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 »

Sep 262013

In my last post, I chronicled my (so far) unsuccessful attempt to find a yoga class that’s a good fit for me and my inflexible body. A number of friends have encouraged me to keep looking, and as I did so, the germ of an idea took root in my mind.

Why not do the smorgasbord – tons of yoga, lots of teachers – and write up my impressions and observations of every class? Maybe that will help quantify the Om, render it less elusive – and get me writing in this blog again.

I bet most stuff on yoga is written by people who are actually competent at it. I can write about the agony of downward dog from the perspective of someone with barely functional hamstrings!  I’m very excited. Now the only question is when exactly to sign up so I can get the most bang for my buck. Looks like I’ll start either tomorrow or Saturday, with as many yoga classes as I can stand.

Welcome to The Yoga Project (TYP)! Continue reading »

Sep 242013

You should take R–’s,” says the woman just ahead of me, when I ask at the neighborhood community center if they could recommend a yoga class. I’m hesitating between the three classes offered; they all promised to “accomodate” those with “limited mobility.” R–, it turns out, has had extensive training with the best of the best.

Despite the fact that the class is an hour and a half long, which summons painful memories of a brief and humiliating yoga experience in Baltimore, I decide to take the plunge. I set great store in word-of-mouth recommendations, particularly from elderly women with recent knee replacements. If she can recommend it, I should be okay. I sign up for a ten-class session.  Continue reading »

Aug 262013

So many things have happened in the Gydle-sphere lately that I have not been able to manage the mental focus it takes to sit down and write for more than ten minutes. Even if I had managed to pull myself together, I don’t think I would have been able to choose any one thing to write about.

Here’s a three-sentence summary to catch up:

On July 8, a group of friendly Kosovans from Allied Moving company came and put all our stuff into a shipping container and drove away.  Then we took off to the Alps and hiked for twelve days. Luc and I barely had time to recover from that before we packed our bags, loaded a very unhappy Minnie the cat into a cat carrier and headed for our new digs here in the wild west.

As I’m settling into my new, albeit unfurnished, home and getting to know my new city, the mental clarity is slowly returning, like coffee grinds to the bottom of the cup. The itch to write once again needs scratching. What precipitated this post? you’re probably wondering.  Am I going to tell you the sordid details of my Canadian immigration experience? The wonders of shopping on Sunday? The exhilaration of running in a midlatitude rainforest?

Maybe later.

No, what happened was I almost fell asleep at the wheel. Continue reading »

Jul 142013

IMG_2781My last days living in Switzerland are looming. Two weeks and I’ll be back across the pond, the sun rising hours later on a completely different body of water. As the time draws nearer, I realize that:

One, I’m getting really impatient with things that drive me nuts about Switzerland.

Two, I’m already feeling nostalgic about the things that I love about Switzerland. Continue reading »

May 182013

It was a long, wet winter here in Heidiland. And is has been a cold, soggy, hypothermia-inducing spring. Down in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, Lago Maggiore is brimming over. Around here the farmers can’t plant their potato crops, because the fields are too muddy for their tractors to till. Continue reading »