Prenatal Labour Support Workshop September 12

You can sign up to practice as a team for the preparation of a birth with health outcomes!

One day workshop Saturday September 12, 2015 will be held at 150 Suffolk Road in the Art Barn.

10am – 4pm with a lunch break

(Big gratitude to Rebecca and Adam Gold for their amazing support of prenatal learning on Salt Spring!)

Please call Shannon to get information and to register.

250-537-HUGS

shannoncowanyoga@gmail.com

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Prenatal Yoga Wednesdays 4pm

Shannon is offering an 8 week Prenatal Yoga Series

Wednesdays June 10 2015 – July 29 2015

4pm – 5pm

$15 drop in

Ganges Yoga Studio (at the Wellness Centre)

120 Hereford Ave., Salt Spring I. BC

shannoncowanyoga@gmail.com or 537-HUGS for questions

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Spring 2015 Prenatal – Yoga and Birth Preparation Class

Coming in June 2015 on Salt Spring Island!

12 Hour Certified Lamaze Childbirth Preparation Class

Plus…Prenatal and Couples Yoga before the class (optional)

Dates likely to be Sundays. Call Shannon if you have input about preferred date or time and to register!

250.537.4847.

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Self Cleaning Body and Mind

Spring is here! We are being called to clean out the habitual patterns – especially what and how and when we eat foods. Letting our diets change with the seasons is especially important for maintaining healthy sleeping and physical rhythms. Yoga can help, but the awareness gained from regular yoga practice must also be turned into action.

What are the signs….? They differ for everyone. Some might include: bloating and gas, periodic unexplained temper, nausea and pain in several gut organs/areas after eating, headaches upon awakening and after eating, abnormal bowel rhythms and stools, dizziness and abnormal levels of exhaustion after regular exercise, anxiety and inability to catch one’s breath, fogginess in the brain, itchy skin or ears.

I’ve been training for the triathlon season for the last 7-8 weeks and in the last 4 weeks have been stopped several times by some of these symptoms.

What is helping? Live probiotics (not in pill form – that made it worse) like Kombucha, and unpasteurized sauerkraut with only sea salt, water and cabbage in it. Ginger and roasted garlic have also been palatable and seem to help.

Most of all – it helps when I practice yoga. Mornings, evenings and teaching yoga classes. When I practice, even if I’ve been hungry, grumpy, stressed out by commitments I cannot keep or things that “don’t get done perfectly”, I achieve clarity, calm, zero distress in my gastrointestinal system and deep breathing and joy. You can too!

Yoga practice can “look” like a lot of different things for different people. Are you someone who needs to learn some basic tools and attend regular classes with a certified teacher? Maybe you’ve practiced off and on, and the regular classes and teacher keep you committed to the Path of Self Discovery and Healing. Perhaps you honour the benefits this brings to your life, yet struggle with keeping a practice on your own? Are you in need of community to keep you going in your commitment? Does your yoga look like ten minutes of stretching and an hour of chanting and meditating? Does it look like specific breath work/pranayama in a seated position, and muscle tension release poses, without a specific sequence or series or oriya? Do you like the simultaneous mental ease and stimulation of a different Kriya every time you practice? Do you find deep benefits from the mental and emotional release of a series of asana and pranayama where you don’t have to think too much about what comes next and can go deeply into consciousness awakening and mental-emotional cleansing?

There is something for everyone in the pursuit of awakening in the morning and asking yourself a question as you gaze in the mirror at your own soul through your eyes.

“What is my practice, today?”

Curiousity and time to Know Thyself – these are my greatest tools in the Practice toolbox.

Blessings on your Journey. If my offerings of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan can be of service in your journey, I will see you in class!

Please be welcome to explore some of the powerful Mantra and Sound Healing that is becoming available through the gifts of Snatam Kaur – including a free online web conference offering!

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What is ‘Retreat’?

For some, the idea of “going on retreat” is like the tastiest food on the tongue and words to be savoured with a smiling soul. For others, retreating from habits, patterns and “what you are used to being and doing” brings up fear, uncertainty and resistance – to the max. This little bit of writing is to entice both kinds of people, and everyone in between, to consider what ‘retreat’ can bring if you offer yourself to the possibilities with a full heart.

For me, being in Kundalini Yoga Retreat gifts my mind with the purity of awareness without the clutter of navigating relationships to family, work commitments, even leisure and vacation pursuits. It provides a beginning and ending to pursuit in the deep pool of blissful awakening into sensory fullness; listening with ears, heart, mind and body to both a world ‘inside’ of what we call ‘self’ and learning new perspectives on our participation in nature. Retreats can awaken your mind and heart/soul to a purpose –  energy that calls you forward into the next phase of living with more grace, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and mindfulness. The results? They can be beyond words…..

I have considered hosting my own retreat – offering a way for people to converge in space and time to employ the tools of Kundalini Yoga, awaken through interaction of mind, body and soul with the healing elements of the natural world on Salt Spring island, and conscious communication with what we call the “heart” or “soul” or “intuitive self”, including the ability to listen by quieting the influence of external factors like relationships, electronic technology, work commitments, etc. So far, it has not dropped into place, and I trust this is not yet quite the right offering for me. Partly, I feel I am still a student of retreats, even though I have been teaching Kundalini Yoga for 14 years. I also have a family whose commitments during May – September are varied and not routine in terms of timing, and the childcare falls mainly to me, making preparation and leading of a retreat (minimum 1 week of time full time work), difficult to manage with my other work & home duties.

Last year, in September 2013, I had the absolute blessing of arranging to attend a Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Retreat to Awaken the Heart on Denman Island, B.C., and I was reminded of the immensity of transformation that is so easily and effortlessly available when we surrender ourselves to this practice for more than 2 days in a row. As Yogi Bhajan might say, the daily early morning practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, including the Aquarian Sadhana chanting practice, has the ability to cut through the muck and shine one’s inner diamond.

In lieu of hosting a Salt Spring Kundalini Retreat this spring, I am teaching a 10-week Women’s Kundalini Yoga series “To Live from the Heart” and a 9-week Kundalini Yoga for All Levels “Balancing the Physical” series (ages 11 and up). My main goal with these classes is to provide space to drop into weekly mini-retreats that offer to reverse the effects of stress and aging, to cleanse mind and body, to heal past thought patterns or ‘heart’ wounds, to strengthen and clarify one’s commitment to health and wellness, and to further skill development in the art and science of Kundalini Yoga – a technology that works – especially when it becomes a daily ‘conscious’ habit.

My classes are designed to meet you where you are mentally, emotionally and physically, to help you learn to confront yourself for those patterns that are not serving you and the life you want to live! One does not need any level of flexibility or mental practice to attend!

For deeper retreat effects with this powerful technology ~ consider joining in one of the local Kundalini Yoga Retreats this year:

Denman Island Retreats with Devmurti and Hari Amrit Khalsa.

Sooke Blackfish Inn Kundalini Retreats with Siri Amir.

White Tantric Yoga Retreat Summer Solstice in Espanola, New Mexico, USA.

 

 

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Synchronize Your Mind

Kundalini Yoga offers so many ways to integrate The Mind, The Body and The Spirit….this trinity of experience. Mind is, by and large, the “where” and “how” consciousness gets molded into living as pure consciousness interacts with matter. Humans are often living more in “the mind” than in the body. Another Trinity in this practice is the three “functional” aspects of the Mind –

Positive: the expansive sense of life, in the flow

Negative: safety and warning, drawing boundaries that serve you

Neutral: lucid and spacious – receptive and meditative (which we’ll explore in Thursday 9:30am class on March 6).

Through union of breath, sound, vibration, movement and energy flow, we have access to awareness of how the mind is working, and in this very awareness lies tremendous power and peace.

Here are two meditations we practiced the last two weeks in our Thursday Women’s classes for cultivating particular strengths of what we call “Mind”.

Yogi Bhajan taught us that, according to Kundalini Yoga Philosophy (originating more than 10,000 years ago), the mind contains 81 different facets. Universal Mind is acted on by many forces and elements; among others, it interacts with three functional minds 1) Positive, 2) Negative and 3) Neutral, 9 aspects and 27 projections.

Here is a meditation taught by Yogi Bhajan that helps one to deal with threats and balances the “Negative”. When out of balance, you may perceive that you are personally at risk when you are actually not. It can result in “stress and anxiety” beyond what is real. Too weak in this aspect of Mind and you are over-trusting and have a hard time discerning ill will and end up an unwitting victim. Too strong, and you doubt yourself constantly – even to the point of relentless inquisitions of others. You have difficulty cultivating trust in anyone or anything.

Synchronization Meditation for the Negative Mind: “How to Deal with A Threat”:

Sit with a straight spine. Relax arms at the sides with elbows against the ribs. Forearms are parallel to the ground and angled outward just as your thighs are angled as you sit cross-legged. Hands form “closed lotus” with your thumb tips touching all four finger tips at a single point facing upwards. Focus your eyes at the brow point. Inhale deeply and fully. Exhale completely. Lock out your breath and pull the navel point and mulabandha (root lock). As you hold the breath out, repeat mentally:

Sa Ta Na Ma X4 (16 beats total on one breath).

Then inhale deeply and slowly and repeat. Continue 7 minutes to start. Build this practice to 31 minutes. This meditation takes you beyond fear, and it lets the solder act direct and true.

Synchronization meditation #2:

If you are out of balance and overly in the Positive mind, without enough of the neutral and negative, then you leap into everything that crosses your path, and often are impatient and pushy. If this aspect is weak, however, then you may be satisfied with temporary success, not accept feedback, nor see the full impact of your actions. When balanced, you are strategic, successful and have an expanded sense of life – non-attachment makes life a dance with much creativity and gratitude.

Kundalini Laya Yoga Meditation: Positive Mind X Buddhi (discernment and intuition).

Sit straight and put the palms in prayer pose at the heart center. Focus eyes up to brow point (And through it). Chant:

Ek One Kar-A

Sat A Nam A

Sir-Ee Wah-Ha

Hay-G’rooo

Pull navel in on “Ek” and lift diaphragm firmly up at each “A” sound. Relax on the last line – Hay G-roooo.

Imagine the sound is energy spinning from the base of your spine, up through each chakra, and out the spinal cord in a right-handed helix.

Continue 31 minutes.

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Centering at the Heart

Finding our heart spaces and the way of listening from the heart instead of the head is the journey of our lifetime. Yogi Bhajan offered us countless opportunities to discover this for ourselves and to experience the distinction between centering at the heart and living in the head.

This week is a heart week for my five classes. If you feel disconnected from your emotions  – “What am I feeling right now??”, and if you want to increase patience and your capacity to give and be of service for enhanced feelings of fulfillment and joy, I offer one way to experience the tools to get us there. Breathe and move and resonate sacred sounds to open your heart!

Next week until December 12 we’ll have Women’s classes on Thursdays at the Gatehouse 9:30am and All levels classes on Thursdays at 5:15 at the Art Barn before Dance Temple. Come on out!

Sat Nam.

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