Happy Valentines Day Loves! What a fitting blog post for today- and no, its not about couple love- rather, one of my favourite things to talk about…self love! (Don’t get all dirty on me LOL) One of my favourite things to do for self love, is to take a step back and recharge. This also includes a practice near and dear to my heart…YOGA! So, a little R+R + Yoga is exactly what I did!
I had just spent my last weekend in Victoria BC- and for a very different reason then my last visit! The last time I went to UVIC was over a few years ago and I was visiting a friend on campus. All of us just got completely wasted, and I actually have very little memory of that University! Fast forward to now, sober all weekend 🙂 (woot woot!) attending the Victoria Yoga Conference! What an phenomenal weekend! I did not think it would be as great as it was. I have been to a few yoga weekends before, however this one takes the cake (so far)! Where do I begin… the beginning I guess 😛
My weekend started off with meeting my sister from another mister, Karen from 100 mile. If you are unfamiliar with her, she is a bad ass lady boss who has opened the first yoga studio in hundy! Her, along with three other amazing souls- Tee, Sherry and Deanna met me on Friday morning in their cute little silver Subaru and off we tootled to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen. Everything was smooth sailing, and we got there early enough to get amazing drinks from this juice company called JUSU… Have you heard of this company before?
I had never seen it. As you guys know, I am on my candida diet (which I derailed only slightly from this past weekend) and I can’t have coffee. Most days its ok.. but sometimes I would just loooooove a cup. Anyways, Jusu had amazing alternatives. One was called Chaga Charger- (Chaga is a super food mushroom that you can make as tea and it has so many health benefits) it had almond creamer, cacao, butter, chaga mushroom, coconut butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, mesquite, vanilla and sea salt! OMG YUM- Karen got the last one of those… it was so good. I had something similar. I later found out during the weekend, that JUSU is a Canadian company, and it also has a BODY component. They take all the used pulp from their juices and use them as beauty products!! OMG LAVEEE! So obviously I bought their amazing body lotion and shampoo! I digress, I am getting a head of myself.
We started off our Friday night with the opening ceremonies… giving thanks to the native wet lands we get to experience during the weekend. We also had some yoga instructors speak, including a 86 year old woman (who I hate myself for, for forgetting her name now) SO INSPIRING! Then, as if it couldn’t get any better… they had an acro yoga performace from this cute couple! They were SO amazing (it is a dream of mine to do that with my boyfriend) and at the end, he got down on one knee and proposed! Gahhhh, my heart. If you want to see their performance, a video is on my facebook page.
Saturday was the bomb! I met up with Haley; an old high school and cheerleading friend that I haven’t seen in a few years. We learnt a few new arm balances in our advanced classes that we took with amazing teachers; Christine Price Clark and Ryan Leier– oh and I learnt a fun fact! Headstand 3-5 minutes a day has a lot of health benefits. Go ahead and Google it… otherwise this would become a totally different blog post. 😛 I know I am making headstand everyday a goal to incorporate into my life. I also shopped till I dropped ( I’ll do a post later on what I bought and how it is working for me, because it is skincare 🙂 ) and even fell asleep in savasana… it was awesome. We also spend Saturday learning new chants, and a lot of om(ing) which was quite amazing I must say. It has inspired me to start doing more of that on my own and really get back to my own home practice.
Sunday was an even more beautiful day… we took a teacher course on how to teach mindful vinyasa with Natalie Rousseau, took probably the most amazing flow EVER, with two beautiful teachers, Tracey Noseworthy and Maria Filippone , and learned about malas and how to meditate with them. A real amazing moment happened in that class. We were learning with Rachel from Shanti Collective (she makes beautiful malas), when Karen asked how long can we pray and use one mala to manifest what we want. Rachel said we can use them as long as we want and can cleanse them when we want to manifest something else (they hold onto energy just like crystals). Then an older woman in the circle shared that she would love her own mala but questioned why malas were so expensive- the one she was eyeing up at the conference was around $170, and she just did not have those funds. Rachel explained the time and intention that goes into them, along with the prices of beads. She said there are lots of malas in the lower price ranges. Karen (the gem that she is) then decides to get up and gift her beautiful mala that had manifested her best year yet (in 2017) to this woman who totally deserved it. Eeeeek, so much love in the room in that moment- I am so happy I was there to witness it.
Rachel also guided us in a meditation chant with our malas. There are 108 beads on every mala (tons of significance to the number 108), and malas are used to count repetitions of mantras- short sacred phrases. You can use ones from Buddhism, or even your own like ” I love myself and I am awesome.” We held our malas, in-between our index and middle fingers and began to use our thumbs to count the beads and pull them towards us and we recited the mantra for the day. We did this 108 times, traveling around the necklace until we reached the guru bead. Our mantra was “Om Mani Padme Hum”, which in short translates to “praise the jewel in the lotus”. These six syllables mean you can transform your impure body, speech and mind to a pure one of a Buddha. You shouldn’t seek this enlightenment outside of yourself, as you have everything within. It is said that all beings naturally have the Buddha nature in their own continuum. I am still very new and learning to understand what mantras are all about. If you would like to learn more about this particular mantra, click here.
Our epic weekend ended with one of my favourite teachers, Eoin Finn. Every time I take his class it is always so awesome. We start and finish all huddled up together. Our class theme was about our inner light and awaking that light. At the end when we all came together again, we were holing our own light in our hands. I could literally feel the magnetic pull between my hands. It was so powerful, tears were coming down my face. It was just such a magical moment. Then we began to spread our light and love to everyone around us and finished together all embracing. It sounds kinda out there, but honestly when you are in it, there is nothing else like it. We are so blessed to be living this life here and now. If you want to take one of his classes or courses, go to blissology.com
Between the epic two days of yoga, and the funniest times in the hotel with the girls, I have to say it was a stand up weekend. Everything fell into place and was perfect. One thing I took away with me this weekend was, life really is all about who you surround yourself with. Your vibe attracts your tribe and life really gets better when you up your vibrations and frequency into the higher levels. If you are struggling, see who you are surrounding yourself with. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so make sure those people are awesome and that they have your back.
Most importantly, make sure you have your own back. I am going to leave you with an email I received from the Universe today, on Valentines Day. Whether you have a significant someone or not, in the end, its just you baby. Make sure you love yourself today.