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Category Archives: community outreach

Did you know that we have a volunteer program? It’s called Open Arms and our teachers travel to the far reaches of the city to teach yoga in community centres.

Happy Halloween!

“Halloween is huge in my house and we really get into the “spirits” of things.” 

~ Dee Snider

(Happy Halloween! Keep safe and stay dry!)

The Meaning of Community.

photo: via pinterest

Sangha (Pali: सन्घ saṅgha; Sanskrit: संघ saṃgha; Wylie: ‘dus sde) is a word in Pali and Sanskrit meaning “association”, “assembly,” “company” or “community” and most commonly refers in Buddhism to the monastic community of ordained Buddhist monks or nuns. This community is traditionally referred to as the bhikkhu-sangha or bhikkhuni-sangha. Within this community those who have attained a higher level of realisation are referred to as the ariya-sangha or “noble Sangha”. (Wikipedia)

During last month’s Sangha gathering, we set the foundation of peace, for of our monthly meetings as a community. 

We asked you to open your minds (and your hearts) to consider what you were bringing into the space; creating a canvas of sound with our voices through chanting, exploring the meaning of ahimsa (non-harming) and satya (truth) in the context of community, weaving a rich tapestry of how we define community, using Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as our guidelines on how we gather.

We asked you to step into the beginner’s mindset and to consider the value of having people around you that support you, engaging in the ancestral tradition of Sangha.

The upcoming Sangha will build on the ideals of creating conscious community by exploring what it means to be more fully alive and how the practice of yoga directly supports this process.

As a building community, we regularly engage in work that supports personal growth and evolution;at it’s most basic stripped-down philosophical essence, yoga is a practice of polishing and clearing away what obstructs a full aliveness and presence to Nature.

This practice needs to address all levels of our being in order to be ultimately nature-connecting. Just physical practice alone, however vital, will not build greater resiliency and spiritual transformation, unless combined with ways to regularly process difficult emotions, such as anger and grief.

Waking up, being more fully present and engaged in community, requires regular connection to both our own nature and the bigger context of Nature around us. Although this connection to nature is something that is ever-present, it often tends to be obscured.

How is it then that we can reveal what it is to be more fully alive and connected to a deeper sense of meaning?

Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, October 3rd, from 7:30pm-9pm, for our second Sangha gathering. 

Written by Scott Davis & Bryonie Wise

Planting Seeds in Paradise & the Joy of Growing: A Testimonial on the Transformative Power of A Yoga Retreat

image: Enkel Dika

“We are either growing or dying there is no in between.”

I’m not sure where I first heard that little aphorism, but it has certainly stuck with me over the years.

Even at times when my life and yoga practice seemed static and stagnant, times of frustration and uncertainty when I had lost faith in the yogic process and even the hope for a more harmonious future, one simple truth remained: no matter how wealthy or poor, young or old, clever or dull, flexible or stiff, strong or weak, calm or tense, happy or sad and inspired or depressed we may be, it seems that we are all subject to the fundamental law of constant transformation, known as change.

Change in itself is neither positive nor negative; the never-ending dance of creation and destruction known as change is simply a necessary and natural universal force.

Like the push and pull of gravity, the rise and fall nature of the breath, our subjective positive or negative, painful or pleasurable experience, here on earth, will be determined by our decision to either embrace or resist change.

If unwanted or fear based tension is the result of resisting natural forces, then our experience of freedom, joy and the fulfillment we feel as we grow and evolve into a more conscious and loving person are all dependent on our ability to embrace change. For us to embrace change and engage with the universe, in this amazing path of conscious evolution, we must first be able to open up and trust the process of transformation.

Every tree was once a seed that had the courage to take a leap of faith and open to the possibility of growth; of course, while every tree was once a seed, not every seed will become a tree.

If a seed opens in barren soil without access to water or sunlight, then that seed cannot grow. But if seed chooses to open in deep, rich fertile soil, where it will be bathed in both pure water and radiant sunlight, well then, that wise and courageous seed is almost guaranteed to engage in the process of constant positive transformation as its roots grow ever deeper and its branches reach ever higher.

This is the reward for showing the courage to trust and the wisdom to choose the richest and most fertile soil for that crucial and delicate first opening.

The roots of my yoga practice run deep and the experience is constantly transforming, expanding and growing, each day, every day.

photo: flickr/Mish Sukharev

But as complex and expansive as my relationship to the amazing art of yoga is today, it all really began with my first weeklong immersive yoga retreat in an amazing place (just like Blue Spirit in Nosara, Costa Rica). It was in a place of natural beauty away from the demands and stresses of my daily city life that I made my decision to trust, open my heart to process of yoga and life.

And, each year, I return to that initial experience to renew my commitment to trust and to embrace the universe in the transformational dance of change.

So let’s be courageous and wise and embrace the power of conscious change and evolution with Pat Harada Linfoot and I in Costa Rica, in March 2013!!

Join us for a week long immersive yoga intensive, exploring asana, philosophy, meditation, community and our ability to trust and change, all while being bathed in sunlight and surrounded by the natural beauty of an ocean front tropical paradise!

To grow strong and tall and to keep growing, a tree needs deep roots—and there is no place on the planet that provides a richer, more fertile ground to feed and grow the tree of our yoga practice.


Written by Jesse Enright

Jesse Enright’s teaching style combines deep breath work, powerful flowing movements and meticulous alignment with a fun and lighthearted approach. He emphasizes anatomical education to both empower and instill in students a love and respect for the amazing design of the human body. He has been a student of hatha yoga for fifteen years and a full time yoga instructor for the past twelve. He has studied and practiced under senior instructors in India, Australia, Canada and the U.S.. He was a full-time instructor at the Downward Dog Yoga Centre for five years and completed their teacher training and apprenticeship program in 2000.

Jesse has completed additional teacher training programs in Vijnana Yoga with Gioia Irwin and Yoga Therapeutics with Doug Keller, trained in Craniosacral Therapy and is certified in the Muscle, Balance and Function system of biomechanical re-education. He has developed extensive curriculum and taught alignment and anatomy for teacher training programs since 2003. In 2004, Jesse applied his keen interest in anatomy, biomechanics and hatha yoga to found SmartYoga, an approach dedicated to an objective and scientific study of the amazing technology of yoga postures and their effect on the human body. He has a private yoga therapeutics practice working with individuals, doctors, massage therapists and chiropractors to develop personalized yoga programs for people with pain and injury.

Happy End of Summer!


photo: Bryonie Wise

As we soak in the last sweet days of summer, we give thanks to our community—to you—for your dedication, your trust and for your constant support. Thank you for unrolling your mat with us, each day and every day, for breathing, moving, sweating, creating space, experimenting, laughing, crying, sitting and om’ing…and for blessing us with the honor of your presence.

Happy long weekend, yogis…we look forward to seeing you in September…a new schedule and new adventures await!