Yin and Reconciliation Leadership Retreat with Chastity Davis

Getting away from routine and having a moment to be cared for, nutured, feed and supported to deep dive into healing and reconciliation work is sometimes necessary when the time and circumstances allow.  A retreat can be thought of a modern break and reset,  like moment where the daily happenings are cared for, so you can let your emotions, body and mind re order and re structure and give yourself the space to craft new narratives, 

This retreat will encompass yin yoga, leadership workshops, free time,  peaceful walks, three meals a day and the coming together of great minds and hearts for healing and cultivating new ways we show up in the world and in our work. 

Join Chastity Davis and Danielle Hoogenboom for a special Yin Yoga Leadership Training over 3 nights and 4 days at Bodega Ridge Resort on Galiano Island, BC.

We are hosting our nature retreat in the traditional and unceeded territory of the Hul’qumi’num People, where the Penalkut Tribe have resided since time immemorial.

Join us for this retreat and training that will disrupt, interrupt and broaden our ways, worlds, thinking and forms. Yin has the ability to cultivate transformative change and asks the major question " What do you need to reconcile in yourself?  Healing our own inner wounds is a warrior way that is long overdue and calling you deeply. Let yin yoga guide you in your own time and way as you reveal, reorder and re-narrative the tales in and around you. 

Yin Yoga allows charges, stuck energy, old holding patterns and new awareness to enter the lands of your form. How do we acknowledge and greet these messages in our forms will guide and direct the next steps of our path. What does healing mean to you?

This course counts as a 20 Hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training and includes a certificate of completion under Love Light Yoga School. If you are interested in completing your full 200 hour Yoga Teaching Training, these hours count towards that or as CEU for existing teachers.

We will have two yin yoga classes a day, workshops on healing and heart centred leadership with three amazing vegan meals with an incredible view.   The early bird rate is $1222. 

A deposit of $444 will hold your spot and can be made here. This is a course for all levels and areas of interest.  Any questions or requests for special rooms, please write danielle@lovelightyoga.com

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Yin and Distillation Vibes

The slow experiment of distillation is so mesmerizing. Not only in the scents and textures of wildcrafted nature, but the process of time and the elements interacting and all the people needed for all the parts and pieces.  I can’t help but think about distillation differently and this idea of whole plant and full distillation. Its so beautifully yin, the process to collect, prep and distill. The time around the prep centre, sometimes making giant messes, telling stories, sharing meals and feeling infused by the sure presence of plant matter.  Its been a great joy to share space with Kingston friends, community kids and the regular farm boy crew and others that pass by.

 When we think of meditation, I think this idea of sitting quiet and alone with the eyes closed, really devalues these living meditations. These preparations and meditations that bring your mind to another space, your nose picking up the aromatic plant prep, the way your hands have to work and focus to prep. Its such a wonderful space to be. And then TIME. The distillation takes anywhere 3-16 hours depending on the material and our desired outcome.  HOW YINNIE! And I love this process here at the farm. Commercial oil manufactures mostly do the big and fast push and stop the distillation after the most oil pushes out. But here, as an artisan, patient and whole distillation process. We let the process run so that they many levels of oils can rise and mix. WE turn it off when its totally stops pushing oil. 

I love this process, not the fast yang, quick, give it to me now oils…but the slow and patience, the making and magic, the essence of time is the magic ingredient in Yin Yoga and essential distillation. Even the oils as they sit over time, change in essence, colour and smell. Time is such an under appreciated power. It is  totally out of your control, but your relationship to it, your patience with it is your resposniltity. 

The power of the oils are ever more refining the power of our senses, calling our nose to wake up and find the layers and levels, the hints and subtly. Since being at the distillery for the last two months, I can definitely feel the power of the bold changes in my ability to smell oils in their diversity, I smell the scents of the world me in such a different way. Its like learning to flex the smelling muscle.  MY teacher and friend Agape says, if you can smell the essential oils, they are working. I can’t also help but think about how many scents and smells we exposure ourselves to on the daily. In our homes, places of work and community. We truly don't yet feel the power and purpose of essential oils and their ability to heal make us well, more distilled to your truest essences and abilities. 

We would love to host you at next series on the farm. We have a series of weekend courses coming up in St. Mary Jamaica and would love for you to come along. 

 

Check out our Essential Oil Workshop Series this spring and summer in St. Mary, Jamaica. 

Introduction to Essential Oil Distillation: April 14-15th, 2018

Distilling Cultivated and Wildcrafted Plants: April 21-22, 2018

Distilling Essential Oils of Jamaica's Spices: May 12-13, 2018

The Do's and Don't of Hydro Distillation: May 26-27, 2018

The Magic of Co-Distillation: June 9-10, 2018

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LLY hOMies and Testimonials

Starting a series to share stories and yinpressions from some of our past trainings and offerings so ones can get a feel about  Kristin Kowalko

 Kristin is Kwakwaka'wakw and member of the Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw First Nations on her mothers side and of mixed European heritage on her fathers side. She currently lives and works on the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish people (also known as Vancouver B.C.) where she works as a Social Worker supporting youth and families. Kristin is in the ongoing process of learning and teaching Yin Yoga in both her Social Work practice and to the greater yoga community and believes deeply in the power of body based movement to heal our bodies and minds. 

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"Danielle's Yin Yoga Teacher Training was life changing. It's been 3 months since the training and I am still processing and thinking about all the topics we covered. This training has helped me delve deeper into my Social Work practice with youth, as well as give me the tools to teach Yin to those I work with in my Social Work practice and the general yoga community. Danielle is more than a Yin Yoga teacher, she is a revolutionary with a keen sense of social justice, a powerful healer, a knowledge keeper, an artist, a philosopher, and a warm friend. I recommend trainings with Danielle if you want to learn more about Yin Yoga and learn more about yourself in a safe and supportive environment."

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Poses for Power and Peace: A Tiny Class Blog with Dia and Danielle

 

Tiny Yoga Class: Poses for Peace and Power

A Blog with Dia Penning and Danielle Hoogenboom

Yin Yoga and Social Justice: September 23-28th at Hollyhock Cortes.
 

Yin is always in relationship to something else, the b side, or heads to tails. Yin is feminine, yielding, solitary and fluid. It is the antidote to the fast pace of over performing and over doing.

Yin works to establish balance, there can be no good without bad, joy without sadness, or justice without understanding injustice. Without the opposite to act as a measure how do we know when something is happening?

Cultivating peace is the development of internal strength, the creation of internal resources in order to show up in the world in the best way possible. Internal peace establishes power to connect, to be in community with people in your physical as well a virtual world. In order to shift systems that maintain inequity, one must look internally at the individual ways in which they participate in oppression. Starting with an exploration of honesty and non-violence, how might one start to transform the internal and external actions in the world?

Through this tiny yoga class, we explore poses and music to cultivate internal power.  Internal resources allow one to show up peacefully, beginning to shift broken systems and establish a world that works for everyone.

Playlist

Cold Little Heart, Michael Kiwanuka

The Soil, unspoken words

Thank you very much, Rising Appalachia

REd, Tribe Called Red, Red

Around my way, Lupe Fiasco

Gambia, Sona Jobarteh

 

Child’s pose: 6 minutes

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Taking a pause to retract inward, retreat and remember is an important piece of developing power. Think of this child’s pose as a returning to the beginning, starting with new eyes and allowing all the systems to settle and set a new. Each individual body is built so differently. Bones, mobility and limitations make each shape different, yin is not only about the shape. Yin is also about the energy, intention, space and peace-making that comes when one stills and slows down. Yin is about releasing the tension and allowing things to be and unfold as they are.  

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Child’s pose is a great pose for anytime of the day. Modify the width between the knees depending on what feels right for you and your body. Changing the tuck or tilt of the tail will shift how the front body feels, so keep moving and exploring until you feel it to be right. Add props under your chest to lift and raise the ground to meet you, or add props close to the backs of the knees to remove pressure or discomfort. Rest on your forehead or a cheek (changing half way through) on a bolster, block, blanket, stacked hands or floor. Find the most comfortable place for your arms, forward, back or under the body.

 

Be flexible and allow yourself to trust your own yintuition!

 

Square

3 min each side
 

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Start in a cross legged seat. Consider adding a cushion, pillow or block for height for your hips to help tilt the pelvis forward a bit. This will make easier to sit and to allow you to work shins and ankles forward. Play with the distance between the knees and feeling into the outer hips, move your knees closer together and then further apart. Where do you feel a sensation you can sit with?   The structure of your form will dictate the shape that you take, it’s your job to explore and not to push or force. You can also add props under the knees, or thighs or the ankles. Some people may stack the ankles and knees, but please don’t feel like there is a ‘goal’ shape in mind. The sensations will change if you start to lean forward, while still keeping the bum and weight of the pelvis rooted. Pay attention that the knees and hips are not complaining or forced. Yin Yoga focuses on balancing needs of the whole and listen to even the smallest physical needs.

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Lunges

4 min each side
 

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This is a shape that is both empowering, roaring, as well as intimidating! The powerful aspects of peace often come after the initial entry into the chaos. How can we know peace? There has to be something to compare it to. Lunges, often called Dragons in Yin Yoga, are some of the most potent shapes. Remind yourself in these variations that its those that exhibit the most amount have strength are the ones that have walked thru the greatest challenges. Remember, while shapes feel so different and intense, it is just compared to our modern lifestyles and sitting in chairs.  

 

Start from hands and knees, step one foot forward. Make sure that your front foot and back knee are about outer hips distance apart. Place more weight on the upper part of the back knee, so you feel like you are pulling the tissues of that back thigh forward as you drop your pelvis. Place the front knee over top the front ankle will give you a good amount of stability. Consider adding props under your hands to lift your chest, or chose to fold forward. Play with variations while exploring sensation and have no expectations. Yin is not an assumption or plan, it is an experience and relationship between parts and your ability to both feel and adapt in each moment. Yin is adaptation, meeting sensation and recognizing your habits and patterns. Yin is developing inner resources to allow internal shift and external change.

 

Savasana

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Rest. Melt. Breathe.

Calling all rebels, leaders, healers, seekers and knowers. How do we confront and contain our energy, while making our bodies conduits for change? What does it take to create change, both internal and external? Let’s gather together to explore the complex, awkward, covert, and paradox as medicine for change. Free the tension in your body and spirit, allowing space to renew, refresh and see with new eyes.


Navigating our changing world and living a life of equity and social justice can be challenging. Like yoga, social justice requires practice in order to overcome long-held habits. Bringing our contemplation and yoga practices into our work, relationships and communities, allows a deeper examination of the privileges, biases, and structures that keep inequity in place.

During this 5-day program we will demonstrate how focusing on energy meridians and our physical bodies and sensations can serve as an example for energy changes in our organizations and communities. We will examine how attention and intention align with impact; how changes in behaviour create changes in interpersonal relationships, community interaction, and larger social structures.

The hours count as CEU with Yoga Alliance, or can applied towards the completion of LLY 200 Yin Yoga School.

Dia Penning is the founder of Equity Collective and the Director of Curriculum at World Trust Educational Services. She dances in the intersections of art, yoga, and social justice. A yoga practitioner for over 20 years, she discovered her love of yoga through a book she checked out from a local library. Dia supports students in slowing down, examining limiting patterns, and exploring creativity. She views yoga as a tool for social change, integrating it into her work as a social justice coach and curriculum developer, by encouraging a deep exploration of structural inequity through personal transformation and paradigm shift.

Dia has held leadership positions with the San Francisco Arts Commission, The Center for Innovation in Technology and Education at Columbia College Chicago, and the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts. With a Master in Interdisciplinary Arts, Dia is a connector. She draws together, ideas, people, thoughts, and feelings by using breathwork, the arts, media literacy, and strategic dialogue. This approach gets at the heart of assumptions and habitual behaviour. She works with teams, over time, to assuage their fear of change by building ideas, like blocks, and giving people time to reflect, respond, and question.

Dia is a mother, yogi, artist, activist, lover, teacher and student. She recognizes that her students share similarly complex identities and strives to meet them where they are at. theequitycollective.com

Danielle Hoogenboom founded Love Light Yoga as an expression of her yoga practice and creative interests both on and off the mat. She is passionate about yin yoga and its ability to heal, change and transform ourselves and the world around us. Believing that all people are invited to the healing of yoga, Danielle teaches a diverse schedule of classes and workshops that range from the practical theory to the mystical and sacred aspects of yoga. She is certified in Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Prenatal Yoga and Vinyasa Lotus Flow. She teaches in studios across Vancouver and often travels to teach abroad, share, celebrate and connect. She teaches Yin Yoga workshops worldwide sharing her passion for a gentle, steady practice. lovelightyoga.com

 

Roots Adventures in Jamaica

Don't believe the hype and fear. 

I have received a few notes about people being worried about crime in Jamaica.  I have been travelling here for 7 years and never once at any trouble. I LOVE Jamaica. I feel respected and in alignment with natural living and right balance.  When people make comments about fear and crime they often don't look at the source. Poverty is a realllll things in the world that like to ignore or pretend is a thing separate from each action in the world. 

So before you sip the fear koolaid, allow yourself another narrative. Rolling hills, the warmest people, the best music, incredible food, real culture, incredible natural medicines and an attitude that ever upfulll. To quote one of the fav reggae artists, Randy Valentine: "whenever they tell you a story, they tell you how sad it is. I am here to bring you a new narrative, a true narrative" .

I would love for you to come to Jamaica anytime. I have been welcoming, hosting and producing groups and events for many years and have a great family and team here. From water adventures in Portland, to coffee mountain hikes, reggae nights in the city, fires and steamers and irie people and feasts fit for ital royals. We got you covered for sure! 

Curious? Want to bring a group? Link up with Danielle at danielle@lovelightyoga.com

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Yin Trainings in Kingston.

Feeling grateful to be offering another yin yoga series in Kingston in 2018. 

I am stoked to be presenting at 20 hour yin yoga teacher training at True Self Centre for Being again. This amazing studio popped up four years ago when my friend Liz decided it was time to transform a family home into a community, by donation yoga studio. We reached out to me if I could teach a yin class and we  decided 24 hours later, lets just try and see! That yin class had nearly 30 people and it was a super experience for us all. It was really a great to see that Ones were looking for and interested in safe spaces for wellness and transformation. Accessibilty  Its been a super joy to share yin yoga at True Self each year and be bringing our 3rd Yin Yoga Teacher Training in March together. There is still space, but its booking up quickly. The studio will be handling all the registration and I pleased to be welcoming a diverse group 

Looking forward to the full moon weekend in April to be sharing a yin series over the weekend at Afya Yoga in Kingston. I have been teaching yin classes there for many hours when I pass by town and its been such a joy to see the yin community to continue to build. This offering weekend is a mix of public classes and yinmersive workshops. All events are all levels and suitable for all yinterests. Yin Yoga invites all to practice and join and adapt as need. Yin Yoga is a versatile and accessible practice. 

Looking forward to sharing more with you. 

Danielle 

Essential Oil Distillation

 

Essential Oil and Natural Medicines

I am SO excited for this series of Yin Retreats in Jamaica. I have been working with my friends at The Jamaica Essential Oil Distillation Project since I learned about it with them last year.  If you know the West Coast version of me, I LOVE to plant, collect, create and dream up more and more ways that the natural world and her medicines can make an impact on our lives and health.  I have LOVED essentials for oils and never travel without a little kit of oils. My favourites for health and medicines are: lavender, tea tree and citronella and a great blend sometimes called Thieves Oil. 

What oils do you love and use?

The biggest joy of co-creating with JEODP is learning about so many different types of oils that can be produced in Jamaica. One the amazing things about essential oils is that different natural matter produces different oils. Some are the flowers, some bark, some roots, some branches, fruit peels and things in between. The most exciting part is the experimental parts of how much oil it will produce and what will the scent be like. Its a never ending game of scented beauty. I don’t my nose as worked so hard before, but its a great joy to see the abundance of possibilities  in the natural world. 

I hope you can join us on one of retreats this season. We will be distilling oils, making medicines and spending lots of time outside. Yin and Natural Medicines is calling you. Join us for a special workshop series or book a private session or weekend retreat.  More info here. 

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Plastic Free Yogi

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HEY YOU! I have a call to action for you. 

With all these videos and articles about plastic in the world, we sure don't see a lot about the YINDIVIDUAL efforts we should be making. You need to take direct actions to reduce, reuse and recycle. 

Please don't say you recycle....that actually should be the last ditch effort when you make waste.  Changing your patterns, behaviours and habits around waste and consumption is really yoga in action. INCOMING RANT! I think in this so called consciousness world is making SO much waste. Plastic mats, plastic based clothes, plastic wrapped super foods, take away power drinks..its all just ENOUGH! I would love to see this idea of 'yoga' as our relationship in the world and what we create/produce/leave behind.

SO I DARE YOU! Can you break some of the waste making habits, change your shopping patterns, make new decisions and commit to less single use items? You can go without, change it up or better yet....lets work to change policy and practices to lessen our addiction to plastics. 

I know you can! YOGIS, you have super powers that can make a global difference. Teachers, use your platform for good inspiration and CALLS TO ACTION. Just start, stand up, take a stand and shift the forms of society we call 'normal', cause I know that all yogis know what it is like to FLEX life! 

Malas, Power Pieces and Crystal Consciousness

I LOVE making these pieces as malas and power pieces for many years. I post them when I make them on Instagram and make custom pieces as well. I LOVE crystals and their powers, magic and the intentions you infuse into them. I give thanks for all the royal and radical necks wearing my pieces around the world. Thank you for being part of the creative fuel and flame! Send me an email if you are YINTERESTED in a piece! danielle@lovelightyoga.com

Danielle.

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Steam Chalice: Lung Power and Herbal Support

Before you go ahead and make a cannabis comment or joke, take a moment to step back and see the power of the herbal world. I am talking mint, rosemary, sage to name a few. One of the best ways to get these medicines into your lungs and prevent all the coughs and colds this season is to STEAM. Herbal medicines in the forms of tinctures, teas, and steams are great ways to infuse your life with new life!  

I was introduced to the steam chalice in Jamaica about 5 years ago and was a great way to feel the power of the breath as the water bubbled and see the relationship between fire, water, earth, wood and AIR. In yin yoga, we are always looking at your relationships to the elements and their ability to heal and guide us. Its been an honour over the years to steam with so many different people, holding prayers and ceremonies for wellness and revolution. It is an amazing way to connect and full joy all the pathways to spirit and our goal of real roots wellness. Thank over the years for all the time and chalice my sweet friends in Jamaica and for all the opportunities to urban steam and share.  I have a handful of steamers for sale in Vancouver, so link up and full joy the medicines. I grow my own mint and rosemary for these, and also love me a turmeric and ginger steam. 

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Bob Marley Beach a few years back, working the big chalice and seeing if my 15 years of pranayama have really trained the lungs! 

 Urban Steaming means getting the charcoal hot on the stove or with a torch lighter, getting all the herbs out of the apothecary that we grew in 2017. Mint is my current favourite, to open and invigorate the lungs. 

Urban Steaming means getting the charcoal hot on the stove or with a torch lighter, getting all the herbs out of the apothecary that we grew in 2017. Mint is my current favourite, to open and invigorate the lungs. 

 coconut charcoal, coconut steamers, eastvan mint and some hot chocolate. sounds about right. good to steam and reason with some humble brothers. Grateful for the gentle yogi men in my voice, scheming and steaming the revolution.

coconut charcoal, coconut steamers, eastvan mint and some hot chocolate. sounds about right. good to steam and reason with some humble brothers. Grateful for the gentle yogi men in my voice, scheming and steaming the revolution.

UP your WOO, tis the season for MAGIC!

I was speaking to a friend the other day and she said she wanted to get more "WOO" in 2018. I LOVE THIS. You can read into this word as more magical, more spiritual, adding more ritual and seeing all these so called 'coincidences'. Here are a few ways you can infuse more spirit into your daily. 

1. Seat Quietly in the AM: Take 5-10 minutes to seat in the am, in your bed even! Spend a few minutes breathing and being grateful for the path, journey and the magic of your body to shift and change with the seasons. Notice the reflections and subtle movements in and around you. Make space to digest your dreams and start a new day with a full heart. 

2. Add essential oils to your daily world. Slide a little roller into your bag, or a little dropper. Add a few drops in the day to your neck or wrists and just shift the energy in and around you. Send one moment having a good smell of your favourite scent. Mine are lavender and cedar and allll the oils that we distill in Jamaica. Join us in our Jamaica 2018 retreats to learn how to wildcraft plants and distill their natural essential oils. 

3. Get a deck of Tarot or Animal cards. My favourite deck I have been using for years is called the Tao Oracle by Ma Deva Padma. I lay out the cards, asked a question and wave my hand over them until one calls my attention. It is ALWAYS so stop on to the ask. You gotta believe in magic for magic to believe in YOU! 

4. Get a few crystals and house plants around you. I love to build little alters alll over my house and if you have ever traveled with me I add rocks, shells, little statues, shiny objects, little plants in jars of water. Anything that is natural and special and makes me stop to pay attention to the world around me with NEW EYES. Go YINTO nature and have a moment were you remember you are made of earth and you are the earth. 

5. Bath in salts, oils and herbs. Nothing says magically cleansing when a special bath. I add candles and recently got a unfinished piece of wood to set across the tub for a working table and a platform for hot tea, rad crystals and a journal. Imagine wishing away all the things that prevent you from seeing your own magic. 

6. Light candles and lower the lights in the evening. Set an evening tone, the magic hours of darkness and quiet, where you can work and think in a different way. Take a moment to stare at the flame and feel the metaphors in fire. You don't need a big campfire to feel the power of a simple and subtle of FIRE. 

7. Yin Yoga once or two a day! Take a rebellious moment in the day....one where you stop, still and feel. You gotta find the link back to source to stay magical and inspired and feeling your yinner movement is a really special way to do this. Take a few minutes to feel below the surface and into the subtle. Its a metaphor for the unseen worlds within and around you! 

What else do you do to feel special and magical on the regular? Love to hear about your ways 

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Yin and Reconciliation Educational Retreats 2018

SAVE THE DATES! 

I am honoured to be co-hosting and co-teaching again with the ever excellent Chastity Davis. Her work in community development and indigenous women's leadership has been potent and far reaching. Her work and experience is so inspiring in visioning better ways to move, create and contribute in this world. You might have experienced one of her amazing presentations on Heart Centred Leadership across Canada and Internationally.  Chastity recently won an amazing award for Best 40 under 40. I love this quote “I am committed to being a change agent in both my personal and professional life,” she said. 

We are excited to be hosting dates in Vancouver at Yoga on 7th.  Please save Sept 13th to Sept 16th.  This is open to yogis and leaders of all levels. Our classes will be yin yoga and our workshops will be focused on embodied themes of reconciliation and heart centred leadership. Looking forward to co-creating with both Dia and Chastity in 2018. Leaders gotta LEAD!  Join Dia Penning and I in Vancouver Aug 6-10th for Spirit and Justice, a 50 hour YYTT and at Hollyhock in September.

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Yin and Brains: The Adventures of Neurofeedback!

A few years ago I was co-teaching a workshops series on Yin and The Brain, was working with a client with a serious long lasting head injury and running a mentorship program for a high level academic with a concussion. I had no idea that I would not long after receive my own series of head injuries. One in January and another on in May 2017.  I will write more in the near future about these experiences and their lessons as I am just starting to feel like I will be recovering and be me again! What an interesting journey and an excellent opportunity to be your own subject. I am humbled by how challenging and long recovery, how amazing my support network has been and how much we learn about ourselves, our relationships and our world. I could write novels on all these things sooon....and I have a deep urge to rock out a podcast about a bunch these experience so other can hear it and not be subjected to a screen! Thank you world for teaching me ever more deeply about accessibility and our ability to heal and relearn. 

One thing that has been SO interesting and helpful is working with my friend and therapist Ki Speer at Bright Eyes Therapy. We actually went to high school together in Ontario and we reconnected via our yoga practices in Vancouver over the last few years.  I am EVER grateful Ki offered to help support my healing process when my symptoms were still persistent and ever shifting with my concussions.  Working with her has been amazing in healing and in personal interest. Learning SO much about trauma, somatics, the nervous system, hormones and so many endlessly amazing studies of ourselves and our environments. I have also been working on a special head injury project with a doctor and a famous artist....all 3 of us have head injuries and we are working to create better resource for those in need. 

All these studies have inspired the next big offering in BC in 2018. I am stoked to tell you to save the date Sept 3-13 for a Yin and Brains: a 80 hour Teacher Training and Retreat on an amazing organic farm with a bunch of guest teachers! What a blessing.  This will be followed by a 3 night retreat on Yin and Reconciliation from Sept 13 to Sept 16th, 2018 co-hosted with Chastity Davis.  If you attend both events you receive a 100 Hour certificate from Love Light Yoga School.  Both courses count as CEU for teachers.  Deposit information will be going out next newsletter. Send a note if you have questions or join the newsletter. 

Danielle@lovelightyoga.com

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A Yin Day in Jamaica, Join us on Retreat!

Nothing like an ital kitchen, filled with whole foods and great spices. Its a blessing to have my friend Agape rocking the best home cooked plantbased meals for our retreats.  Nothing like getting what you love to eat at home when you are traveling and experiencing new spaces. Join us for hearty stews, great vegetable, cob oven baked bread and herbal tea and coconut desserts! I LOVE to eat when I am away in places where the food grows close and warm! 

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Swim on at little beach right at the farm with the kid crew! these waters are so clear and inviting. Come and enjoy a cooling dip on the daily! 

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Ready to learn about collecting medicinal plants and herbs and prepping them for essential oil distillation? What an amazing and beautiful process to participate and witness, pure magic! 

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Prepping and collecting the plant materials for essential oil distillation. What a yin like vibe, slow and steady! 

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Yoga for Men: Yin Yoga Hip Series

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Start in a crossed legged seat, and maybe add cushions or a yoga block for height and pelvic tilt. You can also add blocks under your thighs for support. The cute cat prop is optional! Sitting tall, lengthen the spine and rotate into a gentle twist. Hold for 3 minutes, and switch sides. In the changing of sides, also change the cross of the legs. Hold for 3 minutes on the second side and relax the knees AND expectations! 

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In your cross legged seat, you can adjust the cushions to now use as a part heart opening shape and lay back. You can also do this on the flat ground. You can also add props or cushions under the knees or thighs to help the muscles let go. Stay for 4 minutes on each side. When you change sides, you just change the cross of the legs to the other leg in front or on top. 

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Extend one leg long and being the other foot to its opposite inner thigh, adding cushions under the knees might support tight hamstrings. Add a gentle rotation away from the long leg. You can place your hands on props, or maybe you lean over and bow over that bent kneed. Try to stay for 4 minutes, and then switch sides. Be patience, gentle and mindful. 

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This supine twist will be great to seal up this small series, but feel free to do them in any order. Yin Yoga is all about the feeling, the intention (dare I say yintention!) within in the shapes. Relax and accept the space that comes with time. In this shape, you start by shifting the hips in the opposite direction you are planning on dropping the knees. Think of a sideways chair! Stack your knees and ankles and look away from the bent knees if your neck allows. Tuck your shoulder blades under your body and let your deep breathing create the space all around and within. Try and stay for 5 minutes, before you switch to the other side.

Natural Beauty: A few ITAL Tips

I am SO excited for our New Moon Yin Series Retreats in Jamaica in 2018. One of the themes this year is making of healing products. We will be learning about essential oil distillation, fermentation, salve making, and other natural healing remedies. You don't need to be in the tropics to bring a more natural relationship to health and beauty. I personally haven't used any type of make or anything chemical on my body for I would say about 10 years now. Start simple and work towards a more ital version of you. Ital is a way of describing a way of eating, living and being in Jamaica that is natural, roots and connected to the earth. Here are a few of my beauty tips you can rock anywhere....looking at you city folks!

Green Clay Mask: SO easy and a great practice for your face wellness and you can even mask your whole body...if you want! I get the green clay in bulk at a health food supply shop. You make it with water to have the right consistency you like for your face. I add essential oils like tea tree for extra excellence 

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I have recently started my newest favourite winter practice, herbal baths! Not everyone has a bathtub, so for a hippie note you can also rock this bath in a large rubbermaid! I also recently hacked the bathroom by taking a long board of unfinished wood from our workshop and make a beauty bar in the top. Add a candle for extra fanciness. Run the water hot and add fresh herbs to the bath and then it steep and cool. I use rosemary because I grow a lot of it at my urban farm, but you could try a variety of herbs. The dish of cream here is shea butter, coconut and herbs all brewed in the crockpot for days. I use this to massage into my scalp and let sit, before the most epic hair washing sessions! 

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I have been making different potions, lotions and salves for yearss...ever changing the ingredients and intentions. This was is a herbal blend, with lots of rosemary. Its part shea butter, part coconut oil and all amazing. I slow cook it in the crockpot, but you can also do low heat on the stove over time. 

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I LOVE alll kinds of essential oils. I was SO stoked to last year run about and participate in oil distillation in Jamaica. We will be wildcrafting and doing that again in our Retreat Series in Jamaica. Come and learn about the power of oils. I LOVE these two to drop on blemishes and spots to help them dry out. You can use your finger or a qtip to dab a bit on any spots you would like to disappear! 

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Drink TEA! I drink a lot of water and teas. I LOVE to boil herbs and make what some call 'bush tea'. I grow some of my own herbs like mint, sage and borage. I LOVE this one pictured called Jamaica in some places, other people call it sorrel....and its all delicious! This one was gifted to be my a friend and you boil the flowers until you get a great red colour like this. Looking forward to time in Jamaica where lemongrass tea, wild turmeric and all the others are waiting for a good brew. 

Can't wait for you to take a step towards some natural beauty, both on the inner and outer worlds. If you are looking for a reset, get some yin yoga in your life....or please do join us in Jamaica in 2018 so you can get a first hand experience of natural living and natural remedies.

Spirit and Justice: 50 Hour Yin Leadership Training in Vancouver.

SAVE the DATES! Its an honour to be setting these dates in advance to be working with Dia Penning again in 2018. We are stoked to be presenting another edition of our Yin Leadership Training. This is a 50 hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training that will be for activists, community leaders, yoga teachers and interested students. Part of the great work that we do to encourage people to explore where their hidden biases exist, both in their forms, their opinions and in the world. Its been an amazing journey to work with our Yin and Justice groups over the last few years and start to bring some real potent dialogues into yoga space. As a teacher, its been a honour to have such a variety of interested students in these spaces that bring such an inspiring and amazing collection of experiences.

Our last #yinandjusticetraining brought social workers, experienced community leaders, artists, new and experienced yoga teachers all from a variety of backgrounds. These themes seem to bring highly involved and inspired change makers to mat to really explore and discuss the uncomfortable truths and start to dissect the structures in which we exist in.  This is why yin is so well paired with social change.  Getting into the awkwardness of conversations and ideas that are sometimes new and different to us requires the skills that we cultivate in yin yoga. This 5 day teacher training will have pre reading, homework, yin classes, discussions and workshops. We are excited to be bringing together a closer examination of Spirit and Justice and how we can weave the two together in your modern worlds and classrooms. 

The space is limited to a group of 15, and we have a small number of possible scholarships based on application. The 50 hours counts towards your 200 Hour Love Light Yoga School, or as CEU or a stand alone certificate. This event is all levels and open to everyone. You can read more here and pay the deposit here.   Dia and I are presenting at Hollyhock in Sept 2018 as well. Chastity Davis and I are hosting two special retreats in 2018. Sept and October 2018.

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3 Poses for a Peaceful Upper Body.

Enjoy this upper body series with my friend and fellow yoga teacher Jason Worton. You can check out his classes in Kingston, Jamaica and give a listen to his medicine music as a great soundtrack for this 3 part series for the upper body. I encourage you to try all the shapes, commit some time to each one and see if you can repeat them for a few days. Just start! Yin Medicines are slow, steady and reveal over time. I guess you peace, patience and practice. 

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Chose any seat that suits you, could even be in a chair. Work to lengthen your spine and align your neck so your head feels tall and like you are wearing a crown. Take your right elbow into the crease of your left elbow, like you are making a little shelf. Soften the shoulders and see if the hands will touch or wrap. Breath between the shoulder blades and try to stay for 1-3 minutes. Keep breathing and direct your attention into the centre of your discomfort. Use your intention and time to soften any knot or obstacle.  Do both sides and try it twice a day for a few days. I promise there will be a change you can feel. 

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This pose can be done on the ground or using a wall instead of a mat (and if you are not of the earthly on the ground type!) Extend our your right arm onto the ground long and away from you, or stand next to a wall and outstretch your arm until your wrist is in line with your shoulderish.  The ground version you will shift your body weight until you feel it across the chest and in the wall variation you would turn away from the wall. You might add pillows under your chest if you are using the ground and you might tuck your free arm on your back. Do each side for 2-4 minutes. 

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This one is best when seated on the floor, but will also be great in a chair in the middle of your day! Find a comfortable seat for your knees and work your spine tall and strong. When you feel like your seat is steady, life one arm and lean over the to opposite side. Use the reach of your hand  for intention, draw the shoulders away from the ears and let the knees feel heavy and weighted.  lean back slightly, as the natural tendency will be to lean forward! BREATH deep into the side body, fill between each rib and make space. Look for tension and chose to disrupt it! Yin Yoga is a practice where you are hunting for tension with patience and kindness, so when you find it, you are able to sit with it, identity it and most importantly...unravel to release it!