Congrats Class of 2011!

Gratitude: I knew there would be some weight-loss happening on this yoga adventure of mine, so I packed a measuring tape just to track my progress.  While walking past the bathroom mirror I caught a side view of my body and thought, “Dayum, you lookin’ good girl!”, so I whipped out my measuring tape and…drum roll please… I’ve lost 5 inches around my waist.  Pretty cool!

Today is the day the class of 2011 graduates from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine!  This is a wonderful class, filled with amazing, and talented doctors who I am sure will all be very successful and will help a countless number of people!  It will be strange not seeing them in the halls of CCNM anymore…strange..and sad.  Cheers to you guys from BC!!  I cannot believe I had to miss their graduation today, but they’ve certainly been in my thoughts all day!  Here’s a press release on their graduation!

Yoga: Today we got into pairs and led each other through a 50 minute yoga practice.  Right before coming here, my watch broke.  Now this is weird because I am never without time but I have been completely watch-less for nearly two weeks now.  Very strange.  For the first few days I kept staring at my wrist every few seconds thinking a watch would be there.  So yes, needless to say, I’m not exactly a pro at gaging 50 minutes passing and I’m pretty sure my yoga routine lasted approximately half an hour.  We were sweating pretty hard when it was over.  It was actually a really good workout, but not exactly what we were going for.

Meditation:  I led my partner into a bit of meditation/relaxation while in savasana today.  I walked him through some progressive muscle relaxation techniques and practiced applying a ton of metaphors to tune him into his body and where he holds his tension.  He seemed to enjoy it.  I almost laughed at one point because my meditation voice was starting to sound an awful lot like Phoebe Buffay’s (from the show FRIENDS) during an episode when she helps Monica relax after breaking up with her boyfriend Richard…

PHOEBE: Okay, all right, so, you’re in a meadow, millions of stars in the sky….
MONICA: Do you think breaking up with him was a huge mistake?
PHOEBE: All right, there are no questions in the happy place. Okay, just, the warm breeze, and the moonlight flowing through the trees….
MONICA: I’ll bet he’s totally over me, I’ll bet he’s fine.
PHOEBE: All right, betting and wagering of any kind, are, I’m sure, not permitted in the happy place. Okay. Just, you know, the lovely waterfalls, and the, the trickling fountains. And the-the calming sounds of the babbling brook….
MONICA: Okay, this isn’t working. I’m still awake and now I have to pee.

This scene started running through my mind and hearing Phoebe’s voice saying babbling brook made it hard not to laugh out loud.

Food Awareness: Had my usual smoothie for breakfast this morning.  Added WAY too much protein powder and it got really thick and creamy, which created a texture that made me want to gag each time I drank some.  It wasn’t the most pleasant thing in the world but at least it tasted ok.  I had some left over salmon and sesame stir-fry for lunch, and for dinner I made sweet potato fries which I burned slightly but still devoured, and an Adzuki Bean and Butternut Squash Sautee.  This took way longer to prepare than anticipated, but still quite yummy.

Nature Appreciation: Watched some eagle’s today.  My roommate and I walked to our place after class and saw one land right at the top of a pine tree.  Its weight was starting to tip the tree over quite a bit, yet it continued to stay there, just chilling out.

Chaturanga City

Gratitude: Super grateful for Traumeel.  I was initiated into the surfing world by the Pacific Ocean yesterday when the waves knocked me over and made my surf board go flying which then banged me on my thigh.  Here is the wonderful bruise that developed as a result:  Also grateful that this bruise is on my thigh and not on my face.  Ouch, just thinking of that makes me feel additional pain.

Yoga: Well, well, today was another amazing day.  It rained pretty much all day, so the sky was pretty grey and dreary which meant we were all kind of low on energy.  That did not stop Eoin from making us do approximately 500 chaturanga’s today….if you’re not familiar with what these are, they’re like push-ups but with your elbows glued to your sides.  I have never sweat so much in a yoga class that wasn’t in a heated studio.  We had the doors and windows open and that had no effect on my downpour of sweat onto my mat.  I was feeling pretty sore from yesterday’s surfing, so I’m really interested to see how my body is going to feel tomorrow…

Meditation:  We had a great savasana in which Eoin had us go around and adjust people while in savasana with the sole intention of making them more comfortable, more relaxed, and at ease.  Throughout the process you lie down and then other people get up and adjust you.  I had an amazing time but almost had more fun adjusting other people than when others did it to me.

Food Awareness: The temptation to cheat on the detox diet today was SO HIGH.  I didn’t cave, but came very close.  I would have offered up an organ, or my future first born child, for a piece of chocolate or even some bread today.  I broiled some wild pacific salmon and made a sesame stir-fry for dinner.  It was delicious and very filling.  Definitely a 10 on the prana-meter.

Nature Appreciation: The rain was nice.  Unlike in Toronto where I sometimes feel like I’m getting beaten up by water drops, the rain here today was very gentle.  I mean… don’t get me wrong, I still got soaked, but at least it didn’t feel so aggressive!

Follow your BLISS

Gratitude:

1) Was feeling particularly in pain today for… umm… feminine reasons… and so many of my awesome fellow yogi friends have come by and nurtured me to joy.  The number of back rubs and love I’ve received today has been overwhelming.

2) We had stellar day today.  Only had half a yoga class and spent the rest of the day at Chesterman Beach in Tofino.  I got a surfing lesson and had a blast.  WHAT A WORKOUT.  My entire body is gonna feel that one tomorrow.  Wow.  I also wiped out from a wave that formed literally in front of my face when I wasn’t expecting it.  It knocked me under and had my board flying and somehow in the process it dinged me on my thigh and now I have a massive bruise forming.  Will be applying all my naturopathic goodies on that one to keep the bruising to a minimum, though it already spans about as wide as my thigh is.

3) We watched The Power of Myth which is a series of PBS interviews with Joseph Campbell.  If you know who this is, you’ll probably know him for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion.  His philosophy is simply: Follow your bliss.  Watching this and talking with the group afterwards I just have to express how grateful I am that all my life I precisely have done that when it matters most.  Somehow I’ve been able to recognize the paths I need to take when forks in the road present themselves in my life.  It’s this ability that led me to Naturopathic Medicine, and also to ….well here! Ucluelet!  Becoming a yoga instructor.  I’m truly grateful to be living a life of true happiness, going to school to learn a type of medicine that is fully in line with the way I believe healing should take place, learning to teach yoga from an Instructor who has the same life missions I do, and recognizing how much I am loved by everyone in my life.

Yoga: Yoga today was a major mind struggle.  I was in a wee bit of pain and today was when we were doing all our core work.  I’m sure all females can empathize with the total desire I had to just lie down on my mat and curl up in a ball instead of holding myself in a low plank pose with one foot on the ground while the other moves around to work my core.  Yeahhh….  I was constantly fighting with the dilemma of:  But my body seems to be weak and debilitated…do I push through and do the yoga anyway and get energy from the practice itself?  Or do I listen to my body and take it easy?  I opted to do what I could and rest when I needed.  I figured that’s what I would tell any student in my class, so the same should apply to me!

Meditation: Today we had savasana in a group circle where we basically all lied on top of each other some how. My thighs provided good head support for many individuals.  It was interesting laying so close to people while trying to meditate.  I didn’t really transcend anywhere, but I did get really in tune with everyone else’s bodies.  Where people were holding tension, people’s pulses, people’s breathing.  My pulse, my breathing.  It was overall very relaxing and cool to experience something totally different.

Food Awareness: Had my typical smoothie for breakfast and then we all went for tacos at Tacofino before surfing.  I was assured that detox friendly options would exist here, however after negotiating certain toppings to be removed from my taco, I think I got the wrong order anyway because my tacos ended up having quite a few non detox diet friendly items on there anyway.  I ate it regardless though because a whole morning of yoga, plus hours of surfing ahead, means a girl should probably chow down, even if it goes agains the cleanse.  Plus, the tacos were a little piece of heaven.  So delicious.

Nature Appreciation:  Am a big fan of the Pacific Ocean today.  Surfing was lots of fun.  The waves at times made me feel like I was getting my butt kicked but I enjoyed it.

Super Stoked

Gratitude: 

The place I’m staying at is awesome for many reasons and I’m grateful for all of them:

1)  It’s cheap

2) It’s a condo with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a view overlooking Trountains (see yesterday’s post for explanation)

3)  It comes with a fire place, hot tub, and full kitchen!!

4)  My yoga classes are held within the same little resort community so it takes me 2 minutes to walk over, literally.

5)  FREE INTERNET

6)  FREE BIKE and KAYAK RENTALS!!

We went kayaking today and I had so much fun.  I can’t say I’ve ever really gone kayaking.  I mean one time in Mexico I sort of did something similar in a cave, but it wasn’t legitimate kayaking by any means.  We saw the most enormous starfish ever!  And I was taught what barnacles are and why you can’t go barefoot in the west coast waters like I did today.  ouch!  A seal also came by us while we were paddling!  He was super cute!  On the way back we saw four bald eagles battling it out over a fish.  You just don’t see these kinds of things in the big city!

Yoga:  Soaking in all the yoga goodness today.   Eoin keeps being amazed at how fast we catch on.  We seem to be going at a good pace and should be done learning the technical work and alignment of all the poses by tomorrow morning.  In fact, because of this we’re taking advantage of the good weather here on the island and heading over to Tofino to go SURFING!!!!  I’ve never been surfing before so tomorrow I’m getting a lesson!!  Very STOKED indeed!

Meditation:  Okay so for the first time all week I know we for sure did meditation today.  It was a long one.  A lot of people seemed to have similar meditation experiences after reflecting on them in group.  I however, did not have a very deep experience.  I did get into a great place though and was crazy relaxed.

Food Awareness:  10/10 on the Prana-meter.  It’s nice to feel guilt free about everything I’m putting into my body these days.  I can see the effect it’s having.  Eoin the other day asked if I ever even get angry!  It’s true though…I don’t know if it’s the island, the detox, the yoga, probably a mix of all three, but man, I’m on cloud nine every day.

Nature Appreciation:  I held an oyster shell today.  I considered taking it with me to Toronto, but then my friends made me realize there was still an actual oyster in it, and that my suitcase would smell quite a bit.  The shape was just so cool and amazing, I still wish I could have brought it!

Trountains

Gratitude:  

1)  Finished class a lot earlier than usual today.  It’s not that I don’t want to be in class and learning and doing yoga, but I’m REALLY sore and tired!  I mean I get why… putting aside the fact that we’re basically doing yoga from 8:30am to 6:30-7pm-ish everyday, plus the fact that I’m constantly wowed by something on this island, I’ve been expending a lot of yang energy and today calls for some yin-building.  I woke up hoping for today to be a little more chill and the universe provided that, which I’m really grateful for.

2)  In my previous blog, I worked really hard to be able to do crow pose.  It took basically a month and I finally got it.  You know that saying … use it or lose it?  Yeah… I didn’t use it…so it was gone.  Crow pose has been just not happening for several months now so whenever we do it in class lately, I just quietly laugh at myself while I attempt to get into the pose.  But today, I did it for approximately a second and a half!!!!!!!!!!!  PROGRESS!!!

Note: this is NOT me in the picture!  But I so wish it was…

3)  The fellow Yogis in my class.  They’re all such awesome people.  We’re all so different but yet so much the same?  Everyone’s goals and main drives to be here are aligned and it makes for great energy in class.

Yoga:  We learned “Sun Salutation Sea” today.  This is mostly a play on words because in classical yoga there’s a Sun Salutation A, B, and C.   This is a sun salutation that Eoin made up.  He created this version because he’s a surfer and he found that doing a regular Sun Salutation on the beach would have him eating sand in chaturanga for example.  So he created a new version with different flows that still warms you up, but without having to be arm deep in sand.  People who don’t like push ups would love this version but it sure does build up a sweat!

Meditation:  I can’t say I really remember meditating today.  I don’t know what my problem is that I forget this part of my day almost everyday, but there you have it.

Food Awareness: Another 10/10 day, I had another smoothie for breakfast, totally dairy free and full of antioxidants.  Strawberries, blueberries, water, protein powder and a wee bit of flaxseed oil.  During my lunch break I was a cooking MACHINE.  I made more Warm and Spicy Sweet Potato Salad, and roasted a chicken so I could have dinner made when I came home after class today.  Because I don’t have the right pots and pans here, I sort of burned like 98% of the vegetables that were supposed to be included with this spectacular chicken, but a few survived!  The chicken was so juicy and delicious!

Nature Appreciation: Totally blown away by the Trountains here in Ucluelet.  Not sure what a trountain is?  It’s a tree-covered mountain.  My sister made up the term during her first visit to BC.  She too was totally blown away so she made up the word and even had it published on urban dictionary! 


Fiddleheads

Gratitude:

1)  Got to hike the Pacific Rim Trail today (well at least part of it!)

2)  Went to Tofino and had a delicious dinner and stopped at Long Beach on the way.

3)  Had a wicked awesome yoga class today.

Yoga: The class led by Eoin was fantastic.  We were all sweating buckets.  The lecture portion was amazing too.  I learned a lot today.  The main focus has been on proper alignment which I LOVE to pieces.  He compared the work we do to that of what a chiropractor does which I found cool.  He said a chiropractor will go in and properly align the vertebrae by adjusting them one by one and essentially popping them back into place.  The work we do, however achieves the same proper alignment but by teaching you how to hold your body in space.  The focus is on preventing injury and how to adjust people properly when in a variety of poses.  These bits of knowledge transformed my yoga practice after having gone to some of his classes Toronto, but hearing him teach the logic behind everything here in Ucluelet is blowing my mind.  This is such great stuff.

Meditation: Eoin had us do some Ayurvedic style breathing exercises today where you for example, plug your right nostril and breathe deeply in through your left nostril and then deeply exhale through the same one, then plug the left nostril and breathe deeply inthrough the right and exhale…then you switch sides again and repeat these cycles for a while.  When we finished that exercise, he asked us to keep our eyes closed and be still for a while, but I couldn’t.  I felt like “bing!”, “pop!”, something burst and suddenly my vision was brighter, clearer, amazing.   It was the coolest feeling.  That’s the power of breathing eh!

Food Awareness:  Prana-meter rating would be a 10/10 again this morning.  Made a smoothie with fresh pineapple, frozen strawberries, flaxseed oil, and hemp protein.  Had the rest of my little naturopathic chicken nuggets from yesterday and used hummus to dip them.  For dinner my roomie, and two of our new yogi friends drove to Tofino!  On the way we stopped at Long Beach which was gorgeous and breath taking.  We stopped at this restaurant called SoBo and I had Pesto Halibut which was amazingly delicious.  Food just doesn’t get better than this.

Nature Appreciation:  I feel like a kid here.  Everyday there’s something new to discover in Ucluelet that I’ve never seen before in my life.  Like fiddleheads.  It’s this fern that grows in the rainforest and tastes kind of like asparagus.  Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.  It’s also a good source of fibre.  We saw lots of them when me and some of my new yogi friends hiked the Pacific Rim Trail in Ucluelet during our lunch break today.   Then in Tofino when we went out for dinner my halibut came with fiddleheads which were amazing…and tasty!

Day 2 of Yoga Training

Gratitude:  I didn’t pack enough sweaters for this trip and it gets awfully chilly sometimes when we’re doing yoga, so I was really grateful when a fellow yogi friend from class, offered us a ride to the main street today on our lunch break.  I bought a cute new hippie-like sweater.  Definitely CCNM-friendly attire.  Made of organic fibres, and pure love and hand-made designs by the locals.  Having a ride was greatly appreciated as my legs, and well pretty much the rest of my body is getting more and more sore.

Yoga:  Today we started off the morning by taking turns leading the group through sun salutations.  We did 46 sun salutations total.  They’re meant to warm the body up, and man did they ever do that.  I was pretty much dripping by sun salutation #38.  After that Eoin led us through an awesome class where we luckily got to stretch our backs and legs…much needed.  We spent the rest of the day breaking down what I thought were basic yoga moves and quickly learned that they’re all far more complicated than I ever could have imagined haha!

Meditation:  I know I meditated today, but I, as well as a few others, seem to have completely forgotten what we even experienced during that meditation time.  I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but I do know I must have been pretty relaxed!

Food Awareness:  Prana-meter is 10/10 again today!  I had some apple cinnamon brown rice for breakfast, left-over Warm and Spicy Sweet Potato Salad for lunch, brown rice crackers with hummus for snacks and lots of water, and then I made these chicken nuggets for dinner.  I made bread crumbs for the nuggets out of brown rice flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, and bits of brown rice crackers.  The recipe actually called for sesame brown rice crackers but those are virtually impossible to find in Ucluelet…believe me I’ve looked…so I had to make do with what I had.  They turned out great!

Nature Appreciation: Clean air.  The quality of the air was probably the first thing I noticed when I first landed in B.C.  I could immediately feel my lung cells smiling with every inhale of fresh clean air.  It’s kind of chilly in the mornings here, but I like to open up my window and take a big whiff of that O2.  What a way to start your morning!

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