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June 2015

Why Did It Take Me So Long?!

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I finally did it!!

After several years of loving yoga and over two years at PYC I finally took my first Deep Flow Class!!

I had one less kid than usual for the week and a little extra time on my hands, so I decided to get over whatever it was keeping me from a Deep Flow and jumped in!

Kelly at PYC Oshawa was teaching (always a treat) and I was ready to try and flush out my resistance. The atmosphere was different even the students seemed different. They were a little more checked in and present than the usual crowd. It was like they knew what to expect and they were ready to share their little secret.

Power Yoga Canada describes Power Yoga Deep Flow as; “A slower paced Hot Power Yoga class where you will hold poses for longer periods of time, allowing deep release of tension and stress. All levels class ideal for runners, people on the go, and professional sitters”.slow

Before the class started I tried to pin point my resistance, was it the slower pace? Did I think I wasn’t going to get enough of a workout?? Cause if you know me, you know I struggle with that notion.

Maybe that was it a little, but I felt there was something more…. “deep release of tension and stress” nope that sat perfectly well with me. So that left YOU WILL HOLD POSES FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME…. Bingo that made me want to leave the room screaming.

I was quietly avoiding holding the poses. I didn’t want to sit in my pigeon any longer than I already did! I wanted to powerfully flow and keep this train moving. So once I recognized the source of my hesitation I was ready for this class.

The flow was still there…it was purposeful…it was present and I LOVED it!!

I asked Kelly after class what she wanted people to know about Deep Flow. She said she wanted to people to attend the class in order to slow down and hit pause. Kelly wanted people to recognize the need to slow down and be present. I couldn’t agree more. Not only do we need to slow down physically but our thoughts/emotions need to s-l-o-w down. Deep Flow accomplished this for me (and I am suspecting, many others).pause-button-e1376172552682

We are naturally prone to handle temporary stressful situations with a rush of hormone’s but unfortunately some of us don’t know how to shut that stress response off. We have so many responsibilities and directions to run in, that for some of us, we are walking bags of stress hormones. Classes like Deep Flow cause us to focus on something other than our stress and responsibilities, we are forced to recognize the posture we are in and sit with it. Hopefully this can slow us down and in turn maybe turn off those crazy stress receptors.

I loved my Deep Flow experience and I fully intend to hit that pause button many more times in the near future.

Check out your locations schedule for the Next Deep Flow, take a deep breath and settle in…



Yoga + Strength = An Interview with Brad Strickert

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I love my early Saturday morning routine…they start with a little warm lemon water, a quick drive to PYC Oshawa…where I promptly get my ass handed to my by Mr. Brad Strickert.

Brad is PYC’s resident floating yogi, who can make any transition seem effortless. He is also great at convincing you, that you can do it AND walking you through step by step how to get there! However, there is the exchange of hard work to make the magic happen!Brad1

Brad is teaching an upcoming workshop at PYC Oshawa called Summer Strength Series. Starting June 6th and running for 4 weeks the 75min classes will teach you the importance of muscle engagement to open up the possibility of your own practice!Brad2

I had the chance to ask Brad a few questions regarding Strength and Yoga. Read on for some really great shift 😉

Why is strength important to yoga?

The strength aspect in yoga is all about muscle engagement, body control and awareness. Once you can tap into each of these different areas your practice will transform, your body will feel lighter and you’ll be able to move to more advanced transitions.

What is the best strength gain you have since incorporating yoga into your life?

Yoga has made me very aware of what I would call “weak points” in my body. From years of weight lifting I had developed a number of these areas and was starting to suffer from back spasms.  When holding a static pose for a series of breaths I became acutely aware of them and would work to start to find muscle engagement or range of motion which led to building increased overall strength at the same time. This came from being able group muscles together for strength rather than having them fire individually.

What is the biggest myth about strength and yoga?

The #1 misconception that people have about yoga is that it’s all about stretching… which is like saying that hockey is all about skating. There is a huge strength aspect in the challenging static and dynamic movements that take place in each class. Quickly you realize that the strength doesn’t come from having large or bulky muscle but from the activation of all your muscles working synergistically which requires concentration and focus.

How do you continue to challenge yourself?

Lately I’ve been working on inversions like hollow back and scorpion. I find these poses especially difficult because I can’t see where my body is in space, so you need to feel where my legs may be in relation to my hands for balance. It’s in the difficulty of these movements that my mind is free from any outside distraction.

What can people hope to learn/experience from your workshop?

This series is designed for people to reconnect with muscles they already have in order to feel lighter in their practice. In each session we will break down various body weight movements and restorative stretches to understand the fundamentals. At the end of each session there will be “homework” in set of movements that students can do at home to continue to build their strength and range of motion for the following week. This series will test and build your static and dynamic strength and give the student increased awareness of their body.

What is your favorite quote?

“Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things”

                   -Miyamoto Mushashi  “The Book of 5 Rings”

Thanks Brad!


Amber XO