Q: What bought you to yoga for the first time?
A: I entered the yoga realm being very hesitant and nervous. My best friend who is very spiritual recommended I try some classes with her because they would help my anxiety and stress surrounding my injuries from a car accident I was in. I recall entering a heated room, not fully knowing what the heck I was about to do. I was incredibly vulnerable, irritated, and found everything overwhelming. If my friend hadn’t kept asking me to go with her, I would have bailed. After that first month, I became more comfortable in this new environment and I started to go on my own weekly. I stuck with certain instructors that I felt had a safe connection with and had knowledge of my injuries. I completed my first 30 day yoga challenge in 2009 and registered for teacher training that autumn after my Grandmother passed away. She left me the exact amount it would cost for my first 200 Hour YTT program and to me, that was a clear sign.
Q: How has yoga helped you as a parent?
Q: What do you ALWAYS have in your bag?
A: Which bag? My purse or yoga studio teaching bag? Diaper bag. Does my vehicle count as a bag? lol
Q: What does success mean to you?
A: Success is something that I struggle with conceptualizing everyday. I try to measure success with moments of gratitude instead of reminding myself what has not been accomplished in my life time. Success is worn like a suit of armour on some days. These days, I am a mother, a listener, a healer, an athlete and I am happy. Other days, Success for me is measurable solely by my career choices and how they provide for my family. I am a provider, I pay and save for my children’s education and I am happy.
Q: When do you feel the most confident?
A: Confidence for me is directly related to my overall health. Practicing Ashtanga Yoga’s 8 limbs helps me maintain wellness and confidence.
Q: Please tell us your favourite books and why they are the best in your opinion:
We all love our yoga teachers for giving us the wondrous benefits of yoga, for delivering a killer vinyasa flow class or winding us down with the perfect restorative class. Your teachers are total superstars, they often always know the right thing to say after a long week, or offer a juicy assist to help you reach deeper into your personal practice.
But, wouldn't you like to know your teacher beyond the practice? Get ready to learn all about Lisa, and why we love her (besides her obvious talent for teaching yoga + aerial yoga, and wearing the best shirts).
Q: What brought you to yoga for the first time?
A: It sounds so cliche, but what initially brought me to yoga was to find some balance from the stresses of my corporate lifestyle and marathon running. But as I 'dipped my toes' so to speak into the realms of yoga I saw that there was so much more to the practice... and my journey began from there.
Q: How has yoga influenced your life as a mom?
A: Yoga is like a deep breathe in my world ..... it’s the calm amidst my chaos. I have three very busy children and it allows me to find balance “most” of the time lol. When my girls are “painting” the house with diaper cream I’m calm enough to take a picture for Instagram before figuring out how to clean it off. Deep breaths haha - (and) all the yoga
Press play to learn all about Becky Cole, one of our beautiful Energy Exchangers at Yogadown.
Becky has a wealth of knowledge on healing, self love and the world of Energy Healing.
Listen below to hear all about her journey with yoga, her favourite classes, and her spirit animals!
"I decided to try the Beyond Addictions workshop at Yogadown because of it's reputation for removing emotional blockages and facilitating emotional healing after trauma. I understand that trauma can be identified as something horrific or extreme, but it can also apply to something small that made a significant impact on your life. This was the case for me; a series of small situations that amounted to distrust, anger, and stress. I knew that what I had been doing thus far wasn't working, because I was still suffering with feelings of depression and anxiety, fatigue, and physical unwellness.
More so than what I needed, the Beyond Addictions workshop was what I had been yearning so long for. Coming from a childhood that included addiction, abuse, and mental health issues, I had been seeking release from the anger that I felt day-to-day, and a freedom from my previous circumstances.
When the instructor, Theresa Siri Hari White, asked us to do a visualization exercise and ask ourselves "are you still that person?" I answered 'no', she then asked "are you still in that situation?" and again my answer was 'no'. Combined with the sequences we had been doing during the class, the breath work that we'd learned, and my ego being removed through those things, those questions were powerful enough for me to immediately feel relief. " ~ Brodie Boswell
Alice Hong: Freedom seeker, world traveler, yoga teacher, growth & transformation facilitator. Alice has been teaching yoga and leading women’s circles since 2009. She is the co-director of Inspired Yoga Institute, retreat leader for The Travel Yogi and creatrix behind Embodied Shakti. She continues to teach locally and internationally, offering transformative programs in stunning destinations.
I have been deeply inspired by the teachings of yoga since 2000, drawn in by its holistic quality of unifying body, mind and heart. Since I was a young child, I would ask the timeless questions of, “Who am I? Why am I here?” Yoga offers me a platform to explore these questions that keeps me curious and engaged with the subtle and profound nuances of life.
For me, the beauty of the yoga practice lies in its capacity to reveal the intelligence of the body, the wisdom of the human heart and the indwelling nature of Spirit. I feels fortunate to have spent time with luminous teachers, near and far, who continue to light the path.
My practice, and thus the one I share, continually evolves from my studies in many traditions, with its primary roots in yogic lineages. Anusara has been most influential – it awoke my passion for philosophy, mythology, intelligent alignment and embodiment. I have also studied Vinyasa, Flow, Yin, Restorative, Meditation, Mantra, Nidra and many other modalities. More than a particular style, I offer an integration of timeless wisdom and modern day practices in a manner that is meaningful and relevant. I holds space for others to listen deeply, love fully and live whole-heartedly.
Personal Development and immersive programs are my passion. I have the privilege of co-directing and lead facilitating for Inspired Yoga Institute in the 200HR, 300HR, and 500HR Yoga Teacher Trainings programs. I am the creatrix of a Yoga Teacher Mentorship program called On Purpose, contributor to Bodhi Tree Yoga Center’s Adjuster Program and guest faculty for other locations including Omega Institute in New York. Combining my love of travel and yoga, I lead retreats to an expanding repertoire of destinations in including Costa Rica, Thailand, Bali, Galapagos, Iceland and beyond. Community is integral to my work and I am proud be have been an ambassador for Lululemon and currently ,for B-Yoga and Lole.
We all have vastly different recollections of our teen years. Whether you were the most popular person in school, or into computers, or sports, or just kind of beating to your own drum, we can all look back with some memories of fondness and other memories that could be incredibly painful at times. Being a teen was hard back then and it is still hard now, if not harder now. There are so many expectations placed on today's youth, so many pressures that they are faced with, how do we expect teens to deal with these pressures without giving them the tools to do so? Enter yoga... the physical and mental wonder that is here to help save the day!
How is Yoga Beneficial to Teens?
Meet Natalie Jamieson, our newest Yogadown Ambassador. You may know her as the owner of Mint + Maple... the cutest, chicest, clothing boutique in Okotoks (if you haven't been yet, please stop reading this article and go right now). However, she is so much more than a girl and her little green house, she is an embodiment of true Okotokian spirit, an all-around sweet heart and ambassador for women everywhere pursuing their dreams and passions. And WE were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with her about her passions, dreams and her love of yoga!
"I love Okotoks, and we work together to make it how it is.
The Town of Okotoks just gave me a chance to fulfill this dream that I had for a really
long time... and I am so grateful and I feel so lucky that
I get to work and its also my passion too."
One word to describe your first Aerial experience at Yogadown: "Balanced"
Q: What inspired you to open Mint +Maple?
A: You know what I didn't really know what I wanted to do while I was doing my schooling
and then it kind of hit me that I had this goal, this dream. With lots of inspiration,
support and encouragement from my sisters and parents, and determination the dream became a reality. My family just encouraged me and I went for it. The Okotoks community has really accepted me into the community and have fallen in love with the shop. I have put my whole heart and soul into Mint + Maple, into making my dream come to life.
Q: How did Mint + Maple get its name?
A: Mint +Maple… People always think we are an ice cream shop or
a maple syrup shop (only in Canada) but it just stems from my
sweet tooth, I cool eat baked goods all the time. The name actually came from two of my favourite treats that my mom makes!
"I am not sure I would be able to find a town as special as this that
would allow me to be this successful and have this dream"
Meet Lindsay, the newest member of the Yogadown Family, she is sweet, sassy, into nature and LOVES working with bodies that need a little extra attention.
Lindsay brings her athletic background and infuses it into her Yoga classes by way of building strength and flexibility, as well as modifying poses to ensure you are practicing without pain. Keep reading to learn more about one of the coolest people you will ever meet.
"I just love Yoga! How it felt in my body and changed my life. I wanted to share my passion, like most yoga teachers.”
Q: What made you want to become a yoga teacher?
A: I just love Yoga! How it felt in my body and changed my life. I wanted to share my passion like most yoga teachers.
Q: What are you passionate about besides yoga?
A: Well, I just had a romantic day in bed with my dog, he likes to take selfies with me. I also love Nature, and being outdoors... with my dog.
"Kundalini is the older, cool, spiritual auntie of Yoga."
"Kundalini energy is something that exists in every person and every person has the power to awaken the energy that lays dormant within them."
Further we are also offering a 2-part workshop called "Beyond Addiction" that links the power of Kundalini to the healing of addictions (and yes your phone counts as an addiction, amongst other things like shopping, sex, the internet, working out, negative behaviour + thoughts, food, alcohol... the list is infinite). This workshop is perfect for those struggling with addiction, healthcare/addictions counsellors, yoga teachers wanting to widen their scope of expertise, and individuals seeking further knowledge on the yogic path to healing.
Basically, we think that Kundalini is pretty darn cool. And we want to share its benefits with as many people as possible. If this post didn't answer all of your questions about Kundalini or the Beyond Addiction workshops, give us a call or an E-Mail (we love to chat and answer questions).
Looking to add some tone to your tummy and make your body stronger? There's no doubt about it, core strengthening is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body. Check out below what Yogadown offers to Explore Your Core.
AerialCore is Yogadowns newest addition to the core family. In this amazing new workshop you will use the aerial silk to explore your core like never before.
The silk is used in creative ways to assist in strengthening and toning your midsection while also increasing shoulder and hip mobility. Each aerial class ends with a well deserved savasana in a cocoon of the hammock.
Warrior Flow is a drop-in style class that will have you sweating through a variety of postures including sun or moon salutations, standing, balancing, back bends, hip opening postures along with a strong presence of core strengthening.
You’ll be led through a mindful, continuous flow of dynamic breath and movement that will leave you feeling strong, courageous and empowered. Spice up your life with this invigorating and challenging yoga experience!
Here are a few unique ideas for your new journal jar:
One of the most commonly known ways to Jar Journal is to create a Gratitude Jar. At any time during your day, write one thing that you were grateful for. This is a great way to find and recognize gratitude in your every day life. It can be as simple as:
"Today I am grateful for the sunshine."
"Today I am grateful for my Mother."
"Today I am grateful for the challenges I faced."
A Self-Care Jar is an awesome way to keep yourself accountable for taking care of you. Often times we make ourselves our last priority. By pre-filling this jar with self-care ideas, you can reach in when you find time for a little you time. Here are a few examples:
"Take a long bubble bath"
"Read a new book"
"Go to a Yoga class"
"Go to bed early"
"Buy yourself flowers"
Wishing you all the very best in 2018,
-The Yogadown Team
The Holidays are Hard on Everyone...
It doesn't matter how early you tackled your Christmas lists, or how many dozens of shortbread cookies you made. Stress still affects us all, especially at this time of the year. It is awesome to have some tools in your arsenal to know how to combat stress, even when it hits you when you are least expecting it. Below are our go-to favourites for beating stress!
This one seems obvious, but meditation takes many forms and is a lot harder than most people think. Start out with something small like a mantra, or allowing yourself 5 minutes of silence and breathing. Recite one of these mantras over to yourself.
1. All situations are temporary
Nothing lasts forever. We know this intellectually. Plants die. Buildings collapse. Tires go flat. Hot cups of tea go cold. Everything is always in transition.
2. There is no wrong decision
When youve done millions of pro/con lists, and you've flipped coins hoping that you you'll know which choice is the one that you want before the coin hits the ground, but you come out empty handed, you might need to know that there is no such thing as the wrong decision.
3. I've survived all of the difficult moments of my past
take a moment to think about all of the things youv'e been through in your life.
4.) Be still and know
We have to focus. Focus on one idea. one task. One moment. And find joy in that stillness
5.) I trust the guidance of the universe
Choose to believe that whatever you're dealing with is being worked on by some entity bigger than yourself. Choose to believe that where you are is okay! You are enough.
Adapted from www.thetruthpractice.com
Yoga is one of the best stress-busters. Set up your own home practice or visit our studio to be fully serviced with meditation, yoga postures, relaxation, breathing techniques and more.
We offer a full range of weekly drop-in classes as well as workshops and registered series that are highly specialized.
Join us at our upcoming Healing Yoga workshop! complete with live harp, journaling, jade healing, restorative yoga and meditation. *Take a jade stone home with you
Sign up here!
From cell phones to satellites, crystals are critical elements of practically every tech-y item in the modern world. At the same time, their extraordinary ability to store, transmit, and transform energy is equally critical in the pursuit of health, wellness, and deep spirituality.
Crystals are millions of years old and were forged during the earliest part of the earth’s formation. I think of crystals as a timeless database of knowledge, because they retain all the information they have ever been exposed to. Crystals absorb information—whether a severe weather pattern, or the experience of an ancient ceremony—and pass it to anyone that comes into contact with them.
Here are the major benefits (from relaxation to enhanced connection and serious empowerment) of 3 significant crystals.
When was the last time you listened to your favourite song? Or put on a really cool playlist while you cooked. Music is therapeutic, soothing and can completely alter your mood (so make sure to listen to something soothing if that is the feeling you are seeking) ... or maybe some punk rock if you need to flush those feelings out? We won't judge... just do you.
Who knew that one candlelight restorative class 3 years ago could turn into a such a big piece of this beautiful young teachers life? 3 Years ago Katlin came to her first class, with a friend, and from then on she was hooked. She drank the yoga kool-aid and there was no turning back. There was something about the relaxation, the stretching and the overall feeling of the studio that led her to become more intrigued about the practice of yoga. She then purchased the one month unlimited Newcomer pass, and came to as many classes as she could (easy AND more challenging) to find out what classes were the best for her. When she finished that pass she got a membership and the rest is history.
“she was constantly telling herself but I could never do that!”, and as we sit here three years later she is popping up into supported head stands like it’s her day job"
Much like everyone else, Katlin started at our studio as a beginner, from day one the mind-over-matter conversation took hold in her head and she was constantly telling herself “but I could never do that!”, and as we sit here three years later she is popping up into supported head stands like it’s her day job. Katlin told us about the changes she saw in her body from practicing yoga; one of them being her increased flexibility, her strength and stability, and most of all the fact that sometimes she calls her mom after class and almost instantly her mom knows she was just practicing yoga because of the calm in her voice, the relaxation obviously palpable through the phone.
Katlin is currently in her first year of a three year masters program in Neuroscience and Education, as well as a third-grade teacher at Big Rock Elementary School here in Okotoks. In addition to teaching and learning she paints, gardens, crafts, is the best Aunty EVER, a Pinterest maven and a yoga superstar. Whoa. We asked Katlin how she keeps it all balanced, and still comes to class with a big smile on her face (without a grey hair in sight!); the secret to her success is maintaining a regular yoga practice, and finding time to give to herself when she is running between work and school. She is truly, genuinely inspirational.
Teaching third-grade at Big Rock Elementary is a dream, a very familiar dream, to Katlin. Katlin attended Big Rock Elementary as a child, and as she walks through the halls today she still sees her sixth grade handprints on the wall, or her third grade class photo, she even teaches her students in her fourth grade classroom! This is all nostalgic and wonderful and it makes her even more invested in the growth of the school and her students. Her nephew is two and although he probably won’t get his auntie as a teacher, he will still get to practice yoga with her on a regular basis, she says “he is waaay better at happy baby then I am”, her young yogi is always trying to mimic the poses she does.
I think we love having Katlin as much as she loves coming to Yogadown, she told us of her love for the sense of community, the effort to always keep students informed and educated, the stellar teachers and the best part… the all-important tea lounge. Katlin is a true testament to the art of balancing, the art of self-care and most importantly setting your goals/dreams and staying true to them. By believing in yourself you open up so many doors, and the whole world can truly be yours. Thank you Katlin for coming in and giving us some serious Monday (or any day of the week) inspiration. Best of luck finishing your masters and we hope that you continue to dominate your own, best life.
Beat the grey winter weather with this gorgeous, green smoothie that is sure to replenish your mind, body and soul. Enjoy yogis!
Blend until smooth, enjoy chilled or fresh out the blender!
Self care is something that we need to learn to value. This time of the year can often get overwhelming with sports, the changing of the seasons, holidays and all of the other many things that we need to accomplish daily. It is important to take the time to honour your body, and your mind. Take this time to treat yourself, you deserve it.
Winter is the perfect time to practice your favourite hobby: yoga. Let’s get real, is there anything better than spending 75 minutes moving and breathing in a gently heated room while it’s freezing outside? Our yoga classes also involve a lot of meditation before, during and after the class, so you will always return home feeling completely relaxed.
We like to compensate for the darkness outside by lighting scented candles inside our homes. They look so relaxing, warm and shiny that it helps us forget that the sun sets during lunch these days. Our favourites are earthy, soy candles that burn clean, and without chemicals. *Incense is also a great alternative!
With holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, fall/winter feel like the perfect seasons to express some more gratitude. It’s as easy as writing down three things you’re grateful for each evening before bedtime.
Further journaling is the perfect way to allow your thoughts to flow freely, with no interruptions (shout out to all of the beautiful mom's who deal with everyone else's thoughts as well as their own... you need this, trust us).
There’s nothing more relaxing than going to a spa, spending the afternoon in different saunas, playing around in a hot tub and ending the day with a nice and long massage. And the winter holidays are the perfect time to do so. BUT this all costs a lot of dough, so try to bringing some wellness into your home, by diffusing essential oils, drawing a bubble bath or using massage balls to roll out tension in your back, neck and shoulders.*Psst we sell massage balls at Yogadown ;)
Spending Time Outdoors
Even though it’s cold out, we should all really try to spend enough time outside during winter. This can include going shopping or going for a walk in a nearby park or forest before the sun sets. During the work week this is a lot harder, by the time most of us leave work, it’s already dark outside. However, on warmer nights it's pretty easy to fall in love with walking through the Christmas markets, or a neighbourhood path blanketed thick with fluffy snow. Maybe you could jump in and make a snow angel?
Meditation is always a big part any self-care routine, winter is no exception. The lack of sunlight can really bring on negative thoughts for some, so some extra meditation is really needed during winter. We prefer guided meditation, there are some great videos on YouTube ranging from five minutes up to two hours, and we also offer a Move & Meditate class where different types of meditation are highlighted, check our schedule for more info on when we offer this class!
This article was adapted from: http://lavenderlife.co/winter-self-care/
Get ready to play, take flight and feel weightless! Aerial Yoga is a light hearted practice that will leave you hanging (in a good way!) and coming back for more.
Learn how to use the hammock as a prop and enjoy postures where you float suspended in space. The hammock, also known as a "silk" will be used as a unique tool in creating stabilization for standing poses, assisting in deeper stretching and allowing you to access easier inversions.
In addition to offering the same benefits as a regular yoga practice, here are a few more perks of Aerial Yoga:
- Decompression and Alignment of the Spine
- Core Strengthening and Improved Balance
- Upper body Strengthening
- Improves body and spacial awareness
- Increased blood circulation
- Flushes lymphatic system and moves stagnant blood
- Helps ease stress & anxiety
At the end of class you will have the option to do savasana (corpse pose) either in your hammock or on your mat. The aerial hammock has been referred to as womb-like during savasana, leaving you with a feeling of safety, comfort, and peace.
Yoga Nidra has been a favourite at the studio for quite some time now, however, there are so many facets of yoga Nidra that you won't ever get to explore in a 45 minute workshop. There are many layers to explore, and ways to enhance your regular Nidra practice, we just HAD to put them all together for people to experience as a series. YOU HEARD IT, we are bringing you a Yoga Nidra series with the goddess of Nidra herself, Melanie Larson.
Step away from your busy life and find refuge as you practice yoga Nidra each week in addition to learning more about why Yoga Nidra is so darn magical. You may enter this series as a novice meditator or a seasoned pro, but you will certainly leave feeling confident in your practice, having learned skills to take you through many Nidra's to come.
Register here for your weekly dose of yoga Nidra:
We found this awesome little DIY project that we thought would be wonderful to share with you.
All it requires is:
- the print-out we have provided on our website below (you can always make your own);
-a pad of sticky notes;
- a marker.
Create a weekly, monthly, or even yearly to-do list that you can visualize on your wall or your day-timer. The best way to achieve goals is to look at them often, visualize achieving them and crush them one-by-one.
September can often feel like a mini new-year after the lazy days of summer, use this tool to help you get back in the swing of things!
~ Love the Yogadown Team
This article is about food, from the perspective of someone who has had quite a tumultuous relationship with it. In our society, food has become such a mindless activity, it is a filler, an object to help numbest emotions, a reason to post a cool looking picture on Instagram and above all the reasons that so many of us suffer from just “not feeling good enough".
Take the Natalie challenge if you are interested in an investigation in your own health. For 30 days take a trip to junk food-rehab; remove bread, butter, gravies and sauces. deep-fried foods, fast-food, essentially eat a really clean, whole food based diet for only 30 days. And at the end of the 30 days… go hog-wild. Have that burger you have been dreaming about, eat all of the cheesy sauces and deep-fried goodness. And Natalie can almost guarantee that after you recover from your food-induced coma you will certainly revert back to a whole-foods diet. There is no denying the feeling that whole-food gives you, the rush of invigorating energy is incomparable and one that we can certainly get behind.
We were so grateful for this chance to sit down with Natalie to discuss something that is so important. Our well-being. We learned how important it is to be mindful of everything we are putting into not only our mouths, but on our skin (our largest living organ), our hair, nails, lungs, you name it! Everything that enters our body should be thought-about, and mindfully enjoyed. Because our lives, and our health is worth-it. We thank Natalie for inspiring us to question our perceived “normals” and giving us the nudge to explore the other options and resources available to us.
***We are not doctors, or experts in any way and do not poses the power to heal ailments or pain. However each one of us are the experts of our own bodies, and the feelings we experience on a day-to day basis. We wrote this article as an inspiration to get excited about your own health and well-being, from the perspective of someone who has gone through similar struggles that each of us face on a daily basis. Please take this article at face value, we love and accept the face that every body is different and what works for one person is not available to the next.
Thank you, ~ The Yogadown Team
40 "E" Elizabeth Street, Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
PO Box 1409, Okotoks, Alberta, Canada T1S 1B4
We are located in Olde Towne Okotoks, at 40 "E" Elizabeth Street directly across from the Dit & Dat & Balance Dance studio
ALTERNATE ROUTES FOR ROAD CLOSURES
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Please see our SCHEDULE HERE. Doors are open for 30 minutes prior to all scheduled classes and events
Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 12:00pm & 2:00pm-8:00pm
Friday 9:00am - 2:30pm
Saturdays 9:00am - 12:00pm
Sundays - Classes Only
PLEASE NOTE: Hours may change on Holidays and Stat Holidays.
*** Please note that these hours are only for when the front door is open where you can chat with our front desk staff, shop our boutique or sign up for classes. We do offer classes outside of the hours listed, please see our schedule for more information.***
Buy passes & Shop from your electronic device! You can set up your account, purchase Gift Cards, class packages, memberships, workshops and programs from our online store.