• 5 Awesome Things That Happened When I Tried this Organization Technique

    doug-robichaud-3531

    As a longtime list maker and former stationery addict, when I began seeing the recent influx of posts on the organizational trend that is the ‘Bullet Journal’, I was instantly intrigued. Not one to follow crazes but always open to anything that is a self-started organizational tool, I started my own. Though I have always kept somewhat coherent lists and notes, often jotted throughout a tiny spiral book, what I noticed instantly about the ‘Bullet Journaling’ technique, (which I translated very loosely into a larger spiralled notebook) was that the segmentation and occasionally drawing little images to break up the monotony of the written chaos did in fact seem to help. Here are a few ways in which the bullet journalling technique has upped my daily game in concentration, prioritization and relaxation.

    I feel less stressed.

    Blessed with the gift of a good memory, I have a tendency to rely on it and overload my internal to-do list to the point where my present tasks take a hit, as I am pre-occupied with the up and coming tasks that subconsciously whirl through my mind.

    Even if some things do not get checked off at the end of each day or desired timeframe, the mere fact that they are now residing in their respective spaces in the book allows me to clear my head and focus on present endeavours, free from constantly ‘reminding myself to remind myself to remember’.

    I feel clearer about my progress.

    As a visual person, it helps me keep tabs on goals, tasks, and the like by providing an image I can latch onto instead of consistently having to refer to my own chicken scratch. This way of maintaining clarity in the book also proves to maintain it in my mind. Although perhaps silly, this allowed me to take time for myself more and practice self care

    cathryn-lavery-67852

    My daily intentions and mantras have become more consistent.

    Keeping a written recollection of the intentions and positive reminders that I strive to make a part of my everyday routine has become easier, as upon waking, I can refer to these points as a kickstarter for a successful day, even if I am feeling out of sorts or running late with a million things going through my head.

    My shopping has become streamlined.

    Although as aforementioned a proud list-maker, where it seems to take the wayside is when it comes to grocery lists. But employing a specific section for this entices me to actually include my desired ingredients there, and utilize it when out. In turn, my mealtimes have recently become more organized and balanced, which has helped me save money.

    I feel less confused in general.

    Keeping everything in one book has been a big one. In the past, I would designate different notebooks for their own specific subject, but since merging into one, I find that having one book instead of two or four has greatly reduced the impact of external disjointed topics, and in response, the internal. Unloading all of the ideas, inspirations, ‘to-dos’ and projects that come up on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, has allowed me to focus on the present moment, prioritize within them, and find a new sense of freedom even with a busy schedule.

    The best thing about starting your own ‘Bullet Journal’ is that there are really no rules, just guidelines to help you design a system that works for you!

    Check out this post with tips on how to start: http://creativesavingsblog.com/life-and-style/time-management/how-to-start-a-bullet-journal/

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    We hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend as the days become warmer and brighter!

    Next in our therapist ‘Get to Know’ series is Mandy Ryan. Utilizing a passion for working with women, children and families, she thrives while helping people to identify and achieve personal goals for wellness at whatever stage in life they may be. With extensive skills in a multitude of therapeutic techniques, she possesses a strong ability to treat a wide variety of conditions, from post-surgical therapy to pre-natal care and everything in between.

    Read more about Mandy here: http://www.somastudio.net/mandy-ryan-rmt

    mandy1

    Here are some thing that help her create her own personal wellness lifestyle:

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    I love to listen to audiobooks while walking, practice the ukulele, and cook.

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen? 

    Life just wouldn’t be the same without my espresso machine, yummy espresso beans and cream.

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    I see a trainer twice a week which has really improved my strength and helped to reduce pain from plantar fasciitis. And I love to walk around this beautiful city!

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy? 

    Relax, Connect, Relief

    A favourite quote? 

    Start each day with a grateful heart.

    Thanks Mandy! 

    Feel free to give us a call to book an appointment, or have a look online. 

     

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    We hope you’ve been enjoying our RMT Fast 5 Series. We’ve loved hearing their most cherished ways to maintain balance and what brings a smile to their faces!

    Today we hear from Soma Studio founder and lifelong healer Lori Johnson. Having started Soma from the ground up in 2000, and with more than 20 years of experience, her vision has remained constant- for Soma Studio to stand as a warm and welcoming environment where one trusts that they are truly in good hands, providing professional and knowledgable treatments through the work of gifted RMTs.

    SOMA2017-139

    Lori’s original focus was helping pregnant women, their partners and babies adjust to the changes that happen during the childbearing year, but through an array of techniques, she actively supports and treats clients who suffer from stress-induced pain and overuse conditions, or who are interested in preventative massage.

    Here’s Lori’s response to our Fast 5!

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    I do yoga and then look forward to a nice glass of wine…

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen? 

    My Mandoline, the slicing tool, couldn’t live without it.  It makes salad making a dream. I have to be careful not to slice my fingers though…

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    I love yoga and I work out with my excellent trainer once per week. Janella, she is amazing.

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy? 

    Releasing, Healing, Necessary

    A favourite quote? 

    “We are all Spiritual Beings having a Human experience.”

    You can read more about Lori here: 

    http://www.somastudio.net/about/our-registered-massage-therapists/lori-johnson-rmt/

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    Next up in our RMT ‘Get to Know’ series we have Carla Van Elslande.

    SOMA2017-383

    As a musician with an intuitive passion for helping others through music and teaching, Carla found that massage therapy provided an equally powerful outlet for her to connect and support healing and growth. Here are her answers to our fast 5!

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    I enjoy spending time with family & friends, going for bike rides and walks along the seawall, chatting over a glass of wine, watching movies with my partner and reading.

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen?

    Extra virgin olive oil, wine, olives, fresh herbs.

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    I love hot yoga because it provides me with a good workout, and helps with strength, flexibility and balance all at once. It gives me a sense of community in a non-competitive environment, and allows me to engage in active meditation.

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy?

    Intuition, effectiveness, healing

    A favourite quote?

    ‘Forever is composed of nows’
    -Emily Dickinson.

    Read more about Carla’s massage story and philosophy here: http://www.somastudio.net/about/our-registered-massage-therapists/carla-van-elslande-rmt/

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    We hope everyone is enjoying their transition into a beautiful spring!

    We are very pleased to be welcoming two new therapists to our team at Soma, and are excited to have such skilled RMTs joining us! To help you get to know our therapists here at Soma we are happy to kick off our RMT Spotlight with one of our lovely new team members, where they share a bit about what makes them tick and ways they find balance in a fast paced world!

    Introducing: Tess Halldorson

    image1Tess graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, where she learned to effectively address a variety of conditions. She is proficient in several modalities, including Swedish massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy and joint mobilizations, and believes in keeping up to date on the latest treatment techniques, obtaining measurable outcomes before and after treatment assessment. She is passionate about helping her patients reach their therapeutic goals, whether it be injury recovery, stress related, or maintaining general wellness.

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    Relaxing in the bath with a good book is the ultimate way to unwind. As long as you don’t mind all your pages starting to curl!

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen? 

    My fiancé, haha! I’m not allowed in the kitchen anymore, I’d burn water if I could.

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    Honestly, taking my dog for long walks. I’m much more of an outdoorsy exercise girl. The constant change of scenery, the fresh air, with the added perk of giving my Puggle a good workout!

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy? 

    Tranquility, Good-pain (I’m counting that as one!), Preventative

    A favourite quote? 

    My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

    Thanks for sharing! Give us a call of have a look online for Tess’ next availability. 

     

     

  • 5 Restorative Yoga Poses to Hold You Over Until Your Next RMT Appointment

    We all know that warm, relaxed (and of course sometimes a bit sore) sensation we’re left with after an appointment with an RMT. Tension that earlier in the day was the centre of attention is now taking the bench, and hey, our stresses seem to be over there too.

    While nothing beats the skilled touch of an RMT, here are a few restorative yoga postures you can do at home to give you that ‘back to balance’ feeling in between sessions.

    child'spose

    1. Child’s Pose

    The one yoga pose to rule them all, and for good reason! Not only are you alleviating spinal pressure in Child’s Pose, but you are simultaneously bringing openness into the hips, thighs and upper and lower back muscles, all the while in a passive position that can invoke a deep sense of calm and security. Child’s pose can also help activate your digestive processes, and provides us a welcome opportunity to turn inward and enjoy a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle.

    Limbering up

    2. Legs up the Wall

    A favourite of many, legs up the wall is one of the most beneficial and effortless postures in yoga and is considered deeply therapeutic. Simply inverting for a period of time everyday allows gravity to help regulate tension, promote circulation of fluids within all extremities, as well as maintain healthy blood pressure. You may find that holding this position for an extended length of time provides intensely relaxing effects. Try 5-10 minutes to start, and increase to as long as you feel comfortable with. Try placing soft pillows under the arms, lower back or neck for even more support. *Note: You do not need to lay on the hard floor for this to take effect. If your bed is up against a wall, do it from here for maximum comfort!

    reclined-spinal-twist

    3. Reclined Twist

    They say you are as young as your spine is flexible. As the fluids in the spine don’t move by themselves and can be a storing ground for built up toxins and free-radicals, this is a great reason to bring a gentle spinal twist into a relaxation routine. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and arms out to the sides. Softly lower your knees to the right, looking over the left shoulder. Pause here and breathe deeply. Repeat on opposite side.

    paschimottanasana

    4. Seated Forward Bend

    All the feels of a morning stretch but at any time of day. Seated Forward Bend targets the back side of the entire body, while promoting digestion and washing away stresses as we turn inward. Approach this posture lightly, your body will do the rest. Close your eyes.

    yoga_savasana

    5. Savasana

    Although it is a pose of complete surrender and relaxation, this can make it slightly more challenging. Still the mind by focusing on each part of the body you are hoping to bring ease. Mentally relax this part, and move onto the next. If you feel the mind wander, just come back.

    Enjoy knowing that with only a bit of effort, these poses are helping to revitalize the body and mind, restoring balance and promoting your wellbeing from the ground up.

  • Reflections of a First RMT Experience

    jairo-alzate-45540As a dedicated yogi and advocate for good health, and throughout much self research into various healing dualities, strangely, massage has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. Sure I’d had a few relaxing experiences in tropical locales that did seem to provide noticeable benefits to my state of calm, particularly during the session, but coming in to Soma Studio I was greeted with not only a different environment but an unanticipated approach altogether. Instantly upon my assessment with my RMT, I could tell that this was much more involved than I had imagined. While some come to massage for general relaxation and relief of your everyday tensions, some are drawn to it seeking to heal deeper rooted concerns, whether that is physical imbalance or injury, emotional trauma or a knot that just won’t seem to budge.

    What remained intact through a treatment that continued to pleasantly surprise me was the encapsulating tranquil and comfortable atmosphere that was maintained the whole way through. Often times nowadays, medicine and remedial practices tend to take a sterile and unwelcoming persona, so much so that a lot of people are put off by say, going in for a doctor’s appointment, and I realized that this calibre of massage therapy was breaking that stigma, through the use of techniques and skills that stand before a backbone of in depth physiological science and first hand experience.

    I briefly shared with my RMT my physical concerns, and she was receptive and very professional as she did a postural assessment. Meeting me back in the room, I was given an overview of what to expect, and that at any time to let her know if something was not working, or was. Due to my specific needs, my RMT started off with what they call ‘Myofascial Release’ techniques. This method uses no oil, as the therapist needs to be able to grip the skin, working not only with the muscles but the subtler layers of connective tissues, known as fascia, that can be the cause of tightness and discomfort. I immediately felt the difference in how my body was reacting to this practice, as it wasn’t just a specific muscle that was causing my distress but an entire cohesive area. Giving the utmost attention to the spots that I had highlighted and a balanced level of care to the rest of my body, I was impressed an intrigued by my RMT’s intuitive knowledge regarding pressure level, pinpointing muscles I didn’t even know were there, and fluid motion, even using an oil-free technique.

    The session took a natural curve, beginning with lighter impressions and working up to a full on therapeutic treatment, before easing into a soothing finale to the upper back, neck, shoulders and head in what I would describe as ‘assertive yet reassuring wavelike movements’. I was left feeling light and fascinated by how accurate my RMT’s techniques had been.

    Moral of the story, booking an appointment with an RMT may be just what you’ve been seeking to restore balance in the body, and can become an important ritual in a self care routine, that doesn’t feel like a chore in the slightest.

    Many thanks to Tina at Soma Studio East for providing an excellent treatment from which to share the experience. To book an appointment with a Registered Massage Therapist, give us a call or book online. 

  • Lessons from the Road by Cheyne, RMT

    photo 3 (1)¡Buenas dias a todas los personas!

    We’re almost back from our travels; we’ve seen so many places, met so many amazing people! Traveling is such a gift. Being able to work, supporting my partner Lila’s yoga workshops while on the road, has made it such an amazing journey.

    We’ve been to the Interior, the Prairies, east coast United States, Hawaii, but mostly Central America, in the past seven months. We’ve taught workshops, yoga teacher trainings, took a two week permaculture course, lived with handfuls of Central American families, and traveled with some of our best friends to some truly amazing places.

    From the deep wet jungle to the oppressively hot coastlines, what resonates most deeply for me after reflecting on the past seven months, and often what we all come back with after traveling, is memories of the people we’ve shared our lives with. It seems there’s a wisdom that comes with developing new routines. Playing soccer with the children in the dirt, howler monkeys in the trees, hand washing clothes, speaking a different language, listening to their stories… It seems we travel in search of something. Something beyond our lives back home; an inherent sense of humanity that crosses culture, language, ethnicity, even belief.

    To be honest, the majority of people traveling for a few weeks from the west are there to drink. Some stay, and develop ways of bringing their Western luxuries and lifestyle to, quite frankly, these impoverished areas that are economically forced to serve them. Some people are searching for something better when they travel, more so when they move there, studiously avoiding whatever is left in their wake. Chasing happiness as a set of preferences that seems fundamentally unattainable. Others come with a beautiful sense of exploration, some with an inner churning, some come with a burning desire to help the world. Or maybe a mix of all of them. But that’s an essay for another time. Traveling deeper into Nicaragua, past the areas with these socioeconomic challenges, there’s a different vibe. Bustling sidewalks, kids playing in the dirt roads, hungry dogs looking for scraps, and the stare of unfamiliarity from the locals as they assume you’re not Catholic. Nicaragua. It’s in these places, and deeper into the jungle, that we came across new friends, some we eventually traveled with, and communities we visited that left permanent impressions on us. There are some amazing things happening everywhere, and many people to be inspired by. Sometimes you just have to look with the right focus.

    After being on the road for what feels like a very long time, I’m sitting with some reflections before I head back to BC. Part of our intention on this journey was to gain knowledge and inspiration for some projects we have when we return home. For that part, we were overwhelmingly successful. Being able to share with yoga teachers the deeper physiology behind their craft and work has been super fun. But in the feeling of connection to people we’ve parted ways with, and others we can’t wait to see again, I’m left with something that’s quite hard to articulate. Being in developing parts of the world, working through times when we were seriously ill, broke, and seeking refuge at a Red Cross with dirt floors and questionable medication, comes with it some obvious perspective. I now care a lot less if there’s a coffee stain on my shirt or if the line is too long for my liking at the market. What comes to mind for me is that inherent sense of life and vitality in everyone, everywhere: the humble nature that pours out of the women in Nicaragua, despite the general lack of rights they’re subjected to. They’re not chasing a dream, they’re happy with what they have and the food and love they provide.

    That proud vitality, and vibrant sense of life and happiness that we all know comes from something other than what’s material, is what makes me so excited to be home, to my family and friends. Doing the work I love to do, living in the city and country I love. We describe it as the mountains, fresh air, cherry blossoms… summer in Vancouver. But it’s the essence of what’s behind all of those things. It’s the virtuous life, and the communities we build that sustain us.

    With grace and gratitude,

    Cheyne Cameron, RMT

    Cheyne will be returning to Soma at the beginning of April! Go online to book with him.

    IMG_5897

     

     

  • Yoga with Laura Arpiainen

    Laura is a Vancouver yoga teacher who currently teaches at Heart Centre Yoga in Burnaby, the False Creek Community Centre on Granville Island and Fraser Health Authority’s corporate headquarters in Surrey.

    I got into yoga relatively late in life.  I had been a modern dance enthusiast and once that stage of my life slowly came to an end, I found myself looking for other forms of body expression that had deep meaning.  Once I found yoga, there was no turning back.  All my yoga teacher training has been in the USA, with Aadil Palkhivala, an incredible teacher who studied (and lived) with the Iyengar family for years. It has been a true privilege to learn directly from a Aadil. I have over 2000 hours of teacher training so far, and I add about 50 -100 hours to that each year. I have found this to be a truly meaningful life long learning quest.

    My teaching varies – in workplace yoga, most students are primarily looking for relief from sitting all day – they have stiff shoulders and hip flexors. In longer asana classes, I enjoy creating complex sequencing to effect  true, deep  body sensations. Yoga is such a powerful tool for transformation, and once you really start felling the effects, your practice will move to another level.

    I regularly also give therapeutic and specialized workshops and classes, as well as retreats (one day – extended weekends) – also by request!

    Laura’s next workshop is:

    YOGA NIDRA – at Heart Centre Yoga, Sat February 9, 2013 at 7:00 – 9:00 pm
    Cost $ 20.00 + HST(until Feb 2) or  $25.00 + HST (after Feb 2)
    Please call 604.294.4954 or email info@heartcentreyoga.cato register.

    Yoga Nidra is a deep, guided yogic relaxation technique in which
    participants learn to direct their consciousness in a state of yogic sleep,  and work on bringing positive shifts and profound improvements into their lives.
    This deeply transformative practice is open to yoga practitioners of all levels.
    Please feel free to bring an extra blanket from home!