Lahari Yoga

Health~Honesty~Equality & Loving Kindness

L A H A R I • Y O G A

We stand for health, honesty, equality,

treating people how

you'd want to be treated, helping those in need,

and loving kindness.

Mother's Day Trio Sale

Give that special Mom in your life the gift of YOGA!

Maybe she needs a mat to take some time for herself or maybe she just needs a new one. Come in and grab her a Jade Small Mat, a Half Moon mat strap to carry it and pure Mat spray to keep it clean.

The Jade Mats are made in the United States and contain no PVCs – making their mats the first “green” yoga mats.

The Half Moon Mat strap carries any yoga mat for easy transporting, no bag required. When you get to class the strap can also double as a yoga strap.

The pure Mat spray was specially made for LAHARI•YOGA Studio by pure essentials which is a local St Albert company providing an all natural cleaning product.

The Sale is on from April 30th - May 8th, 2016

or

You can also give her an eGift Card.

 

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Shavasana in the City... By chubbyskinnybrowngirl

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March 16, 2015

Flexing My Self Control Muscle

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There have been SO many times that I’ve wished (albeit 

after

the fact), that I would have practiced more self-control BEFORE I got carried away and went too far.  I hate the feelings of guilt that follow an emotional reaction to a friend, an impatient word to a parent, an empty bag of chips or carton of ice-cream, spats with my spouse…(and on and on I could go). But self-control is something that is so hard to regain once we lose it, and truth be told, I’d been letting mine decline for years now.

In this weakened state, what has harmed me the most is haphazardly falling too far into people’s lives, feeding too much on their energy and stories causing me to lose balance and tip right into their stories; taking on their moods and feelings as if they were my own.  Being such a people person, it sometimes hard for me to create those boundaries that fence in and protect my own livestock from the elements. Sometimes their winters freeze my seedlings.  But drawing the line, putting on the brakes, proceeding with caution, yielding, rationalizing, measuring for moderation, exercising patience, backing off, walking away are all ways of practicing self-control….hmmmm funny, as I’ve recently come to learn; so too are breathing, balancing, holding and posing on my mat?!

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The more I get into yoga, the more I find it penetrating and strengthening me in ways I hadn’t expected.  Last week I realized I’ve been acting and behaving in much more self-controlled ways, more than I have in a long time, and I attribute this strength to yoga.  I find that I’ve been acting more intentionally, eating more intentionally…just 

being

 more intentionally!   Regaining my self-control is something I’ve been meaning to do for such a long time, but I just couldn’t seem to accomplish it on my own.  On the contrary I’d find myself more times than not, losing control; gorging, dumping or reacting.  But wow, not so much lately.  

In class, Michellene with Lahari Yoga calls it finding your “sweet spot”.  One’s sweet spot is that place between pleasure and pain.  It’s that point where you feel poised and balanced – where you are not leaned too far forward or too far back.  It takes time, patience and practice finding one’s sweet spot.  What a huge accomplishment it was for me recently to balance on my arms and successively lift my feet into crow’s pose.   In life, finding my sweet spot parallels these concepts, I find myself gaining self-control off the mat while I learn to balance and pose on it.  These physical experiences in class, are providing the mental building blocks of developing and rebuilding my self- control outside of class. It’s the acts of intentional breathing, posing, balancing and intentional holding that are all seeming to flex this muscle making it stronger and stronger each day.  And I am just so damn grateful for that, (similarly my waist line, my friends, my spouse, my parents and everyone else around me can reap the benefits of too)!

Practicing self-control is also directly related to mindfulness…but alas, I’ll table that for now. I’ll instead just gently yield to this present recognition and bask in its light for a while.  The more I pace these thoughts, the more life giving they are for me…. <3

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~Betty Mathews

CHUBBYSKINNYBROWNGIRL

3 Subjects Schools Should Teach To Improve The World - By Andrea Schulman

By Andrea Schulman

As a former teacher who spent 7 years in the system, one of the things that really bugs me about today’s schools is the undercurrent of fear and control-based social conditioning that they subject our children to.  Yes, our children do learn valuable skills and information, but often at the cost of their overall health and prosperity.  Our schools, while they do indeed try, ultimately fail to fully harness the power of today’s young minds because they emphasize routine, discipline and testing over exploration, compassion and innovation.

Another problem today in education is that we simply aren’t teaching kids what they really need to know to be successful in life.  While it is important to  learn basic math, science, and reading to survive in today’s world, it is also important to teach kids how to thrive.

With some slight adjustments, we could quickly start to improve education by adding a few new subjects aimed at helping kids become healthy and successful adults.  By teaching students information that will truly benefit them, we could start to transform education (and the world!) in a positive way.  Here are 3 subjects school could teach to improve the world:

1) Meditation

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Meditation is a fantastic practice that many people do not have any instruction on whatsoever.  Meditation clears out the clutter of anxious thoughts, helps people focus, and increases mental (and physical) health.  The positive effects of meditation are well-documented.

How wonderful would it be if each morning students had 10 minutes of mindful meditation before beginning their school day? They’d start their morning centered and peaceful rather than rushed and scattered.  I would imagine this would have tremendous effects on learning gains as well as behavior.

Beyond that, 10 minutes of meditation would be easy to implement!   Most teachers need a few minutes at the beginning of class to take attendance, so many of them already give silent work to get students settled and ready for the day at the start of class.  Replacing these “bell ringer” activities with meditation could be a quick and seamless way to start improving education.

2) Proper Nutrition

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Why aren’t schools teaching our children how to take care of their bodies?

Particularly in the United States, we are failing to educate our kids on the importance of nutrient-rich, organic, and non-GMO foods.  The genetically modified food packed with chemicals that stocks our shelves and feeds our schoolchildren is very likely responsible for skyrocketing obesity and cancer rates.  Especially in a time when health hazards like these are on the rise, wouldn’t it be wise to teach our children how to make sound nutritional decisions?

Sadly, I’ve seen first hand what “lunch” (I use the quotation marks with much exaggeration) looks like in a school cafeteria.  The choices our schools make in regards to nutrition leave much to be desired, and that’s putting it mildly.

I think the education system would be wise to honestly address this issue and take measures to educate today’s youth on the importance of TRUE nutrition.  No more BS about how fruit cocktail is a “fruit” or how chicken nuggets are a good source of protein (claims that I’ve seen with my own two eyes on the school lunch menus sent home in my daughter’s backpack).

The thing is that kids already learn about nutrition in school, so we don’t have to completely overhaul the system to fit in new courses on nutrition.  We just need to start being honest with them about what’s really going on with our food.  Let’s be serious: 20 years from now, proper nutritional education  (or the lack thereof) will have a much more profound impact on the lives of young people than Algebra 2 will.

3) Law of Attraction

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From a very young age, we have had it beaten into us that there are rules we must follow and a very specific path we must walk down if we want to be successful.

Many of us buy into the idea that we must go to college (usually by taking on massive loans), and get an acceptable job (like being a doctor, accountant or a lawyer) if we want to be successful in life.  This rigid thinking sways many young people away from exploring their true passions.

If we could teach our young people that anyone can use the Law of Attraction to create a successful career out of their passion, we could improve the world dramatically.  New career options would emerge, and innovation would go off the charts.  More importantly, people would be happier because they would be doing what they really wanted to do, rather than wasting their lives away doing work that didn’t inspire them.

Teaching students about the Law of Attraction from an early age would give kids the tools they need to go after their big dreams and live fulfilling lives.  It’s nothing new agey.  It’s just the simple practice of believing in yourself, and aligning your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs with the results you wish to achieve.

To be fair, I do believe that education does serve a valuable purpose, and we are fortunate that most people today learn literacy, mathematics skills, social studies and science (amongst other subjects). However, this is a very narrow scope of what we could be teaching the students in our schools, and I believe it misses the mark on what our children really need to know in order to be happy and successful in adulthood.

By teaching kids how to meditate, proper nutrition and the Law of Attraction, we would give students the tools they need to not only be knowledgable, but to flourish.  We would improve our nation’s health (both physically and mentally), and our economy would expand as more people would have and create innovative and passionate careers for themselves.  With happier, healthier and more prosperous citizens, we’d also very likely reduce violence and crime.

It’s something to think about.  At the end of the day,  I just couldn’t hack it as a teacher anymore because I couldn’t be a part of a system that I felt was hurting more than it was helping.  As a mother and as a human being, I want a better future for our children, and I think that many people out there probably feel the same way.

We have the ability to be the generation that improves the world through education and I hope we can say one day that we were the ones who finally did it!

- See more at: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/3-subjects-schools-should-teach-to-improve-the-world/#sthash.y3ysVTal.dpuf

Shavasana in the City by chubbyskinnybrowngirl

Don’t Just Bill Me, BUILD ME!!!!

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Ever walk into a Dentist or a Doctor’s office and the receptionist flatly ignores you while you stand at her desk, waiting to check in while watching her finish up whatever she’s doing (that’s so much more important than saying hello to you)?  Or, ever been asked while you were going through a grocery check-out line if “you found everything you were looking for”, but when you (God forbid) tell them you couldn’t find any zucchini and hold up the line, they look annoyed and put out?  I remember once having a membership to a World Health and never once being spoken to and often times not even receiving a greeting when I swiped in at the front. I’m not sure what your expectations are when it comes to service, but personally, I want to feel genuinely welcomed and valued when I spend my hard earned dollars at a business, especially since I could have easily chosen to go somewhere else!

Businesses are everywhere, they are a dime a dozen (as I reminded every time I flip through the yellowpages)….but GOOD service is hard to find.  Never mind just good service, how many businesses can actually call themselves communities? (Shouldn’t that be the measure of a good business?)  Better yet, how many of themfeel like a community?  A community is defined by “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals”. 

Funny, the last time I went to the Dentist, I didn’t feel a sense of camaraderie with the staff or other people receiving dental work.  Actually conversely, I vividly remember the time that I had to go and get a couple of my wisdom teeth pulled. “Fortunately” instead of having to put me under, they were “just” going to freeze part of my mouth, which sounded fine and dandy until they actually froze me! I hadn’t received dental work since I was a kid, so I was already a bit nervous of what to expect. They put me in a bed, injected me, then left me alone telling me that they would check back on me…OMGSH, the sensation of my mouth slowly freezing almost sent me into a full-fledged panic attack!! I could feel my eyes welling with tears as I started to involuntarily worry that I might not be able to breathe when my tongue froze….and when I could have used some support or wisdom the most…there was no one around.  I mentally fought through the fears trying to rationalize the fact that the procedure was so common place but it didn’t change how horrible and unpleasant that experience was.  What could have made it different? A dental assistant who would have taken the time to tell me, what to expect and that it was going to be okay…geez I would have accepted some consoling from the janitor – for the love of God, someone throw me a bone!!!  Maybe it seems silly to want to build a sense of community at my Dentist office, but why can some people do it?  How do some people manage to successfully build that sense of community in their business?

I am not super versed in yoga, but I have gone to a couple of different studios.  I have tried bikram and moksha and to be quite frank, those businesses don’t hold a CARD to the community I found at Lahari.  The minute I first walked into Lahari, I was greeted as if I were family, the warmth and the energy buzzing in that front room was brilliant.  And yes, I admit, sometimes it’s hard to JUMP into a new community without reservation and some shyness, but their welcoming was just so damn genuine and immediately disarming that I couldn’t help but catch that same bug.   It’sbecause I’m not super versed in yoga that I needed this community to practice, play and learn in. 

·         I needed the space and room for failure – I needed to feel like I could practice, fail and practice again.  In this community, I don’t feel like I need to be perfect because I’ve already been welcomed, truly, just as I am.  

·         The support is unreal amongst all community members.  I was attempting a head stand last Friday, and Shawn and Norine (other participants in the class) noticed me struggling and immediately came over and offered their help and suggestions in my hand positioning without me asking for it, and POOF I did it!

At Lahari, it isn’t that superficial “did you find everything you were looking for” vibe, but a real and genuine interest in each other.  Oh my Goodness, Michellene took it to another level last Friday during Blissology when she made us step out of our comfort zones (yet again) by asking us to introduce our sweaty selves at the end of class with a hug to 3-5 other members we hadn’t met before.  What bigger taboo than meeting a person for the first time, in this vulnerable and sweaty (certainly NOT our best foot forward) state?  But that’s what community is, it’s built on perfect ideals by imperfect human beings, and this is what we can celebrate and stand in. 

So back to that definition of community, “as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals” – what does it take to be part of this community?  What are the common attitudes, interests or goals one should ascribe to?  My best guess would be:

Be human, be open and be prepared to fall in love…. <3

Betty Mathews

Chubbyskinnybrowngirl.com

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3 Reasons why Yoga is Great for the Heart

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The practice of yoga is growing in popularity but it is still rare to see yoga classes incorporated into hospital programming or office based clinics. There are obvious mental and physical benefits to the combination of physical exercises, breathingand meditation

Recent scientific studies have documented benefits of a yoga practice on important heart functions and a wider use of yoga in therapy of heart patients should follow.

1. Yoga reduces the frequency of atrial fibrillation (AF).  

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac rhythm disturbance and leads to frequent office and hospital visits, costing millions (if not billions) of health care dollars. 

It's an unpredictable disorder of the heart rhythm and can interfere with work, vacations and family gatherings when out of control. 

Recently patients with intermittent AF were studied for three months as a baseline and then followed for three more months while practicing yoga twice a week for 60 minutes. 

During the three months of yoga practice, episodes of AF dropped in frequency and patients rated their quality of life as better.  There were also decreases in blood pressure and resting heart rate. Patients up to age 80 were studied.

2. Yoga is good for people with high blood pressure. 

High blood pressure or hypertension (HTN) effects millions of people worldwide and can result in heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. The usual therapy is medication and dietary.  Recently 50 patients with HTN participated in a yoga practice for 15 days lasting 2 hours each session. Cardiac function was assessed before and after this training.  

After practicing yoga for two weeks the resting heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly reduced.  A comparison group that did not do the training did not experience these beneficial trends.

3. It reduces stress. 

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls silently controls the function of the heart rate and blood pressure. A heart that is healthy demonstrates a wide swing in heart rate and blood pressure during inspiration and expiration and a disease heart shows little of this variability, a measurement called heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is influenced by the two parts of the ANS: the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system.  

Scientists compared HRV in long term practitioners of yoga compared to matched controls who did not practice yoga. The HRV was increased in the yoga practitioners and they showed less sympathetic tone (stress, adrenaline) and more parasympathetic tone (relaxation, vagal) of their ANS. Their cardiac response to day-to-day stress was improved with yoga.

Yoga should be considered by patients and practitioners as another "tool" in the tool box of controlling stress, HTN, and heart rhythm disorders. As many cardiac patients are elderly, modifications such as chair yoga and predominantly pranayama breathing exercises may be necessary, but are still beneficial. 

What is Blissology?

Blissology is a style of joyful YOGA that helps you connect to the deep love inside. 

The Blissology symbol really explains the philosophy. The white circle represents the still place inside that fills us with love.   Then there is a series of “part flame and part teardrops” to symbolize that both the great joys and great sorrows that open us up to the love inside of us.  The first flame represents our connection to our bodies, the second to our personal relationships, the third to our communities and the last one is to nature.

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Chocolate chia power balls: gluten, dairy, and fructose free!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ground nuts (any sort, but a mix of almonds and macadamia nuts is my favourite)
  • 3-4 tbsp raw cacao powder (ideally sifted)
  • ¼ cup glucose (also called dextrose) (see notes for alternatives)
  • ½ cup chia gel made by soaking 1.5 tbsp chia seeds in ½ cup water, overnight (see notes for alternatives)
  • 3 tbsp (42g) coconut oil, liquified
  • 10-20 drops liquid stevia (optional)
  • ½ tsp peppermint or vanilla essence (optional)
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut for coating
  • 1 tbsp extra cacao for coating

Method

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the ground nuts, raw cacao powder and glucose powder, using the back of a fork to break up any lumps. If you like dark chocolate, use 4 tbsp of cacao. If you're not sure, use 3 tbsp now, and add more later if you like. 

If you'd like to add some peppermint or vanilla essence, add it to the liquid coconut oil now. 

Add the chia gel and melted coconut oil and mix well with the fork.

Taste your mixture. If you'd like it sweeter, add 10 to 20 drops of liquid stevia. If you're used to eating sugar-free, you may not need this.

Place the coconut and extra cacao into two small bowls or saucers.

Roll your mixture into balls about the size of large, unshelled macadamia nuts, or small walnuts. Roll into the bowls of cacao or coconut to coat. You could also use crushed nuts.

Refrigerate to harden (or eat one right away), and store in the fridge.

This recipe makes about 30 balls. If you don't have company coming, you may want to halve the recipe, though they do keep well for a week or more in the fridge.

Variations and substitutions

This is a very forgiving recipe. You can really vary the ingredients to suit your taste and your pantry cupboard.

If you don't want to wait for your chia seeds to gel, you can use them plain, and substitute glucose syrup, rice malt syrup, or honey (if you don't mind the fructose) for the glucose powder. 

If you want to use the chia gel and don't have any glucose, just use a little less water with the chia (or reduce the whole gel amount by up to one third) and use extra stevia instead.

If you don't have time to roll all those little balls, make a slice instead! Press the mixture into a loaf pan or equivalent, so that it's about 1/3 inch deep. Sprinkle with coconut and press in slightly, if desired. Freeze or refrigerate to harden, then slice into one inch squares. Store in the fridge.

From MindBodyGreen.com

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Yoga University: Sanskrit 101

Asana: Yoga posture. Yoga pose. A physical position in which stability and ease are balanced and maintained.

Ayurveda: The science or knowledge of life. A thousand year old scientific approach to medicine, Ayurveda recognizes differences in individual constitutions and treats each person uniquely.

Bandha: To bind or lock. You may hear your teacher talking about bandhas or locks. A bandha is a muscular hold that enhances subtle energy flow. Here are the three most commonly used bandhas: Jalandhara Bandha, Mulabandha, Uddiyana Bandha.

Chakra:  Subtle energy centers. Wheels of light.

Chandra Namaskar:  Moon Salutation.

Guru: Teacher.  And Sat Guru which means the teacher within, YOU.

Jalandhara Bandha:  Chin lock.  This lock is in the neck and is used to prevent downward loss of spiritual energy especially from the crown chakra. To practice this bring and hold your chin down towards your chest.

Karma: Action. Kriya: A cleansing process.

Mantra: Sacred sound or word or phrase often used as a focal point in meditation.

Mudra: A gesture used to recirculate energy and focus the mind.

Mulabandha: Root lock. By engaging the muscles located in the pelvic floor, energy rises up the spinal column creating core strength. When activated, the practitioner experiences an internal strength that gives support and allows the body to move in correct alignment, with minimal risk of injury. 

Namaste: I honor the light in you and you honor the light in me, when we are both in this light together we are one. (Namaskar used as in Surya Namaskar, Sun Salutation)

Niyama: 5 Lessons or suggestions for how you treat yourself

Om: Universal representation of what is yet to be made manifest. Our potential.

Prana: Life force energy.

Pranayama: Regulated breathing. Using the breath in an organized way to circulate prana in the body.

Sadhana: Practice.

Sanskrit: The ancient language of Hindu scriptures and yoga texts, which is the source of modern Indo-European languages.

Shanti: Peace.

Sushumna: The main energy channel situated inside the spinal column.

Surya Namaskar:  Sun Salutation.

Uddiyana Bandha: Abdominal lock. This literally means "flying up." This lock is used to send energy up. You practice this by drawing your abdominal wall in and up as far as possible toward the spine. This is practiced by concentrating on pulling in your stomach as you exhale and being aware of a firmness below your navel even as you inhale.

Yama: 5 ethical suggestions for how you treat others

Yoga Sutra: The classical work on yoga by Patanjali.  

- See more at: http://yoganonymous.com/what-yogis-say-a-1-5-minute-guide-to-sanskrit#sthash.YF8uLgx2.dpuf
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