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Welcome to my Blog!

News, events, thoughts, musings, inspirational quotes. Anything goes!

Newest entries are on top, be sure to scroll through.


Thank you 2020!

December 31, 2020

Wait - did I really say thank you 2020?  Yes, I did.  In no way am I making light of the devastating effects this pandemic has had on so many people, especially those who have lost loved ones - one life lost to COVID is one too many - rather, I am choosing to end the year on a positive note with the hopes of starting 2021 on a positive note as well.  2020 has no doubt been a year full of challenges for so many people, myself included, but I can think of numerous good things the past year has brought as well, and that is what I would like to focus on.


• Time. I always said I just wanted more time, I was given an abundance of it last March.

• I always said I just wanted a day or two where I didn't have to leave my house - now I have that and more! I still like to get out of course, but now I can choose if/when I want to leave the warmth and comfort of my home.

• I finally got around to launching my YouTube channel!  People had been asking me for a YouTube channel for years, but again, time was always an issue.

• I launched my Tibetans course on Udemy.  This is something else that had been on the backburner for quite some time and now I finally had time to do it!

• Slower pace.  Life was very hectic before - teaching 6-7 days/week, driving kids to and from school and constantly running around.  I have come to realize that it was too much and that I needed to slow down and truly live my life.

• Not having to round up my kids and rush them out the door on a cold winter morning.  With my kids doing at-home learning, we have all appreciated starting the day in a much less stressful way.  The way you start your day can have an impact on your entire day.  Starting our days without the stress of navigating busy streets and getting my kids to school on time puts them in a better frame of mind for their studies and me in a better frame of mind for my day.

• More time with my family.  With all of us being so busy before, we were often like ships passing in the night. Now we are together all the time, and I love it! I would even say that our relationships are stronger and my kids have found a new appreciation for each other.

• More time to explore the great outdoors in and around this beautiful city.  I discovered natural areas I had never been too before and really took the time to enjoy them - at sunrise, sunset and all hours in between.

• Seeing beavers for the first time ever in my life!  Watching these wonderful creatures go about their work and play in the fading light of day was spectacular. Holding eye contact with a beaver for several seconds was magical, as was watching a baby beaver play in the oxbow.

• Being forced out of my comfort zone.  Losing my employment has definitely been upsetting, but it has also forced me to find new ways to share my passion.  It's still a work in progress, but I am trying.

• Having the person in front of me pay for my Starbucks order for the first time ever. Wow, such a simple act of kindness sure put a smile on my face!  And of course, I then paid for the car behind me, which made me even happier.

• Receiving support from friends, family and Yoga students.  Whether coming to my outdoor classes, offering words of encouragement, purchasing my videos or my book, subscribing to my YouTube channel, signing up for my newsletters, offering financial support, attending a livestream or just reaching out to say hi, it was all noticed and appreciated!

• Hearing heartwarming stories of how communities have come together to support one another, such as the kind soul who left $250 gift cards on several doorsteps in a West End complex on Christmas or the woman who offered up her turkey to a needy family because she had lost her husband and didn't need a whole turkey for herself, which in turn sparked more turkey donations.  There is a lot of kindness and beauty in the world if we choose to see it.


So, rather than saying good riddance to 2020 and kicking it to the curb, I would like to thank 2020 for challenging me, for helping me grow, for making me stronger and for bringing my family closer together. While I am still struggling with unemployment, still missing teaching in-person classes and still missing rock concerts, hockey games and seeing family and friends, I have learned a lot about the life I was living before and the life I want to live going forward.


Happy New Year everyone! I can't wait to see what 2021 brings.


Savasana

December 25, 2020

Savasana (corpse pose, final relaxation) is one of the most important poses in our Yoga practice and yet it can be one of the most difficult for many people. It can be tempting to skip savasana, especially when practicing at home, but I encourage you to allow at least a little time for this all important pose, surely whatever awaits you after class can wait another minute or two. There are numerous benefits to savasana, but simply put "it removes fatigue caused by doing the other postures and calms the mind so that one finishes the practice feeling refreshed and invigorated." (Sophy Hoare)


Try out my video, Hatha Yoga with a Nice, Long Savasana on YouTube!

https://youtu.be/TlFtIYMccSc


The Original Five Tibetans video course is on Udemy!

November 20, 2020

I'm thrilled to announce that my Original Five Tibetans video course is (finally) live on Udemy!  Becoming suddenly unemployed due to COVID in March was difficult, but I decided to take the gift of time that I had been given and work on my video course.  It took me about eight months, but I did it!  The course is about 1 hour 45 minutes of videos and includes a downloadable handout and a quiz.  You do not have to complete it all in one sitting, it will save your progress.  A long of time, effort, energy and passion went into my book and my course.  You can pick up a copy of my book from me, from amazon or in my online shop and my course can be accessed here:

https://www.udemy.com/course/the-original-five-tibetans/?referralCode=5BDF683A3C2C5B2E19E9


Outdoor classes have wrapped up for the season

October 13, 2020

A huge thank you to everyone who attended my outdoor classes over the last few months!  It was fun while it lasted, but it was inevitable that the weather would become too cold for outdoor classes at some point.  We had a nice long run though, June - October!  It was so nice to be able to connect with you in-person and to share Yoga in the beautiful setting of Primrose Park.  I intend to start up outdoor classes again in the Spring!

Classes at Lynnwood Community Hall will start on October 23 at 1pm.  Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay in the loop!

NEW!  Introduction to the Original Five Tibetans on YouTube

September 8, 2020

This introductory video is intended for those who have my book and/or have attended my workshop and/or have a solid understanding of and experience with the Tibetans.  This video focuses on just the physical movements, but there is so much more to know about the Tibetans in order to fully embrace the practice.  It is not meant as an instructional video for those who are new to the Tibetans, however if you would like to see what the Tibetans are all about, feel free to watch it.  If you are interested in embarking on this journey, I highly recommend my book and/or my video workshop - both are available in my online store.  I am passionate about the Tibetans and about sharing Peter Kelder's original instructions for this practice, I hope you find it just as intriguing as I do!  You can find the video here:

https://youtu.be/r536lBgSLoA

Life is available only in the present

August 10, 2020

I love this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh:

"People sacrifice the present for the future.  But life is available only in the present.  That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring up to the here and the now."  

BENDER BALL YOGA VOLUME 2 NOW AVAILABLE

August 5, 2020

Bender Ball Yoga Volumes 1 and 2 are now available in my online store!  Videos will be sent to you in either DVD or USB format.  Bender Balls are also available for purchase, either individually or packaged with a video.  More Bender Ball Yoga to come.  

THE ORIGINAL FIVE TIBETANS VIDEO COURSE NOW AVAILABLE!

August 1, 2020

Visit my online store to pick up your copy of my book, The Original Five Tibetans and my video course by the same name.  The book and course can be purchased as a package or individually.    Video course will be sent to you in DVD or USB format.

New outdoor class added!

August 1, 2020

Join me for outdoor Yoga classes at Primrose Park on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00.  As these classes are weather-dependent, cancellation notifications will be sent by email by 10:00 the morning of the class.  Please subscribe to my newsletter so you receive class information and updates.  

The Crocodile Series now available on DVD or USB!

August 1, 2020

The Crocodile Series is not widely known or taught, but it is a fabulous series for spinal mobility.  The Crocodile Series is one of my most-requested classes - check it out!   Video available on DVD or USB flash drive.  Visit my online store to order your copy!

YMCA update

August 1, 2020

The Jamie Platz YMCA reopening has been delayed.  There is no opening date as of yet, but it looks like it will be at least September.  Sign up for my newsletter for updates.  

Bender Ball video and Bender Balls now available!

16 July 2020

Visit my online store to order your Bender Ball and Bender Ball Yoga Volume 1 video!  Videos will be sent to you in either DVD or USB flash drive format.  My Bender Ball classes are always very popular - give it a try!

Outdoor classes

06 July 2020

I will be offering outdoor classes over the summer, weather permitting.  Sign up for my newsletter and check my Facebook page for updates.  

Breathing

06 July 2020

"Wrong breathing - the beginning of sickness. Rejuvenation starts with the correction of breathing."

This quote is from another book in my collection of older Hatha Yoga books, this one is by M.J. Kirschner.

Every class I teach begins with the breath, Yoga teaches us how to breathe. Learning to work with our breath is one of the biggest benefits of a Yoga practice, actually. Connection to the breath is so important, it's one of the things that separates Yoga from other forms of physical activity. Yoga is, above all else, a health and wellness practice, and the breath is a huge part of that.

YMCA reopening

06 July 2020

The Jamie Platz YMCA is scheduled to reopen on July 22.  I will provide more information as it becomes available.  

LA Fitness is open!

13 June 2020

All LA Fitness locations in Edmonton have reopened on a limited group fitness schedule.  At this time, I am only teaching Saturdays at 1100 and Sundays at 0945, both classes at the West location.

Online classes now available!

23 March 2020

In an effort to continue to share Yoga while doing my part to practice social distancing, I have started up a YouTube channel.  Access to my videos is free, but please subscribe to my channel so you will be notified when new content is available.  There is currently one video available with more to follow - enjoy! 

Find my channel here:   

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC50PDriUG-WUwGfLygcH9QA


The Original Five Tibetans Video Course Coming Soon!

23 March 2020

I am taking the gift of time that I have been given with the closure of my employers (and thus the loss of my jobs) and putting it to good use.  I am preparing an Original Five Tibetans video course that I hope to have ready to go in the coming weeks.  Check back here for updates.  

All public classes on hold indefinitely.  

23 March 2020

In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, all fitness centres have been closed and my classes are cancelled until further notice. My classes at Lynnwood Community Hall are also on hold until further notice. Let's all do our part to practice social distancing during this challenging time. Stay well and stay tuned for online classes.

Meditation, leave your doors open

05 March 2020

Meditation does not have to be complicated.  We don't need special cushions, music, candles or even silence.  Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes and following your breath.  Even walking can be a meditation.  It's not about emptying your mind, that will never happen, it is about noticing your thoughts and letting them go.  I read a quote today from Shunryu Suzuki that explains this concept quite nicely:

"Leave your front door and back door open.  Let your thoughts come and go.  Just don't serve them tea."    

Amazon

05 March 2020

My book is now available on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com!  If you have already purchased my book, please consider signing in to your amazon account and leaving a rating or review for my book.  

Expectations

05 March 2020

Sri Chinmoy said "Peace begins when expectation ends."  

This is very true and can be applied to your daily life and to your Yoga practice.  We sometimes put unrealistic expectations on ourselves and on others.  This often leads to disappointment, especially if others are not aware of what we expect of them.  Practice Yoga without expectations.  Listen to your breath and your body and allow your body to do what it will do without judgement, criticism or expectations.  Accept what your body does for you with gratitude.  Accept that you are not perfect.  Accept that others are not perfect.   Once we stop expecting and we begin to allow and accept, we begin to find peace.

NEW!  Mini workshops

29 December 2019

Interested in learning The Original Five Tibetans but with a smaller time/financial commitment?  I will be offering mini workshops in January to kick-start 2020.  Workshops will be one hour in length and will focus primarily on the physical practice.  No handouts will be provided, so participants will be required to have a copy of my book.  Limited time special offer, $35 for the mini workshop + book.  Space is limited, check my Event Registration page for details. 

How does Yoga relieve stress?

Posted November 10, 2019

Stress. Something that many people experience and something that can be very damaging. Stress can be caused by things like work or family issues, poor sleep habits, illness, pain and hormone imbalance. Interestingly, stress can also be the cause of these issues. Stress can activate the sympathetic nervous system, causing people to be in a state of "fight or flight", which is not a healthy state for the body to be in on a regular basis. There are many ways Yoga can help with stress reduction, here are a few:


Yoga helps to put the body and mind in a state of ease, allowing many of the causes of stress – and also the symptoms of stress – to be addressed.


Certain pranayama (breathing) techniques can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which counteracts the effects of the sympathetic nervous system. Breathing deeply brings in more oxygen and more prana (energy), allowing us to feel more vibrant. Pranayama also quiets the mind and allows us to thing more clearly.

Yoga is a mindful practice. Being mindful allows us to live in the present rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.


Stretching relieves tension in the body and can also release endorphins, or "feel good" hormones.


Yoga improves posture. When you are able to sit or stand tall, you just feel better physically and mentally.


Yoga moves our joints and strengthens and stretches muscles, allowing greater ease of movement.


Yoga can help with insomnia and can improve quality of sleep in general. When we are well-rested, we are better able to handle the challenges life throws at us.


These are just a few of the wonderful things Yoga can do for you. See you on your mat! 🙏❤️

Upcoming workshops:

Posted October 31, 2019

Join me at one of my three upcoming events in November:


November 11, 12:30-2:30 pm, Yoga For Today, Sherwood Park

Sunday, November 17, 2:00-4:00 pm, Callingwood Arena

Thursday, November 28, 7:00-9:00 pm, Lynnwood Community Hall


Register directly with Yoga For Today (780 416 4211) for the November 11 workshop, register through my online shop or through e-transfer to [email protected] for the November 17 and November 28 events.  


Ever think about your path?  I do!

Posted October 16, 2019

I had the great pleasure of attending Oprah Winfrey's “Your Path Made Clear” in June. Oprah said we would already “know” much of what she was going to speak about, and she was right. Just because we “know” something however, it doesn’t necessarily mean we allow ourselves to believe it. Listening to Oprah share her stories helped me to believe what I know.

I have long believed in the "concept" of having a path, but it wasn’t until my mid-40s that I really began to embrace it. I started to accept that my path is unique to me and I began to put more trust in the process. Looking back now, random events no longer seem so random. I am fascinated by how seemingly unconnected events - and people- created a chain reaction of sorts to guide me to my path, even the roadblocks had a purpose. Have I doubted myself or questioned my decisions? Of course. Do I wish we could afford to go on a family vacation and that we didn’t have to worry about how we will pay the bills? Absolutely. But, I also believe that things work out the way they are supposed to and if we put in the effort, find our path, find our passion and stay true to ourselves, we will ultimately be OK.

While there have been a great number of events - and people -that have had an influence on the choices I have made, the direction I have gone and the person I have become, I will highlight just a few.

1982, I was in Grade 10 and was a very shy, insecure teenager who dreaded gym class. Imagine my surprise when my Phys. Ed. teacher asked me if I would teach aerobics to the school. I politely refused, yet I secretly wished I had the courage to do it. I never regretted not taking her up on it, the mere thought of it still terrifies me, but I often wondered what would have happened if I had been more confident in myself and my abilities. Maybe she saw something in me that I did not. The seed had been planted.

1994, I was working overseas and found myself wishing I was a Yoga Teacher so I could teach Yoga to the other expatriates, I could even picture it. I had never even set foot on a Yoga mat at that time, where was this vision coming from?

2001, I purchased my first Yoga mat and began to practice. While attending classes, I started thinking about what I would have taught next, or how I would have done something differently. It was never a criticism of the teacher; I was simply imagining myself teaching the class.

April, 2011, I had been taking a class at my local YMCA called “Fusion” and out of the blue, the instructor asked me if I would teach her class the next day – the second time in my life someone was directing me to this path. I heard myself saying yes. I still don’t know why I agreed to do it, but perhaps I was recalling how I wished I could have said yes in high school and didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity a second time. Despite the fact that I was absolutely terrified, it went pretty well and I ended up taking over the class. I went on to earn AFLCA certification in 2012, followed by Yoga Teacher certification in 2013.

In my youth, my Mom used to watch a show called “Yoga Fits In”, led by legendary local Yoga teacher Gerda Krebs. My Mom would try to get me to practice Yoga with her but I always refused because I thought Yoga was boring. In 2015, I began training with Gerda. Gerda’s TV show had been revived, and although this was my first training with her, she asked me to be on her show. She said that she typically only asked her long-time students, but for some reason, she felt I should be on her show, she couldn’t explain it, she just knew it. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone – again. I ended up appearing on two of Gerda’s shows.

March 2016, during another training session with Gerda, she introduced me to the “Five Tibetans”. I was intrigued and began to investigate, discovering to my dismay that there were several different versions. What was the “right” way to do this? My research led me to Jerry Watt, a rare book collector and editor who is just as passionate about the Tibetans and about honoring the original practice as I am.

April 2017, Jerry informed me that a very rare 1939 edition of The Eye of Revelation, the original book about the Five Tibetans, was up for sale. I became the proud new owner of this book and was now able to practice the Tibetans the way they were meant to be done.

Early 2018, wanting to share this valuable information, I began to plan a workshop. While writing my handouts, I soon realized I had enough information for a book. The thought of writing a book wasn’t exactly new to me. I have considered writing an autobiography before (why, I don’t know) and have also thought about writing a book about Edmonton’s live music history. Once I started to toss the idea for the music book around, it seemed as if at every concert I attended, the artist would share some bizarre story about their time in Edmonton decades ago. I took this as a sign that I was on the right path and I started to picture myself interviewing different artists and amassing a unique collection of stories. The enormity of the project caused me to put it on the backburner however, and that is where it still sits. I’m not ready for a project that immense quite yet, but I am not closing the door on it either, I do think it is a story that needs to be told. Now that I have one book under my belt, I guess another one is not unrealistic.

April 2019, eight years after essentially being pushed into teaching my first class, my book, The Original Five Tibetans was published. It took me a year to write and I often wondered if I was in over my head. Even so, something kept pushing me to keep going; I just knew that this was what I was supposed to do. I now share my knowledge and experience in workshops and will continue to look for more ways to gain exposure for my work. It has been a challenging, uphill battle at times, but I will keep pushing forward on this adventure, on my path.

I may not have understood at the time why certain things happened when they did or the way they did, but when I look back now, I can see that it was all part of the process. I have focused on the positives, but the negatives played a large role in guiding me to my path as well, this is something I am well aware of.

It's been an interesting ride, I look forward to seeing where my path takes me next. #PathMadeClear

Upcoming workshop, November 11, 2019

Posted October 16, 2019

Join me at Yoga For Today in Sherwood Park on November 11 from 12:30-2:30 for an Original Five Tibetans workshop.  Register at www.yogafortoday.ca or 780 416 4211.  

Pick up your copy of The Original Five Tibetans today!

Posted October 16, 2019

I am excited to announce that my book The Original Five Tibetans is available at Ascendant Books, located at #105, 10310-124 Street, Edmonton. Find your signed copy in the "Local Authors" section.


​Signed copies of The Original Five Tibetans are also now available at Yoga For Today, #206, 2016 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park.


Books can also be purchased through my online shop or directly through me, contact me at [email protected] for your copy.