fall schedule Taiga Yoga

Stay healthy this autumn!

As we approach the Autumn equinox (Tuesday, September 23), staying healthy through the Fall season must be made a priority. Everyone has a busy schedule and the setback from getting sick can be frustrating and inconvenient.

We all have busy schedules and important commitments and we know that if we get sick, the responsible choice is to stay home until we are no longer coughing and sneezing. But it feels impossible to rearrange our daily schedules to accommodate illness. So how about taking a proactive approach this fall to avoid getting sick at all!

  • Curtail alcohol. Summer BBQs are finished for the year and indulging in beers at the lake is no longer a constant temptation. Overconsumption of alcohol interrupts sleep patterns and is dehydrating, two elements that will reduce immunity. Limit alcohol consumption to one drink a day.
  • Get enough sleep. Figure out how much sleep you need by allowing 8-9 hours for sleep for a week. Go to bed without setting an alarm, and take note of how many hours you sleep before waking. Do this for seven days, and then aim to get those many hours every night: weeknight or weekend.
  • Get some fresh air. Go for a brisk walk at lunchtime of after dinner. Breathing in fresh air and seeing colours change from green to orange is invigorating and nurturing. If it’s cold out, layer up! If it’s really cold out, add even more layers. Wear wool socks. Put on a hat. Wear whatever you need to be feel cozy outdoors and get out there every day.
  • Meditate. Just do it. It is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. Stress compromises immunity. You don’t need a fancy pillow or special area to go. Just sit somewhere, close your eyes and breathe. Set a timer. Start with five minutes a day. Do this instead of logging on to Facebook.
  • Exercise. Go to the swimming pool: it’s warm and bright there. Play squash: it’s hilarious to run around in a little box with weird glasses on and smash a ball as hard as you can. Practice yoga! Try Zumba: learn some dance moves so you can impress your friends this winter.
  • Eat vegetables with every meal. Sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas are all coming into season now and can all be roasted, or pureed into soups. Make a big pot of soup on the weekend and eat the leftovers for weekday lunches.

Finally, do not overextend yourself. Create manageable goals and refrain from overloading your schedule with infinite activities. Make time every week for quiet time with your family, when nobody has anywhere they need to be and everyone can sit, relax and enjoy each other’s company.

For more information, read this article from Harvard University Health Centre. There is a lot of practical information here:

Happy Autumn, everyone!

Handstands Power Yoga Taiga Yoga Uncategorized Yoga YTT Blog

What is Power Yoga?

What is Power Yoga? The term power yoga can be found on many yoga schedules and there is some confusion on the meaning of the term. Power yoga is designed to make you strong. You will likely sweat during the practice and there will probably be some core-strengthening poses. Some teachers will follow a set series of poses in each class, while other teachers will create different sequences every day.

Power Yoga is aimed at individuals who don’t want a lot of chanting and meditation in their yoga practice. The time on the mat will be focused on strengthening, balancing and sweating. The sequencing will be challenging, but will be adaptable to every student. Baron Baptiste describes his sequencing as a blueprint for an invigorating vinyasa yoga practice and says that his brand of power yoga is adaptable for all body types, ages and fitness levels.

Most power yoga sequences are based on Ashtanga yoga, but will likely flow faster than a traditional Ashtanga practice. Where Ashtanga encourages practioners to hold each pose for five breaths, power yoga sequences will likely hold each pose for far fewer breaths, sometimes moving fluidly throughout the entire practice, cultivating one breath per movement and not pausing in any pose.

What to expect from my Power Classes:

• Flowing sequences. We will start slowly, taking the time integrate breath with movement, but expect to flow between poses. All of my sequences offer a logical progression from the floor to standing and back again.
• Sweaty yogis. Sweating is encouraged. If you tend to perspire a lot, you may find it beneficial to bring a small towel to class. The towel can be used under your hands so you have a firm base in downdog or to dry your arms and legs so you don’t slip out of side crow. Be sure to hydrate before arriving on your mat.

• Some core-strengthening. There will be 100 core-strengthening poses strategically placed throughout the practice. They might be extremely challenging or relatively simple to you, but we’re a team and we’re going to do all 100 of them together.

• Handstands. Try one or try 50. Handstands are a fun inversion and are challenging and will make you laugh. My current goal is to hold a handstand for ten breaths! I’m not there yet, and I’m having a great time building up the strength and confidence to get there. In each class, I will offer tricks to help you practice your handstand.

• Accessible language. I will offer clear instruction on where to place your hands and feet in each pose. That being said, if you’re ever unclear on the alignment in a pose, ask! Shout it out! Someone else in the room probably has the exact same question.

• A friendly vibe. I encourage everyone to join me on the mat for Power Yoga. I don’t care if you’ve never tried yoga before or if you’ve been teaching at an Ashram for the past 20 years: you’re all welcome. In the 60-90 minutes that we practice together, we are a team and we will be learning, progressing and having fun together. A note to the newbies: every single person in the room was new to yoga at some point, and we all know what it feels like to not have a clue what is happening. If you’re new, you will probably fall over a few times and there will definitely be poses that are unavailable to you, but I can assure you that nobody is criticizing or judging you!

Join me on your mat at lunchtime on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7pm and Tuesdays at Noon at Taiga Yoga in Yellowknife. Whatever your reason for wanting to practice yoga, I can’t wait to share my practice with you!