Because You Matter

Weaving The Threads Of Our Breast Health Through Our Whole Body Wellness

I want to very gently remind you that you matter; every part of you matters – your beautiful whole matters, and you are deserving of care and supportive attention. 

There are many things we can do to optimize the  health of our breasts and our overall wellness, as well as empower ourselves, this is a step on that path

Our breasts feed and nurture life in our infants, have an extensive role in our lymphatic system and offer us wisdom and insight into our hormonal health.  When we look specifically at our breasts, they have a simple anatomical design and quite straightforward needs; however they are often neglected in the overall care of our bodies. This neglect can create; pain, discomfort, lowered self-confidence and often fear. Emotionally our breasts, with their proximity to our heart and our lungs, hold some of our most profound emotions.

Statistics show that many people experience breast concerns at some point in their lifetimes, and that the number of folks that will report these concerns to their primary care giver, or to anyone, is quite low…why?  Perhaps because most of the time breasts don’t receive healthy attention as an important consideration in a persons overall care.  Breasts are often sexualized rather than respected, which gives many people a decreased sense of confidence in voicing any concerns they may have about their breasts.  

As human beings, I was reminded during a program I completed with Sat Dharam Kaur, we have the capacity to tune into our higher consciousness and use our inner light and wisdom to guide our thoughts, words and deeds.  We can choose to be stewards of our health, the health of our families, the earth, other species and future generations, or we can misuse and contaminate our bodies and the resources we’ve been so generously given.

It is an honour to weave the teachings of Debra Curties and her work with breast massage, the work of Sat Dharam Kaur, teachings on self compassion and mindfulness, and my 20 years of learning through workshop facilitation, one – on-one care, yoga and massage with people on their breast health and overall self care journey, into this empowering 6 week experiential program.

Through this process may you become a little more conscious, and walk with greater appreciation, harmony and care in your sacred body on this precious planet, our home.

I would like to acknowledge that as a little girl I lost one of the most important and special women in my life, my Nana, to breast cancer, I also lost one of my dear friends to breast cancer in February of 2022, at the tender age of 37. This offering is created in their honour, and in honour of all the women I’ve been privileged to work with over the past 20 years – your strength and courage are my biggest call to action.

I’m super excited to announce the next session for this 6 week Integrative program will be offered this October, 2022.

Why should you mark your calendars?  Because you matter, your whole body matters.

This program is primarily geared towards breast health, but explores different facets of our overall health and the ways we are woven together through body, mind and spirit.  There is an accessible movement and yoga practice recording sent out each week, in depth handouts for self study, meditations, and a different discussion focus at each live session over the course of the full program.

What can you expect? 6 weeks of focused self care and self love! Our live sessions will be offered virtually though the zoom platform.

  • We’ll also be discussing the connections between your breast health and your whole body
  • Learn and practice yoga and stretching specifically for your hormone and breast health
  • Learn self breast massage and other self care techniques you can put into practice immediately
  • Learn about different oils that help to support your breast health
  • We’ll explore the lymphatic system and how you can optimize the ways it supports you
  • Explore nutritional considerations for our breast health (with a guest speaker)
  • Discuss the emotional aspects of this sacred part of our bodies
  • Connect with community in a safe way
  • Weekly check in/practice sessions
  • Support through reflective practices, exclusive weekly downloadable videos, electronic worksheets, and handouts, and a live 90 minute (optional) weekly discussion where we’ll move our bodies and dive deeper into the material.
  • Ongoing support during the 6 weeks, as well as unlimited access to Amber’s live zoom classes for the duration of the program.

Enrollment in the full program is necessary, as each week we build on the previous weeks material..

There are a maximum number of spots for each session, to maintain a safe space supporting you to show up exactly as you are.

Amber is beyond excited to be offering this very important program and she looks forward to this journey with you…..

Dates: 

Fall Registration open

October 17 – November 21st, 2022 – Monday mornings from 10:30am – 12:00pm EST

Book your spot by clicking on this link

Optional evening offering and next cycle will be held March/April 2023 – Dates will be posted soon

Cost: $180 (+HST)  Includes all materials, downloadable practice videos, handouts and worksheets, weekly live sessions, an unlimited pass for access to Amber’s Live zoom yoga classes valid during the program dates.

Payment is due on registration to hold your spot as spaces are limited.

Refunds (minus 20%) available up to 7 days before program start date, and subject to a 20% admin fee.

In an effort to make this support accessible for all women, I am offering 1 full Scholarship and 1 spot at 50% off of full cost in each session (needs based). Email me at amber@suryadaya.ca for more details and to find out how to apply.

Please help spread the word!

Optional day retreat: A full day of self care practices and time in nature; Saturday, October 1st 10:00 – 4:00 (more details to come)

Cost: $65 (+HST) for paid participants of full program.

$95 (+HST) If space is available, for day retreat only.

Would you like to practice yoga together? My next session (both in person and on zoom) is scheduled for Saturday mornings; July 9th – 23rd,from 9:00 – 10:15 am EST. We’ll be exploring heart focused sequences, and self care to support us through the busier summer months. Registration is necessary, head on over to my schedule and simply click on the dates you’d like to join to reserve your spot!

Testimonials from past participants of Because You Matter

” I can’t sing the praises of this course enough!  It has transformed the way I treat myself and my health, not only through motivating me to take on healthier practices and habits, but also through establishing a stronger mindset on the importance of self care.  I truly looked forward each week to seeing Amber and the others in my group, and cherished that time I could spend with them.  After each class, I always felt rejuvenated, relaxed, and happy.  The reading materials were informative and extremely helpful in incorporating Amber’s teachings and explanations, and the videos helped me to practice at other times.  I’m grateful for this because it allows for the feeling that it doesn’t have to end – that I can continue these healthy habits and involve them in my daily life for a long time to come. “

Jasmin, Almonte, Ontario

“We need more of this!”

CW, Ontario

This is a robust course with so much valuable information to digest, and after 6 weeks of looking forward to seeing Amber, practicing breathing techniques, and learning how I can improve my habits to nourish my own health and well being, I didn’t want it to end!  Needless to say, it was not long enough!    During the class, she is patient and kind, she teaches and also listens, and offers a safe and trusting environment to allow all the members to feel totally comfortable. But for all intensive purposes, the overall balance of the teaching material, mixed with meaningful discussion and practice, created the perfect environment for me to start some excellent habits and motivate me into caring for myself!  I believe the long term benefits will be immense!”

JM, Ontario

How do we show up with our whole selves?

As we deepen our relationship with our self care, we consciously start to  respect that our physical body is the medium we move our gifts through and out into the world.  We need to tend to our physical needs on a daily basis so that we’re able to do what we do in the world – and that is considering our creativity, our passions, our personal pleasures, the ways we’re in service to the earth and the greater collective, as well as our professional, working and personal life responsibilities. When we cultivate more balance in our lives and care for ourselves emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, our inner and outer worlds begin to easefully move into alignment.

Consider how you can stay true to your inner world as you move in the outer world, it is common for folks to shift and change depending on the company they keep – can you be true to your authentic self always? I’m beginning to realize the responsibility we actually have to show up, fully as ourselves in all situations.

Historically, and even now in our present day world, simply being who you are and speaking your truth is certainly not always easy. Moving in an authentic way has led people to bullying, persecution, isolation, ridicule, loss of family, loss of home, and even death – I know this continues seen and unseen, in small and largescale ways. This reality is heartbreaking, and I know we all carry the wounds of our ancestors and of the collective. How do we cultivate more acceptance and understanding of one another to do our part in helping to break these patterns? This is much bigger than we can dive into in this offering, but definitely a pause for reflection. It’s easy to say “just show up, be who you are” – but this is so layered, and it’s important to not bypass the layers.

It takes courage to be true to who you are now, and to stand up for what is meaningful. As we learn to step more fully into ourselves in a grounded way, we to help to heal the past. What needs to change in your external reality to fully honour who you are now, perhaps starting in small ways to step more deeply into your truth.

In your practice today I invite you to explore cat/cow in your body. A seemingly simple movement which holds within it so much potential on our healing journey.  Anatomically this movement is important as it allows the nourishment of cerebralspinal fluid to support the integrity of your nervous system, it helps to maintain flexibility through your spine as well as fluidity in your body – supporting the nerves as they make their journey through your body, and moving in a conscious gentle way will help to decompress your vertebrae.  

Cat cow can also help to release deep seated restrictions in your muscular body, which supports a greater sense of freedom internally. This movement is also energizing, and helps to release congestion and create deep internal space coming into a greater place of balance.  Cat cow invites us to connect with the waters of our bodies, as we move through the wave along our central canal. The more we can find fluidity and space inside and connect to our core – the easier it is to move with authenticity in this life journey.

If you’re working with a journal, I encourage you to grab it before you begin.  Take a few moments in silent observation and simply note the areas of your body you’re holding a little tighter, perhaps experiencing physical discomfort.  When you attune to these parts of you, what are the thoughts or memories that arise?  How can you offer them compassion?

When you move through cat cow, either on hands and knees starting in table top, or in a seated position with your hands on your thighs or shins – we want to initiate the movement from our sacrum (the bone at the base of the spine), moving very slow and subtly to begin – vertebrae by vertebrae – a slight movement forward on the inhale as we create space around the heart, and a gentle movement arching back as we create space between the vertebrae. Staying mindful moving vertebrae by vertebrae, like beads along a mala. Move with the fluidity of water, avoiding hard edges and compression with this movement, but rather welcoming in softness and space – and to learn to listen to what our body holds. Honour the power in the smaller, slower, more subtle movements, this is often when we feel the most profound effects in our practice.

I encourage you to reflect on how you’re feeling after spending some time moving through this exploration.

Please know my support is here, holding you in my heart.

I am grateful you are taking this time to care for your self.

I am grateful for the wisdom of your body, and mine.

I am grateful for the fluid that surrounds and nourishes my brain and my spinal chord, and that I know how to tend to it to support myself – through breath and movement.

I ask you now, what are you grateful for??

Sending you so much love

Amber

close up photo of white petaled flowers

Enrollment is now open for our upcoming fall session of Because You Matter, to find out more details click here

Taking 3 Sacred Breaths

Time in silence has been calling loudly – but rather with the intention to simply listen and bear witness. How often do we do that for ourselves and for others? Sit in silence and bear witness.

I have been teaching alot these days, both online and community classes, immersed in hands on healing sessions, as well moving with 2 groups of incredible and inspiring women through my because you matter women’s health program. It feels good to have this time now, to sit with all of you with a little more spaciousness.

How are you doing? Take a moment and offer yourself this window to check in. I urge you to not modify your answer, or change it to a more desirable response – this is for you – how are you doing in this moment? If we don’t give ourselves regular little check – ins, we contribute to a quicker potential break down.

Sometimes I find it helpful to simply take a few minutes and move through 3 deep breaths. Meggan Watterson offers us a reminder as we breath into our bodies with our first breath, landing into the physical. Our second breath anchors us into our heartspace – connecting to this well of compassion that lives inside each of us, and the deeper authentic parts of you. With our third breath we can ask our question – how am I, this will bring forth a more accurate account of how you’re actually doing, the answer your soul needs you to hear.

I recently came across a beautiful piece in Embers, by Richard Wagamese, which also speaks to this importance.

Me: You always repeat things three times.

Old Woman: Just the important things.

Me: Why? I hear you the first time.

Old Woman: No. You listen the first time. You hear the second time. And you feel the third time.

Me: I don’t get it.

Old Woman: When you listen, you become aware. That’s for your head. When you hear, you awaken. That’s for your heart. When you feel it becomes a part of you. That’s for your spirit. Three times. It’s so you can learn to listen with your whole being. That’s how you learn.

When we come to our breath and awareness with our whole being we support a full and authentic life – that’s a good thing, and that’s the point. Sometimes we spend so much time trying to please others that we don’t even know what the authentic voice that lives inside of us sounds like anymore.

Carving out windows to take 3 intentional breaths is so incredibly important – whenever you remember.

Teaching because you matter has a deep undercurrent of understanding our breast health but it became clear through these past few months, how it’s a program with an even deeper intention to remind us of all the parts of us that are deserving of care and loving attention. Taking those 3 sacred breaths as we settle into our bodies, holds so much potential. The more we can learn about ourselves grounded in compassion, the more we’re able to offer ourselves the care we truly need – and the less likely we are to overstretch ourselves in ways that aren’t supportive. Such a powerful journey, and I am so grateful to the openness of the folks that moved through this first offering with me. I hold the laughter, movement, introspection, tears, deep breaths, sacred stories, and holding safe space for one another so dearly in my heart. Still taking lots of time to reflect and integrate everything I learnt through the process.

This past weekend I said goodbye to the sweetest soul, and as I lay beside him on the grass with the sun shining, witnessing, as he took his last 3 breaths, I was deeply impacted by the reminder of the importance of those 3 breaths. We have a limited amount of time here, in this body, I urge you to listen and to live with your whole being, and know you are very loved.

Before I close, I wanted to share a video with my sweet Solomon. I looked through to find a wee session with Sol and found this shorter practice, made in February of 2021 (so please bear in mind it was from a while ago). A short 10 minute mindful meditation practice, supported with Solomon. Many of you knew him, he was in our family for 16 years, and was the most cuddliest loving cat. I’m grateful for all he taught me, and all he brought to our family.

To all of those we’ve loved, and the threads woven through our lives,

Much love, Amber

xo

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

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

The Wisdom Within

Sometimes we come to yoga simply for the physical benefits, let’s be honest the physical potential within our practice is amazing. We flush our organs, stretch our muscles, lubricate our joints, increase our thoracic capacity, support our full body oxygenation, we strengthen and lengthen, support our hormone health and our lymphatic system – this is only a small list of the potentiality of your practice.

Over time we may get to know our bodies better, by listening to the sensations our bodies send us as we move through our practice. When we really tune in, we realize our practice also has the potential to positively affect our mental and emotional health. We may start to feel more at home inside of ourselves, and more responsive to life rather than reactionary. Yoga, and mindful movement, can offer us another way to experience ourselves in the context of our lives.

As we come to our mats, part of what we may begin to seek is this beautiful invitation for transformation, as we notice the limiting memories and stories we often tend to carry and the ability to learn from them, honour them, perhaps put some down, and create new imprints that instead serve our inner growth.

Our lives consist of a constant series of integrating, taking in, letting go, learning and evolution – well, if we give ourselves permission.

With greater awareness and practice, we are able to begin to recognize and discern past associations that we hold in our bodies as constriction, but we also begin to notice the stories our bodies hold that are in fact expansive and empowering. When we feel safe and supported, our bodies hold such potential as we learn to follow our inherent wisdom and the guidance we’re offered through our physical knowing.

This reflection brings to mind the work of; Candace Pert and her pivotal work in Molecules of Emotion, Peter Levine and his groundbreaking work with Trauma and the Body, Jon Kabat-Zin who changed my life with his work with mindfulness and the body, and Bessel Van Der Kolk in his incredible gift to us The Body Keeps The Score. I am grateful for these works, and countless others, the list is endless.

In yoga, mindful movement, and hands on therapy, we understand that memory isn’t only in the mind. Our bodies, like our minds, hold the imprints of past physical, emotional and psychological experiences – both positive and negative, joyful and traumatic.

The body, when guided with compassion and kindness, also has the intelligence and wisdom to free us from the stories and the experiences we don’t need to carry anymore. Through gentle asana, movement, and compassionate hands on healing work, we have the potential to create space inside of ourselves and welcome in new imprints that support us, rather than hold us back.

Take some time this week to come to your mat, or find a quiet place outside. Perhaps move a little slower, breathe a little deeper, and listen a little more closely to what the wisdom of your body has to offer you. You may want to take some time to write in your journal.

I offer you this reflection with the hopes that you will become more aware of the parts of you that perhaps need some extra compassion and love. I also hope you’re able to become more aware of those places inside of you where you do feel expansive, where your breath flows easefully unobstructed, and where you carry the sacred seeds of potentiality within.

May you move with a gentle heart, and kindness, not only on your mat – but also as you travel through your days.

Love Amber

xo

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 October, 2022.

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

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.

It’s Up To You

Remove the obstacle of what you think you know about yourself and give yourself permission to discover who you really are, now, in this breath, in this chapter of your life.

I feel these last weeks of winter are urging us to embrace the quiet moments of reflection before we transition into Spring. Slowly, well for us here in Ontario, winters ice will begin to break up – the week we’re moving through is definitely requiring a slower rhythm with ice covered roads and snow once again falling outside my window.

As we prepare for this transitional time, I wonder if you’re able to consider where your energy may be blocked, what patterns keep coming up and what can and will you do about them.

You see the good thing about blockages, stress and stagnation is that they have the ability and potential to move through us – the hard part – is the responsibility to invoke change lays in your hands – noone can do that for you.

Did you know that by simply taking a big deep breath you’re already moving things through you, encouraging inner nourishment, space and movement – by a simple full deep breath.

Think about the ways YOU move YOUR energy. Now, go one step further – write them down, and even one step further – pick one and do it – right now ! You are capable of so much more than you think, and your body is here to help you find equilibrium and if properly supported bring you to homeostasis.

Sometimes it may not feel that way, but if we give ourselves opportunities to thrive we actually do. The opportunities I’m talking about here start with the simple ones really, but often the first we neglect – you know daily doses of enough hydration, proper oxygenation (through supportive breath rhythms), sunshine, walking through supportive doors, and the most important – love.

So what are you going to do today? The choice is up to you.

With so much love, and support on your journey

Amber

xo

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.

Harmonizing With The Elements

Lighting the fire that warms my hearth and my home, I give thanks. In the silence of the morning I hear the call to head out to the forest, again I give gratitude, this time for my willingness to surrender to that call. Honouring each footfall, being mindful of the contact points, hearing the crunching of snow underfoot.

Walking amongst my elders; the white pine, the birch and the fir trees, I bring my attention inwards, reflecting on how we are composed of the same energy and are enlivened by the same cycles as our mother earth. This is an important realization in supporting our responsability, but also infusing that responsability with joy, as we nurture our reciprocal relationship with our natural world.

The movement of life force through us is also what nourishes the grass as it grows, the stars as they shine, the roots to grow deep into the earth, and the waters to flow.

On a yogic path we call this life force prana, it infuses your body with health and vitality everytime you move through the flow of every breath. Your breath is a gift, remember that, and give yourself permission to feel this sacred rythm moving inside of you, and moving all around you.

Through breath, as well as movement based practices, we can harmonize this energy within ourselves. Offering ourselves this time can bring us naturally into greater alignment with the land, the waters, the winds; our natural world around us. Likewise, the more time we spend in nature, the more we bring balance, nourishment and a sense of equanimity into ourselves – in body, mind and spirit.

As we attune to the rhythms of the earth we also naturally start to feel more stable in ourselves, more supported, and we begin to feel a greater sense of trust – this also leads to feeling more at peace deep inside as we invoke our inherent ability to heal.

Carve out some time to quietly sit by the water, or at the roots of a tree. Walk through the forest and be mindful of your steps. Take some time and journal your reflections, notice how you feel, and know you are very supported.

Much love

Amber

If you’d like to join Amber for her virtual movement and yoga classes you can find out more here

Supporting eachother on this human journey, our Soul Wisdom cards were created with the intention to help you find your way to wholeness.

Karma Class For Interval House

For the past 3 years, since I started Surya Daya, we’ve held a karma class for Interval House the week leading up to the holidays.  I can’t imagine this year going by without holding that safe container to help support a very needed resource in our community – as well to offer you a peaceful practice of self care to nurture YOU during the holiday season.  

I know this year continues to be a different year in so many ways, and I sense we all need a little extra support. The strength within our community has only grown, and the realization of how important it is to reach out when help is needed.  

This year I’ll be offering 2 special classes for Interval House.

The first class is an in-person gentle yoga class planned for Monday, December 20th from 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Old Town Hall, in Almonte. This special class will also draw on the energy of solstice to support us for this nurturing hour of intentional time on our mats.

I’ll be offering a second class this year as a gift in honour of Interval House which will arrive as a virtual recording. You’ll have access to the video through to January 5th. All registrants will receive an email with a link for the video on Friday, December 24th at 12:00pm, a practice you can access anytime between the 24th and January 5th, to help support you over the holidays, in the comfort of your own home. I hope you’ll join me as we’ll move through a nourishing restorative flow of movements and breathwork.  

The cost to register is free, but I encourage you to take some time to reflect on the importance of Interval House in our community.   In years past we have collected items for Interval House, but this year we’ll be holding this sacred space inviting you to hold the women and children, and all the supports and services at Interval House in your heart. These special classes will also give you the space to compassionately take some time in silence, to hold in your heart, all the people in your own circle of care that perhaps need a little extra support this year (that may include you).  

If you’re able I encourage you to consider making a donation, suggested amount is $10. How can you do that? You can bring cash to the live class on December 20th, you can donate directly to Interval House, or you can send an e-transfer to info@suryadaya.ca with Interval House in the message. Once all donations are in we’ll get it to them to help support their work and the people they offer respite to.  

Sadly, this year domestic violence numbers have increased and funding for these needed resources in our community have decreased.   After rent is accounted for, 100% of all proceeds will go directly to Interval House.   We hope you’ll carve out this time to receive the nourishment of our practice together, taking time to be still and connect with the peace within your heart.

  To register for the Monday night in person class, December 20th, at the Old Town Hall in Almonte, click here (preregistration is required, and COVID protocols based on current regulations will be in place) .

To register to receive the link for the recorded class on Friday afternoon, December 24th, click here.

Remember, we’re all in this together,

With so much love, and gratitude,

Amber

Honouring The Men In Your Life – Yoga For A Cause

I started holding karma classes when I ran a yoga studio, many moons ago.

What is a karma class you may wonder, they are heart guided and soulful yoga and movement classes held for a cause.

The teacher donates their time and their teaching, and the cost of the class is by donation. After rent is accounted for, all the remaining proceeds raised go directly to the organization or the family in need. Karma classes are fueled by love, and a genuine desire to help, to do our part in service.

These classes are also a beautiful way to help make yoga more accessible for folks, as they are by donation. The suggested amount is $10, but no donation is too small.

Join me for an hour of soothing yoga on Monday, November 29th, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, at the Old Town Hall – in support of Movember, honouring all the men in your life.

Covid protocols will be in place, and registration is necessary as in person spots are limited to ensure everyone feels safe and supported.

This felt like an important month to start offering karma classes again. November is a month you may notice more folks are growing their moustaches out, and you may already be familiar with Movember, or perhaps this is new for you. Movember is a global initiative to help increase awareness and support mens health – mentally and physically. As a fiercely protective mother of 2 very young boys, personally growing up with a father who struggled and continues to struggle, and surrounded by so many amazing men in my own life; this care and concern runs deep.

Men are dying on average 5 years earlier than women, and for largely preventable reasons. A growing number of men – around 10.8 million globally – are facing life with a prostate cancer diagnosis. Globally, testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men. And across the world, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 69% of all suicides.

Movember addresses this crisis on a global scale by funding ground-breaking projects all over the world, engaging men where they are to understand what works best and accelerate change. Movember unites experts from around the world to collaborate on projects that will fundamentally change the way men in need are treated and supported. To ensure the impact is significant, far-reaching and long-lasting, Movember prioritizes funding for the three biggest health issues facing men: mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

The inspiration of Movember, and holding classes like these, create a ripple effect with the intention to increase awareness, and for everybody to receive the support they need to thrive, no-one should get left behind.

Jay Young (my sweet husband, and 5-year Movember Fundraiser)

As a father of two young boys, this cause is close to my heart. I have raised funds with my boys as my motivation, who inspire me to consider the future of male health; my brothers and friends, who have suffered some of the challenges that Movember is working to address; and my father, who died prematurely from cancer.

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health and this Movember, as in Movembers past, I’m joining them. Join me to improve the mental and physical health of all young boys and men into the future. Together we can make a difference for men’s health – in prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Help me stop men dying too young. Thank you for your support.

We hope you’ll come out and help us support this incredible organization and the work they’re doing.

Our class will be held on Monday, November 29th, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.  Amber and Jay Young will be leading this class together.  We’ll have some time for a brief discussion to start our class, as Amber slowly guides you into an accessible gentle yoga class suitable for beginners and experienced yoga practitioners, and we’ll end with an extended relaxation.  This class is for everyone, remember we’re all in this together.

To reserve your spot you can click here or send me an email at amber@suryadaya.ca. Details and Covid protocols will be emailed to you after you register.

Jay is growing his annual Movember mustache. Please check out his link below, or come out on the 29th.  This class is by donation,and no donation is to small – perhaps your donation is simply coming out and dedicating your practice to someone in your life who needs a little extra support.

Jay’s Movember link

You can learn more about Movember here

Mark your calendars for the following upcoming monthly karma classes at the Old Town Hall in Almonte, led by Amber:

Monday, December 20th, 6:30 – 7:30 for Interval House

Monday, January 27th, 6:30 – 7:30 pm for The Lanark County Food Bank

The Thread Of Letting Go

The moon transitions from dark to full as we honour the rhythms of the Earth, moving in cycle.

This time of year, and this particular turn of the wheel, is a potent time to acknowledge the layers we’re ready to shed.

Endings and beginnings, as we move through the cycles of our lives. Loosening the grip of our past, to welcome in what lays ahead.

As the weather shifts, I wonder what you can put down in order to dive a little deeper into the introspective months of hibernation approaching.

Last week the sacred thread of Samhain and Dia De Los Muertos weaved its way through us, taking a moment to pause and remember those whom we have lost, those who have walked before us, honouring the spirits of the land, and saying our silent prayers of gratitude for the guidance they offer us when we’re quiet enough to listen.

As I prepared for my Saturday morning class this past weekend, the theme of grief kept arising – perhaps the grief found in remembering as a way to hold sacred the necessary time to heal and to also celebrate that which we love fiercely. I honoured its call as we moved through our sequence with the thread of letting go, in so many different aspects of our lives.

I read an excerpt from this piece from Mary Oliver, I come to often as a reminder. I feel inspired to share the full poem with you here:

When Death Comes

When death comes, like the hungry bear in autumn;

When death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut; when death comes like the measle pox;

When death comes

like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity wondering:

What is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,

and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver

We honour it all as we move forward in our lives. This is how we continue to take the fullness of the world into our arms.

Resting on your belly, feeling your hip bones grounded, feeling the support of the earth beneath you. In the stillness, Cobra asks to be explored.

Your hands planted firmly beneath your shoulders, as you lengthen and expand starting with your neck all the way down your spine, invite space inside of yourself. You may find just your head and shoulders lift off, honouring the subtleties of your practice. Close your eyes and stretch, move with reverence and respect, lifting your upper body only if it feels supportive. Invite your breath into new spaces inside of yourself – or spaces forgotten, as you exhale surrendering, allowing the layers to shed.

Take your time with this practice.

Reflect on how you would feel if you could finally put all the layers of restriction down, perhaps layers of a lifetime.

Can you invite this intentional letting go to be a part of your yearly commitment to yourself, breathing yourself anew to allow the healing months of winter to support you as you grow and evolve.

What does the symbol of a snake mean for you?

What are you ready to let go of, remember chapters ending mean new chapters beginning. What are you ready to welcome in?

Sending you so much love on your journey

Amber

xo

In case you missed my Autumn newsletter, you can get caught up on all my latest news here

If you’d like to join me virtually for a class you can register by clicking on the days you’d like to join, and you can purchase class passes here

Supporting you with some soul nourishment and self-reflection, Jessica and I created our soul wisdom cards, made with love from our hearts to yours.  Find out more here.

You can also send me an email amber@suraydaya.ca to find out about upcoming in person offerings, including the return of karma classes.