Welcoming and iRest Yoga Nidra with Anne Douglas


by Anne Douglas

It seems the best things in life are so very simple.  My experience is that the greater the simplicity, the greater the profundity.  For example, the beauty of welcoming each moment just as it is, without attachment (raga) or aversion (dvesa), is perhaps one of the highest teachings we are offered in the Yoga and Buddha dharma.

In my Yoga Therapy practice I bare witness time and again to the healing power of welcoming all the messengers life offers.  They may show up for each of us as chronic pain or insomnia, high blood pressure or anxiety, or as constant discontent or depression.  Every symptom, when met by unconditional welcoming, provides a doorway into deeper self-understanding, wholeness and freedom.

While there are many ways that we can encourage welcoming, my first choice is always through the practice of iRest Yoga Nidra, which offers the quintessential invitation to meet and FEEL what is present.  We can deepen further by soliciting a description of the sensation, such as it’s location, texture, color, etc., as ways to open into the felt experience.

When we just simply feel sensation, there is a deep integration that occurs on many levels.  We don’t have to know what is happening, how or why.  Our task is to simply feel what is present with kind attention.

In this unconditional welcoming, old un-integrated events and their associated emotions or beliefs can finally be heard.  Like a child who constantly tugs at their parents pant leg for attention, it goes off on its merry way when it has been acknowledged and it’s needs honored.  Some messengers need repeated welcoming and take time to “unpack”, while others only need a moment.


Mystical Musings Retreat w/ Marla Ericksen Information

Share in our March Yoga and Meditation Retreat






At Sanctum Retreat Centre
March 22 -25, 2018 w/ Marla Ericksen

Carve out time and space to dwell temporarily in a sanctuary where a gathering of loving community supports your unfolding life.
Let life’s pendulum swing another way and to trust that the suspended moments in unfamiliar territory will yield great benefit.
This is what it means to RETREAT.

Join Marla at the beautiful Sanctum Retreat Centre in Caroline, AB. Delve deeply into a dimension where YOGA – the practice of tolerating the consequences of

who you are – will unravel and reveal what is necessary for your expansion. The majority of this retreat will be held honouring noble silence. All are welcome and no previous experience in Yoga or Meditation is required.


Update on Amie Belanger and her husband Darcy

Our beloved teacher Amie Belanger and her husband Darcy (who also practiced at Yoga for Today) moved to Denver, Colorado in April when Darcy was transferred for work. Immediately the couple thought it important to have a “landing point” and after some online research found themselves at a local studio.

From there, Amie went on a retreat, intent on meeting like-minded people. She says the retreat was lovely taking place up at Santa Maria camp. They stayed in cabins with bunks, practiced a lot of yoga, swam early in the morning as a ganga blessing, went for short hikes, chanted around the fire and ate vegetarian food. Unfortunately as it was a silent retreat, Amie was unable to engage in discussion but did manage to stay in contact with a few women she met there. From there she explored another studio and it has been a better fit but says no studio is like Yoga for Today with extensive retail, area for socializing and alternative modalities on offer. Read more >>

Categories: Teacher Training. Comments Off on Update on Amie Belanger and her husband Darcy

Parvati Magazine – August issue

The August 2017 issue of Parvati Magazine is hot off the press and ready to share!

The magnificent force of life, divinely potent, propels the evolution of all things in every moment. You can see it in nature’s aliveness – its fully bloomed flowers, rich foliage and tapestry of wildlife. Vibrant, resplendent and dynamic, the force that moves our universe forward is beyond our limited ego and will, beyond all logical understanding or control.

Parvati.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to realizing MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. The organization is supported by people in our Yoga for Today community who selflessly volunteer their time to support this global cause.

Parvati Magazine – July issue

The July 2017 issue of Parvati Magazine is hot off the press and ready to share!

To inspire you and your clients, this month’s Parvati Magazine, on the theme “Service”, features exclusive interviews with Melinda Emerson, Seane Corn and Dr. Kelly Brogan plus articles on Julia Butterfly Hill, Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, the goop Pop-Up store and a yummy recipe for guilt-free treats.

Parvati.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to realizing MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. The organization is supported by people in our Yoga for Today community who selflessly volunteer their time to support this global cause.

Teaching Yoga to Children 20-Hr Training

Teaching Yoga to Children 20-Hr Teacher Training is an incredible journey into a child’s world. This comprehensive training will prepare you to teach yoga and mindfulness to children from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

This training is ideal for:

  • Yoga teachers and yoga students
  • Classroom teachers
  • Child psychologists
  • Camp leaders
  • Pediatricians
  • Social workers
  • Physical therapists
  • School or family counsellors
  • Or anyone who regularly works with children

Through an interactive, creative and educational approach, you’ll learn:

  • Developmental stages of children
  • Research-based benefits of yoga and mindfulness
  • Children’s yoga postures – individual, partner and group
  • Breathing, visualization, relaxation
  • Music and games that promote collaboration and fun
  • Lesson planning and hands-on experience

The training facilitator, Rita Maltais, has well over 500 hours of yoga training, including Yoga Ed K-8 Certified Radiant Child Yoga Program Level 1. She is also a Mindful Educator with many years of experience as a school teacher, working with children of all ages.

To view more information about the training dates and cost, click here.

TTP Graduate Q&A: Ishana Nixon

Name: Ishana Nixon
Age: 50
Hometown: Sherwood Park, Alberta
Completed Yoga for Today Teacher Training: July 2016
Currently: Teaching a chair yoga class at an extended care facility

Yoga for Today: Why did you choose Yoga for Today for your teacher training?
Ishana: I had taken classes at YFT and was impressed with the quality of instruction as well as the relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Yoga for Today: What three words would you choose to describe your TTP experience?
Ishana: Empowering. Enjoyable. Informative.

Yoga for Today: How would you describe your experience in more detail?
Ishana: The experience was quite profound. The initial, intensive five-day session opened my mind to the deep benefits and broad applications of yoga. I gained a sense of accomplishment in having taken my body through the physical rigour required.

The experience of doing something I thought I could not do was empowering and wonderful. I was filled with enthusiasm and hope, and I was eager to get out and create yoga experiences for myself and others.

On the practical side, I learned how to prepare detailed lesson plans – timing, content and effective delivery.

Yoga for Today: So you learned how to teach a yoga class, but what else did you walk away with? In what ways was it about more than teaching yoga?
Ishana: I walked away with increased self-confidence. More than just learning, it was an opportunity to develop deep connections and friendships with fellow students and teachers.

Yoga for Today: Did your teacher training experience shift your life, outlook, thinking, practice, etc.? How so?
Ishana: Overall, I have changed from being cautious and nervous about taking on new challenges and have become more willing to explore new opportunities and take risks.

I am a happier and stronger person.

Yoga for Today: How does yoga show up in your life off the mat?
Ishana: The philosophy of yoga helps me work through troublesome life situations, such as conflicts with others, making difficult decisions or dealing with personal crises.

Yoga for Today: What’s next on your yoga journey? What more do you want to learn?
Ishana: I want to continue to improve my own fitness level through yoga and meditation, learn more about teaching people with low mobility, and continue learning about the history and philosophy of yoga.

Yoga for Today: What words would you offer to someone interested in pursuing teacher training?
Ishana: The TTP at YfT is an excellent, well-balanced program, covering both the practical and the philosophical aspects of yoga. The instructors are experienced and willing to share their skills and wisdom. The program will build your confidence and help open your mind to new opportunities.

If you are a graduate of Yoga for Today’s Teacher Training Program, and you’re interested in sharing your experience, please email chris@yogafortoday.ca.

Learn more about our 200-Hr Teacher Training Program.



Parvati Magazine – June issue

With the theme of “Stepping Up”, the June issue of Parvati Magazine features exclusive interviews with Kathryn Budig, Kelly Starrett, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Brendan Synnott of PACT Organics, Irene Falcone of Nourished Life, Jennifer Italiano of Live Organic Food and David Allen of Getting Things Done.

Parvati.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to realizing MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. The organization is supported by people in our Yoga for Today community who selflessly volunteer their time to support this global cause.



Fern’s Fables… on Making Your Own Sprays Using Essential Oils

Here are a variety of sprays you can make at home with essential oils.

Here’s a refreshing face spray

You can make a nice face spray that is useful as a toner, or to set your makeup, using essential oils. They possess very active ingredients, with antibacterial qualities for those prone to zits, and also have toning, tightening and hydrating qualities.

You will need a glass oil dropper bottle (15 to 30 ml) to make your oil mixture. Optimum Health has glass bottles. Or you can even clean and boil one of those little squeeze-top dropper bottles if you may have an empty one, from another product.

Drop these oils into your mix bottle:

  • 20 drops Rosemary
  • 16 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Geranium
  • 2 drops Cyprus
  • 2 drops Thyme

Shake it up and you have your basic essential oil mix for the face spray. An option is to add four drops of Frankincense and four drops of Ylang Ylang, to your basic mix, which will make it a bit more hydrating.

Once you’ve made your basic mix, you will need:

  • A 100 ml glass spray bottle, which you can get at Optimum Health
  • A bottle of Witch Hazel, available at any drug store
  • Distilled water used for diluting the oils

Fill your spray bottle 1/4 full with Witch Hazel. Then add about 30 drops of your essential oil mixture. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with distilled water, being careful not to overfill. If this happens, you lose the oils, which will be on top. Put the lid on securely and shake well before each use.

Note: The Witch Hazel acts as an emulsifier for a few minutes while you are using it. You can add more Witch Hazel if you want a more astringent effect.

You may also make other sprays using the same principals, and just changing the essential oil mix that you are adding.

You can make a handy bug spray

Your essential oil mix would definitely need some Citrus oils; such as Lemon, Lemongrass, Citronella or Bergamot. Then Lavender is a good “bug out” oil. And the Mint oils (Peppermint, Spearmint or Eucalyptus) deter bugs.

Note: You do not need all of these oils. Just see what you have on hand and make your own mix.

Other oils that I may add might be: Rosemary, Tea Tree, Geranium, Thyme, Sage, Cedar, Juniper or Basil. Just play with what you have. Then you put 30 to 40 drops of this mix into your 100 ml glass spray bottle and add the Witch Hazel and distilled water. The Witch Hazel can be increased in a bug spray so you can even use it on a bite, since it has astringent properties.

Experiment with a nice body spray

For men you could use more woody tones, Cedar, Sage, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Juniper, or possibly some Orange, Thyme, Rosemary or Basil.

Women might like Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Rose, Frankincense, Patchouli or Rosemary.

Just experiment with what you have and make your own oil mixes. Thirty to 40 drops of this oil mix is then added to the Witch Hazel and distilled water in your 100 ml spray bottle. Shake well to use.

You can even try a deodorant spray

Many oils are highly antibacterial, so they can be used for a deodorant spray mix. You can use the Witch Hazel and water to dilute for your spray bottle, or you can use a liquid transdermal magnesium oil instead. This gives you some magnesium as well. I get my mag oil at: www.magnascent.ca.

Some basic oils to mix are: Tea Tree, Lavender, Thyme, Sage, Basil, Eucalyptus, Lemon or Cedar. Again, you do not need all of these, and you can add other oils to get the fragrance you desire.

Happy May & have fun playing with your own mixes! Fern

Healthy Salads, Dressings & Dips from Tami Hay

Here are some wonderful recipes from Tami Hay’s weekend workshop on Healthy Salads, Dressing & Dips:


  • ½ head purple cabbage
  • ½ head green cabbage
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 small yellow or orange bell pepper
  • Optional:
    ¼ red onion
  • ¼ red onion (optional)
  • ¼ C parsley (optional)

Process in food processor until desired consistency. Place in large bowl and mix.


  • 1-2 T avocado oil or other cold-pressed oil such as olive oil
  • 1-2 T lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt (to taste)
  • 1 T yacon syrup or coconut nectar (optional)
  • 1 tsp Ryan’s Hot Mustard (optional)

If you are adding the mustard, prepare in dressing shaker jar or blender and blend well. If not, you can simply pour ingredients directly on salad and toss.


  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ head purple cabbage, shredded
  • ½ C per person: broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 C sprouts of your choice (mung, broccoli, clover)

Place broccoli and cabbage in a bowl and gently massage with lemon and sea salt. Add peppers and top with dressing.


  • ¼ C avocado oil
  • 1 C pine nuts – soaked to soften (May substitute with cashew nuts)
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T lemon or lime juice
  • ¼ – ½ C water
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 T each: tarragon, marjoram, parsley or other herbs to taste preference
  • 2 T natural sweetener (optional)