I’m in Calgary this week and thought I’d get down some of my thoughts…I came here to not only visit my brother and his wife and kids (one of which I’m meeting for the first time since his birth on Christmas Day), but to bring my Introduction to Hindu & Yogic Mythology workshop to a beautiful yoga studio here, Bodhi Tree Yoga. I was initially also planning on flying from here to Saskatoon to give the workshop there, but the studio there was having trouble getting people to sign up, so we’ve postponed it for the time being. What I would have considered to be a failure a few years ago by not having the workshop happen I immediately recognized as an indication that I am where I’m supposed to be, here in Calgary.
I haven’t seen my brother and his family for almost a year. They used to live 2 blocks from my place in Montreal, but then moved out here as my brother got a job offer he couldn’t refuse. Seeing them leave was a very emotional moment for me, and being away from them for this long simply became unacceptable. I decided to investigate and see if I could incorporate a visit to their adopted city with an opportunity to meet a local yoga community and bring my teachings to them. After being referred to them, I started corresponding with the studio management and I was given the opportunity to come here to teach. I remember when I knew it was all going to work out – I took a moment to thank whatever higher power was working through me for allowing this all to unfold so naturally, and the preparation stage was (obviously) only the beginning.
I got here Monday evening and was met by my brother, who is one of the people who knows me the best. As kids we were inseparable, and I remember taking on somewhat of a parental role with him, assuming responsibility for him and watching over him for years and years. To arrive here and see the life he’s built for himself has resulted in bursts of incredible pride and admiration for him, as he’s one of the greatest guys I know, one with a head for business and a heart for meditation. He drove me back to his house from the airport, and I have since spent as much time as possible with him, his wife, and their three gorgeous kids. These children are absolutely everything. Hyper-intelligent, intuitive, emotive, affectionate, obstinate, beautiful…but most of all, humbling. I see my own childhood in the actions, reactions, and thought processes of these kids. More importantly, I see my relationship as children with my own two brothers in the dynamic between these three beings of light. Suffice it to say that this time is sacred.
As if all that weren’t enough to make me feel grateful and connected to this life, I decided to go pay a visit to the yoga studio where I’d be giving the workshop, so yesterday I went to take the 4pm Nidra Flow class with Anita Athavale. The class was comprised of a soft warm-up and vinyasa, followed by some stretches. The class ended with a session of Yoga Nidra, which I have been practicing on and off for the last 14 years, and which always feels like a return to the source for me. Like the asana practice, it doesn’t matter where I do it, it always feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. I have no idea how long the guided meditation was, but when I came out of it, I felt like I had rested for a full night. It amazes me every single time how effective the practice is, and Anita was incredible – obviously knowledgable and incredibly personable. I floated out of the class and back to my brother’s house, and continued on with my week of rediscovering my family.
The workshop itself was everything I hoped it would be: a coming together of like-minded people sharing the common goal of aspiring to new heights of spirituality. We not only delved into the myths and all their colourful characters, but we applied the essence of the myths to our own lives and then to the asana practice itself. I found myself doing what I do in my daily life, but this time immersed in a different yoga community, one that welcomed me into its fold with warmth and generosity. I got to meet wonderful people, and am so grateful to have found myself having connected with an entirely new group in a different environment. I really am grateful for being able to travel the globe and meet people who reflect back to me everything I believe the world and its inhabitants to be.
My week here is almost over, and as much as I don’t want to tear myself away from my family, I’m blessed to be looking forward to getting back to my weekly classes and mentoring students. I’d say that things are going exactly how they’re meant to, and in keeping with what I’ve learned so far this year, I’m staying focused on what is…what’s directly in front of me in any given moment, while keeping my heart, mind, and energy open to whatever comes next (can we all say “Istanbul” together?).
Peace to you all…