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yoga

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What is light?
Light is where you can see everything,
Light is where darkness disappears.
Who is enlightened?
One who can see everything: good, bad and neutral.
One who can see all and see God.
If you cannot see God in all,
You cannot see God at all.
Those who seek God inside, find it.
Those who seek God outside,
Waste their time and waste their lives.
~ Yogi Bhajan

Hey fellow yogis!

Do you crave to travel and roam around different countries as a way to seek freedom and independence? Do you want to experience new and exciting cultures and learn some new languages? Or maybe you want to travel to meet new people and make new friendships?

Well, for me, travel means more than just freedom, exploration, or connection.

Travel means reaching new levels of clarity, consciousness and community.

I saw a glimpse of what reaching my highest and truest self in my relationships, my being and in my practice of yoga looked like when I stayed in Hawaii.

Let me explain.

I worked in a community as a yoga intern for nine weeks in the rainforest of Pahoa, Hawaii. It challenged me in more ways than one, and gave me a fresh perspective on the life I wanted to create for myself. A life rooted in healthy community, healthy communication, healthy food, and healthy movement in nature.

Yoga opened up so many possibilities in my life and acted as a gateway to healing my relationship with food, healing my relationship with my parents, healing my relationship with myself and accepting the slower paced life to allow me to regain my feminine energy. Yoga revealed my true self and the lifestyle that aligned with my truth and my heart.

After experiencing living in community, and being around other conscious and like-minded individuals striving and stretching for spirituality, it made me crave community more and more. Coming back to an individualistic, self-absorbed city left me feeling drained, numb and depressed. I was craving connection … connection to others, connection to God, and connection to my inner being.

That’s when I made the ultimate life-defining decision about my future. What a convenient time … being that I was finishing university, was single and could create a future me that was ready to research, ready to revitalize, and ready to receive.

I recently have been working for an international yoga school, the Kula Collective and started my journey in Peru this August, as I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with them.

I bought a one-way ticket and the biggest backpack I could find.

I am ready for anything and everything to come my way.

But how does one even prepare for such an endeavor?

How does one plan for an adventure of the unknown, an adventure solely planned by God and an adventure built on trust, positivity and hope? How does one prepare for an adventure of learning and growing and expanding … whether that’s on a surfboard, on a cliff or on the top of a mountain??

I don’t plan to go away for a while and then return home … this is not a temporary finding-myself-backpacking-kind-of-trip. This is a journey of conscious-community-seeking filled with work exchanges, with yoga teaching, and with finding beauty in the ordinary and the extraordinary moments.

This is a journey of being both settled and unsettled in the uncomfortable. This is a journey of being a vessel of light to allow for darkness to disappear, and for love and connection to begin. I am on the search maybe not for an end point, but a beginning point … to experience my truest self, being in my elements of nature, community, and yoga. I want to find home everywhere I go, … the feeling of home found in the coziness of people, not places.

I am opened to opportunity. I hope to be inspired to spark initiative, spark change, spark ideas and spark awareness. I hope to create space for others to seek wisdom from within and to reach their highest potential, whether that’s through my teaching, my words or my actions.

So, how have I physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually allowed myself to process such a way of being … such a lifestyle change?

It started with defining what I wanted. Pressured to do a masters and go the traditional route, I had different plans for my future as I have had such a drawn to spirituality and have completely fallen head over heels for yoga. And I know my route is different, however, it is the only route that makes sense for me to experience God from the inside. I don’t want to waste time or waste my life going down a path that isn’t aligned with who I am, what I stand for, and my ultimate life purpose.

I believe that we need to create the life we were meant to live … and that does involve sacrifice and change. We do not grow into the people we need to become when we stay stagnant and in our comfort zones. It’s only when we learn and expand our minds and our hearts do we see the possibilities … and see how we can reach our most joyful and conscious selves.

So here is my blueprint to help you follow your intuition when travelling as a yogi to align you with your dharma, your highest self and the vision God (or the Cosmic Energy, or the Universe … whatever YOU identify with!) has for you:

  1. Ask

Put out your positive and hopeful vibrational energy into the universe and ask for answers. Maybe you don’t know where to start your journey … start by asking and surrendering control. You must trust in the process and release all expectations of what your future looks like to allow for expansion and growth.

  1. Seek

Now don’t just sit there!! Do your research about opportunities around the world that best highlight your skills, your interests, and your values and beliefs. Seek out communities, work exchanges, retreat centers, education or anything that speaks to your soul. Fill out applications, set up Skype interviews … put in the effort without fear, judgment and control of the outcome. But remember to value your worth and your skills so that others value your work and energy too.

  1. Wait

Have a neutral mind towards the outcome of your efforts. See what places return your calls and emails, then sit or go for a walk and meditate on the different places and opportunities. What feels right to you? What are you sensing? What is God telling you? What is aligned with your truth? What signals are you getting internally … not externally from family and friends? What ignites your soul and makes you excited? This is your inner journey … trust your inner guide. 

  1. Allow

Allow yourself to feel. Run to release your anger, cry to release your unease, dance to release your joy, or talk it out to release your anxiety. Allow yourself to process your journey, and process the change that you are about to make. Take time in solitude to be still and silent. Journal it all out to truly understand your intentions, your thoughts, and how you will proceed forward … make a plan for action.

  1. Action

Now it’s time to take the risk and make it happen. Book the plane ticket, accept the offer, get the backpack and start packing!

So I encourage you to live the simple life … live the nomadic life … live the lifestyle your soul is longing for … and don’t be scared to be different, to be bold and to be a trailblazer.

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

PLEASE SHARE YOUR JOURNEY! Comment below about how you are being a trailblazer and following your passion and your dreams!!

And don’t forget to follow my upcoming Peru adventures and life journey on my Instagram @theveggievillager!

Hey villagers!!

Ever thought about attending a yoga class but the idea of trying to get your head to your knee seemed too overwhelming and scary? Especially in front of a bunch of yogis who can stand on their heads?

I know because I’ve been there. But I hope I can convince you that yoga is so much more than trying to relax, hold a pose with screaming legs and burning arms, and attempting to not hold your breath all at the same time.

So …. What is yoga?

Yoga means union, a focus on the interconnectedness of your mind, body and spirit to improve aspects of health. Yoga is more than just poses, which is the most basic form. It is called asana, and is just one limb of the eight limbs or components of yoga. Yoga consists of ethical principles for living a purposeful life, while acknowledging the health, mindfulness, wellbeing and spiritual aspects of oneself.

Sometimes, in order to truly understand the major themes of yoga’s teachings, we need to practice asana with the intention of drawing inward and looking at what our minds and bodies are telling us about our souls.

But we aren’t given this yoga information when we attend a yoga class, and maybe we have different intentions to start practicing. For most, it’s to relieve stress, or to get some exercise in, but as you continue to practice and engage in an everyday yoga routine, you begin to focus on the spiritual side of yoga.

So …. How do you do yoga?

Yoga begins by showing up. Engaging your whole self and slowing down to the speed of our rapid and quickly changing, crazy lives. Yoga is for all bodies, shapes and sizes, and no comparisons need to be made as it is a practice of going within, not looking outward at others.

Yoga is for you, your development, and your growth so that ultimately, you can better serve others. The asana or poses, is just a vehicle for you to reach your greatest potential, and love with a humble and grateful heart.

So … Feeling inspired yet?

What if I told you about my yoga journey?

I was exposed to yoga since I was a child, as my aunt was a yoga teacher. I would watch the yoga for kids video and hang out in my cat and cow poses, while actually making the animal noises … it was a fun way for me to move and let my energy out.

I would attend hot yoga classes with her, and she would lead me through yoga flows at her house. But as I went into high school, my poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and academic focus shifted away from my health and my yoga practice.

As my mom was getting into health and fitness, I started to eat better and be conscious of movement and changing my negative mindset. I began doing home workout videos, and jumping on my rebounder (mini trampoline .. plan on doing bootcamps with it one day!).

Fast forward to university, when I decided that business was not my calling and that Kinesiology was much more in line with my values and lifestyle. I began having a regular yoga practice at different local studios, mostly vinyasa and hot yoga. I enjoyed moving, and started to see how yoga was being translated into my life and improving my health – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I was also always drawn to spirituality. I’ve always been a big church go-er, and served at my local church in all capacities. I felt God has always lead me down the right path, and has instilled healthy habits in me. But yoga allows me to go deeper, everyday.

 

As I decided to go to Hawaii for 2 months on a yoga internship this past summer, I was immersed into the true yoga world – one that isn’t commercialized and advertises yoga as exercise in one quick hour. I was doing vinyasa, yin and kundalini yoga for 1.5-5 hours a day and loving every minute of it.

I felt like I was on a yoga high … and I still feel that way coming out of classes and even doing my own yoga routine and stretches back at home.

Now as I teach at Strong Body Fitness as a bootcamp instructor, I have access to yoga on a daily basis and have been attending hot yoga 1-2 times a week at a studio closer to home. I do my own daily flow if I can’t make a class, and always incorporate breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation into my morning routine.

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Yoga has given me clarity, healed my relationship with food, is slowly healing my hormonal and digestive health, improved my relationships with others as I am more present, engaged and sensitive in conversations and has helped me connect with God that is within me (I call it the Holy Spirit … some call it your higher Self).

So …. Feeling ready to reap the benefits of yoga but don’t know where to start?

Here are my top 10 yoga tips on how to get started on your yoga and inner journey to reaching your highest Self!

1. Get a mat.

If you are planning on taking a yoga class, the first step you can do is buy yourself a yoga mat that suits your needs and your style! There are some for as low as $20 will cool designs, and even grabbing a block and strap package for your home practice is helpful, especially if you need an extra stretch from injuries or chronic pain. I finally upgraded to a heavy-duty Jade yoga mat that is extra long for my extra long limbs and will hold up to my daily practice.

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2. Get some inspiration.

See how others are moving and get inspired! Maybe check out some Instagram accounts of yoga teachers and their favourite flows and poses, and read about the eight limbs of yoga through resources like the Yoga Sutras.

 

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Dancing by the sea.

3. Figure out which type of yoga works for you.

Maybe you hate being hot when you are moving, so hot yoga would probably not be the best choice for you. Listen to your body and try out some different yoga classes. Different types of hatha yoga are the most common types of yoga that we practice in North America.

When you want to be mellow and stretch it out in static poses, go for some yin yoga. If you have lots of energy and like to not hold poses for a long time, try some vinyasa power yoga. If you want to challenge your mind and engage in more repetitious breathing and meditation practices, try some kundalini yoga. And if you like routine and want to progress through set sequences, try some Ashtanga yoga.

Vinyasa yoga is my go to, usually a yoga class that holds poses and where I can push myself and hang in a headstand for a while, but I do switch it up depending on my needs of the week.

4. Do your research and shop around (local is better).

Find a studio that has a variety of different classes that you think you would enjoy, as well as one that is near to your house or work. Check class schedules weekly and fit them into your schedule (set reminders, put it on your calendar or write it in your planner!!). Make time for you and your personal growth a top priority! I love my power flow and slow burn vinyasa yoga classes at Strong Body, my vinyasa hot yoga at Moksha, and my inversion practice at my own yoga sanctuary.

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5. Try different classes that involve water, sun or animals.

There are some special exceptions to traditional yoga classes that you might want to try out if you’re feeling adventurous. SUP yoga is always a fun way to challenge your balance and connect to the sea (or lake…).

When the seasons change, there are usually 108 sun salutation events that salute to the new season and connect with other yogis in your community … I went to one of these for the fall and it was so much fun!

Also, there are some classes that are by donation to animal rescue charities, and include goats, cats and dogs wandering around and chilling on your mats as you move through your downward dogs with them. This is the usual at my house … minus the goats.

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Definitely harder than it looks.

6. Bring a friend or go with someone who is all Zened out.

It always helps when you know someone who is into yoga and that already goes to a yoga studio. You can hold each other accountable as well as share ideas and thoughts about classes and how yoga is influencing your lives together. Also, your friend might give you the encouragement as well as inspiration you need to get to your first class.

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Find your tribe.

7. Be consistent.

To have a daily practice would be ideal, but when starting out, try to go to yoga at least 2-3 times a week to really experience the benefits – mind, body and soul! You will feel yourself becoming more mindful and slowing down and you will realize that what you learn on the mat is projecting into your daily life – but this only happens when you are committed and consistent!

8. Listen to your body (know your limits).

Don’t ever compare yourself to the yogis in the room. Focus on your breath and listen to your body as you flow through different poses. Stay in the ones that are uncomfortable, but not the ones that hurt. Know your limits but also know when to push yourself to your edge. Get adventurous and try out new poses without fear or judgment of yourself or what others will think.

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108 sun salutations … and go.

9. Find a yoga instructor (mentor) that gets you.

Trying different studios and going to different yoga events in the local community can help you find a teacher that speaks to your soul and your growth. Once you find a yoga teacher that you can relate to, that understands you and knows your limits can make your yoga experience even that much better. Having a mentor can teach you new things about yourself, about the practice itself, and can create the support and guidance you need to reach your highest Self.

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My yoga mentor … she got me.

10. Be patient.

Being kind to your body also means that getting to more advanced yoga poses takes time, effort, focus and patience. Be patient with your progress, and know that there is a lot of hard work on all accounts – mentally, emotionally, physically and spirituality. Contemplation, reflection, listening, and letting go are all parts of the journey. Trust in the development of your yoga spirit.

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Surrender.

Please comment below about how you have used these tips to start your yoga practice! I would love to hear about your yoga journey and how you incorporate the eight limbs of yoga into your daily life!

So I encourage you to get your Zen on in order to improve your health and your interactions with yourself, others and the world off the mat.

Namaste,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

Aloha villagers!

I have had quite the adventure the past few months, and wanted to share my experience with you in the hopes that you can add a little Hawaii into your life!

Hawaii

I worked at a yoga wellness retreat called the Hawaiian Sanctuary in Pahoa, Hawaii for just over 2 months, and it changed my life for the better. My Hawaii summer job consisted of ‘glamping’ with the sounds of frogs and peacocks at night and the view of the Milky Way from my room. I felt so incredibly connected to the Earth. I drank and showered in rainwater and chilled at beaches on the weekends, staying grounded as I drew from the healing energies of the sand and sea.

Hawaii

I would walk to our ‘grow’ room for ‘Hawaii yoga’ every morning. The room was filled with tropical plants and had screen walls, so we could feel the mist from the rain, the heat of the sun and hear the chickens and roosters to make sure we were awake in shavasana.

Hawaii
Show off.

 

Yoga in Hawaii consisted of hour and a half classes beginning with a warm up, some pranayama, meditation then went into a vinyasa flow. They were challenging (and hot!) but so much fun. Part of my yoga trade in Hawaii included private sessions and weekend workshops with my yoga instructors and mentors to practice my inversions and perfect my forearm stand. Wednesday mornings we had Kundalini classes after our morning yoga that challenged our endurance, and then a restorative class at night complete with socks filled with tennis balls to soothe our backs and our minds. I gained such a deep appreciation for how to do yoga, on a spiritual, emotional and physical level.

Hawaii
Playing with some acro!

 

Lunch was the highlight of my day! Always vegan and gluten-free, complete with dessert on Fridays! Kimmy, our professional chef with over 10 years of experience, was from New York but originally from Tokyo. I fell in love with Japanese cuisine!!

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Kimmy showing us how to roll sushi!

 

She would always make amazing stews, including my favourite, mung bean curry. We would have fresh salads filled with veggies picked from the garden or from the local market and topped with local mac nuts and edible flowers. We also have some type of grain like brown rice or quinoa and a different side dish each day of the week!

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Lunch is served to the sound of a conch shell!

 

We had Asian Mondays with spring rolls and veggie stir fries, Taco Tuesdays with guacamole and salsa and the best crackers [in the world], and side dishes like vegan shepherd’s pie, pad thai(!), pizza, purple sweet potato salad and zoodles with mac nut pesto throughout the rest of our week.

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Rainbow rollsss!!!
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Pad Thai was amazing!!!
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Mochi cake. My favourite dessert!

 

Not only was the food amazing, but lunchtime was also a time to relax, sit outside with everyone from the community and chat about our day. We would connect with those who were working on the farm or in the kitchen all day and make plans for our weekends! Oh, how I loved my weekend adventures!!!

Hawaii

The general manager of the Hawaiian Sanctuary was somewhat of a daredevil and rubbed off on me … for the better. He brought me cliff jumping, snorkeling, rock climbing to the top of waterfalls then rappelling down them, climbing coconut trees to harvest coconut goodness, hiking to the summit of Mauna Kea to watch the sunset and swimming through caves.

Hawaii

I saw sea turtles, manta rays, lots of cool fish, more rainbows than I can count, livestock and wild pigs and goats, and every colour of sand you could think of, even green. I am eternally grateful to have seen most of the island in my two months and experience life on the edge [literally – off cliffs and waterfalls]!

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Just one of many.

 

We had two different classes each week, both beneficial to my soul and my mind. We went to weekly classes called Non-Violent Communication or Compassionate Communication. We learned how to effectively communicate with others, through listening empathically and connecting our feelings with our universal human needs. It was so applicable to daily life, as we practiced listening to each other and making empathic guesses and truly understanding the other person, without criticism or judgment.

Hawaii

We also had our Ohana circles, meaning ‘family’ where community members came together and discussed problems [utilizing NVC hopefully] and played games. We also had a talent show that was by far my favourite week. Julia and I sang Riptide accompanied by the ukulele – how Hawaiian!

Riptide – We had fun!

Through this whole experience, I have completely transformed my body, mind and soul. Here is what I learned about the Hawaiian way of life through my yoga internship and adventurous weekends:

  1. Community.

    Living in community makes you so much more mindful of your actions and how they can affect others, like leaving your dishes out or staying up all night. While eating lunch in community, I learned to slow down and eat a balanced meal that was so nourishing and satisfying. I learned to find balance and moderation with my favourite foods and enjoy some delicious [healthy-ish] desserts once a week and fresh fish from the sea on the weekends. I loved constantly being around such diverse people and engaging in fun and deep conversations about their experiences, beliefs and lifestyles back home.

    Hawaii
    My Ohana [Family]!
  2. Adventure.

    I loved that such a variety of adventures were only a drive away, with nature surrounding us wherever we went. I learned to become a rebel, jumping over no trespassing or danger signs when exploring waterfalls and valleys. I loved the exhilaration of jumping off cliffs and rappelling down waterfalls. I am grateful for knowing locals that showed me the hidden beauty of Hawaii, even if it was living a little on the wild side.

    Hawaii
    Jump with no thought, just a smile.
  3. Yoga.

    Do yoga, almost everyday. Yoga was so soothing for my body, as it contributed to balancing my hormones, giving me a ton of energy and relieving me of any anxiety or tension I was feeling. My mind was so clear and I was so present in everything I did. My spirit was also fulfilled as I could spend my practice with God, thanking Him for this amazing opportunity and listening to His plans for my life. I mentioned doing yoga almost everyday, because I was taught that we do need to rest for at least one day a week in order to give our bodies a break and let our muscles heal.

    Hawaii
    My yoga mentor and inspiration, Kristen! Incredibly knowledgeable and so much fun!
  4. Freedom.

    The Hawaiian culture is all about being expressive and to truly be who you are, no makeup [or bra] required. People did whatever they wanted [weed was a popular commodity], and were truly accepted for whatever their beliefs were, or what their occupation was. I did not wear makeup during my time there, which was so foreign to me, and wore yoga clothes and a bathing suit 90% of the time. I felt that others accepted me for who I was and were so relationship oriented. I was constantly greeted with an Aloha and a hug and felt such a loving energy from the people of Hawaii. Our NVC classes was also a reminder of how love is the ultimate goal of relationships as we learned how to express our feelings and needs to those around us freely and without judgment.

    Hawaii
    Be you.
  5. Conscious.

    The Hawaiians are so conscious about what they put into their bodies as they wanted to keep everything as natural as possible; everything had to be from the ground! There were ava bars everywhere [usually stocked with kava, kombucha and jun {jun is kombucha except with green tea and honey – I was obsessed}, no alcohol allowed!] People played music about loving others, and health food stores were hopping at lunchtime. Yoga was a part of their daily lives, not just for exercise, as people lingered before and after class and chatted. The locals were so present in deep and meaningful conversations. Most restaurants used local ingredients and there were farmer’s markets everywhere, both during the day and at night!

    Ava Bar Fun!

  6. Slow.

    I have never been so unaware of the time as well as what was going on in the outside world. I had no TVs to watch, radios to listen to, and no constant to do list. Everything went by Hawaiian time, with yoga classes starting and ending 5-10 minutes late, and hours and hours spent at local beaches with friends. Time seems to slow down and go according to your pace of life. You are in control of time – time doesn’t control you in Hawaii. There is a healthy work and play balance, with many people bringing their children with them to dances and yoga classes. No one is in a rush … remember that when you are driving there.

Hawaii
Chill like a cow in the meadows.

 

So I challenge you to incorporate some of the Hawaiian lifestyle into your own. Go makeup free, get to a yoga class, cook a balanced meal and eat it with your friends, go explore a new part of town, disconnect your TV [maybe a little extreme?] and don’t be scared to live on the edge.

Hawaii
Or on the side of a palm tree … go with the breeze.

 

If you aren’t happy, make a change to your lifestyle. With a clear mind, you can have a clear heart – one that is ready to receive and give freely.

Hawaii

Feel free to share some of your changes with me, and let me know how yoga has transformed your mind, body and soul for the better. I would love to connect with those of you whom have had similar yoga retreat work exchange opportunities and hear about how Hawaii yoga has changed them for the better (Comment below!!)

This will not be the last of my Hawaiian adventures or yoga travel, as I was deeply impacted by the energy of the island, and the deep connections I have made. I hope you can experience the beauty in this world and discover a place that embraces the lifestyle you imagine for yourself to ultimately enhance your health and wellbeing.

Hawaii
Sit and bask in the beauty.

 

Mahalo my villagers!

Peace & Love,

Jill – your Hawaiian villager xx

Hey villagers!

When you see a 40-year-old man with a Harley jacket on and 20-year-old hippie-ish woman talking at a restaurant, what is your initial reaction? Yeah, right – it’s just wrong. But sometimes we shouldn’t make snap judgments, especially with who we see connecting over coffee.

We can be friends with anyone, no matter their age, gender or race, as we are all energetic beings that have gifts and talents to share. When we have an open and growth mindset towards our relationships, we can grow our own skill sets and gain invaluable knowledge.

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When we hangout in community, we can connect with the most unexpected people. These networks can lead to business partnership, weekly mentorship, and long-lasting friendship.

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Similarly, we can become friends with someone who could be our child or sibling’s age. We need to remind ourselves to stay humble, and to not act in a role of superiority. Here is our chance to teach, inspire, guide and love!

So here is why I have friends that are 15 years old and 50 years old and everywhere in between:

 1. Insight. When you are having a difficult time in life, either in your relationships with your family, friends or your {non-existent} love life, you can always gain a new perspective from someone who is in a different stage of life. Even when dealing with the deep and philosophical questions, people with a different perspective and mindset can give you answers and enlighten you, thus, strengthening and solidifying your own values and beliefs.

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2. Experience. When seeking advice or simply chatting, learning from someone who already went through major life events that you have yet to experience, can be reassuring and helpful with the mental and spiritual preparation that is being demanded from you. Talking to someone who has kids, is married or got a divorce, who is in retirement, or who went through university and has their PhD, can be extremely helpful when dealing with whatever comes your way.

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3. Guidance. Sometimes you need a little guidance, and those that know you best can help in reaffirming your decisions and opportunities. After creating your life web, you might just need to talk with someone who knows you better than you know yourself. They can give you the reassurance you need by drawing from their own experience to help you in your next step – whether that be university, a career change or ending a relationship. Someone older or younger just might know your heart and what will truly shine your light in the best way possible.

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4. Teach. Through your own words and actions, you can teach your friends life lessons that they are in the process of learning. You can be a role model and mentor for them and share your knowledge and gifts with those you love. We can shine our lights together by collaborating and getting creative! We can change the world, one awesome idea and connection at a time.

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5. Interests. You can expand in your interests and do different activities with friends that aren’t your age. I love doing yoga and rock climb with my friends who maybe are a bit older or younger than me but that thoroughly enjoy it! Also, it’s always fun to share your knowledge in a field with friends who are interested in learning new skills, like cooking, photography or gardening!

 mentorship

So I challenge you to get in community and start engaging with EVERYONE around you, even those who aren’t your age. I encourage you to keep an open mind and get ready to learn, grow and change the world.

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

 

 

Hey my beauties!!

Well, to be blunt – it’s FREEZING outside(!!!) and no one wants to move, let alone, leave the house when you have a highly likely chance of having numb fingers, cheeks, and toes after 2 minutes of braving the cold. Buuutttt …. it is a New Year and that means new goals and new ambition – usually including being a more healthy, active you. So how do we stay on track when the weather seems to be our biggest barrier?

I know for me, I have made a routine of walking my dogs everyday in the morning or after school, no matter what the weather is looking like (I have a jacket that is a literal parka!). However, there are many other ways I love to get my body moving and stay warm during subarctic temperatures!

I have also mentioned previously that I love my exercise to be fun, and find that the gym isn’t too motivating when it’s warm, let alone, when I have to drive there when there is ice on the road.

Here are a few of my favourite places to go and things to do when it’s cold and we don’t want snowflakes flying in our eyes:

1. Home Videos

What better way to exercise when you don’t want to leave the house? When you have your own personal trainer through the click of a button, it makes exercising that much easier! I love Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno, and really any of her high intensity circuits make for a great workout! My mom also enjoys Leslie Sansone’s videos, the easiest way to walk a mile! She also has Valerie Bertinelli’s video that focuses on strength and is a great way to maintain muscle mass.

Some of our favourites.

2. Windsor Rock Gym: My new found love!! I recently watched a documentary called Valley Uprising that inspired me to rockclimb! This type of rockclimbing is bouldering … basically it’s you, the chalk on your hands, and your shoes to suspend you on a difficult route to the top of a rock wall! I absolutely love the atmosphere of Windsor Rock Gym … an encouraging and inspiring space to achieve full body strength and feel accomplished when you reach the top!

3. Breathe/YOGA!

My parents just graced me with a 3 month unlimited membership to Breathe – a yoga and pilates studio. I have found my favourite yoga teachers that teach a variety of different vinyasa classes. They have such a variety of classes, and at convenient times. I absolutely love yoga, as I have a space to focus on my body, mind and spirit. If you like some adventure, they also have aerial yoga … one of my favourites!

Active
Just hanging out, pun intended. 

4. Boxing

I was introduced to boxing recently, and Breathe has a kickboxing class as well as Border City Boxing has open night classes throughout the week to attend. This is a great way to build your cardio and strength! Read why boxing is the new exercise to learn self-defence and empower you!

5. Springz/Rebounding

I love plyometric activities, and have found that having a mini trampoline, a rebounder, to be so beneficial for my health, helping balance my hormones and work my lymphatic system!

6. Bootcamp

If you love high-intensity exercises, Danielle has a great variety of bootcamp classes through her AXFIT program, available at the WFCU centre. She also has an awesome Youtube channel that has quick and easy exercises that you can do at home if you are snowed in!! She is so motivating and inspiring, especially since she is staying active with twins on the way!

So there are just some ideas to get you motivated to have fun and get active! I challenge you to try something new, get out of your comfort zone, and enjoy the benefits of feeling healthy and happy!

And if you are feeling really adventurous …. make a trip to Ojibway …. 😉 [Dad was really excited and videotaped it sideways haha]

 

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

 

 

 

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