In the Flow with Jamie Wood
Apr 05, 2015
Jamie Wood is a warm-hearted Yoga Teacher from Vancouver, BC, our good friend, and a beautiful soul to know in this world. We find out how she manages to run her company Sanga Living, be the awesome wife and mother that she is - all the while forever maintaining a bright smile and an encouraging attitude. Find out why and how she offers affordable yoga retreats, making stress management more accessible.
What was the motivation behind developing your own Stress Management program?
Stress is an incredibly interesting topic for me. More and more new science is coming out with data on how we as individuals are responsible for how our mind & body handles stress. Essentially what is being said, and what has been known for thousands of years in the Yogic World, is that we each have the ability to dictate how we react to a perceived situation. This is incredibly empowering but can also seem very daunting to those who are engulfed by the imbalance of their daily routine.
I wanted to create a program that was digestible and accessible to anyone, not just a particular community in the health world. I have a strong desire to help others so the motivation came naturally, but the program itself took a while to piece together. I wanted to create accessible tools that could be easily learned and applied to any situation that would have profound effects on the individuals ability to navigate their challenging environments. Not everyone has a Yoga practice, or understands how to meditate so I wanted to create something that people could grasp onto easily and then apply to their particular lifestyle.
More importantly most people believe they simply do not have the time to work on their mental, physical and emotional health. This is the biggest misconception shared across all genres, industries and cultures. We have all become so “busy” that we have created a universal belief that we simply do not have the time to manage our own stress effectively. I wanted to break down this barrier and put the power back in the individual’s hands. Life is too short.
What is Arkaya yoga? How did this transform your practice and teaching?
Arkaya Yoga is an incredible practice and I feel so blessed to have met and trained under Yogacharini Maitreyi. Arkaya is a blending of classical yoga forms with emphasis on awareness, alignment and harmonizing the body, emotions and mind with the universal consciousness. It is a very powerful and transformative practice. It focuses on cleansing and purifying the system through asana, jathis yama/niyama, kriyas, pranayama, mantra, mudhra, bhajans, and dharana. It rebalances the body, emotions and mind, and is incredibly healing, relaxing, and regenerative. Arkaya not only transformed my practice and how I teach...it transformed my life. Back in 2009 I was in need of guidance and support, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, and at the time had never heard of Arkaya Yoga, but as anything that is meant to be in life, it found me. It truly is a way of living. I absolutely love teaching Arkaya Yoga because I know first hand how transformative the practice will be for the students. It truly brings balance and ease back into one’s life.
Tell me about your connection to Costa Rica and why you love bringing people there?
Costa Rica holds a very special place in my heart. I lived there for five years, and fell in love with the culture, they live life in such a present way. The popular term "PURA VIDA" translates to pure life but it means much more than that. It is a state of mind, a way of being, like "don't sweat the small stuff" or "take it easy". This attitude of stress less living inspired me on a personal and business level. Of course the natural beauty is like no other, I call it “Mother Nature’s Playground” because everything is so alive. It is an incredibly inspiring location of the world in many ways, and allows people to truly tune inward and let go of the tension. Nature has a way of doing that, commanding you to join the present moment. It is a perfect fit for a retreat. From the backdrop the environment provides, to the incredible warm and welcoming locals...it is my second home and I love sharing it with our guests.
How can you afford to offer such cost-effective retreats?
Ha ha, well I may end up receiving a lot of flack for what I am about to say but....the retreat market is very inflated. Many centers are simply charging way too much, and the consumer is seeing this as an industry average, when really it shouldn’t be. Now that is not to say that many retreat prices out there aren’t justified, because they are and with good reason: teachers, programs, locations, etc. The industry is saturated and when I started Sanga back in 2010 my approach to the industry was to simply make retreats accessible and affordable. Everyone, and I mean everyone needs to go on a retreat, but not everyone can afford them. So it became part of the Sanga mission statement to offer retreats that weren’t overpriced and underdelivered. I know how important it is to need to push pause on life and rebalance your mind and body, the last thing anyone wants is the financial stress of trying to do that. I believe that being in an industry that deals with people’s wellbeing requires more than just a bottom dollar approach.
What advice do you give to students struggling to maintain a regular practice?
Don’t make it complicated and set realistic goals. It may look great to be doing all these challenging asanas, and yes they do have benefits ...however you will gain much more from creating a daily practice that has you laying in Savasana, practicing simple pranayamas and calming your system. Once you have that daily habit of calming your system, then you build onto it.
Jamie is running another incredible Sanga Living yoga retreat in Costa Rica next month, May 3rd - 8th:
INQUIRE HERE TO GET THE ISIY EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT ~ SAVE 10% ... all-inclusive yoga retreat for only $787 USD (or approximately $980 CAD)! Jamie wants you to finally push pause in your life, and go on the yoga retreat you have been dreaming about - it's time. :)
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Jamie is the corporate gypsy who founded Sanga Living - a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping those take a meaningful break to focus solely on their mind & body to improve their lives. She founded its popular sister-company, Sanga Retreats, which provides an affordable way to escape to premier locations in Costa Rica & Canada for unforgettable retreat experiences. Splitting her time between Costa Rica and Vancouver, she loves the lifestyle these two cultures offer. Her sought after Stress Management through Awareness (SMA) program enables her to follow her passion: helping one person at a time learn to live a life in balance through one-on-one coaching and workshops.