Explore The Benefits of Yin Yoga with Joe Barnett

Explore The Benefits of Yin Yoga with Joe Barnett

What is yin yoga and why is it beneficial? Before the lovely and knowledgeable Joe Barnett returns to PranaShanti this month, let’s explore what this quiet, powerful yoga is and who will benefit from a yin yoga practice. You’ve seen the Yin Yang symbol – a black and white circle divided by a curved line to form two intersecting teardrops, each with a drop of the opposite colour inside. The yinyang concepts originate in ancient China where various schools of cosmology and astrology sought to explain cosmic harmony, but dominantly drew on the notion that the sun, warmth and daytime (yang) were balanced by the moon, coolness and nighttime (yin). The yinyang symbol itself has no known origin, but is also associated with the healing system of Traditional Chinese Medicine that integrates into yin yoga. In India, yogis called the subtle energy of our beings prana and the pathways it flows along nadis. In China, the Taoists (adepts of the Tao philosophy, premised...
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10 Reasons to Do YTT at PranaShanti

10 Reasons to Do YTT at PranaShanti

10 Reasons to Do Yoga Teacher Training at PranaShanti  A Spacious Centre Our Centre has four practice Studios, which means that Teacher Training is always in the largest space reserved just for trainings. The consistency and preparation of a space makes training a comfortable experience! You’ll always have the kitchen available to you so you can bring your own food to prepare, and there’s no moving around to other spaces to accommodate classes.  We’re Well Equipped We’re really equipped because of the diversity of trainings and classes we host!  Whether you want to teach Hot Yoga or Restorative Yoga in the future, your Teacher Training will have many yoga props so you can be supported in your training and learn the full spectrum of how to support yoga students.  In A Great Neighbourhood Enjoy free parking evenings and weekends, so if you’re not locking your bike up outside, you don’t need to fuss with parking tickets. There are two vegan restaurants, two locally owned coffee shops,...
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Why I Teach by Gurumantra Kaur

Why I Teach by Gurumantra Kaur

When a student comes into the studio, whether it is for the first or hundredth time, it brings a warmth to my heart. I know that they came to me seeking to become healthier and happier. I greet my students by asking them how they are doing, how the day has treated them, and if they have any problem areas they have noticed lately. This allows me to sense their energy, and choose a Kriya that I know will benefit everyone’s mind, body and spirit. Each day, each session, is driven by the energy that’s brought into the studio. Regardless of the stresses and various states of mind my students may be in to start, the sessions always progress in very much the same way. As they warm up, I watch as they close their eyes, and start breathing long and deep. Their breathing and movements come together as a group, as if to support one another. Already, I can see...
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Kundalini Yoga has touched every particle of my being

Kundalini Yoga has touched every particle of my being

To those of you who may not know about Kundalini Yoga, or wonder why you should take a class, or better yet kundalini yoga teacher training, let me enlighten you on my personal experiences. My name is Gurumantra Kaur, and I am a Kundalini Yoga instructor, and owner of Yogi Strong. After being diagnosed with anxiety and severe allergies from my surroundings, in 2004, I began looking for a Raj Yoga, a royalty yoga, as a holistic approach to address my issues. I discovered Kundalini; and it is just that: royal. Once I started, I couldn’t stop the snowball effect that Kundalini had on my life. My anxiety lessened, I was breathing easier and more deeply, and stress no longer affected me like before. I needed to know more, and thought “why not try teacher training?” Later, after talking to some of my peers, I found that many people were in the same boat as I had been; desiring to be...
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Healing Sciatica through Ashaya Yoga®, by Todd Norian

Healing Sciatica through Ashaya Yoga®, by Todd Norian

I've helped many students heal their sciatica (inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which originates in the low back and runs down the back of your upper leg bones, the femur) using the Four Essentials of Ashaya Yoga®: Open, Engage, Align, and Expand. Most sciatic pain arises from standing, sitting, or walking with poor alignment; the feet are turned out and the thighbones are forward and externally rotated. When the femurs are forward of their optimal placement, the muscles of the lower back contract and can pull the lumbar spine into a flattened position. Tight hamstrings further exacerbate the flat back condition. When the natural curve of the lower back is lost, the spinal discs squeeze posteriorly (the back of your body) and can press on nerve roots. The First Essential, Open, is the act of softening and remembering your connection to the healing power of the universe. You open to a bigger energy and let go of self-limiting beliefs. In so doing,...
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Chair Yoga: The Benefits and Surprises of a Supported Practice

Chair yoga is an incredible experience for both students and teachers.  Students who don’t believe they can exercise or improve their overall heath find accessible, rewarding techniques; and teachers find incredibly devoted, grateful students who cannot make it to traditional classes. The journey for myself began by wanting to share yoga with my grandparents who were in their nineties, and I needed to come up with ways to adapt the techniques to suit them.  At the time I had never heard of "chair yoga", but it seemed like a natural way to adapt yoga for people in their early 90’s.  After a chance meeting led me to taking over a class at a senior’s residence, my student base grew from these initial two!  We started with a  monthly class and the residents kept protesting until it was offered weekly.  Their devotion to the practice and its results was second to none, and it had nothing to do with being family. Over time I've realized that chair yoga...
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Yoga Teacher Training FAQ’s

Yoga Teacher Training FAQ’s

Our yoga journey is a very individual experience transpiring within a community practice, or at least that's our perception. You may find in discussion with other yogis similarities to your internal practice, reactions and questions. This is certainly true when it comes to choosing a yoga teacher training! We may all have a very unique experience, but we often have the same curiosities and questions ahead of the training itself. To help you make the right decision for your yoga teacher training experience, here are some questions I frequently get asked and the best answer I can supply without knowing you and your context individually. Is my yoga practice advanced enough to do a yoga teacher training? Although I have had students with very little experience ahead of their training, it’s best to have a regular yoga practice ahead of your yoga teacher training. The more experience you have, the more information you have to apply to what you learn. When yogis...
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Why do Yoga Teacher Training?

Sometimes I'm asked by students, "why should someone do Yoga Teacher Training?" Here are some ideas to consider: 1. Yoga is about angles and triangles: If you want to understand the how's and why's of doing yoga postures well and safely, a teacher training is a great way to learn. 2. Test your physical limits: No matter your physical ability, you’ll explore your physical capabilities and try things you never thought you could do before. How empowering! 3. Yoga is more than just postures: While postures are a key component to the study of yoga, there is so much more. There is the history and lineage of yoga, yogic philosophy, western and yogic anatomy, sound/mantra, yogic diet and lifestyle, to name just a few. 4. Look inside yourself: Regardless of which style of training you choose, there is something to be said for focusing on your practice for a period of time. Through this focused attention, you may find feelings and emotions bubble up...
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Meet our Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Lead Trainer

Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Interview with Laurie Howe Caroline Ishii recently had the opportunity to have a cup of tea and a conversation with PranaShanti Yoga Centre Teacher Laurie Howe. Laurie is the Lead Trainer for the centre’s 200-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training programs. Where were you born? I was born in Ottawa, Ontario. How did you start out in yoga? I was one of those reluctant yogis. I was dragged by a friend back in 1988. It was really different then. There were no yoga centres back then. It took me about three times until I fully came to yoga, it would start to work and then I got busy. How did you come to do your yoga teacher training? I wanted to do something different. I came to a crossroads in my life and I realized how much the yoga asana practice had changed my life and I wanted to be able to bring that to other people. So, I took a year off from...
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