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Merry Christmas December

Posted on November 29, 2016 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (1405)

Ah December, we meet again. Cheers to the end of the year and to all of the celebrations that come along with you. Amazing family moments, albeit some may be loud and exhausting, but awesome in the end.


Cherish these moments with your family and friends because they will happen just once, and being present and in the moment is where we should try to be. But sometimes it can be hard with the added stress of holiday shopping, anxiety with crowds or sometimes bursts of depression with missing family members or whatever your triggers may be. There are ways to help cope and alleviate some of the symptoms, which is what the workshop on Dec. 3rd is all about. Yoga can be such a powerful tool and yes certain techniques can even be done while out and about. My hope is for anyone who suffers from anxiety, depression or even stress, will walk away from this workshop confident in themselves to help themselves get through tough moments we find hard or even impossible to get through.. I still have spots available if you wish to attend. Spots are $50 each and if you wish to have a child between the ages of 10-16 you think could benefit from this (which I know they will, many kids today suffer from anxiety and can sadly snowball into depression with no help) as long as they are accompanied by an adult. I will continue to take bookings up to Friday night IF spots are still available.

 

Also this month, we will be enjoying a little bit of Christmas Yoga. What's that you ask? well just some Christmas inspired yoga poses along with some great Christmas music. Oh and feel free to wear some fun Christmas clothes too! So come join in on the fun. And every class you attend you get to fill out a ballot to win this year's annual Christmas basket

 

Some people have also asked about the studio hours over the holidays. We will only be closed on Dec. 24th-25th and Dec. 31st- Jan 1st. So hopefully you'll find a bit more you time for feeling great over the holidays.


 

There is also a Yoga Kit Raffle starting

 

 

Here's a list of what's in it

 

6mm purple yoga mat

 

yoga mat carrier bag

 

flavor infusion water bottle

 

yoga mat key chain

 

full minky fabric lavender eye pillow

 

And your choice of a Yoga Cottage T-shirt or fitted tank top.

 

This is a great prize pack with a value of over $100! You can purchase single tickets for $10 or a group of 5 for $45 here at the studio or contact me. All proceeds of this raffle will go towards purchasing new bolsters for you to enjoy in class. The draw will take place Jan. 20th, just in time to help get you motivated for all those New Year's resolutions for getting into better health. So buy your tickets and tell your friends and family.

 

We will also be apart of the Anten Mills Santa Claus parade again this year on Dec. 11th, so please come out and see us. I will be giving away 10 $5 off discount cards to random people out on the street watching. So make sure to come out a try and get one :)

 

Alrighty...So pose of the month this month is going to be a bit of a leg workout. So think strong foundations friends. Ok, the pose will be Sun Pose But for some Christmas fun let's think of them as snow angles. So getting into the pose, facing the long edge of your mat take a wide stance (over hip width apart) and turn your toes out and your heels in. Extend your arms out to the sides palms facing up. Slowly sink your your hips and exhale. Now you can either hold the pose here and continue with a few long breathes or you can move with your breathe. Inhale and squeeze your inner thighs to come back up (to straight legs) and bring your arms up over your head. Exhale and slowly sink back down with your arms extended out to the sides palms up. Keep moving like this with your breath for 5-10 times. If you have shoulder concerns you can rest hands on your thighs.

 

 

It's....Food time! Thank goodness right? So since it's December I'm sure there's going to be many gatherings and we'll all be in need of a fast app that we can serve quickly. So I give you...


Cream Cheese Caramel Apple Dip

Looks good right? And there's apples involved, so it's healthy right?

So here's what you're going to need and the list is short again this month. YAY!

8oz cream cheese bar

Caramel Sauce (store bought or homemade) ( you can assume that I'm using store bought to save on time, No I'm not ashamed to admit it)

Toffee bits * optional

Sliced Apples

Sprite for apple soak *optional

Not much right? And just by looking at the list you can be assured this process is easy and quick.

Place cream cheese bar on a serving dish. Pour as much caramel sauce as you want evenly over the cream cheese. Then if you choose to get the toffee bits, sprinkle with a generous helping of them. Slice and de-core your apples. To prevent your apples for browning you can soak the apple slices in a bowl of Sprite or any other lemon-lime soda for 5-10 mins. Then plate the slices with your dip and serve.

So easy and oh so yummy Yes? What?...Do I have something on my face?


Well the end is here again But I hope to see you all soon. But if I don't I hope you all have an amazing holiday season and a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Be safe and happy my beauties!


Shannon Hawman xoxo

Hello November... Show Me The Best In You

Posted on November 6, 2016 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (778)

Well It appears that November has descended upon us already. I don't know about you, but the thought of this month brings to mind so many different emotions. You have sadness that summer is really truly over and the occasional, warm day is gone and the inevitable white stuff will cover our once beautiful green grass. However, then thoughts of sledding, snowball fights, rosey cheeks and hot chocolate brings Christmas comes to mind and warms the soul. Now the word Christmas can bring so many different feelings forth and the fact that I'm talking about it already has probably hit some nerves right? So soon it comes and our stress level and patience goes through the roof. Why is it that we feel the last 2 months of the year are so stressful? When really (in my eyes) it can be one of the most beautiful and happy. Don't get me wrong, I too get stressed to the nines and my patience wears thins more often than I probably want to admit. But when these moments happen, How about we stop and breathe, find out what's going on breathe again and either deal with what's pushing us us here or find a way to let it go. This is where we need to find out the what? and why? has got us here, then ask yourselves, "Does this really matter? Can I let this go?" Emotions can really do a number on us, and they have a huge affect on those around us. These are moments and memories people! Choose which ones you want to remember. Because these moments don't just affect you, but everyone you come into contact with at the time. Gratitude and happiness is within reach, it's there for the taking! So again I say, Stop! Take a good long breath and take a moment. IS it really worth the time and energy?

 

So here my friends we talk about the art of 'Letting Go'. Why talk about this now you ask? Well I'm sure you, like so many others, would rather enjoy this beautiful season as much as we can with as little stress as we can.Hopefully this will not just be helpful for the up and coming holiday season but also every other day after that. The following is all you will need to really truly understand what letting go is and help you get through those moments. I keep a copy of this close by me all the time these days for little reminders (which I'll admit is more often these days than I'd like to admit). So without further ado read on my beauties.

 

To let go isn't to forget, not to think about, or ignore.

 

It doesn't leave feelings of anger, jealously or regret.

 

Letting go isn't winning and it isn't losing.

 

It's not about pride and it's not about how you appear,

 

and it's not obsessing or about dwelling on the past.

 

Letting go isn't blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts,

 

and it doesn't leave emptiness, hurt or sadness.

 

It's not giving in or giving up.

 

Letting go isn't about loss and it's not about defeat.

 

To let go is cherish memories and overcome and move on.

 

It's having an open mind and confidence in the future.

 

Letting go is accepting

 

It's learning and experiencing and growing.

 

To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow.

 

It's about all that you have, all that you had and all that you will soon again.

 

Letting go is having the courage to accept change and the strength to keep moving.

 

Letting go is growing up

 

It's realizing that your heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy.

 

To let go is to open a door and clear a path and set you free.

 

Author Unknown

 

Beautiful right? It amazes me that letting go is so many things, has so many meanings, so many eye opening outlets to move through. It's quite profound really. Our journey through life really is all about letting go. Letting go of what we think we are, what we think we should be, what we think we should look like, what we think we should achieve. So many expectations swarm us constantly and we try and deal with it when really instead of dealing with it we should be letting go and being true to who we are!

 

"When we let go of expectations, you can embrace life with everything it brings you.

 

Take each moment as it comes.

 

Trust in the infinite wisdom you have within and in your ability to know what to do when the moment arises.

 

Let go of expectations. Live now. You know what to do"

 

Rachel Brathen

 

I could spend days writing about this, but really.. I think I've covered the jist of it. Now, what I will say is this. Like everything else in life worth having the ability to let go takes work and takes a lot of practice! Being able to let go doesn't happen overnight, but as usual you have to start somewhere right? Be patient with yourself. Breath and smile, and remember moments pass quickly, so try and focus on the good right now and what's ahead of you.

 

Ok on to Pose Of The Month. So this month let's focus on child's pose with a slight addition. Yous will require a yoga block for this one so make sure to have one handy. Alright let's get started shall we?

 

Let's begin by kneeling on all fours. Push your hips back to your heels. Grab your block and place it on the floor in front of you. Relax your body forward and rest your forehead on the block. You'll want your brow line resting on the bottom edge of the block. Now bring your arms to rest at your sides. Close your eyes and rest here in the pose with some nice relaxing breathes. With each inhale slowly roll the forehead over towards the right temple, then on the exhale slowly roll to head towards the left temple. Repeat as many times as you feel necessary. When finished rest your head back at center and take a few deep breathes, then lightly blink the eyes open and sit back up when you fell ready.


 

If your bum doesn't quite touch your heels, you can roll up an extra mat, towel or blanket and place it behind your knees on your calves. This is a pretty relaxing pose so remember to relax the whole body (so no shoulders up to the ears ;);) 

Well I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready for snack time! So I'm thinking it's time for a little indulgence. We all love chocolate, you can't deny it.


While I was away, there's this little ice cream shop my kiddo loves to go to and they also make some pretty amazing fudge right there in the front window of the shop. The smell that lingers outside this place would make any salivate. Point? Yes..yes I do have one and I'm using this little moment of heaven I had while I was away and sharing it with you. My friends.. we are going to make fudge! Now this won't be too time consuming and will only require 3-4 ingredients.


Wave hello to 3 minute fudge my friends!!


Ok, So here's your short list of ingredients

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz)

2 cups (1 120z bag) Semi Sweet Chocolate chips

1 tsp Vanilla Extract 

***Optional*** pecans or walnut halves if you'd like to add some. Maybe even some crushed candy cane

1) Butter a square pan and line it with parchment paper for easy removal of the fudge when it has set. Set aside.

2) In a microwave safe bowl (2q) heat chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk on high for 1 min. Remove and let site 1 min. then stir to combine. if needed, heat for an additional 30 seconds. Stir until chips are completely melted and chocolate is smooth.


 3) Stir in Vanilla extract. Pour fudge into prepared pan. Let fudge cool completely before cutting into 1" squares. ( you can place fudge in the fridge for 1 hr to speed up to process)


 4) Store in an airtight container If it makes it that far ;);)

Yep, That's usually how quickly it disappears in our house. However, it's easy and fast so multiple batches aren't too bad.

Also with the holiday season just around the corner, what better gift to hand over to friends and family! It's easy on the wallet, fast and can be oh so pretty in a cute little Christmas tin or box. Plus it will taste like you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. Shhhhh I won't tell if you don't.

Well That concludes this months letter. I hope you've enjoyed. See you all in class my beauties!

Shannon xoxo

P.S.- There will no longer be a workshop. Sadly there wasn't enough interest. But I will be planning something for anxiety and depression with a similar layout just not as long. I will be sending out info within the week so keep your eyes open :)

P.P.S.- There will also be another sip and stretch being planned in the next couple weeks, so I will let you know when, when I do.

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Dear October....Please be awesome

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (428)

Oh my gosh! Seriously? Is it October already? Where the heck did all of September go? Good lord!

 

Anyhow.. moving on. So let's talk about this month. Let's start with it being the month of October and it being the month I take my family vacation. So sadly the studio will be closed from Oct. 15th-30th. I will still be available via email and through Facebook, but please be patient and dont get upset if I don't respond right away. I promise I will within a few hours at most, but I will be enjoying time with my family that is truly needed, and soaking up some beautiful sunshine as well :)

 

Ok, on to the important stuff! So as you all know (hopefully) I have started a new Friday class called Sip and Stretch from 7-8:30 pm. I will be offering it for the first two Fridays of this month, Oct 7th and Oct. 14th, and see how they go. Consider these like pilot classes. I will send out an email after and see if they are something you'd like to keep going weekly or maybe just a special class once and awhile, or not at all. No harm if not and we can go back to regular Friday night classes. Keep in mind, you don't have to sip while you stretch. The choice is yours as always. No pressure here ;) ;)The night is all about being out with your friends and laughing and a little bit of yoga in between. It's about learning you can still have fun even though you are working out. You never know... this Friday night group might become your tribe and help motivate and push you to keep going or even coming to a different class and try something else.

 

Speaking of different classes...Let's talk about the other new class that's being added starting November. Im still not sure on the name yet and I only had a couple names given for the contest (held on the Facebook page) so I will happily open that up again to win a free class. So post your names to Facebook this month and I will choose one and announce it by the 31st. Contest is open to everyone ages 8+. So what's this class all about? Well who hasn't heard of SUP Yoga? It's basically taking a paddle board out on the water and doing yoga on it. As much as this is amazing, ( I mean really.. what is more ideal right? The beautiful scenery of a lake combined with the serenity of yoga) sadly summertime is really the only time to enjoy it. Until now! I worked most of the summer with the hubby designing a board that would work for everyone at all levels of yoga and they are finally finished and ready for you to test it out! In these classes you'll find that you'll be moving a bit slower to keep your balance which means more core work, balance work while bringing more focus to your breath with movement and poses and will require more concentration. Even if you are a beginner you can do this! It sounds harder than it is, but really... have a little more faith in yourself! You can do anything you put your mind to. You're pretty amazing you know :)

 

So next thing on my list of things to let you know what I've been working on is my very first workshop! Say what? I know right? I'm pretty stoked about it. So what's it about you ask? Well this workshop will be about dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD. There will be a full 1 1/2 hour yoga class designed to help ground you and release unwanted stress, an introduction to body tapping (also known as EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique) to help ease moments of stress and anxiety. Body tapping is an alternative treatment method. It is based on the system of acupuncture or Chinese Energy meridians in the body and uses knowledge to stop the fight or flight process by sending calming signals using the tapping technique to the brain. We will go into this in more detail and how it's done at the workshop. I will also talk about some essential oils on how to use them safely, different blends and their uses. We will also be taking time to make our own aromatherapy nasal inhaler with your own choice in blend as this will be something you will take home with you. We will end the workshop with a nice relaxing guided imagery session. So all in all it will be about 4-5 hours long and it will be held on a Saturday. I'm still looking into other options for places as I would prefer a little more space than my studio has to offer so more people can attend. If this is something you would be interested please reach out to me and let me know. This is not only something you can use to help yourself but also your children if they show signs of anxiety, stress or depression. I'm thinking about holding it near the end of November and there will be a cost to attend. Price is unknown as of today and will depend on where it will be held. If the numbers are 10 and under I will hold it here but if it's over it will have to be held else where.

 

I will also be sending out a questionnaire/survey via email and would really appreciate it if you could take the time to fill it out. I could really use the feedback and would like for you to get the most out of the studio you can. Please be honest and don't be afraid to voice your opinion. I won't get offended I promise. I need this information to help me be a better teacher to you and to make the studio into the best it can be, and I can't do that unless I have your help. So thank you in advance for taking out your time to do so:)

 

Alrighty on to pose of the month. So this month I'd like to focus on balance and concentration so what better pose to help us with this than Tree pose I hope there was no groaning or shoulder slumping haha. Seriously, this pose is great for so many reasons. It helps to strengthen your abdominals, hip abductors, shoulders and even your concentration while stretching the hip abductors and the latissimus dorsi (the broadest muscle of the back)

Now getting into the pose. Balance on one leg. Bring the opposite foot onto your standing ankle, calf or inner thigh, avoiding the knee joint. Bring the palms together in prayer position. Lift up through the crown of your head while firmly rooting through your standing foot. Contract your abdominal muscles and level your hips. It may help to visualize yourself as a tree, rooting down through your standing leg and then expand your arms outward and upward as if they were branches. Play around with your arm and feet positions until you find a steady place. If you feel you need some modifications to help more with balance, place the toes of your raised leg on the mat and rest against the side of the ankle (and/or stand next to a wall for support) Use caution if you have knee concerns.


Happy Tree Trekking!

Now on to the snacking section.


Hmmmm... What shall we try this time? It's October and it's pumpkin everything, so how about we jump on the band wagon shall we? So ya.. you can assume this isn't the most healthy and nutritious recipe, but it's easy, fast and yummy. Oh! And guess what? It's only 2 ingredients. I know.. intriguing right? Well now that I have your full attention let's make some super easy pumpkin muffins. As promised you'll only need 2 things to make them

1 box of Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake Mix (what I've used since i've been making them)


1 can of Pumpkin Puree

Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl mix the 2 to together (I use my stand mixer) Grab a muffin tin and place in some muffin liners. Divy out the mixture between each liner and bake on middle rack for about 20 minutes. You can insert a toothpick to check if they are done (comes out clean they are done) Let them cool on a wire rack.

If you would like a bit more sweetness added to them feel free to sift some icing sugar over the tops ( I usually do :) ;) 

Mmmmm... so good. Get snacking people!! And if you are anything like me this will be you after you've had one too many

Well, that's a wrap my friends. We've reached the end of another newsletter. I hope you've enjoyed and I hope you have a fabulous month and a Happy Thanksgiving. See all of you amazing people soon and hopefully in class ;)


XOXO Shannon Hawman 


Summer Summer Summer Time (for all those old school Will Smith fans you'll have that song stuck in your head)

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (408)

Well, Hello again all my beautiful yogis! Can you believe it's August already? I hope that you all have been enjoying your summer so far. Actually...I'm pretty sure you have been since I've seen so little of you all lately ;) ;) It's so hard to get back into the swing of things with so much happening and trying to savor every last bit of the sunshine the summer sun has to offer all while enjoying as much time as we can with our amazing kiddos for summer break. In the midst of all this fun, we miss out on our yoga practice, thinking...well I'll go later this week or next and before we know it weeks have passed! But let me tell you that getting to class is always the hardest part of having a yoga practice. Finding time for just you sometimes eats away at us mentally with feeling of..I have so much to do, or the kids might need me to do this or dinner needs prepping. Sometimes taking that time for yoga almost feels selfish right? Because let's face it... we all know how awesome we feel after a class :) Keep this feeling in mind right now and compare it to how you are feeling right now at this moment. I'm sure you are feeling a bit tense/stiff or struggling with the mental checklist we all constantly have going on. I swear it's how I fall asleep at night haha I count how many things I didn't get done that day and add it to tomorrow's list. Counting sheep? Who needs it when we have the never ending daily mental list!  Anyways... Back to thinking how awesome we feel after class shall we? Ok , so here, we let go of that list and stretch and strengthen our bodies and help it fully relax in Savasana (Story time!) while hopefully having a genuinely enjoyable hour. Remind me why we don't do this everyday? Oh wait....I do do it everyday ;) Now, after class we go home and back to life we go right? But the question is how is it different from say 3-4 hours ago? Does the 'rush' seem a bit slow? Are you more patient with the kids? Are you more attentive to your partner? You see, when you take that short time to help benefit yourself (mind & body) you exude the 'shine' everywhere else in your life.

There's never any doubt whether you can do a full class of yoga (even if you've never done it before), it's getting to that class that's the hurdle. Building a new commitment to something and finding the discipline for those new priorities is a really challenging step, but I have faith that if your time on the mat is something you really want to become second nature, you'll make it happen and I'm hoping that I can help you with these few steps.

So remember in last months newsletter I talked about 21 days of doing something is habit forming? Well again we will go by this standard. So break out your calendars people! Yep, right now! We are going to pick out 21 classes right her and now! Use your family calendar that has everyone else is doing. Take that and this.

Now write out the days and times that work for you and then write it down on your calendar. This will show not only to you but also to your family that you are committing that time to you just you do for them. Keep it simple and easy to start, maybe 1-2 times a week. Consider these times as dates with yourself (because you're awesome and even you want to date yourself ;))

Next up, treat yourself to a new mat. Now I know I have mats here, but trust me...buying your own mat that you love will help motivate you. Also keep your new cherished mat by the door you mostly use or in your car where you will see it all the time. Seeing it is a great reminder that it needs to be used and that you enjoy using it!

Step 3 Find a yoga buddy! Sometimes having that other person will help keep you motivated and get you to class even when you don't feel like and you can also do the same for them in return. and guess what? You've both made it to class! Yay

Step 4 Pay for your classes up front, whether with a monthly pass or a bulk pass, but with this logic you've paid for it, so now you have to use it. We all hate to pay for something and not use it right? So let's not waste it. Once you've paid for your classes you'll commit that much more to it.

Lastly....Getting there! It's literally the hardest part of the whole process. Finding that extra bit of energy. We're tired at the end of the day and just want to relax right? But remember.... We do that here!! So get in that car of yours and get over here and I will congradulate you every time you walk through that door, because I get that sometimes it's a massive effort to do so. And I want you to know it was worth it, you're worth it, and I appreciate you, and that you're here :)

I hope that this will help keep you motivated and focused that this not only benefits you but also the others around you. Not just because you're awesome, but you're a commited practising yogis :D

So moving on to the pose of the month. This month I have choosen to focus on Downward Dog.


This pose is an awesome transition between other poses and provides strength and flexibility where you need it. This is also a good resting position inbetween a flow series. Remember a few months back I wrote about the Half Series? You can use downward dog to rest and regain control of your breath before going back and repeating the series a few more times.

Ok, so getting into the pose. Starting in child's pose, reach forward with your hands and press them into the mat with your fingers spread out wide. From here, lift your hips up into an inverted V. Push back through into the balls of your feet. Keep your head between your arms and relax your neck as you lift your tail bone towards the ceiling. Then sink your heels to the floor without rounding your back. If this happens, try bending your knees a little. If you're feeling a bit tight in the legs you can pedal the feet slowly, helping to bring the heels closer to the floor while not over stretching right away. Do what feels good and don't push yourself. When your finished holding the pose, come back down to your knees and rest in child's pose.

All this talk about yoga is making me hungry!! Ok, so who doesn't love Lasagna? It's just so yummy..I can already feel how full I get everytime I eat it.


And let's get this out in the open now, it's not often I make, because honestly....It's just too time consuming, and separating those cooked noodles... Ugggg no thanks.

But what if I told you there was a faster way, and you didn't have to deal with those darn sticky annoying noodles! Well my friends..I hope you have a crock pot, because this will change your pasta lovin' life! Let me introduce you to... Crock Pot Lasagna


Oh Crock Pot, how I love thee

Ok moving on ;) Here's what you're going to need

1 pkg ground beef

1 jar pasta sauce (29 oz or more)

1 pkg lasagna noodles (uncooked)

2 cups cottage cheese (i love this stuff so I usually get 2-500g tubs)

4 cups shreded cheese (save 1/2 cup for the end)

You can add in spices and/or salt and pepper to your liking. I tend to add some Soya sauce while cooking the ground beef. But you choose.

In a skillet on medium heat,brown the ground beef. Add in any spices you are using. Once it's ready, add in the sauce, stir and remove from heat.

Layer 1- Take 1/4 of the meat sauce and spread on the bottom of the crock pot

Layer 2- The take some raw/uncooked noodles (yes you read that right) and cover the sauce. Some overlap is fine

Layer 3- Combine the cottage cheese and 3 1/2 cups of shredded cheese together and spread 1/3 of it on the noodles.

Repeat Layers 1-3 Two more times.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese on top the last 10 mins of cooking.

Let stand for 5-10 mins with the lid off before serving. You can slice it up and scoop it out with a large spoon to serve.

MMMMM so good and your house will smell so yummy for hours with minimum effort. How great is that?

I know.....You're Welcome ;);) So start serving this delishiousness up and devour it already!!

So that brings us to the end of this months letter/blog. I hope that I get to see you all very soon and more often ;) ;)


xoxoxo Shannon Hawman




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Hello Summer!

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (403)

Happy July everybody! I know everyone is ready for summer. I know I am, and I’m kickin’ it off in PEI with the kiddo. Actually, I’m on my way there as you read this! Crazy, but awesome and the downtime is much needed. The month of June was so busy here that I’m looking forward to taking on this challenge I spoke of last month. What?..... Did you think I forgot! Not likely haha not this one. I need this one and I’m sure you probably do too. We are going to help each other this month and motivate one another as much as possible. So if you aren’t on the Facebook page yet, please join us there or even on Instagram.

Ok..... so here’s the challenge... Meditation! Oh man... I did not just say that right? LOL it’s such a daunting word. Even I kinda freak out a bit just writing it. However, the thought of metal clarity and a quiet, calm mind even for just 5 minuets is just so appealing, isn’t it? So... baby steps it is. I will struggle with this just as much as you, maybe more who knows, so don’t feel alone. So as I said, baby steps. 5 minuets will be our goal and who knows maybe some of you will surpass that by the end of the month! This will be a much different process for each and every one of us, and some of us will progress faster than others which is great and we will cheer them on and NOT get competitive. This is truly something where we are going to have to just LET GO.

Now let’s think of a couple things that can helps us get through this as relaxing as possible, and make this something we look forward too. So let’s start with a Mala necklace or bracelet. I have a bracelet and usually wear it, but for meditation you with hold your Mala in your right hand draped between your middle and index fingers. Starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each bead, pulling it towards you as you recite your mantra (if you choose to use one, which we will get to shortly). Do this 108 times traveling around the Mala. It’s your choice to use one or not, I’m a pretty fidgety person, so this will help with that.

 


Sandlewood Mala

 

Now, Mantra’s. These are words that help with what we feel we need in that moment. Here are a couple and feel free to use these if you’d like.

Mantra For Building Focus - I am Present, I am Here, I am Breath.

Mantra For Health And Wellness - I am Strong, I am Healthy, I am Whole.

Mantra For Positive Affirmation - I am Happy, I am Worthy, I am Capable.

Mantra For Morning - I am Energized, I am Focused.

So that’s just a few. Use them, don’t use them, it’s really up to you. If you do, then the whole mantra is said/thought for each bead of your Mala. That’s right, 108 times!

Next is a lit candle. This will give us something to focus on if you choose to keep your eyes open. Some of our brains go into overdrive the moment we close our eyes.

 


 

Next up is our breathing. We will use this breathing technique always with meditation. Everything else is optional. EXCEPT THIS! The breathing technique is the relaxation breath. It is a slow paced technique used to induce a state of deep relaxation and centeredness. It’s the simplest and easiest method. It focuses on matching the length and depth of the inhale to that of the exhale. Fill the belly on the inhale and empty the belly on the exhale.

There is also the choice of downloading a meditation guided imagery to music. There are so many online to choose from, but look at how long they are so you can pick and choose the length of time spent meditating. Download it to your phone or ipod (remember to turn your phone to silent/ do not disturb so you don’t so you won’t be bothered) an plug in those ear buds.Sometimes those little buds are a god send haha and works so well at blocking out all the noise in the house. Let’s face it... it’s usually our kids who will want something from us that’s probably not all that important that it can’t wait 10 minutes. If it is, well they can go to dad!! So ear buds in and crank up that volume! Here’s a link for a 10 minute forest walk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SuH5LlrAm8 and here’s a 3 minute waterfall meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBYYFbStfHM

Lastly, let’s find a spot. Somewhere quiet and comfortable and preferably somewhere with a door, maybe even a lock ;) ;)

 


A nice quiet pillowed corner

Now take a seat on the ground, on a bolster or pillow or even sitting upright in a chair, wherever and however you are comfortable. Sit tall and place your palms on your knees or folder in your lap. Relax your shoulders and close you eyes (if you are focus on a candle obviously keep them open haha). Let’s begin to focus on our breath, In and out through your nose, and bring together all the things you will be using and get started. If your mind starts to wander... remind yourself to breath in and out. Now when you are finished, don’t get up right away. Sit for one more minute and absorb what you just did, or if you said said a mantra, absorb it’s meaning. Then softly blink your eyes open and go take on the day!!

It sounds so easy when I put it like that haha. If you only make it a minute then so be it, try again later on in the day or tomorrow for 2 minutes. Remember its the journey getting there and discovering something new about yourself.

So let’s try and do this everyday around the same time for the next month and see what happens. We can post on the Facebook page for motivation, support and see what’s working for everyone else. Maybe you’ll try a bunch of different options on different days to see what works or maybe what someone else is doing might help someone else. I’m really hoping that this will become a habit for me since doing something for 21 days creates habitual tendencies. And let’s face it...if there’s ever something to strive to be good at, I’d want it to be this.

So cheers to you for even trying and I really do sincerely hope you attempt this challenge and not just read about. This can be truly life changing for some people.

Well moving onto food....

 


Food Glorious Food!

So this month I’m not really posting a recipe but sharing with you my most favorite product that I eat almost daily. I’m not sue how many of you are oatmeal fans, but if you are? Well... you’re gonna love this stuff! This my friends is Stoked Oats Oatmeal

 


http://www.stokedoats.com/

Out of all of these awesome choices, The Bucking-Eh is my absolute fav. With currants, mulberries and apples, the mix is just too good. Best part....It’s Wheat, Rye and Barley Free. Yep that’s right folks, It’s gluten free! It’s also a quick oats, so no waiting over night for this :) Just boil the kettle, mix and eat! Easy peesy lemon squeezy I always add a bit of honey and some cinnamon ( I know I know it says on there it has cinnamon already but I love it so I add more) and sometimes I will add a teaspoon of dried cranberries. For those of you who love coffee and want a pick me up in the morning, try the Redline Oats. For the nut lovers try the Stone-age Oats. And lastly the chocolate lovers! They didn’t leave you out, the Aphrodisi-Oats are just for you! They are all so good

I love the simplicity of it and also that it good and quick. Plus side..it’s a Canadian company!! Sadly you can’t just go anywhere to buy this stuff just yet but Nature’s Best in Barrie (http://www.naturesbestbarrie.ca/en/) carries it and you can also order it online here http://www.stokedoats.com/ . They also have a recipe spot on their website too in the company tab. Mmmmmmm..... Try it! You’ll love it!

So That concludes this month’s letter. I truly hope you all take on this challenge, I know I will be, and remember the Facebook page will be open for discussions, questions and motivation. You are also welcome to email or text me if you need anything. I’m more than happy to help if I can.

Well I hope to see everyone as soon as I get back! Classes will resume Monday July 11th, so book your classes!!! and try to stay moving while I’m away. Go back through the blog and do some poses from each month to keep moving. I hope to see you all soon

Shannon

xoxoxoxo


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