Tag Archives: election

Yoga Votes Saturday – April 5, 2014

voteMy career and my intention has been steeped in directing others to the truth about who we are as human beings, to understand and acknowledge that we are not our bodies, we are not our jobs, we are not our responsibilities, we are not our successes nor are we our failures. All of these things are temporary and transient. What we are is the unchanging energy that animates each and every one of our frames. Without that energy, we are simply dead bodies. This energy existed before we were born and it will outlive our bodies. It is an energy that is untouched by illness or mood, an unchanging observer that perceives the world around itself using the body’s senses.

This understanding of the Self eventfully brings clarity and perspective to students seeking truth and answers in their lives. This perspective and clarity allows us all to stop getting caught up in the ever-changing sea of daily dramas that seems to ricochet us from emotion to emotion, and to start focusing on what really matters: are we loving? Are we compassionate? Are we being loved? Are we free, and are we ensuring that freedom is not selectively doled out to the fortunate, but rather a birthright for all? Are we serving others?

We are in the weeks leading up to a very important provincial election here in Quebec. I’m not going to start preaching or sharing my own political beliefs, because I believe that we are all entitled to our own opinions and don’t want to be that person that polarizes others. I want to bring people together. I don’t care who Quebecers and Montrealers vote for, but I do care that a huge percentage of the population here does not take the time to go vote and exercise a right that others around the world are fighting to the death to have.

It is with the intention of galvanizing people who typically don’t vote because they a) don’t believe their vote will make a difference, or b) can’t be bothered to take the time out of their busy schedules to go to the polling stations, that I am creating one day of classes that I will lead, and I’m calling it Yoga Votes Saturday.

On Saturday, April 5 I will be leading a free yoga class from 9:00-9:50am at Lululemon Greene Avenue, and a paid yoga class at Luna Yoga from 11am-12:30pm. It is my hope that my regular students will bring people they know who are not regular voters to these classes, as well as people who have not yet taken my class. I aim to empower people to find their unique voices through the yoga practice, and it is with this voice that we effect change. I aim to get at least one person to the polling station on Election Day who would not have gone without having heard me speak and teach. It is my aim that we wake up as a society and realize that we have the power to make a difference, to effect real change and to step up in our own lives and start living consciously.

I am asking each and every one of you reading these words to get up off your chair, out of your house and be there at either of my 2 classes on Saturday, April 5 and to help me mobilize fellow Montrealers and Quebecers to stand up, be heard, and, ultimately, be a part of one of the most important elections we will be faced with. It’s not enough to share a Facebook post or Like a status. It’s time to do something real, so let’s do it together.

See you all at:

Lululemon Greene Ave – 1394 Avenue Greene, 9-9:50am

Luna Yoga – 231 Saint-Paul Ouest, Suite 200 – 11am-12:30pm

lululemonls
 

A Tale of Two Solitudes

Our province is shaken. Our country is shaken. Quebec’s provincial election took place yesterday, and no political party emerged victorious. The Parti Québecois ended up with a minority government, the Liberals lost their 9-year stronghold on the province, the newly formed Coalition Avenir Québec won far fewer seats than predicted, and Québec Solidaire added one more seat to their existing one. No one feels good with any of these election results, but the people of my beautiful city and province are hurting more than any of their “leaders.”

This election saw its leaders use fear-mongering as campaign tools, especially Pauline Marois, the PQ leader. She spouted a pretty blatant disregard for anyone living in or coming to live in the province who isn’t French-born. Under the guise of protecting the French language, she succeeded in dividing people. English vs. French, Québecois vs. Canadian, me vs. you. She wasn’t the only one. Almost all the leaders degraded themselves and insulted their electors by using fear to sway votes. This behaviour is unacceptable, and the election results show that no one emerged as a true leader. No one emerged as the face that we, the people, want to represent us. We ended up the lesser of many evils, and evils they are. But despite what the leaders think of us, we’re not stupid.

After the results had come in, a man came to where Pauline Marois’ was giving her victory speech and shot two people, then set fire to a dumpster just outside of the building. He was anglophone, yelling that “the anglos are waking up”. The man was believed to be mentally unstable. We are not. Let’s not forget that.

I was absolutely not surprised that this anger was directed at Pauline Marois and the PQ. Don’t misinterpret what I’m writing: I do not condone this type of behaviour. Violence and hatred beget violence and hatred. I have no interest in seeing people’s opinions rise up in anger fuelled by hatred. I do, however, think that what happened last night was to be expected: Pauline Marois, love her or hate her, is divisive. She was throughout her campaign, and will continue to be throughout her time as Premiere of Québec. She would like to separate English from French, Québec-born from immigrants, Québec from Canada. This is not my opinion that I’m spouting, this is and always has been her agenda. When a leader spouts disdain and dislike towards any group of people, there is bound to be an equal or greater reaction. Last night’s attack was a reaction. A badly thought-out (if thought-out at all) one.

I refuse to let this shooter speak for me, an English-speaking Québecois. I spend my life trying to bring people together, and when I see people in power working against that, trying to separate us, I get fuelled up to work even harder to diffuse any divisive behaviour. Pauline Marois may not even realize how damaging her division tactics are proving to be, but regardless of who we voted for, regardless of whether or not we believe in Québec as a sovereign nation, regardless of whether or not we speak English or French, we all know one thing: we are stronger together. There will always be troublemakers stirring it up. There will always be a shooter. There always has been and there always will be. The character of a group of people will never be defined by one person, it will be defined by the masses. The shooter last night is not us. Stop buying into what these political parties want you to believe. We are not English or French, we are not federalists or separatists, we are not Liberals, Péquistes or Caquistes. We are Québecois. We are human. We all want freedom and security. All of us. The true show of character will be in how we react to what happened yesterday. We need to be responsible in our reaction. Let’s not add fuel to the fire and allow the chasm between us to continue to grow. We are stronger together. We need each other, because if we continue to allow ourselves to be separated, then the politicians win. I will not allow any politician to act in any hurtful or divisive way and pretend to be speaking for me. I have my own voice, as do my friends. I know that when I hang out with my friends, I am hanging out with all different political views and languages, but regardless of all that, we love each other. I love this city. I love this province. I will not let things get out of control. Stop pointing the finger of blame at someone else and re-direct it to yourself. If this becomes a state of emergency, it’s because we let it happen. We have the choice as to how this plays out. We are either together or we’re not. I vote for together. I always have, and I always will. What are you voting for?