Sylvie Gouin - 111sylvieg@gmail.com - 613-402-1088

Ottawa, On, Canada

 

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December 31, 2017

For many of us the new year is a time of reflection that brings the feeling of possibilities to light. This is a good thing as the feeling of possibilities improves our posture, it enhances curiosity and brings stability and ease to the mind. But, we must recognize that the only reason it's awakening this feeling is because we have chosen to believe that January 1st is a good time to reflect and renew. Yoga teaches us that our strengths reside in choosing to keep this feeling alive on a daily basis. 

The following 5 practices/lifestyle choices help us awaken and fuel the feeling of possibilities today and beyond:

#1 Choosing to Fuel the Feeling of Possibilities 

To start, we bring the memory of a time/situation when we experienced the feeling of possibilities. Examples include rising above a challenge, accomplishing something or... By recalling the memory we naturally trigger the feeling of possibilities. Once the feeling arises we sit with the feeling and try to hold on to it without the...

December 28, 2017

The following four points are powerful tools of observation to enhance transitions.

Vinyasa

The word vinyasa can be translated as “to place in a special way” it is an honouring and recognition of the process of life; A reminder that the journey is the goal. For example, in an asana class vinyasa reminds us that the process of moving from one asana to another is an asana, a place of consciousness and awareness where we bring the feelings of stability and ease to the movements. This on the mat experience reminds us to bring intention to the transitions of life off the mat. It's a powerful tool to remember that it’s not where we are going but how we get there that matters most. 

Sankalpa

Choosing and committing to a sankalpa (intention) that supports our daily interactions is important because without it we lose touch with our primary motivation and get lost in the to-do list. Aligning our daily activities with our sankalpa brings direction, focus and awakens the feeling of purposef...

December 19, 2017

From the viewpoint of traditional yoga and its sister practice Vedic astrology, the December 21st 2017 winter solstice is about enhancing self-knowledge in the context of how we use our time. It is a great opportunity to acknowledge our potential and honour our values while choosing to create habits that strengthen both.

The following Winter Solstice ritual has the potential to bring clarity: 
 

  1. Light a candle;
     

  2. Burn incense or your favourite essential oil; 
     

  3. Sit in silence for a moment - 3 to 7 minutes;
     

  4. If you have a mantra for the preparation of meditation chant or repeat it. If not, use a language that you relate to and salute your inner teacher/the quality of discernment;
     

  5. Bring your awareness to your navel and imagine that behind the navel is a Sun. As you inhale fuel your fire and as you exhale expand your light -  3 to 7 minutes;
     

  6. Open the eyes and using a journal answer the following questions: 1. What are my strengths? 2. What are my...

December 18, 2017

5 holistic practices to remain grounded and light
during the holiday season. 

  1. Silence: Make space for moments of silence and acknowledge the silence - 5 minutes here and there counts.
     

  2. Nourish: When at home, eat healthy and energizing foods.Vegetable soups are an excellent idea.
     

  3. Movement: Don’t let the busyness of the holidays create stagnation. Dance, take the stairs and get on your mat - Yes, 15 minutes makes a difference. 
     

  4. Breathe: Stabilize the legs, relax the upper body and take conscious full breaths. This can be integrated anytime and anywhere. 
     

  5. Listen: I have read studies that claim we listen at a 25% capacity. Having moments when we aim a little higher is an energizing gift that brings the feelings of stability and ease to the surface.
     

Happy Holidays!

December 13, 2017

At this time of year we need to pay special attention to what we choose to consume; Especially when it comes to empty calorie foods or we end up feeling heavy, sluggish and depleted. Not a good mix for those who enjoy vitality! 

Broccoli is an amazing vegetable. It's a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins. In the holistic world, it's appreciated for its ability to help the body heal, improve digestion, reduce the negative signs of aging and for it's rich source of natural anti-inflammatory compounds.  

The following recipe is one of my favorites. It's easy to make, tastes great and it's filling without being heavy. 

Awake Recipe

Ingredients:

Broccoli (amount of your choice - I use half to a full broccoli including peeled stems)

Two medium sized tomatoes ( I use vine tomatoes)

1/2 avocado

1 generous tablespoon of miso ( I use chickpea miso)

1 Jalapeno (optional)

1/2 cup of water

Process:

Steam Broccoli

Place tomato, jalapeno, avocado, miso and water...

December 6, 2017

The breath as a metaphor for life 

An inhale brings expansion, fullness, coolness and it's naturally nourishing

An exhale brings contraction, emptiness, warmth and it's naturally cleansing

Expressing our balance means making space for all of these qualities and knowing which is being overused or ignored.

For example, if I am continuously inhaling life, every moment will be filled with something. I will tend towards overproducing, overworking, overeating,  over shopping, exercising, dieting and expanding my energy which will eventually lead to a feeling of heaviness and over stimulation. The antidote will reside somewhere within the symbolism of the exhalation. 

If we get lost in the exhale of life, contraction of body and mind through poor posture, shallow breathing, and excessive frowning leads to tension and we develop what I call seriousetosys (taking oneself too seriously) which brings inflammation (to much warmth) and we deplete....

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