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A Little About Me

My name is Emma Rose, I'm a Yoga Teacher, Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, Thai massage practitioner and former Contemporary Dancer. Movement, health and fitness has always been something I'm passionate about but as I move further in a career in osteopathy and wellness, I find myself even more drawn to connect with others with these same passions. This blog is an opportunity to share and explore ideas surrounding yoga, fitness, health, and osteopathy! More info...

Fall Wellness Tips: Soulful ways to slowdown

As the summer breeze turns to winter wind, the sign of season shift stirs a certain sense; A need to pull back, reset, and grow. But in our modern world, where days move at the speed of seconds and months pass faster than a blink of the eye, most of us no longer heed, nor hear, hibernation’s call.
We’ve lost touch with time, and with it, our sensitivity to the physical, mental and spiritual affects seasonal transitions offer us. Distracted, cracks begin to form in our foundations, allowing stress, depression, anxiety, impatience, frustration, anger and other such maladies to slip in our walls and take form. We fight them, and fail. Fight them, then excuse them. And eventually learn to ignore the sinking feeling the cause as they infuse into our roots, transforming us from the core.
We all deserve happiness, and we all know our mindfulness meticulously manages our access to the place in which our happiness is stored. To communicate with our mindfulness and dive into our well of happiness we must make (and take) time for ourselves to quietly embrace moments of ruminate reflection where we might speak softly and listen gently to our soul.
Initiating this averted allocation of life’s most precious commodity is immensely aided by external cues, none better beaconed than the sight of season’s change, and none better anchored than through frequent ritual that is anything but mundane.
Below are four of my favoured ways to anchor inward.


“It is important to check-in with yourself each season to see how far you’ve come, where you’re at, and where you are going.” –Holly Rose

Photo by Shane Woodward.
At the start of each season, I try to create a personal mantra. All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil, with which you write all the things you wish to shed, welcome, or nourish in your life. As you write each wish, hope, or desire, draw a symbol, repeating your newly created mantra in your mind. It can be anything you want: as simple as a heart or a star or as intricate as a detailed illustration. The symbol locks your mantra subconsciously into your mind and acts as a daily anchor, helping to guide you towards your greater state of being.


“All life needs time below the surface, where it can breathe itself full and round, where it can reconnect with its nature and sprout again in its flushed form. Just as you can not force flowers to continually bloom, the same is true for all human beings. There is great value in letting go and dropping down. We must learn to remember, from time to time, to be like the tree in the winter.” –Sarah Blondin

In the prolific podcast series Live Awake, Canadian artist, mother, writer, and photographer Sarah Blondinshares her soulful insights and warmly motivating mindfulness, lovingly guiding towards greater states of wisdom and awareness enabling us to identify, face and embrace the parts of ourselves which need attending to and might otherwise ail us unnoticed.


“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” –Thich Nhat Hạnh

Photo by Shane Woodward.
The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hạnh says peace, happiness and joy is possible during the time he drinks his tea. He teaches mindfulness, guiding all to take notice of and appreciate nourishment received; from the seeds which sprouted, to the earth which cultivated, to the farmers who tended, and on. With each sip he encourages us to imagine the path the herbs and spices took to reach our mouth and take the time to be thankful for them.


“Restorative poses help to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system’s ‘rest and digest’ mode. If you have trouble meditating, restorative poses can bring you into that meditative state. Breathing deeply and paying attention to the breath, you start to calm the mind. Fall often brings new beginnings with jobs, school, etc. It’s easy to feel the rush of new activity overtake some of the summer bliss. Take time for yourself, slow down, plant your roots, and ground. Even just regularly practicing these three simple yoga poses a few times a week could make a big difference in your energy and stress levels.” –Emma Rose
September is National Yoga Month, a practice which aims through meditation, moral guidance, and physical exercise to achieve physical, mental and spiritual unification. It is a way to bring bliss. I asked my younger sister, a yoga teacher, masseuse and osteopath, to share some simple restorative moves that anyone can use in moments where stress, depression, anxiety, impatience, frustration, anger or other unwelcome feelings rise.





Wisdom of Ayurveda: Importance of daily habits and balance within yourself

I recently attended an Ayurveda workshop led by Tiffany Nicholson-Smith www.livingintheself.com. I almost didn’t make it to the workshop because I was so busy finishing school and concentrating on setting up a business. Its funny how those things that you almost cut out of your day turn out to be the things you need most.

This workshop was an introduction to Ayurveda and how to bring Ayurveda into your life. It addressed a lot of what I’ve been struggling with lately. This past year for me included going back to school, changing living situations temporarily and driving back and forth to Toronto too many times to count. It left me feeling very scattered. I constantly felt behind and stretched thin. Part of this meant that I had dropped some of my “good” healthy habits pertaining to sleep and diet (two of the main pillars in Ayurveda). I had started relying too much on coffee, whereas previously I used to be an avid herbal tea drinker and barely consumed caffeine.  I had found myself spending far too much time in front of a screen. The irregularity of my schedule meant that I didn’t have a regular bedtime or morning routine.
Some of this seems avoidable but some of it isn’t. Starting a new business venture, watching school lectures online and doing homework on a computer requires that sitting in front of a screen which I just can’t seem to find a way around.

In this workshop, Tiffany talked about bookends to beginning and ending the day, and the importance of having a healthy daily routine.  Before I went back to school, I would try to wake up slightly earlier in order to meditate/ sit for 10-15 minutes in silence and maybe fit in a short yoga practice. The irregularity of the past year slowly eroded many healthy habits with less healthy ones such as: drinking coffee/caffeine for energy and to stay awake driving; eating on the go (mostly in the car); cutting my yoga practice and meditation short (or not even practicing at all); reading course related literature rather than reading for pleasure; and basically feeling like a slacker when I did try to relax. Tiffany explained how even with an irregular schedule one should try and work in regularities whenever possible especially when feeling scattered. 

After attending this workshop, my primary goal is to establish (or re-establish) healthy bookends to my day. These are some of the ways I can try to bring more regularity into an irregular schedule. Within these bookends, I can ground myself as I begin and end my days in healthier ways:
-Using a real alarm clock and not my phone
-Cleansing in the morning: nettipot, tongue scraper, and hot water with lemon
-Meditation in the morning (even 5 minutes if that’s all the time I have)
-Making an entry in a gratitude journal in the morning after meditating
-Practice yoga for at least 20 minutes before breakfast
-Primarily drinking herbal tea and the occasional caffeinated green tea
-Eating dinner earlier so I can get to bed earlier
-No screens/technology within one hour before bed
-Reading for pleasure to relax before bed
-Aromatherapy before bed (calming scents such as Lavender, nutmeg, vanilla, pine, bergamont)

It can be more difficult to control habits during the day but it can be done. My older sister works as an eco-ethical lifestyle fashion blogger www.leotielovely.blogspot.ca. Recently she wrote a post on her daily tea habits and how they help to break up her screen time during the day. She also has many lovely ideas of how to live and consume in a more conscious way.

Ayurveda advocates for becoming more conscious of our habits and how we use and misuse our senses. Ayurveda is a very old traditional medical system that some believe has existed for 10,000 years.  Ancient Ayurvedic text states that each person has a unique constitution made up of all three doshas. Doshas are biological energies made of the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether). The three doshas are; Pitta (fire and water), Vata (air and ether) and Kapha (earth and water). The balance of these three doshas within your body when you are born is called “prakruti”. The doshas fluctuate throughout our lives and these increases and decreases of each dosha in our body manifest in illness and disease called “vikruti”. Ayurveda provides a path to optimal health by finding balance and harmony within the body and mind. This path will ultimately lead to our “prakruti”, the way our doshas were balanced at birth. Tiffany asked us to each think back to the way we were as children; this is maybe the closest some of us have been to “prakruti” since birth.

What I liked about the simple idea of things getting out of balance is that it makes it seem easier to restore when its just a question of balance. Balance is definitely not easy; it is a seesaw in life. But it can be a fun challenge finding out and searching for what brings balance and harmony to your body and mind, which can be so different from someone else. I think the search for balance is part of what keeps us learning and growing as a person. In this day and age, one has to be wary of taking advice where there is a quick or one-way fix. If you believe that each person is unique, there is no way it could possibly work for anyone exactly same way. There will be similarities in approach and outcomes but never exact replicas.

Creating some healthy habits can help with balance and harmony in the body and mind but it will also be necessary to reevaluate those habits every once in a while. Ask yourself if they are still serving to balance you. Self- care is so important in our busy, technology driven lives in the western world.  Some peoples dosha imbalances may even need more spontaneity and a break from regularity, but the wisdom of Ayurveda is once you are in tune with your “prakruti” you can work with your own wisdom to restore that balance by using your senses….. and maybe a few tips from an Ayurveda master like Tiffany ;)

Yoga and Osteopathy: Breath, Mindfulness and Body Awareness

Yoga originated in India and many would say the father of the yoga we know and practice today is B.K.S Iyengar. Osteopathy’s founding father is known as Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, an American Doctor who developed the philosophy and principles behind osteopathic medicine that we follow and continue to learn from today. Since then both disciplines have continued to grow, morph and change from where they began. As I continue down my own path of learning I have started to notice many reasons Yoga and Osteopathy are well suited to compliment each other as alternative holistic therapies.

Yoga has become quite mainstream in western culture even though it was not founded here whereas Osteopathic Manual Therapy is still a new and unusual term for many in North America, especially Canada. Part of that problem comes with the different terms that are used. In Canada  we can’t call ourselves Osteopaths, because in the states Osteopaths are also physicians and they train under a whole different category of schooling, taking programs more comparable to a medical degree. We must use the term Manual Osteopathic Practitioner when referring to ourselves in Canada, which I think some people find a bit confusing. When I explain I am in school studying Osteopathy to become an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner most people give me a confused look and say “what’s that? ” or “ oh so that has to do with bones? ”. It is still a relatively unknown term when it comes to alternative hands on therapies. I like to describe it as a combination of techniques that massage therapists, chiropracters and physiotherapist use, some similar and some different. As Manual Osteopaths we use three main techniques; joint mobilizations, muscle energy techniques and soft tissue therapy. Most people have heard of or experienced one of those, so then they have something to go on. From there the next question is “why did you decide to study that”? I then usually explain that I used to dance professionally and that has played a big part in the direction I have moved in since. Throughout my life growing up dancing I always had lots of injuries. It was only within the last few years in the profession as a dancer that I began to experience osteopathic influenced treatments (from an RMT in school for osteopathy). These osteopathic influenced treatments always proved to be the quickest and most effective treatments that I received when it came to my injuries (chronic and acute).

It was around this time in my life that I decided to pursue yoga teaching as a parallel career to dance. I had found it very useful in cross training as a dancer and more and more was drawn to it as a way to relax and de-stress. After completing my teacher training I began to teach yoga and have found since then I have become more intrigued with the human body, anatomy and body mechanics. I have had a hunger since my yoga teacher training to continue to learn. Since beginning my training in osteopathy I have noticed how much my knowledge of yoga compliments osteopathy and vice versa. Both disciplines have a core foundation of the mind-body connection. The first principle of Osteopathy is the body is a unit; the person is a unit of mind, body and spirit. One of the founding purposes of yoga is to practice the asanas (poses) to be able to more comfortably sit for long periods of meditation. The yoga classes I teach are now infused with more anatomy and more knowledge of modifications for students with injuries and limited range of motion. In my practice as an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner I see how important it is not only to be strong and flexible in your body but also to develop mind body awareness, and awareness of breath. This mindfulness is something I have learned through yoga, but it applies in osteopathy. As you treat someone with hands on therapy you can teach them about their body and help them to be more aware through Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitatons (PNF). The body has an inherent ability to heal itself (one of the four osteopathic principles) so an increased awareness of our own body and proprioceptive skills will help increase our bodies self healing abilities. It would also help us to be more aware when there are injuries/inflammations/ diseases present or manifesting themselves through symptoms in our bodies. With that heightened sense of awareness you might be able to recognize sooner when you need to go see an osteopath, massage therapist, medical doctor, or chiropractor for treatment rather than letting an injury or symptom go to far.

One of the most simple exercises and principles in yoga is becoming aware of ones own breath, letting your breath guide you through postures and through your practice. This concept can be taken off your mat and into your daily life where you might use your breath when a challenging or frustrating situation presents itself. This mindfulness and awareness of breath helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and letting the sympathetic nervous system, which activates in stressful situations. Many osteopathic techniques incorporate breathing and also aim to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and let you leave feeling de-stressed and relaxed after a treatment. This is good not only for your brain but for your health overall, being chronically stressed can cause hypersensitivity and overreaction of the nervous system, the immune system and put many other body systems in overdrive. Staying in fight or flight mode makes it difficult for the body to function properly in rest and digest mode. Losing sleep and improper digestion does not lend to a healthy balanced lifestyle.

So whether you’re hoping to improve your balance standing on one foot or to improve your health and the balance of stress and relaxation in your life Yoga and Osteopathy are both great options and compliments to each other. So through yoga I will spread the word of Osteopathy and through Osteopathy I will spread the word of yoga!


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