Through Kindness And Compassion

I like to think that the feminization of yoga starts with the premise that we are all perfect just the way we are.  The transformation comes not in our hips and bellies, but in our attitudes about them as we learn to let go of (and thus be liberated from) society’s dictates.  We start on our yoga mats, but we take these concepts off the mat and into our daily lives – we learn to see ourselves as we really are, without judgement, and embrace the power we have to enact change through kindness and compassion.

Linda Sparrows

I’m just working on the handouts for my Because You Matter 6 week program, and I came across this quote – this is why I love yoga, and why it is an anchor for me. It’s true, if we’re able to come to ourselves with acceptance and kindness, we start to support change in the world around us simply by coming into coherence with this energy. It’s not about the physical changes or the “appearances”, it’s about how we feel inside – it’s about how deep we allow our breath to travel and how kind and gentle we can be with ourselves. It’s about being okay with making mistakes and softening our expectations, especially around ourselves.

I’m learning alot about the human condition these days, and feeling, often overwhelming waves of compassion and sometimes deep sadness. I’m choosing to allow those emotions to fuel my actions in the world. I’ve been reflecting a little more on what I can do to support myself to thrive and understanding that this is where the ripples for the greater collective start.

I offer you a short and very sweet breath practice to join me in today, only if it resonates. A little video to help to support the release of blockages inside of you, and to bring you into a place of calm, peace, compassion, and love. This practice can also potentially help to relieve anger and stress, and can be very calming for your nervous system. This pranayama (or breath practice) is called Bumblebee breath, you may be familiar with it by it’s traditional Sanskrit name, Brahmari breath. The sustained exhale that happens naturally in this practice supports the relaxation response for our whole body wellness. The toning we bring in, attunes us to the vibration of the heart.

Making your self care a top priority is important, as we’re all – yes, that includes you, processing alot right now. I sense that if your actions are grounded in kindness – that you are in alignment with what the world needs more of right now……..

Sending you love as you journey through your days,

Amber

Do you want to practice together? You can see my schedule (and find our more details) here.

Learn more about Because You Matter, a beautiful 6 week journey into your breast health and whole body wellness. Click here for more information. My next offering starts in March of this year.

Soul Wisdom Self Reflection cards, a little extra support on your journey.

The Kindness Of Strangers – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

My first Ontario winter living out in the country, and some days the snow doesn’t stop falling.

We make decisions sometimes; stop at the corner store, run that extra errand, or perhaps to stop and check the mail on the way home.  I decided to stop and check the mail a few short days ago.  Driving on our country roads you need to pull over to hug the edge as another car comes to pass, and sometimes that hug can pull us right in.

Within seconds, me alongside my two little companions, found ourselves in the ditch.  Over the years, and especially over the past year as we’ve navigated the pandemic, I have come to  realize how much we need eachother.  How much all of life, needs eachother.

Reciprocity.

The kindness of everyone who passed, offering their help.  A beautiful young soul drove the 15 minutes away to borrow his grandmothers tractor.  I didn’t know if he was going to come back, trusting……surrendering into the ditch, breathing with my companions………….and trusting.  When did we stop dropping everything to help one another, especially when we need it the most.  Or when did that become a rare occurence.  I have shared this story with a few friends and I am surprised at how shocked they are by the kindness of strangers.   Once upon a time, there was no question, we helped without hesitation.

Suddenly, we saw the tractor meandering along the snow covered country roads, and this incredible experience of joy bubbled up from inside of me.  Who knew a tractor could bring so much relief and so much happiness (I guess it depends on who you ask).  I turned to my 11 year old son and asked him what he thought I should do to thank this caring young man, in his wise 11 years of life he asked me

Why would you need to do anything? 

If you gave him something in return for his offer of help, he would feel obligated to do the same if he ever needed help, can’t you just say thank you and accept the help?  If you gave him money, he would feel bad asking for help if he didn’t have money.  You would want the same if the situation were reversed. 

Mom, just promise to pay it forward. 

Ahhh my eyes filled with tears, and it made me sad that in our society there are often strings attached, the simple kindness of strangers – helping eachother because it’s why we’re here – at the base of it all, how can we be of service to the greater whole, for no other reason than our innate nature to care.

I am so grateful, and will never walk away when someone has fallen.  This doesn’t have to look big, and there needn’t ever be an expectation of anything in return.  It’s why we’re here.  In community we all do our part, we bring our strengths to the table and we offer our gifts.  Those gifts are anything from knowing how to drive a tractor and having an open heart to help the lady and her 2 children as  they find themselves stuck in a ditch with no way out, to offering a love filled soup to nourish your family or your neighbour, fixing a pipe, finding a book off a shelf for someone, or writing a masterpiece as a creative expression of your soul and balm for the soul of others…….

Reciprocity; nurturing the circle of helping hands, we offer from a place of compassion and gratitude, and we learn to accept, and the circle continues.

This week I ask you to take a bit of time to ponder a few thoughts

  • How would you respond if someone needed help, a stranger?  In small and big ways?
  • How have you recieved the support of someone else’s kindness, often in unexpected ways?
  • What does community mean to you, and what do you think your offering to your community is?
  • What does reciprocity mean to you? What might that look like in your own life?
  • Consider deep gratitude and appreciation as a form of reciprocity.
  • What are you grateful for today?

I’m grateful for tractors, for a lovely young man who offered help, for the snow and the ditch that offered me this learning, and I’m grateful I live in such a special community.

Thank you for taking the time to share my thoughts today, as I watch the snow continue to fall outside my window.

Much love

Amber

xo

30 Day Yoga Support Challenge

Sat Naam and Namaste!

Today we embark on 30 days of yoga together.  Amber has put together a 30 day yoga challenge starting today, April 1st, and running through the whole month.  The intention for these mini yoga videos is to help support you through this very challenging time.  We find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, and I think from day to day our emotions are all over the place – this is normal and understandable given our current situation, please be gentle with yourself.  Globally, we are all affected and I think there are times we feel the collective levels of anxiety, fear, hurt, and sadness. We are living in a world, and a time, of so many unknowns where each of us have been affected in our day to day rhythms as we adapt to this new normal – a normal we have no way of knowing how long we’ll be in.

Embrace the moments where you do feel peace, where you feel steady and filled with hope for what is on the other side.

Yoga may not be something you are leaning into right now, and if this period in the history of your life is calling for a break from your practice than you need to honor that.  You also need to honor whatever it is that is helping to hold you and bring you back to your center.

If yoga is something that is helpful for you right now, please know there are so many resources to help to sustain you.  We are trying to keep our support available for you during this time, and getting creative in how we can best continue to serve you.  We will be posting extra practices, we have some free live zoom classes (please check our website schedule weekly to see which classes will be going live), some recorded classes and practices.

I decided to commit to 30 days of providing you with little 5 – 20 minute practices starting today, April 1st.  These will be accessible yoga, movement, focused postures, pranayama and meditations – each chosen to help to build your resilience, to help ground you, bring you back to your center, nurture your nervous system, and to support you to invite daily movement into your body.  This yoga challenge is also my way of extending my support out to you in your homes during this time of social distancing and self isolation.

Please join me this month, if you have little ones at home, these will be mini practices they too can join you on your mat for.

If you are having a hard time emotionally, don’t hesitate to reach out with a phone call or an email,  we’re here and we will get through this together.

At the end of the 30 day challenge,  if you showed up everyday from April 1st – April 30th to your mat, and if this practice helped you, please send us an email at info@suryadaya.ca with the subject line:  30 Day Challenge Reflection.  Deadline for submissions is May 12th.  In the body of the email we’d like you to write a brief paragraph letting us know you completed the challenge and how it has helped you during this time, or how yoga in general has affected your life.

On May 15th, once we’re received your reflections, you’re name will be entered into a draw.  The winner will receive their choice of one of:  either a 5 class yoga pass active once we can join together for in studio community classes or a private yoga and massage session with Amber.

We would love to hear your feedback along the way, and we do hope you’ll join us on this journey.  To watch Day 1, please click the link below

View video here

Today also marks the 2 year anniversary of when I took over the studio, and became the guardian of our torch.  Thank you for being on this journey with me, I am excited to see how we evolve over time, and grow together as a community.   Tomorrow I will be sharing a loving kindness meditation with you, as my thank you for all of your support.

Yours in health and happiness, with so much love and gratitude,

Amber

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