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 2019

May

en.wikipedia.com

The first of May is the half way point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Traditionally it is the start of the summer season, a time to celebrate the greening and flowering of the earth. Ancient Celtic traditions call this day Beltane, roughly translated as “bright fire,” when farmers would bring their livestock out of the winter barns and into the spring fields, often taking them between two huge bonfires as a way to ward off any evil spirits.

It is the time of year to incorporate cleansing practices into our lives, such as working with twists and hip openers on the mat, adding more green vegetables and salads onto our plates and doing traditional spring cleaning of closets, homes and work spaces to prepare for the upcoming activity of summer.

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Spring and Summer Class Schedule with Valerie Hobson
 

At Yoga East Studio – 537 Ontario Street

Gentle Yoga & Meditation

Tuesday       9:00 – 10:15 am       May 7th – 28th
                                                      June 4th – 25th             
**New Tuesday Class** 
                     10:45 – 12:00 noon 
May 7th – 28th
                                                      June 4th – 25th

Mixed Level Yoga
Wednesday
  9:30 – 10:45 am       May 8th – 29th
                                                       June 5th – 26th
** New Thursday Class**
Gentle/Restorative Yoga
Thursday       5:30 – 6:30 pm 
      May 2nd – 23rd
                                                       June 6th – 27th
   
Fees

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

No Classes in July and August at Yoga East

At Redeemer Lutheran Church – 1 Frank Place:

July Classes will be offered at this location as follows:

Gentle Yoga & Meditation
Tuesday   
       10:00 – 11:00 am    July 2nd – 23rd
                           5:30 – 6:30 pm      July 2nd – 23rd 

No Classes in August at Redeemer Lutheran Church
 

Fees

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

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

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Restorative Yoga at Yoga East
 
These classes will resume in the fall.

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Day of Mindfulness – Summer Solstice
Saturday, June 15th, 2019
Quiet Earth, Dorchester, Ontario 

The Summer Solstice arrives on Friday, June 21st and marks the longest day of the year. Also called Midsummer, the Summer Solstice is an opportunity to honour the Sun’s strength and potential. During this time of expansiveness, we can explore the possibilities in our own lives as we move through the vibrancy of summer.
 
Join Valerie Hobson and Catherine Heighway of Spanda Yoga and Retreats for a rejuvenating and relaxing day. The retreat will feature mindfulness practices with yoga and meditation as well as an exploration of mandalas and an indoor labyrinth walk. Suitable for all levels of experience. Lunch is included.  We are delighted to be offering this retreat at Quiet Earth again this year, featuring the rustic charm of a restored barn, set in peaceful countryside close to London.

Date:               Saturday, June 15th, 2019
Location:        Quiet Earth, 1681 Hunt Road, Dorchester, Ontario
Time:               10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fee:                 $90.00
To register:     email: spandaretreats@hotmail.com or call Catherine at 519-871-0661

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Autumn Day of Mindfulness
 

Date:                Saturday, October 19th
Time:               10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Place:              RiverBend Golf Community, London
Fee:                 $90.00
To register:     email spandaretreats@hotmail.com or call Catherine at 519-871-0661

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Spanda Yoga Book – Yoga Through the Seasons

celticmythshow.com

The third section – Summer – of our upcoming yoga book – Yoga Through The Seasons – will be available as a read only document on our website by May 15th. Click  here to see a read only version of the Winter Section with links to the Spring and Summer Sections.

Each section features Celtic wisdom, alignment principles and a practice for every month including asana (poses), pranayama (breathing), meditation and contemplation. We also offer suggestions for diet along with seasonal recipes and self care following the traditions of Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga. 

This guide is the result of a great deal of time, effort and love. Please respect our work by using this information for your personal use only.

By August 1st, we will post the Fall section and print the book to order. We are taking orders for the book now so please let us know if you are interested. Thanks for your support!
 

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Beltane Meditation
by Phaedra Bonewits

May it be a full and rich summer.
May babies be strong and crops be abundant.
May Maypoles be wrapped with joyous wishes and may the dancers find what they desire.
May what needs to begin, begin and grow stronger.
May what needs to end, slip away with dignity.
May the bonfires be bright and life go on with all its vigour.

 

Namaste
Catherine and Valerie

Winter 2019

February

publicdomainpictures.net
 
February 1st marked Imbolc (e-molc) or Ewe’s Milk, the traditional start of the lambing season. Despite our recent spate of bitterly cold weather, there are subtle signs of changes happening on the earth. In particular, our days are getting longer. In fact, we have gained a whole hour of daylight since the Winter Solstice on December 21st! Sunshine coming through the windows is starting to feel warmer. Imbolc is approximately half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox which will arrive on March 20th.

Most of us will be more familiar with another animal featured at this time of year – the groundhog, who celebrated his day on February 2nd. Wiarton Willie didn’t see his shadow so an early spring is predicted. Unfortunately Willie doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to weather prediction and whether he sees his shadow or not, we still have six weeks until the Spring Equinox!

 

thebutterflydiaries.wordpress.com
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We held our annual Winter Solstice Candlelight Meditation on Monday, December 17th and raised $500.00 for Wellspring Cancer Support Centre – London and Region. Thanks to everyone for their generosity!
 

publicdomainpictures.net

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness” – Desmond Tutu

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Winter Class Schedule with Valerie Hobson
 

  
 
At Yoga East Studio – 537 Ontario Street

Gentle Yoga & Meditation

Tuesday       9:30 – 10:45 am       Feb 5th – 26th
                                                      Mar 5th – 26th

Mixed Level Yoga
Wednesday
  9:30 – 10:45 am       Feb 6th – 27th
                                                       Mar 6th – 27th
   
Fees

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

At Redeemer Lutheran Church – 1 Frank Place:

Gentle Yoga Class 
Tuesday      5:15 – 6:15 pm         Feb 5th – 26th
                                                     Mar 5th – 26th

Gentle Yoga and Meditation
Thursday Classes Suspended for the Winter 

Fees
$50.00 to register for 4 week session or $15 Drop-in
Payable by cash or cheque only to Valerie Hobson

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

 
________________________________________________
Restorative Yoga at Yoga East
 
 
Every 3rd Sunday of the month
February 17th, March 17th
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: $17/class
Payable by cash or cheque to Valerie Hobson
 
Registration is required. Please contact Valerie (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st@rogers.com.

________________________________________________
Day of Mindfulness – Saturday, March 23rd (Note the New Date)

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
RiverBend Golf Community Library, London
with Valerie Hobson and Catherine Heighway
 
The Spring or Vernal Equinox arrives on March 20th, a point half way between the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice. Traditionally it is a time to contemplate equilibrium and balance as we start to move more fully from the inward focus of winter to the outward energy of spring. To support yourself in this transition, join us for a refreshing and relaxing day of mindfulness practices with yoga, meditation and an indoor labyrinth walk. Suitable for all levels of experience. Lunch is included.  
 
Date:                Saturday, March 23rd
Location:         RiverBend Golf Community Library, London
Time:               10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fee:                 $75.00
To register:     email spandaretreats@hotmail.com or call Catherine at 519-871-0661
________________________________________________
Day of Mindfulness – Summer Solstice
Saturday, June 15th, 2019
Quiet Earth, Dorchester, Ontario 

 

commons.wikipedia.org
 
The Summer Solstice arrives on Friday, June 21st and marks the longest day of the year. Also called Midsummer, the Summer Solstice is an opportunity to honour the Sun’s strength and potential. During this time of expansiveness, we can explore the possibilities in our own lives as we move through the vibrancy of summer.
 
Join Valerie Hobson and Catherine Heighway of Spanda Yoga and Retreats for a rejuvenating and relaxing day. The retreat will feature mindfulness practices with yoga and meditation as well as an exploration of mandalas and an indoor labyrinth walk. Suitable for all levels of experience. Lunch is included.  We are delighted to be offering this retreat at Quiet Earth again this year, featuring the rustic charm of a restored barn, set in peaceful countryside close to London.

Date:               Saturday, June 15th, 2019
Location:         Quiet Earth, 1681 Hunt Road, Dorchester, Ontario
Time:               10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fee:                 $75.00
To register:      email: spandaretreats@hotmail.com or call Catherine at 519-871-0661

 ________________________________________________
Spanda Yoga Book – Yoga Through the Seasons
 
celticmythshow.com
We are happy to release of the second phase of our upcoming book – Yoga Through The Seasons. We have had very positive response to the first section for Winter which was put on the website for November 1st. Each section features Celtic wisdom, alignment principles and a practice for every month including asana (poses), pranayama (breathing), meditation and contemplation. We also offer suggestions for diet along with seasonal recipes and self care following the traditions of Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga. 

Click here to see a read only version of the Spring Section – February 1st – April 30th. We will release the Summer Section closer to the Summer Solstice on June 21st. This guide is the result of a great deal of time, effort and love. Please respect our work by using this information for your personal use only.

In the fall, we will be adding more information and printing the book to order. We are taking orders for the book now so please let us know if you are interested. Thanks for your support!
 

________________________________________________
 

 
Namaste
Catherine and Valerie

Winter 2018

December

For many, Winter begins on the Winter Solstice, often referred to as the first day of winter. Those of us following the Celtic Calendar understand that Winter began on November 1st and the Solstice marks the half way point of the season. The Winter Solstice will officially take place on Friday, December 21st at 5:22 pm. We will experience 6 hours and 31 minutes less daylight than we did on the Summer Solstice in June! 

This darkest point of the year is a reminder to pause and recognise the great turning of the wheel of the year and of our own lives. The outer darkness offers an ideal opportunity to nourish our inner lives, through yoga, meditation, contemplation, being in nature or perhaps just sitting and enjoying a candle burning in the darkness. The return of longer days though subtle at first is cause for great celebration, optimism and hope.

We are again this year offering a Winter Solstice Candlelight Meditation as a fundraiser for Wellspring Cancer Support Centre. See below for details. It really is a lovely evening so we hope that you can join us!

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Winter Solstice Candlelight Meditation
Monday, December 17th – 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.

Facilitators:  Valerie Hobson and Catherine Heighway
Donations collected for Wellspring London and Region – Cancer Support Centre

Registration required at Wellspring London and Region – 519-438-7379
________________________________________________
Winter Class Schedule with Valerie Hobson

At Yoga East Studio – 537 Ontario Street
Gentle Yoga & Meditation
Tuesdays 9:30 – 10:45 am
– Dec 4th – 18th
– Jan 8th – 29th
– Feb 5th – 26th
– Mar 5th – 26th

Mixed Level Yoga
Wednesdays 9:30 – 10:45 am

– Dec 5th – 19th
– Jan 9th – 30th
– Feb 6th – 27th
– Mar 6th – 27th

Fees$50.00 to register for 4 week session
Payable by cash or cheque only to Valerie Hobson
At Redeemer Lutheran Church – 1 Frank Place:

Gentle Yoga Class 
Tuesdays 5:15 – 6:15 pm
– Dec 4th – 18th
– Jan 8th – 29th
– Feb 5th – 26th
– Mar 5th – 26th

Gentle Yoga and Meditation
Thursday Classes Suspended for the Winter 

Fees
$50.00 to register for 4 week session or $15 Drop-in
Payable by cash or cheque only to Valerie Hobson

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

Restorative Yoga at Yoga East

Every 3rd Sunday of the month
January 20th, February 17th, March 17th
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: $17/class or $45.00 for the series
Payable by cash or cheque to Valerie Hobson

Registration is required. Please contact Valerie (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st@rogers.com.
________________________________________________
Day of Mindfulness
Saturday, February 9th 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
RiverBend Golf Community Library, London

with Valerie Hobson and Catherine Heighway

February 1st is the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Traditionally this day was called Imbolc (e-molk) or Ewe’s Milk referring to the lambing season. We start to notice changes in the quality of light, the air feels fresher and we may even start to hear birds singing again. Imbolc is a great time to take a day for yourself to reflect on the winter and look ahead to the spring. Join us for a relaxing and rejuvenating day featuring mindful movement, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection and an indoor labyrinth walk. Suitable for all levels of experience. Lunch is included.  

Date:                Saturday, February 9th
Location:         RiverBend Golf Community Library, London
Time:               10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fee:                 $75.00
To register:     email spandaretreats@hotmail.com or call Catherine at 519-871-0661
 ________________________________________________
Spanda Yoga Book – Yoga Through the Seasons

celticmythshow.com

We are delighted to announce the release of the initial phase of our upcoming book – Yoga Through The Seasons. We have been working diligently on this project for quite some time. Each section will feature Celtic wisdom, alignment principles and a practice for every month including asana (poses), pranayama (breathing), meditation and contemplation. We also feature suggestions for diet along with seasonal recipes and self care following the traditions of Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga. 

Click here to see a read only version of the Winter Section – November 1st – February 1st. We will release the Spring Section closer to Imbolc or February 1st. Watch for an announcement in the next newsletter. In the fall, we will be adding more information and taking orders for our book, which will be printed to order. Stay tuned! This guide is the result of a great deal of time, effort and love. Please respect our work by using this information for your personal use only.
 ________________________________________________

 ​Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Catherine and Valerie