Month: April 2014

Just Breathe

A remarkable thing happened this morning. With serene calmness, I got both girls ready, packed up and down to school ….. early. How? You ask. How indeed. For those that know me personally, this is a very rare event. I’m never early. Much less with serene calmness.

It was thanks to a new type of yoga I have recently found and an early morning practice at Breathe Yoga. This practice is mostly self-guided but in a studio with other practitioners. The class runs for 2.5 hours meaning it’s essentially a drop in class and you stay as long as you like. There is still a teacher giving individual instruction so for the time the teacher guides you, it’s one on one. The usual type of class is a teacher giving instruction to everyone all the time.

Welcome to Mysore Yoga.

It might not suit everyone but for me, it’s perfect. Since I spend my days in a loud, chaotic environment, the peace is a distinct change. There is nobody putting demands on me (whether that comes from a 2-year old, 5 year old or a yoga instructor) and best of all, it doesn’t matter if I’m late. Oh joy. Too often, I’ve spent the first 10 minutes of a yoga class just trying to relax after a frantic panic to get there on time or I’ve skipped it entirely not wanting to embark on that frantic panic.

It’s not a relaxing practice, it’s hard work. If you’ve done any of the Ashtanga series, you’ll know it’s a challenging series. The idea of Mysore is a meditative self practice of the Series. But the meditative part comes through so much more than any other yoga I’ve done before. A sense of calm patience literally stayed with me all day.

After finding this wonderful place, it seemed unbelievable to find this on my newsfeed (it’s now a print out on my fridge) later this morning. Did the words suit my mood or is this really something I can live by? Today, all of these can come naturally but tomorrow I may have to work harder.

Affirmation

I will try by remembering these words. And on those days I can practice yoga as I did this morning, I know it will come to me easily.

Thank you Tori for sharing this list!

 

 

A food guide worth following

I’m a little late on this piece of news but it’s not because I don’t think it’s incredibly inspiring.

You may, or may not, have heard that Brazil recently revamped it’s Food Guide. In a totally revolutionary way because it top lines general guidelines that everybody can follow instead of specific numbers, portion size and food groups that Food Guides traditionally outline. The main focus is on socialization and the art of preparing meals in the home. As people work longer hours and spend more time away from home, there is less emphasis on whole foods and more emphasis on ready-prepared meals.

There is no question that we suffer from this in Canada, probably even more so than Brazil. It wouldn’t hurt us to reach for our own Food Guide. So why don’t we? Because it spends so much energy addressing the needs of all Canadians, that it results in not addressing anybody. Our vast range of ethnicities, customs and activity levels mean very different diets in themselves. Not to mention the vast landscape of our country that result in different climates and versions of what “local” might mean. Finally, the different diets that are available now mean no two families eat the same any more. We’re in a state of total confusion and our current Food Guide doesn’t give us any reprieve from that confusion.

Canada’s Food Guide is not something I discuss often with Clients. In fact, I would go as far to say that I rarely bring it up with them. Instead, I guide them towards a healthier attitude to food, focusing on whole foods, eating as a family and being mindful around food. Precisely what the Brazilians top line in their new food guide. I totally salute their approach. The details are still available should you wish to read the full 87 page report (you’d have to speak Portuguese though, it’s not yet available in English) but these 10 points are the main focus for the everyday person:

  1. Prepare meals from staple and fresh foods.
  2. Use oils, fats, sugar and salt in moderation.
  3. Limit consumption of ready-to-consume food and drink products
  4. Eat regular meals, paying attention, and in appropriate environments.
  5. Eat in company whenever possible.
  6. Buy food at places that offer varieties of fresh foods. Avoid those that mainly sell products ready for consumption.
  7. Develop, practice, share and enjoy your skills in food preparation and cooking.
  8. Plan your time to give meals and eating proper time and space.
  9. When you eat out, choose restaurants that serve freshly made dishes and meals. Avoid fast food chains.
  10. Be critical of the commercial advertisement of food products.

In this list, Brazil is clearly addressing the lifestyle that their citizens are adopting. Brazil recognizes that we are rapidly losing a vital life skill and is working hard to reestablish that before its lost forever.

Excellent job Brazil. We can learn a lot from you.