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Your Teachers


Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

~ Benjamin Franklin

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Your Teachers


Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Beverly Akhurst, ERYT 500, YACEP

Owner of Ocean Breath Yoga, Founder/Lead Instructor OBY 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

Close to 20 years ago I started my very tentative yoga journey. My intention was to get a relaxing stretch after a full day of work, the reality was that I got so much more. Over the years I returned again and again to the practice slowly coming to the understanding that it was not a fitness program (I already had that) but a way of connecting....................READ MORE

Mandi Von Alkier, RYT 200 My name is Mandi and I am a Yoga and Dance Instructor. I started dancing at the age of 3 and have been trained extensively in ballet, tap, jazz, acro, modern, lyrical and contemporary. At the age of 14, I was given the opportunity to start teaching and have had a passion for teaching ever since. I continued to teach full time during my time at University to get my Bachelors degree in Psychology and would one day love day take my Masters and study how Yoga and the breath affect the brain.........READ MORE

Mandi Von Alkier, RYT 200

My name is Mandi and I am a Yoga and Dance Instructor. I started dancing at the age of 3 and have been trained extensively in ballet, tap, jazz, acro, modern, lyrical and contemporary. At the age of 14, I was given the opportunity to start teaching and have had a passion for teaching ever since. I continued to teach full time during my time at University to get my Bachelors degree in Psychology and would one day love day take my Masters and study how Yoga and the breath affect the brain.........READ MORE

Ara Cusack, ERYT 500, YACEP A simple 20 minute yoga video, in 1998, rescued and restored my desk bound body.  The practice first connected me to the joy I felt when I was a gymnast and it bloomed into much more. Yoga continues to remind me how important it is to care for our three layers of being (body, mind and spirit).  My own practice, 1000+ hours of training and leading over 20 teacher trainings has humbly taught me to find a yoga for every body that is natural ........READ MORE

Ara Cusack, ERYT 500, YACEP

A simple 20 minute yoga video, in 1998, rescued and restored my desk bound body.  The practice first connected me to the joy I felt when I was a gymnast and it bloomed into much more. Yoga continues to remind me how important it is to care for our three layers of being (body, mind and spirit). 
My own practice, 1000+ hours of training and leading over 20 teacher trainings has humbly taught me to find a yoga for every body that is natural ........READ MORE

 

Helen Camisa, RYT 500

Helen continues to be inspired by the myriad of benefits that yoga has brought to her life, and having completed her 200 hour training in 2012, she is currently working towards her 500 Hour certification. 
Helen’s classes offer you the opportunity to work hard, focus on your breath and above all, not to take it all too seriously. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share this practice with anyone who expresses an interest, especially those who, like herself, did not see themselves as yogis in this lifetime.

Mako Saul, Restorative Teacher Mako specializes in Restorative Yoga and firmly believes in its transformational power.  “I am most delighted to share the gift of Restorative Yoga with you to experience this deeply holistic and healing practice. Since completion of basic and advanced therapeutics training in 2013, I have had the privilege of assisting in developing teachers’ training programs and manuals and supported hundreds of new and experienced students and yoga instructors at numerous classes and workshops in both Canada and Japan......READ MORE

Mako Saul, Restorative Teacher

Mako specializes in Restorative Yoga and firmly believes in its transformational power. 
“I am most delighted to share the gift of Restorative Yoga with you to experience this deeply holistic and healing practice.

Since completion of basic and advanced therapeutics training in 2013, I have had the privilege of assisting in developing teachers’ training programs and manuals and supported hundreds of new and experienced students and yoga instructors at numerous classes and workshops in both Canada and Japan......READ MORE

Odette Slater, Yoga Pilates Reiki Cranio-Sacral

Since the early 1980's, alongside a dance career, Odette has embodied several movement and meditation practices studying with many masters including Irene Dowd, Pattabhi Jois, Danny Paradise, Angela Farmer, David Swenson, Dianne Miller, Dona Holleman, Orit S'en Gupta, Peggy Baker, Jeffrey Armstrong to name a few. Odette has been running her own fully equipped Pilates studio, Lotusland Pilates, since 1999.

Movement Facilitator
Doula
BA (HONS) Contemporary Dance
www.odetteslater.com

 

We work so hard to get somewhere, to realize a dream, to arrive at some destination, that we often forget that though some satisfaction may be waiting at the end of our endurance and effort, there is great and irreplaceable aliveness in the steps along the way.
— Mark Nepo
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The Studio


May you say Yes to the adventures that scare you and emerge from the darkness transformed.  ~ Caitlin Chero

The Studio


May you say Yes to the adventures that scare you and emerge from the darkness transformed.  ~ Caitlin Chero

Ocean Breath Yoga, was born out of a desire to come back to the idea of yoga which inspired me on my journey.
The idea that:

  • connection, to breath,body, mind, heart and each other is available to everyone and will provide us our greatest power.
  • slowing down to hear our hearts instead of our minds all the time, may take us on a very worthwhile journey.
  • if we let go of the fear of all the things we might not be able to do or have we may surprise ourselves with what we can do and what we do have.
  • you don't have to twist yourself into a pretzel to be a yogi (although you can if it feels good).
  • the heat of our practice can be created internally, through finding our energetic core. 

and

The idea that no matter what,........ we are Perfect in this moment because this is the only moment that matters and who we are in this moment matters.. 

This space called to my heart and the universe handed her over with trust that I would stay true to what I believe. Hard work brought her back to her soul and she is open to anyone who feels her beauty and energy (Yes it's a she).The classes here are guided from the heart, followed just as strongly by skill.

We will, all of us shift and grow with each passing day teacher and student alike. Embrace these changes and each new insight. If you feel drawn to join this journey, come in, be safe, be open, make new friends, learn about yourself; body, heart and mind  and know that we hold this space for you .....oh yes.......and don't be afraid to laugh out loud every now and then and maybe even sing and cry!



We Celebrate the fact that classes are small, enabling each student to find the practice that serves them because each of you is so wonderfully unique. There are no Groupons needed here as no one will ever be turned away for lack of funds.  What we do ask in return is that if you can afford the classes, please recognize the value in a studio that honours quality over quantity. I personally will never give anything less than 100% of what I am able.

What we have to share with you, is this;

  • Guaranteed small group classes allowing student and teacher the ability to work together from an informed and understanding place.
  • Classes that limit numbers to allow for caring, quality teaching. Maximum 10 students, sometimes 8 or less.
  • Teachers who spend much of their personal time (and income) continually training with their teachers in order to always assist you and themselves grow.
  • Respect for each individual, your beliefs and journeys. This is the gentle swing of the pendulum back to center, returning from yoga as a fitness fad to a full physical, emotional, energetic alignment.
  • A place where you can be exactly who you are and let life in.

With Gratitude, Beverly and Ocean Breath Yoga

 
 
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Ocean Breath


“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.” ~ Gregory Maguire

Ocean Breath


“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.” ~ Gregory Maguire

Ocean Breath is not a translation of Ujjayi Breath (that would be Victorious Breath). What it is, is an interpretation based on the sound the breath creates when it is mastered. Its sound reminiscent of the sound a wave makes rolling gently up and back down a beach. It is a breath created when a person constricts the base of their throat, controlling the movement of breath into and back out of the body. Where the breath, for the majority of people has become a spontaneous occurrence that happens without thought, Ocean Breath reconnects us to the strength and health benefits of our body's abilities truly experienced.

The unconcious breathing we do on a daily basis draws oxygen into just the top 1/3 of our lungs. Ocean Breath allows us to fully expand and utilize the power of our lungs and their capacity to carry oxygen molecules to our blood stream and deep into our bodies. It works our diaphragm and thus the areas which our diaphragms are connected to facially and muscularly. (heart, T12, L1,2 and 3 and an effect on the Psoas to name some)
The exhale when done with awareness then carries toxins (methane, carbon and water vapour) from our bodies. 

It is thought that 20 minutes of Ocean Breath can equate to 20 minutes of aerobic activity and it's benefits to the body without the stress.

One of my favourite teachers, Max Strom describes our normal breath as a breath to survive but not to "Live". His simple steps:

  • Sit or stand with the spine straight
  • Relax the shoulder blades downward
  • Broaden the chest and remember to breathe into the sides of your ribs
  • Make the sound of fogging the mirror with your breath.

Initially it is easier to practice Ocean Breath with the mouth open because it is easier to relax the jaw and connect to that gentle fogging quality of the breath we have all used before when steaming a window or to clean eye glasses.  It is also easier to hear the quality of the breath. Once the mouth open technique is mastered he recommends moving on to the traditional mouth closed breathing practice.

Some of the benefits of Ocean Breath (Ujjayi) can be:
Connection to the Para Sympathetic Nervous System, stimulation of the metabolic system, better blood circulation to the body, more oxygen to the lungs, lowered anxiety and ability to have a deeper sleep. You can read more online or in Max Strom's book "A Life Worth Breathing". Many different areas of research on the breath can be found online and in bookstores. You can also see my own story and how it has affected my life. 

To see a short talk on breath by Max go to: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NGZFdKxOzmw


Breath is the bridge which connects life to conciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.
— Thich Nhat Hahn
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The Community


Granville Island and the Business and Community Association

The Community


Granville Island and the Business and Community Association

PROUD MEMBER of the Granville Island Business and community association

 

TREASURES OF GRANVILLE ISLAND (Blooming Awesome)

There are many reasons that make having a Yoga Studio on Granville Island a joy. Much of that has to do with the energy of the people I am surrounded by. The creativity and drive of the local designers, artists, innovators and small business owners that have chosen to embrace the community of Granville Island is inspiring on a daily basis. These are people determined to follow their hearts and their gifts no matter the effort it takes to sustain local, unique and thoughtful businesses.

Inspiration: a sudden feeling of enthusiasm [Greek EN (one with) THEOS (the divine)], or a new idea that helps you to do or create something
Inspiration: the drawing in of breath; inhalation (in most cultures the inhalation/inspiration is considered a connection to the divine)

Despite our endless limitations, it seems that the qualities of attention, risk, and compassion allow us to be at one with the energy of the Whole and the result is enthusiasm, that deep sensation of Oneness. ~ Mark Nepo

 

This is my experience of Granville Island. People who understand there are limitations but move beyond the fear of risk, their attention centered, and from this comes a connection which creates the "Whole" that is Granville Island.

Instead of focusing on a few I would like to share the idea of the whole. 
Maritime Market: Not only is this the home of Ocean Breath Yoga it is the home of numerous boat charter companies, fishing charters, fish sellers, whale watching, sailing schools, Pirates ;-), boat repair and service, clothing (Strub), 10000 Villages, Peruvian treasures and if you venture up stairways beyond your discomfort of the unknown, you will find, artists, publishers, travel companies and many unsung surprises.
Net Loft: Here you will find local clothing stores filled with handmade magic created here in Vancouver, Organic hand dyed and printed linens, baby clothing, hats, kitchenware, artisans of many variety and beautiful paper and tools for the avid writer, on the periphery, everything from world instruments to wine and textiles and organic local made paint.
Public Market: This is a joyous swirl of food of every variety, some for immediate enjoyment some to fill your cupboards and fridges. Alongside are innumerable artisans of every variety and 2 wonderful flower shops each with their own heart.
CreekHouse: Theaters act as a midpoint. Home of Rogers chocolates, artists galleries, restaurants, pubs, ice cream, an amazing and magical general store, and clothing for the bodacious bodied, silk weavers in action, and handmade soap to make everyone happy. Be sure to wander down every little passageway so you don't miss a thing...you may even find Dragons.
Ocean Concrete: Take a moment to then wander by Ocean Concrete, one of the originals of Granville Island and one of it's biggest supporters. Dedicated not just to providing building materials but to creating, innovating and being part of a building a thriving culture.
Emily Carr: Last chance to check out all the wonderful things the students of Emily Carr create. This is their last year as part of Granville Island. They will be missed. right across the street you will find Opus Art and Framing. You need something to let your ideas come to life? They probably have it. Or step behind the school to discover the Aboriginal Friendship center and the Floating homes of Sea Village. Stick to the walkway here and you will find yourself next at....
Granville Island Hotel: also the home of Pelican Bay marina fantastic restaurant and lounge and another involved and inspired member and supporter of the entire Granville Island community.
To the south is Ron Basford Park a beautiful little spot to sit and meditate and have your lunch. Point yourself west and find the BC artists gallery, coffee roasters, wood carvers and print makers.
RailSpur Alley: is down the center of the island, pointing west past the little swing park. In the park find the little book sharing house. Drop off some books, find a book or simply enjoy the peace. Continue on and find Sake makers, leather art, wood, iron, painters, felt makers, jewelers and wonderful food at Off the Tracks. What more could you want? On the periphery of this center point you will find broom makers, gin creators, set builders and the always fantastic Gallery of BC ceramics. glass blowers and apron makers (yup!).
Cartwright Street: Cartwright is to the south of RailSpur. Performance Works, metal artisans, Arts Umbrella, Painters, Community Center, tennis courts, rowing docks, Kids water park, Artists Gallery, Graphic printer, Kids Market and locally made Pet Food along with Restaurant, Brewery, duck pond and Crystal Gallery are some of the magic you will find.

Rule of thumb. If it looks like somewhere you are not sure you should go....GO! this is where the magic lies. If you are unsure....ASK. Everyone would love to help you. If you need it....You will probably be able to find it.
If it is created locally, please be respectful and do't expect it to be cheap. Most people here pour their heart and soul into what they create and could charge far more for what they are creating. I see the work they put in to trying to create things that matter and embrace a balanced world. Their time and intention are valuable.

What you find here is unique (including your yoga ;-) ) Be inspired and embrace this gem in our city with Enthusiasm.

 

For more detailed exploration go here Granville Island

“Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu, When someone smiled at me today, l started smiling too. I passed around the corner, and someone saw my grin, When he smiled l realized, l’d passed it on to him. l thought about that smile, then l realized it’s worth. A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth. So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected, let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!” ~ Author Unknown