“Mom. If you can breathe you can participate in a Relax Deeply class.” Holding on to these words, spoken by my son, I began my yoga journey at Yoga Centre Winnipeg in 2009.
At the time of that conversation I was struggling with the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. I had difficulty holding a pen; signing my name was very excrutiating. I was unable to raise my hands up over my head. I hobbled up and down stairs clutching on to handrails. The touch of fabric on my skin was painful and I was unable to tolerate the wearing of jewelry. I was exhausted all of the time.
I knew that I my path to well being was going to be a long one but I was prepared to give myself time. The Relax Deeply classes focus upon deepening the breath and allowing gravity to do the work as participants relax into well supported poses.
From the moment I rolled out my mat for the first time I found yoga to be a very private, personal experience. Each class is comprised of people of all ages and of many levels of yoga experience and expertise. Instructions are clear and options are given for adaptations or for ways in which to deepen the challenges of the poses. Participants bring their attention inward as the poses and the breathing help to create spaces for our bodies, minds and spirits to relax and to open.
Over the last several years I have expanded my yoga experience to include, at various times, Yin, Kripalu, Vinyasa and Beginner classes. Without fail I always learn something new about myself and about the yoga experience in every class that I attend. It is wondrous and I am so thankful for these opportunities.
I am also deeply grateful for the quality of the teaching at the Yoga Centre. All of the teachers have taken an extensive teacher education program. The evidence of the high standards can be found in the consistent manner in which all classes are conducted. Classes are extremely well planned and professionally taught. Teachers are eagle eyed and provide subtle assistance or direction to individuals as required. Humour and kindness unto ourselves are qualities that are encouraged!
To conclude my own story... In the autumn of 2014 my daughter decided to run for the position of school trustee in the civic election. Over the course of 6 weeks she and I walked to over 7000 homes on her campaign trail. It felt wonderful! Of course I continue to be challenged by issues related to the rheumatoid arthritis. However, my yoga practice has given me the strength and the freedom to live an active and healthy life. Namaste!