News

April 10 - Classes for Rest of April

It's just a few weeks until I leave for Florence to study the Renaissance,
but still have some school work to do before I depart, here are the class I
will be teaching for the rest of the month. Hopefully I will see you on the
mat before I go:

Classes for the rest of April:

Monday April 10
12pm Wellington
1pm Wellington

Saturday April 15
11:30am Danforth
1:30pm Dundas
3:30pm 90min Dunfield

Wednesday April 19
6:30pm Ashtanga Dunfield
(covering for Monica again)

Friday April 21
11:30am Dundas
1pm Ashtanga Wellington

Saturday April 22
1:30pm Dundas
3:30pm Ashtanga Dunfield

And my first day back to teaching regular classes is Friday June 9th.

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September 28 - Inner Peace and Quiet
There will always be outside sound and outside distractions drawing the mind
and focus off what one wants. Today at Dundas while the fire alarms were
going off, we are reminded again that sometimes we don't have control over
these things. We do, however, have control of our reaction to them. It
reminds me of a time when I "got to" meditate in places of unrest. Is it
possible right now to find a space of rest and peace of mind regardless of
what goes on around us? Maybe. It takes practice. It takes a willingness to
try on the mat and in life to try to find comfort with uncomfortable things.
* * *
September 13  - Class Addition - Friday's 5:30pm - Dundas
Going forward, I will be teaching the Friday 5:30pm yoga classes at Dundas
Square Goodlife. It comes as much as a surprise to me as it does to you. I
would love to have a familiar face there, so hope you can make it out.

This addition was unexpected, but I have come to trust the unexpected
through the years.  An example, a while back, I gave up classes because it
felt like it was time to go.  I used to teach Saturday afternoons at Moksha
Yoga Bloorwest.  It was a great and wonderful time.  I would assist new
teachers for one class, then get to teach a heated flow afterwards.  At the
time, I didn't teach many classes that I could choose my own sequencing and
direction so it was a thrill for me and got to grow with many students (some
of whom went on to become teachers and good friends).  When I thought about
leaving it was hard, but knew it was the right choice for me at that time.
I remember that afternoon getting the rest of my classes covered and then
walking away from it all.  I played with the idea in my head about all the
neat stuff I'd do on Saturdays now.  Then I went to lunch with a fellow yoga
teacher friend.  She was giving up a class and wanted to know if I wanted
it:  It was the 90min Sat afternoon class at Delisle.  I said yes.  It
wasn't the initial answer but now that there was space, it made room for
this class.  Now that class is one of my favourite that I teach each week
and has a group incredibly dedicated to their practice and the lineage of
Ashtanga that they inspire me to show up on my mat to practice.

When I stepped away from Dunfield, I got that same feeling.  It's been dear
to me.  It was the first class I've ever taught in a gym.  Where I met gym
yoga students.  Where I got to learn and grow and experiment with different
ideas and teaching free from the restraints or opinions of others.  I got
much freedom and got to grow and explore.  So after six years, leaving it
was hard.  There are faces and lives that have come and gone, and some that
have been with me the entire journery.  By showing up on the mat and
allowing me to support your lives, you were helping to support mine in the
same way.  Last week I had my first Friday evening off and was looking
forward to more, but when this class was offered to me, I was reminded of
how at other times this has taken place and said yes.  Hopefully some of you
at Dunfield can come down and join us if you are able to.  Also, I want to
welcome those from the previous instructor and hope that I can be there to
support you as they did.  To those that are more new - to practice and to me
- I hope that I can be apart of your life and journey to whatever it is you
are seeking.  See you on the mat.  Namaste.
* * *
August 6 - Muscle Activation Technique
Enjoying my time off. If you see me out in the city feel free to say hi. :)
Still practicing and working out so you may also see me at one of the
locations from time to time. Also taking time for self-care. It's something
that I believe in strongly. Among the many things I've tried, used and
explored, I have been going to a friend who does something called MAT
(Muscle Activation Techniques). Really enjoying learning something new about
body mechanics and how that can resonate in my practice, teaching, and look
at how the body moves. (If you wanted to know more about it, you can check
out my friend Sam's website here:
http://www.striation6.com/services/muscle-activation-techniques#buy-mat
* * *
August 5 - A Moment to Reflect on Teaching
So I was updating some stuff and insurance and what not and came across this
interesting piece of information. I recently past the 5,000hrs of teaching
yoga classes, trainings and assists these past eight years. From my time in
studios travelling across the city 1.5-2hrs one way and beyond on buses and
streetcars to teach a class for $20, to jumping through hoops to get a
single class on a schedule, to teaching a massive amount of classes then in
limbo month-to-month if I'd be working, to those other times being denied
work for being too big or being HIV+ (and somehow a health & safety risk to
members/students), to ending up in a gym - the last place I ever wanted to
be, and building a life and home there with students who were eager to
learn. Thank-you for the showing up. Thank-you for listening. Thank-you for
letting me be apart of your day-to-day lives. Here's to the next 5,000!
* * *
July 30 - Sat 3:30pm Class is back in the Hot Yoga Room
I confirmed with my boss that we can move the Saturday 3:30pm class at
Dunfield back to the hot yoga room. You do not require a pass to be in it.
Very excited to be a bit warmer. See you all this aft.

July 14

May I be well, happy, and peaceful.

May my teachers be well, happy, and peaceful.

May my parents be well, happy, and peaceful.

May my relatives be well, happy, and peaceful.

May my friends be well, happy, and peaceful.

May the indifferent persons be well, happy, and peaceful.

May the unfriendly persons be well, happy, and peaceful.

May all meditators be well, happy, and peaceful.

May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.
* * *
June 8 - The Power Of Maybe
Try new things. Be open to the power of Maybe.

Was teaching a class earlier this week re-telling a story about teaching a
class of high school girls yoga. It was a great experience. When we got to
bakasana (crow pose) all of them tried it. Many of them failed. And they
repeatedly tried it again. Several fell and laughed and tried again. Some
dove head first into the floor.

But they tried again.

As adults someplace along the line we lose the ability to try. We say things
like "I can't swim" as opposed to the truth "I haven't learned to swim up to
this point in life". We dismiss the unknown with either a no absolute "No",
but young people know they can fail and it's ok as its part of learning.
Those young ladies tried again. And again as many times was needed to figure
it out. They didn't let it hold them back.

This week I hope you embrace the power of that -whether on the yoga mat or
someplace in life.
* * *
January 19 – Anne

It is with a sad heart that I inform you all that Anne, a student at Danforth Goodlife passed away last week. Anne was a long-standing member at the club and had been since it was an Oxygen Fitness. She was a diligent member and student and would have been turning 80yrs old this year. I know many people, including myself, looked up to her as she was still fit and active until the very last day. When I first met Anne almost three years ago she said to me (I'm paraphrasing) that she liked her old teacher and that I better be good and not suck. LOL! Sometimes she would come in and like things a certain way to which I have turned to her and said, "Awww little princess, did you leave your tiara and sash in the changeroom today?" We shared conversations about aging, pain and acceptance and found common ground. I will miss her. When I receive more details about a memorial service, I will let you know and post them here and on my website. Metta.

(Link to the song played in class is here:  https://vimeo.com/8578344 )

* * *
October 6, 2015 – Yin Yoga discussion

Today in the yin class many students found challenging.  We were working with energy around the water chakra and it can come up in many different ways.  I left you all with an opportunity to create more balance in this area by saying to have some fun and engage in a healthy pleasure, not a guilty one.  Someone asked me what that means, and it can mean whatever that is to you.  Look at what is healthy and what isn’t.  Do a healthy one.  Have fun without guilt! J See you all on the mat in two weeks.

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June 13, 2015 – Q&A from Teaching

Long week but a good one. It's 10 days till I am on vacation and as much as I am looking forward to taking the longest break away from teaching ever at one time, I am also sad as you are as much a fixture in my life as I am in yours. Thanks for a great start and end to the week.

I was asked this week why I do not teach from a yoga mat at the front of the room. This question sometimes arises. When I am in the room, I am not there to practice yoga. I am there to help you have your practice/experience on the mat. Which means I actually walk around and try to teach you proper yoga alignment and yoga philosophy in as accessible way that I can. For me, that is through anecdotes, experience and humour. I often asked myself, "When did spirituality mean seriousness?" That is not my approach (if you haven't figured that out yet.). The classes that I found myself most engaged with are ones where the teacher was a human being and I hope that I can be both teacher and human when you are in class. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in person, via e-mail or message me. Metta.at I can be both teacher and human when you are in class. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in person, via e-mail or message me. Metta.

* * *
June 1, 2015 Yoga Words 101

I thought I would start a couple general Sanskrit words we use often.

Om - It is the sound of the Universe. We are all a part of this universe–always moving, always changing, always breathing. When you chant Om, you’re tapping into that vibration.

* * *
May 21, 2015My Virus Has a First Name – Ugh!
I am sick… again.  But my friend Brian and I have figured out a way to have fun with phlegm.  LOL!  http://www.positivelite.com/component/zoo/item/my-virus-has-a-first-name
* * *
February 26 2015 – Lesson in Asana are lesson in life

I've been practicing yoga asanas for over a decade and love that each time I get on my mat I have still new lessons to learn. I still love how the lessons on my mat related to lessons and direct application to life.

Latest mat lesson for me: Place my hands where they need to be and not where I think they need to go.

Life Application: Are there other areas of life where my thinking is stopping me from being where I need to be?

* * *
Jan 8 2015 - New Year New Me
My Last Article for positivelite.com http://www.positivelite.com/component/zoo/item/new-year-new-me-2 If you are going to make some life changes, the change has to come from within. So the battle starts in the spirit, mind and heart before the body will follow.
* * *
Jan 7 2015 – Good reasons to stay fit, and also not commit murder
Food for thought J https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjrBdKXgYFY
* * *

December 1 2014 – World AIDS Day

Facts:

HIV+ people when on treatment have essentially the same life expectancy as HIV- people.

When an HIV+ person is on medication, and it's working really well, the virus in their body is destroyed enough that there is virtually no trace of it in their bloodstream, this is called being undetectable.

When one person who is HIV+, who is on treatment and is undetectable, and an HIV- person engage in on-going unprotected sex with each other, regardless of genders (straight, gay, lesbian and everything in-between), there has been no new infections to the HIV- people from their HIV+ partners over a 2yrs span. Medical scientist now believe that there is no risk to infection.

Legally in Canada, an HIV+ person does not need to disclose their status if they are undetectable and safe sex protection is used.

There are now more people in the world living with HIV than there are people in the country of Canada. A majority of them are straight people.

Movies like The Dallas Buyer's Club and The Normal Heart are not accurate portrayals of what is happening right now.

Almost all new people who are infected in North America, go on a one pill a day regimen and have minimal to no chemical side effects. Unfortunately other countries do not have the same access to medication.

After knowing all of this, thought to consider:

What if you found out that person you are really attracted to was HIV+, would you still ask them out? Would you still sleep with them?

Any of the perceived thoughts, opinions, rationalized truths and ideas that come from this train of thought is personified in that HIV+ person.

What if they decided not to say anything and you never knew? What if the person, right now, whom you are dating is actually HIV+? What does it change about the relationship?

And in asking those questions, which no one wants to ask, is where the stigma, judgement and shame have a home. Congratulations, you are part of the problem. And part of the reason why thousands of people, right here in the city of Toronto, live and struggle under a wall of silence. That same shame and judgement is also why 25% of all people infected in Canada do not actually know they are infected.

I have been POZ most of my adult life. I honestly do not care anymore what anyone else has to say. I am, however, concerned though for the men and women I help and support who live in fear and hiding. I am concerned for the men I have dated who have been POZ for awhile, some as long as I have, but still live in secret because they are afraid. We have more rights and freedoms in this country and this city than almost anywhere else that exists on this planet and yet thousands are living in hiding in Toronto hating themselves and trapped in a prison of shame.

Last night, I spent half an hour on the phone talking with a young man who was diagnosed in June. It is for him, and others like him, that I have written all of this. You are loved. And you are not alone. If you need to talk to someone, feel free to contact me.

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