Attentive IAYB readers will notice that things have been a little quiet on the blog lately. I wrote a little explanation in the last newsletter (which went out sometime around July 4th or 5th, can’t really remember) and have been open about it on social media (see my Instagram feed), but I haven’t blogged about it.
So this is what’s up: IAYB is relocating from Montreal to Victoria, BC! And I’m taking the scenic route ~ we (mon amour and I) left Montreal on July 1 and took a four-day train ride across the country, to Kamloops, BC (my hometown and where my parents still reside). We spent a few days on the family homestead, and then spent a few more days in the Okanagan Valley (where I had the pleasure of hanging out with IAYB friend and 21st Century Yoga contributor, Frank Jude Boccio, who was in Kelowna for the Moksha Yoga teacher training).
From there, we went to my spiritual home, Yasodhara Ashram in the Kootenays. The ashram has strongly informed my approach to the practice. I lived, practiced, studied and taught there between 2004 and 2006, and it was like doing a fully embodied master’s degree in yoga. In that community, it really is all yoga (baby) — daily karma yoga (which can be anything from cleaning toilets to cooking in the kitchen to transcribing talks to polishing jewelry), silent meals, group reflections, evening satsangs. Everything has significance and offers the opportunity for self-exploration and growth.
Since leaving the ashram, we’ve been in the tiny mountain village of Nakusp because of its close proximity to hot springs and lakes. It’s a little off the beaten path and not as picturesque or touristy as some of the other Kootenay towns, which is what we like about it. We found a cheap hotel room and a simple routine of morning coffee, afternoons on the terrace, late afternoon beach and/or hot spring excursions, and evening dinners in local restaurants.
From here, we’ll drive around British Columbia and arrive in Victoria close to August 1. I’m eager to discover the West Coast yoga scene! What happens here? How do yoga, social justice and real life intersect on the West Coast? What does an embodied practice look like, with mountains, ocean, islands, migrating salmon? How does the yoga community respond to the threat of pipelines and oil industry development?
I have to admit, I have a bias: for the past eight years, I’ve been embedded in the eastern Canadian/US yoga communities, and I’ve connected with the undercurrents and subcultures. My perception is that the east is grittier, more progressive and more engaged than the west. I also admit that I perceive the West Coast as a little flaky and self-involved (Vancouver is, after all, the birth place of lululemon).
I hope to be proven wrong! I hope to connect with the West Coast yoga communities and discover practitioners who are passionate and active, who are engaged in social movements and politics. If you’re an IAYB reader in Victoria, Vancouver or anywhere on the West Coast, reach out and let me know!
With any kind of big transition, there’s the underlying question of why. In this case, it’s pretty simple: a desire for change, reconnect with my roots, be closer to my family, easy access of the ocean and nature. As much as I loved the chaos and energy of Montreal, I always knew that my time in the east was temporary, and that BC was my heart home — it was just a matter of time until I heard the call. And when I heard the call, I listened and responded.
So this is it. I’m excited to connect with the movers and shakers in the West Coast yoga community, but I also plan on staying connected with the communities in Montreal, Toronto, NYC and beyond. I expect this move will give IAYB a broader and more trans-continental feel, which can only be a good thing.
The transition will continue until the end of July, and you can expect regular programming to resume after August 1. I’m still paying attention to the yoga world, and reasonably active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Stay connected, beloveds!