“Goodbye” and Best Wishes from Yoga Boot Camp

Posted By Katrina Ariel On March 7th, 2014

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!)

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From Katrina:

I’ve been letting go of a lot of things in the past year, and welcoming so much as well. I’m more than 12 weeks pregnant now, and savoring the changes in my body as I grow into motherhood. This has motivated my choice to simplify life, spend more time in nature, and focus my energy on the things that feel nourishing and right: home, family, and in the yoga world my book, album, and videos.

My sincere gratitude goes to each and every one of you who have made Yoga Boot Camp such a fulfilling and wonderful experience, including my wonderful instructors (and good friends).

I wish you the best in your life on every level. May you be blessed, and may you continue to enjoy a practice that nurtures your body, mind, and spirit in whatever way feels best to you!

If you’d like to continue to receive inspiring emails from me, please subscribe to my free meditation and yoga wisdom emails.

Love and sunshine smiles,

Katrina
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Yoga With Katrina Facebook

Online Yoga Videos
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From Carrie:

It is with a heavy heart that I write this goodbye to all of you. From the very first class that I attended at Let’s Move on McGill, to the last week of Holiday Camp 2013 at St. Andrew’s (and all the places in between) …. I have truly enjoyed starting my mornings with you. You have all taught me soooooo much, and accepted me into this fantastic community. I have extremely fond memories of starting the day with fun, laughter and energy. I’m sad that I won’t be seeing you at camp, but am hopeful that I will keep seeing you out there….. at fundraisers, hockey games, community events and even on the mat!!

Please remember how STRONG & BEAUTIFUL you really are. Hear my voice telling you that you are PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE & YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!!!

Much Love & Peace
Carrie
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Fenix Yoga Facebook 
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From Deandra:

While I am sad to say goodbye to Yoga Boot Camp for now, I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to teach in such an amazing program. For all the ladies that I was able to teach and practise alongside, thank you for all the fun and inspiration you have given me. As a student I found this program to be truly transformative and as a teacher I couldn’t ask for a more receptive and upbeat group of students.

I hope that you all continue to tap into the greatness that is innately you. I hope that you continue to take the time for yourself, to find joy, be healthy and feel inspired. Mostly I hope that you continue to extend love towards yourself!

All love,

Deandra
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Yoga With Deandra Facebook
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P.S. We love you! We’ll miss you. We wish you all the brightest blessings, happiness and health!



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

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.



Om Namah Shivaya – A Song of Peace and Love (VIDEO)

Posted By Katrina Ariel On January 29th, 2014

Music moves us in so many ways. Mantra in particular can help us to find ourselves again.

How you resonate, or the vibration you feel, can be a conscious choice. The more you choose your vibration consciously, the more you can influence life to unfold in the direction of your choosing.

For instance, if you continually bring yourself back to love, peace, joy, kindness, and the like, then these are the influences that will most often show up in your life. This is the “thoughts become things” theory in practice on a moment to moment basis.

But sometimes it isn’t so easy to stay in a pattern of love and joy, is it?

That’s where music can be so very helpful.

When you listen to (or create your own) music that brings a resonance of light and goodness, it is so much easier to bring the harmony you desire into your own vibration and surroundings.

So, without further ado, here is a music video that has both music and images to help brighten your heart and your day!

If you enjoyed this, please share! You’ll help others grow the feelings of love and peace in their own hearts (and therefore the world)!

This song is on my album, “Gratitude.” Click on the image to the right to purchase on iTunes.



Creating a Feeling of Freedom

Posted By Katrina Ariel On January 24th, 2014

To all of us, freedom is something that is of the highest importance. We each want to feel sovereign to ourselves, able to choose what is best for our own lives and act accordingly.

But for so many people that liberation is blocked by feelings of scarcity (not enough time/money, etc.), or by very real obligations that seem to get in the way of you feeling truly free.

The key is to create freedom within.

In the words of the great Bob Marley, “None but ourselves can free our minds.”

And once you have found freedom within, that feeling informs the rest of your life–no matter what you are doing in the outside world.

Mini-Meditation:

Sit tall and comfortably, letting go of any tension in your face.

Take three slow, deep breaths: in through your nose, and out your mouth.

Feel the Earth below you, supporting you and sending you tremendous love.

Now, bring your focus to your heart.

Feel the rise and fall of your chest as your breath moves.

Your heart center calls you back to your true, divine self.

Remember who you truly are: a child of the Universe, infinitely loved. Take a moment to acknowledge that you are a bright, beautiful spirit!

Keep breathing deeply, bringing your awareness now to your third eye.

Imagine the purest light in the center of your head, even with your brow.

This light bathes your pineal gland and helps to clear your mind.

Take three (or more) slow, steady breaths, allowing this light to literally free your mind and align your mental energy with your heart energy.

As you feel this alignment and the light of your mind and heart come into harmony, bring that beam of light down into your root chakra at the base of your pelvic floor. This aligns your mind, heart, and body, bringing forth the light of your true self into the manifest world.

Take as long as you need, making sure you feel grounded and at ease.

To the freedom of us all!

Katrina

P.S. Music often creates a feeling of freedom without you having to work at it (isn’t that great?!) Check out my mantra album, which so many people have said makes them feel uplifted, peaceful, and free.



How to Stop Worrying

Posted By Katrina Ariel On January 12th, 2014

This is a very simple (though perhaps not easy) way to stop yourself from worrying:

1. Focus on the Now
2. Think about “what IS,” not “what if”
3. Breathe deeply and trust yourself
4. Repeat

Focusing on beauty is a great way to shift your thoughts and feelings.

I don’t pretend to have this mastered, but when I catch myself obsessing on thoughts that aren’t true or serving the moment, this is what helps me get out of that thought pattern.

Women seem to have a particular talent for worrying, though men can excel at it as well. Sometimes I think I’m hard-wired to fret over things completely out of my control, or things that haven’t happened and may not come to pass. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl.

But that doesn’t mean I have to live in a constant state of worry for the rest of my life! We are all able to make choices and changes in our thought patterns at any time.

So, I choose to practice these steps, over and over and over again, as much as necessary until my thoughts naturally stay on “what is,” rather than straying to “what if.”

Some other tips that can help you be free from worry:

  • Get grounded: connect to the earth and focus on the beauty of the natural world.
  • Smile for no reason.
  • Do yoga, or move your body in a way that feels good. This is always a great way to come into the present.
  • Focus your thoughts on what you DO want to happen in your life. Create a positive imprint in your mind and emotions.
  • Sing or put on music that makes you feel good.
  • Get creative in whatever way appeals to you.
  • Pray, if you are so inclined. But do it in a way that states that you are grateful for whatever it is you’re asking for, as if it has already come to be. Having faith (in whatever way naturally calls to you) helps build trust in yourself and in the Universe.
  • Do something that helps you to relax.

What are your tips to stop worrying? Please share them with me in the comments. We can all use all the help we can get. :)



The Scent of the Sacred

Posted By Katrina Ariel On January 8th, 2014

The scent of the sacred permeates all life.

It is most fragrant at times of awe, love,
beauty, and even sadness.

Sometimes it is fouled by fear scents,
or blown about by the winds of struggle,
but the sacred is always to be found
if you are seeking it.

To breathe is to dance with the sacred,
to move is to explore and expand.
To imagine, delights all that is sacred,
And the universe sparkles on one divine hand.

To be still and pulled into the present,
to breathe and feel and belong in the now,
reminds you that you ARE the sacred;
that you are the singer of the song.

Presence of Gaia by Josephine Wall

It’s funny, I haven’t written poetry in such a long time. It was an incredibly ally in my youth, and then I began to sing and I tend to write songs now instead. Which is also good. :)

I did have a time in my life where I would wake up and sit down with a cup of tea and my book of Rumi. And often I am inspired by the prose of authors both humble and well known.

Please let me know in the comments if this has inspired you in any way . . . or better yet, leave some lines of your own poetry to continue the lyric.

 



Taking Leave from Teaching Yoga

Posted By Katrina Ariel On October 25th, 2013

Sometimes the best thing to do is to let go, step back, turn inward, and refocus.

This is where I am at in my life. I’ve (happily) spent the last 7 years teaching yoga, nurturing others, and focusing on my business.

I am now at a place where I need to focus on nurturing myself, my family, and my home.

To do this I need to totally withdraw from teaching.

For how long? I don’t really know. I do know that there needs to be no time limit or expectations around this: I just need to let it all go so that I can take care of myself.

Many of my students have become my friends over the years. You know who you are. I do love you, care about you, and wish you all the joy in the world.

All of the classes I was teaching are continuing. I have done my best to ensure you are in very capable hands by asking Deandra to take over my teaching. Enjoy her fresh energy, and please encourage her as you have done for me. Click here and “Like” Deandra’s Yoga Facebook Page so you can benefit from some of the goodness she is sharing!

Thank you so much for being a part of my teaching, and my life.

Here are some things I’ve learned along the way…

1) Many gifts come from tragedy. Read more…



Navigating Pain and Loss with Grace

Posted By Katrina Ariel On October 14th, 2013

A rather talented intuitive once told me, “Your life is a demonstration.”

I took this to mean that by living my truth, I am often able to bring inspiration or insight to others. I also think that it means I am demonstrating to myself the depth of courage, love, and wisdom that lives within me, and all others.

This particular sharing is a very personal one, and I ask you, as always, to simply take what speaks to your heart, and respectfully leave the rest.

On Sunday I miscarried at 10 weeks of pregnancy.

I started having signs on Friday, and it was scary, not knowing what would happen. However the fear subsided when I knew that I was miscarrying. It was no longer unknown once the process started, and I realized all there was to do was let go and ride it out. My body did a very good job of naturally going through the process, though I will be recovering for some time.

I know that this is very common; that many women miscarry their first pregnancy, and that they often go on to have as many children as they wish. I have friends who have been through this and now have little ones, and this gives me great comfort.

The love and support I have been receiving from friends and family is so appreciated. If you choose to email me with your own words of care, please know that, though I may not reply, they will be gratefully received.

It happened on Thanksgiving weekend, and I find that interesting, especially since we had a house fire 5 years ago at the same time. I think it is a reminder to stay focused on what there is to be grateful for, even within the intensity and emotions of loss.

I also find it interesting that I miscarried a week after I had announced my pregnancy. It would have been much more convenient if it had happened before. Then I could have kept it all to myself and gone on with life without so many people being aware of what I’ve been through.

Yet, that isn’t really my way – to quietly pretend the world didn’t just shift for me. It is much more appropriate that it happened as it did. Because now I can tell you, with my characteristic open honesty, how I feel and what is helping me through.

All is Full of Love

First and foremost, this has been another deepening of Trust.

You can call it “Faith” if you prefer, as there definitely is an element of believing in something unseen. However, it is much more than that, since I have been shown time and again that I am truly taken care of. No matter what.

I keep leaning on that, and looking back on my life at the proof that I see: even in the most scary, uncomfortable, emotional times everything truly has turned out in the best possible way.

And so I stay with that trust. I remember in my heart and think often about how beautifully the mystery and magic of life unfolds when I allow it to do so, especially when it doesn’t look as I think it should. Read more…



Inviting Bliss and Beauty through Yoga

Posted By Katrina Ariel On September 8th, 2013

Every heart's natural state is full of bliss.

It’s curious, to me, that so many of our sacred texts tell us that bliss is our true nature. I find it curious because this is a common experience when practicing yoga, and yet something that is seemingly harder to find in every day life.

So the question is: How do we invite that blissful nature to linger, to come forth fully in each moment?

Part of the key lies in being able to take in the beauty around you. In order to recognize beauty, you must be present in the moment. If you are present, you are less likely to be worrying or preoccupied with thoughts that pull you out of your natural state of bliss.

For some, bliss is a concept that is only “allowed” in small doses. I think that our culture has created a perception that no one is supposed to be happy all the time, that hardship is normal, and that struggle is part of life.

But these are not rules, only ideas that you can choose to adopt or release. You might know someone (or BE someone) who is truly happy most of the time. Why is that? It’s an inner attitude, and a perspective on life that allows happiness to be your natural state.

Yoga is so excellent at helping us check in, let go of anything in the way, and return to that state of blissful experience.

The deeper I go in my practice, the more I am able to find bliss even when my computer dies, or when my dog jumps on my freshly printed posters and ruins them in his excitement.

Okay, maybe I fall out of bliss for a while when this stuff happens all at once, but I am able to come back to center SO much faster than ever before in my life! I recognize that it doesn’t feel good to dwell on what can not be changed, and I choose new thoughts that DO feel good, trusting life to turn out perfectly no matter what.

That, to me, is the biggest contributor: choosing thoughts that feel good, and living in a state of trust in the mystery of life.

And all of the tools yoga offers, including movement, breath, meditation, and contemplation, strengthen your ability to make these choices, with awareness, in each moment.

Quotes about Bliss:

“Now may every living thing, young or old, weak or strong, living near or far, known or unknown, living or departed or yet unborn, may every living thing be full of bliss.”
~ Anonymous, The Dhammapada

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
~ Joseph Campbell

“Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.”
~ Deepak Chopra