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Does Spiritual Practice Matter Anymore?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 15, 2017 9:24:00 AM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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This article was originally published on November 18 2015. It has been updated and reposted as I feel this contemplation is relevant today. 

It is hard to make sense of our world sometimes.

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Yoga and Inner Strength

[fa icon="calendar'] May 16, 2017 10:22:53 AM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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Yoga is a powerful practice.

Physical asana (the poses themselves) can help to make your body supple and strong.

An hour of movement focused on honouring your body and your breath can produce countless positive side effects for your well-being.

But sometimes due to the relaxed nature of many styles of yoga, it is easy to forget about one of the most important benefits to regular practice; inner strength.

True, that there are many more intense physical and spiritual paths that demand the cultivation of your deeper resolve. It takes momentous effort to climb a mountain or participate in an IronMan. And surely, monks living in secluded monasteries know a thing or two about self-discipline.

But for ordinary people who don't wish to become elite athletes or dedicate their lives to religious practice, yoga is one possible path to developing profound inner strength.

One simple reason is that study of yoga in any and all its forms takes discipline.

It takes time and effort to embark on a physical or spiritual practice like yoga and once you get deep enough, you realize that there is no prize and no public acknowledgment to pat you on the back for getting to your mat (unless you are an Instagram yoga star, but even that attention is fleeting).

It sometimes takes heroic effort, but it is your own personal resolve that causes you to show up again and again.

And the benefits you experience are the ones you create for yourself because you showed up and paid attention to both the limitations and the opportunities on the mat that day.

No one else can do your practice for you.

You can't outsource it and it is a project that will take a lifetime.

Cultivating inner strength however, doesn't have to be grueling.

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Kiss Winter Goodbye With This Spring Yoga Playlist

[fa icon="calendar'] May 3, 2017 10:00:00 AM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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On Friday nights for almost a decade when I am in Hamilton,ON I teach a Friday night Yin Yang class. De La Sol has been my teaching home for a long time and this class is one of the highlights in my work week. 

Now that we are officially into May I wanted to share a Spring inspired playlist that includes some of my favourite songs to use on the mat to get the body moving at this time of year.

Enjoy and let me know what tunes you are rocking on your mat right now.

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Erin's Hawaii Yoga Playlist

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 20, 2017 10:00:00 AM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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I don't mean to be a #weathertroll to my friends on the East Coast and back in Canada, but the other night I sat on the beach with my friend Holly and Baby Ray watching whales breech off the North Shore of Oahu.

After that we went back to Holly's amazing house and hung out with the dogs while we waited for the guys to finish a round of golf. Holly and her husband Ashley made us a serious feast and we all chatted and chowed down under the stars.

We had such a good time.

AND we started talking about inviting more people to enjoy the vibe here so...

I am officially planning a retreat here in Hawaii next year (I will post details as I have them but if you are interested just email me directly and you will be the first to know: erin{at}aquinyoga.com)

In the mean time, I wanted to send back some aloha to you in the form of my current yoga playlist.

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A Gift Guide for the Hard to Buy For

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 13, 2016 12:39:17 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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If you are anything like me, right about now you are starting to enter holiday hyperdrive, especially what to get for the trickier people on your list.

In years past I have been on my game and shopped well ahead of time but a few days ago I realized that I have next to nothing done and very little time left.

Since you are reading this blog, I will assume you probably also have a few people in your life who are more difficult to find gifts for.

The hardest people are my list are actually the yogis. 

Don't get me wrong, I adore my yoga family, but what do you give the spiritual seeker who might not be as interested in the world of material trinkets that thrill others?

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Welcome Winter With this Yin Yang Playlist

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 8, 2016 11:08:51 AM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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On Sunday December 11 I am teaching an afternoon workshop at De La Sol Yoga in Hamilton, ON 

In order to get ready I have been working with the themes of the Water element, that which rules the coming winter season. If you missed it, I have been sharing some of the Water themes over on my podcast and on Sunday we are going to look at ways to not only practice yoga in a way that is nourishing over the coming cold months, but how to work with the natural energy of season instead of getting overwhelmed and burned out.

If you are in the area you can join me by registering here. If not, you can still enjoy some of the tunes from my winter playlist.

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Falling into Autumn Yin Yang Playlist

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 27, 2016 1:04:24 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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I love this time of year. Even though the cold isn't my favourite, the crisp air, the smell of dry leaves and the bounty of the harvest vegetables leave me with a sense of being full and grateful to be alive even while I am aware that life itself is impermanent by it's very nature.

In Yin Yang classes right now I tend to play slower tunes and even a few that have a longing melancholy feel.

Here are the songs I am listening to today on my mat:

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Yin Yang Playlist - More Summer Tunes For Your Mat

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 9, 2016 12:35:13 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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A few weeks ago I test drove a playlist with some of these tunes and I liked it so much I have been weaving them into my practice, my classes and blasting them in my car.

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Elemental Yin Yang Yoga - Fire on the Mat

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 19, 2016 1:37:51 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga teacher, yoga, Yin Yang Yoga

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Working with Fire energy this summer on and off my mat has produced big results. The one I am most excited about is that after working consistently on my book, a major section of it is complete. Today I want to share a small excerpt from the Fire chapter and specifically how this element can be used on the yoga mat. 

Fire on the Yoga Mat 

For the Elemental Yin Yang yogi, Fire practice is one of connection.Yoga after all means to “yoke” and recognizing your union with the entire universe you are part of is one simple yet profound spiritual mystery. On the mat, asana practice is the opportunity to remember that you are connected to the universe and other people both basic and profound ways.

In my Fire themed Yoga classes, for the last Yang posture (usually the most vigorous or challenging of the practice) I ask students to get into groups. In those groups the student must rely on their partners for support in the posture of the day.

At first it may be awkward.

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Moving Into Summer -A Flow Yoga Playlist

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 1, 2016 3:04:17 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga

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One of my favourite summer practices is to take yoga outside. We just moved into a new place and a few nights ago I was on the deck looking for the perfect spot and one of my friends pointed out a pair of outdoor speakers.

High five new building, it seems you already know me.

Not only can I practice with this beautiful view, but I can plug in my brand new summer play list.

Check out the tunes below for your summer practice:

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