January 2017

 And now let us welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been – Rilke

Update on Classes

Our Winter Session at Yoga East will start on Monday, January 9th and runs until March 2nd (8 weeks).

There is no class on Monday February 20th for the Family Day Holiday.

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

Please note that all of our classes are full. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to accommodate any drop ins.

If you would like to be put on a waiting list for the next session, beginning March 6th, 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

$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  

$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



Restorative Yoga

Valerie’s Sunday afternoon Restorative Yoga Classes will be begin again in January.

Please note that these classes are full and cannot accommodate any drop ins.

Dates:  Sunday January 15th, February 19th and March 19th.  

Time:   1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Fee:     $15.00 per class or $45.00 for all three classes

If you would like to go on a waiting list for the next session, please contact Valerie at (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st@rogers.com  


Winter Solstice Candlelight Meditation – December 19th, 2016

We raised just over $400.00 for Wellspring Cancer Support Centre! Thank you for your generosity!


Winter Yoga Practice

As we are experiencing very cold weather now, our practices can help to keep us warm and uplifted. Sun salutations or other posture flows after a gentle warm up for the joints are recommended. Our lungs and immune systems are particularly challenged through this time, so continuing with back bends and chest opening postures is helpful. Working with a strong foundation in standing and seated postures will help to keep us grounded and stable in this contracted season. Increasing the length of the inhalation and Surya Bhedana (Sun Piercing) or right nostril breathing are energising pranayamas that brings focus and clarity.

A good way to replenish energy throughout the winter is to eat cooked, spicy foods. It is the perfect time of year to make soups, slow-simmered stews, beans, roasted root vegetables, and warm drinks. Spices such as garlic, ginger, black pepper, cloves, and basil add a warming effect. Avoid raw vegetables such as salad greens and cold drinks.

A gentle self-massage with warm sesame oil will help to fight the drying winter weather. The oil helps to pull out toxins from the skin and also leaves a protective layer between your skin and the harsh winter environment.


The following recipe is excellent for fighting winter colds, flus and bronchitis. Ajwain and ginger help to decongest the lungs, while onion and garlic warm and stimulate the immune system and circulation. Sweet potato is rich in vitamin A, which soothes the lung and bronchial membranes and supports the immune system. This Kichadi decreases Vata (air) and Kapha (water) while increasing Pitta (fire). It is relatively hot and spicy, so adjust according to your taste. Check out Indo-Asian grocery stores or the Indo-Asian section of your grocery store for the less familiar flavourings. Or make the recipe without them and you will still have a tasty and warming dish.

Winter Kichadi – serves 2 – 3

1/2 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup split mung beans
6 cups water
2 tablespoons ghee or other oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon hing*
1/2 teaspoon ajwain**
1 stick of kombu***
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds (about 1 pod)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 – 4 cups fresh vegetables: carrots, greens, beans, zucchini or your preference
2 more cups of water, as needed

Wash the rice and split mung until the rinse water is clear. Warm a tablespoon of ghee in a medium saucepan and add the whole cumin seeds, hing and ajwain. Lightly brown them. Add the rice, mung, sweet potato, kombu and water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 45 minutes.

Warm a tablespoon of ghee in a small skillet. Add the coriander, cardamom, peppercorns and ginger. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes. Then stir in the rest of the spices, onion and garlic. Put the sauteed spices in the blender and a little water (about 1/2 cup) and grind well. Pour this spice mixture into the rice and mung. Rinse out the blender with the last 2 cups of water and add it to the kichadi as well. Add the remaining vegetables. Cook for 20 minutes until vegetable are done.

*Hing – also known as Asafoetida is a spice used as a digestive aid, in food and in pickling. Very pungent!

**Ajwain – these small fruits resemble caraway and cumin, with a bitter and pungent taste, a flavor similar to anise and oregano and a scent similar to thyme

***Kombu – edible kelp, widely eaten in East Asia

from: The Ayurveda Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar and Urmila Desai (1990)


Summer Solstice Retreat
June 9 – 11th 2017
Five Oaks Retreat Centre – Paris, Ontario

We have recently learned that Five Oaks Retreat Centre in Paris, Ontario did not close and is still accepting bookings through 2017. After meeting with the new Executive Director this past week, we are confident that the standards we have come to expect will be maintained. We have booked for our annual Summer Solstice Retreat on the weekend of June 9 – 11th, which is just ahead of the Solstice and will give us a wonderful opportunity to welcome the most expansive and joyful time of the year. 

There have been some changes in the organisation and we will be once more be looking after the registrations and payments for the retreat. Details will be posted on the website shortly so stay tuned. 

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

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