A GOOD GUIDE TO RESTORATIVE YOGA AT HOME
with david good
May 31 2017
If your life is feeling hurried and busy, you might not need for your daily yoga practice to be fiery and fast-paced. May we suggest exploring a Restorative Yoga practice on those days when your energy is low or you feel you need more quiet and calm. Restorative Yoga is a simple, but profound practice which requires only a few props, a quiet space and a little bit of time. We’ve asked Toronto based teacher, David Good to share a favourite restorative sequence that is simple to create at home and is adaptable for any body. Follow along with this Good Guide to Restorative Yoga at home anytime you need some grounding and some time to come back to yourself.
BATHING IN SOUND
with megan marie gates
April 21 2017
On a cold night in February, I went out for a bath. It was a Saturday evening at Union Yoga in Toronto where several of us gathered together under the guidance of Kim McBean and Megan Marie Gates for a workshop of Soul + Sound. A night of Moving Meditation and Vibrational Medicine.
I arrived early, just as the previous class was letting out. The room was dim and the moisture and heat of 30 bodies that filled this space before we had arrived still lingered. Keeping the lights low, Kim burned some Palo Santo and slowly visited each corner of the room. Megan Marie removed the beautiful fabrics that cradled each of her crystal singing bowls and arranged them in a loose circle at the front of the room, slowly building her sound altar. With calm ritual and intention, a space was held in that room for each of us to explore a subtle and elemental movement practice as we bathed in sound.
Sound Bath. A wave of frequencies, the layering ebbs of crystal singing bowls, voice, chimes and drums. To bathe in it is so refreshing, so soothing and powerful. It’s an immersive experience that inspires deep relaxation, release and connection.
"Sound has been utilized in various cultures for thousands of years as a tool for healing.
Whether through the use of mantras as with the Hindis, the Icaros (medicine melodies) of various Indigenous peoples from Central and South America, or Pythagoras' use of interval and frequency, these various techniques all have the same intention: to move us from a place of imbalance to a place of balance."
So it is in us to be moved by this experience, which shouldn't come as a surprise. We all have that song that can move us to tears, an album that places us back in time when we were a completely different person in a completely different life. You know the power of sound, now imagine the power of bathing in it.
All at once, grounding, emotional, elemental, comforting, ecstatic, transformative, full. It's a beautiful experience in it's own right and a stunning complement to other meditative and explorative modalities.
Megan Marie offers her sound healing ceremonies often and throughout Southern Ontario. Upcoming, is her Resonance Retreat in the peaceful and picturesque Harmony Dawn Eco Retreat Centre, where you can spend a weekend in nature, meandering through rolling hills and lush forest, sitting in meditation, moving your body, basking in sunshine and bathing in sound.
with the nourished detox
MONDAY MARCH 20 2017
As the promise of spring approaches, we can start to shake off the necessities and patterns of the colder season. Packing up winter sweaters is a little easier than examining the cold weather habits we may have accumulated. If you’re anything like me, some of your more inspired daily rituals fall by the wayside when you’ve been prioritizing coziness, warmth and ease. But I love a good kick start, I love new beginnings and I love a good program to help me through it!
Last year, I took part in The Nourished Detox as a way to inspire my transition into Spring. I was coming out of a particularly low energy winter season and I just needed to be inspired. I’ve known Lara and Kathrin from my years of practicing at Octopus Garden Yoga in Toronto and if you’ve ever been graced by their presence you know that they both embody their work and truly emanate vitality!
Here’s the best thing I got from the Nourished Detox.
I understood what it meant to feed myself in a whole new way.
Despite eating well most of the time, it was the energy I was failing to bring to cooking, preparing and eating that was leaving me feeling less than nourished. We are all busy, right?! BUT… we do still have a choice to make feeding ourselves a priority. During the Nourished Detox, I used the recipe guide and calendar to get excited about shopping and preparing my food. I turned my kitchen into a creative space, lit a few candles and filled the room with music and podcasts as I cooked. I took more time to eat my food (something I constantly have to remind myself to do) and so I brought more intention into what and how I fed myself.
Each week in TND gathering we learned about our bodies, highlighting some exciting things about our digestive and immune systems. (FUN FACT: 4 pounds of your body weight comes from the 100 trillion bacteria in your large intestine!) We explored simple and powerful self care practices and we shared our success stories and challenges. It felt really good to know that my challenges were pretty much the same challenges that everyone else was facing. It became easier to stick with the program knowing we were all in it together. We left each week with the tools to feel nourished, inspiration to keep on and even a little culinary gift to take home and enjoy that week.
Also the food was AMAZING!
Keep reading, I’ve included a sweet and simple recipe below.
Here’s another thing I learned through TND; that shaking up your habits and changing your routine is much easier and much more fun when you do it with a community. Checking in with Lara and Kathrin and the fellow detoxers made the experience one of relationship and support and laughter! Our friends and community can really help to keep us accountable and inspired when trying to create healthy new habits. If you want to join this community and explore new recipes and healthy ways to truly feed yourself, another round of The Nourished Detox will be starting on April 23 at Octopus Garden Yoga Centre. What a refreshing way to step into spring!
easy peasy & nourishing banana chia pancakes
yes, you can eat pancakes on a detox
MAKES ONE SERVING
2 TSP CHIA SEEDS
1 TSP COCONUT OIL
Combine ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Heat oil in a frying pan. Spoon batter onto pan into small-sized pancakes (makes 2-3). Serve with berries and a touch of maple syrup.
Best served on a self care Sunday with friends and family or with some quiet time and a favourite book.
Eat slow and enjoy.
meet your guides
KATHRIN BRUNNER, CNP, RYT
Kathrin is a Toronto-based nutritionist and yoga teacher. She has a passion for holistic living and is a super-avid DIYer who has created several lines of natural body care products and is a nutrition expert and recipe developer for Clean Eating Magazine and Tuja Wellness. Kathrin teaches at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition and has a private practice that offers nutrition counselling, as well as a variety of workshops, corporate talks and yoga classes. Visit her website at For the Love of Body.
DR. LARA JACOB, ND
Lara is a naturopathic doctor in Toronto, Canada. She practices individual medicine and believes that food and lifestyle are the foundation for thriving. Lara enjoys working with people to give them the tools to heal in their own unique way and find resilience through the different stages of their lives. She has a busy practice helping patients with their fertility, immune, hormonal and digestive health, and perinatal care. She is a mom of two boys (and a puppy) and is a singer and appreciator of art and music.