November is a month of remembrance: to remember and honour the people that we’ve lost in our community and in our history. Though specific events may always be with us, it is uplifting to see us rise up and be there for each other. Poppies are a symbol of this remembrance, but closer to home we see people choosing to show their strength in different ways: By wearing their Abby Strong shirts or red and black clothing; entire schools have even been participating, either wearing Abby Senior colours or their own; to see the people rallying together in black and blue to remember a prominent member of our community who’s job was to keep us safe.
People learning and growing rather than fearing is a beautiful thing, and we should be proud to be a part of this community. We have proven our strength time and time again, and will continue to do so.
These things may be especially hard to face if you are one where the weather affects your mood this time of year. The darker and colder months might tend to bring you down, but it is important to make your mental health a priority. Here are some ways you can practice self care through Fall and Winter:
1) Keeping Healthy Eating Habits:
The holiday season is filled with turkey dinners and Christmas cookies, but adding some nutrition into our meals is essential.
Take even just 5 minutes of your day to calm your mind. Meditation takes many forms: sitting or lying in stillness, a moving meditation like a walk or yoga, downloading a meditation app on your phone or listening to a guided meditation podcast. Which ever you choose, it can significantly — and positively — affect your mood to start or finish your day.
3) Bundle up:
Wrap yourself in sweaters, scarves, socks, and blankets; whatever it takes to get you comfortable. Maybe make yourself a warm drink and cozy up to read a book or watch some of your favourite movies.
4) Diffuse your favourite essential oils:
Essential oils have certain healing powers that will make you feel so good! Some good ones for stress are lavender, bergamot, and lemongrass.
Exercise is important all year round, but it is easy to fall out of your routines during the holidays. Not only does yoga help you move in a mindful way, it is also a great way to relieve stress. Check out our schedule, or book your private consultation with one of our experts.
If seasonal changes affect you at all, remember to take care of yourself ahead of all else. When the days start to get shorter we generally are weary and find ourselves to be more solitary. This is not a bad thing; take it as a time to reflect and recharge. As part of such a beautiful community, remind yourself you are not alone. These seasons are for bringing people together. Be sure to take advantage of them as they come, and remember your strength through it all.
Back-to-school time doesn’t need to be stressful, but even a little bit of stress caused by the excitement of a new school year can throw kids (and you!) a off your game.
Here are some ways to consciously slow yourself down when you recognize you’re stressed–and you can teach these coping mechanisms to your littles, too!
(Breaths, that is.)
When you notice signs of stress, give yourself permission to close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. The extra oxygen increases blood flow to your brain, and restores a sense of calm and well-being. Doing this simple exercise can greatly assist in relaxation of your body.
Taking 5 deep breaths is an easy way for kids to calm themselves and allow for clearer thinking.
Stretch Your Neck
Sit up straight, let your arms hang at your sides, and slowly lower one ear down to one shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, return to a neutral position, and repeat the exercise on the other side.
After that’s done, slowly bend your neck towards your tummy and simply let go. Carefully return to a neutral position, and repeat all three stretches if necessary.
Create a Personal Mantra
Softly chanting something soothing to yourself can be incredibly stress-relieving. This works great with kids, too. Choosing something like “I am calm” or “Be soft, be slow” can really work wonders.
Close your eyes, then breathe slowly and evenly while either verbalizing or thinking your mantra to yourself. Do this five times.
Finding a quiet spot to sit with your eyes closed is key. Focus on your breath, and how your body responds to breathing deeply. Try to take a time out for five minutes, but even doing this for two minutes is helpful.
With meditation, it’s a great idea to create a routine each morning in which to start your day with a sense of calm. Meditating during acute times of stress is great too, but making it an everyday habit can help ward off that stress to begin with.
CLICK HERE to find some guided meditations for kids.
Come to Class
By practicing the above tips, you and your kids can take charge of your back-to-school stress so that everyone experiences a better transition.
If you’re practicing yoga on a regular basis, chances are you’re a fairly health-conscious person. So at Parallel Yoga, we’ve come up with 4 smoothie recipes fit for a yogi! The following smoothies are delicious, nutritious, and full of yoga-inspired goodness.
Please give them a try and let us know what you think!
Green from A to Zen
As the name may imply, this smoothie has everything in it to get your body to where it needs to be. It can serve as a full meal replacement, and because the nutrients are blended, it can be absorbed and used by your body almost immediately. (No heavy digestion necessary!)
Between this smoothie and your deep, conscious breathing, you’re giving your body an excellent start to the day. Throw a little yoga class in there, and your body will love you. Go find your zen with this smoothie.
- Handful fresh spinach
- 1 kale leaf
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 scoop unsweetened hemp protein powder (like Vega)
- 1 tsp. chia seeds and/or shredded coconut (to garnish)
- Combine first 6 ingredients in blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Sprinkle with chia seeds (or coconut) to garnish, and enjoy right away.
Breathe & Banana
This banana-heavy smoothie is chill and full of protein and potassium—a mineral imperative for great heart health, and for facilitating the conduction of impulses in nerve cells.
“Deficiencies of potassium have been linked to an increased risk of hypertension, kidney stones, osteoporosis, carbohydrate intolerance, stroke and cardiovascular disease.” (1)
This smoothie is a great heart helper!
- 1 frozen banana (peeled)
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts and/or a sprinkle of oats (to garnish)
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Garnish with a walnuts (or oats), and drink immediately.
Yin/Yang Smoothie Bowl
Sometimes you want smooth, and sometimes you want a little crunch. This smoothie bowl gives you the best of both worlds!
- 1 frozen banana (peeled)
- 6 frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup vanilla soy milk
- 1 tbsp. chopped pecans (to garnish)
- 1 tbsp. Pepita (pumpkin) seeds (to garnish)
- 1 tbsp. hemp hearts (to garnish)
- Combine the first 4 ingredients into a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix).
- Blend until thick and smooth, adding a little more soy milk if necessary.
- Spoon into a bowl, and garnish with pecans, pepitas, and hemp hearts.
- Eat with a spoon, and love every second of it.
*If you want even more crunch, feel free to add some granola.
Similar to Breathe & Banana, the Tropi-Calm is a calming, muted smoothie that is high in vitamin C and iron—both of which need each other to be absorbed properly. Think of this smoothie as centered, balanced, and perfect for restoring harmony in your body.
- 1 banana
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- 1 mandarin orange
- 1 cup pure coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened, shredded coconut (to garnish)
- 3 chopped dried apricots and/or slice of orange (to garnish)
- Blend first 4 ingredients well.
- Pour into glass, and garnish with coconut, apricots and orange slices.
- Drink immediately!
Enjoy, and namaste, yogis! xo
Yogis. You know we love our studio, but we also love to shake things up once in awhile. This summer, we’re offering one yoga class a week at Glenridge Park from 8:30-9:30pm on Wednesdays. This is your opportunity to find out why taking your practice outside can produce major benefits to your regular yoga routine!
Not sure? Read the following 5 reasons to practice yoga outside this summer:
You Become Better Connected to Your Neighbourhood
Giving up the privacy of a studio to practice yoga outside can be empowering for you and encouraging for onlookers! Also, the sound of the birds and other wildlife can help you feel connected to what the world is like in your immediate environment.
Your neighbourhood is a great place to practice yoga!
The Terrain Makes it Harder
Challenge your body with an uneven surface to practice on!
If studio yoga has become a bit monotonous for you, then outdoor yoga should take you to the next level. Typically, practicing yoga outside increases core tension and demands better balance.
There’s No Competition for Mat Space
You know when you arrive twenty minutes early to class so you can throw your mat down before space becomes dismal? Yeah–you don’t have to do that with outdoor yoga!
With plenty of available space, you can roll in 5 minutes early and set up wherever your beautiful heart desires. Speaking of beautiful…
Practicing yoga outside is beyond scenic. If you’re getting tired of staring at a wall while in tree pose, consider outdoor yoga. Birds, bees, flowers, and actual trees.
That becomes your yoga environment.
You Become Intimate with Nature
We realize nature has been a running theme in this post, but here’s the deal: you and nature? You’re one and the same–you deserve to spend more time together.
Especially in the summer when the option is available to us almost every day!
Becoming more connected to nature is an actual practice–it’s called Earthing! By practicing yoga outside, you engage in a form of Earthing that is beneficial for your body, mind, and soul.
Yogis, consider attending our new Wednesday night yoga classes in Glenridge Park, taught by Jess from 8:30-9:30pm. Sign up in studio or online, using the Mind Body app.
Ah, summer. Here we go! While it’s usually a fun-filled, busy time of year that we all try to fit as much into as possible, it’s also important to remember to take some time.
(Like, for doing slow, meticulous, quiet things.)
But first, what is mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness
Here are 20 ideas to help you have a mindful summer:
- Walk in the rain
- Meditate outside
- Go for a walk by yourself without your phone
- Go for a hike
- Sit by a waterfall
- Read a book on mindfulness
- Practice conscious breathing
- Pet an animal in silence for 5 minutes
- Go earthing
- Paint on canvas
- Commit to keeping a journal
- Write some poetry
- Eat an entire meal in silence
- Take a 24-hour technology break
- Create a peaceful space in your house
- Intentionally watch a sunrise AND sunset
- Practice daily gratitude
- Initiate a conversation with a homeless person
- Volunteer somewhere
- Stretch for 5 minutes every day
Wanna be especially mindful? Try going through this list every month! Or sharing it with others. Or adding your own ideas to it.
To be extra awesome, try attending a yoga class three times a week or more! By the end of the summer, you’ll be thanking yourself for both upping your mindful game and getting in shape, both physically and mentally.
And because we’re big fans of yoga and nature in combination, we’re offering Yoga in the Park on Wednesdays at 8:30pm starting in July. Attending this class each week can help you add yoga to your schedule while practicing with the birds and the bees.
For more information, visit our website or stop by the studio. Happy Summer, friends!
Namaste, lovely yogis.
There are many benefits to practicing yoga, and relief from stress and anxiety is just one of them—but it’s a big one.
Many medical professionals believe that stress and anxiety are underlying issues that contribute to a huge variety of diseases, including digestive disease, some types of cancer, obesity, skin conditions, and many more.
By ridding yourself of the triggers that cause anxiety in your life (or learning how to manage it more effectively), you can give yourself a leg up when it comes to disease prevention. That’s huge! And at the time of year when kids are taking exams and sports are wrapping up, life can sometimes feel out of control.
But yoga helps.
Here are 5 ways in which yoga can help to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, while also teaching you to deal with them in ways that are productive and healing:
Yoga Teaches You to Use Your Breath
We all breathe, but learning to breathe consciously and mindfully at times of stress and anxiety can be a huge asset to your health and well-being. Breathing deeply and purposefully allows your body to take the heart rate down, circulate more oxygen to the bloodstream, and feed every single little cell with nutrients.
When this happens, our body is given a signal that we do not need to be in fight or flight, and we can relax.
And we do.
Yoga Invites Humility into Your Life
Practicing yoga helps you realize that everyone walks a different path, and consequently, your problems are not unique to you. You’re not the only one in class with a rebellious teenage son or daughter. You’re not the only one struggling at work.
And you’re not the only one with tight hamstrings.
Yoga teaches us that although we are each immensely important, we move as one and all need to respect one another in order to reap life’s rewards. This realization can be deeply powerful in combating chronic stress that leads to anxiety.
Poses and Postures Help Reduce Inflammation
Your organs feel your stress and anxiety, and although you may not feel the effects immediately, they do, and it’s only a matter of time until you recognize that.
Your body responds to stress by creating inflammation. In an effort to protect itself, your amazing body creates a buffer between its very important parts, but this buffer is not meant to be permanent.
Yoga helps to reduce and eliminate inflammation by increasing circulation (bringing more oxygen to the brain and body), calming the mind, and creating a collection of healthy thoughts and emotions within ourselves that we can draw from when we feel the need to.
Kind of like a mental health toolbox!
You Learn to Be Still
Think that 10 minutes in savasana is just a show? Think again. Some people have a harder time staying in savasana than they do in pigeon!
Because laying still in the day without expectation of sleep invites thought into your mind that you may not want there. But dealing with those thoughts in a safe place instead of avoiding them is the healthier alternative.
Learning to be still can help you eliminate a lot of stress—that’s why meditation is so amazing for your body, too!
Competition Stays at the Door
Many of us compete with each other and even ourselves without even realizing it. While competition can definitely be healthy, it’s also unnecessary to be steeped in all the time. Learning to put aside competitive feelings can have a very positive affect on your body—and your anxiety levels.
Guys. It’s officially spring, and for many of us, the opportunity to purge our crowded, winter-dictated lives is exciting.
In the winter, we collect. We hunker down and surround ourselves with comfort, whether that be food, people, habits, or whatever. We often become fragile versions of ourselves and feel the need to look inward and reflect on the year’s events.
But now? Now, it’s spring, and spring is a time for new growth—and not just for newly budded plants or the arrival of animal babies. Spring is a time of blossoming for us, too, to purge what we’ve collected and organize our priorities.
We often shed a little bit of weight, we remove the dust that’s settled on the furniture for many dark months, and we begin to adjust our faces towards the increased sunshine that grants us permission to clean up and refine our lives.
Spring also affords us to opportunity to ask ourselves if we’re present in our ideal mental state. With extra vitamin D coming our way and being earthlings who crave all the elements of our planet, we smile more and ask ourselves if we’re okay. We assess the events of the past months and finetune to create increased happiness and subsequent health.
So let us ask you this: how are you feeling?
How do you want to roll out this beautiful year? Is your mental health an accurate reflection of your physical well-being and your daily habits? Of your intentions?
This is where we come in.
At Parallel Yoga, we strive to inspire connection; always connection. To connect with each other, and ourselves. To create space where everyone who walks through our studio doors in given the opportunity to ask themselves how they feel and then work on their desired outcome.
We want to promote tranquility and peace. Not just with those around us, but within ourselves. We’re here to help you spring clean your whole self, and in turn, the environment in which you choose to surround yourself in.
So again: how are you? Let’s connect.
Your body is intuitive.
We are remarkably designed beings, capable of knowing physically, emotionally, and spiritually what we need and when we need it. Although sometimes difficult to remember or wrap our heads around, we are complete and perfectly molded.
Your body is not separate from your mind, which is not separated from your soul. Intuition flows seamlessly though these moving parts of each one of us, and we need only to pay attention to know the answer to this question: what do I need?
When our eyes feel tired, we close them and gift them rest. When our stomachs growl, we eat, and feel fulfilled. When we are sad, we shed tears, and become cleansed. We know, intuitively, how to care for ourselves, and by extension, others.
Even Albert Einstein, who of course is known as a scientist, has been quoted as saying: “I believe in intuition and inspirations…I sometimes feel that I am right.”
The practice of yoga helps us to connect the seemingly separate parts of ourselves, because it emphasizes connection. We use our breath to connect our muscles and our minds. We chant together to enrich and liven our souls; to connect to one another. We close our eyes and place a hand over our heart to connect everything that is us.
“Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you.” –Deepak Chopra
At Parallel Yoga, we like to help inspire connection within ourselves, as well as others and the community. If you’re new to our studio, we hope you leave your mat feeling above anything else, connected.
You and I and everyone within our studio—we are the same, and we are intuitively connected because we are divine.
Yogis–can you even BELIEVE it’s February?!
But guess what? We have the BEST workshops lined up for you this month! Honestly. Check ‘em out:
Acro Yoga with Stef
- Date: Saturday, Feb 3rd
- Time: 11:45am – 1:00pm
- Cost: $10 plus GST
New to Acro? Never heard of Acro? A bit nervous to try? Not to worry! These classes are for all levels and will teach you the techniques and skills you need to fly, base and spot confidently and safely.
Have experience with Acro Yoga? Great!
Come on out and have some fun. In this adult-oriented class (14+), you will have the opportunity to play and practice while building new skills and techniques, so whether you are new or have experience, you will be given options to propel you further along your journey.
Office Yoga with Guest Teacher
- Date: Saturday Feb. 3
- Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
- Cost: $35 plus GST
Do you sit for hours day at a workstation or desk? Do you feel sore in lower back, have a stiff neck and tight shoulders?
We have all heard that sitting for many hours is now considered the new smoking. Sitting for long periods can increase risk of heart disease, diabetes and many other health problems. It also causes fatigue, brain fog and improper posture.
Our bodies are meant to move, not sit for many hours a day!
You will learn how to use your breath to increase oxygenation that assists in reducing stress, to ease anxiety, and boost your mood. We will incorporate yoga poses to release tension, stretch and encourage proper posture while sitting on a chair, as well as learning how to use your desk as a prop to increase strength, blood flow and energize you throughout the workday.
You will be able to take this practice and incorporate it into your daily workday routine at your workstation or home office.
*This is a 2-hour workshop.
Restorative Yoga for Sleep with Sarah
- Date: Saturday Feb. 3
- Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
- Cost: $49 plus GST
Come enjoy a deep relaxation restorative yoga practice and learn:
- The restorative poses that set your body up to sleep soundly through the night
- How to quiet your mind for a more peaceful sleep, night after night
- The science of how to improve the quality of your sleep
- How to enjoy ‘deep rest’ any time you need it
Led by Sarah Domes, yoga teacher and sleep coach, this workshop builds upon the previous Yoga for Sleep working and is designed for both new and returning participants.
Meditation Teacher Training with Colynn
- Start date: Friday Feb. 9
- Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm
- Course cost: $695 plus GST
This 50-hour training offers you the tools to skillfully instruct students through guided meditation and pranayama. Completing the training offers Continuing Education hours towards Yoga Alliance, as well as a certificate.
The course is set up to introduce students to several different types of meditations and pranayama, as well as delve into the chakras, learn to script meditation and pranayama into a regular yoga class and review the business and sales of meditation and breath work as workshops, full classes or in your own business. Includes home-study hours as homework and required reading.
More dates and times: February 9 and 16 6pm-9pm; February 10, 11, 17 and 18 12pm-8pm
This course offers 40 contact hours and 10 non-contact hours for the full 50 hours CEU
Introduction to Meditation with Colynn
- Date: Saturday Feb. 10
- Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
- Cost: $50 plus GST
This workshop is taking place during a teacher training. It’s open to students and teachers that are not looking for a full certification, but rather a shorter introduction to the practice.
This 4-hour teaching opportunity informs participants of the benefits of meditation, how to set up your own practice, as well as introduces a variety of meditations.
Introduction to the Chakras with Colynn
- Date: Sunday Feb. 11
- Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
- Cost: $50 plus GST
This is not the ordinary Intro to the Chakras Workshop, this one is a little more in depth. It is part of a teacher training and is open to those that do not want certification in meditation, but want to know more about the Chakras.
This 4-hour workshop introduces the chakras, the physical, spiritual, and psychological aspects that they govern, the anatomy of, mudras for, and much more. A discussion is generated around the chakras and imbalances, and the class ends with a chakra balancing meditation!
Introduction to Pranayama with Colynn
- Date: Saturday Feb. 17
- Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
- Cost: $50 plus GST
This workshop takes place during a teacher training, but is open to teachers and students not interested in taking the full certification. This 4-hour class starts with a restorative breath practice, to connect the student with their breath and how it feels in their body.
There is a brief intro to the anatomy of the breath and the benefits of pranayama with a discussion, followed by several different techniques of pranayama and class ends with a meditation.
Silent Meditation Experience with Colynn
- Date: Saturday Feb. 17
- Time: 5:00pm – 8:00pm
- Cost: $50 plus GST
This workshop is taking place during a teacher training and is offered for students or teachers not interested in the full certification, but wanting to experience an afternoon of the most interesting meditation techniques.
This 3-hour workshop introduces the participants to 3 different types of silent meditation, that will help you to unwind & let go of tension. Most of the experience requires silence from the student, followed by a half hour discussion of the effects of the practice. Guaranteed you will leave feeling like a new person.
*Please inform studio of any food allergies on registration
Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Sarah
- Date: Friday Feb. 23
- Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
- Cost: $299 plus GST
Open to current yoga teachers, wellness therapists, and other individuals look to deepen their own practice, this Restorative Yoga Teacher Training is sure to give you the tools you need to teach restorative classes and in private sessions in a meaningful way.
Taught by Sleep coach at registered yoga teacher, Sarah Domes, this course is either taken over the weekend or in separate 3-hour modules that pique your interest.
The curriculum will cover:
- Grounding and Personal Practice
- Props and Postures
- Deepening Relaxation
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Teaching and Integration
*15 YA CECs
If you’d like to register for any of the classes, you can do so online, in-studio, or over the phone.
ALSO: we’re running an Instagram contest this month, guys–a 28 day InstaChallenge! Here are the details:
- Practice yoga once a day, in the studio or at home, for at least 20 minutes.
- Post on IG, tag us, and use hashtags #parallelyoga and #pyinstachallenge.
- Comment on our daily posts starting today (February 1) with a simple “done.”
Open to local residents, only! Each comment and hashtag will count as one entry. The winner will receive lots of awesome yogi stuff! See our Instagram wall to find out exactly what the prizes are.