Happy 2021

This morning a picture came up in my Facebook memories and I remembered how 1 year ago today I was driving across the country on my way home from the woods of Quebec. The picture was taken in the middle of northern Ontario. Though I have done cross country trips several times now, I always marvel at the natural beauty Canada has to offer.

Little did I know at that time that for most of 2020 I would be staying at home or close to home. I went into 2020 full of optimism after a 2019 that for me was marked with illness and surgery. I went into 2020 full of goals, dreams and plans.

As with everyone else, 2020 was not what I had envisioned.

Yet, the eternal optimist in me enters 2021 full of hope and a quiet contentment. With my business I still face months of uncertainty as I know that government guidelines will dictate what operations look like. However, this year my goals and dreams are softer. I just want to do work I love, contribute to kindness in the world, and find beauty in the simple things.

Though I know that I can only imagine what this new year might bring, I trust that no matter what there will be days that I smile, moments of joy and times nurturing connections with others.

Wishing you a peaceful 2021 with moments of beauty, fun and a little adventure

12 Days of Yoga- December 20-31

Some extra virtual classes to nurture ourselves through the holidays. 

December 20- Winter Solstice Sun Salutation Class 4pm
December 21- Winter Solstice Yin Class 7pm
December 22- Nurturing Foot Massage 7:30pm on Zoom
December 23- Yoga Joy (a class of some of people’s favourite poses)  5pm
December 24- Christmas Eve Yin  7pm
December 25- Christmas Morning Meditation 9:30am
December 26- Saturday Morning Flow 10am
December 27- Playing with the Breath 4pm on Zoom
December 28- Focus on the Foot 5pm on Zoom (we’ll be using a tennis ball in some options)
December 29- Moon Salutation Class 7:30pm
December 30- Cleansing Power Yoga Class (let’s burn off anything we don’t want to bring into 2021) 4pm
December 31- New Year’s Eve Yin  4pm

Message to join the virtual Facebook group or to get the Zoom links
If you can’t make the class recordings will be available till early January. Message for more info.

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season
Warm Wishes
Denise

The Joy of Trying New Things

One fun unexpected thing about 2020 is it has been a year of being pushed out of my comfort zone. When I look around at things that are happening in the world I know that I have been fortunate in many ways. Though this year isn’t what I had envisioned, and I have often had to adapt, I have also found that some of this has provided great learning experiences for me.

When my business had to shut down in March due to Covid-19 guidelines I quickly took my classes virtual. I was lucky to have a tiny bit of previous experience with Zoom, but the whole thing was definitely not easy for me. I was so nervous those first virtual classes. Since then I have played with different platforms, cameras, rooms to shoot in and more. I still have so much to learn.

Yet, I adapted. Months after that first virtual class when a local TV station wanted to visit my studio I was extremely nervous but so much more prepared with all that virtual class experience. Now I am collaborating with them on an upcoming project.

As the pandemic continues and opportunities for in-person classes have not returned to what they used to be I find myself nurturing new dreams and goals. One of those is to launch my first online course.

Though I can navigate some technology, a lot of it seems like a whole other language. Technology does not come naturally or easy for me. However, this is stuff I need to know, stuff I want to work towards these new goals. Over the past few weeks I have slowly started trying to work with new software and platforms. I started quite tentatively, reaching out for help often.

Today though I tackled several mini projects on my own. I had success! I was reminded of the phrase “neurons that fire together wire together”. I could almost feel those neurons at work. The more I am doing, the easier it is becoming. I can feel myself learning.

Maybe technology is easy for you. Maybe yoga and fitness don’t come naturally for you. Maybe you would like to try but you’re nervous or unsure where to begin. This year has been one where so many yoga and fitness instructors have taken their offerings online. I encourage you to find one you connect with and give it a try. You might just surprise yourself like I have surprised myself with these small technology victories.

Perhaps my new online course is a right fit for you. It’s designed for those who have never practiced yoga, been away from yoga for a while, or those who want to deepen their foundation and knowledge in the practice.

It’s a great time to begin a yoga journey.

You Never Know What Others May Be Going Through

I did my yoga teacher training through Namaskar Yoga in Saskatoon under the guidance of Kathleen and Doug . Approximately once month for a little over a year I would spend a weekend immersed in learning various aspects of yoga. At the beginning of each weekend Kathleen would remind us that we never know what others might be going through. She reminded us that just by looking at others we might not see the struggles and challenges they were facing at this moment. Anyone in our group could be having a hard day including our teachers. Therefore she stressed the importance of kindness towards one another.

I have been thinking a lot about that lately. As we enter the second wave our pandemic which is proving to have higher numbers than the first wave, I see people struggling to maintain their usual optimism. As I hear those I know with small businesses tune into the daily news briefings, I see the fear and the worry they have about how another lockdown might impact the future of their dream and hard work. Even those who know and often give gratitude for their many blessings are now struggling with the weight of what the winter ahead might bring.

I definitely don’t have all the answers. I have no interest in accidentally falling into toxic positivity by talking about gratitude and all the self care things you could be doing. Though there is value in gratitude and self care, it seems to me there is also value in acknowledging this unique time we are in. Maybe you are struggling today and not being able to practice self care or gratitude is just another thing you are feeling bad about at this moment.

Instead, this is just a reminder that we really don’t know in what ways those around us might be struggling. This is a little reminder to be kind to those we encounter. Perhaps what we initially see in them is not the whole story. Maybe there is more going on that if we knew might change our initial reaction and judgement. This is also a little reminder to be kind to yourself. We might be struggling and think that it is just us. We might wonder how everyone around us is doing okay but why we’re not. I assure that you are not the only one. You are doing the best you can at this moment. Today that is enough.

Pockets of Happiness

I have found that happiness does not mean having everything perfect all the time. In fact, it seems when that is our focus happiness actually alludes us.

As I sit in my century old house with popcorn ceilings, an ugly yellow kitchen floor probably dating back to the 70s, and a grass-filled strawberry patch just beyond my window that needs hours of work, I could find things to be miserable about if I was so inclined.

Instead, I find happiness can be cultivated by finding and focusing on the little pockets of beauty and joy that surround our everyday lives. It is found when we have appreciation for these little pockets of perfection. It grows when we nurture little neglected corners of our space and bring beauty back to them.

When I look out my kitchen window or sit on my back deck I see the lilac arch. Lilacs bloom this week that were planted to border my property by occupants long gone. A path that has been worn through one section of these lilacs connects my little oasis with the outside world. Every time I return home I must pass though this lilac arch. As a writer I often muse what fairy tales I could create out of this lilac arch.

This lilac arch brings me immense joy. Today the air is heavy with the scent of lilac. Across from the lilac arch a robin has nested on the side of my house. Her babies arrived on Sunday. From a distance I have counted four young ones. Periodically mama takes a break sits on a lilac branch, watches me garden and chats to me. This is happiness.

Finishing my tea I will soon head out and spend just 15 minutes nurturing the strawberry patch. In time, that will become another pocket of happiness. What are your pockets of happiness? What space can you nurture to bring a little more beauty to your day?

We all have pockets of happiness surrounding us. The trick of course, with work commitments, busy families, health issues, money troubles and all the other ups and downs of life, is noticing these little pockets of perfection.