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.
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
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.
Happy New Year, friends! Many of you have probably noticed that we’ve incorporated a lot of changes to the studio in the last few months. Most notably was the addition of The Entrance Boutique, which opened in June.
But we have more changes we’ve made, too–and these ones are all geared towards creating spaces in our studio that are conducive to increased health and wellness. We want our studio to be a place to practice yoga, but also be somewhere you can visit to receive an amazing massage, sports counselling, kinesiology advice, and more.
Here’s what our studio can offer you, besides yoga:
BMR Counselling and Consulting
Because we work with so many athletes at Parallel Yoga, we’ve found a match made in heaven with Trevin from BMR Counselling and Consulting, who now provides therapeutic counselling, sports psychology, and mental performance coaching within the walls of Parallel Yoga.
Registered Massage Therapy and Relaxation Massage
Massage is a powerful tool in the tool kit of wellness. Stef is our resident registered massage therapist, and currently works on Tuesdays. Beth (aside from teaching yoga and managing our studio) is a registered massage practitioner, who offers relaxation massage.
Whether you’re looking for deep tissue or gentle aromatherapy massage, we can help you out at PY. Call the studio or stop by to book an appointment, today.
Meet Garth from Pacific North Wellness. Garth has worked in fitness and rehabilitation for almost 10 years and has practiced yoga for nearly as long. As a kinesiologist, Garth has helped his clients recover from injury and has helped high performance athletes achieve their goals. It is the combination of these skills that guides his path as a yoga instructor.
Click HERE for more information.
Sports Performance Training
Your body was made for movement; condition it accordingly. Parallel Sports Performance is a sport-specific, yoga-based conditioning program for athletes. We also specialize in mobility and recovery, to help prevent and/or heal from injury.
For more information on sports performance training, what we offer, and who we’re currently working with, visit our website.
We also encourage all of you to check out our new yoga schedule, posted HERE. January is the perfect month for new beginnings, cultivating healthy habits, and creating space for self-care and happiness.
We want to see you in the studio, practicing with us! Together, as a community, we can rock 2018. Happy New Year!
Change can be scary, but can also refreshing and motivating. It’s up to every single one of us to decide how we wish to perceive it.
It’s all about our ability to live with acceptance and grace, and to understand that there are some things we cannot control—and that this is okay.
We’re sure you’ve noticed the darker, shorter days and what seem to be very long nights, lately. While this change in weather and season often feel a little constricting or depressing, it’s important to remember that it’s nature’s way of sloughing off the old, so we can welcome the new in spring!
While Mother Nature is doing her best to transition into a new season, we can all look to her for her great example, and decide what changes we need or want to make in our own lives to create more happiness and health for ourselves and those around us.
We’re at the end of one year, and the cusp of another. This is a fantastic time of year to focus on what changes you would like to make in your own life, and make a plan on how to welcome those changes with love and grace in our hearts.
While personal change is obviously amidst and inevitable for all, we’re incorporating our own changes over here at Parallel Yoga:
We’re changing our yoga class schedule to accommodate requests and create more opportunity. Here are some changes we’re making:
- Mondays Stretch moved to 12:00
- All evening classes start at 4:45
- The new, full online schedule will be posted on our website on December 3rd
Garth Van Gaalen
Garth will be teaching at 6:30am and 12pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, as well as taking kinesiology appointments. Want to know more? Check out his bio online HERE.
Welcome, Jess! Jessica will be offering a preschool yoga class starting in January (we don’t have it up online yet). Cool, right?!
Changes in Retail
We also welcome you to check out The Entrance for Christmas gift ideas! We’ve loaded up on everyone’s faves, and there are TONS of gift ideas for everyone. If you’re looking for something useful and unique, we can help you out.
Happy holidays, yogis!