Tag Archives: Yoga

This is What a Real Yoga Body Looks Like

by Sarah Donaldson

Now I am definitely not a ‘yoga body’. I love yoga and partake when I can. Sometimes days and weeks escape me before I can make it back to the studio. The way yoga makes you feel is like a nurturing blanket bending your muscles and stretching them out. Yoga is like a really good yawn mixed with a hug; this is why I enjoy it. It is peaceful, relaxing and my body is thankful. I do not go to class to seek weight-loss or the perfect yoga body; I go to soak up the energy in the room and be me (in my medium body of curves).  Thus, I weigh my yoga teacher on their positive energy and outlook, not on their waist band size.

by Jen Priest via Elephant Journal

This is What a Real Yoga Body Looks Like“Excuse me ma’am, I really enjoyed your yoga class tonight. But I wanted to come by and tell you that as a yoga teacher, you need to lose weight. Namaste.”

Wow, well this was an unexpected turn of events from the yoga class I taught tonight.

How many times has this all happened to us though? When someone (a stranger usually) comes up to us and imposes their idea of what we should do, be, look or behave like to fit their idea of perfect?

The answer is: all the time. And then what happens? We become sad, self-conscious and unhappy with ourselves, feeling like we are unworthy or not lovable the way we naturally are.

This is the message today: we need to start a revolution of self acceptance and love for who we truly are—and for once, not care what anyone else has to think or say.

For once, just say, “F*** it, I’m gonna do me! Be me and love me, for myself and no one else!”

Seriously, right now, say that out loud.

To cycle back to the beginning, this was a comment I received from a student right after teaching (what I thought) was a class with wonderful energy and great people sharing their practice together. She questioned my eating habits and other exercise practices I do outside of yoga… and then pinched my side.

I was at a loss for words—especially since this happened in a yoga environment, a supposed safe haven from judgment and hate. I had struggled with an eating disorder for eight years, and had found a good place—but these comments shook me and I began to question all of the personal progress I have made in my life.

I was faced with a choice, as we all are when people criticize and critique our life to try and “fix” us. I could either fall into old bad habits of the eating disorder and self-loathing.

Or, I could finally realize that I love myself and I’m perfectly fine the way I am, no matter what judgements a stranger may have and if you don’t think so, then great, that stranger can carry their judgment to their grave but I will keep living in light and love and no longer be affected by another’s hate or criticisms.

That is my message: we all need to rally together and promote self acceptance and love. Let’s keep on living our life happily knowing that we are all beautiful and undying souls and we were born perfect and will never be more perfect than we are at this very moment.

Continue reading here.

Do You Long to Make friends in Your Yoga Community?

how to make yogi friends
1. Be open after yoga class.

This may seem like the most obvious place to make buds, and while it’s certainly the place to find other awesome yogis, it’s also a place of introspection, so we recommend proceeding with loving awareness. While you may be there to scope out your next BFF, they may not be there to do the same.

If you happen to make eyes with someone before class, it can absolutely be followed up with your warmest smile, but be wary of taking that as an invitation to walk up and talk his ear off. For many people, yoga class is their only opportunity to go inward and have “me” time, so honor that.

At the same time, if you sense the gal next to you is digging your energy, crack a joke after class or pay a compliment, it may strike up a convo that may lead to tea and a sweet friendship.

2. Find cool events.

Yoga studios usually host special events: workshops, guest lectures, and live music! Sign up and you’re bound to meet awesome people in this inviting, social atmosphere.

On a larger scale, Wanderlust Festivals combine yoga, music performances, and inspirational speakers. Memories of doing headstands at sunrise, dancing in the rain to MC Yogi, and bonding over Elena Brower’s lecture on how to speak your truth and achieve peace, will form tight bonds for lifetimes.

3. Volunteer.
Many yoga studios offer volunteer programs—helping out at the studio to get free yoga classes. This can be a great way to meet fellow yogis, and you’re guaranteed to see them around the studio and bond while cleaning yoga mats or working at the front desk. You can also volunteer at yoga festivals and events, like a Wanderlust Festival orYoga in the City.

What do you feel passionate about? Find an organization that needs an extra hand and offer a few hours of your time each week. Aside from being a huge gift to others, doing selfless service will also give you a deep sense perspective and gratitude for your life and allow you to feel part of something bigger.

4. Try something new together.

After you’ve made a connection with a fellow yogi, make a date to continue to the fun! Try planning an activity that supports each other’s personal growth: plan a walk in the park, grab a delicious healthy lunch, sign up for a workshop together, go dancing, cook or hit up some thrift stores for cute to and from yoga class gear.

5. Stay up-to-date on yoga news.

Check out the Wanderlust Journal for yoga news. With frequent Guest Scribes from the Wanderlust community, like Ashley Turner’s “4 Ways to Let Go of Resentment,” you can live your yoga combining service to self and others.

Making true friends in your yoga community is like water for your soul, it is vital! It’s so important to have people who you trust, love, connect with, who understand you, and where you both share a deep desire and commitment to be the fullest, most beautiful expressions of yourselves

Now, don’t be shy. Go out and let your purest intention to build and be part of a beautiful community radiate — and if you do that, chances are, they may even find you first.

Days go by at Hollyhock…

via lovebyriv.com

Rivkah RachelRivkah is embarking on a yoga roadtrip of a lifetime with a mission to attend all of the Wanderlust Festivals and practice yoga every day, in a new place. Rivkah has had Wanderlust her entire life, having had the good fortune to travel, live and practice all over the world. She recently took a break from her work in marketing and communications to study yoga full time and pursue her dreams. Rivkah is a nature-lover and DIY- enthusiast, she splits her time between Montreal and Ottawa with her faithful sidekick, Zorro. She dreams to open a nature retreat in the Laurentian Mountains.

Read her first impressions of Hollyhock here.

Aug 16, 2013

Days drift by so pleasantly here at Hollyhock. I’m surprised at how busy I manage to be. I’ve really been enjoying my time here. I started in housekeeping on Sunday. On Monday the other volunteers for this session arrived, and yesterday we had our official training day. There was an Oyster BBQ down at the beach for everyone. All I was missing was a crisp pinot grigio and I stared longingly at some of the guests’ glasses. I always forget my wine.

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There was a presenter evening, a lecture by a man named Eric Maisel, entitled the 12 secrets of living a creative life. It was excellent, the speaker engaging and the subject true.

I’ve done a couple of yoga classes, here, too. The teachers are of the Kripalu tradition, and it is interesting to be exposed to yet another style of yoga teaching.

lovebyriv7

I am impressed at seemingly never-ending patience exhibited by the staff at Hollyhock. It must be terribly trying to explain the same thing, 10 times a year to 10 different people, some for over 10 years! You can tell these people like their jobs, they do them well, and have perfected the simplest tasks down to an art. Everyone is kind. Today I had my first early kitchen shift, and tackled the dish pit with great zeal. This afternoon, I worked with the production team to arrange the different spaces for arrival.

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It has taken me, regretfully almost three days to write this meager blog post. The internet connection is not too snappy here at the edge of the world.

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I have to leave today, and I do feel like I am dragging myself away. I have along haul to make to get home, involving planes, boats, and automobiles. It’s a rainy day. I don’t like to fly. I’m tired. It will be ok.

 

Rivkah is embarking on a yoga roadtrip of a lifetime…

via lovebyriv.com

Rivkah RachelRivkah is embarking on a yoga roadtrip of a lifetime with a mission to attend all of the Wanderlust Festivals and practice yoga every day, in a new place. Rivkah has had Wanderlust her entire life, having had the good fortune to travel, live and practice all over the world. She recently took a break from her work in marketing and communications to study yoga full time and pursue her dreams. Rivkah is a nature-lover and DIY- enthusiast, she splits her time between Montreal and Ottawa with her faithful sidekick, Zorro. She dreams to open a nature retreat in the Laurentian Mountains.

She has just arrived at Hollyhock for our month-long volunteer service program and will be narrating her island stories in her blog, lovebyriv.com. We’ll be posting some of her adventures here at HollyhockLife as well. Here’s her first impressions of Cortes Island and Hollyhock:

Aug 11, 2013

First, I think I need to share with you the view from which I write this:

My Hollyhock 'office'
My Hollyhock ‘office’

A lot of people have heard of Hollyhock and want to visit. You should probably get on that because you never know what the future will bring, and it is an experience not to be missed.

I am very, very pleased to be here. It is gorgeous, the food is delicious and healthy, and the ocean a constant backdrop. The people I’ve met are quite friendly.

Breakfast on the deck
Breakfast on the deck

Yesterday I went to an early morning yoga class in Raven, a round structure, that like all the buildings at Hollyhock is unique and charming. This morning, I enjoyed a tour of the gardens.

Early morning ocean through the trees
Early morning ocean through the trees
Hollyhock gardens after the rain
Hollyhock gardens after the rain

I cannot express the joy I felt at unpacking all of my belongings into a room. I spread out quit impressively, my clothes, jewelry, the books and artwork I’ve picked up on my journey on display. A spacious clean room, with a private toilet at that. Someone was trimming the lavender today and there were clippings left over. I tied them in a few bunches and hung them around the room. I set candles into old bottles and on a sea-smoothed stone I found on the beach. The effect is a cosy, lavender scented haven. As a finishing touch, I picked a few fresh blooms and settled them into a vase on the dresser. I am so, so content.

My little room at Hollyhock by night.
My little room at Hollyhock by night.

 

Yoga while you garden!

Hilary and K Lea Do Yoga In the Garden

Yoga is a great way to counteract bending over in the garden all afternoon!

Learn Iyengar Intensive Yoga July 3-7 with K-lea Gifford on Cortes Island