Spring Equinox and Sunshine Sunday Registration

Posted By Katrina Ariel On March 19th, 2015
Comments Off

Oh, what a wonderful feeling: to see green things grow, to feel sun on your skin, to take deep breaths of rain fresh air.

How I love spring. It holds such promise; an invitation to each of us to open to new possibilities and expansion.

This year the Spring Equinox (March 20th) is also the time of a Supermoon Solar Eclipse.

What does that mean? Well, some parts of the world will be able to see the eclipse, but more importantly, the energy of this day is very potent. The moon is closer to the earth, and though it is a new moon so we won’t see it, the waters of the oceans are more effected by its pull. Since humans are made of such a high percentage of water, we also feel the closeness of the moon on some level.

Some ideas to help you observe this sacred day:

  • ~ Enjoy nature! Feel the presence of spring surrounding you.
  • ~ Let go of the last season, and release anything that no longer serves. A great way to do this is to breathe it out, then breathe in pure, fresh light and the intention of wholeness. Fire ceremony is also excellent!
  • ~ Do a yoga practice dedicated to some aspect of nature that appeals to you. For instance, you could place a flower before your mat and rejoice in the promise of a whole new season of flowers!
  • ~ Meditate, allowing yourself to sit in the present moment and simply feel the energy of it, even if it is very subtle. You will get it on some level, be it conscious or otherwise.
  • ~ Plan your garden or get out and work in it, feeling the soil and encouraging the plants with your presence. (Indoor plants would love the attention too!)

This is also an excellent time to check in with your intentions for yourself. Write them down, do a dreamboard, or simply bring them to mind in a clear way. Whatever feels right will be perfect.

I send you my blessings on this beautiful day!


I’m teaching another two hour delicious yoga practice:

Check out the details at the link below. It includes an active asana session, restorative yoga, meditation and more!

Click Here to register for the Sunshine Sunday yoga class on May 3rd. *

* The last session sold out so be sure to REGISTER EARLY to get your spot and receive the savings.

Here we are at The Yoga Loft after class. Ryan and Zachary enjoyed the space as much as their Momma!

Here we are at The Yoga Loft after class. Ryan and Zachary enjoyed the space as much as their Momma!

 

Thoughts on Spring:

“No matter what happened yesterday it is insignificant when compared to what lies within the core of your being today.”
~ Sandy Brewer

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
~ Margaret Atwood

Practice. Breathe. Listen. Remember who you are. Live life fully!


Check out my new e-book! It’s a wonderful way to enhance your study of yoga beyond the physical postures.

ecover-mydesign-sm



Love Your Body – Meditation and Inspiration

Posted By Katrina Ariel On March 11th, 2015
Comments Off
Here we are at The Yoga Loft after class. Ryan and Zachary enjoyed the space as much as their Momma!

Here we are at The Yoga Loft after class. Ryan and Zachary enjoyed the space as much as their Momma!

Well! Last Sunday I taught my first yoga class in a year and a half. It felt great to teach, and it was super special to see so many familiar and new faces in class.

My theme for the Sunshine Sunday mini-workshop, was “Love Your Body.”

This is a big one, for me and for so many people. It means taking the time to take care of YOU, and also loving and accepting yourself as you go about your day-to-day life . . . no matter how busy it happens to be.

There are so many ways to give your body love! Here are some ideas:

  • Yoga, of course, is such a beautiful, healing offering to body, mind and soul.
  • Taking a walk – this is the most fundamental movement and can feel so good. Even better if it’s outside in the fresh air.
  • Getting out into nature – surrounding yourself with a natural environment helps to bring calm and harmony on so many levels.
  • Eating wholesome, nourishing food (I’ve been having lots of homemade bone broths and slow cooker soups lately).
  • Heart to heart hugs – it’s true! The heart has its own measurable frequency, and hugging someone (or a loveable animal) helps to increase beneficial hormones as well as just feeling good!
  • Gratitude is a very close frequency to love, and practicing gratitude is a great way to improve the way you feel. It is also an excellent bridge to love and acceptance, so if those are elusive to you at any point, turn to gratitude first!
  • Meditation . . .

During the restorative portion of the Sunshine Sunday class (after we’d done a strengthening and satisfying active asana session, PLUS some breath work and meditation), I went through a meditation that I think is both effective and really a lovely offering to yourself. This exercise brings love to each part of your body: every system, every cell.

What a gift to enter the vibration of LOVE so intentionally, and to do so in a restorative yoga pose is an added bonus, since your body is simultaneously getting the benefits of the relaxation and healing restorative yoga brings.

Here’s the meditation, so you can enjoy it at home:

“I Love You” Full Body Meditation

In a relaxed position take a deep breath and bring to mind an overall sense of love and acceptance of yourself.

Beginning at your toes, go through every aspect of your body and say to that part of yourself, “I love you.”

So, it goes something like this:

“I love you, toes.”

“I love you, feet. Thank you for supporting me and taking me everywhere I ask.”

“I love you, ankles.”

“I love you, shins.”

“I love you, knees. Thank you so much for everything you do.”

. . .  and so on . . .

Things to think about: Include all the muscles, connective tissue, joints, internal organs, bones, etc.

Remember to include your eyes, brain, hair, reproductive organs, immune system, blood vessels and blood cells, and send extra love to any part of your body that needs assistance coming into harmony.

This brings lots of love to your body, and that alone is incredibly healing.

Enjoy!!!

P.S. I’m planning another Sunshine Sunday at the Yoga Loft on may 3rd. Stay tuned for registration info. Sign up early to ensure you get a spot, as the last class was sold out!



Ebb and Flow. Inhale and Exhale.

Posted By Katrina Ariel On February 13th, 2015
Comments Off

Ocean01I once spent a month sleeping in my tent on a beach, while I attended a yoga teacher training. The first night, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore kept me awake. It wasn’t until I came to the realization that the sound wasn’t going to stop that I could finally relax.

Waves are, after all, the breath of the ocean.

Conscious breathing is the most fundamental practice of yoga. It supports every action, contemplation, and moment of stillness. Your breath is your guide and most intimate companion—one which is with you throughout your entire life.

As life continually changes, your breath reminds you that nature always has ebb and flow. The cycles of the moon and seasons reflect this, the waves of the ocean as well, yet you need look no further than your breath.

In each challenge, your breath is there. A deep, centering breath can remind you that the challenge is there to help you grow, even if you can’t see the sense of it. In each joy, taking a deep breath helps you be more mindful to experience it fully.

Mini-Meditation:

Take a moment to arrange your body so you are sitting in the most comfortable and optimally aligned position possible.

Settle into your breath.

Feel the earth below you, the sky above you, supportive and expansive.

Now imagine yourself sitting by the ocean. Hear the rhythmic sound of the waves.

Notice how your breath responds to this visualization.

Feel each breath as a wave of nourishing life-force within you.

Take a few minutes, or as long as you’d like, and enjoy each inhale and exhale to the fullest!

 



Growing Stronger with the Light

Posted By Katrina Ariel On January 24th, 2015
Comments Off

born-againAs the days get longer, the moon waxes, and my twin boys grow, I am noticing a welcome change in myself and my yoga practice.

And, though this writing is mainly an expression of where my own practice is growing and changing, it’s an example of how yoga is always available to each of us, in some form, no matter where you happen to be in your life.

For over a year my asana practice was reduced to a bare minimum of stretches and strengthening poses that helped me stay sane and care for my body. In that year, yoga has guided me through the emotional and physical loss of a miscarriage, the roller coster ride of pregnancy, the trauma and wonder of birth, and the long road to recovery postpartum.

Though my abdominal muscles are still learning how to return to an optimal position and state, my belly still somewhat soft from being pregnant, my body has become so much stronger.

Each day, given the time, I explore my capacity. Sometimes I only have enough time for what I call my “maintenance practice,” but more and more often a pose that had been out of reach becomes possible again.

bakasana New Years Day

Flying in crow pose on New Year’s Day

You probably know the exhilarating, empowering feeling of finally getting a yoga pose that had been elusive before. You find yourself there, breath moving, totally focused on that one moment, and it feels great!

On New Year’s Day I had that experience with two familiar but temporarily retired poses: crow (Bakasana), and forearm stand (Pincha Mayurasana). I felt strong in crow, so I tried forearm stand, which happens to be one of my favourites. Though it was a definite challenge, I did it!

Coming out of the pose, I laughed and then cried.

Since then, I’m rediscovering poses on a regular basis, and it feels amazing! I’ve even been playing with the idea of teaching again, though it would need to be a very small amount since my full-time, joyful job is being a momma. We shall see how that thought emerges into reality . . .

Yoga is such a wonderful, powerful way to see and feel yourself grow.

Savasana with my son, Zachary

Savasana with my son, Zachary

Sometimes the growth is inward, and the practice teaches you how to be patient, back off, rest and be gentle with yourself. Sometimes the expansion is graceful and strong, energetic and playful.

Always, yoga offers itself to you, meets you wherever you are. It has carried me through fear, picked me up off the floor of hardship, and helped me climb out of the depths of depression.

It has given me a way to cultivate balance in my life and to recreate the strength I need and want, offering healing physically and on every other level.

Whether it is the physical practice of yoga, the peaceful anchor of meditation, or the ever-present philosophy that guides me to look for the beauty, trust in the process, and remember the bigger picture of All That Is, I remain extremely grateful that I have yoga in my life.

As the year opens up and the days get longer, may you find the aspects of yoga that are most supportive for you, and grow stronger (or softer if that is what you need) with the light. 



Winter Blessings and an Invitation to Rest

Posted By Katrina Ariel On December 20th, 2014
Comments Off

As the season invites us to turn inward, we have a unique chance to find inner peace in a different way. Winter in the northern hemishpere, and especially in Canada, is a time to slow down, even hibernate a bit, and take time to rest.

I think many of us don’t get enough rest. It isn’t something our society seems to value. Sure, we’re told that relaxation is good, but in general it seems productivity is encouraged far more often.

I’m not against getting things done. Creative endeavors especially (I’m writing a novel while tandem breastfeeding. Yeah.) But there is something so nurturing about giving yourself permission to rest.

As a new mom, rest becomes even more sweet and valued. My boys are actually letting me sleep a decent amount most of the time, for which I’m grateful. I sure notice a difference in my ability to conjure the infinite patience and sparkling love with which I want to raise my children when I’ve had enough rest.

No matter who you are and what is going on in your life, when you listen to the whisperings of nature and adjust your life accordingly, it can be so rewarding. Winter invites rest, inward contemplation, and a sense of peace that is as beautiful as the blanket of snow that surrounds my mountain home.

For my part, I wish you the sweetest winter blessings. May the longest night of Winter Solstice bring you deep abiding peace, and may the return of the sun signal another year of personal growth. May you and those you love have joy, health, and abundance of all things good!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Bright New Year to you!



Mindfulness While Being a Momma

Posted By Katrina Ariel On November 26th, 2014
Comments Off
Katrina and boys

They were so tiny! But a good size for twins. 5 lbs 10 oz and 6 lbs 3 oz, delivered at full term!

I’m always fascinated by how my yoga practice has changed to meet the varying needs of my life.

For instance, there was a time when I did two hour yoga practices. Sometimes six hours if I was at a training.

Now I sneak a 10 or 20 minute practice in each day, and feel great about it. My meditations are done while breastfeeding, or as I’m falling asleep. I practice deep breathing and Mountain Pose (Tadasana) while pottying babies. I do a forward bend and shoulder stretch before late-night and early morning feedings—it helps me wake up and not be so uncomfortable as I’m bending over a nursing pillow tandem feeding my hungry boys!

I’m not sure I ever pictured myself the mother of twins. I’m still blown away by the fact that I have two sons!

I love it, though. I feel incredibly blessed. Sure, it’s pretty intense when they both melt down at the same time, but that doesn’t happen very often. For the most part my boys are happy, and I’m totally in love with them.

While I was pregnant, I had to change my physical yoga practice to one that created more stability in my pelvis and core. I couldn’t do lunges, and had to stick to all symmetrical postures, or my pubic synthesis felt unstable. I basically did 5 minutes in the morning, 5 minutes in the evening, and a few squats in between. I was so big, by the end of it, that just rolling over in bed was a monumental task. Yet yoga helped me keep it all in perspective, finding gratitude even in the discomfort. Read more…



Creativity in Abundance

Posted By Katrina Ariel On July 4th, 2014
Comments Off

Abundance is the nature of the Universe.

We each have creative energy in abundance. It is a matter of allowing that energy to flow in the ways that are best for you. What is your passion? What makes you feel good when you’re doing it?

We’re all creative in different ways. For me, music and writing are two of the most enjoyable and natural ways to express my own creativity.

Spending time doing something you’re passionate about is so fulfilling. It’s the purpose of life, really, and “following your bliss,” is an excellent way to live. Part of that is allowing your own creativity.

However, it’s not always easy to find bliss in the day to day business of being human. We have to work on it a bit, sometimes.

Truly, living well is about feeling good. What feels good to you? It might be yoga, it might be music, it might be a walk in nature or time sitting in stillness. Or maybe it feels good to you to clean your house, spend time fully present with your loved ones, or nurture your creativity in some way.

Perhaps you want to make a little list right now of ways you enjoy being creative . . .

“The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci

My Latest Creative Projects: Building our Dream House, Writing a Novel, and Growing a Baby

The House: A lot of my time lately is spent managing the construction of our home addition. I’ve learned tons about construction, concrete, electrical, and so many other aspects of building. There have been EPIC trips to Home Depot, lots of little trips to Rona, dump runs and hauling construction materials up in my truck.

The great thing about being pregnant through all this is that everyone wants to help me. And, because I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where everything seems to be an effort, I am learning to ask for help. That’s a new one on me!

One of the fun (and challenging) parts of being the general contractor for this project is making all the little decisions that need to happen. Paint colours and light fixtures, interior walls and where the electrical outlets go—all in all it’s quite a creative endeavour! Fingers crossed that it’s in a decently finished stage before the baby comes. :)

The Novel: A little over two months ago I got a huge creative surge and started writing a novel. I’ve written 400 pages since then, and have many more adventures in my mind to put on paper.

What’s it about? Well . . .

It’s an epic adventure of romance, music, time travel and parallel realities: an unexpected expedition that forever breaks the boundaries of culturally conditioned ideas. There are Highlanders, gunslingers, medicine women and seers, Vikings, Druids, Gods, Goddesses, elves and dragons (of course)—with one brave, talented and rather confused woman at the center of it all.

I have no idea how long it will take me to finish the novel, find a publisher, and get it out to the general public, but I do intend to do that. For now, it is sheer joy to write such a fun and emotionally rich story, nurturing my creativity in a beautiful way.

The Baby: Let’s see . . . I’m just about 30 weeks pregnant, and—as I said earlier—I’ve reached the point where everything seems to be much more of an effort than before. There’s a lot of sighing and moaning and groaning every time I move. Heh.

I’m doing great, baby is strong and healthy, and overall I feel good. That said, I’m quite big for my stage, owing to the fact that my body is rather petite. I’ve had to change my yoga practice entirely, reaching out to other teachers for ideas to stabilize my pelvis and find ways to clear the tension that wakes me up at night.

Again, I’m doing great, and it’s a fascinating journey. So it’s uncomfortable. I’m okay with that, because I’ve got a Star Child on the way, and it’s all so temporary. It also gives Casey and I a chance to bond in a different way. He’s going to be an incredible father! I can’t wait to see him with our child.

That about sums it up. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little update, and hope you find an abundance of  joy and fulfilment in your own creative expression.

Blessings!

 



“Goodbye” and Best Wishes from Yoga Boot Camp

Posted By Katrina Ariel On March 7th, 2014
Comments Off

Well, this is it!

It’s time for Yoga Boot Camp to say goodbye, for now at least.

Though I don’t want to say it’s forever, it seems it’s time for YBC to close its doors. Who knows, maybe there will be a revival sometime in the future. If so, we’ll let you know.

The truth of the matter is that we simply don’t have anywhere near the numbers we need to make this program thrive. And it isn’t much fun to struggle with a business, no matter how awesome it is at its essence.

So, like all good things, change is upon us. When one door closes, another opens.

The messages below are from the heart. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook so we can keep in touch!

(And be sure to read the P.S. below too!) Read more…



The Heart’s Song (Poem)

Posted By Katrina Ariel On February 26th, 2014

Maha Shivaratri is here, and so it is a fitting time to go far into the Infinite.

Then again, any moment will do.

This poem is a contribution to the unending number of voices that turn their focus to the divine. It has a likening to Rumi, a tip of the hat to The Fionavar Tapestry, and a soundtrack of hope-bright harmony.

I hope you enjoy it.

The Heart’s Song

The most essential truth of all
Is made of Light
of Fathomless All
wrapped in Oneness
Infinite and Unending in Its expansion. Read more…



For the Love of You

Posted By Katrina Ariel On February 13th, 2014
Comments Off

Self-love is one of the most vital, beneficial, and worthy forms of self-care. Yet so many people find it difficult to even like themselves, much less LOVE who they are completely!

Part of this is a deep rooted misconception in our society that caring for yourself makes one arrogant or selfish. This is completely, utterly false.

Being able to extend love, compassion, kindness and acceptance to yourself is an essential part of being a whole, balanced human being.

It allows you to feel fulfilled within, rather than trying to find what you’re needing from outside sources. And by cultivating this ability to love who you are, including all the mistakes, flaws and quirks that go along with being gloriously human, you are in a position to genuinely love and care for others without depleting yourself.

If you already have a practice of self-love (yes, it’s a practice—some days are easier than others), then you probably have ways you remind yourself that you are worthy, complete, and beautiful exactly as you are right in this moment.

However, if you’re looking for some ways to integrate this practice into your life, here are a few ideas:

1) Every time you find that your self-talk is unkind, respond as if you were comforting a child. Be gentle with yourself, soothing your own thoughts toward yourself in a way that shows compassion. You might feel like you’re having a conversation in your head at first, but gradually you will find that those unkind thoughts are replaced by kind ones.

2) Look yourself in the mirror, in the eyes, and say, “I love you” either out loud or in your mind. Do it every single time you look in the mirror, and you’ll begin to believe it!

3) Tell your body, even your cells, how much you love and appreciate them—especially any parts of your physical body that are in need of healing or you have judged in the past. This is a very healing practice! Sending your physical body love and gratitude can go a long way in repairing energetic and physical issues.

4) Forgive yourself for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you feel needs forgiving. Ho’oponopono is a great way to do this if you don’t have a preferred method.

5) Use the affirmation, “I love myself completely. I accept myself completely.” Again, repeat this until you really feel its truth. It may take some time, but it is an incredibly transformational practice!

Remember, loving and accepting yourself are your birthright! A child comes into the world knowing it is perfect, knowing it is made of love. Experiences along the way can change that perspective, but the underlying truth is this:

You are worthy of the most complete, unconditional, innocent and intimate love! Tell yourself how much you love YOU, every single day.