Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Raja Yoga Summer Camp is Blossoming!

Japanese Iris, Symbolizes Wisdom
Raja Yoga Summer Camp has grown into an inspiring sangha of yogis and yoginis sharing their passion for all things yoga!

So far, we've savored South Indian food at Lingsa, heard about Candice's amazing experience in Africa with the Stephen Lewis Foundation's "Grandmothers to Grandmothers" Campaign, and explored the 124 Street Grand Market!

Today, we're having an Ayurvedic Tea Party and Healing Meditation!  But don't worry if you can't make it, you can check out the tea recipes here and meditation here.

We look forward to learning more about wholistic living through yoga, Ayurveda, essential oils, and more!

To receive the evites, contact me at:

Ayurvedic Tea for Your Dosha

Cardamom, Cloves, Licorice, Cinnamon, Roses, and Fennel
 Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga, practiced in India for more than 5000 years.  Some say it is the world's oldest health care system! 

Ayurveda promotes vitality by removing toxins from the body, and harmonizing body, mind and spirit using foods, spices, herbs, and mantras.

You can determine your personal Dosha or constitution by taking this Dosha Quiz from the Chopra Center or this one from Doctor Oz or this one from Yoga Journal.

Ayurvedic teas are a wonderful way to introduce this ancient wisdom to your life.  They are delicious, and easy to make from herbs and spices in your garden, whole foods store, or your favorite Indian grocer.

Here are three recipes that calm and energize the body and mind without caffeine.  They also promote healthy digestive and immune systems. 

Click here for the recipe source and more information about their indications and benefits.

Vata Chai:  Licorice root, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, fennel, and stevia.

Pitta Chai:  Licorice root, rose petals, fennel, cardamom, ginger, and stevia.

Kapha Chai:  Ginger, licorice root, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and cardamom.

Drink to your pleasure and health!

Om Shri Dhanvantre Namaha: Mantra for Healing

Click here to listen to this mantra by Deva Premal on YouTube.

"Salutations to Dhanvantari, the embodiment and power of healing!"

Dhanvantari is the 17th avatar of Vishnu, physician of the gods, and the father of Ayurveda

This mantra can help us find the path to healing and direct us to the best health practitioners for our situation.  It may be chanted during cooking to charge the food with healing vibrations, to prevent disease and benefit those who are ill.  In addition to physical dis-ease, this mantra can be chanted for any situation that needs to be healed. 

Remember that the path of healing is not always what we expect!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Om Namo Narayanaya: Chant for World Peace

Image Source: Sivananda Ashram, Uttarkashi
Raja Yogis and Yoginis!  Remember a couple of months ago when we gathered together to write the mantra for peace, Om Namo Narayanaya in Sanskrit?

Our friend Jenny was embarking on a voyage to the Himalayas and kindly agreed to deliver and "deposit" our prayers to the Swami Vishnudevananda Peace Bank near the Sivananda Ashram near Uttarkashi

Well, check out this beautiful update from Jenny!  Blessings from the Himalayas!

"Hope everything is going peaceful and smooth for you all <3 I have been thinking about you and our night writing Om Namo Narayanaya - the peace mantra - to send along to the Himalayas.  Here's a short story about the travel of our little love letter:) ...  

So when I left Edmonton there was snow across Canada and the flights were all delayed.  I missed every flight except the one out of Edmonton and got rerouted twice on the way to India.  My bag, which had the peace mantras in it (because Tara was totally right - they'd keep the bag safe) also went on its own adventure, spreading peace and harmony wherever it went... then it came to meet me in Montreal so we could travel together to India:)  

Made it to Uttarkashi and the little village Netala... along the Ganges... The energy at the ashram and in the Himalayas is amazing.  And Mathaji, the spiritual mother at the Sivanada ashram there loved to receive all our writings for the peace bank.  She collects them from all over the world and organizes them to be offered at the entrance to the cave outside of Gangotri (the end of the road heading toward the mouth of the Ganges) where they fly to spread the peace all over:)  

Anyways, I feel so blessed to take the Peace Mantras part of the way:)  Hope to see you soon! 

Much love and many blessings to you and yours!  
Om Shanti

Thank you Jenny!  We can hardly wait to hear more about your adventures in India! 

Om Namo Narayanaya!

Heart Pilgrim Yatra, October 2014

Image Source: Heart Pilgrim
Do you dream of seeing the Himalayas with your own eyes? 

Wish to experience "Sacred India" for your Self?

Let's join Brahmachari Shankar, on Heart Pilgrim's first Himalayan Yatra, October 4-17, 2014!

Too far-fetched?  Follow your heart! 

As Shankar points out in Hindi, "Sab Kuch Milega!"  Or in English, "Everything is possible!"

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Grass is Always Greener... When You Get Outside

"A growing chorus of scientists and researchers agree: time spent in nature makes us happier, healthier and less stressed. It increases creativity and lowers risk of heart attacks. It even makes us nicer, more empathetic humans, with more meaningful relationships and increased community involvement."

Its not too late to Join Canada's 30x30 Nature Challenge!  Check out this awesome infographic:  What's in it for you?

Stay tuned to Kali's Kitchen for New Outdoor Yoga Classes and Events, coming this Spring and Summer 2014! 

May All Beings Be Happy

Detail of Illustration by Mayumi Oda
Never mind what the calendar says, May is the real beginning of spring in Alberta. 

Birds return, the grass turns green, buds start coming out on the trees.  Our gaze shifts from inside to out, and our mood lifts. 

We marvel at nature, the miracle of rebirth and new growth.  We think about planting, how we affect our surroundings and the beings with whom we share them.

The mantra Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu seems especially fitting at this time. 

It says, "May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering; may my actions contribute to the happiness and wellbeing of all."

You can read more about this mantra and its word by word translation in this article by Sharon Gannon of Jivamukti Yoga.

This is my wish and my focus this month,  "May" all beings be happy!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Raja Yoga Summer Camp, 2014!

Summer is nearly upon us!  Get ready for 2014 Raja Yoga Summer Camp!

Last year we enjoyed kirtan, study nights, field trips and more!

This year we're getting even bigger, brighter and bolder than before, with temple tours, puja ceremonies, crafts, cooking demos, ayurveda, outdoor classes, karma yoga opportunities, free talks, weekend retreats, and even a nine-night yoga intensive!

Note*  Many of these events are by invitation only.  If you would like to be on the evite list, send me an email at:

Have a suggestion for an event, karma yoga project, field trip or topic of study?

Join us for the Raja Yoga Summer Camp Reunion and 2014 Planning Meeting on Wednesday May 7, 7 pm at Lingsa, in Sherwood Park, AB.

Schedule of events coming soon!

Heart Pilgrim, Brahmachari Shankar's New Blog

Shankar teaching the Bhagavad Gita
I'm so excited to introduce you to Heart Pilgrim, the new website and blog of Brahmachari Shankar!

Many of you have heard me refer to Shankar as "my favorite monk".  As a senior staff member of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas, he is my friend and fellow student, my revered mentor and my most beloved Sanskrit tutor.

We have shared many hours studying and chanting, serving the ashram, our teachers and guests, even updating and editing the Philosophy section of the Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training manual. 

Shankar's teachings reflect his intelligence, his devotion, and his sense of humor.  I enthusiastically encourage you to check out all he has to share!

Farewell Yoga for Today

Vibhuti or Sacred Ash, the holy remains of a Fire Puja
After 15 years of teaching classes, workshops and teacher training at Yoga for Today in Sherwood Park, its time for me to move on!

Warm hugs and heartfelt thanks to all of the yogis and yoginis I've met, shared with, and learned from over the years!  You are an ongoing inspiration to me, and I'm so grateful for your support, encouragement, and companionship on the Path.

I look forward to connecting with you at other events and locations!  Om Shanti!  Namaste!

Akshaya Tritiya: Start Something New Today!

Today is Akshaya Tritiya, a holy day for Hindus and Jains.  It is the third lunar day of the bright half of the month of Vaishakha.

This day is believed to bring good luck and success.  It is an auspicious day to begin new ventures, purchase valuables, make offerings and do charitable works.

It is said to be the day that:

Adi Shankaracharya recited the Kanaka Dhara Stotr.
Veda Vyas and Lord Ganesha began writing the Mahabharata.
- The river Ganga, descended to the earth.
- The Goddess Annapoorna was born.

If you would like to know more about Vedic Astrology (Jyotish) visit the website of my teacher, Krishna Darshan.  

And for more about what this month has in store, check out the 3HO Tantric Numerology reading for May 2014 titled:  Timing is Everything

What new adventure will you begin today?