travel, Uncategorized

From the Amazon to the Andes

I am in the midst of a love affair with South America.  After working my way through Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Central America it is South America that has stolen my heart and infiltrates my dreams.

We have just returned home from an incredible adventure through Peru.  Landing in Lima just after midnight, we were excited to check into our hotel and find a few hours of sleep.  Three hours in the country and we experienced an earthquake.  As a yogi who believes in omens and listens when the universe speaks, I couldn’t help wonder what the significance was.  Looking back it meant Peru would literally shake my foundation and shift my perspectives.

Over 12 days we explored Lima, spent time off the grid connected to the planet (not a wifi signal) in the Amazon, walked the ancient streets of Cusco finally making our way to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu is one of those magical places where words to describe the feeling of being there are difficult to find. As I came up the final steps and gazed down towards the site, low hanging clouds appeared to hug the valley.  With the sun shining down from above and the mountains forming a wall of protection, the significance of where I was was overwhelming.  Later as I climbed the path towards the Sun Gate, I was filled with a deep sense of gratitude. My thoughts broken only by the sounds of an excited 7 year old running past me telling me to hurry.

I loved Peru for its modern amenities which mix seamlessly with its rich history.  For its bustling streets and for the chance to sit in silence at night gazing at the stars while drifting on the Amazon.  And of course for Machu Picchu, which taught me that a strong foundation-whether in construction or life-is what will stand the test of time.

 

travel, Uncategorized

Facing My Fear

I have been weaving the theme of fear into my classes lately-both my personal practice and the ones I teach. Challenging myself and my students to find their edge and then instead of moving away from it, moving towards it.  We can become very comfortable sitting in a place of comfort. Sometimes that is what we need-the calm.  But when we stay in that place for too long, calm becomes complacent and instead on growing we settle for playing it safe.

Whether we are clinging to fear because of childhood experiences or fear of rejection, one thing is certain-fear will always tell you what you can’t do.  It will limit your joy, happiness and experiences.

In my practice I have been working on arm balances and inversions.  After an embarrassing face plant in crow a while back and a shoulder injury, I had moved away from these to stick closer to my mat (and the ground). But the time has come to quiet the ego and open the mind. Literally changing my view so I can change my perspective.  Next week I am heading to Peru, spending a few days in the Amazon.  I am afraid of snakes and so this trip too will be an opportunity to get comfortable with fear and to replace it with courage.

Fear keeps us playing small, limiting our hearts and minds and preventing us from moving forward.  And so I will go upside down and balance on my arms and travel all over the world, conquering my fears, opening my heart and living life to the fullest.

 

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Practice Not Perfection

I am by all accounts a Type A.  High expectations for myself but also for those around me.  Luckily a strong yoga practice has grounded me and I have learned to live with more love and less judgement.  Off my mat.  The struggle to let go of perfection on my mat however has proved to be a challenge.  Finding my edge usually meant pushing my body deeper and further into a pose. Listening to my head (ego) and not my body has led to aches and pains and a nagging yoga injury that just won’t heal.

I carry around what I affectionately refer to as “yoga butt”, a pain that surfaces when I lengthen and move deep into the glutes, a reminder that doing more and pushing through isn’t always better.  That to receive the benefits of the pose, I don’t always have to move deeper, that sometimes I need to ease out and just sit.  Sit with the feelings, the sensations and sometimes the frustration of not being able to do what was once easy. I am letting yoga come to me instead of always reaching for it.

I have also learned that a strong practice does not mean time in a studio, but rather time on my mat.  I used to feel bad if I couldn’t make it to a class. If I slept in, was running late or a kid was sick, the feelings of not being a “good yogi” kicked in.  Those were also the days when I showed up with a top of the line mat, the best yoga gear and tried to push through a power class when what I really needed was Yin.  After 10 years of practicing and completing my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, I realize that a committed practice means finding the time, whether it is 5 minutes or 5 hours to land on my mat.  Most days that means at home-without the bamboo floors & the heated room.

I have let go of what I thought yoga was supposed to be and instead have accepted what it means to me: the union of breath and movement, of becoming whole, of moving towards emotions and feelings instead of moving away.  And I will take that over perfection any day.

minimalism, Uncategorized

Why Creating Space is the Key to Happiness

I am by no means an expert on anything.  I have 4 kids and while most days I feel like a pretty good mom, I certainly have a lot to learn. The kids remind me of that daily. I teach yoga-and receive a lot of positive feedback from my students but first and foremost, I am a student of the practice too.  I’ve been married twice so maybe I could say I am a marriage expert, or maybe not : )

But without any credentials to my name, I will say for certain that by creating space in your body (and heart and head) and by eliminating the clutter from your life (home, office, car and even some people ) you will open up room for the things that you truly love.

The shift in our house began a few years ago when we started to empty out the rooms in our home, selling and donating what had served it purpose and only allowing the items we truly loved back in. Without spending thousands on a fancy reno, we re-painted and with the clutter gone, we love our home (in fact what I once thought was too small a house for our large family, I now feel its too big).

A regular yoga practice supports creating space in the body and allows me to tune out the outside world for a bit so I can listen to my own intuition.  With space in the body and mind, creativity flows and the answers to those hard questions often surface while I am on my mat.

We have let some relationships drift away without drama, choosing to surround ourselves by people who lift us up rather than drag us down.  A reason, a season, a lifetime.  Everyone has a role to play.

I recently hosted my Slay Your Day: For Dreamers and Doers workshop where we use yoga as a means to create space, find the calm and work towards eliminating the physical stuff, the mental clutter and the over-scheduled agendas.  It sold out.

So maybe I am a bit of an expert after all : )

 

 

 

travel, Uncategorized

Why Everyone Needs a Book Club

I love my book club.  What started as an idea in 2017 has turned into a monthly gathering of women who laugh, cry, drink wine and connect.  We talk about books of course but more importantly we talk about life.  Our hopes and heartaches and quite literally everything in between.

For me, book club also fills a void.  While I would love to pack up the kids and set sail for far away places, I have come to accept that my dream of being a vagabond family isn’t what the rest of my tribe desires.  They love to travel but they LOVE the stability of home. And to be truthful, as much as I complain about the confines of a 9-5 job, I am grateful for a steady income and a pension plan.

We choose books with a travel theme or a story that takes place in another land.  For now, while the kids are still young enough to need a mother in the same house (let alone on the same continent) book club will have to do.

This weekend, while much of the area I call home was blanketed in ice and snow (hello Mother Nature it’s f&^%$%ing April already) I read about a young couple in love who sailed across the Pacific to paradise. Our latests book club read.

For a few hours I was able to ignore the howling wind and imagine myself settling in on an island far away, glass of wine in hand.

One day, just not today.

Check out our book club page to follow along on our latest (literary) journey.

 

travel, Uncategorized

What a Teaching Vacation is Really Like

When I went to Costa Rica to complete my 200 hour YTT (Yoga Teacher Training), I knew immediately that I wanted to combine my love of yoga with my passion for travel.    With a full-time job and responsibilities at home, I wasn’t in a position to do a long term work exchange or a paid position somewhere exotic. I had heard of “teaching vacations” but didn’t quite know how they worked.  I was introduced to Fitness Pro Travel by my teacher, Marianne Wells (Marianne Wells Yoga Teacher Training)

Upon returning home from Costa Rica, I knew I needed to build my local resume before my international one.  I began teaching out of my home and local parks, eventually landing a weekly class at a local studio and growing from there.  After almost two years of classes, hosting workshops and building my skills as a teacher, I felt I was ready to take on an international destination.

I signed up with Fitness Pro Travel (I paid for an upgraded membership which allows me to book up to 13 months in advance) and as they say the rest is history.  After looking at resorts all over Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean we decided on Club Med Cancun (March 2018) and Dreams Costa Rica (December 2018).  The resorts we choose are family resorts and as their guest instructor for the week, I can bring one adult companion and two kids (the specifics are different for each resort). We pay a fee upfront and for our flights and receive our room and the all-inclusive package at no cost.

I was a little nervous as we boarded the plane to Cancun.  Arriving at night with my husband and two of our kids in tow. Would someone be waiting at the airport for us?  Would the resort be expecting me. The answer was a resounding yes! We were met at the airport and received a private transfer to Club Med (no stopping at all the other hotels along the way).  Upon our arrival at the resort, the Manager of Sports met me for my orientation, we were checked in and received our rooms and we settled in for the night without a care in the world.

I taught two classes daily (8 am and 6 pm) and the rest of the time I was free to enjoy everything Club Med has to offer (and boy does it offer a lot). I was very grateful to have  over 500 hours of teaching behind me.  Unlike my studio classes where I teach a specific style (Yin is Yin, Power is Power) I had to read the room and teach to the energy of the class, not what was on the schedule (the schedule just says “Yoga”). I had to adapt to the students (most of whom didn’t speak English-Club Med I found out is very French!). This meant I could show up with my class plan and realize it wasn’t what my students needed or wanted.  I was trained to teach the student not the pose and this came in so handy (thank you Marianne).

My experience teaching in an international setting (you can’t beat an open venue with an  ocean view) helped me grow as a teacher.  As a Type A by nature, I tend to do a lot of class planning.  Teaching in Mexico taught me to literally go with the flow-of the students, the setting, the weather.

If you have ever thought about doing a teaching vacation, go for it.  We have chosen to live, love and yogi our way to as many places as we can.  A teaching vacation is a great way to see a new country and teach in an international destination without a long-term commitment.

Our motto is #getbusyliving and we can’t wait for the next adventure to begin.

 

Uncategorized

This Little Trio of Travellers

As a simple first step on your journey with essential oils, we recommend a trio of lavender, lemon, and peppermint, three of our favourite oils. They will provide you and your family a compelling experience with the life-enhancing properties of therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Looking to begin your essential oil journey? Connect with us and let us introduce you to the world of EO!

LAVENDER

  1. Place a drop under your pillow or on your feet for a good night sleep
  2. Add to the dryer with your sheets for a peaceful night
  3. Perfect to support a range of skin irritations by applying topically with a carrier oil.
  4. Diffuse to reduce anxious feelings
  5. Relax in a lavender and epsom salt bath

PEPPERMINT

  1. Perfect for digestive health by applying topically with a carrier oil
  2. Apply to temples and back of neck for tension headache
  3. Apply to feet for cooling
  4. Diffuse for a pick me up
  5. Add to smoothies and bliss balls for a minty hit!

LEMON

  1. Add to warm water each morning for cleansing & detoxifying (without damaging your teeth enamel)
  2. Use in vinegar & water bottle to clean your home
  3. Use on stings and bug bites
  4. Diffuse to freshen & uplift
  5. Add to bliss balls & smoothies

 

minimalism, travel, Uncategorized

Slay Your Day: For Dreamers and Doers

We are at a really sweet spot in our life right now-having full-time jobs we love, creating The Wandering Yogi , which has grown from an idea into this amazing space where we can share stories, practice yoga and connect with our local community.   We have been presented with opportunity after opportunity and we are so grateful. But the road ahead wasn’t always so clear.  And so we had to clear it to find our way.

Last weekend I was hosting a workshop and I had the opportunity to share my story.  I spoke of how creating space in the body, mind and soul as well as in the space around (yes-the physical attachments) opens the door for amazing things to come.  The universe has a hard time navigating through clutter.

And so on this cold and snowy February day, I am diffusing uplifting essential oil blends as I move through the house finding the items that will be donated or recycled. I have a yoga date with myself to create some space in the body and my day timer is open so I can plan properly for the week ahead.

And then I’ll sit back, enjoy a glass of wine and see what the universe has to offer.  I’m really hoping its a date with Patagonia or Bhutan : )

 

travel, Uncategorized

When Opportunity Comes Knocking

For anyone that reads my blog (thank you by the way) you know that I love to travel and that sometimes I have a hard time being patient (instagram and Facebook don’t help).  With 2018 being full of travel plans, we had decided that for the first 5 months of the year we were going to stay put and embrace the Canadian winter.  And we were determined to stick to that.  But then opportunity came knocking.  In the form of a yoga teaching vacation through Fitness Pro Travel. And so we will be heading to the beautiful Mayan Riviera in Mexico to soak up the sun and surf and bring my love of yoga to my fellow travellers.

Just like my introduction to Essential Oils was unexpected and changed how we live, so has becoming a yoga teacher (I did my YTT with Marianne Wells in 2016).  What started out as a form of stretching 10 years ago has turned into a part-time job that I love and that flows perfectly with the other things that feed my soul: travel, healthy eating and living an authentic life. Yoga and teaching yoga has become part of me.

Most importantly it has taught me to listen to the universe…and when opportunity comes knocking to always answer the door.

Hasta Pronto Mexico!

travel, Uncategorized

Galapagos with Kids in Tow

It’s -20 degrees outside (at least according to my car) and that has me day dreaming about warmer times.  We have been in work and save mode for most of 2017, which means our travel was limited to just one big trip.  Knowing that we decided to check a big item of our list of amazing places in the world we want to see.  And the Galapagos did not disappoint.

We choose to book with G Adventures a Canadian owned and operated tour company for a few reasons.  They have been doing adventure travel for a really long time.  I love what they stand for and felt good knowing that my costs would be supporting families in the country I was visiting.  My only complaint-and I have told them this in survey after survey I fill out for them-is there are not enough family trip options (that being said we are travelling with them on their family Peru trip in May).

We arrived in Quito, Ecuador and quickly understood why the travel articles we read said be prepared for anything.  In a single day we would go from polar fleece to bathing suits to sweatshirts and back to t-shirts.  The weather is unpredictable but comes with stunning views of the Andes.  We stayed in Quito for a few days, travelling to hot springs in Papallacta where we hiked, ate like locals and soaked in the varying temperature waters.

After a few days touring the capital we boarded an Avianca flight and headed 500 miles into the Pacific to the capital of the Galapagos-San Cristobel.  We were travelling with 3 other families of different sizes and had 14 in our group all together.  When we arrived we were met by our CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) George.  Our son Jacob took an instant liking to George who knew everything there was to know about this foreign land.

Over the next 8 days we swam with sea lions, marine iguanas, reef sharks and even a Galapagos shark.  We snorkelled in Tortuga Bay with giant turtles and visited a sanctuary for tortoises.  We ate from local vendors and found happy hour every night.  We hiked, jumped off rocks into the cool waters that usually only sees locals and took high speed boats from island to island.  We tried to mimic the dance of the blue footed boobies and learned about Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Our trip to the Galapagos wasn’t a vacation, it was an adventure.  For now we are bundling up, trying hard to embrace the Canadian climate while thoughts of Peru, the Amazon and Machu Picchu keeping us warm, for the time being at least.