June finds me returning from a journey to the remarkable subcontinent of India. I traveled alongside a group of like-minded seekers and yogis with the guidance of my yoga philosophy teacher, Hali Schwartz, and yoga teacher, Yumee Chung. Many of you know that this has been a dream of mine to visit the birthplace of yoga. I landed in India’s capital, Delhi, journeyed to Rishikesh, discovered the hill station Missouri, embraced McLeod Ganj, the home of the Dalai Lama, and finally arrived in Manali to experience cooler air and the mighty Himalayas. I visited the immaculate Taj Mahal, numerous temples and ashrams, waded into the sacred Ganga river, attended dharma talks with monks, meditated in the Dalai Lama’s temple and experienced his holiness’ presence. I danced in a parade, attended a Hindu Aarti ceremony, trekked 8500 feet up Bijli Mahadev, learned the Tibetan Buddhist mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, practiced meditation and asana daily and savoured a vegetarian diet. I spent time with, and was blessed by the monk, Tibetan political prisoner and author Ven Bagdro. He shared his biography with me, A Hell on Earth and stressed the simple and profound message - never give up.
One of my biggest realizations from the trip was that I have nurtured a strong capacity to stay with myself in a multitude of environments and circumstances, sometimes very challenging ones. I see that I don’t abandon myself. Over the years, through yoga and therapy, I have increased my capacity to flow with highs and lows. It can be helpful to place yourself in a foreign environment to see yourself clearly.
This summer you can find me teaching my longstanding Thursday 10:00 am Level 1 Flow class at the 889 Yoga Studio., incorporating wisdom and experience from my time in India. I also teach a public therapeutic class on Thursday at 1:00 pm at the innovative Helix Healthcare Group, a mental health and wellness treatment centre in Yorkville. The rest of my time is spent teaching people privately at 889 Yoga, Helix Healthcare Group and now 511 Davenport Rd, a therapeutic space where I receive referrals from Dr. Jinous Hamidi, a psychiatrist specializing in mood, anxiety and adult ADHD. Additionally, I teach people in the privacy of their homes. My mission continues to be sharing yoga as a tool to cultivate emotional balance and healing.
I continue to study relational somatic psychotherapy with Dr. Michael Sieck, founder of the Three Fold Way, an integrated approach that draws on mind, body and spirit when addressing human suffering and transformation. This approach greatly informs the way in which I work with people.
Please reach out to me if I may be of service. I am away on my regular retreat to Maine with my family from July 16 to July 31st.
Enjoy a glorious summer.