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A Free Guided Meditation To Start Your Day

We are just over halfway through our 30 Day Meditation Challenge (if you missed the beginning you can still sign up for free until the end of the month) with a fantastic group of meditators from all over the world. Yesterday morning, Steve led a beautiful guided ten minute practice via Periscope that I just had to share with you all.
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Replace Your Resolutions, Try These Tools Instead

If you know me, you know I don't much care for the ritual of making annual resolutions. However, I can't deny that this is a wonderful time of year to reflect on all the changes can happen in just journey around the sun.  This past year was spent making space for our little one and while that was the main event, I also published my first book, traveled all over the continent, got married for a second time (we had the Canadian edition of our wedding this summer), and made deep connections with the amazing people I met along the way.  There were so many wonderful and unexpected moments to celebrate this past year and yet it wasn't until I sat down to write it all out that I realized just how fantastic it really was. 
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Join my yogi birthday party

Today is my 33rd birthday and you had better believe I am celebrating. In years past, I asked my yoga students and friends to help me celebrate by making donations to support water projects for charity:water or even to join me for 24 and 48 hour meditation marathons. This year things are a little different... Six weeks ago, Audrey was born and there simply hasn't been time or mental bandwidth to prepare a birthday fundraiser. Instead, Steve and I donated half of our worldly possessions as we transition to a much simpler way of living. I have blogged about this before but the criteria for purging our excess stuff was simple. If it wasn't actively useful or we wouldn't pay to have it shipped if we moved far away, it went into the donate pile. When I was a kid most of my wardrobe and many of my toys consisted of hand-me-downs from other families so it brings me joy to pass along things I no longer need or love to someone who will appreciate it. It feels wonderful to be helpful to another even in small ways. My birthday wish is for you to feel good and do some good too.
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Meditation and Being a New Parent

I recently welcomed the most beautiful baby girl into my life, Audrey Ray Aquin-Haase, born on October 14, 2015 at Massachusetts General Hospital. To say I was overcome with emotion when she finally emerged into the world is an understatement. 
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Change the World: Teach Meditation

People today hunger for meaning. Your community longs for deeper peace and fulfillment. Look around and you see the constant checking of statuses and endless scrolling, revealing a deeper malaise underneath. Of course, this agitation is nothing new. It’s been with us as long as civilization and the mind has. But in these times it seems to have intensified, don’t you think? That’s why meditation is so radical and why your ability to share the practice with others is so powerful. You can offer a gateway, a portal into another dimension. You can take people by the hand and lead them to a place where their problems are put into perspective and may even seem to float away for a moment. When someone’s depths come to the foreground and their thoughts and worries recede, that’s magical. It might be the first time they feel deeply at home by themselves, silent, doing nothing; yet completely awake. Imagine a community of practitioners, a place where stillness is shared. In our always-on-yet-disconnected nonstop world, how beautiful is it to offer an oasis of peace to others? Or to yourself, for that matter? It’s an experience we don’t partake in enough. That’s why Erin and I are leading a 4-month teacher training for those who want to go deeper. It’s a chance to give yourself dedicated moments of stillness and simplicity, and to gain the confidence and inspiration to lead others in this ancient practice. The benefits are extraordinary; all you have to do is choose to do it.   Image by: Steve Haase - AquinYoga.com
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Elemental Yin Yang Yoga: Metal and the Art of Letting Go

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honey sweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cézanne This week I am deep in the writing process for my new book on Elemental Yin Yang Yoga. Since fall has arrived with such fortitude here in New England, it is only natural that I devote my time to the Metal element.  If you aren't as familiar with the Chinese philosophy of the 5 Elements as you are with other systems, the concept of Metal and its attributes may not feel as relatable as the others. However, in Yin Yang yoga, metal has an important role in rounding out the practice so it is vital to understand. Autumn is the perfect time to connect with Metal on and off your mat and I hope these musings and exercises inspire you to deepen your personal relationship with this beautiful element. The Season of Metal Fall is a magical time and an important season for the Elemental yogi. After the warmth and expansion of the summer, autumn allows one to reconnect to their practice and integrate all the breakthroughs the heat may have afforded. Autumn reminds us that life is not permanent as we watch the changing and falling of the leaves. The final harvest begins and the crisp cool air of this beautiful season helps us to reflect on all of the accomplishments of the past year while inspiring us to make sure our preparations for winter have begun. Autumn is ruled by the Metal element and this is by far the most challenging of the Five Elements for many yogis to grasp. Since Metal doesn’t immediately seem like a natural extension of the other elements it often takes more time for yogis to feel connected to. To help you relate to the seasonal nature of metal try this exercise.
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Free Guided Meditation for Greater Connection {VIDEO}

Yesterday was a cloudy, windy fall day here in Boston. Right now, we are playing the waiting game for the arrival of our baby due any day now (of course I am hoping sooner rather than later as it gets more and more difficult to sleep, exercise and concentrate in general).
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Living The Yoga Lifestyle: Skin Care Rituals and Tips

I don't need to tell anyone who is part of the Aquin Yoga tribe that the work you do on the mat is only a small part of what yoga is. In fact, a huge part of why AY exists is to help you integrate more yogic goodness into every aspect of your life. The newest offerings I have to share with you are no different. When I got pregnant, I began a process that many people go through before they enter parenthood. I found myself re-evaluating different aspects of my life. Everything from my close relationships to the food I ate (or couldn't eat because I felt so sick) landed under the microscope. In some ways the challenges of being pregnant made other areas of life simple. Everything supportive or nourishing could stay, everything draining and unnecessarily challenging had to go. While I definitely didn't follow many of the conventional (and in many cases outdated) rules imposed upon Western pregnant women, there were some things I did feel strongly compelled to change. One of the more practical things was taking time to pay attention and care for my body. It may sound strange coming from a yogi since physical asana helps one connect so deeply with the body, but there is a new level of awareness open to you once a tiny person takes up residence and begins tap dancing around in there. Suddenly, I became hyper aware of every tiny tingle as my internal pal began to using up my nutrients and dramatically changing everything about me inside and out.  One of the most practical ways I started to care for myself more deeply during this time was to make the switch to more natural body care products. My skin was not getting along with the chemical ridden products I had been using, so I went on the hunt to swap out as much as possible for high quality natural products. In the process, I found a line of skincare I love so much, I decided to make some of my favourite products available to all of you in the store.
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Back to (Yoga) School

Depending on where you are in life, "back to school" time is either a let down, full of excitement or a huge relief (parents, I am looking at you for that last one). While I am an enthusiastic fan of all things summer, I do love the transition and the cultural shift as a new year of learning and possibility is placed before so many minds collectively.  The personal pull towards intellectual expansion is something you may feel more strongly at this time of year as well. As a yogi, you are constantly learning how the body moves in different postures, how the practice changes your energy, mood and expands your perspective. In the spirit of supporting your own continued learning, I have been busy creating a few programs over the summer that you may enjoy. Whether you are looking for a fun and free morning yoga boost or are ready to take the plunge into teaching yoga and meditation, I have something just for you.
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Yoga Anywhere: Southern California {plus Beach Yoga Video}

I love to travel. In my early twenties I spent time tour managing a band and had the opportunity to work all over North America and get a taste of many incredible places. Those of you that have caught the travel bug know that exiting the comfort zone of your daily routine and entering an unfamiliar place with a different culture can be a spiritual experience.  Now that I am a freelance teacher, I have the privilege and flexibility to travel to teach or accompany my husband when he has a speaking engagement. On our trip last month, it struck me several times how much traveling is can be a way to practice yoga in the larger sense. You see, “yoga” isn’t merely a practice that happens on the mat. In fact, asana (the physical practice) is only a small portion of what it means to be a yogi.
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