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Stay Awhile

Every part of me wanted to run but I committed to stay awhile.

This picture speaks a thousand words because typically my pattern is to run but instead I noticed a gentle resilience through the challenge. As our mountains and trees are on fire my heart told me to not run away but to stay and find courage in the loved ones around me.

These little girls enjoyed dance camp in Salmon Arm.
Nani with five of Granddaughters

We have all had find resilience over the past few years. Along with that also implemented forced restrictions that stopped any of us from escaping. When self isolation occurred with the peak of Covid, I found that I was able to function quite well in my bubble. My bubble included my daughters, and all my grandchildren. It was a significant size bubble and I felt safe within this. Then this summer happened. A unprecedented heat wave which I have never experienced in my lifetime and after that our beautiful Province in a state of emergence from wildfires.

The fires changed everything. My fear and anxiety peaked and I too felt like I was climbing a mountain. I had it explained to me by my doctor that anxiety is like climbing a mountain, things that cause anxiety have a peak. The key is to keep climbing that mountain, experience the discomfort of all the anxious feeling but keep going. Eventually you meet the peak of the mountain and you slowly begin to descend down the slope and anxiety eventually you experience calm meadows with wildflowers. With the suffocating smoke, lungs issues and not able to breathe in fresh air it began to take its toll on me. My sleep suffered, my lungs and chest hurt and my fear very real as it was for our small community. We are surrounded by smoke. I wanted to leave. I talked about flying to Victoria to get away, breathe in fresh air and spend time with my friend who lives there. I longed to get away.

Beginning days of the fire at Two Mile Creek near Sicamous.
Photo by Shuswap Lake Watch

I did not go. There are too many loved ones to be here to leave behind, my daughters and grandchildren, my mom, brother, in-laws and so many more. I felt like I too should be here as we are on alert and have to leave in a ten minute notice. It has been a challenging summer. My mother had an awful fall, had to get a pacemaker and then three weeks later her partner of ten years passed away. My daughter had her second jaw surgery with three small children needing extra care and then of course I opened a small yoga space. It is not so easy to leave. I then recognised that I have over time, the past eight years, I have changed a habit. My habit of leaving and running away is still every part of me, but now I have tools to work within it.

Yoga is the same. Gentle yoga could be called the new "ADVANCED' yoga. Like my own personal pattern to run I used to the same with my yoga practice. I loved hot yoga because I could escape, which does have wonderful benefits, it was hard but also easy if that makes sense? Gentle yoga is ideal for any yoga student who wants to progress slowly and increase flexibility, understand foundational poses and focus on breath. Gentle yoga is structured in a way that does not strain the stretched muscles, joints or nervous system. It allows us to slowly climb that mountain, increasing our strength, increased flexibility and explore peak poses. In this practice, each breath, each new day is a chance to start again, an opportunity to practice a little deeper.

This is why yoga is so transformational! Isn't simply wonderful when you think your life and your practice this way? It is for me. This is why I share this. Letting go is tricky but "staying awhile" is equally tricky. Through yoga I have learned a trust, to stay in my seat and be aware of the challenges of the world around me. I learned over time possibly unintentionally to let go of broad patters that were holding me back or looking for ways to escape from. I have learned that having the intention to let go or have positive change does not need to happen instantly. Like when we come to our yoga mat, life is also a practice.

This is the practice. Whether your challenge is with a pose, person, or yourself, watch your state of mind arise and vow to stay regardless.

Try out a few yoga practices! Print these out and practice at home.

Back to Basics with Sun Salutation's B - Week 4 of the Back to Basics Series

Gentle Hatha and Yama's

Join me for in studio yoga by going to

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