Tag Archives: fitness

Get Your Yoga On….At the Park!

Heading to the park with the kiddies and enjoying the warm summer?  Head on over to Tools for Schools and check out  my post on a fun yoga game that gets all the kids involved, moving and having fun!



Purposeful Walking! Nordic Walking is For All

As part of our new Friday Entrepreneurial Feature I would like to introduce Anna Ekstrandh from Outstride. Anna is a leading fitness professional in the world of nordic walking. I highly recommend you check out one of Anna’s classes in the Ottawa area. Read on to learn about the benefits of nordic walking and how using a simple piece of equipment such as poles can increase your workout efficiency.

 Have you also noticed more and more people around the city walking with poles?  Are you intrigued? So was I a few years ago. Everyone in my family, back home in Sweden, was training by walking with poles. I got my sister to take me for a short walk around the block and I was hooked right away. I came back to Ottawa, found an instructor course in Vermont and got certified. The rest is history! 

If you are a walker that have found that you are not getting as much out of your walks anymore or a frustrated runner, with injuries coming and going, then Nordic Walking might just be for you. 

By adding poles to your workout, you are all of a sudden using your entire body to propel yourself, while when running and walking, you are only using your legs. Add the poles to the equation and you will train your upper body muscles, work on core and posture, burn more calories and also remove sharp impact from your joints. This is truly a full body workout! 

Ottawa is such a wonderful place for outdoor exercise. It is really invigorating to get out of the house, get in tune with the seasons, enjoy fresh air, build up your vitamin D stores, all while getting a good workout. And at the same time as Nordic Walking can be a great workout, it can also be very contemplative. The upper body movement creates a wonderful rhythm, which can be the foundation for a very meditative walk. 

All you need to Nordic Walk is a good pair of shoes and a specific pair of poles. I strongly recommend a fixed length pole with a strap, which is what the original Nordic Walkers in Europe are using. In addition to that an introductory class with a certified instructor will get you going. Nordic Walking isn’t rocket science, but in order to gain all the amazing benefits I always recommend walking with an instructor. 

Weekly classes and introductory workshops are available at many community centres around the city. You can find me at Dovercourt, Old Ottawa South, the Glebe (GNAG) and Pinecrest recreation centre. As a National Coach for a world wide association I also provide personal training and instructors courses. If you are looking for poles, I have extensive experience of fitting poles for different body types and needs. Outstride also carries a full line of poles in all sizes. 

Anna Ekstrandh

INWA National Coach




Outstride's Enthusiastic Nordic Walkers

Little Lotus Yoga- bringing calm & relaxation to your child’s life

Hello to all Little Lotus Enthusiasts! I wanted to share with all our class design as I have many inquiries into our class design and what is incorporated into children’s yoga classes. The famous questions is always- How do you do yoga with 2 year olds!?

Tune In

We always begin with a tuning in to the class. The little one’s enjoy sharing their OM’s!

Sharing & Caring

This is a special time when the children are invited to share anything special that is happening in their lives and share how their heart feels. For the little one’s we usually hear MY HEART IS HAPPY today! I find the 6-12 year old yogi’s and yogini’s enjoy the supportive atmosphere to possibly share any areas of stress they had in their day (ie: test, disagreement with friend, sister, etc.)


Pranayama is the control of life force, which is our breath. Little Lotus 2-5 year olds share in balloon breathing, begin to understand that they can create breathe through noise and mouth, etc. Little Lotus 6-12 year olds begin alternate nostril breathing, deep abdominal breathing, cooling breath and others!


This is our posture practice time. Little Lotus 2-5 year olds enjoy imitating animals in various yoga asana (postures), including dogs, frogs, whales, cats, cows and more! Little Lotus 6-12 year olds may begin Sun Salutations and vinyasa flows (flowing movements from one posture to another) and more advanced postures.

Yoga off the Mat

This is an opportunity for participants to grow in an environmentally friendly and “green living” way. We share, talk about & design crafts about recycling, protecting trees and our responsibility to maintaining a safe and clean Earth. Younger yogi’s and yogini’s may share thoughts through various colouring in their journals, with older yogi’s and yogini’s sharing thoughts and emotions through pictures and written entries in their journals.


Students are encouraged to relax into savasana (corpse pose / starfish) for a final relaxation at the end of class. Story meditations are sometimes shared. Little Lotus 6-12 year old participants may also use this time to meditate on a positive thought (ie: I am brave, I share with others) they have chosen. Our class ends in a creative circle creating peace and serenity, sharing another round of OM’s and special good-bye’s until the following class!

We love to hear what you enjoy the most in any children’s or family yoga classes you have participated in. Feel free to share! Or, let us know what your little yogi likes to come home from class and share with you 🙂

Namaste ~Amanda