Feb 122014
 

yoga matI have a favorite website, called Brainpickings, whose curator, Maria Popova, assembles interesting, thought-provoking and inspiring things from all walks of art and literature. I can’t count the times I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of the site and emerged, hours later, thoughts spinning in new directions. You should definitely check it out.

She often posts about writers’ daily routines, and what inspires them. There are so many things that can get in the way of creativity.  All these artists seem to agree on one thing, though. You can’t create if you don’t sit down and just do something.  I think photorealist Chuck Close said it best:

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.” Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:51 pm
Dec 022013
 

Da Vinci Vitruve Luc Viatour2Hello, December. What happened to November? All of October I was busy with the Yoga Project, happily scribing away my impressions, downward-dogging my way into a new yoga comfort zone. And then it seemed that November just floated right on by.  And then yesterday, December 1, I opened the New York Times (oh joy) and I realized that I had been subconsciously working on a blog post for the entire month. It’s long, but I hope you still read it.

I’ll call it the One Body Problem. Which is this: We only get one body. This is it. You get the body you were born with, like it or not. And then you die. Continue reading »

Nov 302013
 

It’s Black Friday!

I’ve been seeing this everywhere this week – BLACK FRIDAY!!

Just a quick reminder, folks – I’m currently living in Canada, where yesterday wasn’t Thanksgiving and today is not a holiday. Apparently, in an effort to keep the good people of Canada from driving across the border, or at least clicking their mice and spending their credit card dollars on websites across the border, Candian retailers have jumped on the “holiday shopping” bandwagon otherwise known as Thanksgiving.

This whole thing is just so wrong on so many levels. Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

IMG_0799My apologies for the lack of posts over the past couple of weeks. Things got away from me – we had visitors, I volunteered for a writer’s festival, there were translations in my inbox…

A comment by one of our visitors (yes, you, Roger) validated my hunch that my current spate of yoga-writing needs to come to an end, at least for the time being. You can only read so much about yoga, and then you need to go do it for yourself.

Today marks the end of my $25 smorgasbord yoga pass. In one month, I went to all four studios, had eleven different instructors, and tried out three different styles of yoga. I’d call that a fair trial. It was also a resounding success. I have given the good people of Semperviva access to my credit card so I can continue. Continue reading »

Oct 152013
 

IMG_0799Thanks for the positive feedback, friends. And so the saga continues!

It has taken me all weekend to digest the class I took last Friday enough to be able to write about it. I even did a repeat of Last Sunday’s class on Sunday (the one with P — ), rather than test out a new teacher, so I would at least be doing something predictable. That said, here goes…

Day 8: Friday, October 11, 9:00

I cycle down to the Kits Beach studio early this morning to be sure I get a decent spot. I’ve decided to try something different today – a class called “Kundalini,” billed on the website as:

“A dynamic, powerful, fast paced and effective form of yoga that produces quick results. Benefits include weight control, relief from stress and insomnia, enhanced creativity, lymphatic cleansing, liver detoxification, balancing the heart and mind, and developing will-power. … Each class includes centering oneself with a mantra, warm up, a specific yoga postures set, deep relaxation and meditation.” Continue reading »

Oct 112013
 

IMG_0790Is this getting boring? I’m a bit worried that this series of posts is edging too far into navel-gazing territory, both literally and metaphorically. Let me know, will you?

Each of the classes I’ve taken this week was taught by a (different) male instructor whose name starts with C. That’s reason enough to group them into a single post, isn’t it?

DAY 6: Monday, October 7, 11:00 am

As I’m entering the Sun Center, I recognize someone from last Friday’s class, thanks to the zebra-print cover on her bike helmet. It occurs to me that there may be people who do this multiple times a week. Oddly enough, I am beginning to see the attraction. Continue reading »

Oct 082013
 

IMG_0790Friday, on my way out of the Sun Center – which, by the way, is a misnomer because a far as I can tell it’s the studio with the fewest windows – I notice an advertisement for some upcoming yoga workshops. This one, in particular, catches my eye:

The Promise of Love, Sex and Intimacy with Mark Whitwell

I’m intrigued. Either there’s been a serious proofreading lapse at Semperviva or this Mark Whitwell person is some kind of amazing super-guru. Continue reading »

Oct 072013
 

IMG_0790This post will actually cover two classes – you’ll see why in a minute.

DAY 3: October 2, 2013 9:00 am

Today I’m going to a different studio, this time in Kitsilano. It’s pouring. This studio is larger and lighter; there’s a wall of windows at the back covered with that film they put on buses for advertising. On the outside it says “Semperviva” in colorful letters with pictures of lovely larger-than-life yoga people doing downward-facing dogs. From the inside I can look out and see my car parked on the street. Continue reading »

Oct 042013
 

IMG_0790Full of enthusiasm from my first Yoga Project installment Friday, and with rain in the forecast, my plan was to attend another class over the weekend. But when I woke up on Saturday morning, all those down dogs were barking at me. Specifically in the shoulder region. I decided to clean the house and bake cookies instead. Sunday dawned cloudy but dry — twelve miles and two tired feet later, the couch looked really attractive. So it wasn’t until Monday that the Project could continue.

DAY 2: Monday, September 30, 4:00 pm

It’s raining lightly as I come into the studio and put my shoes into the cubby. I’ve rushed over here from across town, and I really have to go. The “washroom,” as they call it in Canada, is at the back (front) of the room, and I realize that this is a calmer area than the thoroughfare near the props where I have set up my stuff. Next time. Continue reading »

Oct 032013
 

IMG_0790As promised, here is the first installment of The Yoga Project (TYP).

DAY 1: September 27, 11:00 am

A checkerboard of dark blue yoga mats lines the floor in the dimly lit room. I park my bag in a cubby and claim a spot near the back. Everyone is collecting props from a shelf – two foam blocks, one foam cushion, a bolster. I follow suit.

I notice, right in front of me along the center of the back wall, a line of sputtering electric fake candles and two crossed mats. Hold the phone – this is the front! I quickly move as far over to the side as I can, against the wall. No way do I want to plop myself right down in front of the instructor. Phew. Close call. Continue reading »