Happy father’s day!

Last week, a co-worker’s computer screen went all weird and she asked me if I knew how to fix it. I said no, but I could call my computer technician. She thought it a little odd that I had my own technician. I told her he also went by the name Pop.

My dad can fix anything, and if he doesn’t know how to right away, he’ll google it. When I saw this, it made me smile.

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I remember being a little girl and asking my dad how to do things. He let me help (get in the way) with whatever he was doing. I know if I asked, he would teach me how to change a flat tire or fix my computer, but I like having to call him for those things. I am a grown-up, independent woman, but I still need my dad and that makes me happy.

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I wrote about this on mother’s day, but it surprises me when people talk of trying to understand their parents, or being friends with them. I really lucked out in the parent department, because mine are awesome!

Pura Vida

You know that feeling, when everything is exactly as it’s supposed to be and you’re exactly where you should be? It doesn’t come around very often, but last week, while I was in Costa Rica, I felt it. After only two days, I knew I belonged there. It just felt right. I’m not ready to give up my whole life and move there, just yet, but I am already planning my next trip. A girl can easily get hooked on the feeling of knowing she is where she is meant to be.

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I can no more cover my whole trip, even though it was only a week, in one post, than I could count the books I’ve read. It’s impossible, there’s too much magic to squeeze in to one little post. I’m not even sure I can find the words to express the wonder, the joy, the excitement that this adventure brought me. But I will try.

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I stayed at a place called Peace Retreat Costa Rica. People say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, but I’m guessing they haven’t been to Peace Retreat yet. It’s owned and run by Hali and Kevin, two Canadians who moved their life and family down to this happy, beautiful, peaceful corner of Costa Rica. The place is amazing, but it’s their light and love that make it shine.

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Peace Retreat is located in the village of Los Pargos, which, I learned from a Tico, is slang for lazy people. I didn’t meet anyone I would call lazy, but the slow, easygoing way of life was definitely appealing. There’s a beach, called Playa Negra, and it draws surfers to it, like bookstores lure me in, like a mermaid calling to the sailors.

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The village is pretty remote, so it’s not a big tourist attraction. I loved that, even though, technically, I was a tourist. I say technically, because in my heart, I knew I belonged there, and when you belong, you’re not a tourist, are you? There are dirt roads and people regularly stop and ask you if you need a ride. No one wears shoes. Everyone smiles. No one says “I have a deadline” or “I’d love to, but I have to do all this work I brought home”. I’m not saying people’s lives there are perfect, because I’m sure they’re not. We all have our issues, but to an outsider, it all looked pretty amazing.

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I did yoga, learned how to surf and picked a lemon from a tree. I saw lizards, monkeys and I almost saw a crocodile. (I was happy I didn’t!) I took a stand up paddleboard tour through the mangroves, heard the monkeys every morning before the sun came up and got myself a custom made bikini (pink, of course). I went to Tamarindo, tried to do a handstand on the beach and leapt into the air every time someone said “Jump shot!”.

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Pura Vida means pure life. Life at it’s purest form should be, in my opinion, joy. And that’s what I found in Costa Rica. Joy. Bliss. Happiness.

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From a place of love and joy

Before I started my yoga teacher training, I thought I would be writing about it almost every day and sharing all the new stuff I discovered.

It didn’t really work that way.

I learned so much about myself and my practice, but it was such an intense process, I didn’t have time to figure it out. Half the time, I didn’t understand what I was feeling, learning and experiencing. There was no way I could seperate it all into neat little blog posts.

People ask how yoga teacher training was. I don’t know how to answer. I wasn’t just one thing. It was everything. My life, my practice, my goals, my emotions, they’re all connected and I can’t pull out one thing and say it was good, or it was bad.

I do know how I feel now. I feel limitless. I can do anything and be anything.

Also, I know that I want to teach yoga from a place of love and joy. That’s what I have to share with the world.

Here’s a little look at my journey.

Day 2: Learning how to instruct pyramid pose.

Day 2: Learning how to instruct pyramid pose.

Learning about anatomy. This is Severus showing off his spiral line.

Learning about anatomy. This is Severus showing off his spiral line.

Practicing inversions.

Practicing inversions.

Getting ready to attempt a headstand.

Getting ready to attempt a headstand.

Supported headstand.

Supported headstand.

Breaking through limiting beliefs. (Yes, I broke that board with my hand!)

Breaking through limiting beliefs. (Yes, I broke that board with my hand!)

Awesomeness.

Awesomeness.

One thing I am sure of: This is only the begining. There is so much more to learn.

A mini-break

This has been a really great weekend for several reasons. Wine and friends on a patio Friday night, then a beach day with those same awesome girls on Saturday (we didn’t go in the water, it was too cold!) and a mini-break from my 30 day yoga challenge.

I didn’t want to skip a day in my challenge, so last Wednesday, I did two classes and got to spend today, father’s day, with my dad.

Sometimes, I hear people say how they’ve become like their parents, and they’re horrified, like it’s the worse thing that could ever happen to them. I don’t get it. My parents are awesome.

I am my father’s daughter and I couldn’t be happier. He’s funny and smart and the nicest person you could possibly meet. He’s kind. He loves kids. Once, when my sister was younger, her friends came over to ask my dad to help get someone out of a tree. My sister wasn’t home, but those kids knew my dad would be more than happy to help.

When my dad is interested in something, he likes to learn everything there is about it. When I was little, he knew more about fishing than anyone I’d ever met. He’s the best poker player I know (he taught me how to play, and I play well enough not to embarrass myself!) When I decided to sign up for yoga teacher training, wanting to know more about this practice I love so much, my mom said I was just like my dad. She’s right. When I love something, I give it all I’ve got. It makes me happy and I’m grateful to my dad for giving me that.

This mini-break from my yoga challenge has given me time to relax and focus on other things I love, like my family.

Joyeuse fête des pères Pop!

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Breathe, practice, repeat

dancer pose seasonsI’ve had a really good yoga week. I went to a class almost every day. Yin, power, flow, it was a great mix of everything I love. This was a very welcome week after a couple of weeks of being sick and not having much energy.

Monday, I went out for lunch. I don’t do well with greasy foods, but I had a quesadilla anyways, and I felt icky all afternoon. I went to yoga anyways and told my teacher, Megan, that I was feeling a little sick and that if I was laying on my mat, it wasn’t because I was dead or her class was boring, I was just not feeling great. Not surprisingly, I spent part of the class in savasana, but felt a million times better at the end of it.

The rest of the week went much more smoothly and was filled with happy yoga moments.

– All kinds of supported fish variations. Supported fish might be my favourite yin pose.

– Seeing my friend Ichih, after she was away for three weeks. Bonus, she did not make me do any dragon pose/gecko variation in yin class.

– Leaving work earlier than usual for a flow class and enjoying every minute of doing yoga with the sun shining through the windows.

– Doing an awesome dancer pose to half-moon to warrior two sequence and not falling down during a power class.

Also, I’ve been feeling loved and supported all week. I made a video trying to explain how much I love yoga, to hopefully win part of the cost of my yoga teacher training tuition, and I am overwhelmed at how many people have viewed and shared the video. The winner will be the person who gets the most youtube views. It’s been a week, and I’ve gotten over 700 views! If you haven’t watched it yet, please do, it would help me a lot! Also, you can click on the link every day to help my views go up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FymAS1je9o0

 

Open your heart

Valentine’s day. Some people love it, some people don’t. Many are indifferent. Some say it’s all about consumerism, others say it’s a day to share your feelings.

Here’s what I think. Focus on the love. Give love, get love, share love. Love your friends, your family, your other half, yourself. Be kind, be thoughtful, be happy. Smile, sing, share. Let yourself believe that love is all you need, even if it’s only for one day. Open your heart and let love in.

I work with children. Children are naturally open to love. They tell you they love you so easily. They feel it, so they say it. Between them, it’s about friendship. On Monday, each child pulled another’s name out of a basket and had to do nice things for this person all week. No presents, no consumerism, just small kindnesses and smiles. They tried to be more patient, play together and share.

They each made a card for their “secret friend”. This afternoon, watching them open the enveloppes and try to figure out who had been being so nice to them all week was, I was happy. They were so excited! And it didn’t cost a thing.

After work, I made my way over to the yoga studio where Amber led a heart-opening class. Backbending and heart-lifting, it made me realize that letting the world in is a conscious practice. We can’t just expect good things to happen to us, we have to open ourselves up and ask for them.

Love, love, love. Namaste.

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An open letter to hot yoga

Dear hot yoga,

I love you. You don’t have to say anything, I know you feel the same way I do. How do I know? Easy. You give me so much.

Some people don’t understand my attraction to you. They say you’re too hot, too sweaty, too intense. Don’t worry, I always defend you. I tell them how amazing you make me feel.

I think our relationship is based on the little things, like that time we did side crow. Remember that? We should do it again soon. I also love it when we practice inversions. Keeps things interesting.

My love for you is so strong, it’s got me almost regretting my latest haircut. I wasn’t thinking of you when I got bangs. I had one of those “I need to be my own person” moments and chopped off my hair. Now, it’s always sticking to my face, no matter how many bobby pins I use. I know, I know. My fault, not yours.

You bring out the best in me. You make me feel so strong, like there’s nothing I can’t do. I never imagined I would do an arm balance, and look at me now. I might still fall sometimes (ok, a lot of times) but I know that’s just because you’re giving me time to get there.

It’s almost magical the way you can completely change my mood. If I’m having a bad day, I just spend an hour with you and I feel so much better! If I’m tired, you give me energy. I try to give you as much as I can. Time, sweat, energy, effort. If I have it to give, it’s yours to take.

I know I spend time with the others sometimes, but running and gym are just not in the same league as you. You have nothing to worry about. Dancing is pretty cool, but she’s different. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Both of you are awesome. (But I love you best.)

I might not see you this weekend, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking about you. I can’t wait to see what you’ll make me discover about myself next time!

Thanks for everything,

Me.

P.S. I’ve included one of my favourite pictures of us. It was the first time we did wheel!

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I have the best dad in the world!

You might think your dad is awesome, but you haven’t met mine. His name is Pop. Or Steve. But I prefer Pop. There are so many reasons I love my dad. I can’t list them all, because the list would never end, but here are a few.

– I got a dress for my high school graduation, then I decided I didn’t like it anymore and I wanted another dress I had seen. My dad went to the store to look for it so I would be happy. The dress wasn’t there anymore, but it didn’t matter.

– He took me fishing even though it was supposed to be ‘quiet time’ and I talked constantly.

– He said he was going to get me a new house key and I said I wanted it to be pink. He got me pink with palm trees.

– He’s funny.

– No one will ever be as strong or as brave to me as my dad is.

– He will spend an hour texting me to explain, yet again, how to download music.

– He is my computer technician, my mechanic, my hero.

– When I was little, I read a lot. He told me I would surely write a book one day, because I had read so many I would know how when the time came. I still believe I will write a book, because my dad believes I can.

– The first time I cooked a turkey, I called him four times. He had all the answers.

– I cheer for the Boston Bruins, because that’s my dad’s team and my dad knows best.

– I remember wanting to be an artist. My dad built me an easel so I could paint outside. I still can’t draw a stick figure, but I loved that easel.

– He also built me bunk beds for my dolls. No one else had that.
– He thaught me how to listen, how to work hard and how to enjoy the small things.
– He worked so hard to give me everything I ever needed.
– He came get me when the check engine light in my car went on, so I wouldn’t miss my sister’s birthday party. Then he drove me home, for a total of six hours on his part, all so we could be together as a family for dinner.
– If I have a flat tire, I call my dad.
– If I see a mouse, I call my dad.
– If I need anything at all, I call my dad.
So you see, although your dad might be pretty cool, I can’t imagine a dad as awesome as mine!
Je t’aime Pop! Joyeuse fête des pères! xxx