Back to School

Photo by Raven Eye Photography

The return of children to school provides the opportunity for parents to catch up on some time for themselves. After several months of abandoning our inside routines of gyms, classes and workouts, September invites the forgotten routines back. For some, this comes with rebellion and clinging to our spontaneous selves. For others, the routines of sleep, exercise and regular meals is a welcome relief. Whichever your personality, there are creative ways in which your yoga can be integrated back into your schedule. Personally, I like to mix things up between attending yoga classes, creating my own practice and following classes online.  Here are some guidelines for all three.

1. Attending Yoga Classes
Fernie has a variety of locations offering yoga classes. Newest on the scene is The Castle of First (461 1st Ave). This studio offers yoga, meditation, dance, Tai chi, spin and much more. There is now an amalgamated online payment system. Vitality Fernie (1561A 10th Ave) gives you the diversity of spin, yoga, TRX and more. Their childcare option makes class attendance really smooth for new moms. Essential Yoga Studio  (761 7th Ave) has a wide range of yoga offerings. With multiple classes each day, you can catch a class almost anytime. Evolution Health and Fitness (1192 8th Ave) offers yoga classes post workout, which is a great strength and stretch combo. I recommend trying each of these locations out. Test comfort levels with room temperature, ambience, outside noise levels and most importantly your teacher. There are as many teacher personality types as there are styles of yoga; it’s important to take the time to find the fit that is best for you.

2. Home Practice
If you have always been guided, starting a home practice can be a little daunting. First, begin by establishing your goals and intentions. Donna Farhi (yogini) says, “In truth it matters less what we do in practice than how we do it and why we do it. The same posture, the same sequence, the same meditation done with a different intention takes on an entirely new meaning and will have entirely different outcomes.” Ask yourself, "What is my intention? What do I hope to cultivate through a yoga practice?" This will help you decide what kind of practice to do, and what sort of poses may serve you best. You may be surprised that based on your intentions, your home practice can wind up looking very different than you expected.  

Secondly, allow for change. Life throws us many challenges and it is amazing how better equipped we become when we keep our practice consistent during good days and bad. Some people find it is easy to practice when life is good because it’s fun to get on the mat and celebrate. Others find that when life is good why practice? On the other hand some find the challenge to get on the mat lies during crisis. Others find it is their only source of grounding and emotional control. If you practice no matter what, then you will develop the tools to harness yourself in all situations.

Additional Tips to Creating and Maintaining a Home Practice:
1. Regular time and place.
2. Make your space sacred…don’t let your mat become your dog’s nap spot.
3. Dress for your practice…don’t wear your PJs, wear your yoga clothes.
4. Turn off distractions.
5. Have a pen and paper nearby for thoughts that won’t leave.
6. Create a lesson plan and follow it.
7. If you start “doing” yoga rather than “experiencing,” change it up or take a few days off.
8. Take a moment to feel what the body would like to do next.
9. Explore your creativity and fun. Love yourself enough to see that time for yourself is not narcissistic but in fact selfless. By taking this time, you are ensuring that you are your best self for your families, friends and colleagues.

3. Online Yoga Classes
Practicing yoga online is a continuously growing trend. For many, studio prices are out of reach. For others, contending with traffic or busy schedules to arrive on time can negate the de-stressors they are seeking by attending classes. There are many online options to choose from and just like a good yoga teacher, it is important to hunt around until you find the site that is best for you. yoganetra. com is an online yoga class website starting September 2015.  All classes are filmed right here in Fernie, collaborating with teachers from Alberta and British Columbia.

Remind yourself that heading back to learning is not only for the kids, but also for us adults. In the words of Mr. Einstein, “Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information.”