My journey has always been a spiritual one. I thank my mom for that, she has always been a seeker. I experienced my first spiritual awakening in grade 8 or 9 at a Mormon Youth Retreat. It was so wonderful. I was completely devout, bursting with spiritual wonder, however, this only lasted a few months. Those fires didn’t have much of a chance to be fanned living on a farm in Southern Saskatchewan, far from any other teenagers remotely interested in this kind of exploration. So, I did what most teenagers do, I followed the flock which was a ton of fun but way harder on my parents.
The next few years found me in somewhat of a confused purgatory as far as my spiritual life went. I had decided Mormonism wasn’t for me, lovely people, but they have some pretty strict guidelines around things that, as a teen and young adult, I found really inconvenient! I was of the belief that it was an all or nothing contract which left me feeling somewhat unanchored. Thank God (pun intended) for a religious studies class I took in University! Wow!!! There were all these other ways to approach spirituality and it most certainly did not have to be all or nothing. I was especially intrigued by the Eastern religions/philosophies but … life was still full of non-spiritual adventures so my spiritual life continued to wait patiently on the back burner. I was, however, free from feeling guilty about it.
In 1991 I married this dreamy guy that looked like Micheal J. Fox, was almost as funny, could fix anything and (best of all) he was crazy about me. We had Brody in 1994 and Hali in 1997 fulfilling one of my deepest heartfelt desires to be a mom (well I wasn’t quite done but they got things going). Around the time of Hali’s birth, I saw the movie that changed my life! “The Next Best Thing” with Madonna. She looked amazing in it and the rumor was all she was doing was yoga! I was committed! Yes, that is the tawdry truth of how I got into yoga, I wanted to look like Madonna. Needless to say, I am very non-judgemental when people come to yoga with similarly shallow motivations. If you are here because you simply want a nicer ass, I’m your girl! The world needs more enlightened people with great arses.
I was mostly self-taught for the first few years reading and following yoga and meditations books when I had the time. I followed one book in particular, “Richard Hittleman’s Yoga - 28 Day Exercise Plan”. Yoga has come a very long way since Richard’s authorship but even so, I was certain yoga was something I needed in my life. At that time I had a home daycare and, due to my newfound yoga practice, I was no longer coming down with every little bug, I had more patience and energy. I was getting the exact results my life needed! (something yoga is notorious for providing ; ) I also had some profound experiences in meditation, gently reawakening my own inner seeker. About 6 months in I injured my neck (which is what happens when you are learning headstand and shoulder stand from a book) so my practice became sketchy but it never quite completely.
1998 was a hard year for myself and my family. My sister Andrea was killed in a car accident, still brings beautiful tears as I type. Her death, though the most painful thing I have ever experienced, also brought some of the most profound and meaningful gifts I have ever experienced. This challenging step in the path has shown me that the only part that dies is the body, the essence lives on and, if we choose to, we can continue a new kind of relationship with our passed loved ones. Andrea’s death was the catalyst for me to study and develop Yoga for Grief and Trauma programming. These continue to be profoundly wonderful gifts that I am extremely grateful for.
The millennium brought us from Saskatoon to Regina and I decided that yes, I could afford a yoga class now and again. First I went to Lori Lee at Yoga Haven. She led me beautifully through the last trimester of my third pregnancy. Then I met Colin Hall who became my main teacher for the next 8 years. I began teaching Family Yoga and Yoga for Kids in 2004 for him and his wife Sara Garden when they opened up what is now Bodhi Tree Regina. I completed their very first 400 hr Yoga Teacher Training that was offered in combination with their teachers from the Yoga Gateway in Calgary, namely David McAmmond whom I continue to study with. It was a delightful year and a half of complete immersion which became a lifestyle for me. I taught at Bodhi Tree for 4 years until Brad (whom I am again truly grateful for) suggested we turn the woodworking shop in the backyard into a yoga studio. By now we had 4 little bobbins, Drew in 2000 and Rayne in 2003. Being able to walk out the back door to teach a yoga class was perfect and continues to be. Full Life Yoga opened it’s doors in 2008 and has been going strong and evolving ever since.
I continue to study yogic philosophy, namely the lineages of Advaita and Kashmir Shaivism but also a Rinsai Zen Buddhism. My kids are growing up, only two left at home. I can see how my life is turning more and more into the spiritual as the next chapter approaches. I find I am much more willing to commit more fully then I was at 20.
Yoga, meditation, the beautiful healing practice of Reiki and modern psychology are the tools of my trade and they are absolutely the main tools of my life. I would be honoured to share them with you as they have been amazing in my life in many many ways.