October / November 2016








We’ve been fortunate to enjoy spectacular fall colours in this unseasonably warm autumn. The darkest time of the year seems a long ways away. Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween has deep roots back to Pagan times and the festival of Samhain – pronounced “Sow-in”, literally “summer’s end.” It marks the end of one agricultural year and the beginning of another. It is considered a potent time, the New Year.

We will also be “falling back” to Standard Time on Sunday, November 6th when we will really start to feel the transition into the dark. It isn’t something that most of us look forward to. In yogic philosophy, the coming darkness is not to be feared but rather embraced as a time of reflection and planting seeds for the upcoming months. 

Our yoga practice also offers time for contemplation. We still need to move to keep warm, maintain the health of our body’s systems and stay open in the contracted season of the year. But we can add in moments of stillness where we tap into something larger than ourselves, to the Eternal always present and pulsing with life. Resting here, we can renew and refresh ourselves, be open to inspiration and to our own inner light.

 Update on Classes

We are delighted to be teaching at Yoga East, a bright, clean, accessible and very pleasant studio. We are trying to accommodate the needs of as many students as we comfortably can in the new space which is smaller than previous locations.

All of our classes are now full. We are not able to offer make-ups for missed classes nor can we pro-rate classes for those who know they will be away.

There may be occasions when registered students are absent and in that case, we can accommodate those on a pass or drop ins. If you would like to be put on a waiting list in case of cancellations, please let us know. 

Our classes will run until December 22nd and we will open registrations for the January session after then. 

Valerie Hobson:

Fall Session I –  continues until Wednesday October 26th
Fall Session II – Tuesday November 1st – Wednesday December 21st (8 weeks)

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
Drop in – $14.00
5 class pass for three months – $65.00
Cash or cheque only payable to Valerie Hobson

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

Catherine Heighway:

Fall Session – Monday October 17th – Thursday December 22nd (10 weeks)

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

$113.00 to register for 10 week session
Drop in – $14.00
5 class pass for three months – $65.00
Cash or cheque only payable to Catherine Heighway

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

For more details, please click here


Restorative Yoga

Valerie’s Sunday afternoon Restorative Yoga Classes are full. If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please contact Valerie at (519) 702-0534 or ahimsa1st@rogers.com.  Valerie will be offering another session beginning in January.



Day of Mindfulness

Saturday, November 5th
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 of 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. There are a few spaces left so call or email Valerie to register. To read more about RiverBend, click here


Winter Solstice Candlelight Meditation
Fundraiser for “The Unity Project”
Saturday, December 17th – 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Yoga East, 537 Ontario Street

To celebrate the Winter Solstice, join us for a time of meditation, reflection and quiet. In the midst of holiday festivities, align with the energies of the Earth to welcome the returning light. A minimum donation of $20.00 is suggested for “The Unity Project,” dedicated to the relief of homelessness in London. Space is limited so please call or email to confirm your attendance. Chairs are available for those who prefer to not sit on the floor. Refreshments will be served following the program.

For information on “the Unity Project” please click here



Kichadis are simple stews of basmati rice and split mung dal. They have endless variations depending on the herbs, spices and vegetables used in them. The following recipe has an imposing list of ingredients but it’s easy to make. This healing brew is good for stimulating digestion and circulation. It decreases Vata and Kapha while increasing Pitta (heat).

Basic Warming Kichadi – serves 2 – 3

1/2 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup split mung beans
6 cups water
1 tablespoon ghee or other oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon hing*
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 more tablespoons ghee or oil
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
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 and hing. Lightly brown them. Add the rice, mung and water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 45 minutes.

Warm the last 2 tablespoons of ghee in a small skillet. Add the coriander, cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaf and saute for 2 – 3 minutes. Then stir in the rest of the spices and the onion and garlic if using. 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 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. Available in Asian grocery stores but you can skip it if you don’t have any.

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


We look forward to seeing you at Yoga East !

Catherine and Valerie

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