September 30, 2010
Here is a 13km route from Elation Centre to the Arboretum.
September 27, 2010
The following is a guest post by Yvette Diepenbrock, a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Instructor, and an occasional teacher at Elation Centre.
I had the honour of representing the Elation Centre at the launch of Soup Sisters Ottawa last week. Soup Sisters is a new organization that delivers nutritious soups lovingly made by kind-hearted volunteers to women and children living at Interval House, one of seven emergency shelters in Ottawa.
Through the simple gesture of providing soup, women and men in our community have the opportunity to serve those experiencing scarcity and fleeing domestic violence.
The gathering of women who came together to cook in The Urban Element kitchen were bathed in abundance. The energy was upbeat and the room echoed with laughter and feel-good chatter as we stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the kitchen counter peeling potatoes, stirring broths and double-checking ingredients.
As our soups simmered, we too experienced the comfort of a warm bowl of soup. We enjoyed a delicious Moroccan red lentil soup by Executive Chef Caroline Ishii of Zen Kitchen, who talked about her own philosophy of cooking mindfully to nourish others.
The Soup Sisters Ottawa launch was spearheaded by women who practise yoga at Elation Centre, a shining example of how our work on the mat ripples out into the wider community.
The next time you wonder how you can tune in to the abundance all around you, the answer might be as simple as making a bowl of soup.
Check out the Elation Centre soup recipes on our Nutrition page.
September 23, 2010
This week in yoga class I’ve been chatting about the idea of doing less, letting go of the need for perfection, and within this letting go, relaxing and releasing so that we can experience the postures on a deeper level.
The discussion this week has surely come about from my amazing evening last weekend with eight of the most giving, strong, loving, and accepting women I am blessed to know. The not-so-simple act of bringing nine busy women together was a miracle in itself, even greater than that was the absolute energy of love, compassion, opinions, acceptance, and support. As a group, we have all been through a lot in the past few months: pregnancies, births, deaths, children leaving, children arriving, relationships beginning, relationships ending, dear friends (furry ones included) passing away, and the completion of chemo and radiation for one of shining woman to inspire us all.
The evening was a blast. Where was great wine and food and conversation to make you laugh, cry, and think. To top off the evening we had a beautiful bonfire on the beach. We all decided to toss something into the fire that we either wanted to release or manifest in our lives. Of course, every one of us first tossed in a slip of paper with “Renee’s cancer cells” written on it. Let’s make sure those don’t come back! Some of us spoke aloud what our wishes were and others held them close. My piece of paper held the words “release my need for perfection”. That’s a big one!
The next day, many of us ran the Army Run Half Marathon and Renee, the woman who has completed many marathons, chose to walk the course. She had been training throughout her treatments.
I had been whining all week that I was tired and maybe wouldn’t do the race – blah, blah, blah – when perhaps the deeper truth was I hadn’t done many long runs this summer and my time would surely be slower than I would like. I ran the race (spurred on by my commitment to release perfection and by Renee’s example) slower than my race time in May yet I had so much fun! I saw friends I hadn’t seen in months or years. I ran with Judi who kept me going for our 2+ hours and we inspired one of our fellow runners to finish her last kilometre with a smile.
The idea of perfect has changed. It’s not my usual “must be better, faster, stronger”. Instead it is to prepare, focus, show up, and enjoy the ride. I relaxed and released into the run and experienced it on a whole new level.
Thank you, my good friends.
Make sure you check out our Campfire Cupcake recipe - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
September 23, 2010
The following is a guest post written by Robyn Daigle, teacher of the new Yoga for Fertility class at Elation. She’s a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Instructor with training in Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Fertility, Prenatal Yoga and Power Yoga, and a long-time Powerful Woman.
Choosing to bring a child into the world is a big decision, but for many women the desire to start a family leads them down a path where they are faced with fertility challenges. Having difficulty conceiving and sustaining a pregnancy can be very stressful for women, often making you feel isolated and misunderstood. Small things like seeing a child walking down the street, going to a baby shower, or dealing with innocent questions from friends and family can be draining, making you feel like no one understands. The stress associated with fertility challenges can impact the body on so many levels.
On my own journey towards conception, yoga has benefited me in so many ways:
- helping me to trust the body that for so long I felt had failed me,
- helping me to explore the range of emotions stemming from my fertility struggles,
- relieving much of the stress presenting itself in my body and in my life, and
- allowing me to let go of my attachment to the final outcome.
Along the way, I was blessed to come into contact with Sue Dumais from Family Passages in Vancouver, who has not only developed a Yoga for Fertility program but who contributes regularly to magazines and has a radio series on stress and fertility. After training with Sue this past spring, it felt natural to bring Yoga for Fertility to Ottawa at the Elation Centre.
Yoga for Fertility focuses on improving the flow of blood and energy to the reproductive organs using gentle poses, breathwork and meditation. If you are facing your own fertility challenges and open to exploring something new, join our next session which starts on September 27th.
September 21, 2010
Today is International Peace Day.
September 15, 2010
Tip # 1 – Plan Ahead
The key to success during any cleanse is planning, planning, planning! Have lots of cleanse foods on hand and create meal plans. Here is our Healthy Eating Shopping List.
Tip #2 – Reorganize Your Kitchen
Before you start, go through your kitchen cupboards and your fridge to see what ingredients you’re missing.
Tip #3 – Go Organic
Do your best to buy and eat only certified organic foods whenever possible. This decreases the toxic load on your body by eliminating pesticide, antibiotic, and hormone residues. Organic produce is also grown on enriched soils, making it rich in vitamins and minerals. These minerals are needed for the plant to form its own natural sugars. This is why organic produce seems to taste sweeter!
Tip #4 – Take it Easy
To gently ease your body into a twelve day cleanse, we advise a Preparation Week for the seven days preceding Day 1 of the program. Consider the following guidelines for your preparation week:
- Eat whole grains
- Drink lots of water
- Eat fruits and veggies (as many as you like)
- Add more greens – Drink Green Smoothies or Green Juice (see recipe below) every day
- Eliminate sugar
- Eliminate alcohol
- Eliminate coffee
To ease yourself off coffee, start by substituting half your daily coffee with green tea. Keep cutting your intake in half until you reach the goal of 2 cups of green tea per day and no coffee. Be sure to eliminate coffee entirely before the 12-day cleanse begins.
Elation Gorgeously Green Juice (use organic ingredients)
- 1 -2 apples
- ½ lemon (no peel)
- ½ - 1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
- 2 -3 stalks celery
- 5 romaine lettuce leaves
- 5 kale or collard leaves
Process all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy!
Note: When you start making green juice, you may want to use more fruit and less veggies; when you get used to the taste, transition to less fruit and more veggies. You may also want to add water or ice to the finished juice to dilute it. The dark green color is a great indication that you have more than enough greens in the juice. As long as it’s green, you will know that you’re getting the excellent alkaline benefits of greens.
September 14, 2010
As the summer comes to a close, the Elation Trail Running class has finished up as well. Barb Clarke, lead instructor of the class, put together a “Top 5 List” to say goodbye to another season of trail running.
5 Great Reasons We Ran Trails This Summer:
1. During the hottest months we ran under the tree canopy also known as Mother Nature’s air conditioner.
2. From seeing the old ruins of the lime kilns to the rocky outcrops overlooking secluded beaver ponds, you just can’t beat the variety and beauty of nature’s landscapes.
3. It’s an opportunity to run “naked”, meaning leaving your Garmens and GPS’s at home. The uneven terrain of the trails challenges you without having to time your run or set an even pace.
4. Bugs and Mud? Oh ya! We had both of these. Bugs are incentive to keep moving. Mud is fun to run through like we did when we were kids. Yes, we came home smelly (from bug spray) and dirty (from mud puddles too wide to skirt around), again just like when we were kids.
5. Nothing compares to the sight of the sun filtering through the trees causing constantly changing vistas of natural beauty. And best of all, there was not a house, car, or bus in sight during any of our runs.
What people are saying:
“A big thanks to Barb for leading the group this summer and thanks to Richard for safely getting us in and more importantly out of the woods last night.” – Randy
“Thanks so much Barb for a great summer trail class and Richard for a wonderful run this week.” – Louise
“Barb – just wanted to says thanks for all the great runs this summer. It has been a real pleasure to hit the trails with you and the group!” – Carole
Congratulations on another successful summer of hitting the trails!
September 10, 2010
On Tuesday we started taping season 3 of our Yoga Show on Rogers TV. The past 2 seasons were entitled Yoga for Runners; this season’s show is called Yoga for Life. Jane and Martha who are both teachers at the studio are assisting with the show this year as demonstrators. We’ve been having lots of fun and the days are indeed long and challenging with at least 4 hours of yoga and scripts to memorize, but it’s all worth it – I love it.
A big thank you to Jane and Martha. You rock!
As you know after a long day at the office you come home hungry. This week, I’ve been using the seasonal bounty of tomatoes, kale, and onions and I always have some yummy sweet potatoes on hand. The recipe below is a soup I made tonight. Yummy! It warmed my yoga bones after a long, chilly day outside. It requires one pot for easy clean up; today is also my 21st wedding anniversary, so it’s great to not spend the evening doing dishes
The show will air on Rogers 22 in the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy watching it and practicing yoga with us as much as we enjoyed filming it.
Yoga for Life Soup (all ingredients are organic)
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp sea salt
1 yellow onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large bunch kale, middle stem removed and chopped finely
1 large tomato, diced
2 tbsp curry powder
3-4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can navy beans, drained and rinsed
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot, add salt, curry powder and all the veggies, saute for 8-10 minutes. Add vegetable broth and beans and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
September 6, 2010
Here is a nice 14km run route which takes you across the Champlain Bridge, down through the parks along the Hull side of the river to the Eddy St. bridge and back to the studio along the Ottawa side of the river.
September 2, 2010
Celebrate the elation of yoga with free classes all day on Thursday, September 16th. Here is the schedule:
This will be your first opportunity to try one of our new fall classes: Core Flow and Deep Stretch. Click here for class descriptions. Bring a friend!