We host yoga retreats all year!
At Sugar Ridge, quality time means me time.
Here in the west, many people think of yoga as an esoteric, foreign exercise regime for young, flexible women. Not true!
Medical doctors now prescribe it for stress reduction, easier recovery from surgeries, enhanced circulation, lower blood pressure and a host of other benefits. But it’s more than that. It isn’t a religion or a wacky cult, and it isn’t just a physical exercise form. Yoga is actually a science. It’s a systematic technology that offers much more than physical strength and well being. There is nothing wrong with simply doing the exercises and benefiting from what they offer. But if you want to pursue it, Yoga can change your life in incredible ways.
So if you’re new to yoga, how could it help you?
You have one body to live your life. Life is easier when there is ease in your physical body. To be peaceful and joyful in life, it’s helpful to be free of restriction within your body. You were born with a very flexible and loose body. As you grow and experience tension in life, this tension accumulates physically within your body and can become rigid at a cellular level. Over time this rigidity spreads to become a ‘bad back’ ‘bad knee’ ‘stiff neck’ etc. Mental tension translates into physical tension and can get stuck there. Yoga helps you attune with the natural alignment of your body and over time and practice, friction is released and the fluidity of your body returns. This allows your body to flow as it’s meant to, leaving you feeling peaceful and energized at the same time. A healthy body is conducive to being joyful.
Yoga is a system of which the physical practices, called asanas, are just a small part. Most people start with the physical and move on to other aspects of the practice as they feel ready. You’re never too old to start. You don’t need to be flexible to benefit. You can do it in a chair; even a wheelchair.
Side effects of a regular yoga practice include:
- lower blood pressure
- better sleep
- less anxiety
- spontaneous feelings of joy
- less angry outbursts
- relaxation response, calm the nervous system
The word “yoga” essentially means, “that which brings you to reality”. Literally, it means “union.” Union means it brings you to the ultimate reality, where individual manifestations of life are surface bubbles in the process of creation. Right now, a coconut tree and a mango tree have popped up from the same earth. From the same earth, the human body and so many creatures have popped up. It is all the same earth. Sadhguru
Yoga isn’t something you do during a class and then off you go back to the chaos of your life. Over time, Yoga becomes your way of life. Living in awareness, functioning within your family, going to work, and walking the dog are all yoga when done with conscious awareness.
There are many styles of yoga and here at Sugar Ridge we host amazing teachers all year as well as create our own retreats with Liz Frost and guest teachers. Every teacher has a unique way of teaching and we encourage you to find a teacher that resonates with you.
At Sugar Ridge we believe that yoga is for everybody (and every body!) You don’t have to be young, or strong or flexible or even have a great functioning body to get started and benefit. If you’re breathing you can do yoga!
We offer a variety of yoga retreats and formats so you can choose what will work for your schedule and your comfort. Some people want a deep immersion into practice and others want a fun, more social retreat. We offer both and everything in between. You may find them helpful at different times.
We offer regular weekend yoga retreats with Liz and Jenny. Liz is one of the founders of Sugar Ridge. Her yoga training is in traditional hatha, and her style is very gentle with a focus on mindfulness. Often some outdoor or offsite activities are also included. Yoga is taught as a form of meditation, getting in tune with the physical body and noticing connections between emotion and mental states. Jenny has been teaching yoga for 20 years and offers a wide range of styles and experiences ranging from therapeutic restorative yoga to Vinyasa Flow, and everything in between. Expect well-planned yet intuitive classes that cater to all bodies and levels of practitioners.
At Sugar Ridge, we offer yoga in a way that is approachable and accessible for all. We believe that yoga needs to be slower paced in order to begin the practice, and/or use it as part of an inner and outer healing process. To really experience your body you need to hang out in one posture for a little while. This means that the easiest options are offered first and ways to modify to make it more challenging or accessible are provided so there is something for everyone. Anything can be modified. If you can make it to a class, you can DO the class. No pressure and all support.
We know a longer getaway isn’t always possible so we offer day-long workshops as well. Usually, a day workshop is from 9 – 4ish with a yummy lunch. Here’s a list of those that have a focus on Yoga and meditation:
Rebalance Yoga Retreat
Mindful Self Compassion & Yoga Retreat
Yoga & Snowshoe Retreat
Iyengar Yoga Weekend Retreat
Yin & Yang Within: It’s All About Balance
Yoga & Meditation: A Stress Reduction Retreat
Mindfulness in Nature
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a wonderful introduction to using meditation as a stress reduction technique. Yoga is one of the meditation techniques. We offer it as a week-long intensive program. Side effects include inner peace, ditching stress, personal growth, mental calmness and improvement with mood. This week is offered three times a year with upcoming dates of:
Mindfulness – Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Week Retreat
Liz Frost M.A. Ed, RP, is a mindfulness coach, certified yoga teacher and Registered Psychotherapist (RP) in the Midland, Ontario area. She has studied with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli of the Centre for Mindfulness, Norman Feldman, Lee Lesser and most recently with Shinzen Young.
Liz was introduced to meditation in the early 90’s and found yoga as a form of meditation. With a foundation in meditation and somatic based psychotherapy, she incorporates mindfulness into yoga practice. She is co-owner of Sugar Ridge and devotes her time and energy to making the world a more peaceful place.
Jenny Jackson, B.Ed, RYT-500, is a yoga teacher, school teacher, Certified Personal Trainer and Lifestyle & Wellness Coach. Jenny is a seeker of inner well-being, and she consciously aligns herself living with an open mind, an open heart and embodies joy & vitality which is reflected in her welcoming inclusive style of instruction. She teaches movement with a strong anatomical influence while still deeply honouring the classical roots of yoga. Jenny believes that feeling vital and in harmony with others & within our own selves is the primary goal (in life and in our bodies), and practice should reflect this.
She is the founder of BodyBalanced Wellness, which offers registered Yoga Teacher Training Programs, both online & in person.