Tuesday, 25 February 2014


My journey to Yoga began when I sought out a gentler form of exercise. My body was starting to feel the effects of years of high impact aerobics and I knew it was time to start listening.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had done quite a bit of prenatal yoga and I remembered how wonderful that felt. I decided to try a class here and there and quickly developed a passion for it!
Not only was Yoga offering me a kinder, more gentler way to still get the exercise I need but I quickly began to see many other positive effects……. other than just physically.

Anxiety has been something I have struggled with for years. Through my practice, I have found tools within myself that I didn’t even know I possessed. It has offered me a calmness that is always accessible to me…… I just need to slow down, breathe and turn my awareness within. The more I practice, the easier it becomes.
The more I practice, the more I craved the calmness and serenity it offered me; both on and off the mat.

My teachers have taught me to really see and feel things as they are in the present moment, even though they may be uncomfortable. I cannot always control things, and that is alright. For these lessons I will always be grateful.  I find the philosophy and teachings associated with yoga to embody the person and belief system I want to attain.
I found this mantra by Mario Duguay to be very powerful:

Attain Serenity
I no longer let myself be swept away into the turmoil of my
mind and emotions.

From now on I let go of all stress, tension and worry so I may  
attain Harmony and serenity.

I will do one thing at a time and savor each moment.

My practice has offered me a new outlook on life. To me; I would say Yoga has been life changing! I am so excited to be walking down this ever developing path personally as a practitioner and as a teacher, sharing my passion.
No matter how crazy or anxious I feel…… When I walk through the door at The Yoga Centre, I am presented with the smiles and greetings of so many wonderful, strong and inspiring individuals who share the same passion as me. It warms my heart to the core!

Thank you!
Shannon is completing her second year of the Yoga Centre Winnipeg 200hr Teacher Training Program

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Yoga is my journey for positive change.

In my yoga class, our instructor gives us variations or choices of what yoga pose to do at that moment.  Depending on how we feel that day, we choose to start in Sukhasana or Virasana, we can do a wall stretch or Adho Muhka Svanasana.  We can do Baby Cobra or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.  My yoga practice has helped me to find variations or choices in my daily life.  I choose to feel gratitude instead of unappreciative, feel strong and balanced instead of weak, feel energized instead of depleted of energy and feel relaxed instead of anxious.  I get this from doing yoga.

Practicing yoga has improved awareness within myself as well as those around me especially in Sukhasana or Virasana.  I am better equipped with dealing with arthritis in my hips and emotions such as anxiety and impatience just by finding my breath and perhaps forward folding into Uttanasana. 

My arms and hips feel gratitude as I do a wall stretch or Adho Muhka Svanasana, and I feel strong and grounded in Tadasana.   I find strength, balance and confidence in Trikonasana, Vira II, Utthita Parsvakonasana, Vira I and Parsvottanasana as I have come a long way since my first Triangle pose.  I feel release in my hips and peace of mind as I move into Prasarita Padottanasa.  I find my breath again in Tadasana.

Sura Namaskara B gives me the challenge, heat and energy that I enjoy. I feel tension releasing out of my back body and core so I want to do it again – Sura Namaskara B.  I like to cool down in Setu Bandha, relax and do some twists while I lie down on my mat and prepare for Viparita Karani  and Savasana.  I think to myself  “I am happy and at my best when I am being active, being kind and helping others. ”  

Through yoga poses, I have developed a sense of self empowerment.  I have discovered the courage to look inward and appreciate myself as well as those around me.  And I strive to live a life of forgiveness and compassion instead of being angry; being grateful instead of unappreciative; and live to help others instead of being selfish.  Yoga is my journey for positive change.
This blog is part of the continuing  series of blogs written by students in the Yoga Centre Winnipeg 200hr Teacher Training Program

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Why I Do Yoga

Why do I practice yoga?
Simply put I practice yoga because it makes me feel great.  I could go on an on forever about the benefits I see with a regular commitment to yoga, but I will keep it short and explain a few benefits from being introduced to yoga that I feel now occurs in my daily life.
For starters, yoga has shown me a very important exercise I never really saw as an “exercise” before, breathing.  Even just breathing and concentrating on my breath during a meditation just for a minute has had me realize patience and calmness in myself.  The obvious positive benefits from yoga I feel worth sharing is the way you feel after and during a practice, whether that be a hardcore hot yoga class or a more relaxing class either one gives you that amazing feeling everyone should experience at least once!

I have realized yoga has given me a better approach to myself, both mentally and psychically.  For a long time I have not been happy with many things about myself and yoga has helped me understand my body better and appreciate myself the way I should and with that followed a happier me :) 

As cheesy as it can sound yoga can help you see things in yourself that you never knew you had for example the gentle/calm sensation during a meditation and experiencing total stillness throughout your whole body is a crazy feeling, sure you may think sitting still is very easy and thats what I had thought until I practiced and I was very wrong!! Complete stillness even during a shavasana can be very difficult but when you do experience that it is easily the most relaxing feeling in the world.  An important thing to note with my experience in yoga is my posture.  For the longest time I have had the absolute worst posture and with yoga I have seen improvement in my posture as it make a great difference.  In my opinion I practice yoga for many reasons.  I'm not the type of person to go lift weights at a gym or run on a treadmill for an hour instead I would rather spend that hour doing a work out I enjoy.  Not only is yoga a great work out on many levels I find so many positive outcomes.  A big positive outcome I find yoga helps with is stress.  After having a long day of either work, school, or anything for that matter a yoga class is the best way to end your day feeling rejuvenated, stress-free, and all around happier.  

Like I said you can go on about the positive outcomes of a regular commitment to yoga but I thought I would share the main reasons I enjoy yoga and the advantages I receive from it.  Like I said those are my top reasonings in practicing yoga, the perks that come along with that just make it that much better.
Regan Martin
Regan is enrolled in the Yoga Centre Winnipeg 200hr Teacher Training Program

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

waking up to my life

My yoga path started about 25 years ago when I crossed paths with a friend of my brother who was seriously into all spiritual work. Since then, yoga always stayed with me in my heart however I wasn’t able to pursue for endless reasons. I was basically avoiding to accept the fact that whether I practice yoga or not, to me, life was harsh, a daily struggle. So at some point of my life, I convinced myself to disconnect from yoga and kept it as physical exercise. It was a kind of ignorance allowing me to live in a kind of trance state. I did not want to awake up.

And one day, as any miracle does, yoga came to me.

Since then Yoga has changed my life…and it is still changing my life every day. Finally l did realize that life is supposed to change and yoga helps me finding the center, bring an awareness of myself that encourages me to sail through these changes everyday.

This understanding of connection between yoga and life has allowed me to reconnect to my yoga journey, what a blessing! I’d never forget the day when I rediscovered four corners of my own feet! Then I could stand tall.

Strange enough, Yoga makes me feel more grounded. I am more aware of details of my daily routine and able to enjoy the simplicity…could we call that mindful?

At first, learning to listen to your own body accepting its limits was the hardest thing to do and yes, some days it even did hurt. But as my ability to focus grew, more I was able to free the tension. So on day, I decided to apply this in my daily life! I do practice yoga because I do feel like I live more fully than ever.

I was really interested in connections between yoga and life in general, because yoga is more than just a simple exercise…each practice is about struggling in fighting my own physical challenges, acceptance in order to let go, relaxing, centering, remembering to breath, embracing who I am…to me yoga teaches me to be humble and yet a clear awareness of self. Yoga became a part of my life!

Since yoga is more than just a physical exercise for me, I am interested in spiritual part of it as well. I believe that one of the spiritual practices is about learning constantly (these days I am completely drawn to Buddhist spiritual teachings), and there is so much to learn. The basic learning that I merely understood involves awareness of my inner self, body and mind.

For that, I have started to dedicate a little time in my daily meditation, trying to understand the loving kindness and mindfulness. Even that single discipline is helping me to understand my own breathe, and how to sit tall, the basics to be present.

Finally, I truly believe there is a strong correlation between physical yoga practice and spirituality.

For me, I need to find the balance between how I am practicing asanas on the mat and how I live my life everyday to enable personal motivation. It is like my inner and outer balance I seek through and with yoga on a mat…

 Cassandra Lanyon
 Cassandra is currently enrolled in the yoga centre winnipeg 200hr teacher training program