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.


 

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

Summer 2017

Ahhh, Summer!

 
The Summer Solstice will happen on Wednesday, June 21st at 12:24 a.m. Also known as Mid-Summer’s Eve, the Summer Solstice marks the peak of the Solar Year when the life-giving power of the Sun reaches its zenith. Here in our part of the world, we experience the longest day of the year, a time for joyful celebration of the expansiveness of the season.

Many calendars note the Solstice as the start of summer. In the Celtic tradition, we consider this day to be half way through summer as we have been enjoying steadily lengthening hours of daylight since the Winter Solstice. The great wheel of the year continues to turn as from the point on, the Sun begins in small ways to wane. We still have plenty of weeks to enjoy the summer in whatever way we can – gardening, biking, camping, boating, walking or sitting under a shady tree with a good book! See our tips below for a summer yoga practice.

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Springtime in Paris – Yoga Retreat for Women
May 26 – 28th 2017
Five Oaks Retreat Centre – Paris, Ontario

 

 

Thank you to everyone who participated at our May retreat! Despite a rainy and cool start, the weather cleared off and we were able to walk the outdoor labyrinth on Saturday night. We enjoyed our time away in like minded community and look forward to organising another weekend retreat. We are planning a day long retreat at Riverbend in November, so watch the website and the newsletter for more details. We would love to have you join us!
 

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Update on Classes

Our current session will finish on June 22nd. There will be no classes offered at Yoga East in July and August as the studio is closing to accommodate upstairs renovations.

Valerie will be offering two Gentle Yoga Sessions in July at:

Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1 Frank Place, London, ON N6C 1W1 

Tuesday 10:00 – 11:00 am
or 
Tuesday 5:15 – 6:15 pm

July 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

A gentle yoga class designed to improve balance, joint health and spinal flexibility. 
 
Fee – $50 for 4 weeks, Payable by Cash or Cheque to Valerie Hobson, Certified Yoga Instructor

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

If you would like to be put on a waiting list for the Fall session starting in September, please contact Valerie. 
 

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

Tuesday       9:30 – 10:45      gentle yoga and meditation  September 12th – October 3rd
                                                                                           October 10th – 31st 

Wednesday  9:30 – 10:45      mixed level                           September 13th – October 4th
                                                                                           October 11th – November 1st

 
Fees
$50.00 to register for 4 week session
Cash or cheque only payable to Valerie Hobson

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

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 will return in the Fall!

Sunday afternoons – September 24th, October 22nd and November 26th – Contact Valerie to register
 

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Summer Practices
 

In the summer, the Pitta dosha is most active, the dosha of fire and heat. This dosha provides us with sparks of creativity, spontaneity, enthusiasm and helps us digest our food. If we have too much Pitta, we can burn out, be irritable and angry as well as have inflammation issues with our digestion and skin.

In the heat of the summer it is important to not overtax the body or get too hot. Think of cooling and calming practices to bring more balance. Practising hatha yoga outdoors can be very refreshing in the early morning or evening but avoid the heat of the day and stay out of direct sunlight. Our bodies tend to be more flexible in the summer so long body stretches, gentle posture flows like the Moon Salutation, deep hip openers and forward bends can be very soothing. Restoratives are also highly recommended. Pranayama such Sitali and Chandra Bedhana or Moon Breath are also calming and cooling.

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Summer Beverage
 

Lassi is a traditional yogurt based drink from India. It is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and sometimes fruit. It can be a savoury or sweet drink. The recipe below is a cooling savoury drink to bring balance in the Pitta season.

Pitta Lassi

1/2 c. cottage cheese
1/2 c. yogurt
3/4 c. water
2 tsp. coriander powder
1 tbsp maple syrup or 3 pitted dates

Blend first three ingredients together then add the coriander powder and sweetener of your choice. Serve chilled. Makes one serving.

from – The Ayurvedic Cookbook – by Amadea Morningstar with Urmila Desai
 

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Happy 150th Birthday Canada!
 
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“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” Henry James
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Have a safe, joyous and peaceful summer!
 
 
Catherine and Valerie

March 2017

Welcome March!

 

We can already enjoy the early signs of spring with flowers popping up in the garden and longer hours of daylight.

Two significant events are coming up on the March calendar. The Spring Equinox will happen on Monday, March 20th at 6:29 a.m. here in London. We return to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday March 12th, so remember to Spring Ahead!

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Update on Classes

We start our new session on Monday, March 6th for 8 weeks until April 27th.

There will be a class on Easter Monday, April 17th.

Class times remain the same as those in the winter session.

Please note that all of our classes are full. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to accommodate any drop ins or offer make ups for missed classes.

If you would like to be put on a waiting list for the next session, beginning in May, please contact Valerie or Catherine.

 

Valerie Hobson:

Valerie’s Class Schedule:

Tuesday       9:30 – 10:45      gentle yoga and meditation   
Wednesday  9:30 – 10:45      mixed level

 
Fees
$90.00 to register for 8 week session
Cash or cheque only payable to Valerie Hobson

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

Catherine Heighway:

Catherine’s Class Schedule:
Monday     11:00 – 12:15   mixed level 
Thursday   10:30 – 11:45   mixed level  

Fees:
$90.00 to register for 8 week session
Cash or cheque only payable to Catherine Heighway

To register: contact Catherine at (519) 871-0661 or catherineheighway@hotmail.com

To see our schedule, please click here
 

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Restorative Yoga
 
Valerie’s Sunday afternoon Restorative Yoga Classes for this session will conclude on March 19th. The class is full.  The Restorative Classes will resume again in the fall.
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Springtime in Paris – Yoga Retreat for Women
May 26 – 28th 2017
Five Oaks Retreat Centre – Paris, Ontario

 

 

   
Price: $395.00 Early Bird Rate. Payment in full must be received by April 14th. After April 15th, rate will be $425.00. Space is limited to please register early.
 
Included: Single room with shared bath, full yoga and meditation program for all levels throughout the weekend, all meals (vegetarian – some dietary requests can be accommodated), access to walking trails at Five Oaks and use of the outdoor labyrinth.
 
To register: Please confirm your attendance with Catherine at spandaretreats@hotmail.com.  Please include your phone number. We will have a health form for you to fill out at the start of the retreat.
 
To pay: Contact Valerie at ahimsa1st@rogers.com  to arrange an e-transfer or mail a cheque payable to Valerie Hobson, 53 Orchard Street, London, N6J 2R4. Our regular students may also bring a cheque to class. Receipt of your payment will confirm your registration for the retreat.
 
Cancellation Policy: Prior to April 14th, we can give a full refund. After April 14th, there will be a cancellation fee of $185.00 to cover our expense for the accommodation at Five Oaks.
 
Please contact us if you have any further questions. We hope that you can join us in May!

 
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March Practices

 

As we move into March and toward Vernal Equinox, we can think of Spring as Nature’s New Year. It is such a perfect time to “De-clutter” our bodies from the detritus of Winter. It’s a good time to consider a spring cleanse, in consultation with your health care practitioner. 

In the spring, organs in need of support are the liver and gallbladder. Twists are especially helpful in hatha practice to stimulate and cleanse the internal organs and bring a sense of refreshment to the body.
 

Good Essential Oils to incorporate in springtime to help enhance detoxification include: Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang. These can be can be diffused aromatically or applied diluted in carrier oil on skin after bathing. Note: the exception is Cinnamon which is to be diffused only.

The following recipe for Kichadi (Kicheree) will stimulate the liver and gallbladder and support the body’s natural spring cleaning. 

“Kichadis are at the core of Ayurvedic nutritional healing.  They are a relatively simple stew of basmati rice and split mung dal, which are suitable for all doshas (constitutions).” from – The Ayurvedic Cookbook – by Amadea Morningstar with Urmila Desai

Spring Kichadi Recipe

1Tbsp. sunflower oil or ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/3 cup dry split mung dal (yellow dal)
1 cup dry pearl barley
6 inch burdock root, peeled and chopped 
1 parsnip chopped
1 Tbsp dried dandelion root chopped (available in herb sections of stores)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger root
1/2 stick kombu
1/2 lb. fresh broccoli OR 1 bunch fresh dark leafy greens (dandelion greens are especially good)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coriander powder

Warm oil/ghee in 4 quart saucepan.  Add cumin, mustard and coriander seeds.  Saute until mustard seeds pop.  Add turmeric, and split mung beans and saute for 30 seconds.  Add 6 cups water and barley, then burdock, dandelion, ginger and kombu. Bring to a boil, then cook covered over medium heat for 50 minutes or until barley is tender.  Add additional water (about 4 cups) to keep the kichadi moist, stirring occasionally  to prevent sticking on the bottom.  Wash and chop the broccoli/greens. Fifteen minutes from serving, add the vegetables, salt and coriander powder.  Stir, cover again and cook another 10/15 minutes.  

Enjoy this simple stew for a day or a few days to give your digestive system a rest and cleanse. 

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“A light exists in Spring
Not present in the year
at any other period
When March is scarcely here.”
–  Emily Dickinson 
 

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We look forward to welcoming you at Yoga East!
 
Namaste
Catherine and Valerie