Practising yoga since the 70s! As a child I learned with my Mum from a book... Richard Hittleman’s Yoga For Health. Over the years, squirming around on the floor came naturally to me, I only had to see a yoga pose and I was in it. I usually sit on the floor in preference to a chair. As an antidote to the IT job I found myself in for 10 years, I practised Hatha yoga in Priddis, Kundalini yoga in Calgary, Multi-faceted Iyengar-influenced yoga in Bragg Creek... and began to build my Thai Massage practice.
Once I abandoned the corporate world for my own practice I began to feel more closely the fundamental link of Yoga and Thai Massage (Nuad Boran) - “Union” with “Ancient Healing Touch”...
Balance, Breath, Pressure, Release. Having a good treatment of Thai Massage is like “having yoga done to you”. I was fielding more and more questions from clients such as “what else can I do to support the effects of Thai Massage, ‘cause this is great!?” Yoga was often my first answer, but at that time there were only two other yoga teachers in the area. I decided to begin classes for my clients. They were very successful, I got so much positive feedback I was asked to take over the Priddis Community Yoga classes, increasing attendance by over 100% and adding a second weekly session. I hosted community classes in Redwood Meadows and a couple in Bragg Creek long before the delightful yoga studio opened its doors.
My yoga teaching studies at Yandara deepened the meditative aspect of my practice and formed the foundation for my departure to Thailand in 2010. The spiritual life in Chiang Mai seeped through me with the familiarity of home. I lived across a narrow street (soi) from a temple (wat) – the tiny bells on the upward-spiralling ornamentation at each peak and corner tinkled with magical voices. The temple dogs howled at the moon, the monks chanted and practiced instruments and I, one day, was so warmly welcomed into the midst of a funeral ceremony I unwittingly stumbled across. My experiences in Thailand have always, without fail, been inspiring and mind-expanding, so much to learn and do!
I practiced yoga on the top floor of a building opposite the south gate of the old city. It was all in Thai language. I understand breathe in/out, right/left and front/back, the rest consisted of my beady eyes absorbing each move or gesture the wiry Thai teacher made. I twisted and balanced on one leg like never before, gazing out at the setting sun’s golden rays reflected off the golden Chedi at Wat Doi Suthep atop the mountain just outside the city. What a beautiful way to end a day.
Magical Yoga. Union.