Monday, August 30, 2010

Mindfulness Yoga: Daily Practice

Just drawing your attention to a new blog concept by Frank Jude Boccio. Frank Jude says:
this month I will begin offering monthly Daily Practice Challenges. Once again, these will be generally 'simple' practices designed to inspire us to cultivate greater mindfulness throughout our daily lives. 
Follow the Mindfulness Yoga blog to find out what the monthly "Daily challenges" will be, and to use the comments to share your experiences or ask any questions you may have.

Hope you will all join me there! I love the simplicity of the September challenge, and can't wait to introduce some mindfulness into my day!

Also, a sneak preview:
Look out for my out my guest blog at Five Seed - all about my henna experience in natural hair colouring! (Update: it's online!)



(I find it odd to look in the mirror when I take selfies!)

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

awesomeness in the GTA

Just thought I would share a few awesome events being put on in the Greater Toronto Area next month.

The New Leaf Foundation (bringing yoga to youth at risk in Canada) is holding an Urban Retreat Fundraiser with Michael Stone on Sep 12. Click here for details and to buy your tickets. I'll see you there!

The dinner plate project is being held in Pickering on Sep 19! This is a cool one - a hang-glider will fly a photographer over a group of people in the formation of a dinner plate, fork and knife to circulate an image worldwide bringing awareness to local eating! Really wish I could make it out to this one.

These events follow up the fantastic weekend I had at the Yoga Festival Toronto Aug 20-22. It's All yoga, Baby! wrote up a great review. I volunteered at the fest, so I was able to attend 5 classes, lectures and workshops with some amazing and local teachers, including Susan Richardson and Pat Linfoot. I'll definitely take part again next year!

I also picked up a little treat for myself when I was there... Michael Stone's newest book! 

Freeing the Body, Freeing the Mind: Writings on the Connections between Yoga and Buddhism

Can't wait to explore it. It's actually many different authors contributing chapters on the connections between yoga and Buddhism, including Frank Jude Boccio, author of one of my favourite yoga philosophy books. Many other authors that I haven't explored yet as well, I'm excited to read this for my "book report" as one of my post-training projects!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

it's on.

I just officially registered myself for the Niagara Falls half marathon on Oct 24. I've been slacking the past week and a half (after my post, no less!) so now there are NO EXCUSES. I just ran my best 5k in about 3 years. Feeling good, and motivated. Many thanks to the support of my awesome readers :)

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Friday, August 27, 2010

arc of time

One of the incredibly talented fellow trainees (and now fellow teachers :) ) during my July YTT created this incredible video, showing a morning in the life of! Take a look.

I'm the one with the pink mat! Haha, good luck :)
Check out Emily's blog, keeping it simple.

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fill in the blanks... all about me!

Today I thought I'd take a cue from Suburban Yogini and fill in the blanks to let you guys know a little bit more about myself!

1. The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is… Hmm, backpack solo for 18 months? Within that there are a few things that make it hard to narrow down... skydiving, bungee jumping, eating deep-fried taranutula (yes, before I was vegetarian!)
2. If I were a pair of shoes I would be flip flops. Casual and comfortable, almost barefoot!
3. My preferred mode of digital communication is texting. So easy (unless I'm in a hurry- then phone call it is!)
4. I feel happiest when just being with friends. Especially being with friends doing yoga.
5. A little dream I have for my life is live by the ocean (or sea, depending where!)
6. The one modern convenience I could NOT do without is the internet.  I barely watch TV, but when I do i do it via the internet, lol! 
7. Music, movies, TV or books: if I could only choose one to enjoy I would pick This is such a toughie. As much as I LOVE music I think I might have to go with books. Eek, so close! 

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Warrior I! Moksha style with a short stance (which I only have just recently started doing long-stance warriors in other styles... and I like the short Moksha warriors! Great vid).

And a green tips mash-up... kind of like a best of!

Enjoy the videos this month! What's your favourite green tip?

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

running stories

So, it's been a while since I blogged about my running journey - slash - (lack of) progress.
Tonight is the night! Everything is coming together. I took 5 weeks off during my teaching training since I did not have a single drop of energy left in me after 13-14 hour days, 6 days a week. Getting back into it has been slow, and I've been struggling to choose a race- I knew I wanted to complete one by the end of the year, but my time off and need to slowly ease back into it has been very daunting!

Every time I run I think how slow and horrible I am. To the point where I wrote about it on my facebook status like a minute ago. Then, immediately after I read an awesome blog post on the lulu website, about how the author creates this story in her head that she is such a bad runner. Well, that's all it took! After a solid month learning about the stories our ego creates, I've been dealing with one for weeks, months... heck, you could even argue years!

So, my new goal is to stop thinking negative thoughts when I'm running. Just be proud my body is able to do what it can and that I will cross the finish line eventually. And, I think I've finally chosen a race!

It's on October 24th. I asked my sister if she would come out to support me if I ran it alone. (That was one of my fears as well. She initially was going to run a half with me, but has been plagued with nasal issues, a surgery for her deviated septum etc. which is definitely cause for temporary lack of motivation to run). So, this is me, making myself accountable to someone. No more excuses on slacking on the long runs. (Luckily my schedule will be a little bit lighter soon to help make it a little bit easier to fit them in!)

What kind of stories do you create- about yoga, another physical activity, anything? Let's all agree to overcome them together!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the importance of hydration

These notes are from a functional anatomy lecture with Pierre Desjardins, one of our amazingly informative (and HILARIOUS) teachers. I was so lucky to "win" an osteopathic treatment from him for my chronic knee injury. Just brilliant.

Anyways, these probably won't be flowing sentences but this is the gist of it! Hopefully you can look past the school-notes style and see the importance of drinking enough water!!

- to perform at it's peak, the body (made up of 70% water) needs a constant supply of hydration
-> a normal adult at resting needs 4L of water... 2L of which comes from food, the other 2L which must come from outside sources
* Juices, coffee, tea are FLUIDS... not WATER! You need 8 glasses of pure water at REST.
- You should have about 1L of water for every hour of physical activity.
- without sufficient water your connective tissue (CT) starts to shrink and WRINKLE! Yes, you'll look older!
- if you're chronically dehydrated, it can take up to THREE months to rehydrate your tissues!
- aspartame (crystal light, diet drinks etc) turn into formaldehyde in your liver... ew!
- all chronic ailments have a basis of dehydration! (Water can have an antacid effect for acid reflux in as little as 8 minutes!)
- water consumption should be spread out throughout the day to ensure constant hydration, and drink it slowly!
- add a pinch of unrefined pure sea salt to one glass of water a day to balance electrolytes and avoid overtaxing the kidneys (so yup, all those drink mixes aren't even necessary after all!)
- caffiene and alcohol are DEhydrating (which I think we all know!) ... they actually slow blood flow because you lack plasma when dehydrated (not helped by the increased urinating it causes!)
* You should drink an extra glass of water for every cup of coffee, tea or alcohol etc. consumed
- You can actually turn off your thirst signals by repeatedly ignoring them... they will come back after a few weeks of properly hydrating! As well the constant peeing will eventually regulate.

That aspartame bit really hit home. I always knew it "wasn't good" but when you hear exactly HOW... it's pretty disgusting! No more artificial sweeteners for me, and I've been working at weaning my mom off them too. Luckily, she was receptive after I gave her a chapter to read from Skinny Bitch. I just read it, and it blew my mind. I think I'm slowly going to work on going Vegan, or at least half-vegan! I definitely recommend that book for anyone who thinks they can't kick the meat-eating habit. I was you only 10 months ago!

Skinny Bitch
So sorry for the lack of posting. I've been so crazy busy I can't even believe it. This post is cutting into my running time (don't worry, it was a conscious decision!) which is actually usually WORK time, but I got the morning off and I'm actually celebrating!

Share this info with all your friends... so many people are dehydrated and don't even know it!

P.S. How's the new layout? Jamie, you inspired me for a makeover! 

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

conscious food festival

How cool is this? The Conscious Food Festival !
I so wish my month of August wasn't completely rammed with plans what with getting in loads of practice teaching, a 30-day challenge and working on numerous post-training projects all at once to get them out of the way!

The conscious food festival is the first ever Canadian collaborative event to help promote the growing sustainable food movement while introducing thousands of people to food that is local, natural, healthy and delicious.
If you are in the Toronto area check it out... and let me know how it was! August 14 & 15, at Fork York.

As promised, I have a crazy informative post on th importance of hydration... coming soon!!

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Winners and recommendations!

So, the winners of the Ultima Giveaway are... (drumroll please!)
Emma and Lindsay Fields! I've contacted you so be sure to email me your mailing info!

Just thought I'd share a link to an article I was excited to see in the Toronto paper I read, "Hidden Beauty".  Great info to give to the masses, too bad it's buried in the back and people likely ignore what they don't like to hear.
A friend recently lent me an AMAZING book, The Green Beauty Guide. I can't wait to start trying out some recipes for myself! I'm also thinking about making the leap to Henna hair colour... has anyone had any experiences with it? I'd love to know if your hair turned green!

The Green Beauty Guide: Your Essential Resource to Organic and Natural Skin Care, Hair Care, Makeup, and Fragrances 

Namaste, Callah  
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

my first practice teach!

Yesterday, I survived my very first 60 minute practice teaching class post-training!

I had 7 students, of which half were brand new or fairly new to yoga. It definitely changes the experience beyond words from all the practice teaching with very experienced trainees! Overall, I'd say it was a success, I didn't screw up noticeably (I forgot one pose, oops!) and I got some great feedback. My studio doesn't officially run community classes, so rather than making it free I asked for donations to the Africa Yoga Project. I'll do one big donation at the end of the month and the end of my practice classes!

What I need to work on:
-still pushing the class through tough poses while making adjustments
-not assuming new students know what "comfortable" or "good" is supposed to feel like in class
-not getting flustered at the VERY END of class and forgetting to explain what "Namaste" means to new students!
and the big one for me... varying the tone of my voice!

That last one is challenging because that is how I speak, very evenly without much variation. It can be good, as I've had lots of complements on how soothing and laid back my voice is, but that might not be what the students want during a 60 second dancers pose!! I'll keep pushing away at it.

Just a little drawing I made in Kids Yoga this past weekend!

If you teach, what were your struggles when you first started?

(Don't forget to enter the Ultima Giveaway... last chance to enter tomorrow! )

Namaste, Callah
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Monday, August 2, 2010

thoughts on my intensive teacher training


So, I'm alive and officially able to teach moksha yoga :) (I am not fully certified, however, only having put in about 300 of the 500 hours required. The rest will follow in the next 11 months, with 8 projects and lots and lots of personal practice, feedback and continuing Ed.)

A quick note, I've extended the ultima contest for a few days. Due to bloggy inactivity, there are only a few entries and lots of ultima to go around! Find the contest here. A simple comment is all it takes to enter :)

I feel like I'll want to break down some of what I've learned in a few posts, but for an awesome nearly daily account of the training, check out my friend Sophies blog. What dedication, so many entries while I posted a mere 4 times! So, today I will just talk about feelings :) In a nutshell, this training one of the most transformative months of my life. I'll be honest, I wouldn't sum it up as the BEST month since I've been on many amazing journeys and travels, but definitely top 3. While I am super glad to be home and able to catch up on sleep and things which make me a normal person, like massage, chiropractic and sleep (not to mention family & friends, and kitties!) I am also a bit sad the training wasn't long enough to become super close will all 60 people. You know how it feels when you near the end of something only to realize you've got so much more to do, like getting closer with all the people you haven't had the opportunity to with yet? That's the one.

The ending of training was such an incredible finish. On Wednesday, we chose partners and headed wherever we wanted to take turns teaching (and practicing) 60 minute classes. Sophie (blogger linked above) had the amazing suggestion of the beach. So, we found a patch of sand with a gorgeous view of downtown Toronto- CN Tower included :) it was both my favourite teaching and practicing experiences in my yoga life, so far! Talk about idylic.

bliss on the beach.

Thursday after a final hot class together, we headed to a farm for a campout! There was a little bocce and a lot of sunbathing on my behalf, after a month of basement dwelling. Then it was time for the talent show which was truly talented. A couple songs around the campfire, it was after midnight and I was toast!
the barn was the perfect place for another photoshoot!

We also had our grad. Each us us received an "award", based on our intros, presentations, or general dispositions. I think I mentioned before, my topic was "Changing the world by changing yourself". I talked about the movie pay it forward, and like to think i sprinkled a few good deeds in during the month. My award was the "Pay It Forward Award for Selfless Service". So touching.

woohoo! I'm done!

Friday it was back to the city. Lunch with a few girls I had driven, a glorious nap and goodbye to the kitty I cat-sat for (appropriately named Kitty) and it was off to a post- training party for some last fun times as a group. Then, the grand finale of the month. I saw Robyn & Keane in concert, joined by one of the trainees (and a great opportunity to get to know one more person better!) We had the greatest surprise ever when I spotted someone handing out wristbands and I caught her eye with a big smile. We got upgraded to FLOOR seats at the molson amphitheater! Front and centre! Talk about amazing. The concert was incredible, I have wanted to see Robyn forever and the combo of the two bring back so many backpacking memories from Australia and New Zealand.

Today, we got our projects. The email aptly titled, the beginning of the rest of our lives.

Namaste, Callah

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