Friday, October 9, 2009

Chakras, Yoga, Emotions & Illness

Happy Turkey Day weekend everyone!!
This is my favourite holiday, so if I sound excited I am.

I just wanted to update everyone that I have a workshop coming up on November the 28th from 10am to 2pm at the Glebe Community Centre, located at 175 Third Avenue in Ottawa. The workshop is called Chakras, Yoga, Emotions & Illness and it’s a nice pre-holiday session with a focus on moving through the challenges of the chakras and learning new tools for working with stress and keeping the energies of the body moving. The workshop is open to anyone and you don’t have to know anything about yoga or chakras to participate. The rest of the information is on the poster above. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions at

Monday, October 5, 2009

Out of My Senses

I had a chance to get out today and take some autumn inspired pictures. I was trying to find some colour among the browns and grays that sometimes take over this season. If you get a chance stop by my photo album, the new pictures are at the end.

So I’m always looking for new ways to get my brain to be quiet. That’s the main purpose of my meditation, to quiet the mind long enough to feel the peace that emanates out of everything when your brain stops playing the part of sports commentator. But because I haven’t figured out how to meditate and live my life (work, drive, teach, climb) at the same time there are long stretches of the day where my brain gets to chit-chat. For these times when I’m not meditating I’m always looking for new ways to get my brain to be quiet. Sometimes I’m thinking about how my feet feel pressing on the ground, or I try to focus on what the energy in my body feels like, or I’ll try to stop narrowing my view onto things and focus on the space between them. And for a while these methods work but my brain is always evolving and adapting and coming up with new ways to drag me into the drama of everyday life. It’s a good storyteller, it can be very captivating.
So my latest trick to disable the brain-bomb is focusing on the thought that all of our senses are brain impulses interpreted for our understanding, but the brain’s impulses are not actually the object causing the sensation and there’s a lot of room for interpretation. That’s why you can be fooled by optical illusions and why you get a brain-freeze when you eat ice-cream. It’s all how your brain chooses to interpret it. In yoga we call our senses the Indriyas and we do all kinds of things to work on increasing our awareness of them, or focusing our awareness of them. The neat thing is the quieter your brain is the easier it is to interpret your senses, but they’re still just impulses, not the actual thing. Yeah, I know on a thinking level that doesn’t make sense, but that’s the tricky thing about trying to quiet the brain, sometimes you have to find things too big for it to hold so that it just shuts up in amazement.

My partner yoga is coming up in two weekends. It’s free at Lululemon. And you can bring a friend or family member; it doesn’t have to be a spouse.
Have an awesome Monday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

If you were in a hostage situation and my mind was put in charge of talking it out don't worry, you'd be fine...

My first advice for the day is Vitamin D. Ottawa has been receiving cloud spit for the past week solid so if you haven’t had any sunshine lately take a supplement, at least a 1000 IU of vitamin D, because it’s better than nothing. I can always tell when it starts to get darker and people are staying inside more because my clients in the community start to break down. I get more panicked phone calls, more people saying they need help. What help do they need? They don’t know- they just know they need something. And I feel it too. It’s dark when I get up; it’s cold when I go out. Here come the winter blues.
When things get more challenging in life (during times of stress or illness) we’re always told to take better care of ourselves. What I find so interesting is it’s these times that our brain seems to rebel the most. Or at least my mind seems to.
I’ve taken to call my mind the great negotiator. When I was little I was always bargaining at the dinner table. An extra piece of carrot if it got me out of eating my broccoli. Two more mouthfuls of rice if I didn’t have to finish the other parts of my casserole and so on and so on. I always looked forward to the day I was old enough that I didn’t have to negotiate every little thing with my parents.
Well I guess the joke is on me because now I negotiate with myself. I’ve taken to blending my greens in a food processor (yes I still hate eating my vegetables), the recipe is delicious so I’ll include it (there’s sarcasm here I can’t express in writing):

Green Goop
2 cups Swiss Chard, Kale, Collard Greens or any leafy greens as long as they’re not iceberg lettuce, that stuff is useless.
½ cup Green Tea (Without the bag, in case it wasn’t obvious).
½-1cup Seaweed- the dried kind, anything but kelp which acts as a natural thickener.
1 cup fresh cut Wheatgrass- optional.
½ cup unsweetened flaked Coconut.
Enough orange juice to drown that stuff down. Puree, pour a glass, add 8 drops of oil of Oregano because everyone keeps saying it’s good for you. Plug your nose and drink it over the sink because sometimes your gag reflex is stronger than your willpower.

And when people ask me why I drink the stuff the easy reason is my mind truly is an awesome negotiator. If I make myself a salad I’ll just stare at it, take a bite and be finished. If I cook up a veggie casserole it goes bad in the fridge. The whole idea of drinking my vegetables is it gives me less time to talk myself out of it. And the funny part is that by the last gulp my brain still goes “But you just drank the whole glass, do you really need the last bit?”
It’s relentless. That’s why I rock-climb; it’s the only way to trick my mind into letting me workout.
Obviously I could over power my mind and force it to do things it doesn’t want to but I know it’s going to raise a stink and pout through the whole experience.
So today I give my kudos to all people that have their minds doing as they are told.
Hope for some sunshine and have an awesome weekend!