Newsletter #6

Words of Wellness

November 2018

Wabi-sabi. What a delightful word!  I recently happened across the Japanese term wabi-sabi and thought how wonderfully it captures a concept that I at times discuss with clients.  The term, as I understand it, refers to the Japanese design philosophy that embraces the imperfections and transience in nature. It acknowledges  that the melancholy and lack of symmetry, or lack of perfection, found in nature has value.  I liken it to our ability to appreciate all the textures of our human experience, including the darker ones.  Consider the shift we have when we see the value in all of it? 

In our world there is plenty that is not perfect including we humans and our our bodies. Imagine the benefits of taking care of our bodies, not with the goal of a some "media perfect" body, but with the goal to function better, acknowledge where and how we might struggle. For more on this read on about making our health a priority and learn more about our upcoming activities and how through Neighbours for Neighbours,  together we can make a difference!


Making our Health our Priority

Have you ever said ‘’I should workout more’’, ‘’I feel sore even though I haven’t done anything
to be sore’’, ‘’I wish I had more time to exercise’’, or anything along those lines? In our society of
performance, and overachievement, it is sometimes hard to find time to take care of our physical and
mental health.

Several studies have shown that a regular physical activity routine is related to general well-
being and lower levels of anxiety and depression. Physical activity also helps reduce chances of
developing heart diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high levels of cholesterol, and so much more.
Although I am sure that this is not new information, it sure is good to be reminded every now and then.

Now, the big question is HOW do I fit this in my busy schedule?

Often, we think that we need to dedicate a 60 minute-session of super strenuous activity to
consider it an efficient workout. Wrong. The Canadian Guide to Physical Activity Guidelines suggests
that to witness the health benefits listed above, adults (18-64 years old) should perform minimum 150
minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. Ideally,  to get to those 150
minutes in bouts of 10 minutes or more. In conclusion, you could do fifteen bouts of 10 minutes and
you are good for the week. In a perfect world, we should get some strength training somewhere in
there to help with bone and muscle strengthening.

10 minutes is a short amount of time. It could be going around the block with a fast-paced walk.
Walking in the parking lot of the office building during lunch time. Doing 10 minutes of HIIT (High
Interval Intensity Training) right before you eat your lunch, as it is heating up. Another good
way to get it done is by playing with your kids - such as  playing tag. You can also look for group classes in
your area that are for parents with their kids.

Now, all of this is very good in writing but when it comes to doing it, that is where people are
having more trouble. The best way is finding your core motivation. Why do YOU think you should
exercise more? Forget about what the government says, what I say, what the neighbor says, etc. Find
the most important reason for you. It could be, to be able to keep up with your kids, to reduce some of
the medication you are taking, to remove some of those aches that you have been getting as you get
older. It can also be your way of relieving stress, dealing with the anxiety that you are experiencing.

Any reason is a valuable reason.

If you need help to get started, you can always reach out to a kinesiologist such as myself. We
are there to make you move better, and to teach you a way of exercising that you can enjoy.

Our health is our priority

                                                                                              Melissa Levell

Melissa Levell

 Melissa who recently joined the Yellow Umbrella adds valuable support to our other  services.  She studied at the University of Texas in Kinesiology, and is currently continuing her education in Osteopathy.  As you saw in the past newsletter, osteopathy has a lot to offer.  Now imagine improving your recovery from your treatments, whether it is in osteopathy or any other treatment that you get with the team, by adding a functional training routine in your health regimen.  

Functional training is essentially getting you to move better, remove some of your compensations, with exercises that can translate to your day-to-day activities.  Melissa's goal is to is to help you to find a way of enjoying physical activity, to see it as being a blessing and not a burden, and to give you the multiple health benefits that come with exercising.

Throughout the past few years, Melissa has specialized in postural training.  She wants to help you relieve the tensions in your neck, lower back, jaw, knees, etc.  The way to do this is by improving mobility at some places and reinforcing specific muscles.  It goes hand in hand with the functional training since in the end the goal is to make you feel better in your daily activities.  

Melissa comes to your house, office, or even at a park when it is possible.  A typical session with her includes an evaluation during your first appointment and then she teaches you exercises personalized for your body type and your needs.  From there, she follows up with you to progress into what your health goals are.

Melissa Levell




Upcoming Events at the YUWC

Neighbours for Neighbours (N4N)

Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 9 AM – 4 PM
Provigo Le Marché Kirkland
16900 Rte Trans-Canada, Kirkland, Quebec H9H 4M7 

The N4N (Neighbours for Neighbours) Food drive supports:
five local food banks: 

  • Fonds d'aide de l'Ouest-de-l'Île / West IslandAssistance Fund
  • On Rock Community Services
  • West Island Mission de l'Ouest de l'Île
  • Food Bank Saint Anne's
  • John Abbott College Food Bank and 
  • The Children’s Winter Giveaway put together by Brigette Puccio will be on hand collecting winter clothing and snow suit donations.

Be generous, come and support your neighbours in need! Together we can make a difference!

The Yellow Umbrella Wellness Center, as part of its commitment to wellness in the community, will also be collecting non-perishable food and hygiene items for the annual N4N Food Drive.  So, until November 4th,  when you come to a session or a group at the Yellow Umbrella feel free to bring in an item or two.  

Happy Birthday to Us!

Saturday December 1st, 1-5pm
@ the Yellow Umbrella Wellness Center


Join us as we celebrate 2 years of coming together to support wellness!  
Come meet our growing team, participate in wellness focused activities, and share in our celebration.
We will be accepting dry goods to contribute to local food bank.  

Our afternoon's activities will include:

  • Meditation
  • Mandala work
  • Massage
  • Reflexology
  • Discovering your metabolic age
  • How to manage Anxiety using Reflexology.


TranformART Courses
Hosted by Arantza Izurrategui
@ Yellow Umbrella Wellness Center -
TransformART Studio


Yogi Art Club - Moonlight Session

Tuesdays  7:30 – 9:00pm

Teen Art Journaling

Wednesdays 5:00 – 6:30pm

Art Yourself Happy - Sunshine Session

Thursdays 10:00am – 12:00pm

Art Yourself Happy - Moonlight session

Thursdays 7:30 – 9:00pm

Art Journaling

Fridays 10:00am – 12:00pm

For more info 
Contact Arantza at   


Chakras and the Emotional Body - Meditation Program
with Counsellor Naturotherapist Sheila Southon

Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:30pm.
Starting  January 16th
@ Yellow Umbrella Wellness Center


Yellow Umbrella's Counsellor Naturotherapist, Sheila Southon will host a new meditation program focusing on healing using the chakras.  For 8 Wednesday evenings we'll explore how emotions are the language between the body and mind, and the special role each chakra plays.  Each session will inspire with new ideas, soothe with guided experiences and teach techniques to enhance your personal inner journey. 

$280 pp
Group will be closed at 6 participants