My Yoga Journey
My yoga path began in 1996 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with Neena Shahani. I was in the deep depths of my PhD studies, and with Neena’s introduction to Hatha Yoga, I learned to feed my body and soul with calmness and caring. With gentle guidance, Neena taught me to be aware. She taught me to be aware of my thoughts, my body and my reactions to both. The wisdom I gained was not of the academic variety, but yoga opened a space for it.
Ashtanga Yoga came to me after moving to Hubbards (near Halifax), Nova Scotia. Situated right on the shoreline of the beautiful Aspotogan Peninsula, Sail Loft Yoga Studio and Cathy Guest welcomed me to explore the beauty that is Ashtanga. By studying the eight limbs of yoga philosophy, I found a way to reconcile my Christian upbringing, my need for asana practice and my desire to live well. For me, yoga is a physical practice and also a spiritual one. I believe the two work together. That doesn’t mean that I changed my faith to Hinduism or Buddhism. Rather, I believe that the principles of the eight limbs can be found in any religion. Yoga is my way to ‘perfection in wisdom’ by creating a place that allows for awareness and change— in body, mind and spirit.
Because of my experience with Hatha, Ashtanga, Baptiste, Critical Alignment and Therapeutic yoga styles, and because my yoga teacher training is in mixed traditions, I embed all into my personal practice and, more importantly, into my classes. Some traditionalists might see this as problematic but I feel that all teachers—and students—push us further along on our individual paths.
Nature is particularly important to me, and through doing yoga asana and meditation in places like the Sail Loft Yoga Studio and at Pura Yoga in Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico, I feel the deep connection to our home. You know what I mean if you’ve ever taken a walk in the woods or on a beach and you’ve lost all sense of yourself. When I teach in a studio where nature is not obvious, it’s not hard to feel connection to the earth when I look at my students or fellow yogis and yoginis. We are, after all, part of this great planet and of each other!
As a yoga teacher, I try to embody all of these philosophies. I also try not to take myself too seriously. I want you to laugh and learn in my classes. My goal is to know each of you individually so that I can guide your journey appropriately. My classes are designed to accommodate all levels of ability and needs. I pay particular attention to proper alignment in movement and still postures. All this is to free the breath to allow for awareness and recognition.