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[ Kripalu Yoga ] [ Polarity Yoga ] [ Air Principle ] [ Fire Principle ] [ Water Principle ]
[ Ether Element ] [ Air Element ] [ Fire Element ] [ Water Element ] [ Earth Element ]
[ Tai Chi ] [ Reiki ] [ Self-Help Shiatsu ]


Another way of cultivating our health is to attend energy-related classes and workshops. For many years now, I have been practising Tai Chi (the Peking Form) and Yoga. As part of my training as a Polarity Practitioner, I was introduced to Polarity Yoga and developed a whole series of fun classes. Then a few years ago, I started to teach Tai Chi and Polarity Yoga classes. Periodically I also conduct Self-Help Shiatsu workshops and Reiki classes. My classes are taught over a set period of time, for instance eight or ten weeks, in a nurturing, safe and relaxed environment. Group size is small to allow for personal attention.

Also known as the "yoga of consciousness", Kripalu Yoga is a tool to open the mind and body, bringing transformation. At its core, Kripalu Yoga is a process that involves confronting our limits and transcending them; coming into the present moment by centering the body, mind and breath; looking within to understand who we truly are. In this context, yoga is seen as a journey rather than a destination. Kripalu Yoga is less about achieving the perfect posture than it is about being fully present for the experiences that arise during one's practice.

Kripalu Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga and it uses gentle postures, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation to help us fully experience the physical, mental, emotional sensations in our bodies. By sustaining the postures and observing and witnessing the sensations we experience without judgment or labeling, we explore our own edges of strength, flexibility, balance and emotions.

As a spiritual practice, Kripalu Yoga is not limited to practicing on the mat. In fact, Kripalu Yoga invites us to apply its principles and approach off the mat. As Swami Kripalu said: "Seekers who believe they must practice yoga only in the meditation room are under a great illusion. They must practice yoga in society as well. Practicing yoga in the meditation room is easy because there are no external disturbances. The true yogi is one who can successfully protect his mental steadiness while in society."

For now I teach two Kripalu Yoga classes per week: An Introduction to Kripalu Yoga (a 6-week series), and Gentle/Moderate Kripalu Yoga (a 10-week series). These classes are open to everyone and no previous yoga experience is necessary. Although signing up for the whole series allows the students to get the most benefits, drop-ins are also welcome. Do not hesitate to contact me to find out about the schedule and rates.

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Part of Polarity Therapy, Polarity Yoga is a series of simple exercises that stimulate and balance the energies and currents associated with the three principles of energy motion (Air, Fire and Water) and the five elements (Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth). These principles and elements come from the Ayurvedic healing tradition.

The exercises work with the flow of energy in the body, and help connect the participants by moving or contacting key areas in the body that relate to one another in important ways. They create balance, relaxation and vitality. They also improve one’s health, self-awareness and sensitivity. Polarity Yoga is effective because postures can be done with ease and require a modest amount of space.

They produce a high degree of result with little output of energy; they get to places and systems in the body often missed in typical weight training, aerobics, machine-based routines and even other forms of yoga. The exercises can be done anywhere, by everybody, at little or no cost. They can easily be modified for use by elderly or handicapped persons.

Each class focuses on a specific principle or element, and incorporates meridian stretching exercises, yoga poses, Brain Gym® exercises, visualisation, breathing techniques and meditation. Some of the exercises are relaxing; others, invigorating. They enliven or calm the chakras and nervous system according to what is needed. They relax and strengthen the spine, deepen breath, and enhance the flow of cerebral spinal fluid in a holistic way. As students move through each exercise, they are invited to go within, connect with and become aware of the energy in the body.

Classes tend to be irreverent and fun. At the end of the class, everybody feels energized, more relaxed, and has a better appreciation of their body and the energy flowing in it.

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In Polarity Therapy, there are three principles of energy motion: the Air Principle, the Fire Principle and the Water Principle.

Air Principle

The energy of motion governed by the Air Principle is that of movement. The Air principle is associated with the east/west current and space. It incorporates the energies of the Ether and Air elements. The Ether element is about stillness and space and is the closest element to Source. The Air element is about movement. The hidden energy in air is referred to as the "Breath of Life" or Prana, Chi or Ki. Without air, there is no breath, there is no life. The polarity of the Air Principle is neutral.

The following exercises help to balance the Air Principle.

Sitting: breathing exercises, thymus pump, brain buttons, balance buttons, thinking caps, sensory balance

Lying: arm lift, head lift, head to knees, belly breathing, pelvic tilt

Kneeling: cat pose, hip movements, spinal twist, child pose, downward dog, child pose, forward bend steeple

Standing: windmill, homolateral crawl, cross-crawl, hook-ups, breath of joy, mountain pose

Fire Principle

The second principle of energy motion is the Fire Principle. The quality of motion governed by this principle is that of direction for there can be no movement unless there is a direction for that movement.

The Fire Principle is associated with the spiral current and relates to the sun with its fiery quality and the impetus or direction needed to draw the total movement of energy towards completion. The energies of the Fire and Water elements have qualities that relate to the Fire Principle. The Fire element is about power and action; the Water element is about maintaining a flowing aspect (equilibrium). The polarity of the Fire Principle is positive. The following exercises help to balance the Fire Principle.

Sitting: arm activation, spinal twist, diaphragm press, shoulder shrug, the owl, neck rolls, pelvis loosening, staff pose

Lying: corpse pose, gluteal activation, head to knees, sacral rock, pelvic lift, bridge pose

Kneeling: table top, fire hydrant, balance pose, child pose, cobra pose, scissor kicks

Standing: making the sun, breath of joy, pyramid, modified sun salutation

Water Principle

The third and last principle of energy motion is the Water Principle which resides in the pelvic area of a person. The Water Principle is associated with the long line currents which bring information from the top and bottom to the core and flow through the chakras.

The Water Principle is the mother principle of forms and structures for the body. It has a balancing effect between the air and fire energies. The energies of the Water and Earth elements have qualities that relate to the Water Principle. The Water element is about
maintaining a flow of equilibrium towards completion; the Earth element is about grounding and completion. The polarity of the Water Principle is negative.

The following exercises help to balance the Water Principle.

Standing: rebounding, calf lengthening, calf pump, ankle/knee rotation, spinal twist pyramid, Taoist Arch, squat, up and down squat, mountain pose

Kneeling: sitting in seiza, knee rock, knee lift, table top, hip rotation, kneeling Ha breath, gluteal stretch

Sitting: earth buttons, lazy 8's, alternate nostril breathing, diaphragm press, spinal twist, pelvis loosening, sitting child pose

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Ether Element

In Polarity Therapy, Ether is the element from which the other four elements (air, fire, water and earth) derive. The Ether element is about purpose, stillness, harmony, balance and space. Space in the physical body translates into space between the muscles, joints, organs; in the emotional body, it has to do with freely expressing our feelings and emotions; in the mental body, it is creating space for new ideas to come; and in the spiritual body, it is allowing our spiritual being to come forward.

The Ether element is associated with the throat chakra, which is the seat of expression and communication. At the physical level, Ether imbalances will show in the neck, shoulders, ears, and arms.

Following are some exercises that help to balance the Ether element.

Standing: arm swings; homolateral crawl, cross crawl; hook-ups, neck stretches and massage; shoulder lift, brain buttons; balance buttons; mountain pose

Kneeling: cat pose; hip movements

Sitting: child pose; alternate nostril breathing; arm stretches; sensory balance

Lying: head lift; head to knees; corpse pose

Air Element

airThe Air element is the second of the five elements and is located in the heart area of the body. Because of its location, it is associated with the Heart chakra, which is not only the centre of love and compassion, but also the centre where all emotions are governed.

Generally speaking, the Air element is about movement at all levels of an individual. Air represents breath and therefore, affects the respiratory system. In Polarity, the Air element has a negative charge; its poles are: posteriorly, shoulders (positive), kidneys (neutral) and ankles (negative); anteriorly, chest/lungs (positive), colon (neutral), and calves (negative).

Following are some exercises that help to balance the Air element.

Standing: meridian awakening, windmill, chest opener, Taoist arch, shoulder shrug, neck roll, the owl, breath of joy, the cross

Kneeling: cat pose, forward bend steeple.

Sitting: diaphragm press, child pose, thinking caps, arm circles, thymus thump, alternate nostril breathing

Lying: fish pose, hookups, corpse pose

Fire Element

fireThe Fire element is the third of the five elements and is located in the Solar Plexus area of the body. Whereas the Air element governs movement, the Fire element governs the direction of that movement. It is the impulse behind movement. It is also about desire, insightfulness, passion, vitality, intelligence. The Fire element is related to the third chakra, the center of power.

In Polarity, the Fire element has a positive charge. Its poles are: the eyes (positive); solar plexus (neutral); and thighs (negative). Fire governs digestion. Imbalances in the Fire element will affect the eyes, digestive organs, muscles, thighs, pancreas and muscles, thighs, pancreas and adrenals. At the emotional level, anger is the emotion associated with Fire.

Following are some exercises that help to balance the Fire element.

Lying: corpse pose, gluteal activation, back curl, head to knees, pelvic tilt, the clock, passive reclining twist, bridge pose, diamond pose

Sitting: breath of fire, simple spinal twist, making a C, liver/gallbladder activation, lazy 8, blinking lazy 8, staff pose, motor balance, diaphragm press, child pose

Standing: Pierre Ha breath, woodchopper, making the sun, warrior II, the elephant, breath of joy, lion roar

Water Element

waterThe Water element is the fourth of the five elements and is located in the lower abdomen, centered between the navel and the genitals. It is associated with the second chakra which corresponds to bodily functions having to do with liquid: circulation of blood, urinary elimination, sexuality and reproduction, as well as all the qualities of water such as flow, formlessness, fluidity, receptivity and surrender. The Water element governs the unconscious emotions and deep feelings, the undercurrent of dreaming, attachment and holding on.

In Polarity, the Water element has a negative charge. The positive pole of Water is the breast/chest; the neutral pole, the pelvis; and the negative pole, the feet.

Following are some exercises that help to balance the Water element.

Sitting: pelvis loosening, the dolphin, sacral rock, butterfly activation, seesaw, staff pose, toe touching, hip walk

Lying: scissor kicks, wipers, locust pose, half frog

Kneeling: table top, hip circles, fire hydrant, kneeling Ha breath, gluteal stretch

Standing: pyramid, spinal twist pyramid, up and down Ha breath, psoas lengthening, rebounding, mountain pose

Earth Element

earthThe Earth element is the fifth and last of the five elements. It is located in the pelvic area at the junction of the sacrum and the coccyx. It is associated with the first chakra and all solid, earthly things such as our bodies, our health, our material and monetary existence, our survival. It is also related to our ability to focus and manifest our needs in the physical world. The Earth element is also about being in the here and now.

The Earth element is the final step down of energy into the physical world and form. Its energy is heavier, denser, slower. The Earth element has a positive charge. The positive pole of Earth is the neck; the neutral pole is the colon/bowels; and the negative pole, the knees.

Following are some exercises that help to balance the Earth element.

Standing: rebounding, Achilles stretch, calf pump, hamstring lengthening

Kneeling: squat, wide squat, wise old man, sitting in seiza, knee rocking, tendon guard release, knee lift

Sitting: Kundalini breath, neck rolls, diaphragm press

Lying: colon massage, knee to chest, head to knee, pushing the feet, spinal twist, diamond pose, corpse pose

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Tai Chi

Characterized by gentle, slow and continuous movements, this system of Chinese exercises can benefit everybody, regardless of their age and constitution. The classes focus on the healing aspect of Tai Chi rather than the martial art aspect of it. A Tai Chi class incorporates specific healing exercises, a special breathing technique, and a short walking/standing meditation. Students are also introduced to the Peking Form, a shortened version of the popular Yang Style that was developed by the Sports Committee of the People’s Republic of China in 1956. With its 24 movements, the Peking Form is said to be the most popular form practised inside and outside China.


Reiki is a wholistic, hands-on healing therapy that works with the Universal Life Force Energy. Everybody can learn Reiki. Danielle’s Reiki program is divided into four levels. Levels I – III are taught over a two-day period and the Master/Teacher Level over three full days. People learn Reiki theory and treatment techniques. Ample time is also reserved for hands-on practice. Group size is small to allow for personal attention. Students who wish to continue on to the next level must complete specific assignments.

Self-Help Shiatsu

Self-Help Shiatsu workshops are designed to give people a tool to address common ailments. Self-Help Shiatsu means "doing Shiatsu on oneself". As such, people learn about the major meridian lines in the body, as well as the most effective acupressure points to use for ailments such as colds & flu, constipation, lower back pain, migraine/headache, etc. People can attend the whole series of workshops or the individual workshop of their choice.


My classes are open to everyone and no previous experience is required. Because the studio is small, the class size is limited to a maximum of 6 people. So registration for the series of classes is a must and on a first come first served basis.. Drop-in is available only if there is still room in the class. Make sure you register early to secure your spot.

Registration deadline for the session...

All classes start on the ...week of ..., and run for 10 weeks. The cost is $130 for 10 classes. All prices include HST.

Yoga passes are also available: 5 classes for $80 and 8 classes for $120. The yoga pass allows you to attend and try any yoga class, providing there is still room in the class.

Please note that the door will open 15 minutes before class; it will be locked 5 minutes after the beginning of class and remain locked until the end of class.

For more information on any of my classes or to register, please contact me directly at:

416.532.0967 or email dgservices@sympatico.ca

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday






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Copyright ©2005, Danielle Généreux