Wednesday, 26 December 2012

What will you remember?

"We do not remember days,
We remember moments." 
Cesarean Pavese

As 2012 ends and we move into 2013, I've been reminiscing about all the incredible memories from the past year and reflecting on all that I'm grateful for.

Something I do every year.
Something I hope you'll consider over the next week.

What are the stand out moments for 2012?
What are you most grateful for or what have you learned from the past year?

May you move into this next year with courage and enthusiasm. 
May you take with you the moments from 2012 and continue to be grateful for all that you have here and now.

Love Lauren

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Memories

I just returned home from the sing along at my daughter’s school. The pure joy in the faces of the kids as they sang, danced and even rocked it out gangnam style reminded me exactly what Christmas is about. We are celebrating joy, freedom and peace. Family, friends and neighbours. We are celebrating community and compassion for one another. We are just celebrating life.

Although my memories of Christmas do include a couple gifts, the cabbage patch kid that I’m sure Santa had to run around everywhere for or my brothers new bike that was so big he thought it was for my Dad, most of my memories are of moments. I remember gluing cotton on snowmen and then sending glitter all over it. Wearing my pajamas in the Christmas concert at school. Our tree always had one long branch at the very top that stuck straight up, always. The angel was way up there hanging on for dear life. We always listened to the Elvis Presley Blue Christmas and John Denver and the Muppets records while we decorated it. We would visit my grandparents. My Gramma and Papa always had the same small tree that went into the basement with the same decorations and came up each year and we all loved it. Not a single piece of tinsel moved. They had After Eight mints and we left with rosy cheeks from my Papa's whiskers. My other grandparents would keep us all awake as they chatted in bed together long into the night. This Grandma made mean boiled onions. I loved standing in her kitchen with everyone debating if my grandparents fridge was too cold or too hot while at the same time everyone was rushing around getting dinner made. Christmas lights. Watching the first snowfall each year through the window at night and excited for the next morning then building awesome runways to sled on.

These are my memories of this time year. They are memories of play and being with family and friends, celebrating life. It is a time to share, to give, to sing and to laugh. I am enjoying making more with my kids, my husband, our families, new friends and long time friends.

I wish each and every one of you joy, freedom, peace and I hope a lot of laughter with loved ones this holiday and of course some time to play in the snow.

With Love,

He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more! 

-How the Grinch Stole Christmas-

I just love this bird, that's why. Happy Holiday.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

"A dream is a wish your heart makes!"

Carli-Jean and I started from a BIG dream.

A dream that allowed even the busiest person an opportunity to take time for themselves, move their body and connect to that deeper place within themselves, their heart.

For us this meant a website that gave people unlimited access to a continuous stream of online yoga classes. A site that gave yoga teachers and yoga studios an opportunity to showcase who they are and what they stand for. We wanted to capture as much of the "real, authentic" feel of a yoga studio as we could, without making the students in the classes feel uncomfortable or distracted.

We dreamed of a business structure that would allow us to not only do more yoga, but also have a flexible schedule so we can be with our families.

We dreamed of a company that would support the dreams of every one involved!

Because of YOU our dream has come true! celebrated it's 1st birthday on Dec.1/2012.

I wake up every morning grateful that I get to share my love of yoga with you. Thank you for caring enough about yourself to take time in your busy week to practice yoga with us. Please know that Carli-Jean and I don't take this lightly. We continue to work with a team of people to improve the simplicity and user friendly quality of the site, so you can get to what we really know you want to do, YOGA, faster and easier.

We are also so excited about 2013 and all the incredible yoga studios and teachers we have lined up for the new year. You can see us travel far and wide to find you those special studios and teachers, who have dedicated their lives to yoga and are now ready to share what they've discovered with YOU.

May you continue to DREAM BIG!

"A Dream is a wish your heart makes"
My daughters favorite movie right now, Cinderella.

Love, Lauren & CJ

Thursday, 6 December 2012


“Leave space for the unknown.” This is a quote from our friend Ashley.

A true story of following your heart, making space for something unexpected and living your dream. I am going to tell you a little about this inspiring women and her journey with her equally inspiring partner Matt and how together they found Mala Imports. I must mention my original blog was even longer as their story has so much to it but I shortened it so you could get to work or yoga or wherever your day may lead you, on time! When you meet these two beautiful people and I hope you do, please ask them to share more.

Ashley and Matt were on a trip to explore the other side of the world when they decided to head to Bali. While walking into a yoga class at the Yoga Barn, Ashley noticed some beautiful Malas being sold in the foyer. She instantly fell in love with one purely because it was so beautiful, at the time not knowing the significance of the beads. Ashley left her class only to find the necklace she loved the most had been sold. Later she discovered it was Matt who had bought it for her.

They did some research on the beads, called Rudraksha and soon discovered the healing and spiritual properties of a true bead as well as the use of the beads in meditation and prayer. They fell in love with the beads even more. They returned later to buy more for themselves and as gifts to bring back home.

On route to Thailand a lady with the name Soma approached them on the plane, sat next to them and started talking. Later, when Matt put down his book, ("Screw it, Let’s do it." -- fitting as you will see). Soma noticed Matt’s bracelet and asked him where he got it. They told her the story and she replied with,"I made them." Soma had been instructed by her Guru to make the jewelry because it will make peace in the world and she was to get it out to the West where it is needed most. So she started making them and you can see where I am going, after writing her name and number in Matt's book now Matt and Ashley work with her and you can find these beautiful Malas popping up everywhere.

This journey was unexpected. They both had very different plans but also had space for something new. Space to put themselves out there and go for it. Together Matt and Ashley worked day and night to follow a dream of having these beads here. After less than two years you can find these beads in many studios as well as stores.

What I love about this story most is that, as Ashley said, they left space for the unknown. They had different plans and both have amazing opportunities in other businesses but they left space. Space for something unplanned, unknown, for an adventure. As she said this to me I thought, “Amazing, I am going to go create some space!” I have plans, I like plans, I like to know ahead of time what is happening. Sometimes things are thrown at me and I don’t have the space to take it, to just go with it and say yes! But, I am going to bring “making space” into my life and into my practice. I hope you will join me with this adventure of letting go of what is not needed and making space for the unknown.


Thursday, 29 November 2012

It's PARTY Time!

As November ends and December starts, the holiday cheer begins.

Well, at least I wish that was the case. I actually hear more complaining this time of year than anything else. People complaining about the cold weather, or the busy malls. Even heard someone complaining about their work party the other day.

Yes, I'm busy too, working, family gatherings, work functions...but come on people. What's so bad about getting together with co-workers (You do spend most of your week with them), celebrating with some yummy appies & good wine or spreading a little holiday cheer with family & friends. Sounds like a good time to me.

I live most of my days in either yoga apparel or jeans and flats. So it's around this time of year that I get excited about pulling out my favourite party dresses, high heels and lip gloss. Making my best Holiday recipes or for some (I'm not much of a baker) baking those special holiday treats. It's time to let your hair down and put your party shoes on.

May you stop ruminating about all the busyness and let the "to do lists" go for awhile and jump on the holiday, celebratory band wagon. Sing a long to the holiday songs, put on that slinky black dress and maybe too high heeled shoes. Dabble in the spiked Egg nog and definitely dance with your co-workers at your Christmas party.

It's Party Time, so let's be positive and have some FUN!

Maybe this will start to get you in the mood. Got Stella & I up & grooving.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Yoga in Twillight

I have mostly been reading yoga related books or books on how to get my kids to sleep the last few years that I was quite behind the times when it came to the Twillight Saga. So I thought it was time. Time to take a pause from reading these books and read something totally different, a book about teenage romance, Vampires and Werewolves. The thing I hadn’t expected was that these very addicting books were all full of yoga.

What makes these books so interesting to me is that while reading them I never felt it wasn’t possible for Vampires or Werewolves to exist or even live peacefully with humans. It was simple, a girl fell in love with a boy, a vampire boy. She loved the boy with all his quirks, differences and uniqueness. And she also loved her friend, a Werewolf, despite the fact that he could morph into a very large animal. All she ever saw was the good. She saw these boys and their families for who they were on the inside and what made them different from her only made her love them more.
Then there is the love between rivals. The Vampires and Werewolves. A long history of disagreement between these two families had made them rivals. But when it all came down to it and their freedom was challenged they stood side by side to protect each other, to serve each other, guide each other and save the lives of one another. History told them they could not do it, they could not serve together for the same purpose but they did. They looked past the cold skin and the howling and saw love. The love of the girl. The love of family and the love of peace and freedom.
In life we are all different, we are all unique. We see qualities in people that we instantly love and some that either may take time to understand or maybe we never understand. But we are all here for the same reason, to love and be loved. If we take the time to look past the differences and just see the good first we will see love. We will see that despite our different backgrounds, hair colour, job choice or beliefs that we are one. We may not agree on religion or politics but we can support each other as beings born from love. We can open our eyes to differences and maybe we will learn something, maybe we will change, maybe we will grow. Embrace the Vampires! .............and hope they do the same.

See you at the movies! 


Thursday, 15 November 2012

'Tis the Season to be BUSY

At certain points through out the year my schedule gets CRAZY busy. Well, it's that time of year for me and seems like others too.

When I'm busy my "to do" lists are never ending, which drives me mad. I feel like I'm doing so much, but nothing within the skillful means I long to accomplish them in. In other words I'm doing too much and nothing very well. UGH!

After observing this for a few years now, I've come up with a few tricks to help me get through the busy times with a playful attitude and less stress. So I thought I would share a few with you, in hopes that one or two will assist you in your crazyness.

Write down your "To Do's" on a piece of paper or white erase board. Whenever you cross something off your list, celebrate that accomplishment. I celebrate with a Hot chocolate from Mink Chocolate Cafe, MMmmm! Sometimes, my celebration is a dance party in my living room, or a hot Epsom salt bath with my book. When I've really finished something, like a project or a event, I celebrate with a pedicure. Now that rocks! Can really be anything you desire, big or small just celebrate one thing done. Will help you feel like you're getting things accomplished even when there's more on the list.

Standing tall and stacking the body in optimal alignment (feet rooted, knees bent, shoulders back, chest lifted, head up) helps increase the levels of testosterone in the body which helps decrease the stress hormone, cortisol. We all need a little De-stressing at times, but this will even help build self confidence and body awareness. In Yoga we call this "TADASANA" or Mountain pose.

I don't know about you, but when I'm busy I eat poorly, grabbing anything in the fridge or cupboards that will tie me over. Knowing this about myself, I now plan for "on the go" foods to help me in these situation. I have containers of fresh clean cut veggies ready to dip in hummus or cashew butter. I have Smoothies prepared in my fridge for the morning rush or Steel cut Oats in my rice cooker ready for me to flick the button while I shower. I even make extra food at dinner time so I have leftovers as lunch the next day. Research shows that choosing complex carbohydrates keeps blood sugar levels stable, helping you feel more balanced through out your busy day. Check this Blog out, she's got great busy food ideas,

Do Your Yoga - MAKE TIME FOR YOU! was made for YOU, busy people. Whether you have 15 mins or 90 minutes there's a yoga class here waiting for you. All you need is Internet access, so grab your computer, log onto apple TV, or pick up your tablet and get going. BLISS awaits you.

With you on this path,

Thursday, 8 November 2012


Every year around this time I ask myself. How could I forget? I think that I won’t for a moment, ever forget. And for the most part, I don’t. But day to day life only holds so many thoughts.

Mothers watched their children leave, women watched their husbands leave, brothers and sisters, off they went. These people that fought and still fight for our freedom. They are willing to give their lives so that you and I can be free. So we can laugh, dance, speak freely, sleep at night. I feel it shouldn’t have ever been a question. We should all be free but up until now and maybe for some of our future, freedom for some isn’t a given. And there are people that gave their lives to help change this. It makes the little challenges in life seem like blessings. It makes openly writing about my feelings and beliefs feel like pure gold.

I haven’t had to live the way my Grandmother did, not knowing where her love, the father of her children, was and when or if he would return but I will never forget that she did. I will never forget the men and women that stand up for you and I.

Our day to day challenge is how to make these men and women proud. We can remember and honor them by finding peace with our neighbors, finding peace in our home and sharing peace every chance we get. We can choose kindness first. We can choose to love. We can stand up for each other and stick together. And everyday we can find gratitude for our lives full of freedom, full of choices and full of harmony.

With Peace,

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Fresh eyes

On Monday we got our home carpets professionally cleaned, they needed of a little extra TLC. So in preparation for this we (my daughter, husband & I) moved toys and small furniture out of particular rooms. When doing this we decided to put my daughters art easel by our kitchen table.

This has turned out to be the best thing we ever did. Stella has always enjoyed using the art easel, however recently Stella has been feeling bored, and lost with fun activities to do. I try my best to make suggestions or make up fun games to play with, however even I have been in a rut with my mommy ideas. Just simply moving the art easel into the kitchen has added a whole new level of fun. We've been doing arts & crafts with food scraps and leaves we bring in from the back yard. We've been drawing pictures of the meals we eat and enjoying the time we play together in the kitchen.

It was such a simple move. An easy change that we cultivated that added a new feeling and expanded our perspective.

We all get into a rut now and then. Whether it's the same food you eat or meals you create every week or the games you play with your kids. You don't need to go spend a bunch of money on new toys, or different cook books, just try a new recipe from an old book, or move an old toy into a new room. Maybe clean out your closet and fall in love with an old piece of clothing. Maybe try your favourite Yoga class from and see it with fresh eyes.

Don't underestimate the power of simplicity.

Love & light,

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Fear can make you stand perfectly still even when your brain is screaming move. It can cause us to speak when we wish we were silent, run from things we know we want and hold us back from living in the moment or of a life we desire. We fear failure as well as success. Fear makes our knees weak and our pulse race but it can also help us. It can alert us of danger. It is hard to know in our body true fear, the fear we should listen to or the fear we need to overcome.

I have feared falling upside down for way too long and with the help of my teacher and friend Ryan I am overcoming this fear. He taught me to fall. Simple. Just to fall. But in learning to fall or experiencing falling I learned so much more. I didn’t die or break anything. I did it and I got back up and did it again. It was so exhilarating! I saw how much I have been holding myself back due to the fear of falling. Not just in upside down poses but in life. I am just fine if I fall, in fact I felt better having tried it and fallen than always having that wall behind me to keep me from falling.

We are all different, our goals, our dreams, our passions and our fears. What scares me may come easy to you and thankfully because sometimes we need people upside down and sometimes we need people on their feet. The challenge is learning what fears are real, are there to warn us of potential danger and the fears that are hiding something else entirely. I am certainly not suggesting that you do handstand in the middle of the room if you haven’t been working to it or go bungee jumping tomorrow but I do think there is something so empowering about taking a moment to listen to our fears and maybe challenge some of them a little. We are all so much more capable of great things than we give ourselves credit for. Let’s not look back one day after our fears stood in our way and say "I wish I did that, let’s look back and laugh while we say, "can you believe I did that?"


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Put a little love into it!

CJ's post on Kale got me thinking about food. Which reminded me that,

I love to cook!

I love to cook for other people. 
My hubby & I on our honeymoon in Bali taking a cooking class

It's my way of saying "I love you" or "Thank you". So when I cook, I put my love and appreciation into the meal. I think of the people I'm cooking for. I use special ingredients and do the prep work necessary so I'm not stressed when I'm cooking. And overall, my meals taste good.

Now don't get me wrong. I work full time too, so YES, I do on occasion throw a quick jarred pasta sauce over noodles, or make breakfast for dinner. And who doesn't have "left over night"?

What I am saying is that when you put LOVE as your highest intention, food tastes better. LIFE tastes good.

May you put a little love into what you're
doing today and notice what happens?

From my heart to yours,

P.S. I love to EAT too.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Great Green Leaf

Kale seems to be the topic of conversation with me a lot. After years of fighting with the simple truth, I can not eat wheat, I have grown to love to research foods and how they can help my body be strong, my head find clarity and my energy rise or fall. I also love to hear what people are eating, new recipe ideas, or a new green things I have never heard of. I am often asked in the grocery store what am I going to do with all that kale? So, I thought I would share not just what I do with all that kale but a few resources that I like as well. I should write a disclaimer, I am in no way a chef. Honestly, cooking is not my thing, food is though. I am much happier to eat what my husband cooks, in fact we all are at my house!

Kale chips, I know you all eat them right? Well, if not, chop up that kale into larger than bite size pieces, put into a bowl with olive oil, Himalayan salt and massage it in. Throw it onto a baking sheet so it is not on top of each another and put it in the oven. Because ovens are all different I would start around 375, and check a few minutes in. You want it to be crispy. It cools quickly, the rest is self explanatory, enjoy!

I sauté kale in a small frying pan with olive oil and water and add it to everything from rice dishes, pasta, eggs and as a dish on it’s own.

I eat kale raw dipped in hummus!!! Love this one!

I also add it to smoothies with fruit for my kids and they love it.

These are just a few ways that I enjoy that great green leaf, there are much more creative ways you will find I’m sure. And yes, please share.

Here are two places I sometimes find some good information or just inspiration from the pictures alone.
My friend Jessica has great recipes (and video cooking classes) the easiest way to find her right now is through facebook but she also has a great website.

I also like on facebook. Young and Raw and Chris Carr.

Chris Carr is everywhere on the Internet but I really enjoyed her book Crazy Sexy Diet.

Have fun.
Do yoga.
Eat Kale.


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Short on time? TRY THIS!

Being a working mom, I always feel like I never have enough time in a day. Which means I usually put myself at the bottom of my to do list, which affects my yoga practice. Squeezing in time for me to move, breath and release unnecessary tension is tough to incorporate in an already hectic schedule.

Recently the only way I can get time to practice is if I practice with my daughter and husband at home before dinner. My daughter is 3 years old, so as you can imagine this isn't any easy task, convincing her to give Mommy some space. My husband being understanding does his best to keep her entertained, but it usually ends up with her crying outside of our "yoga room" door, until I open it and console her. UGH!

So I've recently come up with a solution. One I hope you will try, when you find yourself in a similar situation.

I have a small portable digital clock/timer, which I use when I'm teaching or practicing Yin yoga.
This is the one I use. There are many on the market. Check out kitchen stores. 
I set it for the length of time I want to practice, usually 45 minutes. I give the timer to Stella and tell her that she can only come get me from the yoga room when it beeps. We make it into a game.  I get her excited about it, my husband helps. I set it and rush off to do my yoga.

As I lie in Svasana (final relaxation pose), resting peacefully I hear "BEEP, BEEP, BEEP" and then the heavy footsteps of a 3 year old running up the stairs. She flings open the door and jumps on me with enthusiasm.

We move on with the rest of our evening, every one feeling happy and settled. WORKS like a charm.

Hope it works for you too.

Post Yoga BLISS!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Run

This next Sunday will be a year. A year since we laced up our shoes, put on our pink and with teary eyes headed out amongst thousands. We ran, walked, talked, laughed and cried our way through the 5km course all knowing how important this run was to us. We were out there for all the mothers, sisters, daughters, sons and everyone else that has been affected by breast cancer but we were deeply connected to this day to fight for Michelle. We lost Michelle to breast cancer this year and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. As Sunday is nearing and my kids and I are anticipating the run again I am asking myself what have I learned or maybe the truth is, what lessons have I been reminded of.

Clean floors are not as important as tickling my kids.
Think about the big things before saying them, then say them quickly.
Life is a beautiful gift to be treasured and enjoyed, daily.
Ask for help when you need it.
Offer help whenever you can.
See the good.
Laugh, laugh, laugh.
It is just a cold.
Eat lots and lots and lots of kale, but also eat cake.


Thursday, 20 September 2012


I've struggled for years with digestive problems. Was even diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 8 years ago. At times my colitis was so bad that I would spend days in the hospital on a liquid diet full of steroids to help reduce the level of inflammation in my colon. All very upsetting and debilitating.

It was within these tough moments where I realized that for me to get better I needed to take things into my own hands. To question myself, my emotions and of course my diet to get down to why my GUT was reacting this way.

I'm thrilled to tell you now that my Colitis is in remission and I'm on no medication. In other words I feel great.

A lot of my recovery is attributed to my yoga practice. Moving my body with an awareness, with a sensitivity. Connecting to my breath and recognizing what I say to myself when I'm sad, or angry or in pain. Seeing that I have a choice in how I react to the stress in my life.

I also attribute my recovery to understanding how my body reacts to certain foods. I learned this from many different Naturalpathic Doctors and Ayurvedic healers.

Which is why I'm thrilled to introduce you to Dr. Thara Vayali. Thara is not only a talented Naturalpathic Doctor but she's also a brilliant yoga teacher. She has a few great yoga classes on, including a quick "Office Yoga" class. Click here to check them out.

At we want to give you choices and make life a little easier. So may you see the power behind your digestion and take back your health with these easy wellness tips for Indigestion.

**Please ask your doctor before you start any new routines or go off any current medication. For more specific help please contact Dr. Thara Vayali.

Here's to you and your health. And keep checkin in, more wellness tips to come.

Love & Light, 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

110 Kisses

I am sitting at Small Rituals coffee shop after just dropping my teary son off at pre-school for his first day back this year. I have a lump in my throat and have shed fewer tears than I feel are actually inside. My son is four years old and likes to stay close to myself or my husband unless his sister is around. I often struggle with how much I am to encourage independence at this age.  As I stood by the pool this summer trying to pressure him into swimming lessons my friend reminded me he is only 48 months old. Not a long time to be here.

Our society encourages independence at such a young age. I see the importance of independence, being strong on our own, feeling confident in our bodies and with our voices and being capable, contributing people.

But I also see the need for each other. To be close to and support each other. To help each other out and feel a part of something bigger. To know that we are never truly alone. I want my kids to know that they can trust me and come to me. I also know that they are little and he probably won’t want 110 kisses before school in grade 10.

This doesn’t just go for kids. We need to feel good about ourselves and stand up for what we believe in, even if it means sometimes we appear to be standing alone. We need to speak freely and truthfully and feel confident in this. To be able to get out of bed and show up in the world, without coaxing or reward.

We also need support, we need a kind push or to push, to encourage each other, to be held.

Life is always a balance. The balance that I need will be different from the balance that you need. Thankfully, this will help when I need support you may be strong and when you are in need I will have my arms open.

We have independent countries, independent schools, independent living as we age. We work towards independence our whole life but aren't we all one?

Let's enjoy the balance, the freedom that we have to be great, to be strong, to stand on our own and let's also stand together and support each other in this journey.

110 kisses


Thursday, 6 September 2012


As we (CJ & I) grow our business ( we see that at certain times we need to put ourselves out there and ask for want we want.

In other words we need to BE BOLD and put actions to our ideas and dreams.

In reality this is how was initially created, two very passionate woman, yoga practitioners who dreamed of making yoga accessible for ALL and finally put the actions/plan together to make it happen.

Now maybe you have a big dream or an idea. What are you doing to get there? What steps are you taking to move in that direction? To see your dreams come true.

Growing up my parents dreamed of having a beach house, with a beautiful view looking out over the ocean. They would talk about a home where family could meet and eat together every Sunday. A home where you could stay on the deck all night long, dancing and laughing with family & friends. A place where out of town guests would feel at home and relaxed. A place where you could drag a paddle board across the railroad tracks and paddle till the sun went down. A home they would build just to suit them.

Now this is a big dream when there's really only a few properties like this in the White Rock area (ocean town 45 minutes outside of Vancouver BC & on the Blaine WA border). My parents work hard to build their own business, while taking care of 3 kids and saving on the side for retirement, education and of course big dreams.

Well, two years ago their dream came true. The beautiful, high ceiling, open concept beach home they dreamed of came to life. Both my mom & step dad even enjoyed the process of building a home together (I hear that's unusual) and created the space they had been manifesting for years.

My Mom, Stella & I laughing on the patio at Sunday dinner

DREAM BIG & BE BOLD! Put actions behind your dreams. Ask for what you want and go get it.

With enthusiasm,

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Last weekend I had the amazing experience of heading up to Whistler with Lauren for Wanderlust -- a live music and yoga festival. Whistler transformed itself, along with many of the people that were there, I imagine. The already beautiful village in the mountains was full of smiling people wandering from one class to another, lots of long embraces as familiar faces showed up, live music in classes and acro yogis flying high in the middle of the square.

I had many moments of pure yoga bliss this weekend but this is the moment I want to share... 

It was outside just nearing sunset, with a full view of the mountains surrounding us, hundreds of yoga mats filled the space. Seane Corn led us in a tear-filled, awe-inspiring class as Michael Franti played equally inspiring music. In between yoga and dancing I stopped to take it all in. The energy of this class was so strong I can’t find the words. We danced together, sang together, saluted and prayed for people we know and some we have never met. After it was over we all sat still, palms at the heart and released the sound of OM together. The sound must have carried itself miles. I came away from this class with so much inspiration but the thing that I was reminded of most is how we are a part of something so much bigger and by coming together we can do so much more. 

This class was led by two people. It took only two people to start the butterfly effect that is still carrying on as I am writing about it a week later. Two people came together to start and in the blink of an eye there were hundreds and with the gathering of people there was something so powerful, so motivating and an amazing feeling of oneness. The vibration was huge, the sound carried and the feeling of one was spread. 

We are stronger than we think. We can make big changes and move this world into a place of peace and freedom for everyone. 

We all have dreams, we have hopes and we are all capable of making them come true. No one is too small to begin. Start, go for it, believe and then look up and may be surprised to see how many people have joined you. 

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”  - Dalai Lama 


Tuesday, 21 August 2012


"Through out the years, I have noticed the tendency in myself and others to think that we must practice Boot-camp yoga, that is, the poses must be difficult, even painful, to be beneficial and worthwhile. Sadly, we do not practice to find the comfortable, but to overcome ourselves and conquer the pose. In reality, our thoughts about the poses reflect our thoughts about ourselves. It is not uncommon for students to berate themselves with self-judging internal dialogue during practice. " Judith Lasater, from the book"Living your yoga"
Not only do I agree with this statement but I see it both in my students and even in my self. Using our yoga practice as a way to measure our self worth. Comparing ourselves to other students in the room. Judging our ability or in ability.

When you examine what it means to be an "advanced" yoga practitioner (especially when you dive deep into ancient texts like the Bhagavad Gita or Patanjali's yoga sutras) it's not about how well you can bend your body or balance on your hands. It's about your attitude. How you choose to show up on your mat.

Will it be another opportunity for self judgement or will you acknowledge your tendencies to do this and choose to respond differently. To be kind and compassionate with your self for that day.

Will you choose to see that another students accomplishments is not a reflection of your failures, yet a reflection of your potential. The un bound beauty behind this practice is that the more you soften and let go, the deeper you will see that you're already right where you're supposed to be.

"The only real success in life is living with an open loving heart" Judith Lasater, from the book"Living your yoga" 

Let yoga be a practice of SELF LOVE!


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Go Fish

Tonight my husband, two kids and I headed down to the pier for a bullhead fishing derby. When we arrived the pier was buzzing with excitement. We quickly found a spot and baited our hooks together. My daughter was so excited her hands were flying all over and my son was jumping up and down. Parents, grandparents and friends, were all gathered at the edges of the dock waiting for the start bell. As soon as it rang the lines were dropping and fish were biting. Kids were screaming in pure happiness and cheering each other on. Adults were all laughing and encouraging their kids. Each time we caught a fish my kids would scream and jump and then, very proudly, walk the fish down to the table where it was measured, recorded and then released.

The thing that I found so amazing about this evening was how so many families participated. Some volunteered, some came to cheer, some came to fish. Some families have been doing this for years and some it was their first time. I am inspired by how many people just come out and went for it. In the end it didn’t matter who caught the most fish, the biggest fish or the most unusual fish. It mattered that a community came together and had fun. Pure and simple. Participated, went for it and had fun. Imagine if we all just got out there, threw our lines in more often, cheered each on and waited to see what we caught.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

You CAN do it!

I went for a run yesterday on the beach.

I'm NOT a runner, to be honest unless someone is chasing me I tend to stay away from that kind of exercise all together. I prefer hikes, or cycling, aerobics class, Zumba or yoga of course. CJ's the runner between the two of us.

Either way, I was at the beach leading a yoga class and afterwards I just felt this desire to run along the walk way, get a little sweat on and feel my heart beat. So I tied my new running shoes on tight, wrapped my keys around my wrist and headed down the path.

It was a beautiful day, blue skies, warm sunshine and a soft breeze off the ocean. Perfect in my books.

It wasn't long before my heart was racing, legs were aching and lungs were burning. I realised a moment later that this was where I usually gave up and stopped running, a brisk walk in other words, usually resulting in a feeling of disappointment and self judgement or criticising how "out of shape" I am.

So as I noticed my old habits creeping up I made a decision, more out of curiosity than anything that I would keep going and be ok with the intense sensations my body was experiencing.

I steady out my pace, and started focusing on deep breathing, long inhale through my nose, long exhale out my mouth, (traditional in & out nose breathing wasn't going to happen in this moment). I made a decision that I was going to keep this pace and this breath for as long as I could until I reached the other side of the beach.

It really wasn't that far.

"I can do it" I repeated to myself over & over again.

Well, I did it. My heart rate still high but was ok, my lungs were working well and my legs started feeling strong and capable. I WAS JOGGING! In my world, this is amazing!

Our habitual tendencies usually drive our every day routines and thought patterns, sometimes leaving us feeling out of control or hopelessly defeated. There are times when our habits serve us and our lives and other times it inhibits us from trying or breaking out of old "I can't" and fearful beliefs of ourselves.

The reality is we're capable of doing ANYTHING we want to do. So next time you find yourself in an intense moment, maybe a moment you would normally give up, ask yourself why? And know that you have a choice in the matter. Even if your choice is to not do it.

Love and light,

Thursday, 2 August 2012

My Thoughts....

Some people feel that if they hold a certain spiritual belief, yoga may not be for them. Yoga will ask you to question yourself and dig deep. To open your heart and look inside. But it will honour your beliefs and recognizes oneness is all of us regardless of what religion you may or may not follow.

I feel we all have a purpose here and although our beliefs may differ we are on the same path. Some practices I find interesting but are not for me and others give a name to beliefs I already hold. Even if you are born into a spiritual practice that serves you for life there is often work to be done to live along these beliefs. I am brought to tears when I see the dedication that some have for there spiritual leaders, when one believes so strongly to get down and give thanks, even when life has handed them hard, sometimes devastating times. I am also inspired by those searching for what feels right to them, changing their ideas as new ones come along that fit better so they themselves can find their truth.

I feel that we are all meant to be here regardless of whom you call God. The thing that is so amazing is that despite our different beliefs when it comes right down to it, we are all one. We cry when we are sad and laugh when things are funny. Your spiritual path may differ from mine but our paths may cross and it could change the trail a little.

Some of us sit, some pray, some give thanks, show kindness, show love. Some of us wear certain clothes, paint our faces, wear a symbol around our neck. We can take different ideas from different areas and make them our own or we can follow one idea or religion. There are no rules, at least none that I can see. By honouring each other’s practices we can come together and be stronger and make amazing positive changes.

I feel we should all be open, embrace our beliefs and differences, embrace our own personal changes and be confident, open and respectful. I love to get on my mat and make each movement an offering. I feel something bigger, a belonging. For me my yoga practice is often more than poses. I dream of a world regardless of differing faiths we can all move and breath together, as one. I hope you can open your arms to whatever guides you and feel gratitude for all this life has to offer you.

“My religion is simple. My religion is kindness” Dalai Lama.


Thursday, 26 July 2012


There have been many times in my life when I felt LOST.

The most recent occasion was a few months after the birth of my daughter (she was born in May 2009).  I was over joyed with the birth of my sweet little girl, and I was slowly getting the hang of taking care of a newborn. In other words we (my little family and I) had found our rhythm, or routine and was making our way in the world.

Where I felt lost was with who "I AM". It was so clear to who I was before Stella arrived. I was a passionate yogini, spreading the wisdom of yoga to others in a local yoga studio. I was strong and playful. I was compassionate and loving. I WAS ME!

Stella & I the day after she was born
So after a few weeks of sadness and confusion, I started to think of ways I could re-invent myself. So I cut my hair, SHORT! A month later I dyed it brown, which I hated and cried every time I looked in the mirror for a few weeks, till I called and got highlights put back in. I kept doing my yoga, slowly but I felt weak and I couldn't relate to the body I had now, after giving birth. Again, I was lost.
Short haircut, no pic of brown hair, b/c I hated it so much!
I was searching everywhere for the answer.

I wish I could say that I found myself months later, however that's not the truth. The truth is that it took me a year. Yeah, a YEAR! But along the journey I remembered who I am in the most profound way.

It had nothing to do with the way I looked, or the way I taught yoga. It had nothing to do with how much money I had or what I wore. It had nothing to do with my success or failures. It had everything to do with how I received and gave LOVE.

For me it was more about the receiving of love, as I am much better at giving than receiving. I realised this by coming back to journaling. Now, I didn't have a lot of time on my hands but I committed myself to writing 3 things I was grateful for EVERY DAY!

I got to see within every day how many moments of bliss I experienced and felt gratitude for. I got to see how good life is. I got to see how much LOVE I received a day.

What are 3 things your grateful for today?

xo Lauren

Thursday, 19 July 2012


It is love that brings happiness to people. 
It is love that gives joy to happiness. 
My mother didn't give birth to me, that love did. 
A hundred blessings and praises to that love.
-- Rumi 

We are all born from love. We all deserve and desire love. I am inspired daily by my kids and how they love. When kids love someone, they don't care what that person looks like, what they wear, what hairstyle they have or what they will get from giving their love. They just love. And they will tell you. Without hesitation, without attachment or regret, they just love. 

I believe we are all born into this world from love and with a purpose. I believe under it all we are all the same and we are all capable of changing the world into a better place just by loving. It is easy to love your kids, your parents, your spouse but the challenge is finding love for people we don't understand or people we are afraid to understand. I also think there is a challenge in sharing love with those we see everyday. At dinner tonight my kids were singing a song about how they loved everyone and everything in the whole world. I get it. As we get older we are taught to love a certain way or possibly not quite as freely as the opera I was sung tonight but why not go back to that feeling of joy in love that we had when we were kids. We just loved. To love and be loved, what else is there? May you all find the joy in love today.    

With Love,

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Are You ON or OFF?

In January of this year, I was teaching 12 yoga classes a week, part responsible for an impromptu local yoga studio, working with Carli-Jean to get to the place we wanted it (which is a full time job alone) and of course taking care of my household wife, mom, woman duties. Let's just say I was overwhelmingly busy. (I still kind of am).

This isn't even what really contributed to my anxiety. It was the fact that I couldn't turn "OFF". I would lie in bed at night streaming my brain for marketing ideas, or yoga sequences. I would be bathing Stella and putting laundry away, while thinking about a private client of mine.

I was always running at high speed & doing too many things at once!

I sit here today aware that this pattern in my life doesn't serve me.

So this week, I'm making a commitment to myself to change that. Or at least a commitment to start the process of noticing when I fall into this habit. Yoga has taught me that it all starts with awareness, because once I KNOW, than I can see where my choices lie.

Today I chose to play with my daughter skillfully. To be in the moment with her while we play with her stuffies, and then blow bubbles in the backyard. Today I chose to be present with my husband when he's explaining his day, and later when I move in my yoga practice. Today I see that the most important choice I have is to BE in the moment, even when I'm "OFF" lying on my mat in Savasana (corpse pose, final relaxation!).

Today I see that the freedom I desire in my life starts when I allow myself to fully be "ON", when I'm supposed to be "ON", and totally "OFF" when it's time to be "OFF".

Love, Lauren

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


We are awake. We are free. We are full of possibilities. We make choices. We choose our clothes, our breakfast and the way we will behave today. We choose how we will talk to people and how we will be talked to. We can move, we can sing and we can dance. We can laugh. We can have moments of silence or we can scream. Today is amazing. We have today to be the person we want to be. We have today to do cartwheels if we choose. Today is all ours. So enjoy today. Fully. Have fun, learn, share, forgive, smile and most of all love.



Thursday, 28 June 2012


One of the things that I cherish most with my yoga is the COMMUNITY. In the beginning, going to a group class was kind of intimidating, as I stressed about the unknown and worried about my capabilities within each pose.

Then I started talking to the students that where in class, and things started to change. I saw that everyone had similar fears & insecurities.

The people on my yoga mat came from all different backgrounds, with different reasons for trying yoga, however we had one thing in common. We all loved yoga!

Some I met in regular classes, later on I met through workshops and trainings. We would email to see who's going to class, and meet after for tea. We would car pool together. We even had a few weekend trips where we shared accommodations, which of course involved personal stories, cooking in the kitchen together and a helping hand getting into handstand. Some people I talk to now & then, some are my closest friends that I see every week.

It's this community that still encourages me when I'm struggling. Inspires me to try something new, or look at something old from a different point of view. It's this community that celebrates with me when I achieve a goal. It's this community that reminds me why I LOVE YOGA so much.

As we move into this patriotic weekend (July 1st is Canada Day for us), I'm reminded of community and how important it is to acknowledge the incredible people that encourage us, help us and inspire us.

May you be generous with your energy, whether it be a simple smile at someone as you cross paths, or a helping hand to family or friends. May you introduce yourself to someone new next time your at yoga or the gym.

May you get to know your community!

"We all have known loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and love comes with Community" Dorothy Day

Thank you to my Yoga community, you mean the world to me!!!

Love & Light,

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Michelle Warrior Goddess

When Lauren and I decided to do this blog our main goal was to motivate and inspire people by sharing what motivates and inspires us.

There is nothing more inspiring to me at this moment than my friend and cousin in law, Michelle. Michelle was diagnosed a year ago with stage four breast cancer. She went from enjoying life with her husband and three beautiful children all under the age of five to a year full of doctor appointments, scans, spinal taps, hospital visits and the terrible side effects of Chemo. Her seemingly healthy body was poisoned to fight these tumors and she got sick. I often wonder how I would behave in this situation and am blown away with the grace that Michelle has taken this on. She researched foods and changed her diet, she did what she could to get the rest she needed, she read books, watched movies and learned as much as she could to fight this disease with knowledge and power. She did this while also taking care of her children and doing everything she could to be the one to pick her oldest son up from school even when she had trouble walking. I have told her I thought she should start dressing like the ladies from GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.) She is a true warrior goddess.

The thing that truly inspires me to the core is her positive attitude. When her hair started falling out she played jokes with her daughter and took it as it is, just hair. She is now in the hospital and going through more tests daily and in the middle of all of this she laughed with me about how we need to call Dr. House.

Life is wonderful but it is also unpredictable. It is full of sunshine and laughter and moments of pure bliss but it also has storms. Sometimes big storms. The challenge is being in the storm and still seeing the light, seeing the sunshine through the dark clouds and living each moment to the fullest. I don’t know how to do this sometimes but what I know is that Michelle is inspiring me to let go of the little things that used to upset me and focus on the things that bring me joy. My kids laughing, my husband's smile, time with my friends and family and the fact that I am able to get on my mat and move my body with ease. She is teaching me to say yes more often and to be grateful for each moment. To forgive quickly. To love fully. To show love often and to give it away freely. To smile bigger and laugh harder. She is more than I can put into words. Thank you Michelle for your daily inspiration. You are strength, you are courage and you are grace.

This is Michelle and I pregnant with our first borns, we had the same due date!!! In the words of our husbands' Omi, "it must have been quite a party."


Thursday, 14 June 2012


When I started practising yoga, back in 2002, I could only afford to do 1 - 2 yoga classes a week. I was  just out of college and had a limited budget. My mom even helped pay for some of my yoga classes because she saw how much it helped me.

After a few months I saw & felt the changes in my body, mind and heart. I wanted to do more! I started asking my teacher (Dan Clement of what kind of yoga books he would recommend and what type of poses I should do at home. At that time he was exploring Ashtanga yoga, so he suggested David Swenson's "Ashtanga Yoga, the Practise manual" as it broke down the Primary Series, which was what we had been practising. So I went online and bought it.

After weeks of anticipation, the book arrived. I remember vividly unwrapping the packaging, rolling out my yoga mat and opening the pages of the book. Thank you David Swenson for keeping it simple and clear, as this is what I needed.

I was still a new practitioner, so I found myself going slow, looking up at the book probably way too much and struggling a lot with what I thought I "should" look like or be feeling or doing. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but in hindsight it was my expectations that let me down.  I continued doing this, not always finishing the series, however I set the intention to be consistent and get to my yoga mat regularly.

This is the moment when my practise changed. When my practise imprinted in my life. I committed to Time with myself! I've never been the same since.

It's not easy practising at home on your own. Even now as a yoga teacher, an entrepreneur and a busy mom. I have way too many excused not to get to my mat. Then I remember why I practise, and how I feel when I do. I'm a better mom, a calmer wife, a skillful yogi and a compassionate teacher.

I MUST practise.

Most people assume, that to do yoga at home you have to have an advance understanding of yoga and the postures. Or that you have to practise for a certain amount of time for it to count. Or that you have to be flexible or knowledgeable with the history & philosophy. Some people even think you need a specific fitness space or designated yoga room to practise at home.


I practise yoga in my living room. Surrounded by toddler toys, with my cat purring all around me. Sometimes I put music on and groove, sometimes I log in and do a class online ( of course). Sometimes I practise for an hour and other times I just have 20 - 30 minutes. There are NO rules to YOUR practise. Just get to your mat, move, breath, be conscious of your actions and thoughts. Take time for yourself.

I feel blessed that I've been surrounded by amazing yoga teachers and people who have supported me in this exploration and encouraged me to DO MY YOGA.

So here's my challenge to you.........TRY YOGA AT HOME!

If you need inspiration, try this class from

(It's free & it's with ME) Hatha Yoga class - Your practice as a refection of life

With you on this path,

Thursday, 7 June 2012


I love that I know my neighbors, that my kids yell over the fence to say hello and show them their books or artwork. I want my kids to feel that they have people and that they are never alone. When I was little we played in our front yards, we didn’t call our friends or text our friends; we walked right through their back door and straight into their kitchen to say hi. It is empowering and in my opinion necessary to feel a part of something bigger, to feel connected. Life is exciting and it is challenging and sometimes it is really scary. But if we breath deep and look around we will see that we are all here for the same thing so let’s stand up for one another, reach out to new people, laugh together, cry together and support each other. Let's walk into the kitchen of an old or new friend and say hi and get to know our neighbors.


This is my most favorite quote of all time. I hope you enjoy it.

"This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.   They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly. 
"Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.  At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves.  For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. 
    "The time for the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. 
    "We are the ones we've been waiting for."
-- attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder
Hopi Nation
Oraibi, Arizona

Thursday, 31 May 2012


I once had a private client who came to me with a large list of ailments. He was a type 2 diabetic who needed to lose 80-100 lbs. He was in chronic pain, struggled with insomnia, and had already lost 2 toes and the doctors where threatening his foot, if he didn't get his act together. His wife signed him up for a private yoga session with me, as she had been practising yoga with me for a year and had seen a huge difference in your body and life. 

I spent half a day preparing for his hour session. Did research about his issues, planned a 
class, wrote questions I wanted to ask him. I wanted to help!

When he first entered, you could tell he was skeptical and hesitant. He asked "so what's this YOGA all about". I explained all the science behind it and got him lying on his back, so we could do some non-weight bearing postural stuff. I also used it as an opportunity to teach him about his breathe. As stress was a big factor for him. 

About half way through the session, he looked up at me and said, how long will it take for me to lose weight and get flexible. He wanted me to give him a date/time. I told him that yoga takes time. That if he committed himself to this practise all that he longed would come, however it could take months or even YEARS.

He then rolled over, said "I haven't had to work hard for anything in my life, and I don't want to start now". He thanked me for the session, and left. I never heard from him again.

I cried hard!

After I finished taking it personal and actually got some perspective on the situation (a week later), I saw that it had nothing to do with me. 

Patience speaks to me often, especially since my daughter was born.

My A type personality wants things NOW.

Even though my passionate, yet stubborn personality serves me in many ways, it also hinders me from really experiencing and cherishing the space between my intentions and the final destination.

Some of the people, things and experiences I cherish the most, aren't the ones that came easily or right away.

Cultivating patience isn't an easy task, however it's a worthy one. Working hard for what you want, builds character and strength. Persevering and embracing the journey makes the reward that much sweeter. 

May you walk slowly along the path and be patient.

"Practise, all is coming" Sri K. Pattabhi Jois