Category Archives: Events & Workshops

Taking the One Seat: alignment for meditation

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So you’ve decided that meditation is a great idea, you’ve committed to the time (starting with just 3 minutes a day is great). You are so stoked.

But one of the first hurdles that most of us face is our own body. Aching knees, a tired back, cranky ankles. How to find a comfortable position that we can maintain for the duration of our session, so that the body doesn’t become a distraction? How should I sit? Full lotus? Half lotus? How about “no lotus”? 

yoga-2095502_1920.jpgTaking the One Seat: alignment for meditation is a workshop where I’ll share some of the many options available for your practice – sitting on the floor, on a chair, lying down, using props and more. There are so many more choices open to you. Knowing how to use your body in a variety of positions and settings also means that you can drop into your meditation anytime, anywhere – at home, at the studio, in your office, while travelling and more.

We’ll figure out how what we do with our body affects our state of mind. Explore your sense of alignment from the inside out, inside of fitting your body into a prescribed shape. Then – take that new unique and personal sense of alignment off your meditation seat and into your yoga practice.

Taking the One Seat: alignment for meditation

Sat April 15 from 9am-11am

at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

$30+hst. Pre-register here.

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Filed under Buddhism, Classes, Dharma, Events & Workshops, Meditation, The Yoga Sanctuary, Uncategorized, Yoga

Calming the inner swirl

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We can’t always do much about the outer swirl that we find ourselves in – work, family, media, travel, current affairs, illness, just moving through each day. But we can find a measure of stability on the inside though, so that we’re not so pulled and tossed by the vicisittudes of life.

I’m back at The Yoga Sanctuary this spring with a series of monthly meditation workshops to share ways to calm and still the inner swirl, offering something for everyone. If you’ve never meditated before and are not quite sure what to do. If you’ve had a taste and would like to go deeper. If you have established a regular practice and want to keep it thriving.

Drop into one workshop, or come to all of them. No experience required. Beginners mind encouraged!

Learn How to Meditate – Sat Mar 18 from 9:30am-12noon (repeated Sat May 27)

“Mindfulness” is the buzzword of the day. Together we’ll figure out just what that means, and more importantly why it matters, by returning to the original four mindfulness practices taught by the Buddha 2500 years ago. These are simple and effective tools that anyone can use, regardless of beliefs or tradition. I’ll also share some tips and tricks to get your meditation off the ground (or back on the wagon).

Taking the One Seat: alignment for meditation – Sat April 15 from 9:00-11:00am

Can’t sit in full lotus to meditate? Me either. Half lotus? How about NO lotus? One of the biggest barriers to meditation for many people is finding a comfortable way to be in stillness in the body. How can I still that inner swirl if all I can think about is that my back hurts! We’ll discuss a variety of options that accomodate different bodies, locations and supports like cushions, stools and chairs. Even better, together we’ll explore how alignment can emerge from the inside out, no matter where our bodies are.

Meditation Tune Up – Sat July 22 from 9:30-11:30am

So now you’ve got a regular (maybe even daily) practice going. Yay you! But now the questions are cropping up. Am I doing this right? How do I know I’m getting anywhere?  Or perhaps you’ve hit a roadblock. I’ll share practical advices from the meditation masters of ancient texts in the Buddhist tradition, as well as time for an informal Q & A session.

Sacred Spaces – Sat Aug 12 from 9:30-11:30am

So now WHERE are you going to meditate? You certainly don’t have to remove yourself to a cave on a mountain to meditate. But it does help to bring together some conducive outer conditions. No matter your living situation, it’s possible to find a creative solution and make a space that is meaningful to you. I’ll share what I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way!) about practice spaces over my 10 years of practice. We’ll cover practical considerations (like time, space and money), enjoy some traditional inspiration, and then consider how to use your space effectively once you have it.

All workshops at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

Each workshop $30 + hst. Preregister here.

 

 

 

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Filed under Buddhism, Classes, Dharma, Events & Workshops, Meditation, The Yoga Sanctuary, Uncategorized

More meditation at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth

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After introducing the Learn How to Meditate workshop at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth this fall, I’m following it up with a course that will effectively support your new meditation practice. Setting the Stage for Meditation is a 6 week course that will help you to cultivate the key conditions that support inner growth for greater freedom and happiness.

We know our inner and outer lives are fundamentally interconnected. So with shifts in our relationship to our world, we can create positive conditions for meditation. Its like an endless feedback loop of wellbeing! Each week we’ll cover one condition, with discussion of how they apply to our modern lives. Includes guided meditation using the breath to develop single-pointed concentration. Beginner and experienced meditators alike are welcome.

If you missed the last Learn How to Meditate workshop, have no fear. I’ll be repeating it at TYS Danforth on Sun April 10 from 9:00am-12 noon.

Curious? Or just want to enhance your practice? 
Join us for this practical and enjoyable workshop. We’ll explore four different mindfulness meditations, using methods rooted in the Buddhist tradition which are useful and relevant regardless of your worldview. Most importantly, you’ll leave with meditations you can practice yourself, as well as tips on how to plug meditation into your very busy real life.

 

Setting the Stage for Meditation -$100 full course, $18 drop-in per class.

Wednesdays 4:30-5:30pm March 23-April 27 (6 weeks)

 

Learn How to Meditate workshop – $25.

Sun April 10 from 9:00am-12 noon.

 

All prices include hst. Please pregister here.

Wear yoga or loose fitting clothing and bring a yoga mat if you have one.

 

 

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The best gift for the holidays

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Photo: Adore mistico by Roberto Ferrarri, Wikimedia Commons

If you are like me, each year as the holidays approach, you vow to do it differently this time. To let go of the stress and anxiety and materialism, and focus on the simple, warm-hearted joys that really matter.

And yet somehow, despite all your best intentions, you end up cursing out someone in the lineup at Indigo, or cutting someone off in the parking lot at the mall, or having that same argument with your sister at the dinner table.

This year, I invite you to take a step that can really help you move in the direction of those positive intentions. Right smack in the middle of the holidays. Give yourself – and your loved ones – the best gift of all. Some peace of mind.

I’m leading the Learn How to Meditate workshop on Sat Dec 12 from 9:30am-noon at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth. You’ll learn simple practices you can use right away for more mindfulness and clarity. I’ll share tips on how to plug the practice into your real (and busy life). Its all do-able, I promise – even during the holidays. Dec 13 is the anniversary of when I started my own daily meditation practice 9 years ago!

Learn How to Meditate

at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

Sat Dec 12, 2015 from 9:30am-noon

$25+hst  Pre-registration recommended.

 

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Creating peace

hugging earth

The headlines and internet these days are heartbreaking. Refugees, racial violence, corporate corruption, poverty, degradation of the natural world.  Many have reacted to recent events with fear, disguised as anger and rage. Even so many people I know who have directed their lives towards compassionate action seem to feel despair and have weary hearts.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said last week that we can’t just pray these problems away – we humans created these problems, so its up to us to solve them. But I do believe that our yoga practice has a place as part, though not the whole, of the solution. After all, peace begins at home. The first step to creating peace in our homes, communities, countries and world is cultivating more peace within our own hearts and minds.

Right now feels like a perfect moment for the Tibetan Heart Yoga practice. This unique series, from the lineage of the Dalai Lamas, merges our physical yoga asana with mindfulness and compassion to unlock our heart chakras, releasing the energetic knots there, dispelling feelings of separation and increasing our warm-heartedness. Using meditation, mantra, breath and asana, we’ll practice sending a loved one everything they need for true happiness – in turn, planting seeds for our own.

I’m happy to be offering Tibetan Heart Yoga this Sun Nov 29 at Ankh Yoga on the Danforth, from 1:30-3:30pm.

The workshop will also include an introduction to your subtle energetic body and its function that you can apply to any yoga you do. You’ll find familiar yoga poses in this series, as well as some unique to the Tibetan tradition. This is a compact practice that can be done in under 40 minutes – perfect for anyone looking for a simple, effective home practice. Suitable for all levels.

With a very specific mental application while moving through the poses, we can direct this practice to an individual or whole groups of beings. Who will you do your practice for?…

they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who used to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?

i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.

 later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere”
~ Warsan Shire

Tibetan Heart Yoga Workshop

Sun Nov 29 from 1:30-3:30pm

Ankh Yoga – 2017 Danforth Ave (at Woodbine)

$35.00+hst. Please note – pre-registration is required for this workshop. Sign up here.

 

 

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Filed under Ankh Yoga, Buddhism, Dharma, Events & Workshops, Meditation, Tibetan Heart Yoga, Tong Len, Yoga

Meditation: Before and After

before and after

These images from photographer Peter Siedler’s Before and After: Portraits from Dathun show his subjects both before and after a month of meditation, revealing perhaps just the surface results that are possible through meditation. If this is what his subjects look like on the outside, imagine what the effects could be like on the inside. Viewers can draw their own conclusions.

before and after 2

Could meditation work for you? Come and find out for yourself. I’m teaching a Learn How to Meditate workshop at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth this Sat Nov 21 from 9:30am-noon. You’ll leave with meditations you can practice yourself as well as tips on how to plug meditation into your very busy real life.

before and after 3

Learn How to Meditate

at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

Sat Nov 21, 2015 from 9:30am-noon

$25+hst  Pre-registration recommended.

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Learn How to Meditate this Fall

photo (credit unkown) via Wikimedia

Curious about meditation but just don’t know where to start? Or what to do with yourself once you do? Or you tried it and fell off the wagon?

I discovered meditation years into my yoga practice. I began my home meditation practice rather secretively, in the early morning hours before my family was awake – partly for the quiet, partly because I was a bit afraid of what they might think or say. I didn’t quite know what to do with myself, but enjoyed the peaceful time and regularity of it. I started with just a few minutes a few times a week. Over time and with some good, solid instruction from experienced teachers, it became a daily practice that’s deepened, become a true pleasure rather than an obligation, and a foundation for wellness and happiness in my life.

I’m offering an introductory workshop at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth twice this fall that will help to de-mystify the whole thing. You’ll leave with some simple techniques for use both on and off the meditation cushion (or yoga mat).  We’ll talk about the benefits, what meditation is and isn’t, how to fit it into your busy life and how to know if you’re making any progress.

Whether you want to learn to meditate or deepen your practice, you’ll find this workshop provides meditation methods that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewiring your brain. You’ll learn practices for both “on” & “off” the mat that will reduce your stress levels, improve your concentration and increase your well-being.

This class demystifies meditation and shows how this ancient practice is easy and can successfully work into anyone’s busy life. You’ll leave the class after practicing several types of meditation and takeaway just the right practice for you. Curious? Or just want to enhance your practice? 
Join us for this practical and enjoyable workshop.

Pre-register here.

Learn How to Meditate

This workshop will be presented twice:

Sat Nov 21 from 9:30am-12 noon

Sat Dec 12 from 9:30am-12 noon

at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave, 3rd floor (at Broadview)

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Tibetan Heart Yoga now on the Danny

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photo credit: Thomas Guignard via Wikimedia

I’m bringing my favourite workshop to the neighborhood! I’m offering a 2 hour Tibetan Heart Yoga workshop at Ankh Yoga on Sunday Nov 29 from 1:30-3:30pm.

Merge your yoga with mindfulness and compassion to unlock your heart chakra. This yoga series from the lineage of the Dalai Lamas releases energetic knots surrounding the heart, to increase our warm-heartedness and dispel feelings of isolation. Using meditation, mantra, breath and asana, we’ll practice sending a loved one everything they need for true happiness – in turn, planting seeds for our own.

Includes an introduction to your subtle energetic body and its function that you can apply to any yoga you do. You’ll find familiar yoga poses in this series, as well as some unique to the Tibetan tradition. This is a compact practice that can be done in under 40 minutes – perfect for anyone looking for a simple, effective home practice. Suitable for all levels.

 

Tibetan Heart Yoga Workshop

Sun Nov 29 from 1:30-3:30pm

Ankh Yoga – 2017 Danforth Ave (at Woodbine)

$35.00+hst. Please note – pre-registration is required for this workshop. Sign up here.

 

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Filed under Ankh Yoga, Events & Workshops, Tibetan Heart Yoga, Yoga

Global Day of Yoga for Nepal May 28

Global Day of Yoga for Nepal

***CHANGE OF VENUE FOR SAT MAY 23 MEDITATION*** Please note that the tong len group meditation on Sat May 23 from 7:00-8:00pm has been moved. It will now take place at The Yoga Sanctuary College (not the Danforth location). Full details at the bottom of this post.

The power of your yoga & meditation practice can change lives. Believe it. Do it.

Join me and yogis all over the world on as we help for those affected by the recent earthquakes in Nepal. I’ll be offering a number of classes to support relief efforts, as yogis unite to rebuild.
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My regular Hatha Flow class on Sat May 23 at 8:30am at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth will be a pay-what-you-can. This class is suitable for all levels.

Later that same evening, join me at The Yoga Sanctuary College (please note the change of venue from Danforth) from 7:00-8:00pm also on Sat May 23 for a special meditation to benefit all those affected by theearthquakes. I’ve give some short instruction on the meditation  known as tong len, then lead the group through the meditation. Tong len means “giving and taking” in Tibetan – we practice seeing ourselves eradicating other’s pain and then sending them everything they need. No meditation experience is necessary, and this practice is suitable for any spiritual practitioners. The Yoga Sanctuary is my “home studio”, and I’m very happy to extend this opportunity to help to the TYS community. 

On Sat May 28, I’ll offer a special 2 hour practice at The Yoga House from 6:30-8:30pm. A 75 min gentle, heart-opening hatha flow series, followed by 45 mins of tong len meditation. Suitable for all levels, no experience necessary. The Yoga House is THE most beautiful boutique studio I’ve ever seen, right here in my Danforth East neighborhood, steps from the Coxwell subway, opening out onto the towering oaks of the Merrill ravine. If you’ve never experienced the incredible peace and beauty of the magical space that yogi Celeste Shirley has created, now is the time!

yoga house

the yoga house

All events are by donation, whatever you can give happily. If you are unable to offer money, please come and offer the power of your intention through practice. All proceeds will go to the 108 Lives Project, who have been changing the lives of the destitute in Nepal since 2008. They have the on-the-ground relationships to reach those most in need, including to remote rural areas that foreign aid often misses, and they’ll be there long after too. The 108 Lives Project was founded by members of my extended Dharma family based in NYC, and I am so happy to have this opportunity to support the incredible work they have been doing for years.

If you are interested in hosting your own yoga event on May 28 for the 108 Lives Project, please check out their FB page. If you are unable to contribute financially or join us in person, please take some time on May 28 to dedicate your own personal practice to ending the suffering in Nepal. There are so many in need, and YOU can make a difference.

Global Day of Yoga for Nepal

Sat May 23 from 8:30-9:45am – Hatha Flow

The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave, 3rd floor (at Broadview)

Sat May 23 from 7:00-8:00pm – Tong Len meditation

*** PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE *** Now at The Yoga Sanctuary College – 2 College St, 3rd floor (at Yonge) 

Thur May 28 from 6:30-8:30pm – Hatha Flow and Tong Len meditation

The Yoga House – 7 Copeland Ave (Coxwell & Danforth)

By donation – what you can give happily

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Filed under Events & Workshops, Meditation, Nepal, The Yoga House, The Yoga Sanctuary, Tibetan Heart Yoga, Tong Len, Yoga

Connecting with Yoga’s Feminine Tradition

niguma

Did you know that the oldest recorded yoga series was created by a woman? Lady Niguma was a highly realized yogini who lived about 1000 years ago in India. Lady Niguma’s Yoga has been preserved and practiced by the yogis of Tibet right up until today. On International Women’s Day, we have an opportunity to connect with the feminine lineage of yoga through her practice.

This unique and accessible series targets each chakra from the bottom up with four principle actions. In this workshop you’ll learn this powerful yogini’s amazing story, how her practice works, and the full series.

Everyone welcome – women and the people who love and honour them! Suitable for all levels.

Sun Mar 8 from 10:00am-12 noon at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

$25.00 + hst. Click here to pre-register.

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Filed under Events & Workshops, Lady Niguma's Yoga, The Yoga Sanctuary, Yoga