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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Managing Workplace Stress: Corporate Trust and Team-Building

Are employee stress, illness and burnout reducing quality and productivity in your workplace, and increasing mistakes? Are stress and job insecurity undermining trust among regional managers in your organization?

Research shows that North American businesses lose about $12 billion each year due to stress related disorders.
  • High levels of work-related stress result in lower levels of performance and commitment from employees.
  • Illnesses resulting from stress lead to increased rates of absenteeism.
  • Workplace injuries can increase as stressed workers may lack the concentration and alertness necessary for safety.
  • In Canada and the US, employees are now taking more stress-leave absences from work that ever before.
  • Lack of trust among regional and district managers blocks communication, reduces team effectiveness, and impacts customer service.
You can avoid this in your organization!! Email me at to receive a free newsletter about my three-day Corporate Trust and Team-Building Workshop that uses values clarification, communication strategies, yoga and relaxation techniques to build trust and unblock relationship patterns in your organization.

How does Yoga help increase manager and employee effectiveness?

Yoga is not only a physical activity but also a meditation, which can increase strength, flexibility and body awareness, boost immunity, develop concentration and mental focus, and reduce stress. Because yoga teaches relaxation and life skills for managing stress, it helps managers and employees improve performance on the job and in customer relations; because it boosts immunity, it helps reduce absenteeism due to illness. Moreover, yoga is a practice that can be sustained into old age, with cumulative benefits; it is a non-competitive, portable, low-cost activity that appeals to many people who do not enjoy other forms of sport.

Does this sound like a program you would like for your organization? Email me today at to receive a free newsletter about my three-day Corporate Trust and Team-Building Workshop that uses values clarification, communication strategies, yoga and relaxation techniques to build trust and unblock relationship patterns in your organization.

If you want a free newsletter with pictures of ten minutes of yoga you can do in the office in business clothes to ease tension in your back and neck from computer work, email me at

My 4 levels of yga DVDs to support your practice at home or on vacations or business trips out of town are available at Banyen Books in Vancouver, at the Sivanada Yoga Vedanta Centre Vancouver, and through my website at

I teach yoga classes in Burnaby on Wednesdays 8:15-9:15 pm near Lougheed and Gilmore and in Vancouver on Tuesdays 8-9:30 pm, Thursdays 4:30-6:00 pm, Fridays 1:45-3:15 pm and Sundays 10:30 am-noon at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre Vancouver, 2010 East 48th Avenue at Victoria Email me for details.

Enjoy my blog!



Monday, September 22, 2008

YogaVoyages: Yoga Cruise to Alaska August 2008

If you have been to a wonderful place to practice yoga, send me your guest post in 200 words or so and a few pictures. Let's share this transformative practice with every human being that wants to know!!

In August I took a group on the Celebrity Mercury up the Alaska Inside Passage from Vancouver and back for 7 days. We practiced yoga together every morning at 7:30 in the Navigator lounge, then spent the rest of the day enjoying the ship.

The weather was cool and rainy so I didn't get to practice outside--the first morning I went up to the 14th deck to practice at sunrise, but I was freezing, so I moved inside. Next time I will take the group somewhere hot, like the Eastern Mediterranean and practice up close to the wind and the stars in the warm dawn.

The scenery was spectacular, with snowy mountains, old volcanoes, green forested islands in the mist, and dolphins at sunset leaping through the wake. We made a few stops along the way and got off the boat to look around. There were opportunities to do shore excursions like walk on the Mendenhall Glacier in Ketchikan, watch carvers at work in Juneau and visit the Russian museum, the totem park or the eagle rehabilitation centre in Sitka. We cruised into Hubbard Glacier Bay one afternoon and saw this huge wall of ice which is rapidly shrinking as the earth's climate warms.
Sea days were pretty relaxing. I took a lot of naps. I watched movies like Casino Royale and The Queen. We could take some dance classes, hang out in the hot tub, have timeless conversations with no hurry to end and race off to some other agenda. That was the best part--to have time to share the spiritual journeys and life histories of people I have been teaching and practicing with for years without ever knowing very much about each other.

In the evening we met for dinner and ate food that was art on the plate and on the palate. In the late evening people who like to stay up late could watch a show, dance in the nightclub, hang out in a lounge with their friends, gamble in the casino, watch a late night movie or run laps on the 12th deck track for exercise before sleeping.

I am planning a group cruise next summer, July or August 2008, in the warm part of the planet. Probably Eastern Mediterranean--Greek Islands, Turkey, Adriatic Sea. Email me at: or
if you want to be on the mailing list for info as I work out the details.

My 4 levels of yoga DVDs to support your home practice or to help you relax and sleep soundly on your business trips are available through my website

I teach regular yoga classes near Burnaby at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre Vancouver,
Suite 280-2010 East 48th Avenue at Victoria. Free parking and easy access by transit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yoga Voyages: Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre Vancouver

If you have been to a wonderful place on the planet to practice yoga, send me your guest post in 200 words or so and a few pictures. Let's share this transformative practice with every human being that wants to know.

In Vancouver we have so many wonderful choices about where to go to practice yoga. Almost every style and lineage is represented here and even yogis and yoginis from the suburbs no longer have to travel in to Kitsilano to find a yoga class, but can practice in their communities, in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond, White Rock, Maple Ridge, Mission and more.

If you like classical hatha yoga in a bright pranic room filled with inner and outer light, try the Sivananda Centre at 48th and Victoria. The studio is small, about 700 sqare feet, with a bank of windows along the east wall and heirloom carpets on the floors in the form of mandalas. The second floor view looks over the parking lot and the rooftops of the next-block neighbours, so as we prepare to practice we see sky, sunset bronzing clouds, cherry trees in springtime, and sometimes on a clear day a distant snowy glimpse of Mount Baker.

The Sivananda practice is meditative and relaxing, with variations to suit all levels of practice. Here we begin as we end, relaxing on the back in Savasana and allowing the mind to settle into stillness and inner focus. We chant the opening mantras, ancient Sanskrit verses which are energetic keys embodying a certain power of sound, and begin pranayama. In every class we practice the Shining Skull Breath, Kapalabhati, and the Alternate Nostril Breathing, Anuloma Viloma. These breath practices purify and balance the energy system and have healing physical effects as well.

Three to six pairs of Sun Salutations bring the class into unison with synchronized motion, breath, and mental focus. They stretch all the major muscles, get the blood moving to every cell and organ, and open and lubricate all the joints to increase flexibility and strength.

The class moves through a series of asanas that are arranged to open the energy system from the top of the head down through the seven main spinal chakras, or energy centres. At the same time these postures fold the spine forward and bend it back, squeezing and then stretching all the organs, and keeping the spine flexible as we age. These postures include headstand for those who practice it or want to learn it, shoulderstand, plough, bridge, fish, forward fold, slide, cobra, locust, bow, half twist, crow, standing forward fold, triangle, tree and sometimes other asanas for variation and growth of the practice.

Because we hold the postures for ten breaths or longer and relax in Savasana in between, there is a deep feeling of stillness in the Sivananda class. The class can be very strenuous without being busy. By the end of the practice, final relaxation feels like paradise.

This is a wonderful studio to come to in the late afternoon or evening as day turns to darkness, and the thoughts, like the crows alighting to roost in the cherry trees, come to stillness. Make a point to visit for a yoga class or for Satsang, meditation and chanting, on Sundays at 6 pm. Plan to attend the Free Yoga and Open House Days on Saturday, November 1 and Saturday, December 6 from 12:30-5:00 pm with sample yoga, meditation and chanting classes, door prizes and vegetarian refreshments.
Regular schedule and rates are on line at:

Mats and equipment are there. Parking is free. It is easy to reach by bus #20 from Commercial Station (15 minutes) and by bus#49 UBC from Metrotown (10 minutes).

2010 East 48th Avenue suite 280, Vancouver V5P 1R8 604-321-9039

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Angles of Incidents

Which draws us, angles
of incidence, angles of
reflection or
equals signs that yoke
these two in one?

Life incidents construct us now and here,
the child's moan
the siren's wail
the chattering shattered glass:
sudden shards of the heart.

But learning logs in later
in grateful solitude when
scrutiny reflects awareness
upon an inward eye.

I strive to live here now.
I mark time in breaths
of quiet stillness, when I hold
the inner voice yet not surrender

shine incidents
upon the mirror of my mind
and seek the angle,
this geometry of angles,
this geometry of joy.