What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
In many ways sharing yoga evolved naturally in my life. In my mid-20’s I was guiding Outdoor Expeditions around the world and would do my own yoga practice on the courses as a way of self-care and immersing in the wilderness. Students were always intrigued and I began offering classes on the courses as a way of sharing quiet moments in nature together. From there I took some more formal trainings and have been teaching classes, workshops, trainings & retreats ever since. www.theartofyoga.ca for all my local offerings.
How would you describe your style of yoga?
I often call my classes Yoga & Meditation. In these classes, I emphasize principles of embodied ease, quiet power & natural rhythms as ways of exploring movements & ways of being with curiosity & wonder. In my own practice i explore dynamic hatha yoga sequences, pranayama & meditation and spend time on silent retreats with my 3 teachers, Gioia Irwin, Orit Sen-Gupta & Richard Freeman.
What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to start practicing yoga?
Trust in the simplicity of paying attention to subtleties on your own. Yoga is a practice of listening and a process of unfolding, again and again, into one moment at a time. Yoga is an ancient art of quieting the mind by becoming attuned to the gift of the senses. Daily practice (even if it is only 5/10 minutes) can have a profound effect on one’s nervous system & overall health. Through tuning into our inner landscape and moving from that place, we can begin to experience timeless moments of freedom anywhere, anytime.
How do the surroundings influence your classes when you practice yoga at the gondola?
Being close to the natural world enhances our ability to feel our own bodies as wild nature. We can notice earth, air, water, fire around us by feeling the ground, the wind, the ocean & the sun and then also notice these same elemental truths inside of our human bodies. Essentially nature becomes the guide for presence and alignment of yoga postures embodies the wisdom & aliveness of nature. Gondola yoga is a unique combination of nature's gifts and a tourist attraction. In this way, is great for teaching us to be light-hearted with ourselves as we practice. There are often other people around, who are not taking the class, and this can both challenge us as we practice staying present and bring a smile to our faces.
Describe your perfect day in Squamish.
Morning green tea. Time with my partner Scotty, my son Kai & my dog wandering or biking in the forest (or canoeing on Howe Sound). Some quiet moments to myself practicing yoga , hiking somewhere uphill or reading/writing poetry.