In 1991 I married this dreamy guy who 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! Aaannnddd she was a yoga teacher in the show!!! 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 meditation books when I had the time. 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 fizzled out completely.
1998 was a hard year for me and my family. My sister Andrea was killed in a car accident, which still brings beautiful hot tears to my eyes. Her death, though the most painful thing I have ever experienced, also brought some of the most profound and meaningful gifts I have ever received. 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.
My study of Reiki and iRest Yoga Nidra, and Andrea’s death, were the catalyst for me to develop a Yoga for Grief program for Caring Hearts Regina, which then led to more training in trauma and psychology. Today I am a certified iRest Yoga Nidra teacher and part of IRI's Canadian Training Team, and am currently studying Internal Family Systems Therapy. iRest comes from a non-dual yoga tradition, and IFS fits perfectly with the non-dual yogic lineage I follow, Kashmir Shaivism, where everything is seen as Consciousness unfolding and nothing is rejected. It is a delicious way to be in the world! The path this life has taken me on has been profoundly healing and transformative for myself, my family and those I work with.
Back up a few years, the millennium brought us from Saskatoon to Regina and I decided that, yes, I could afford a yoga class now and again. I met Colin Hall, who became my main teacher for the next eight 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, who, I am so sad to say, passed away. He was iconic in the Canadian Yoga scene. He will be missed by many, it feels a little lonely and vulnerable knowing he is no longer in the physical form. His legacy will carry on through numerous teachers all over the world.
I taught at Bodhi Tree (Colin and Sara) for four years until Brad suggested we turn the woodworking shop in the backyard into a yoga studio. By then, we had four little bobbins, Drew in 2000 and Rayne in 2003, joined the clan. Being able to walk out the back door to teach a yoga class was perfect for our family and continues to be so. Full Life Yoga opened its 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 and had a 12-year stint studying Rinsai Zen. Our kids are growing up. Our baby graduated this year, 2021, and we became GRANDS!!! We are LaLa and Papa to Mr. Maverick Robert Lenius, who fills our hearts to burst. Three babies and one Grand live with us. It is a busy little place bustling with activity at a time we thought things would be winding down, haha. Life has bigger and better plans for us than we could have ever imagined!!! Even with a house full of family, I can see how my life is turning more and more to the spiritual. As the next chapter approaches, I am much more willing to commit than when I was 20. I also realize that any adventure can be a spiritual one, depending on how you look at it.
This brings me to a new chapter in life, my yogic practice and how I teach. I am stepping firmly into the title of PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL YOGA THERAPIST, which scares me a bit, and it is what makes my heart sing and where I see such profound personal transformation. I use the tools of yoga therapy, iRest Yoga Nidra, Reiki, Transparent Communication, and IFS. Everything I have ever learned and found to be true, I offer to you for your own personal healing, transformation, and spiritual awakening.