Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Giving and Receiving

Image Source: oneloveorigami
Today, many of us will participate in the exchange of gifts.  As yogis, we may see this as an opportunity for swadyaya or self-study. 

The exercises below were recommended by Ram Dass in 1974 as part of a course on the Bhagavad Gita.  He suggested choosing two and then journaling about them. 

You may already have “done” a couple of them today!  All you need now is a little time for reflection.

 “Paths to God, Living the Bhagavad Gita” by Ram Dass (Harmony, 2004, pages 260-261). 

Giving Exercises:

  1. Give away fruit on the street.   Take enough to last a few hours so that you’ll experience a wide range of responses from people.  Offer it to passersby.  You might try doing it at two locations:  one where many people are hungry (industrial and campus lunchtime) and then one where they’re probably not (middle-class shopping area in mid-afternoon).  Watch the difference in your inner and outer behavior in the two places.  Don’t be attached to the fruits.
  2. Give away some of your possessions.
  3. Give away something you don’t care about and then give away something that is precious to you.
  4. Give something to someone you like and then something to someone you don’t know or are not quite straight with.
  5. Give two gifts – buy one and make the other.
  6. Give something to your parents or your children.
  7. Give away money anonymously.
  8. Give fruit or sweets at an institution – a mental hospital or orphanage or old-age home.
  9. Give something to a child and then something to an adult.
  10. Give time.  Offer an hour or a day in service to a friend or institution.
  11. Give it all away. (Except for your journal.) Because the administrators of the course have not done this particular exercise, we are offering it as useful based on hearsay. 
Receiving Exercises:

  1. For one day eat only what is offered to you by others.  (Don’t tell anyone what you are doing until the day is over.)  Many yogis in India practice this tapasya.  It helps you realize that you are not the Prime Doer and awakens you to the level at which it is being done for you.
  2. Reflect on recent things that have been given to you and your reactions to these gifts.”
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and thank you for the gifts you've given me throughout the year!  I'm so grateful for your time, your friendship, your kindness, your love, your patience, your participation and your offerings of all kinds!  May they come back to you a thousand-fold!

Sunday, 16 December 2012


Winter Solstice

Kundalini Yoga, Gong and Meditation with Satwinder Sran
Kirtan with Tara Woltjen

Friday, December 21 6:00 to 9:00 pm
At Yoga Within: 9014 - 75 Street Edmonton
(780) 450-9642(YOGA)

Come celebrate the time when darkness rules!

This is the time of year the ancients considered the ‘Gateway to God.' The gods of the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians and Greeks were all born at this, the darkest time of the year, to bring light.

In this transition, expand beyond your imaginings to illuminate the Divine Light within!

Embrace this moment in the quiet cycle of life—Winter Solstice—to deepen your intentions.

Ask yourself:
What do I want to leave behind in 2012?
What do I want to bring forward for my Self in 2013?
What do I want to bring forward for the world in 2013?

          Cost $25 before Dec 21st and $35 at door

The Gita, Courage and the Unknown

Yogini Maheshwari
Thank you to all of the Yoga teacher trainees at Yoga Within and Breathe Yoga Studio for your enthusiasm and contributions as we studied the Bhagavad Gita!

It seems to me, that in a sense, we could all relate to Arjuna as we reflected on our own inner battles and concerns about the "Unknown".

I told you about my dear Teacher, Swami Swaroopananda, and then lo and behold, this video in the latest Sivananda Bahamas newsletter. 

I just had to share it with you! 

Thanks and blessings to you all!  I look forward to seeing you again next time!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Prayers for Ravi Shankar

I offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Sitar legend Ravi Shankar,who left his body yesterday at the age of 92.

Ravi Shankar has been a immeasurable influence on Indian music and is credited with bringing Indian music to the west.

Well known for teaching Beatle George Harrison to play Sitar, he is also the father of a new Sitar Virtuoso, Anoushka Shankar and Jazz Siren Norah Jones.

I have been loving and listening to his music for nearly twenty years and wish his family and fans fond memories and a continued relationship with him through his musical legacy.

Ravi, of Noble Birth, may you travel swiftly through the transitory states of existence to a harmonious rebirth or to the heavenly realms where the Gandharvas will surely welcome you with open arms and open hearts!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Just Christmas: Kalyana Helps Nuns in Nepal

Kalyana is pleased to be part of 
'Just Christmas' this year! 

Remember when Christmas was about thoughtful giving? 
Just Christmas offers the opportunity to give gifts
 that help make the world a better place. 

Just Christmas is Edmonton's largest Alternative Global Market Place 
for quality arts, handmade crafts and other goods. When you purchase 
a gift from the non-profit and charitable organizations in this market, 
the money you spend goes towards the building of healthy communities around the world. 

Located at:
Alberta Avenue Community Hall
9210-118 Avenue

Friday November 23,  5:30pm - 9:00pm
Saturday November 24, 9:30am - 4:00pm

Proceeds from Kalyana's sales at Just Christmas will support Tibetan Buddhist Nuns at  Keydong Thuk-che Choling Nunnery in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

The living situation is in Nepal is very difficult. Power is only available 8-10 hours per day.  No power also means no water because the pumps to fill the water storage tanks are electric.  There is no such thing as turning on a tap in Nepal and expecting water to flow.  Hot water is never available due to the lack of power for heating.  Cold water is only available if you have the ability to store water.
To address the water & power shortages the nunnery has purchased a generator with the support of donors but do not have enough to supply the whole nunnery.  Also, even though they have a generator, due to ongoing fuel shortages they can only buy 1 litre of fuel per day and the generator burns 5 litres per hour.  So it is guaranteed that each night the nuns end up studying by flashlight for many hours and may not have the water to brush their teeth or wash up before going to bed.  They do have 5 rooftop water storage tanks but without the fuel to run the generator there is no way to fill them if they run dry during a power rationing time.
The cost of most goods has doubled since last year as fuel costs have nearly tripled in the last 2 years.  Nepal has no internal resources for power and gas and must rely on either India or China to supply both.  Because of the unstable government, Nepal is falling behind on paying for their supplies so neither India nor China will provide a predictable supply of gas.  As a result, fuel is being rationed and prices have dramatically increased.  Because there is no fuel to run generators, many basic services - banking, tailoring, phones, etc - also are unpredictable.  Those services that do run charge a premium price because of the price of fuel needed to keep the power supply going.
The Nepalese people are suffering so much right now.  General strikes over the price of fuel, the government, lack of services, and more happen regularly.  As long as the government instability continues there is no end in sight to these issues.  Tourism is down significantly and this was the primary source of income for Nepal.

Your support can make a visible difference in the quality of life of these wonderful nuns. You may also consider the opportunity to sponsor one of the nuns at Keydong Thuk-che Choling Nunnery! Sponsorship forms will be available at Just Christmas.

Free parking
Admission by donation
Food and entertainment

For more information visit:

Elke Kriegel,

Eastern Treasures, beautifully created, fairly traded....
Bringing a little bit of Asia to your home! Contact me to enquire about 
unique home party opportunities.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Sattvic Movie Saturday: Midnight's Children

Well, it's been a while since I posted a movie for Sattvic Movie Saturday, hasn't it!

This weekend, rather than post one for you to watch at home, I encourage you to head out to your local theatre and see Midnight's Children.

Its a beautiful collaboration between author Salman Rushdie and Indo-Canadian film director, Deepa Mehta!

Special thanks to Hilary from Mongrel Media for the guest passes to the promotional screening last night!  It was wonderful!

 Click here to watch the official trailer on YouTube.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Shuddosi Buddhosi

Saraswati, Image Source: Scriptures.ru

Since Shimshai sang this lullaby of Yogini Queen Madalasa on Sunday night, it has been going around and around in my head... 

Now that we're in the last third of this year's Navaratri celebration and honoring Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and purity, it seems especially fitting.

Click here to listen on YouTube.

I'm finding alot of variations on this upadesha (instruction), but I've put together text, transliteration, and translation to the best of my ability below.

To see where I got the Devanagari from, click here.  Please note, I corrected the transliteration, and merged the translation with Shimshai's English version... whew!! 

If you find another version of the Devanagari, or have Shimshai's transliteration (which doesn't seem to match this), please let me know.  You know what a yoga geek I am... I'm dying to work out a Shruti Box version!  Jai Ma!

शुद्धोसि बुद्धोसि निरँजनोऽसि
सँसारमाया परिवर्जितोऽसि
सँसारस्वप्नँ त्यज मोहनिद्राँ
मँदालसोल्लपमुवाच पुत्रम्।

Shuddhosi buddhosi niranjanosi
samsara maya parivarjitosi
samsara svapnam tyaja moha nidram
mandalasollapamuvacha putram

"Madalasa says to her crying son:

You are forever pure.  You are forever true.
And the dream of this world can never touch you.
So give up your attachment, and give up your confusion.
And fly to that space that's beyond all illusion."

Monday, 22 October 2012

My Favorite Fashion Blogs

Anika Designs Edmonton Alberta
Image Source: Anika Designs, Edmonton

Lakshmi is the goddess of beauty and abundance. 

As a tribute to her this Navaratri, I'd like to salute some of my favorite fashion bloggers.

You may be wondering... what does this have to do with yoga? 
Well, not much from the point of view that says not to be attached to material appearances... 
But from another vantage point, why not acknowledge and appreciate the grace with which these earthly goddesses share, inspire, empower and uplift. 

I am in awe of their generosity, humor, whimsy, cleverness, elegance, dedication, openness and individuality. 

As John Fluevog puts it, "Style is Grace".

Jai Ma!!!

Thanks and beautiful blessings to:

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Devi Mahatmya

Image Source: Wikipedia
Every Navaratri I read the Devi Mahatmya, the story of the Divine Mother's battles with the forces of evil! 

In it, she helps destroy Madhu and Kaitabha who come out of the dirt in Vishnu's ears while he is in Yoga Nidra.

Then she defeats Mahishasura the Buffalo-Demon.

Later, she vanquishes the dreaded Raktabija who can replicate himself from drops of his blood.

Finally she slaughters Sumbha and Nisumbha who rudely pull her by the hair and try to force her into marriage.

Although it sounds gruesome, I remind myself that these "demons" represent negative thoughts.  And the goddess, our own inner light.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

108 Names of Durga

Durga, Image Source:  Wikipedia
Did you know that Durga has 108 names? 

Here are a few examples:

Bhavani: The Abode of the Universe

Buddhi: Intelligence

Chamunda: Slayer of the Demons Chanda and Munda

Durga: The Invincible

Jaya: The Victorious

Nitya: The Eternal One

Ratnapriya: Adorned by Jewels

Shaambhavi: Beloved of Shambu (Shiva)

Sundari: The Gorgeous

Click here to hear the 108 Names of Durga on YouTube.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Happy Navaratri!

Durga Ma
Tonight is the beginning of Navaratri, nine nights of annual celebration dedicated to the Divine Mother!

For three days, we celebrate the Divine Feminine in the form of Durga, the fierce warrior who clears away the demons of our ignorance. 

Then for three days we honor Lakshmi, the beautiful and generous Mother who bestows wealth and abundance.

The last three days are dedicated to Saraswati, the embodiment of wisdom and creativity.

Durga Ma
There are many ways to honor Shakti, or the creative feminine power within and around you. 

You may like to place reminders around your home or workplace in the form of flowers, images, or symbols.
One such tradition is to wear clothes in particular colors for each of the nine days. 

Durga Ma

Just in case you want to coordinate your "Saris" with the Divine Mother this Navaratri, here's the official listing for 2012. 
Please note:  This advice is in no way intended as a substitute for spiritual or sartorial counseling! ;-)
Image Source: Wikipedia
Tuesday October 16: Red
Wednesday October 17: Sky Blue
Thursday October 18: Yellow
Friday October 19: Green
Saturday October 20: Grey
Sunday October 21: Orange
Monday October 22: White
Tuesday October 23: Pink
Wednesday October 24: Blue

Today is World Food Day

Monk's Prayer Poster - Marion Black Design
Glastonbury Kitchen Prayer

Today, October 16th, is World Food Day.

Kali's Kitchen is still working toward our goal of donating one million grains of rice through the United Nations World Food Program on Freerice.com.

Join the Kali's Kitchen group today and play a new category: World Hunger

Learn and donate for free! 

For every question you answer correctly, you donate 10 grains of rice to hungry people around the world.

May all beings be nourished, in body, mind and spirit!

Monday, 15 October 2012


Brian McLeod and Gord Oaks are opening for Shimshai in Edmonton on October 21st!

Sunday October 21st 
The Centre for Spiritual Living
7621 - 101 Avenue, Edmonton
Doors @ 6PM 
$25 Advance, $30 at the door

Friday, 5 October 2012

Legends of Yoga: The First Guru

Shiva as Nataraja
Tradition says that Shiva is the Adi-Guru or first teacher of Hatha Yoga. 

Wanna hear the story of how yoga first came to human beings?

Shiva's first student was Parvati, the Mother of the World and his beloved consort.  She was saddened by the suffering of human beings.  Out of compassion, Shiva shared these teachings with her.

Some stories say they went to a small island or a remote riverbank or a deserted beach.  Others claim they had a beautiful bubble lair at the bottom of the ocean. 

(Lol!  This always makes me think of Maxwell Smart's "Cone of Silence".)

As Shiva spoke, a fish (Matsya in Sanskrit) overheard.  Shiva turned the fish into a Siddha, or realized being who became known as Matsyendranath or the Lord of the Fishes.

Others say that Matsyendranath was swallowed by a fish when he was just a boy.  The fish happened to be resting near the divine couple as they were discussing the secret wisdom of yoga.  From within the belly of the fish, Matsyendranath overheard.  He practiced what he learned with vigor and determination.  When he escaped from the fish belly twelve years later, became a fully realized master and a liberated soul.

Either way, Matsyendranath became the second teacher of yoga, the one who brought it to humanity.  He is revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike as a Guru in both paramparas, or lineages of yoga.

Ardha matsyendrasana
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Image Source: Yoga Vidya)
As the first human guru was known for meditating in a particular asana, the position became known as Matsyendrasana, or the Seated Spinal Twist, one of the few postures described in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

Ardha Matsyendrasana, or the Half Spinal Twist is one of the twelve basic postures in a traditional Sivananda yoga class.  It has numerous benefits for the abdominal organs and the spine, and helps to rouse latent spiritual energy.

Some versions claim that Parvati fell asleep and missed the whole teaching.  Perhaps this is a metaphor for the human condition.  The yogis say we spend most of our lives unaware of our own potential and therefore unable to fulfill it. 

Or perhaps it is a reference to Kundalini Shakti, the spiritual force that lies dormant or "asleep" in the Muladhara chakra at the base of the spine waiting to be channeled upward.

However you interpret this mighty fish tale, it highlights the power of yoga to transform.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Three Deadliest Words in the World: It's a Girl

October 11th is the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child

In honor of girls everywhere, the Indo-Canadian Women's Association in Edmonton is hosting a screening of the film It's a Girl 7 pm at the University of Alberta.

"In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.

Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members."

Watch the trailer here.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Gayatri Mantra and Sparrow's Noorish-ing Kirtan

Gayatri Devi, Image Source: Wikipedia
"May our intellects shine like the Sun. 
May we radiate enlightenment."

As the new school year and fall yoga sessions begin, it feels like time to set intentions.

Often refered to as the "Mother of the Vedas" Gayatri is a mantra for learning, teaching and healing.  It infuses all the chakras with Divine Light.

There are many beautiful melodies out there, but my new favorite is this one (click to watch full screen on YouTube) by local singer/songwriter Sparrow (Tiffany Brulotte)

You can buy her cd here.  We are all invited to chant with her at Noorish every second Sunday.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Prayers for Georg Feuerstein

From Brenda Feuerstein:
"It is with great sadness that I announce that my husband and spiritual partner, Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., left his body on August 25, 2012 at 9:10 PM.
At this time, I would like to request prayers from the worldwide community for Georg’s transition through the afterlife states and for a swift rebirth."
Dr. Feuerstein's dedication and contribution to the study and preservation of yoga and the expression of those teachings cannot be measured. 

His website, books, manuals and movie appearances are priceless reference materials which will continue to inspire and illuminate our practice for many years to come.

I personally consider Dr. Feuerstein's Yoga Philosophy Teacher Training Manual to be of the highest calibre, and have been proud to use it as a primary reference in my Origin, History and Basic Philosophy of Yoga classes since it first became available in 2007.

Thank you, Dr. Feuerstein.  Thanks and loving sympathies to you, Brenda. 

Honoring Brenda's request, I offer these prayers.

Georg, Yogi of Noble Birth, may you journey fearlessly though the transitory states of existence and be released from the cycle of birth and death, or find your way to a peaceful rebirth where you can continue to benefit all beings.  Om Trayambakam x 108. 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Post Number 108

This post is about one thing (1), no thing (0), and everything (8).

108 beads in a mala, 108 sun salutations, 108 repetitions of a mantra... what's the big deal with 108? 

Mathematicians consider it an "abundant number" and "semiperfect".  It is a Harshad Number, an integer divisible by the sum of its digits.  The word Harshad comes from Sanskrit and means "great joy".

To celebrate Kali's Kitchen's 108th post, you can read more at: Swamij.com, Wikipedia

108 thanks for visiting!  I wish you 108 kinds of joy!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Sattvic Movie Saturday: Untitled

I'm so excited to share this short film with you today! 

Congratulations and thanks, Taya and Ryleigh, for sharing your perspective with such talent, grace and courage! 

Click here to watch it (and click like!!) full screen on YouTube.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Janamashtami 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012 you can celebrate the birth of Baby Krishna at events around Edmonton.

Bhartiya Cultural Society of Alberta

Hindu Society of Alberta

ISKCON Center Edmonton

There will be music, stories, prasad and more!

Jai Sri Krishna!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant

Dessert/Drink Menu
Oooooh I just came back from dinner at the most wonderful place, Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant!

Family run and beautifully decorated, the food is a delicious mix of Thai, Indonesian and Indian cuisine.  Totally vegan and totally amazing!

We shared coconut rice and two dishes, Lemon "Ribs" and "Chicken" Curry followed by dessert and steamed soy milk chai... mmm... what a treat!

I hope you're having a great long weekend enjoying the beautiful summer weather and the fabulous lightning shows.  See you at yoga tomorrow!

Sattvic Movie Saturday: The Story of India, Part 6

The Story of India"In this landmark six-part series for PBS and the BBC, Michael Wood embarked on a dazzling and exciting journey through today’s India, seeking in the present for clues to her past, and in the past for clues to her future.

The world’s largest democracy and a rising economic giant, India is now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer technology as it is for its many-armed gods and its famous spiritual traditions. But India is also the world’s most ancient surviving civilization, with unbroken continuity back into prehistory.

Like other great civilizations – Greece or Egypt, for example – over the millennia it has enjoyed not just one but several brilliant golden ages in art and culture. Its great thinkers and religious leaders have permanently changed the face of the globe. But while the glories of Rome, Egypt, and Greece, have all been the subject of TV portraits, as yet there has been no television story of India on our screens.

This series sets out for the first time to do that: to show a world audience the wonders of India; the incredible richness and diversity of its peoples, cultures and landscapes; and the intense drama of its past, including some of the most momentous, exciting and moving events in world history." - Source:  Top Documentary Films, The Story of India

The Story of India, Part Six: 

Freedom. This last episode tells how a foreign multinational (the East India Company) thousands of miles away gradually and almost by chance took power over great swathes of the Indian subcontinent.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Sattvic Movie Saturday: The Story of India, Part 5

The Story of India"In this landmark six-part series for PBS and the BBC, Michael Wood embarked on a dazzling and exciting journey through today’s India, seeking in the present for clues to her past, and in the past for clues to her future.

The world’s largest democracy and a rising economic giant, India is now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer technology as it is for its many-armed gods and its famous spiritual traditions. But India is also the world’s most ancient surviving civilization, with unbroken continuity back into prehistory.

Like other great civilizations – Greece or Egypt, for example – over the millennia it has enjoyed not just one but several brilliant golden ages in art and culture. Its great thinkers and religious leaders have permanently changed the face of the globe. But while the glories of Rome, Egypt, and Greece, have all been the subject of TV portraits, as yet there has been no television story of India on our screens.

This series sets out for the first time to do that: to show a world audience the wonders of India; the incredible richness and diversity of its peoples, cultures and landscapes; and the intense drama of its past, including some of the most momentous, exciting and moving events in world history." - Source:  Top Documentary Films, The Story of India

The Story of India, Part Five: 

The Meeting of Two Oceans. The fifth episode of the story of India takes us to the time of the Renaissance in Europe, when India was the richest, most populous civilization in the world.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Kali's Kitchen is One Year Old!

I can hardly believe Kali's Kitchen is a year old already!

Thank you to all of you for reading, and for your beautiful comments and feedback!

There's lots of good stuff to come, so please keep visiting.  And let me know what you'd like to see in the coming year.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Sattvic Movie Saturday: The Story of India, Part 4

Some time ago I posted parts one and two in this series.  For some reason, Part Three is unavailable, so today we're moving straight to the "Golden Age" in Part Four of The Story of India.

The Story of India"In this landmark six-part series for PBS and the BBC, Michael Wood embarked on a dazzling and exciting journey through today’s India, seeking in the present for clues to her past, and in the past for clues to her future." - Source:  Top Documentary Films, The Story of India

The Story of India, Part Four: 

Click here to watch: Ages of Gold. Episode Four is the story of India in the Middle Ages. At the time of the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, and the European Dark Ages, India had a series of great flowerings of culture, both in the north and the south.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sugar Beet Salad

Warm weather and refreshing salads go together like... um... beets and mint!  Lol!

What you need:

  • 1 large sugar beet
  • 1 large handful of mint
  • 1 small handful of sunflower seeds
  • 1 small handful of dried cranberries
  • Pickled carrots

What to do:

  1. Wash and trim the beet and mint.
  2. Grate the raw beet.
  3. Chop the mint.
  4. Cut the pickled carrots into slivers.
  5. Add the sunflower seeds and cranberries.
  6. Mix together and serve!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Sattvic Movie Saturday: I Am

A post-injury quest to communicate what is wrong in the world and what we can do about it led Tom Shadyac, director of Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, and Bruce Almighty to discover instead, what is right in the world.

This film is beautiful, funny, touching, and surprising.  It encourages us to shift our worldview away from competition, consumption and "survival of the fittest", to compassion and co-operation as the basis of human nature. 

Get your popcorn, and enjoy! 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Random Acts of Karma Yoga

Maybe you've already heard about this, but I thought I'd share with you it anyway. 

When a young man in the States named Aaron Collins passed away three weeks ago, he left his family with a mission to change the life of someone he didn't even know. 

He asked them to go for pizza and leave the waiter or waitress a HUGE tip. 

Although he didn't leave them the money, they quickly raised it through a website called http://aaroncollins.org/ and made good on his request. 

You can watch the video here.

I bring this to your attention because in my eyes, it is a beautiful story of Karma Yoga

Their gift did not depend on the level of service they received.  It didn't require any payback.  Aaron will never know, as it is put in the Bhagavad Gita, the "fruits of his actions".

His story inspires us to be generous and kind in our own ways and to create a life and legacy of Love.

Be in Peace, Aaron. 

May your Soul find bliss, and your family find comfort in their memories of you and the new ones you are creating together in the lives and hearts you are championing from Beyond.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Intermediate Hatha Yoga

For the very first time, Intermediate Hatha Yoga classes continue all through the summer at Yoga for Today in Sherwood Park, Alberta, on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings!

Sunday Mornings:  Untangle "knots" and stimulate the flow of prana with intervals of asana and vinyasa.  Balance the chakras as you strengthen and relax.

Wednesday Evenings:  Practice relaxation, meditation, and seated asanas while learning basic Sanskrit, the Yoga Sutras and the eight limbs of yoga.

Hatha yoga is so much more than just asanas! 

These classes are an opportunity to explore some of the highlights of the Hatha Yoga path.

All yogis and yoginis are welcome!

These classes will not be "too hard" if you can say "yes" to most of the following:
  • You have some experience in Yoga already. 
  • You're familiar with the basic postures.
  • You enjoy trying new modifications, variations and less common poses.
  • You remember to breathe deeply.  (Don't worry, I'll still remind you!)
  • You honor the wisdom and signals of your own body.  If it hurts, you don't do it!
  • You feel the benefits of yoga and are eager for more.
  • You accept that yoga or "union" is both a goal and a practice.
  • You recognize that every body, every pose and every day are different. 
  • You listen to your body and adapt the intensity of your practice accordingly.
  • You allow others to practice according to their own needs and preferences.
  • You appreciate the diversity and variety of yoga styles and techniques.
  • You desire health, happiness and peace of mind.
  • You want to develop physical and mental flexibility, strength and endurance.
  • You are open to pranayama, meditation, mantras, mudras, stories and songs!
See you soon!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Sweet Lime Soda

Summer is here and the hot weather is making me thirsty.

I can't get enough Sweet Lime Sodas! 

When travelling in India, lime sodas were my very favorite thirst quencher. 

They were also the first culinary souvenir I recreated for family and friends back home. 

They come in sweet and salty varieties, but the sweet one is most likely to appeal to our western lemonade palates.

What you need: 

  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice or the juice of half a small lime.
  • 1-2 Tbsp. raw sugar or simple syrup to taste.
  • Club soda or sparkling water.

What to do:

1) In a glass mix lime juice and sugar or syrup until dissolved. 
2) Top up with club soda or sparkling water. 

Trust me - mix the ingredients in this order!  If you add sugar to the club soda you get something more like a science experiment!  Woosh!! 

Well, you don't really have to trust me... lol! 

After all, in yoga shraddha is all about personal experience, so you're welcome to try it for yourself!

Optional - You can add ice, a slice of lime or some mint leaves if you like. 

You can also experiment with flavored sparkling waters.

I made the one on the left with mint sparkling water and presto - Easy Virgin Mojito! 



Saturday, 30 June 2012

Sattvic Movie Saturday: The Sun Behind the Clouds - Tibet's Struggle for Freedom

Book Handmade by Tibetan Refugee
Honorary Canadian citizen, The Dalai Lama is an international celebrity.  Tibetan Buddhist teachings are now accessible virtually around the globe. 

But the Tibetan people still struggle for autonomy, religious freedom, economic equality and cultural recognition in their homeland. 

They regularly face persecution, arrest, interrogation and abuse that for most Canadians is the stuff of horror movies.

As we celebrate Canada Day, let us be grateful for our position of privilege and freedom in the world and support human rights and justice for all. 

Please take the time to watch this revealing documentary.  Thank you.

Click here to watch: The Sun Behind the Clouds - Tibet's Struggle for Freedom full screen on YouTube.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Blessings for a Beautiful Summer

Lakshmi by Betsy Schott
Lakshmi is revered as the goddess of beauty, abundance and prosperity.  She represents wealth in both material and spiritual matters.

As we enter the second half of 2012 and the beginning of summer, I wish health, wealth, spiritual awareness, freedom from misfortune, happiness, love, gratitude and generosity to all!

To invoke the energy of Lakshmi you can chant:

Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namaha

Or you can learn her Gayatri mantra by watching this video on YouTube.

Jai Ma!