yoga practice (as far as getting out to group classes etc.) It's just reality. Yoga isn't cheap.

And now with the HST on top of it...*sigh. (insert long Ujjayi breath here!)

Anyways, although I can't control the HST I am so lucky that I can still keep my classes affordable in spite of it.

Just remember you can not overdo yoga. There is no such thing as too much time on your mat. And the benefits of a home practice can't be overstated..
If you have never thought of rolling out your mat in your living room, give it a go!
Or now that spring is here (well, almost here!) grab a patch of grass at the park, your backyard, the beach...and just go for it!

Just remember that with yoga you are training your mind, body and breath. (whether you are in a group setting or not!)

You are practicing self care in every sense of the word.
And Self Care is where it's at in this hectic world.

We can't control what life throws at us but I think all of us with a strong yoga practice knows just how truly valuable it is to our every day life.

It's impossible for your yoga practice to not spill over into your own life in various wonderous ways. If you are a stranger to yoga I can't encourage you enough to find a class near you and get started.

I have never met a single soul who has regretted time spent on their mat. It is sometimes hard to find the discipline to get to class, but you are never sorry you did. You are always glad that you took the time for your yoga practice. Whether it's 15 minutes or 90.

And if this post is beginning to sound a little too esoteric..

Yoga has some other wonderful benefits/side effects too (such as slowing down the aging process, stress reduction, it gives you a great behind etc.) haha..I feel funny even typing that, but it's true!

But heck, whatever is going to bring you to yoga! And often it is these outer side effects that bring one to yoga in the first place and that is perfectly ok! I mean, who doesn't want to look good and feel good?
Heck, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy the benefits of yoga on my physique.
You not only feel great, but yeah you look pretty good too!

Yoga works virtually ever system of your body, and those benefits are well documented and undisputed. To me yoga is like a trip to the chiropractor, the massage therapist, the physio, and the shrink all in one!

For me each and every yoga class is like a day at the spa that I have given myself.

Of course it is always best to have various body workers/health practitioners/caregivers on hand in this life of course, as yoga can never completely take the place of conventional medicine.

You will never hear me say that. Ever.

So for that reason it is always best to have a Doctors ok should you be pregnant or suffering from any health issues/injuries before starting a yoga practice, or any other form of exercise.

In short: If you are injured, DO NOT come to yoga. Allow yourself to heal first.

Anyways, I am going to fly for now as it is day two of sunshine! (and sadly we never know how long it's going to last this time of year in these parts, so I best take advantage!)
Hope you get a chance to enjoy some of it yourself!
Have a really lovely day!
Hope to see you soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ever think of doing a Yoga Teacher Training?

I have been reminiscing lately and looking through a ton of pictures from various yoga training's/workshops I have done.

And as always...I'm yearning for more!!!

These are a few pics of the second one I took in Spring of 2004 through Prana Yoga and Zen Centre. It was your basic starter 200 hour program and I would highly recommend it.

Shakti knows her stuff and can teach you things (Kriyas etc) that I am sure few other people know. This training was over a 5 month period and was in Classical Hatha. I don't believe they still have the 5 month program (although I could be wrong as I haven't been on their website for ages!) but they still have the one month intensives here in town and abroad.

The truth is, there are just so many different choices out there these days! If I was starting out now I really wouldn't know where to go as virtually just about every studio has a 200 hr YTT program happening. (Which is a wonderful thing!! )

Whether you start off with Prana like I did, or go somewhere else, I just know you won't be sorry. There is just something about going back to the very beginning and breaking things down that will certainly deepen your practice like nothing else, whether you decide to teach afterwards or not.

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."
- Shunryo Suzuki-Roshi ...

I had the pleasure of photographing Gloria Latham of Semperviva for Shanti Ugnada's website a few months back, and she too is just so lovely. I have been to many workshops at her studios (in addition to the regular classes I attend at semperviva each week) and I most recently received my certification in yin yoga with my favourite teacher in the world Bernie Clark! I loved that training very much, and learned a great deal. Semperviva has a great many workshops and teacher training's (including 200 hr+) with great teachers both local and International.

Bernie was also an integral part of my training at Prana in 2004. I'd have to say that I learned as much from him as I did Shakti. Which is A LOT! (so this is no way implies ANY disrespect to Shakti whatsoever) A group of us spent many an early morning sadhana together in those days in addition to our training's, and of course many, many hours of meditation. zen meditation. Looking back, much of it was bliss.

I could use that kind of discipline now! haha!

And then there are my lovely old friends Georgina and Hogan of Open Door Yoga. They too have an amazing Yoga Teacher Training program.....♥....and the list goes on!

If you do want to teach, you need a minimum 200hr certification recognized by the Yoga Alliance ( to obtain insurance etc.) The Yoga Alliance maintains a registry of Yoga Schools that comply with their standards for yoga teacher training programs of 200-500 hours. It would be a good idea to check on their list of schools before choosing a Teacher training program. (*just my opinion)

The Yoga Alliance is the internationally recognized governing body that regulates the highest standards for yoga teachers all over.
Weekend workshops are amazing whether you are a student deepening your practice, or if you want to build on your certification/knowledge/grow as a teacher etc. (but beware of any fly by night "get certified to teach in a single weekend" type of deals. Sadly there are a great many scams out there.)

Not a week passes that I am not asked my opinion on this topic so I thought I'd make a little posting on it. (I sure wish I had more to offer though!) Truth is, I am way out of the loop yoga teacher training wise these days. Thankfully for us choices abound!

Vancouver is certainly Yoga land! And for that we can be grateful:)

One last thing..
Never EVER feel shy about asking a Teacher about his/her teaching credentials. If a Teacher does not possess a minimum of a 200 hr certification and is teaching yoga, then walk away.

Enjoy the journey,