"Spring is upon us. Winter’s accumulated snow and ice are beginning to melt. Gentle rains soak the land. The earth itself seems heavy with moisture—saturated with it—and the landscape is becoming a wellspring of life.
Spring is a season of birth, new beginnings, renewal, and growth—a time for the earth to make manifest the latent potential within all things. Seeds are germinating, flowers budding, insects buzzing, leaves unfurling. And despite our growing separation from the natural world, we are deeply affected by this gentle stirring around us.
Our physiology senses a natural opportunity for a fresh, clean start; our bodies are primed to lighten things up, cleanse ourselves of any accumulated imbalances, and rejuvenate our deepest tissues.
As the natural world emerges from its long winter slumber, it is common to experience a renewed sense of joy and inspiration. But for many, the spring season is also associated with seasonal irritants, heaviness, and feelings of lethargy.
Thankfully, an appropriate seasonal routine can help us...
A Cardiologist Explains How Yoga Can Benefit Heart Health
Kells McPhillips, February 7, 2022
"When you think of heart-healthy workouts, hardcore cardio sessions probably come to mind. (Burpees! Sprints! Squat jumps!) While it's true that going on a nice, long run or sweating your way through a HIIT class has noteworthy benefits for your ticker, there are also gentler ways to look out for your body's all-important organ. In fact, Kapil Parakh, MD, a board-certified cardiologist and medical lead for Fitbit, says that unrolling your yoga mat and breathing through pose after pose has plenty of heart-healthy benefits.
First things first, Dr. Parakh wants to remind you that all exercise is good for your heart. Period, end of story. That said, yoga has its own list of perks to brag about. The physical aspect of yoga, called "asana," has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and even lower blood sugar in diabetics. Yogic breathwork practices, or "pranayama," have also been shown to improve...
By Devinder Kaur
Sound as a meditation technique has its origins in eras past. The original forms of this type of meditation date back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. The belief was that this type of practice could change a person’s wellness while improving their spirituality.
Over the centuries, this technique has been used by various cultures around the world and is also a key part of different yoga and meditation practices. Through the practice, a person’s body is entirely engulfed by sound and vibrations. These minute movements can help shift a person’s mindset and allow them to enter a spiritual state.
Sound bathing can include a range of instruments from singing bowls and drums to tuning forks and gongs. The instruments used depends on the type of session. There are many advantages–both physical and spiritual–that you can gain from this practice.
Release emotionsMay help you manage painLower anxiety levelsChange your state of consciousnessElevate your spirit
While there’s no single way to conduct a sound...
The Challenge runs from February 1 to February 28, 2023, and is a commitment to attend yoga classes for 28 consecutive days. The PranaShanti 28-Day Challenge is a great way to strengthen the body, unburden the mind, and begin a daily commitment to yourself - an opportunity to tap into your true nature which is deeper, wiser and more joyful. In 28 days, you can create a whole new way of being. Start with any class on February 1 and keep going with 1 class per day until the end of the month!
Why should I take the PranaShanti 28-Day Challenge?
This is an opportunity to awaken to your life, to tap into your true nature, to lighten and brighten from the inside outwards - all in the depth of Winter. Through daily practice, you will experience:
increased strength & flexibility;stress reduction & improved focus;improved sleep patterns & eating habits;feelings of well-being and upliftment.
Daily journaling can...
"Ayurveda recognizes winter as a kapha season with strong vata undertones. It is characterized by cold weather, a sense of heaviness, increased moisture (usually in the form of rain or snow), cloud-covered days, and the grounded, slow feeling that sends many animals into hibernation. These are all qualities shared by kapha dosha, which is why winter is considered—primarily—a kapha season.
However, if your climate is exceptionally cold and dry, or if you tend to feel more isolated during the winter months, vata will also be a strong component of your winter season, and you will want to actively keep vata placated as well.
How to Create a Supportive Winter Diet
Winter is actually the season when the digestive fire is strongest. The body requires more fuel to stay warm and healthy in the winter months, and the cold weather forces the fire principle deep into the core of the body—igniting the digestive capacity.
Our bodies, therefore, crave a more substantial, nutritive diet at this time of...
Yoga For Arthritis (YFA)
You have likely heard the phrase: “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga”. However, yoga also improves strength, balance, range of motion, and can lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression by contributing to better heart health and sleep. Yoga can be especially helpful for those living with a chronic illness.
According to the Arthritis Society, 1 in 5 or 6 million Canadians are living with arthritis and as many as 25,000 children seek healthcare for arthritis. Women are more likely than men to have arthritis. It is Canada’s most common chronic disease for which there is currently no cure and by 2040, it is estimated that 50% more people will have arthritis.
Leading Types of Arthritis
The two leading forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Osteoarthritis is traditionally viewed as wear and tear on the weight bearing joints such as the hips, spine and knees as well as in the hands, feet, ankles or neck. ...
Dry brushing the skin is a comparatively new trend, though its roots lie in ancient times. It’s common in Ayurvedic medicine and is an ancient Kriya yoga practice but many cultures, including the ancient Greeks and Japanese, have used skin brushing to cleanse the skin. It’s done at day spas but you can do it yourself too!
It’s called “dry” brushing because you aren’t scrubbing up while you bathe or shower; instead, a firm, bristled brush is swept across the skin, from toe to head. Both the skin and brush are completely dry. Dry brushing has gained traction for a reason. The benefits include:
Detoxifying the skin - Dry brushing unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. It also helps detoxify your skin by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage. By unclogging pores, it’s easier for the body to sweat and eliminate toxins in your system.Stimulating the nervous system - Dry brushing can stimulate the nervous system. It can also leave you feeling invigorated like a massage often does.Giving...
By Devinder Kaur, Owner and Director of PranaShanti Yoga Centre
Sleep is the time for the body and mind to rest, reset, detoxify, and rejuvenate. However, sometimes life interferes with our internal biological rhythms, which can result in too little sleep or not very good sleep. A balanced sleep cycle is important for our health and well-being on a number of levels. Good sleep improves our brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders and can affect our ability to concentrate, to think clearly and process memories.
Yoga is a gentle and restorative way to help wind down at the end of the day. These three yoga poses relieve tension and stress to help prepare for sleep. The more that you practice the poses, the more they can help in a good night’s sleep.
Practice these poses before bedtime and stay in them about 3 to 5 minutes each.
1. Wide-Knee Child’s Pose...
Always a hit and these make the house smell so amazing. Devinder's Mom, Josephine, baked these cookies for well over a decade for students to enjoy with tea after yoga class on Sundays.
We're looking forward to bringing this tradition back to the Centre in 2023!
3/4 cup vegetable shortening or butter1 cup sugar2 eggs (or egg substitute)2 cups flour2 tsp baking soda1 tsp each ginger, cinnamon and clove1/4 cup molasses1/2 tsp salt
Blend together shortening and sugar, then add eggs and molasses.Mix all dry ingredients together and slowly add it to the wet mix.Spoon into small balls and flatten on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Ayurveda considers a seasonal routine an important cornerstone of health year-round. Balancing the nature of your local climate with lifestyle choices that offset the potential for seasonally-induced imbalances is one of the simplest ways that you can protect your well-being.
But keep in mind that the seasons vary widely from one place to another, as do the qualities that they engender.
Vata season is whatever time of year most embodies the attributes that characterize vata dosha: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, and clear (or empty).
Autumn is the classic vata season. However, depending on where you live, the dry and expansive qualities of vata may be the principal components of your environment in other seasons too—showing as early as summer, and if autumn is followed by a very drying, cold, isolating, or windy winter.
Beginning to observe your environment from this qualitative perspective empowers you to respond to both daily and seasonal changes in your local climate. The truth is that many of...