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Should Hockey Players Do Yoga?

Absolutely, Hockey Players should be doing yoga as part of their training program, especially if they are serious about staying in shape and taking their game to the next level. Yoga has numerous benefits to offer to hockey players such as strength, stamina and flexibility just to name a few.

If you are an active Hockey Player, than chances are when you’re not on the ice, you are doing weight training in the gym or doing some sort of off ice training. You also probably hit the links in the summertime or compete in some other sport to stay active.

Or,

If you are a beer league hero, than you are most likely the life of the party.

Either way, no judgement.

But do you do yoga?

Stretching is prominent in hockey, starting from the minor leagues, all the way up to the NHL. Before the game, players usually take part in a group stretch and/or some activity to get loose. This is usually taught to us at a young age and is continually passed down.

The benefits of stretching and more importantly yoga, go far beyond than being just a ritual that we are told is good to do.

If you are serious and passionate about taking your game to the next level, below are five reasons why you should do yoga.

5 Reasons Why Hockey Players Should Do Yoga

Reason #1 – IMPROVED FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION

Have you ever experienced a flow state on or off the ice where you were just completely in the zone, and felt like you could do anything with little to no effort or thought. I like to think that during these flow like states, we have three things in common. Mental Clarity, Present Moment Awareness(Concentration), and Good Vibes. It feels amazing being in a flow state and having the belief and conviction that we can accomplish anything and everything.

Yoga, along with meditation and pranayama breathing exercises are an excellent and organic way to achieve clarity, concentration and positive vibrations. By focusing on our breath, we reduce the clutter that is in our mind and we become more tapped into the present moment. When we add in asanas(yoga poses) and movements with our body while keeping awareness on our breath, we start to become even more clear.

When we move our body with our breath and get to a point where we are no longer thinking anything, thats when you know you are dialled into the present moment and our focus is at it’s finest. Tap into this state before a game and notice what happens.

Not to mention, doing some kind of yoga usually always makes us feel good afterward. During some sessions, we may even experience one of those natural euphoric yoga highs that are hard to put into words. And when we feel good, we generally feel more good about ourselves and our abilities. We fee light and loose.

Reason #2 – THE POWER OF INTENTION AND VISUALIZING

Intention setting is very common in yoga classes. Intentions are also very powerful. Oftentimes, whether it’s on or off the ice, people have a tendency of going through the motions. In other words, they let the game happen to them or they let the day, week, month or year just simply happen to them.

An Intention allows us to use our focus and concentration that we just talked about above and use it to help manifest what we want to accomplish. Think of it as our aim.

Having this unwavering focus on what you intend and belief that it will happen, makes you a threat on a whole new level to the opposing team.

Some examples of intention setting for a pre game yoga sequence could be:

I INTEND TO PLAY THE BEST GAME I’VE EVER PLAYED

I INTEND TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO HELP MY TEAM WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Or, it could be more specific such as

I INTEND TO GET TWO GOALS AND ONE ASSIST TONIGHT

I INTEND TO WIN EVERY PUCK BATTLE ALONG THE BOARDS

I INTEND TO REGISTER 5 SHOTS ON GOAL AND DRAW ONE PENALTY.

As Bradley Cooper said in his movie American Sniper, “Aim small, miss small”. In other words the more specific your intention/aim is, if you come short of it, it will only be by a small margin.

Intentions are great on the ice and in everyday life as well!

Visualizing!

When you visualize, you are using the powerful force that is the law of attraction. Seeing in your minds eye, accomplishing what you intend to do goes a long way. See yourself winning every loose puck battle, scoring two beautiful goals and noticing one assist. With your eyes closed, see yourself doing these things through the lens of your own eyes and you will be attracting it to you in reality.

If I have any advice for this process, it would be to let go/detach from the way it will happen. Let go of how and when it will come to you and just have the conviction and belief that it will. When you bake a cake, you don’t constantly open the oven every 5 minutes to see if its done yet, you just let it bake until the timer goes off. Same principle applies when setting intentions.

After you set an intention and visualize, let it go. Don’t think about it, just play your game. When it does happen, trust me, it’s one of the coolest feelings ever.

Reason #3 – Reduce Risk Of Injury

This is probably the more common reason to do yoga and stretch before a game. No one wants to get an injury during a game that could keep them out for weeks because they didn’t stretch properly before, such as a groin injury.

A regular practice of yoga increases flexibility and balance which makes you more solid on your feet and less likely to experience any awkward falls, as hockey is a very fast paced game.

Yoga promotes bone health and alignment of the tendons and ligaments. It also strengthens and lengthens the spine and muscles which also help prevent injuries.

Reason #4 – WARMS UP AND LOOSENS THE BODY

Warming up the body before a game is essential to hockey players. That is why you always see them kicking a soccer ball before they put their equipment on. That is also why they pretty much have a whole period dedicated to warming up on the ice before the game even begins in the NHL.

Warming up the body increases the temperature of our blood which allows for more oxygen to be transported to our muscles during the game.

Yoga is great way to stretch and open up the main areas of the body that we use when we play hockey. These main groups are the hips and hip flexors, groin, hamstrings, quads, shoulders and back. When you stretch these muscles in yoga, you feel more loose, mobile and relaxed in these areas which carry over to the game.

Reason #5 – REST, RECOVER AND RESTORE THE BODY

Some of you may be more familiar with recovering your body after a game and participate in activities such as ice baths. To make a long story short, rest is very important for your body especially after going all out for 60 minutes. Hockey is very fast paced and hard fought game. Winning battles, taking hits to make a play and blocking shots can leave a lot of wear and tear on your body. As I’m sure you already know, that’s just part of the game and theres no better feeling than going to war with your teammates.

Ice baths are great, but yoga, especially Yin Yoga, is a great addition to your post game routine. Yin Yoga is my favourite type of yoga. To give you a brief rundown, in yin yoga we usually hold our poses for 2 to 7 minutes long which gives you that restful and therapeutic effect afterward. The benefit of this style is that it really gives you a deep stretch in the muscles. When you focus on your breath and just embrace each pose, it makes you feel extremely relaxed and “zen’d out”.

The other benefits of doing Yin Yoga after a hockey game are it reduces stress, relieves tension, increases flexibility, increases circulation and balances the yang(fast paced) environment of just playing hockey for 60 minutes.

Rest and sleep in particular is also very important for hockey players. Doing Yin Yoga before you turn out the lights is almost like a cheat code for having a better sleep. Yin Yoga can be beneficial at any time during the day, but because of its relaxing nature, it is amazing to do before bed.

NHL Veterans Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton are active Yogis.

Below are two yoga videos designed specifically for Hockey Players. One is a 15 Minute Pre Game sequence that has an emphasis on opening up the hips. The other is a 40 Minute Post Game Yin Yoga to relax and restore. If you haven’t already, be sure to like and subscribe, and share it with another beauty who you think would enjoy.

Some other helpful links: https://www.hockeytraining.com/speed-up-recovery/ and https://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/yin-yoga-benefits/ and https://www.nhl.com/capitals/news/yoga-for-hockey-players/c-284641210

A Yogi’s Journey – Part 2

Here it is!

Part two…

It has been a few months since A Yogi’s Journey Part 1 and I am very happy to share Part Two with you today 🙂

First, I just want to say Thank You for all of our subscribers and supporters! As we continue to grow out of the beginning stages of our journey and surpass new goals and milestones, just know that if you have liked, watched, subscribed or followed, that you are amazing and I am very grateful for you.. Because of your support and loyalty, I always have a reason to be grateful, even on the challenging days.

Second, I hope everyone is safe and healthy during this pandemic. I feel like we hear and talk about it enough that I won’t spend much time on this topic. Positive vibes only in Part two!

Third, I can’t believe October is almost over already…

Updates

  • A lot has happened over the last few months! Kesley and I have moved to a new apartment in a new location and I am extremely happy to inform you that our new apartment is on the top floor so you will no longer have to hear any stomps from the people upstairs in our yoga and workout videos. With that said, lets send those old neighbors love and hope they have beautiful happy lives!
  • I am back to work and am currently working two jobs, seven days a week, on top of all the making and editing of videos. If I am being honest, it can be a lot at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When your intentions and goals are clear, you must learn to embrace and accept the challenges that come (I will touch more on this later). One of my new jobs is at lululemon which in a lot of ways is a dream job for me and goes hand in hand with my purpose, passion and values. Kesley is also starting a new and exciting job beginning in November.
  • As a big time hockey fan, I was extremely happy to watch the NHL Playoffs, even though my favourite team (Edmonton Oilers) was knocked out in the first round. Congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning (and their fans) for winning the Stanley Cup.
  • We currently have a small jungle in our new home with plants including three pineapples, a hibiscus, an orange, a maple, two money trees, a bonsai, bamboo, a fern, a cactus, a couple of tropical plants and the best of all is an oak tree that finally sprouted up after being planted for over 3 months from a tiny acorn that we found on a walk back in spring.
  • Following up on Tidying up and Marie Kondo that I wrote about in Part 1, we have decluttered quite a bit and got to donate a few garbage bags full of clothes.
  • My trusty old Toyota Corolla is running great as always.
  • I booked my next tattoo! It is in April and can’t wait to get the sleeve on my left arm started!
  • And..
  • WE GOT A PUPPY!!!! He is a Golden Retriever + Lab Mix, also known as a Goldador. His name is Hossa. For those of you that are hockey fans, you will know where the name comes from. He kept us up the first few nights but he is quickly turning into a good boy! He also doesn’t make a bad alarm clock. He is almost 5 months old now and is a great addition the CBD Yoga And Fitness Family. Follow us on Instagram to see more of him.

Milestones

  • We have reached quite a few milestones when it comes to our YouTube Channel! We have surpassed our goals of both 100 and 150 subscribers. Our next milestones are 200, 500 and 1000 subscribers – so it you haven’t already, be sure to like and subscribe 🙂
  • Other milestones that we recently surpassed on our YouTube Channel are: 100,000 impressions, 52 consistent weekly videos (One whole year!), 9,000 views – with our 10 Minute Yin Yoga For Beginners leading the way with over 2400 views, and over 800 watched hours.
  • Other upcoming milestones include: 10,000, 15,000 and 20,000 views, 1000 watched hours, and 250,000 impressions.

YouTube

  • We have recently started a Beginner Yoga Series that is a great way to begin your yoga journey if you are brand new to it. The series is currently at 5 videos including Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga videos – everyone is welcome to come watch and stretch. We will be adding more beginner yoga videos to the series as the weeks go by, including a new one this Thursday.

Final Thoughts

  • Again, I just want to say thank you to all of you reading this right now, including all of our subscribers and supporters. I am so blessed to be passionately pursuing my goals and dreams – I encourage you all to do the same, you will always have a supporter in me and if you have any questions, please reach out. I love personal development!
  • A year ago, I started this Journey and had no idea what to expect. Making and editing videos along with many other aspects were completely foreign to me, but I intuitively knew that this is my passion and one of many goals that I wanted to whole heartedly pursue. It took me to Costa Rica which still remains one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, and more intimately, I believe it has aligned me with my higher self by doing what I love and not settling for a life that is not meant for me. It has created and is creating an identity in me that I am proud of and am truly happy with. Who we are today is just a collection of our past thoughts words, actions and affirmations. Sometimes I think about what if I hadn’t had the courage to begin this journey, what if I had just set it aside like I had done to many other things in the past? I guarantee you that my life today, on multiple levels would be much different. I think that concept is SO CRAZY to think about. That brings me to mention one of my core values which is Personal Responsibility, which is essence means that we always have choices and that we must hold ourselves accountable. Coming back to you, again If you have any goals or grand visions that you can never seem to let go, just decide to start! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step ~ Lao Tzu. The journey is the best part! If you begin today, right after reading this and fully commit (another core value) yourself to what it is that you intend to have or get, your life and circumstances a year from now could and probably will be much different than if you simply decide not to. Again, please reach out, I love talking about this stuff and would love to connect with all of you!
  • May you all have a Happy Halloween and Holiday Seasons with your loved ones! As always we will see you in the next video and blog post!

Peace, Love & Blessings to You All,

Mike

Should Golfers Do Yoga?

Yes! Golfers should do yoga, especially if you play golf on a regular basis. Yoga is great to do before golf and after golf for a myriad of reasons. Peace of mind, balance and even strength are what a regular yoga practice can bring to your golf game. In today’s post, I will be going over what I believe are the top 3 reasons why Golfers should do Yoga.

3 Reasons Why Golfers Should Do Yoga

Reason #1Flexibility

Yoga is well known to promote more flexibility within your body. Bring that increased flexibility to your golf game and it could be a serious game changer!

Why is flexibility important for golf?

Flexibility is necessary in the golf swing to allow the golfer to achieve the correct technical alignment and range of motion. In addition, flexibility will help properly sequence the golfers swing that will improve consistency, control and power.

The other main benefit of flexibility when it comes to golf is reducing the risk of injuries, especially if you are playing on a regular basis.

So what yoga poses do you need to do to increase your flexibility?

Pretty much any of them will do, but in a recent golf trip to the Rocky Mountains that I went on with some friends where we played Banff Springs and Silvertip, I was inspired to make a specific yoga sequence designed for golfers. I will include this sequence in a video down below.

Reason #2 – Recovery

Yoga and more specifically, Yin Yoga, is an amazing way to recover the body from golf and any other related form of physical exercise. For those that know me, you’ll know that Yin Yoga is my favorite type of yoga. Yin Yoga has many benefits including increased flexibility, calms and balances the mind, increased circulation, improves joint mobility and joint alignment, releases fascia, and improves the flow of prana or energy within the body.

I feel amazing each and every time I perform Yin Yoga.

Recovery is important when it comes to golfers, again, especially if you are playing on a consistent basis. Golf can be demanding on the body. When you are performing the same movement such as a golf swing over and over again, it can come with it’s share of wear, pain and discomfort. I know Tennis Players can relate with tennis elbow, and I’m sure any athlete could relate in some form or another.

If you just had a long day or week of golf, I recommend resting and recovering the body with at least an hour on Yin Yoga afterwards. I will also include an hour long yin yoga video at the end.

Reason #3 – Mindfulness

I remember in one of the very first personal development books I read which was How Champions Think by sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella, he went on to explain that golf is for the most part a mental game. If you’ve ever played golf, then you know it can be quite frustrating when you get in your own head. The golf swing and other technicals of golf can be practiced and improved on, but it’s having the strong mental game that separates the best golfers from the pack.

It is said that the game of golf is played with the body but won with the mind.

Jack Nickalaus once said ” Golf is 80% mental, 10% ability, and 10% luck”

Jim Flick said “90% of golf is mental, and the other 10% is mental too”

Mindfulness, being grounded and calm, present moment awareness… this is what yoga is all about! Performing yoga before you go play golf can put you in that relaxed state of mind that can give you that extra edge in your game. Now, its up to you to maintain that state of mind throughout the whole round, but by doing yoga on a regular basis, you can help develop this zen like state of mind and maintain it far beyond the yoga mat.

Thank You For 50 Subscribers

Just want to take a minute to say Thank You! Yes, you!

I woke up so happy and grateful today😇 Today we reached our goal of 50 subscribers on YouTube. About six months ago, I dropped everything to fully commit myself to this journey, way of life and most importantly doing what I love to do. There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears so far and I know there will continue to be more, but there’s nothing else that I’d rather be doing! It’s so fun and rewarding making and editing videos and designing new sequences with the hopes of adding a little bit of peace, love and value if only it be one person’s day.

I don’t really like to put limits on anything but as someone who is passionate about personal development, I do know the value of setting goals. Although our end goal might be 100,000 subscribers and that might seem far away, I’ve learnt that in life, it’s important to celebrate the small wins be it daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Something that I know I should do more myself as it’s easy to get caught up in the midst of life.

Today, I am celebrating. Again, I want to thank you to all who have watched, subscribed and supported our journey so far!🙏🏼 I can’t wait to make more videos for you starting with next Thursday. Let’s get to 100!

Peace, love, and blessings to all!

Mike

Yoga For A Pandemic | Peace And Love To All

Welcome Yogi’s near and far, peace and love to you all. During a time like this, it is easy to feel anxious, stressed and fearful. I invite you to take a step back, and take a quick break from the news and everything else that is going on. Amidst the current situation we find ourselves in when it comes to the whole pandemic, I really wanted to make an at home yoga video to not only take your mind off of everything that is going on, but to shed some light on it by reconnecting to peace and loving energies. Deep breath in, Deep breath out..

We begin this sequence in a guided meditation by sending peace and love to the whole world, starting with our immediate loved ones. We then flow into a relaxing Hatha Yoga based class.

During a time like this, Yoga and Meditation are great for both mental health and holistic health. Yoga helps ease the mind and reduce stress. Practicing asanas(poses) and pranayama breathing exercises help balance the body, mind and spirit. If you are in self isolation/quarantine and practicing social distancing, than yoga, at home workouts, meditation, reading, gratitude journal, and positive law of attraction exercises are a great and healthy distraction. Below you will find a few healthy distraction videos, including yin yoga, gratitude journal ideas, and an at home HIIT Workout.

If you liked this video, I encourage you to pass it on and see how far we can spread the peace and love. Stay safe, stay blessed, stay healthy, and stay grounded.

Love you all,

Mike

A Yogi’s Journey – Part 1

Here it is…

The first few words in what might be a never ending blog journey brought to you by yours truly.

The idea for A Yogi’s Journey first laid its roots in my imagination about a week after I got back from Costa Rica. Kesley and I were going for a walk when out of nowhere it just flashed in my mind. There was something different to this idea than most of the others I have had. I can only describe it as being a really sure feeling and that whatever it was going to be, I had to give life to it. In other words, it was too good of an idea just to let fade away.

And..

As soon as I opened my mouth to tell Kesley about this idea that I just had, she immediately pointed up towards the sky and said “look at that bird”. It was a big bird flying into the tall pine trees above us. The sun had just gone down, so it was getting harder to see by the minute. As we walked closer to the tree where it landed, we pondered what kind of bird it could be. Kesley’s intuitive thought was an eagle. And sure enough , it was. I’m not 100% sure but I believe it was a Golden Eagle. We watched in awe as it flew off once more.

Realizing the synchronicity of what had just happened, I was left feeling dumbfounded. I didn’t have to think about it, I KNEW that this idea had to be of some significance. And given the fact that the symbol of an eagle played a big role at my yoga teacher training in Costa Rica, made it even more “trippy”. Talk about a sign or an omen.

At the time, I didn’t exactly know what A Yogi’s Journey would be… a blog, a book.. and I wasn’t sure how I would write it. I had no idea. I didn’t think about it for a few days. When I did think about it, I pondered whether or not I even should do it. I kept asking myself if people would like it or not, would they even care? I guess I was scared. But here I am writing it, so good for me.

A Yogi’s Journey will be…exactly that. An ongoing documented intimate journey of my personal life, while I fully pursue my goals and dreams in this beautiful, crazy world.

Updates

  • It has now been a full month since I got back to Canada from Costa Rica. I can 100% wholeheartedly tell you now that, that experience was absolutely life changing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That place and those people will forever have a place in my heart.
  • I recommend everybody go on a yoga teacher training adventure at some point in their lives. When you do, pick a place where you have never been before and drop any expectations. Open up, tip toe your way into the unknown and let the experience take you away. It made me feel like a little kid again and the nostalgia that I felt was unlike anything I’ve experienced in a long time.
  • Kesley and I are currently reading Marie Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. We agreed to apply the concepts once we finish the book. So far the read is very interesting and actually applying the lessons should be even more so.
  • We added at 3.5 inch tropical fern to our family of plants. It has only been a couple of days, but it is quickly growing tiny new stalks.
  • We also started growing another pineapple to add to the one we have been growing for a few months.
  • I have kept up a daily morning japa meditation for over a month and now I look forward to it every morning. This is something I took away from Costa Rica as it was part of our daily regime. Meditation has now become easier and I can reach that clear state of mind much faster. It feels so peaceful and is a serene way to wake up!
  • Kesley and I have now been vegetarian for over 3 months and we are loving it. We are having lots of fun making new exciting and healthy dishes. Among our favourites is smoothie bowls, we make at least one everyday.

Lessons

  • Goals and Dreams are worth pursuing! It has now been four months since I started CBD Yoga and Fitness. I had never filmed video demonstrations before and had no knowledge about camera equipment. All I knew was that I was tired living a life that I found unfulfilling and was finally ready to stop talking about what I wanted to do but actually fully commit myself to living that life. I quickly learned that making and editing videos(especially voice overs) is pretty much a full time job in itself. All in all, it has been challenging and also very much rewarding. I can honestly say that I am having an absolute bast doing it. It has been nothing but the beginning struggling stages so far, but I am loving it. It consumes me everyday and Kesley would probably tell you a little bit too much. I encourage anybody reading this who is thinking about taking the path less travelled and doing what their heart is calling them to do, to do it! Fully commit yourself and watch what happens. The raw passion and excitement for it is intoxicating. The growth that you receive is nonrefundable.

Milestones

  • During the Month of February, CBD Yoga and Fitness surpassed a few goals including: 25 Subscribers, 1,000 Views, 20 Consistent Videos and 75 Watched Hours 🙂 Thank you all who have helped contribute to that! We are currently at 1,300 views and over 100 watched hours. The next upcoming milestones are 50 Subscribers, 150 Watched Hours, and 30 Consistent Videos.

YouTube

  • This week I have made 5 new videos including: 1 Hour Yin Yoga, Isometric Yoga Workout, Sunrise Vinyasa Yoga, Yoga For Posture, and A Bikram Inspired Hatha Yoga. I can’t wait to share them with you all!
  • If you haven’t already, be sure to like and subscribe.

Final Thoughts

  • May everyone stay safe and healthy during this time in our world. Sending peace and love to all.
  • I’ll end this post with one of my favourite quotes from Steve Jobs “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Peace, Love & Blessings,

Mike

My Costa Rica Yoga Teacher Training Review

If there were one phrase to recap my experience this past January, it would be “Life Changing”.

I know that might sound cliché, but haven officially re-entered the real world, I realize now that’s exactly what it was.

So where do I begin..

School Yoga Institute made it easy for me to choose them as my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training School. I was doing my research on quite a few different schools but SYI stood out from the start with their very prompt, kind and informative email replies whenever I had a question (and I had a lot). It was my first time traveling outside of North America and I was going to be all by myself and they made me feel very safe and confident during the process. 

A cool coincidence was that I was visiting my Mom in California when I officially signed up to go and after I did, they informed me of one of the readings that was required for the course. It was The Four Agreements, which just happened to be the one and only book that my mom had and she always kept it by her nightstand. I had listened to the audiobook a few years ago and was happy for it to have come back in my life so that I could relearn the teachings and regain the wisdom. I will be posting a Four Agreements Book Review in the next couple weeks:)

My first flight was a little bit delayed but it eventually left Kelowna to Vancouver early in the morning. I hustled to catch my next flight to Toronto where I watched two complimentary movies courtesy of my airline. I arrived in Toronto and had to hustle even more to catch my next flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. It felt like I ran from one side of the airport to the other. I finally reached my gate and they were announcing my name on the intercom as the final boarding announcement. Safe to say I was relieved to settle in my isle seat for the next five hours. 

I arrived in San Jose with all of my luggage and spent the night at one of the nearby hotels. I woke up early the next morning and caught my next plane to Puerto Jimenez at the domestic side of the airport, which almost threw me for a loop trying to find it. I must have been tired because the thought of there being a separate domestic side to the airport didn’t even occur to me until I eventually had to ask someone. The plane was tiny and we quickly realized that the 8 out of 9 people on it were going to the same place. These were the first friends I made on my journey and most were the last ones that I said goodbye to before travelling back home.

Another cool coincidence was that the very first person I met on the plane, Daisa, happened to have a very similar past as me, which I thought, was pretty rare. We were both from the same city in Canada, we had both lived across North America (including Oahu, Hawaii) and both our moms reside in southern California. 

We waited at the tiny airport terminal in Puerto Jimenez for a couple hours for our shuttle to take us to the resort. This gave us ample time to introduce ourselves and get to know everybody. One of teachers ‘Inka’ arrived with the shuttle to greet us all with a warm smile and hug. It was about a 30-minute drive to the resort ‘Ojo Del Mar’ and we were greeted by very friendly staff once we arrived there. Our luggage was taken care of and our rooms were all thoughtfully set up. 

Ojo Del Mar is an eco lodge, which means you are practically outside the whole time. The rooms are basically just these cool jungle huts made from bamboo and each hut has it’s own separate bathroom and outside shower. They all consist of a hammock and the beds have mosquito nets around them; I don’t think I seen one mosquito the whole time.

Once there, we were introduced to our other teacher and facilitator ‘Concetta’ who greeted everyone with such a big smile and heart felt welcome. The rest of the students arrived by their own means over the next few hours. And for the next three weeks, there we were, in the midst of the Costa Rican jungle, surrounded by like-minded loving souls going on this unforgettable journey together. 

Safe to say, I was happy to escape the Canadian Winter for a few weeks and was elated to see and hear to ocean again! The beach was just steps away from the main gathering area. The wildlife was abundant and we had many encounters with all types of creatures including many different kinds of monkeys, birds and reptiles.

During one of the first lessons, we did this exercise where we all formed a big circle in the yoga shala. We all took turns going around and had to say a describing adjective that started with the first letter of our name followed by our name and a movement; and then we all had to go around everybody’s name and movement before introducing the next person. It might sound confusing and at the time might have been a little silly but by the end of the training, this is how a lot of us referred to each other’s names. The ones I remember are Incredible Inka, Curious Crystal, Superb Samantha, Terrific Taylor, Courageous Challis, Magical Marcela, Calm Carole, Mystical Mary Kate, Kindred Kate, Dancing Daisa, Kind Karinne, Connected Concetta, and mine, which was Mindful Mike. 

Our beginning introduction ceremony took place in the evening and it consisted of a fire on the beach. Another cool occurrence was that on that night, it was the first full moon of the year 2020 which also meant it was the first full moon of the decade. So that was pretty cool and there was definitely lots of energy in the air.

I went in to this experience with zero expectations and I’m glad I did. There were so many amazing moments that happened during those three weeks, it’s hard to put it into words. Overall, my favourite part about the trip was getting to know and spend time with my fellow students and teachers. In a matter of days or you could probably say hours, we came together as a family and everyone’s love was unconditional. Everyone was accepted and embraced for who they were. There were lots of laughs and a few tears throughout the journey, by the end it was hard to say goodbye. 

Our schedule consisted of a morning meditation from 6:00am to 6:30am and yoga from 6:30am to 8:30am. It was a beautiful way to wake up to and I will be implementing a similar routine going forward. I loved the yoga anatomy and sutra classes and found everything very interesting. There were times when I was exhausted but I still just wanted to learn more and have more discussions with everyone. 

We also had a lot of ceremonies throughout the program, including a couple of cacao ceremonies, which were all carefully thought out and done with so much love. Also, the food was amazing and I am definitely taking some creative vegetarian and vegan recipes back home with me, including avocado and lime ice cream. 

During the three weeks, I kept getting feelings of nostalgia about being a little kid again. It was the feeling of complete freedom and bliss to be exact. During one of the meditations, I tapped into memories that I have never remembered before of when I was probably 3 or 4 years old. I was in my grandpa’s old red brick house and was sitting in different cross-legged positions and putting my legs around my head. I was having the time of my life. I then had a self-realization that I loved doing yoga at a very young age but had no idea it was yoga at the time and I had completely forgotten and disregarded my flexibility. About 16 years later I was introduced to yoga and fell in love with it. Fast forward five years and I have been doing yoga pretty much everyday since. Coming back to that meditation and the nostalgia, it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip and it made me feel like yoga is what I am meant to be doing. 

Some other highlights of the trip included going on a couple of different nature hikes in the jungle. One was at night in the middle of the dark, which was kind of scary, but exciting at the same time. 

We seen and swam in these beautiful waterfalls with these big blue butterflies flying around. 

And since there was basically no light pollution, you would often get caught starring up at the starry sky every night. 

Oh and there was also a huge thunderstorm and earthquake that woke everybody up except for one(Arwen) that happened in the early hours of the morning. We all talked about it during are fruit filled breakfast the next day.

Another one of my favourite moments was the night we stayed up around this table made of wood that had a big candle and wick built into the middle that you could refill with candle wax. Mary Kate who was “one of us” (inside joke) was doing our tarot card readings and then about 6 or 7 of us would discuss what they might mean and how they might apply to us. 

Near the end of the training, we did a talent show during our evening time slot that was also MC’d by Mary Kate and each of us had five minutes to demonstrate one of our talents. We learned how to kick box, how to write Japanese, how to give a massage and Challis and Samantha had a guitar and sang a song among other performances.

Those three weeks came and went like the wind and I wouldn’t trade that experience and those people for the world. 

The teachers, Inka and Concetta, were both amazing in their own ways and worked extremely well together. I feel very grateful and blessed to have been able to learn from them and will forever cherish their teachings and continue to spread their love. I will definitely consider School Yoga Institute for continuing education courses and my 300hr teacher training. 

In the meantime, I am very happy and excited to bring all my new knowledge and insights and to express them in my free weekly YouTube Videos. I am very optimistic for 2020 and have a bunch of creative ideas I can’t wait to share with you!

I can now proudly say that I am a Yoga Alliance Certified 200 hour Yoga Teacher 🙂

Are you Interested in doing your Yoga Teacher Training?

Mention “Mike Weisgerber” at School Yoga Institute and get $100 off any training!

P.S.

I also plan on making a YouTube Video review of my experience so stay tuned for that. 

Peace & Love,

Mike

Roadtrip: Kelowna to California travel blog + Happy Holidays

About two months ago to the day, we ventured out on a 1500 mile journey to officially launch CBD Yoga & Fitness. With my trusty old oil burnin, fuel efficient Toyota Corolla loaded down, we grabbed coffees and hit the road only an hour behind schedule.

Kelowna is located about two hours north of the U.S./Canada border in beautiful British Columbia. Having family currently living in gorgeous Coronado California (one of my favourite places!) we figured what a great road trip it will be, as well as a great place to start making videos.

We got through the border at Osoyoos with little to no hassle and felt excited, free and relieved to officially be on our way. We stopped at one of the of the first little towns along our path; I immediately pulled over at the sight of an antique store (I have a tendency to prolong road trips as I can’t help but want to see and experience new things). We looked around for a few minutes and then walked to the gas station next door to use the restrooms and get some water.

We hit the road again and didn’t stop again until we got to Wenatchee, Washington, which was about halfway to our first destination in The Dalles, Oregon. We grabbed a bite to eat and some gas. Looking at the GPS, trying to find the best route, Kesley noticed the town Leavenworth was close by. She said her parents had visited there once before and said it was a cute little town, which was enough for me to take a little detour. It took us awhile but we found a place to walk down and experience the river. It was late October, so all of the leaves falling made it very pretty. We took a couple pictures and then proceeded to walk around all of the little shops and get a coconut blueberry smoothie. We ended up leaving with a small wooden Thomas Kinkaid picture of Lombard Street in San Fransisco, that I just had to have.

Daylight was fading pretty quickly as we drove through a more scenic route on Highway 97 towards The Dalles. By the time we got out of the mountains, we could see a huge dark storm rolling in the way we had came, so we were thankful to have not been caught in that. It was pitch black outside but the time we arrived at our hotel at The Dalles Inn where we we greeted by a very nice man around our age who ended up upgrading our room free of charge. He also lent us a pack of cards per our request and then Kelsey showed me how to play Kings Corner back in our room.

The next day was very exciting because we going to be visiting Multnomah Falls, which was the main attraction point that we planned to stop at. I also wanted to check out Crater Lake as I heard it was beautiful. While we were eating breakfast in the breakfast room, they had the news playing on the TV at high volume. I was a bit annoyed because I never watch it due to all the negativity. During the weather segment, I couldn’t help but overhear that Crater Lake was expecting a huge amount of snow and that the roads would be closed off. It hadn’t even dawned on me to consider checking the roads before we went, as I planned on going there right after the falls. You could say it was a blessing in disguise and I knew to follow the Omens. After taking some time to replan the our day ahead, we decided just to head straight to the coast after the falls. We booked a hotel in Gold Beach and set out for another day.

It was a beautiful drive from The Dalles to Multnomah Falls, which was about an hour west. We were both in awe driving along the Columbia River as to how wide it was. We both exclaimed that it was wider than most lakes. Our turn to exit off on crept up on us and we made our way on to the very scenic Historic Columbia River Highway. We stopped along one of the rest areas just to get out of the car and take it all in. Everything was so green and thick. We both agreed that we loved Oregon.

A few miles up the highway, we reached our point of interest at Multnomah Falls. It definitely lived up to all of the hype from all of the instagram pictures we had seen. We walked along the path among the other tourists to the iconic bridge. There was a light drizzle of Oregon rain falling down on us and along with the mist of the falls, it was very serene and breathtaking. We took a few photos and videos and then got back on the highway stopping at all the other waterfalls along the way.

I didn’t feel like driving through the hustle and bustle of Portland, so we drove around it and got on the I-5 heading South. Near Salem, I noticed a sign for Dutch Bro’s Coffee which I immediately had to stop and find. During my time of living in Arizona, I fell in love with Dutch Bro’s and their blended white russian drinks to be exact. To our fellow Canadians, think of a Tim Horton’s Iced Capp, but five times better!

Before heading west towards the coast, we also stopped at Chilpotle to grab a bite, another luxury we didn’t have access to in Kelowna. It was Kesley’s first time trying both, so she was a happy girl.

We reached the coast driving through a tiny town called Toledo. We maintained the saying “Holy Toledo” in our conversations throughout the rest of the trip. The Oregon Coast was absolutely beautiful! The clouds were thick and the Rain never really let up all day, but it added to the whole vibe.

When stopping to get gas, one of the lady’s working there started giving me the business for trying to pump my own gas. Kesley and I were both confused, but then she went on saying that it was illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon. We were a bit taken back but officially learned something new. The lady kindly pumped our gas and wished us safe travels.

We stopped at a few beaches along the slow going 101. If it wasn’t for being in a slight hurry to check in to our hotel before the required time, we probably could have watched the gloomy waves crash forever.

We made it to our hotel in Gold Beach right before the latest time to check in. The man at the front desk told us about the Tsunami sirens that would be going off, which we heard shortly after we got into our room.

The next morning we grabbed a couple of coffees from the small espresso hut where a kind lady who was already off to a busy morning made us a caramel macchiato and a dirty chai tea latte. A couple hours later we grabbed one last Dutch Bro’s in Eureka California and then very excitingly drove through the Avenue Of The Giants with Huge Redwood trees greeting us for miles. We stopped to just take in all of the majesty.

Kesley had no idea where we were spending the night. She kept asking, and I kept answering with “it’s a surprise”. We kept driving down the 101 until we hit the ineffable Golden Gate Bridge and San Fransisco. As we drove across the bridge, the sun was setting and the way the clouds looked, it felt like we were driving in heaven. She then got the hint that we were staying in San Fran.

After a somewhat stressful check in to the hotel along with finding the proper place to park the car, we carried our luggage what felt like a mile and eventually settled into our room. After we put on some different clothes, we hitched a taxi down to Fishermans Wharf and grabbed a nice dinner on the water.

The next day we stopped in beautiful Capitola and Carmel By The Sea along with a couple different pull overs along the 101. It was extremely windy! The Coastal Highway driving was eating up a lot of time; we originally planned on making the whole drive to Coronado that day, but as the sun set by surprise, we spent the night in Santa Clarita. We slept in a little more the next day and finished the unforgettable drive.

We reached Coronado in the afternoon and took in the sunset on the beautiful white sandy beach right next to Hotel Del Coronado. The warm California weather was a complete 180 from where we came from in Canada.

We spent the next week exploring Coronado and the San Diego area, as well as getting everything set up to make videos. It’s funny how things don’t go according to plan. I originally planned on making the videos while talking in them, but what I didn’t participate was having the neighbours both behind and beside us doing construction and renovations, as well as 5 combined young kids playing outside. It made talking in the videos literally impossible, as I doubt anyone wanted to hear construction noises and screaming while doing yoga. I realized it was out of my control and that I had to work with what I had, so I improvised by learning how to make voice overs for the initial videos. Everything happens for a reason.

After spending a month and half in Coronado, I am now back in Kelowna in a more controlled environment, eager and excited to make better videos for you.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

From CBD Yoga & Fitness, we are wishing everyone a very happy and safe holiday season as well as an incredible New Year! We are very excited to bring our best to the New Year as we have some big goals that we are fully committed to. We want to Thank all of our subscribers and those who have watched our videos or read our blogs, your support has been amazing and means the world to us while we pursue our dream.

From our heart to yours.

Namaste,

Mike

How and Why I keep a Gratitude Journal

As I am nearing the end of my current Gratitude Journal and with my new one ready to go, I thought It would be a good topic of conversation to write a short but sweet post about it.

I was first introduced to keeping a Gratitude Journal a few years ago while I was working at a door to door marketing/fundraising job. I was surrounded by co workers who were invested into personal development so I immediately bought in to what they were doing and they welcomed me with open arms.

Keeping a Gratitude Journal along with reading their recommended books were among the first things I implemented into my life and it didn’t take long before they became daily habits.

As one of of my co workers at the time and now very close friend told me “you just write down things that you are grateful for”, big things, small things, medium things, as many as you can find.

It really is that simple.

How I keep a Gratitude Journal:

I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way to keep a gratitude journal.

However, one of the methods I like to use is:

At the top of my entry I write “Thank you Universe for this beautiful day and this amazing life. I am Grateful”.

And then I write 10 or more I Am Affirmations, such as I am Love, I am Peace, I am Creative, I am Worthy etc.

And then I write 3 or more major goals that I have as if they are already accomplished, such as I am so Happy and Grateful now that I have saved $10,000. I am so Happy and Grateful now that I am in an amazing, loving, healthy relationship with the most beautiful person who knocks my socks off etc. And you just take a moment to let yourself feel what that would feel like to accomplish those things.

And then I’ll finish that entry but recapping 5 things in my life and/or 5 things that happened that day that I am grateful for. Before signing off, I’ll always end it by sending someone(anybody) love.

Personally, I think the biggest thing is just showing up on a daily basis and developing the habit of gratitude is what will give you the most benefits long term. You have to let your attitude of gratitude compound, if you will.

And if you keep at it, soon enough you’ll start to allow and recognize more things in your day to day life to feel grateful for. You will start to feel a sense of gratitude towards things and/or people where you might not have before.

It’s also a safe bet that you will start to find yourself smiling more and more people smiling at you. You will begin to appreciate the little things in life and you might even feel like the world is starting to slow itself down, just for you.

AND THEN BOOM, OUT OF NOWHERE, THE NEXT LOVE OF YOUR LIFE WILL STUMBLE INTO YOUR LIFE MAKING IT FEEL LIKE THE EARTH STOOD STILL. AND YOU WILL BE MAKING MORE MONEY THAN YOU EVER HAVE BEEN AND YOU’LL BE HAPPIER THAN YOU’VE EVER BEEN…. okay I’m just joking, but at the same time not at all. It happened to me.

Which brings me to WHY.

Why I keep a Gratitude Journal:

To summarize, I like to keep a gratitude journal because the more I do it, the more grateful and you could also say peaceful I become. And being grateful feels pretty darn good!

Unlike lower energy feelings such as hate, jealousy, anger, frustration, depression, insecurity, doubt, worry and revenge; Gratitude is a high energy feeling that is right up there with love, joy, passion, enthusiasm and freedom.

Keeping a Gratitude Journal on a consistent basis is an easy way to tap into those higher feelings. You will begin to notice and think of things and people that make you feel that way.

The more you tap into those feelings, the more you start to believe those feelings to be true for you and to be true for your life. You will start to resonate more and more with those higher feelings starting with a simple act of gratitude. Your thoughts create your beliefs, and your beliefs shape your reality.

So there you have it.

All you need is 10-15 minutes and you don’t even have to leave your house!

Peace & Love,

Mike