- I have more awareness of my thoughts.
- When I'm lifting heavy objects I don't hold my breath as I used to do.
- Driving is pain-free as I’m more aware of keeping my ears over my shoulders, head over my spine and not forward over my chest, creating neck pain. I remember more often to keep my shoulders loose, elbows down and spine comfortably straight.
- My walking gait is stronger as I'm learning and practicing to push off of my toes and to swing my arms straight back, keeping my torso inline.
- I’m far more conscious of my eating patterns and have learned to recognize when I’m hungry versus when I’m thirsty or eating because of an emotional issue.
I find it amusing that at age 16, while backpacking around Europe, I tried yoga for the first time on a balcony overlooking the Swiss Alps, at a hostel called Club Vagabond.
In my yoga teacher training, I learned about a very important nerve called the Vagus Nerve otherwise known as the ‘Wandering Nerve’ or the ‘Vagabond Nerve’. Its function affects our breath, our heart, eating and speaking, all the fundamentals for a vibrant life.
Like this nerve that wanders from the brain stem down and around our abdomen, I too have wandered over the years, coming and going with yoga many times. In my 20’s, I loved the bendy-twisty poses but felt that the practice was just a bit too slow overall. In my mid 30’s, I injured my neck while doing Cat/Cow poses too vigorously so shied away from yoga for a number of years. In my 40’s, I practiced in my living room in front of the computer with yoga gurus like Rodney Yee.
In 2003, I trained with Sat Dharam Kaur Naturopathic Doctor, author, known internationally for holistically improving breast health of women through her Healthy Breast Program which includes Kundalini yoga in the protocol.
In 2005 at the Kripalu Centre for Yoga & Health, Massachusetts I was inspired by the gentle approach to yoga that Kripalu uses.
Now, in my 50‘s, I have a regular personal yoga practice that inspires me, energizes me and relaxes me. I wanted to learn more about yoga and decided that teacher training would be a great way to immerse myself in this amazing practice of balancing the body, mind and spirit.
The Kripalu Teacher Training offered outstanding professional, knowledgeable yoga masters. Our training was packed full but only so much anatomy was involved in the training. After 6 months of intense yoga practice it became apparent how much I had unknowingly and even gently pushed my body past its own limitations to the point of increasing old injuries, aches and pains. One of my instructors suggested training with Susi Hately. Our anatomy course curriculum was based on Susi's book: Anatomy and Asana. I liked the idea of delving deeper into the whole-body approach to learning new patterns of movement for optimal physical health.
The work of Susi Hately, Functional Synergy, in Calgary started the process of helping me unwind my body. Right after obtaining my Kripalu Teaching Certification, I spent a year and a half taking courses with Susi to learn how to move within my own range of movement, to bring awareness to my own natural way of breathing and to come from a place of stillness so that 95% of my pain was eliminated. I’ve taken Susi’s work and woven the principles in to my teaching so that my student’s can access the same wonderful benefits that I’ve come to enjoy because of practicing this way. I am still associated with Functional Synergy through their newsletters, Facebook and the desire to further train with Susi in the near future.
To support me as I was starting out as a teacher, I looked to Nick Hansinger and Kisma Orbovich of Source Movement Yoga, California. They're all about teaching yoga teachers how to show up to class authentically. I fully appreciated Source Movement's take on creating a business that resonates with all my personal values and beliefs.
In March 2017, I completed my second year of a 2 year certification program with Katy Bowman - Nutritious Movement, Washington, the pioneer of "Wearing positive heeled footwear is the new smoking." I am now a certified Restorative Exercise Specialist. These teachings offer a different perspective on how the body moves and insight into a relatively new field of science called Mechanobiology. It's all about alignment, moving better, moving more throughout every day, not so much about "exercising."
Whole-body health has been a hobby of mine since being in my teens. Curiosity has served me well as I continue a self-study practice with other Restorative Exercise Specialists, Biomechanists and other scientifically informed yoga teachers...
I want to share what I’m learning and experiencing, build a dynamic Incremental Yoga-Body Alignment community in my area and help others maintain or gain the active lifestyle that they want to live.
When I’m not practicing yoga, I like to...
Be in the garden. Weeding is meditative. I love it.
Be near water; beside it, on it, in it, paddling, swimming, frolicking, skiing.
Organize people, places, things.
Design small spaces to live in, like our 564 square foot house.
De-clutter and live simply.
Be in nature. A lot.
Eat healthy food, locally grown when available, organic and fair trade too.
Find great things, people, places, businesses. And connect.
Fundraise for community improvement.
Photograph beautiful moments, nature, oddities.
Dabble. I am a Professional Dabbler. I like to learn new things.
Enjoy the journey, have fun and laugh.
Kripalu Centre for Yoga and Health, Berkshires, MA
Functional Synergy, Calgary, AB