#g2kgtg – shanti shakti uganda

Shatki Salecheck out these tablet covers and hand-made necklaces and bracelets – #g2kgtg – beautiful unusual gifts that will brighten up the darkest of winter days, and brighten the future for Ugandan women!

hits #5H Giving because they’re handmade,  healthy and helpful!


the items are all handmade with Ugandan batik fabric and other materials. beads are made from a process of cutting recycled paper into very long triangular strips, rolling them into small bead shapes, painting and repeatedly shellacking each single bead before designing and stringing the beads.

the goods are bought, brought and sold by Bobby Bessey, friend to thegreenrock.ca and yoga teacher.  100% of proceeds goes to Shanti Uganda, an organization that improves infant and maternal health, provides safe women-centered care and supports the wellbeing of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Bobby is leading a group to Uganda in May. visit ShaktiYoga.ca for details.10665346_10152842766516253_1063480403265871519_n

inbox Bobby Bessey to purchase – items are going fast!






cropped-thegreenrock_small.pnggood to know gifts that give (#g2kgtg) is a special project of thegreenrock.ca that looks at local gifts that people will like, use, and won’t leave an unnecessarily big footprint on the planet or humankind.  please like and share!

thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!                   facebook thegreenrock.ca, google+ thegreenrock.ca


5H giving: #g2kgtg

5H Givingturns out this #g2kgtg notion is a thang!  thanks to my friend Martha Muzychka for pointing me toward 5H Giving.

5H is kind of a giving philosophy.  the 5H shorthand refers to gifts that are:

homemade (made by you) – what do you love to make?  share that  cookies, playlists, photos… all that..

handmade (made by someone else’s hands in their little place) – the year’s best opportunities for homemade are coming up!  check out the Farmers’ Market, Some Good Market, and the Anna Templeton Christmas Tea and Sale

healthy (good for your body, soul or our collective planet) – om. yoga fits everyone. lots of yoga styles, and lots of options for gift passes. check out Nova Yoga, and Yoga Kula Co-op 

brown trouthelpful (helps someone or something).  maybe something like a membership to the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundand for the Angler you love.  SAEN has done a LOT to nurture our rivers and streams, and due in part to their efforts you can trout in the rivers in the middle of St. John’s, or just walk by and enjoy. No. Small. Thing.  email them saen@nfld.com.

from here (things that are ours alone) – Newfoundland Chocolate Company makes the chockie on Duckworth Street (and now at the Mall too), Jumping Bean Coffee roasts the beans here, and sells lovely things from their storefront on Harvey Road, and locally published books are beautiful, smart, and support local in every which way.  check out Boulder Publications!




good to know gifts that give (#g2kgtg) is a special project of thegreenrock.ca that looks at local gifts that people will like, use, and won’t leave an unnecessarily big footprint on the planet or humankind.  please like and share!

thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!                   facebook thegreenrock.ca, google+ thegreenrock.ca

Keep moving through winter!

winter wonderland

winter wonderland

Even though the snow drifts might be piling high (again), don’t hesitate to get out!   Staying active in winter is a great way to stay happy and healthy through the cold.  Limbs need to stretch and move, so let the winter weather help you feel good!  There is lots of beauty in the outdoors at winter time, from frozen ponds, to snow capped hills, icicles and the intense sunshine reflecting off white expanses.  On the days that it’s not fit, there is still lots to do indoors.  Here are some suggestions on how to keep your body moving on those winter days.







skating the loop

skating the loop

The Loop: Ice Skating Trail at Bannerman Park – Skate your way to a healthy winter in Bannerman Park with the new ice skating loop! The Bannerman Loop is a fun and fantastic winter outdoor activity. Open day and night, centrally located, skating at the Loop is a great way to get exercise solo or with family and friends. Pack a thermos of hot cocoa and you’ll be fueled to skate the day away.

Cross-country skiing – Pippy Park is the place to go in town for cross-country skiing. You can either bring your own skis  or rent a pair at the North Bank Lodge. Try the trails around the North Bank Lodge, or head up around Three Pond Barrens for a little more wilderness. Pippy Park also offers introductory cross-country skiing lessons on Saturdays and Sundays (1 hour in duration- 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM) Pre-register for lessons by calling 737-3651 (weekends) or 576-8522 (weekdays)



Shoveling – Sure, shoveling is a sometimes loathed winter chore, but it can also be thought of as a great workout. An hour of shoveling snow can be a real upper body workout. Just be careful of your back! Or you can do some yoga for shovel shoulders afterwards.


1325642004_17485493_1-Pictures-of--NEWFOUNDLAND-MADE-SNOWSHOESSnowshoeing- You can go snowshoeing just about anywhere: in Pippy Park, behind Signal Hill around the Geo Centre or Butterpot Provincial Park…all you need for snowshoeing is snow, preferable ungroomed (to enjoy the full purpose of the snowshoes). Snowshoes can be rented in Pippy Park for $3/hr or at The Outfitters for $15/day.  Or check out Locally-made Snowshoes!

Play It Again Sports  is a great place to find new and used sporting goods including skates, snowshoes and ski equipment. For used gear there is also Value Village and other thrift shops, as well as Kijiji.


Swimming – What is better on winter’s day than a swim at the pool accompanied by a long sit in the sauna? Swimming is a fantastic, low-impact exercise that is suitable for all ages. For a couple of bucks, you can have a nice swim at the H.R.G Mews Community Swimming Pool, Wedgewood Park Recreation Centre Swimming Pool, or the Aquarena.


Yoga – Yoga is good for the body and the mind. There are many options for yoga classes in St. John’s, including:

Nova Yoga

Moksha Yoga

Yoga Kula Co-op

The Lotus Centre

If you’d like to try yoga from the comforts of your own home and free of charge, check out Do Yoga With Me.

The Gym – The Works at the Memorial University campus is made up of a variety of fitness facilities, including a gym and an indoor track. You can run, lift weights, play squash, do yoga, pilates and swim, all in the same building!  The Ches Penney Y is another great facility with loads to do.

These are just a few ideas on how to keep active during the winter time. Outdoor activity engages one with nature, indoor can be soothing for those stiff cold limbs. All of these activities can have a meditative quality to them, and help get you out of a winter funk if you happen to be in one!

30 days. Day 31: epilogue

i went today.  yesterday i received an email from the studio to let me know that since it was closed for Remembrance Day, the 30 day challenge expanded by a day.

i was going anyway, but it was nice to receive.

lunch flow with mel.  beauty!  felt shiny to get a high-five from the class, and the $25 toward classes or gear will come in handy. and, because i did 30 in 31, i will receive a special bracelet (currently being made in hawaii).

also i tried something new – something i would never have thought of 30 days ago.  yoga in jeans that stretch.  they did.

and so did i.

30 days: Day 30

the 30 day yoga challenge is complete.

the challenge was to attend 21 classes in 30 days.  i made 29.

the reward was to be:

  • You’ll feel amazing AND 25 Dharma Dollars will be credited to your account to use towards the purchase of a future Nova Yoga Class Pass!

big check mark there!

what i wanted was to feel:

– stronger, more focused, and clearer.  and be in a better position to make the dreams that have lived in me for a while reality.

there has been progress on those fronts.  i’ve told the kids i’m a ninja.  i’m working on taking things one at a time.  i’ve released a lot of mental clutter.

and the dreams that have lived in me for awhile – progressing thegreenrock.ca non-profit toward making a positive, sustainable difference, has a life.

and i’ve also got to know interesting, kind, inspiring people – the teachers, yogis, and sandy who accepted the same 30 day challenge.  she started to make a habit of daily yoga, and is ready to keep going.  i am too.

thank you for reading and encouraging me on this journey..  the blogging has amplified the experience by making it a conversation, and the ‘likes’ are so rewarding.  namaste.


Thirty days. Day twenty-nine.

the cycle of 30 days is almost complete.  the first class was sunrise flow, and so was the twenty-eighth.  i love how it is.  on the mat i have gained the strength to burn through the vinyasas, flying challenges, and to rise up from the core in warrior I.  perhaps more impressive, i’ve gained the strength to let go of the vinyasa and take child’s pose when it seems right.

off the mat, I’ve found a steady place to be in myself.  there are, of course, many OMG! instances through the day, but I am finding ways to keep perspective.  one trick is to pause, take a twist on being the moment and see it as if it happened five moments (or five hours or five days or five years) ago.  the pause lets me wring out the stressful emotion, breathe, listen, and follow on with a gentle response.

so far so good.

30 Days – Day 28. Peace.


the studio was closed on november 11 for remembrance day.  so for me, so i took a non-asana practice off the mat.

my grandfather, art smith was in the royal newfoundland regiment.  his brother jack was in the navy.

i am not sure that my grandfather would have thought of yoga.  he was gentle and kind, but i was nine when he died and had not started my yoga journey.  i think he would like how yoga helps cultivate peace.  i know he would like how being mindful, seeing yourself as part of something larger that is compassionate, kind, respectful of self and others is good.

as a boy he, and countless others, saw joining the war effort as a means to achieving that.  many did not come back.  both art and jack made it home to baine harbour, nl and life went on.

three of art’s grandchildren spent remembrance day afternoon totally screen-free in the kitchen. talking about the galaxy, baking and making – banana bread and pretzels, jam and candy – and saying ‘we should do this every week’.  it was a good way to remember.  and a good way to look ahead.

30 days/day 27 – the grip

the giant hand in the steel-belted radial glove returned saturday night, with a bit of an attitude.  i learned that pausing and breathing really helped.  also, my children helped.

i skipped the run sunday morning, but marlene and i made the 9:30 classic with susan.   the hand lost its grip for the rest of the day, freeing my mind to consider the benefits of yoga practice over the long-ish term.

observation:  i’m realizing something.  i don’t know what it is, but the ‘acceptance’ seems to be penetrating deeper, and radiating out from a more fundamental place.  for instance, things that can make my eyes open wide from sleep – things i have to get done but are kind of beyond my control – are met with a somewhat logical analysis of what i have accomplished toward the objective and plans for the next step.   (case in point, a habitat for humanity fundraiser with the CHBA-NL BERG Awards.  looking for donations to sell on silent auction – all funds raised go to the Build Fund!).

and three days out, that is a form of what i was hoping to get from 30 days on the mat.

30 days day 26: double up!

after 24+ hours of no yoga class, i had energy to burn.  something funny happened with my back on the early morning run, akin to a giant hand in a steel-belted radial glove squeezing my body and driving the breath out of me.  i figured it a consequence of no-yoga and a motor walk in non-motor walking boots.  also figured the way to deal with it was to stretch, so i rode to 9:00 am classic flow with krystle ( just made it in time).  it was good.

previously my friend marlene and i agreed to go to restoration at 4:00 with cheryl.   it was her very first yoga class – what a great way to start!  it stretched my back, and she loved it.

thirty days – day 25. where it takes you.

i was carless on the friday.  the day was bizarre – windy, rainy, warm up (i.e. not good for biking) until around 4 when everything turned pink.   given the light factor, i took to the road on foot just before 5 for the 30 minute walk to the studio.  and i arranged a ride home from my daughter’s dance class.

unfortunately the walk took me 33 minutes.


o dear.  this was the last class of the day, so day 25 would be without class.

everything that doesn’t happen creates space for something else to happen.

so off i went to visit my ma down the road.   she was delighted to see me!   but she and her pal were just about to head out for a walk.  anyone who knows my mother knows that walking is not her thing, but she’s cultivated the habit recently.  i’ve enjoyed her stories about her walks.  her pal says she doesn’t ‘walk’, she toddles.  she also waves to people, sits down on benches to smoke, changes direction without notice, might stop and ask someone any sort of question, and doesn’t always look where she’s going.

1460657_10151697013402553_1982747158_oi joined them on the walk and we laughed all the way to sobeys.

weaving through rabbitown was fun, and i popped in to visit a friend’s mother who i had been wanting to see.  after a nice chat i headed to the studio.

terri my friend and the dance teacher was happy to drive us home.  my daughter said she was hungry, and as i had no meal planned, it rigged out that we went to leo’s.   delight! the studio is near several fish and chip shops, and i had an intention of a good feed in the future.  here it was.

leo’s was perfect.  warm, lively, and crowded around the cash.  the waitress came to us and took our order from the floor… she just kind of walked over and asked what we wanted.   my youngest daughter (not present) enjoys a good hamburger, but having traveled through italy last summer, she’s got a peculiar way of ordering.  she politely says, “I’d like a hamburger.  cooked.  with a top bun and a bottom bun.  with no egg.  bun/meat/bun.  nothing else, please.”  i didn’t mention the cooked/egg criteria, but did start to say ‘bun, meat….” and the excellent waitress joined me!  together we created the three layers with hand gestures.  bun meat bun.  it was wondrous.

we settled in to wait, but then out of the corner of my eye i saw my friends and famous people, andy jones and mary lynn bernard.  how good was that!   they always rachet the happy factor up a notch, and they did again.  not far off was their daughter, also famous (Republic of Doyle), and that gave my 14-year-old a happy thrill.

how could this get any better?  when the meal was ready terri said it was her treat.    we laughed and talked all the way home.

two thumbs up.  and i credit the 30 day challenge.  it may mean 29 classes in 30 days, but that measures up.