Aging Gracefully

Several years ago, overwhelmed by beauty industry standards of what beauty is and feeling dissatisfied with my own expectations for myself, I learned to let go.

A big part of the process for me was doing a detox that included switching to natural skin, hair and cleaning products. I found a teacher that I admired, who helped educate and encourage me.

I threw out all my chemical laden creams, toners, washes, scrubs and serums. I believe it is vital to educate yourself on the ingredients that go into the products you use for your own sake, your family’s and the environment’s.

There are so many natural, organic  products out there, that the shift is easier than ever. Think about it.  Skin is a major detoxification organ.  Why would we cover it up, inject it with poisons and soak it in chemicals that might seep into our bloodstream?

Eating healthy food gives our skin the nutrients it needs for a healthy glow and may even eliminate skin disorders like eczema and recurring rashes (If you’re reading this, you may want to speak with a naturopath about an elimination diet). If you eat clean and use natural skin and hair care products, you may find that your complexion clears up and your natural beauty shines through.

In recent years, companies have had ad campaigns for natural beauty and allowing your inner beauty to shine through. I am excited that more and more people are starting to get on board and recognize true beauty for what it is – it is our health, our energy, our confidence, our intelligence, not just what we look like on the outside.

While it can be challenging to shift your perspective from one ideal to another, it is a practice like anything else. For me, yoga was my support system. I gradually began to wear less and less make up. Now only on special occasions–save for daily mascara–do I wear makeup. When I do, I feel unnatural and made up.

I am now comfortable in my own skin. I’m still coming to terms with the gray hairs that peak through and still cover up the odd blemish, but I feel lighter, naturally pretty and less concerned about what others might think.

Does this sound like a radical change? It is!

Aside from changing what you put on your skin and in your body, another holistic approach to beauty is cosmetic acupuncture. It is a natural, safe and effective way to improve complexion, reduce signs of aging, to look and feel younger. The process is free from chemicals and pain.

Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture works with your body’s innate wisdom to tighten pores, brighten eyes and improve complexion. Collagen production and muscle tone improve, fine lines are eliminated and deep wrinkles are diminished. Acupuncture also helps reduce bags and double chin, lifts drooping eyelids and helps to slow hair loss and graying.

Fine sterile needles are used in conjunction with facial massage and specialty cream to increase local blood circulation and improves metabolism.  You may find that the process helps reduce acne and scarring.

To complement cosmetic acupuncture, you may also want to try face yoga. Face yoga helps to exercise and tone neck and facial muscles. When you work the muscles of the face, suppleness and elasticity improve. It may stimulate collagen production and allow more oxygen to get to muscles. Face yoga also helps to reduce stress and tension so you feel and look rejuvenated and refreshed. It’s easy to practice for long lasting, sustainable results.

Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture practitioner Daniel Kanner and I are offering Aging Gracefully Cosmetic Acupuncture and Face Yoga packages at 25% off for the holidays. For package details visit my promotions page or www.acuhealth.ca and connect with Daniel for more details.

Yoga Rehab: Workshop for Back Pain

yoga rehab photoPain and discomfort doesn’t have to be a normal part of everyday life. Yoga Rehab is designed for yogis, those new to yoga and anyone who is curious. The aim is to help you live a more functional, effective and strain-free way that is unique to your goals. My principles of movement will help you get stronger and build more stamina, flexibility and balance without pain, strain or tension.

What can I expect in these workshops? You will learn simple (but not necessarily easy) movements that will help improve mobility and decrease pain. For yogis, you will discover a whole new perspective on movement and take your practice to the next level! There will be a focus on breath work, mindfulness and developing body awareness woven throughout the workshop. This is not a typical yoga class so yoga experience is not required.

When we move better, we feel better and we can enjoy life more.

My next 2 workshops are called Yoga Rehab and it will be held Saturday, September 30th and October 14th at McMaster Fitness 2-4pm. Cost is $45 + hst. Participants will receive a handout and free practice video.

Contact me to register or ask a question.

Make Summer More Enjoyable Through Food!

Yoga and food are inextricably linked but eating healthy is more difficult than ever. Eating healthy everyday is essential to our health and wellbeing. We need to eat nourishing food to maintain energy levels, stave off illness and encourage healthy relationships, etc.

I work irregular hours and have no motivation to shop, prep and cook dinner at the end of the day. Supper Works in Toronto has been an answer to my woes. I go into the store once a month and prep fresh, healthy dinner entrees that I take home and put in my freezer. That means more time for me to enjoy my summer and no-brainer dinners.

Below Susan Patterson, the owner of SupperWorks Leaside, provides a few ideas how you can make your summer more enjoyable through food:

  1. Slow down and plan ahead to makes dinnertime less stressful. Being organized doesn’t have to take much time but it can save a lot of last minute headaches- and will certainly save you time in the end. You might even invest in setting up a weekly meal planner. Plan and shop for meals a few days or even a week in advance so you can be sure you have the ingredients you need on hand. Keep very perishable items and some ready-to-cook dinners in the freezer to save having to shop frequently. You don’t want to have to run to the store from the cottage or even stop on your way home from work to pick up one essential but missing ingredient. Wouldn’t it be nicer to go straight home?
  2. Try some fresh new foods. This is a great time of year to try something new. You might find some new vegetables or at least some interesting variations on familiar foods at local farmers markets. Think heirloom tomatoes, purple carrots, the many varieties of mushrooms. Take your kids and let them choose – they will be more likely to eat their veggies!
  3. Cook extras. That way you will have easy leftovers for lunches or spontaneous dinners when unexpected company drops by. BBQ’d meats, chicken, shrimp or fish are also great to use on salads the next day for lunch or a lighter dinner. For example, all of SupperWorks’ Flat Iron steaks and marinated chickens such as Lemon Rosemary Chicken make a bed of leafy green salad something special.
  4. Speaking of salads, always have salad ingredients on hand – some of my favourites are berries, nuts, seeds, mixed greens, avocado, crumbles of cheese (goat!). A great salad can accompany almost anything – like a delicious burger – to complete an easy, summery supper. For an easy and delightful salad dressing, try one-third good quality olive oil, one-third balsamic vinegar and one-third maple syrup.
  5. Quiche is another excellent staple in the summer. It can serve as a breakfast, lunch or dinner and comes in many different varieties. It can be served hot or cold. And it’s an first-rate source of protein.
  6. Have some fun with your child (age 8 or over) at a special Saturday morning Bring Your Child session at SupperWorks. Children learn how to put meals together and experience shows that children who have a hand in making dinner are much more likely to enjoy eating it – and are even willing to try more adventurous foods!
  7. Ok, one more thing. You’re probably not going to be happy if you add a few pounds to your frame eating all this good food. It is bathing suit season after all. So enjoy all the flavours but watch your portion sizes. Esstablish a portion size that works for you and use it as a guideline. And get out and enjoy all the opportunities for outdoor exercise!

SupperWorks Leaside and SupperWorks to Go! is located at 105 Vanderhoof Ave in Toronto.

Save Time. Save Money. Eat Better.

Pick Up and Delivery options are available. SupperWorks to Go now means you can drop in and select meals that have been pre-made with out the commitment!

Mention this article for a complimentary side dish

(up to $8 value) when you make a purchase!

Summer Yoga Sale

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for my blog. I’ve had a surprisingly busy summer between spending time at cottages with friends, family events and travelling to Yellowknife for a wedding. Aside from travel I’m taking two online courses for my yoga business and professional development, I’m the vice president for a Business Networking International chapter in Toronto and planning fun and creative ways to bring yoga to individuals and corporations in city. Despite it all I still manage to make time for my own daily yoga practice. Making self-care a priority means I’m physically, emotionally and mentally in a space where I can manage all the other things in my life with relative ease and minimal stress.

Many of us take longer holidays in the summer, spend more time outdoors and are more active in general. With the extra time and energy you have this summer, consider starting a yoga practice to prepare your body and mind for the changes that come in the Fall and Winter. To help you get started, this summer I am offering $60 private sessions to all new clients in Toronto until the end of August. You can add a friend for only $15 more. Whether you are looking to deeply relax, start a meditation/mindfulness practice or are looking to get out of pain or improve mobility I can customize a practice that is unique to you and give you the skills necessary to start your own home practice. Contact me today and mention this article to get the sale!

Yoga Rehab

yoga rehab photoPain doesn’t have to be a normal part of everyday life. When we learn how to effectively improve the function of our shoulders and hips we perform better in our athletic endeavours, we can chase after our kids with more ease and life becomes more enjoyable.

After the success of my first two Pain Clinic Workshops for hip and shoulders I’ve decided to offer a combo class specifically for yoga teachers, fitness instructors and students to learn the skills to get out of pain, improve the function of their hips and shoulders so they can feel great and get back to the activities that they love or even to excel at the activities they already enjoy.

Often times as a teacher, we see our students or clients struggle or hit a road block in their progress due to pain, injury, or lack of range of motion. As a teacher do you notice your clients cringing in pain? Struggling to breathe or holding their breath in a posture or exercise? Finding excuses? Cancelling appointments? Afraid to re-injure themselves?

Learn the skills to move better without pain, nurture relaxation and move optimally with stability and ease.

When we move better, we feel better and we can enjoy life more.

My next workshop is called Yoga Rehab and it will be held Saturday, March 25th at Leslieville Sanctuary 1:30-3:30pm. Cost is $45 + hst. Participants will receive a handout and free practice video.

Contact me to register or ask a question.

Contest – Is Your BOSS the Best?

It is important to honour the special people in our lives, teachers, parents, bosses – and express gratitude for all life gifts they bestow upon us.

Boss’s Day just so happens to be on October 16th and you could win $200 in Innergy Corporate Yoga gift cards. That’s a $100  gift card for you and a $100 gift card for your boss.

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All you have to do is tell us why your Boss is the best and you are both entered to win!

Enter Here and tell us why you love your boss. Contest closes October 21, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myths about Injury, Pain, Ache and Strain & The Truths of Healing

TrikonasanaI’m going to let you in on a secret. Tell everyone. Seriously. You can live pain free and it’s super easy!

Often in conversation, whether it is in a yoga class or a passing conversation, I hear resignation to pain caused by injury, illness or stress. As a society we have taught ourselves to accept our physical imbalances, our fatigue, chronic stress, rigidity and tightness in the body, and our inability to move in the same way we did when we were younger. All these things I have just listed do not have to be your reality, despite what you think or may have been told.

After I was in a car accident in 2008. I thought I would have to live with at least a certain level of back pain for the rest of my life, despite my regular yoga practice and chiropractor visits. After studying therapeutic yoga with Susi Hately, I learned that I could have a pain free/discomfort free life. So let’s get clear on  some of they myths of injury/pain/ache/strain and the truths of healing.*

First myth: Pain is part of getting older.
First truth: Tissue can change and function can improve at any age. It all depends on the stimulus you give it.

Second myth: Nothing has worked.
Second truth: Nothing has worked, yet.

Third myth: Feeling pain means being overwhelmed by pain.
Third truth: By learning to move in a range that doesn’t increase pain, your pain will decrease.

Fourth myth: It took 40 plus years to create this problem, it will take a long time to resolve it.
Fourth truth: If your reason for resolving the issue is compelling enough, the speed of healing can be quite mind blowing.

Fifth myth: True change is impossible.
Fifth myth: True change is entirely possible. The first and second steps are awareness and self-care.

If these myths are resonating with you, consider getting in touch with me to chat about how I can customize a program specifically for you.

Pain Clinic workshops will be coming soon. Stay tuned for more details. Contact me to be added to my newsletter or to schedule a consultation or class.

(*Myths published by Susi Hately – Functional Synergy)

International Yoga Day at Trinity Bellwoods Park

FullSizeRender-2June 21st was the the second International Yoga Day. Myself and the other teachers of Innergy Corporate Yoga in Toronto taught a free class in Trinity Bellwoods Park to celebrate the day. It was a beautiful evening and over 50 amazing yogis joined us for our yoga class. Fresh gave attendees a 15% discount at their Crawford location (which was super busy afterwards!). As an added bonus Greenhouse Juice Co dropped off some goodies and Jack and Lil’s were serving up delicious goodies across from us in the park for Summer Solstice and shared in the festivities.  This week we will be contacting the lucky winners of the draw for a free private one-on-one yoga class.

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to find out the next date for Yoga in the park.

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Innergy Corporate Yoga Teachers Toronto

A Mindful Approach for Spending Time Outdoors this Summer

crawford lake 2Now that the warm weather is here we are spending more time outdoors. Simply by being outdoors we get a boost energy from the fresh air and warm sunshine. However, there are ways we maximize our experience of the great outdoors.  Whether you go to the cottage, play outdoor sports, enjoy hiking or running or riding your bike, gardening or going for walks, whatever it may be you can up your outdoor experience with these easy tips.

  1. Breath deeply. Actually notice what it feels like to breathe in fresh air. Feel your lungs filling up and slowly emptying. Experience your breath as if it’s the first time you’ve ever breathed in fresh air. Try this 5 times or as often as you like.
  2. Slow Down. Even when we are outside we tend to rush rush rush. Try taking slower steps. Notice what the earth feels like beneath your feet. If possible walk bare foot and notice the sensations.
  3. Tune into your senses. Appreciate the shapes, the sounds, the smells and even tastes around you. As you walk slowly, breathing deeply, take a few moments to truly appreciate the nature that surrounds you. Feel the warmth of the sunshine on your face. Listen to the sounds all around you. Think of 5 things that you can appreciate about this moment related to what you can hear, see, feel, smell and/or taste.
  4. Stop moving. Simply be still for a few minutes. Observe the world around you, moving, doing, being. Enjoy.

Maximize the benefits by getting out of the city completely and into the woods. The deeper we can get into nature, the more connected to nature we become.

What are the benefits you might ask? Check it out:

  • lower stress levels
  • better working memory
  • feeling more energized/alive
  • lower blood pressure/heart rate
  • reduced tension/anxiety
  • improved mood
  • feel more relaxed
  • less likely to ruminate on depressing thoughts
  • boost immune system
  • may inspire awe and happiness

Looking for a outdoor day retreat? Let me take you on an experiential, mindful day retreat just outside the city. Contact me for more information and to plan your excursion.

World Yoga Day – Free Class at Trinity Bellwoods Park

World Yoga Day posterWorld Yoga Day is June 21st and Innergy Corporate Yoga teachers are hosting a FREE yoga class at Trinity Bellwoods Park downtown Toronto. The class will be taught by four of Innergy’s teachers from 6:45pm to 8:00pm in the park. Fresh on Crawford is also throwing in something delicious so stay tuned for more details closer to the date. As an additional bonus you will be entered into a draw to win a free Private or Corporate Yoga class. What’s even better is four teachers means four chances to win! Bring your friends. We can’t wait to see you there!

Find the event on Facebook!