We just couldn't wait until summer to bring everyone together for Yogapalooza, so we're excited to tell you about something very special we've been thoughtfully creating for you.
We just couldn't wait until summer to bring everyone together for Yogapalooza, so we're excited to tell you about something very special we've been thoughtfully creating for you.
The good news – food, family and money! The bad news – food, family and money!
But wait - you have much more in your power than you have given yourself credit for.
Your subconscious mind records all information since the time you were born. That’s a lot of information. Some of what we retain from the past serves us and a lot of it does not. Patterns of thought create grooves in the brain – like a pathway. Once these pathways are set – they become our automatic default. It takes a consistent and deliberate approach to release these habits. It can be done. It takes a little bit of focus and the rewards are immense. It is the process of becoming mindful where all the magic happens. You can do this.
How do you start? Figure out where your trigger points are. Three of the most common ones are here in this article. The next step is to work on unraveling the belief.
Our remedy for addressing the limiting belief is an affirmation. Affirmations reprogram the pathways in the brain. If you have always turned left at the bridge – maybe its time to turn right. Or even go over the bridge and see where it leads. Affirmations are like guide posts – steering us in the direction of choice rather than habit. Here are a few – right in time for the holidays.
It’s the season to indulge. That’s part of why we love it right? It’s the best time of year for family recipes and all things battered, fried and buttered. Since you will likely eat it anyway – how about applying a blessing instead of a curse? An important part about what you eat is how you feel about yourself when you eat. If you believe something is good for you and you eat it – you feel great and it will have a positive affect. If you believe something is bad for you and you eat it – you will not feel great and it will not have a positive affect. Here is a humble offering to heal your relationship with food. Give it a go at the table this season. Notice what happens.
One of the Sikh saints once said – show me an enlightened person and I will ask her to spend a day with her family. Ha ha. But not always so funny. Here is a way to elevate the situation. Turn the focus back on yourself. What can you learn about yourself in each situation? How you can leave the occasion with your dignity and your miracle mindset intact? Look for the lesson. Look at the other person as an opportunity to get clear on yourself. If in doubt – go to the bathroom and spend one full minute smiling at yourself. Works like a charm.
Money comes and goes. If its customary in your circles to give gifts – then you may have been watching money flow outward with a little panic in the back of your mind. Practical advice is to spend within your limits. Energetic advice is to couple that with a keen awareness of all the love, positivity, gifts, time and blessings that are coming your way. The more you notice what you have – the easier is for the good stuff to flow your way.
This is the perfect time to recommit to your personal wellness strategy. Pick an affirmation and run it through your mind multiple times a day. No one has to know you are doing it. No one will even notice. Give yourself a little more space. Excuse yourself for a few minutes to take the dog for a walk, offer to run an errand, check out a local Yoga class or sit quietly near the Christmas tree and meditate. Be present to your own expereince and reap the benefit of a loving heart and a quiet mind.
Here is a powerful way to connect with yourself. Enjoy.
Happy Holidays and much love to you for your journey in the year ahead.
Have you thought about ditching your corporate job for a chance to work for yourself? Does the idea of making your own decisions and learning lots along the way appeal to you? Do you have the heart for risk and reward? If you said yes, then idea is already in you – and yes you can make it happen. I’m doing it and you can too.
On March 21, 2014 I left the day job and opened YogaVision Studio. I had the golden handcuffs – great hours, benefits, and clients. I also had a yearning to be more and do more and contribution more than I could when I was working for a big organization. I watched my parents run their own business and was a little unnerved by the kinds of ups and downs they went through – so I stuck with corporate life as long as I possibly could. After awhile, I looked at the long road ahead to retirement and decided that it was too long to wait to have the life I really wanted. In the past few months, I tested my capacity to grow, learn, trust and transform beyond what I thought I could. Guess what? I like this way much better.
Here’s what I have learned along the way:
1. The Answer is Always There
Stuck in a rut? Not sure where to turn? Working harder or longer doesn’t solve the problem. The answer always shows up when I still my mind. Usually sooner than it takes to complain about the problem again. This goes for everything including money, time, people and love.
2. It’s in You to Give
In the beginning my objective was to fill the studio. It was a tough go. Everyone I met became a make it or break it situation. Then I shifted to thinking about how to serve. Starting every task or phone call or meeting with a desire to serve is a game changer. Walking into meetings with something to offer – a relaxation technique, a calming presence, or a strategy for transformation is the key to being called back.
3. Its all about connections (aka Sales)
This one hit me kinda hard. Welcoming people into the studio or into the practice is about connecting. Connecting is also known as sales. When I got that – it helped me see my role more clearly. Be clear on what you are selling. Be clear that what you are selling requires a personal touch and an understanding of the person in front of you. It can only happen if you are willing to ask questions and listen to the answer.
4. Let Go of the Old
Without a doubt all of my relationships, routines, preferences, and habits changed – dramatically. The people I had around me when I had a desk job mostly worked in offices too. We could lament for hours about the travesty of it all. I started every day with a coffee as my reward for making it in to work. Now I look for opportunity and see opportunity, the miracles and the magic. And when I do have hang out time – I am extra careful about what I do and who I do it with.
5. Count Your Blessings
There are tough days – and on those days in particular being grateful for what is happening is really important. No matter what – the good is always flowing. Not always on my time but always on god’s time. Trust. And always hug your spouse/partner at the end of the day. It goes a long way.
6. The Best Part
I love all the people who come into YogaVision everyday. People from all walks of life come into YogaVision to learn, to practice, to look after themselves, to heal, to explore, to connect and to discover who they really are. It’s inspiring and a refreshing reminder of how important this work it.
Salimah Kassim-Lakha is a Yoga Therapist and Director of YogaVision Studio in Mississauga. Visit her website at www.yogavision.com. Mention this article and your first class is on us.
10 Reasons to Love, Like and Attend Yogapalooza!
Curious about Yoga? Now’s your chance. We know it can be a little intimidating to walk into a Yoga Studio when you’ve never tried it before. Yogapalooza is the perfect way to sample a wide variety of classes in a fun setting. Join us for Yogapalooza - Movement, Music and Meditation at Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto on August 16 and 17. Bring your family and friends to enjoy this special weekend of free events.
1. Free Yoga, Martial Arts and Dance – even a Silent Disco!
New to the practice? Been at it for lifetimes? Explore all different kinds of yoga, including Hatha Yoga, Laughter Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. All ages, shapes and sizes are welcome. Yoga is for everyone and our line-up of teachers will introduce you to the beauty of the practice. Back again this year is Nia with Martha Randall – join in for expressive movement through dance.
Yogapalooza is proud to present an opportunity to try something new – Global Dance Party with Silent Disco Squad! Visit the Silent Disco page to request a tune and download the mix. On Sunday, August 17th at 1pm, we’ll turn Yogapalooza into a silent dance floor, where we all dance to the same beat, listening through our headphones. Invite passers-by to join in with our extra headsets and splitters.
Drop in for a class or two or stay for the whole day. Lots of opportunity to interact with the teachers - ask a burning question, learn more about a certain style of practice and to connect with community. Check the schedule here.
2. Yoga for Kids
Kids benefits from Yoga just as much as adults do. Our Kids’ Space offers two full days of fun activities for kids of all ages – Laughter Yoga, YogaFit Kids and Story Time with Jennifer Amor are just some of the festivities we have in store for you. Former WNBA All-Star Tammy Sutton-Brown will also be reading from her children’s book series, Cree and Scooter.
3. Yoga off the Mat
Did you know? Many non-profit organizations are using Yoga and Meditation as the platform for their awareness and healing initiatives. Introduce yourself to The Canadian Positive Psychology Association, Freeing the Human Spirit, The F-You Project and Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, get involved in all that they have to offer the community.
4. Free Giveaways
Look out for the Lole women in yellow! Visit the Yogapalooza booth and ask for your Gift bag. Fill out a ballot to win a gorgeous Lole tote – a stylish addition to your practice. And of course, everyone gets a souvenir Yogapalooza button for hanging out with us on Saturday and Sunday.
5. Volunteers Rock!
Every teacher on stage, every person who hands you a button or helps you find your way to the event space has donated their time and energy to make this event come to life. Isn’t it amazing what love manifests?
6. Yogapalooza is Social Entrepreneurship
Doing good for the world and doing good for the community is what we are all about. Yogapalooza is the biggest FREE outdoor Yoga event in Canada. Our joy is to share the gift of Yoga and raise the consciousness of the world at the same time. We have great vendors – including Healthy Life Cycle, LovBird Creations and Isola Jewellery. Our vendors believe in what we do. Check out their booths and give them a high five for their vision, amazing products and services.
7. Go Big and Go OM
This year will be bigger and better than ever. Along with our neighbours, the Hot & Spicy Food Festival, we’re anticipating a great buzz with lots of people out to enjoy the festivities! Like our Facebook Fan Page to stay on top of all the exciting details.
8. 26 Degrees and Sunny!
What better way to enjoy a summer day than doing yoga outside by the water? Yogapalooza is the place to be!
9. Practice yoga with a former WNBA All-Star!
You’ll be in good company when you practice alongside Tammy Sutton-Brown! Tammy spent seven years playing with the Women’s Canadian National Basketball Team, which included the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and multiple World Championships. The 6’3” center, a WNBA champion, spent six seasons with the Charlotte Sting where she excelled in her career, leading to her selection for the 2002 WNBA All Star team. Tammy Sutton-Brown will be practicing yoga with us as well as reading for the kids from her children’s book series, Cree and Scooter.
10. Hollywood North
You never know who you might see at Yogapalooza. Last year, Lawrence Fishburne and Gina Torres were seen checking us out! Our fav photographer, Hamidah Hemani, will be there to capture the highlights of Yogapalooza this year. Give her your best smile and look for the final shots at the end of the festival. Be sure to visit the Yogapalooza booth and Strike a Pose! Take pictures of your friends and family in their favourite yoga pose and tweet it out with our hashtag, #thisisyoga.
See you all at Yogapalooza on Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17 from 10am to 6pm at Harbourfront Centre.
Salimah, Brigid and Salima
Follow us on twitter @yogapaloozaTO
I’m having a blast. There is nothing sweeter, more meaningful than doing what I love and trusting it will all get done. It’s a thrilling ride and there is so much more ahead.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. Respect the Contrast
For many years I looked around and saw only the things I didn’t like. I pushed against all of it. I wished and prayed for things to be different and nothing much changed. In hindsight I realized all of those experiences helped to define what I did want – conscious living, service to the community, loving companions and colleagues and as much Yoga and Meditation as possible. Once I got clear on what I wanted, I paid attention to where I saw it in my life. I appreciated every moment of laughter, positivity, love and then the next step appeared. And I took it.
2. Intuition is a Rope
When you hear that small whisper or that loud roar – listen. This is your soul, your source energy, your godliness, your consciousness speaking directly to you. This voice calls you in the direction of your joy. How do you hear this voice? Pay attention to how you feel, do more of what makes you happy. Sit quietly, meditate, be in nature, move your body, spend time with happy, loving people. Put an end to your complaining. Step away from complainers. Ditto for complaining about complainers.
This dream of owning and operating a Yoga Centre moved from a seed to a bloom because I made a bold declaration and I believed it could happen. Without belief, the idea would have remained in suspended animation. Wanting in futility feels bad. Wanting and knowing it will happen is inspired living. This comes back to beliefs. A belief is just a repetitive thought. You can think anything you want. Be careful of who you share with though – naysayers abound. Only you can make things possible or impossible.
4. Act the Part
As soon as the idea solidified in my mind – I started to ask questions. I looked up the software I would need. I talked to others with experience in retail. I looked at the Yoga world around me and made decisions about how I wanted my version to look and feel and smell and even taste – come try the Yogi Tea! From wanted to expecting to creating – all of it required me to be who I wanted to be. Nothing less and nothing more. When I got stuck for ideas or direction – I asked for help. You can too.
Now a month old – YogaVision Centre is taking shape and form. The teachers here have a wealth of experience – I learn from them every day – and they are great company. The members who are joining on a daily basis are fun, relaxed and looking to deepen their practice. Exactly who I intended to work with.
If I can do it – so can you. So – what is it that your heart desires? Take the first step. Here is a great meditation to start the process:
March 21, 2014 I walked out of the office tower with a huge smile and a bag full of memories. So far retired life has been amazing. By retired I mean my day now belongs to me, my focus and direction are my own choosing, my priorities are clear and I have the time to dream bigger than ever. Everyday feels like Saturday.
Preparing to open YogaVision Centre has been a lifetime in the making. The step-by-step, hour to hour activities are unfolding with speed and precision. I serve myself best when i imagine the best possible outcome and expect just that. I have my meditations to thank for that. This one in particular:
Transformation is in the air. Spring is a tangible expression of how all of this feels… light, fresh, and a renewed sense of purpose. This three week period between the last day and the opening day are an opportunity to reflect and gather momentum. When fear or doubt show up, I switch my thoughts to what is working and what I am excited about. It works every single time.
I’m most looking forward to expanding the potential of YogaVision – more teachers, more experiences of the teachings, a new space to shape, a new community to serve here in Mississauga and beyond. This is an opportunity to run my business according to Yogic principles with people I love and care for. Working in my practice space also means easy and daily access to Yoga taught by powerful teachers. It’s all very exciting. Can you feel it too?
Drop by and say hello, drop your mat down and practice. Enjoy all the fruits of spiritual direction, a clear mind and a healthy body.
See you on April 12.
Well folks, I did it.
On February 25, 2014 I officially launched my dream. That was the day I announced my departure from the job I’ve held for the past 15 years.
You better believe I exhaled.
When I first began practicing Yoga in 2004, I had no idea where the journey would lead. To be honest, I didn’t give it much thought. I came to love Yoga and since then, Yoga has led me to even greater love in the form of people, places and experiences. In those teachings, I learned first and foremost to be of service, to make a contribution to my world, to my community and to my family.
Being a Yogi at a corporate desk had its advantages. I remembered to breathe while everyone else lost their tail feathers. Appreciating each moment, especially when I wanted to rip out someone’s tail feathers was helpful too. The money I earned went directly into my training and my training led me to teaching, blogging, festival organizing and a clearer vision of my true potential. Yoga gave me the strength to sacrifice what was good for what is even better. It is a lifelong commitment and a best friend always.
When I looked around to make my next career move and to create balance with my family, I knew that my relationship with Yoga was where I wanted to invest my time and energy. I set my intentions and within weeks, the perfect practice space became available. Soon after that, I found my self signing a lease, buying a 20 foot neon sign and deciding who I wanted to spend my time with.
So yes, since you have already guessed, I am opening a Yoga Centre. All the creative elements are coming together with perfect timing. I promise to share details as they become available.
In the meantime, I invite you to be part of the magic. Please take a few minutes to take this short survey. Tell us how we can make it easier for you and your family to connect and deepen your practice. Please take the survey now. A gift awaits you at the end of the survey.
Also, if you are an innovator, a connector, a people person and enjoy creative collaboration, or know someone who does, please drop me a line. I love working with inspired people.
I always appreciate a good recommendation - a book, a recipe, a creative solution or where to get expert advice.
Yoga can seem like a daunting activity because there are so many entry points, so many teachers and so many studios to choose from. Since the holdiays are a great time to start or recommit to your practice, I am sharing my favourite Yoga videos with you. These resources rock because the teachers have a powerful love for the teachings, are so clear and direct about what they do and are committed to sharing this love with you. Each class has been designed for beginners and seasoned Yogis alike. I love the idea of you practicing at home with your entire family - baby and grandma included.
These classes are about 20 minutes - perfect to start or end the day, also very doable while getting the laundry done. And by the way, one of them is Yoga inspired belly dance class. Enjoy!
Click here to give the gift of Yoga.
A few years ago my spiritual teacher presented these questions to us during an early morning meditation. I remember the clarity and hope the solutions offered. Today, as life offers more opportunity and a huge field of possibility, I see the relevance of these teachings. Our shadow sides, moments of doubt, turmoil, or grief offer motivation to move forward. In the moment, having a technique is a saving grace. From that new point of understanding and better feeling thoughts, the cosmos offers more of the same. The better it gets the better it gets. Enjoy the process.
Without further ado here they are – use them often.
The solution is the mantra – I am I am
"You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense 'I am', find your real Self." Hold on to the sense 'I am' tenaciously and in the stillness of your mind – see yourself as you truly are – unbound. Everything after “I am” creates.
The Universe is within you. Everything that you need and want and hope for is within you already. Look within and find your essence. Control your mind, not other people.
3. Am I secure?
The solution – GOD is your security. GOD is an acronym for the Generating Organizing Delivering mechanism in the Universe. When you remember GOD – you remember the totality from which we come, that we are connected to and how we connect to each other.
What are your thoughts on these Questions? What are you doing to move past your limitations and make a difference in the world? Let me know and I will feature you in my next blog post.
Ps - looking for a Kundalini Yoga class? Come to the Art Gallery of Mississauaga on December 4 at 7pm. The Art of Yoga takes place in the gallery inspired by art and the creative process. $10 donation.
The intention I set for 2013 was for creative collaboration. The first sign of that is my beloved partner, our home renovations and our wedding plans! The second was Yogapalooza accomplished with the love, support of my fab business partners. Now the newest option has emerged.
The Art of Yoga is a monthly Yoga and Meditation workshop held at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. The first session takes place on Wednesday, November 6 at 7pm. Each workshop will draw inspiration from the art and artists currently on display in the gallery. It's the perfect opportunity for art lovers and Yoga lovers to come together and enjoy the gallery space together.
Pls check this facebook link for further details and to buy tickets.
Looking forward to sharing Kundalni Yoga with you in Mississauga. Here is a sneak preview: