Blog

Welcome to Spanda Yoga Blog Pages.

Catherine & Valerie will be posting newsletters and blog entries to this section of our website on a regular basis.

You will find the three most recent postings immediately below and you can access older posts and newsletters by using the links on the right side panel.


 

Spring 2018

Spring

After the contracted darkness of winter, we welcome Spring’s longer hours of daylight, more warmth and the stirring of new life from the ground up – plants, insects, animals and birds! Keep reading for a description of practices that can help support us as we transition from the heaviness of winter to the lightness of Spring.
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Class Schedule with Valerie Hobson

 
At Yoga East

Gentle Yoga & Meditation

Tuesday       9:30 – 10:45 am        April 3rd – 24th
                                                       May 1st – 22nd
                                                       June 5th – 26th

Mixed Level Yoga
Wednesday
  9:30 – 10:45 am        April 4th – 25th
                                                        May 2nd – 23rd
                                                        June 6th – 27th
 

Please note that Valerie will not be teaching the last week of May (from May 28th to June 1st)

Also Valerie will not be teaching at Yoga East in July and August.

Fees
$50.00 to register for 4 week session
Payable by cash or cheque only to Valerie Hobson

To register: contact Valerie at (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st(at)rogers.com

At Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
1 Frank Place, London, Ontario 

Gentle Yoga Class 
Tuesday      5:15-6:15 pm             April 3rd – 24th
                                                       May 1st – 22nd
                                                       June 5th – 26th

** New Class beginning in May at Redeemer Church**
Gentle Yoga and Meditation
Thursday     5:45 – 6:45 pm           
May 3rd – 24th
                                                        June 7th to 28th

There are no classes during the last week of May (from May 28th to June 1st).

Fee: Students may either pay $50 to register for 4-week session or if they know they have to be away some weeks, pay a drop-in rate of $15 per class. 

Payable by Cash or Cheque only to Valerie Hobson

To register: contact Valerie at ahimsa1st(at)rogers.com or 519-702-0534

 
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Day of Mindfulness – Summer Solstice
with Valerie Hobson and Catherine Heighway

Saturday, June 23rd
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Quiet Earth, Dorchester, Ontario

 
The Summer Solstice marks the time of the sun exerting its maximum power upon our part of the earth and the longest day of the year. Celebrate the abundance of Nature and your connection to it, through the ancient wisdom of yoga and meditation. Join us for a relaxing and rejuvenating day featuring mindful movement, yoga, meditation and an indoor labyrinth walk. Suitable for all levels of experience. Lunch is included.  
 
Date:                Saturday, June 23rd
Location:         Quiet Earth, 1681 Hunt Road, Dorchester, Ontario
Time:               10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fee:                 $75.00
To register:     email spandaretreats(at)hotmail.com or call Catherine at 519-871-0661
 
 
We are excited to be offering this retreat for the first time at Quiet Earth, just outside London featuring the rustic charm of a restored barn, set in the peaceful countryside. 
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Spring Practices

This season is all about new beginnings and renewal. It is the perfect time to cleanse both ourselves and our physical space to shed the stagnation of winter and make room for new growth.

1) Clean Your Home.
Cleaning your space will help you de-clutter your mind. Start small with a closet, a cupboard or even a desk drawer. Aim to use natural cleaning products and avoid harsh chemicals.

2) Cleanse Your Body
Twists and hip openers can be wonderful at this time of year to bring a feeling of refreshment and energy to our physical selves. Organs in need of support in the spring are the liver and gallbladder. Give your body a rest by cutting back or eliminating things such as alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, red meat, fried foods and/or sugar for a short period of time. Drink more water and eat more alkaline foods such as green veggies, fruits, whole grains and olive oil. Bitter greens such as arugula, mustard greens and dandelion greens have a cleansing effect on the liver and gallbladder. A cleanse or change in diet is best done in consultation with your health care provider as not all recommendations may be suitable for you.

3) Simply Breathe!
Pausing and making room inside ourselves through the breath is like opening the window to spring. Find time in your day for a short breathing practice, such as Ujjayi (Ocean Breath) or Kapalabhati (Shining Skull Breath). Sit or rest with your legs up the wall for several minutes after finishing your breathing practice.

 
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Photo from: Eric’s Home and Garden Blog by Eric Lawton
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
 
 
“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”
–  Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 
 
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Catherine and Valerie

December 2017


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The darkness at this time of year will begin to shift at the Winter Solstice which arrives at 11:28 a.m. on Thursday, December 21st. From this point, the days will begin to gradually lengthen. The Gregorian Calendar considers December 21st to be the start of winter but the Celtic Calendar recognises the Winter Solstice as the half way point of winter, which began on November 1st at Samhain. We still have a few weeks of deep darkness until the winter solstice. While some find this time of year challenging on all levels, we can use this period of outer darkness to seek nourishment within. A quieter yoga practice with forward bends, restoratives and longer Savasana will help connect us with feelings of calmness and peacefulness. Taking time for contemplation and reflection is also beneficial as we prepare to leave the old year behind and welcome the New Year.

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Winter Class Schedule with Valerie Hobson
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Yoga East

Gentle Yoga & Meditation

Tuesday       9:30 – 10:45 am         January 9th – 30th
                                                        February 6th – 27th
                                                        March 6th – 27th

Mixed Level Yoga
Wednesday
  9:30 – 10:45 am        January 10th – 31st
                                                        February 7th – 28th
                                                        March 7th – 28th
  
Fees
$50.00 to register for 4 week session
Payable by cash or cheque only to Valerie Hobson

To register: contact Valerie at (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st@rogers.com

At Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
1 Frank Place, London, Ontario 

Gentle Yoga Class 
Tuesday      5:15-6:15 pm              January 9th – 30th
                                                         February 6th – 27th
                                                         March 6th – 27th
Fee – $50.00 for 4 weeks
Payable by Cash or Cheque only to Valerie Hobson

To register: contact Valerie – ahimsa1st@rogers.com or 519-702-0534

 Space is limited so please register early.
 
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Restorative Yoga with Valerie Hobson at Yoga East

Every 3rd Sunday of the month
January 21st, February 18th, March 18th
1:15 – 2:30 pm  

Modern life is stressful, and studies show that chronic levels of stress can lead to a host of ailments.  The antidote to stress is relaxation.  Restorative Yoga is an active relaxation practice designed to unwind deep layers of stress from your body, mind, and spirit leaving you feeling refreshed and renewed like never before.  This class combines gentle stretches, breathing techniques, guided imagery and restorative yoga poses to activate your body’s innate relaxation response.  It is appropriate for everyone regardless of ability, mobility, or experience with yoga.

Fee: $15/class or $45.00 for all 3 classes
Payable by cash or cheque to Valerie Hobson

 

Registration is required. Please contact Valerie (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st@rogers.com.

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Winter Solstice Candlelight Meditation

Monday, December 18th – 7:00-8:30 pm
Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church – Fellowship Hall
1 Frank Place, London, Ontario

In the midst of holiday festivities, align with the energies of the Earth to welcome the returning light. Join us for a celebration of the Winter Solstice through music, readings, guided meditation and quiet reflection. Chairs are available for this seated practice. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited so please call ahead to register with Wellspring.

Donations collected for Wellspring London and Region – Cancer Support Centre

Facilitators:  Valerie Hobson and Michele Barnes

Registration required at Wellspring London and Region – 519-438-7379
 

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“This very moment is the perfect teacher”
Pema Chodron

Day of Mindfulness with Valerie Hobson and Catherine Heighway
Saturday, February 10th
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
RiverBend Golf Community, London

Fee: $75.00 including lunch
  
February 1st marks Imbolc, the first stirrings of spring. Join us for a rejuvenating and relaxing day as we welcome longer, brighter days and the promise of renewal. The retreat will feature mindful movement, yoga, meditation and an indoor labyrinth walk in the beautiful clubhouse library at RiverBend Golf Community, 1200 Sandy Somerville Drive, London. Suitable for all levels of experience. Lunch included. We have a few spaces left so call or email to register! To read more about RiverBend, click here

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Winter Solstice Blessing – Selena Fox
 

As we celebrate this holiday time with lights, songs, gifts, evergreens and other customs of our ancestors from many lands, let us remember the ancient and sacred spirit of Winter Solstice – that of renewal, peace and inter-connectedness.

As days grow longer again and we embrace winter and the new calendar year, let us kindle with ourselves a deeper awareness of the divine circle of nature of which we are all part.

Let us celebrate our relationships with our families, friends, communities, cultures, all of nature and the Divine as unity and multiplicity.

May we be filled with joy, love and harmony.

May this Spirit of Yuletide shine within and around us throughout the year, as the Wheel of the Seasons continues to turn.


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Best wishes for the Holidays!

Namaste

Catherine and Valerie

August 2017

It is getting dark earlier in the evenings. The mornings are a little cooler. The seasonal garden centres are closed. Cicadas are singing in the trees. There are already ads for back to school. All of these are signs that summer is ebbing.

August 1st is considered to be the start of the fall season on the Celtic calendar, called Lughnasadh or Lammas.

Lughnasadh is a festival that commemorated Lugh, the Celtic Sun King and God of Light. It was a time to honour the power of the sun to ripen crops, particularly grain. These crops were harvested, ground into flour and made into bread or brewed into ale or mead to celebrate the abundance of nature.
 

 

Lammas is an early Christian festival. Lammas means “loaf mass” and represented the first loaves baked from new grain. These were taken to church and laid on the altar to honour the first loaf of the harvesting cycle.
 

While we still have several weeks of summer weather to enjoy, many start to look ahead into September and a return to regular schedules and activities.
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Fall Class Schedule 
 

 

Valerie’s Fall Class Schedule will begin the second week of September and will run in 4 week sessions:

At Yoga East

Gentle Yoga & Meditation

Tuesday       9:30 – 10:45 am        September 12th – October 3rd   
                                                       October 10th – 31st

Mixed Level Yoga
Wednesday
  9:30 – 10:45 am        September 13th – October 4th
                                                        October 11th – November 1st

Please note both of these classes are full for September. Contact Valerie if you would like to be on the Waiting List for upcoming months.

 
Fees
$50.00 to register for 4 week session
Payable by cash or cheque only to Valerie Hobson

To register: contact Valerie at (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st@rogers.com

At Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
1 Frank Place, London, Ontario 

Gentle Yoga Class 
Tuesday      5:15-6:15 pm              September 12 – October 3
                                                         October 10 – October 31

Fee – $50.00 for 4 weeks
Payable by Cash or Cheque only to Valerie Hobson

To register: contact Valerie – ahimsa1st@rogers.com or 519-702-0534

 

Space is limited so please register early.
 
Catherine Heighway will not be teaching at Yoga East in the fall. She has decided to cut back on teaching public classes and will continue teaching a weekly class at Wellspring Cancer Support Centre. Catherine will keep working with Valerie co-leading retreats, labyrinth walks and other creative pursuits.

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Restorative Yoga with Valerie returns September 24th
 
Every 4th Sunday of the month
September 24th, October 22nd and November 26th

1:15 – 2:30 pm  

Fee: $15/class OR $45 for all 3 classes paid in full (guarantees space in class)
Payable by cash or cheque only to Valerie Hobson

 
Registration is required. Please contact Valerie (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st@rogers.com.
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Day of Mindfulness
 
 
 
Saturday, November 25th
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
RiverBend Golf Community, London

Fee: $75.00 including lunch
  
Join us for a spacious and peaceful day before the rush of the Christmas season. Our day will include mindful movement, yoga and meditation in the beautiful clubhouse library at RiverBend Golf Community, 1200 Sandy Somerville Drive, London. Suitable for all levels of experience. Lunch included. Space is limited so call or email to register early! To read more about RiverBend, click here

 
 

Namaste
Catherine and Valerie