Winter Solstice

December Solstice (Winter Solstice) is on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 11:19 pm in Toronto. In terms of daylight, this day is 6 hours, 31 minutes shorter than on the longest day in June, creating the longest night of the year ( Here is a great explanation from On Dec. 21, the sun stops moving southward, pauses, and then starts moving northward. This pause is called the “solstice,” from the Latin words “sol” for “sun” and “sisto” for “stop.”

The winter solstice brings long hours of darkness and is believed to hold a potent energy for restoration, regeneration and renewal. On this long, dark night the Feminine, Moon, Goddess energy is prevalent and having just experienced a powerful Gemini full moon, its influence will be dominant indeed. The ancients observed the longest night as the end to darkness and the return of the Sun. They imagined the pregnant moon giving birth to the sun, the most revered celestial body. The birth of the sun-the birth of the Son. Interesting that the most revered and highest beings are believed to be born at this time. Symbolically, light is coming to the world.

Spiritually and energetically, the winter solstice is a time of quiet energy offering opportunities for deep reflection. Take some time to embrace the darkness on December 21 and to think deeply about the authentic you; how your experiences have affected you; and what you hope for your future. Light a candle, stay offline for an hour and breathe in the outdoors if you can. Embrace the silence, stay in the stillness. Never, ever criticize yourself, your choices, your past or your decisions. They are what make you who you are: a beautiful expression of the Divine.

Somehow many of us disconnected from nature and spend the coming days rushed and stressed and constantly feeling we have not done enough. In Nature, the cycle of life returns to stillness in winter. And it is from the stillness that everything is reborn. When we flow with nature, winter is for us a time of stillness. A time to look deep within ourselves with love and compassion and to find our stillness which gives everything life.

- Written by Pina Marino


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Healthy Living Stocking Stuffers & Gifts

Are you looking for the perfect stocking stuffer or gift this holiday season?

Check out these awesome healthy living gifts for under $40 available at Healthletica.

#1 – Organic yoga mat cleaner $13

  • Restore, refresh and disinfect your yoga mat with this citrus, lavender and tea tree spray by Love My Mat. This mat cleaner disinfects your mat using only water & USDA certified organic products. Safe for daily use on all yoga products; Quick-dry, no wipe; Child, pet and food safe.

#2 – Funny yoga tank top $25-$30 

  • We call them yoga tops with personality. The perfect tank for yoga class or fashionable everyday wear. Available in a variety of colours and funny sayings.

#3 – Namaka stainless steel water bottle $25-$38

  • The perfect eco-friendly water bottle. Can be used for water, tea, coffee, juice, smoothies and more. Namaka bottles keep your hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours and your cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours! Available in 18oz, 32oz and 40oz.

#4 – BroccoFusion ointment or lotion with sulforaphane $32

  • Reduces the appearance of age spots, acne & blotches
  • Smooths wrinkles & improves texture
  • Moisturizes the skin so the complexion looks revitalized
  • Protects against drying effects of the sun, air and other elements
  • Skin brightening – radiance!
  • Helpful for treating skin tags, viral sores, dark circles under eyes, burns, skin irritations, cysts moles, scars, psoriasis, eczema, warts and stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, etc.

Looking to spend a little extra on someone special? Here are some great gifts for under $100 …

#5 – Manduka yoga mat $60

  • The Manduka Natural Rubber Yoga Mat is great for any style of yoga (including hot) and is made from biodegradable natural tree rubber with no toxic chemicals or dyes. It’s a light and easy to carry standard sized mat. It offers firm cushion to protect both your bones and joints.

#6 – PurePaleo Protein: Anti-aging, collagen rich & gut friendly protein powder $85

  • Derived from grass-fed cows, making it not only healthy, but extremely nutrient-dense.
  • Comprised of 70% collagen making it the perfect anti-aging protein powder.
  • Gut-friendly so you won’t crap your pants!
  • Tastes great and blends beautifully into a smoothie.

#7 – The ultimate yoga mat: B Mat $95

  • The B Mat was designed for the real world, to meet the needs of real people. Created from an innovative type of rubber – its exceptionally grippy texture, its eco-friendliness and its durability – make it the perfect yoga mat. It’s currently one of the hottest mats in the hot yoga sphere.

Prices are pre-tax. Available for purchase in studio.

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Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice occurs when one of the Earth’s poles is tilted towards the sun. For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, it happens in June and marks the beginning of summer.  June 21, 2019 will be the longest day of the year for us and we will likely see about 15 hours of daylight.  The farther north you go, the longer the day will be. If you are near the Arctic Circle, the sun will not set at all for 24 hours.

The full moon was June 16.  It was called the Strawberry Moon by the Algonquin tribes of North America as it was the time for harvesting wild strawberries.  It is also called the Rose Moon or the Hot Moon in other parts of the world.  The moon is so beautiful, but today, our focus is the Sun.

Energetically, on June 21, we will be bathed in the Sun’s full power-everything will be brought to light.

Without the Sun, there would be no life.  The power, life force energy and illumination provided by the   Sun will guide us to look at the areas of our lives that have been hidden.  Its brilliance will encourage us to step out of the shadows and be seen by the world.

June is the halfway mark in the year.  It is a time to stop and reflect on the direction you are going and if necessary, to adjust course.  What did you resolve to do at the beginning of the year?  Where are you with your goals? What do you need now to manifest them?  How can you accomplish your desires?

There is so much time left in 2019 to build the bridge to your dreams.  The Summer Solstice gives us that boost of power and that surge of energy we need to complete our goals and to get to work on creating whatever it is that we desire.

Don’t give up.  Honour your body, mind and spirit.  Believe in your goals. Connect with your own life force energy when practicing Sun Salutations. This is a powerful time for manifesting.  Give thanks to the light, adjust your course and get the work done.

Written by: Pina Marino

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Abundance vs Scarcity Mindset: Part 2

Working on an Abundance Mindset may be the single most powerful work you will ever do.  Whether you feel like you never get a lucky break, are always cheated out of love or never have enough to pay the bills, it is always the abundance versus scarcity mindset at play.

Last time I asked you to think about everything you ‘learned’ about money, love, your body, success.  If you missed that blog, you can read it here

Did you have any ‘aha’ moments? Did you take the time to think back and really make the connection between the belief, the person who ‘taught’ you about it and how it is playing out in your life today?

Let’s look at a couple of examples that will help you with your own work:

The Belief:  I can never get ahead.  There is never enough.  Money goes out faster than it comes in.  Money doesn’t grow on trees.  (Well, actually it kinda does…most money contains paper to some degree so it does, technically grow on trees!)

The Origin of the Belief:  This lesson came from my mother.  At first, I agree that this describes my experiences related to money.  I note examples of it in my life.  Bills piling up, overspending, no savings in sight.

Challenging the Belief: (This is what I need to explore) Why is this true in my life?  Why do these statements define my experiences?  Technically, those were my mother’s experiences with money.  And she sought to teach me through her interpretation of those experiences.  This does not have to be my story.  I don’t want it to be my story.

Changing the Belief:  I can change the story.

I can consult professionals to reduce my current debt: Https://

I can increase my earnings: ask for a raise; get a temporary second job

I can reduce my spending:  create a budget; stop impulse buying

I can increase my savings:  put aside 10.00 per week beginning January 1 and have 520.00 to spend by December or I can start today and have 600.00 by December

Remember, believing in something always makes it seem true! Let’s try another one:

The Belief:  There is nobody out there for me.  Love is for someone more beautiful, sexier, smarter, thinner, richer or fill in the blank for whatever you think you don’t have.

The Origin of the Belief:  I may have heard this from someone else OR more likely, I will have assumed that I am unlovable or undeserving of love because of the way I interpreted a childhood experience.

Challenging the Belief:  Why is this true in my life?  Who hurt me?  What experiences make me believe this to be real?  How long ago did these things happen?  Are they still relevant? This does not have to be my story.  I don’t want it to be my story.

Changing the Belief:  I can change my story.

I can think about the fact that there are about seven billion people in the world ready for love.

I can focus on loving myself and making my life wonderful and exciting by spending more time at the yoga studio, taking a night school class, travelling alone, joining a club

I can be grateful for all the beauty and love that already exists in my life

I can practice mindfulness

I can truly believe and be open to love

Developing an Abundance Mindset means challenging every single scarcity thought and believing, truly believing that there is more than enough love, money and success to go around in this world.  Limiting thoughts and beliefs create blocks which prevent the flow of energy.  Love is energy, money is energy, we are beings made of energy.  The biggest energy blocks are created by fear, hurt and resentment for which the only cure is forgiveness. The Abundance Mindset simply cannot gel without forgiveness. My workshops teach that:

Unforgiveness or resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die

We are not really certain where that saying came from, some say The Buddha.  For me, it truly expresses the harm that holding on to past hurts can bring to our present lives.

I have given you lots to think about!  Work through the concepts.  Think about challenging the beliefs you wish to change.  Think about creative ways to accomplish the changes.  Think about changing often throughout your day.  Say, “I am willing to change’. Make it your yoga intention; integrate the work into your life.  Use the example template I provided.

Prepare your mind for next time when we explore forgiveness work.  See if you can say this,

“I am open to forgiving (think about someone who hurt you)” if you feel resistance, don’t push it.

See if you can say this instead, “I am open to the thought of forgiving (in general terms)”

This will begin the healing process and prepare you for the challenging work of forgiveness.

You can do this.  I believe in you.  You deserve to have a life full of love, prosperity and happiness.

If you have any questions or want to delve deeper, please write to me at:

Written by: Pina Marino, Self-Care Educator

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