We believe that the benefits of yoga and mindful movement practices should be available to everyone. We aim to make these practices more accessible to more people in several ways.
We offer classes that take a gentle approach. Rather than striving to go deeper into yoga poses, we aspire to make friends with our bodies and cultivate the lost art of slowing down and being in touch with our experience in the present moment.
It is easy to get to us. We have free parking on site, we are located a five minute walk from the Conestoga Mall Transit Terminal, and we are on the ground floor so there are no stairs to climb to reach us.
At the Shanti Centre, we take inspiration from and aspire to follow the approach promoted by Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff of the Duke Integrative Medicine Centre:
“We emphasize learning to treat yourself with kindness, let go of judgment, and love yourself as you are. Slowing down and paying attention – not only to the physical body but also to emotional and mental reactions – helps calm the nervous system while cultivating strength and flexibility. Making peace with your body – even those places that are ‘challenged’ – can relieve the suffering caused by resistance the experience you are already having. And rather than working toward complex postures that might be eye-catching on a magazine cover, we focus on poses designed to help people function better in daily life activities…”
The Shanti Centre offers several pathways to add more movement to your daily life and develop a more easeful state of mind and body. We offer:
Gentle hatha yoga
Mindful restorative movement
Yoga for shoulders and hips
Strong slow flow
Private or semi-private therapeutic yoga sessions
For more detailed information about the classes, click here.
What is mindfulness & mindful movement?
Mindfulness means being in touch with and aware of what is true in the present moment. While this sounds pretty simple, think about how much time we spend preoccupied with thoughts about the past, plans and concerns about the future, and an infinite number of stories about how we interpret the world around us and how we relate to it. Mindfulness means letting all of this drop away, and resting with the present moment.
How many times have you taken one bite of chocolate cake, and then barely noticed every subsequent bite because your attention wandered away? How many times have you rushed through your day without really noticing the blueness of the sky, the sounds of birds singing or the warmth of the breeze? Mindfulness invites us to drop in and pay attention to whatever is in this moment.
Imagine eating your chocolate cake and noticing the smell, taste, texture and your experience of all of this with each bite. Mindful movement means attending to all the sensations and experiences that come with movement. Yoga is one example of mindful movement, but there are many other forms of movement that can be done in a mindful way.
Why try yoga
Engaging in a regular yoga practice has many benefits, not just for your body but also for your mental and emotional wellbeing. There is much more to a yoga practice than putting your body into yoga postures - it has much more to do with how you go about doing so. Flexibility is not an entrance requirement!
In yoga we aspire to be in touch with the present moment, in tune with our body & being, and to explore the practice with an attitude of non-judgmental curiosity into our inner experience. Yoga is wonderfully adaptable. We offer a variety of classes, including some that are very low impact and do not put pressure on sensitive wrists or knees.
Research has suggested that yoga can:
Ease back pain
Lower blood pressure and heart rate
Relieve anxiety and depression
Help to improve balance
Build muscle strength
In our North American culture of striving to achieve and in a time when many of us are more connected to our smart phones than ourselves, yoga can provide an antidote to this disconnected way of moving though the world. Yoga is a practice that anyone can engage in regardless of age, sex, race, body shape or size, or religious belief. Our hope is that a gentle approach to yoga can make its benefits more widely accessible.
“Our competitive culture promotes a crazy-busy mentality in which we’re taught to give 110 percent, push ourselves to achieve, and always be ‘in it to win it’…Yoga offers powerful tools to help offset this disconnected, forceful, frenetic mind-set by inviting us to pause, listen deeply, and be present for whatever is arising – physically mentally, and spiritually – in each moment.”
- Kimberly Carson & Carol Krucoff