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.


 

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.

________________________________________________


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.
 
_______________________________________________


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

________________________________________________

 

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
 

________________________________________________

  

“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

________________________________________________

 

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.


________________________________________________


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.
________________________________________________

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.

_______________________________________________
 
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.
________________________________________________
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.

_______________________________________________

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!
 

________________________________________________

 

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.
 

________________________________________________

 

Restorative Yoga with Valerie will return in the Fall!

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

________________________________________________
 
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.

________________________________________________

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
 

________________________________________________

 

Happy 150th Birthday Canada!
 
________________________________________________

 

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