2015 Yoga Retreat Playlists (including Savasana Songs)

Yogis!  Here are more of my class playlists:)  You can also find me and all my current playlists on Spotify as martiniyoga.

Feel Good Flow/Partner Yoga Playlist

  • Sweet Thing by Van Morrison
  • Flowers in Your Hair by The Lumineers
  • (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
  • Tiny Dancer by Elton John
  • Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys
  • Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith
  • Short Change Hero by The Heavy
  • Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
  • On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons
  • How You Like me Now by The Heavy
  • Runaways by The Killers
  • Time to Run by Lord Huron
  • Rolling in the Deep by Adele

Indie Flow Yoga Playlist

  • Another Day on the Terrace by Sunlounger
  • Mess Is Mine by Vance Joy
  • One Day by Matisyahu
  • Cheerleader by Omi (Felix Jaehn Remix)
  • Midnight City by M83
  • All Eyes on You by St. Lucia
  • Ohio by Damien Jurado (Filous Remix)
  • Coastal Brake by Tycho
  • Blue Moon by Beck
  • Georgia by Vance Joy

Ambient Savasana Songs

  • Codex by Radiohead
  • An Ending (Ascent) by Brian Eno
  • Sea of Silence by Deep Divers

Rock on and see you on the mat!

l.e. martini

Okanagan Kelowna Yoga Retreats

Just released!  2015's line up of Vino & Vinyasa Yoga Retreats are here!  Please join me this year in a sumptuous Okanagan getaway in the heart of wine country!  Retreats are being held at Predator Ridge in Vernon, and Summerland Waterfront Resort.  Prices range from $649-$679 based on double occupancy, and an additional $200 if you would like single occupancy.  All retreats include 2 nights' accommodation, 5 meals, a chauffeured wine tour, and 3 All Levels yoga classes with Laura Martini.  Please check the gallery to view pictures of past retreats!

If I see one more photo of Kelowna's sunny winter...

I've been in Mexico and Costa Rica for 3 weeks now.  When I left my Canadian hometown of Kelowna, it was cold and there was snow.  Since that time, every moment I've logged on to Facebook I've been inundated with exclamations about how lovely the weather in Kelowna is.  Here's an example:

"OMG!  Another beautiful morning in Kelowna.  So grateful for the sunshine!! :) :)" (Insert photo of blue sky and bright sun here)

I have seriously seen you all post this; don't try to deny it.  Every one of you Kelownians.  You all seem so thrilled.  So happy to live in such a beautiful place while your cousins out east are suffocating in snowdrifts as tall as their tractors.  Here's my beef: Doesn't this weather seem wrong to you?  Isn't there supposed to be snow in February?  Aren't people normally skiing?  IS NOBODY CONCERNED THAT THE TULIPS ARE ALREADY GROWING OUT OF THE EARTH?  

One night two weeks ago while on retreat in Mexico, we had a thunderstorm.  One of the locals told me the next day that it NEVER rains in February and in that month, they had 5 days of rain.  This unusual weather was worrisome because it was threatening to destroy the year's entire crop of beans!  In other news, a few of my Mexican retreaters missed flights back home because the east coast was not prepared to deal with the amount of snow it was receiving as the weather was NOT NORMAL.

Mother Nature (or Pachamama as they call her down here) is angry.  I get that in Kelowna sunshine is a rare commodity in the winter so it is exciting to see it, but, someone please educate me…what is the current state of Global Warming?  Where is Al Gore when you need him?  

This has nothing to do with yoga, but I plead for you to have mindfulness.  Especially with who you vote for.  Canada is not leading the way in environmentalism.  We have the power to change this if we are mindful of who we select to be our leaders.  Something has to change and it has to change soon.  Rant over.  Love you.  Peace out.

l.e. martini     

 

Now is the time to stop seeking.

self help.jpg

We live in a culture of epic quests.  Perpetually unsatisfied with the present, we go on lengthy pilgrimages to discover "who we really are".  We pay hot self-help superstars thousands of dollars, we fly to remote locations, we prescribe to insane and methodical lifestyle regimes, we join new religions, all so that we can crack the code to happiness and discover once and for all the meaning of life.

Many people come to yoga for this reason; they have recognized that they are suffering and need someone/something to fix it.  Yoga will not.  This is a myth.  Nevertheless, yoga has the ability to shed light on the reality of the situation; everything you are seeking already lies within you.  Yoga can not help you avoid grief, or pain, or depression.  In fact, the core lesson of yoga is that we need to stop avoiding what we're feeling; now is the time of allowance.  We must become present to recognize that there is an inherent wisdom within each and every soul on this planet.  Here is how we do it (I credit my Kripalu teachers Harshad and Uchita Thomlinson of Tandava Yoga for this knowledge):

dancer.jpg

1. Breathe.

2 Relax

3. Feel

4. Watch

5. Allow 

Now I can't tell you exactly what will happen when you practice these 5 steps (they work most effectively when done in this order), I can promise you that after continual practice, your reaction to stress will change and you will become more aware.  This is key.  You must become more mindful to know who you really are (and who you really are is actually pretty darn cool).

So that's it.  BRFWA.  Memorize that like your life depends on it.  Because it does.  And stop looking for the answers outside of yourself.  Get on your mat and get on your meditation cushion for the sole purpose of getting to know who you really are.  No one (no matter how intuitive) can tell you who you really are but you alone.


Oh my god. Yoga & Religion

One time, at the end of a class I had just finished teaching, a student came up to me and said, "I'm so glad you don't chant in your classes.  I'm not open to summoning the devil."  I stood there with my mouth open completely unaware of how to respond.

It is my intention in this blog post to dispel some mythology around yoga and religion.  Many readers will not agree with what I believe.  Please understand that this is okay and that we are both perfectly entitled to our own opinions.  Nevertheless, I think it is important to note that if you don't understand, please don't misunderstand.

On another note, I've just returned from a vacation in Europe which ended with Sunday Mass at the Vatican.  I was blessed by Pope Francis (along with about 2000 other people) and deeply appreciated all the time he spent driving around in his Popemobile acknowledging everyone who attended the service (I'm not being sarcastic here; he drives around in a car after the service waving at everyone for a VERY long time considering his age and the very hot temperature of the day).  It was this experience that inspired me to write this post as I believe in a world connected by love, not fear.

None of the yoga postures, Sanskrit words, or yogic stories will make you less of a Christian/Catholic/Protestant/etc.  The practice of yoga comes from ancient India.  The names of postures are often animals or legendary Indian heroes that may also be featured in Hindu and Buddhist religious practices due to the geographic nature of India.  However, the connection between the two ends there.  

Yoga does not encourage the practitioner to prescribe to a specific God or gods.  Instead, it applauds self-exploration and a belief in interconnectedness.  Much like the Ten Commandments, yoga practitioners are encouraged to practice a set of moral observances like non-violence and non-stealing, as well as truthfulness and cleanliness.  

So here's the clincher: if you already have a spiritual or religious practice, yoga will actually help to deepen this practice through the teachings of simple awareness.  The cool thing about yoga is that nothing in the modern literature goes against any religious practices (so anyone can do it without fear!).  Instead, it encourages spiritual development in any capacity and due to this, many yoga practitioners have actually come to adopt a religion like Christianity.  I have an experienced yoga teacher who, having never prescribed to any church, has recently started attending a local church simply because he feels the teachings make his yoga practice richer.  That being said, to practice yoga you do not need to prescribe to a specific spiritual belief or take on a religious doctrine.  Yoga is about having the heart of an explorer; it is about getting present to the nature of the mind and being open to wherever the mind goes.

I truly hope this helps to dispel any myths that my (and your) community may have.  Remember, love before fear.  And if you don't understand, please don't misunderstand.

rock on,

l.e. martini