So, here we are… Interview questions from TJ to myself!
1. You are an extensive traveller and a yogi, Im curious in what ways have you found your outer-world-exploring overlapped with your inner-world-exploring? Or do you find you learn very different things from each form of exploration?
I think the travels were the thing that really helped me to sit within my true sense of yoga. I had felt inklings of true, pure connection and I remember on a bus in Philadelphia, I ended up in what appeared to be a questionable neighbourhood… In my mind I just had the words, ‘The light that is in me, I see reflected in you. The light that is in me, I see reflected in you. The light that is in me, I see reflected in you.’ And I remember having a beautiful dialogue and acknowledgement from another passenger, once I had just let myself not create any projections and judgements. All of this stuff I relate in yogic terms and philosophies because it does make a lot of sense to me. I went and practiced yoga ll over the world, seeking out classes, joining in with so many different communities… from Nova Scotia to Vietnam… it was aamazing. But the true yoga for me was the connections I felt. I think yoga, the physical practice and spiritual practice made me open to all of this. Connecting to the lands I traversed, to the people and to the experiences. I remember not ever wanting to lose the ability to hold space for people, to listen and really hear, to absorb my environment, wherever and whatever that may be.. So now, with a busyness of my present life, I feel that I need yoga as a thing to keep me steady. The openness and acute awareness with a beautiful blanket of peacefulness is not so much of a constant state; it had become so when I was travelling!!! They are very much interlinked for me… Yoga is the moments of connection and true contentment- can happen in practice but a shared smile with a stranger down the street or a beautiful sky is often where I find my yoga!
2. One thing often overlooked about Yin Yoga is that it is incomplete by itself. You seem to very much embrace its need for balance, what are your favorite things to pair with your Yin practice?
Restorative! And a more fluid way of moving… I love the combination of Simon Low style with spirals and flow, strength and grace. I love a bit of Forrest Yoga (are you going to go to Jambo’s workshop?? He is in Washington soon!!!) with Jambo! He sees and connects and makes you feel the yoga thing by a look, a word, a joke, an adjustment, his support. I also love a bit of running and training with some guys I know that have a fitness background. They move in such different ways and with such intelligence. I like a bit of boxing! Fun and such a different mind space.
3. If you were to do a solitary retreat in a cozy secluded spot with no technology for one month what 3 books would you bring and why?
I can honestly say Bernie Clark’s ‘Yin Yoga’ book is one of them. I constantly pick it up and learn again and find something new… I love it. I would take ‘The Web That Has No Weaver’ (a book about Traditional Chinese Medicine) as I have been trying to find the right moments to sit down and absorb but it has not happened. It looks at me every night from my bedside stand. I would take Anne of Green Gables whole series on my kindle! Is that cheating?? A month is a long time and I have not mastered hours of meditation. I read the series on my kindle when I was Prince Edward Islands and then continued as I travelled in to Montreal and across Canada. It made me feel utterly warm, nostalgic and fond of childhood reading and think so positively.
4. What is your most vivid impression or memory from the Bernie Clark retreat we trained at?
For me, being in British Columbia and in Whistler mountains and the beautiful setting we were in was a big thing. I was where I had been born, where I had lived through my childhood, where I had holidayed as a child… I was a1/4 of a way into my travels and I was in Whistler. I loved the trees. I felt British. I felt Canadian. I felt connected. I felt curious. I felt alone. I felt held… It was really lovely all of it. And as I write lots of little things are coming back to me. I do remember landing back in Vancouver City and after a week of retreat and trying to function in the city environment… I felt like an alien. I liked it. Everyone was so fast and I just went slower.
5. What do you feel the Universe created you to experience? Or what is one nugget of wisdom your personal experience of your life has revealed to you?
Ummmmmmmm. DEEP, TJ!!!! That holding space for people is the kindest thing you can do. I know we have both a shared background in teachers of young people. Children and the classroom environment was a beautiful and perfect way for me to develop an understanding of the importance of allowing time and holding space. I was always pretty earthy and peaceful but the big travels really helped me to really feel and get out of my head- that was spacious for myself and in turn other people. Does that make sense?? That is where the real magic began to happen for me…