Yoga and wine. Two of the joys in my life. I don’t mean wine with yoga, but well, that would be interesting. A recent blog post from Yoga Journal in which the writer shares the joy of doing yoga outdoors at a winery has prompted me to try to get down some of the feelings I’ve been having as I delve deeper and deeper into the world of yoga. I feel as if I need to explore the idea of judgement.
I practice Ashtanga Yoga with Cathy Guest, but when I began practicing with Neena Shahani in Vancouver more than 13 years ago, we did a form of Hatha Yoga that provided the gentle foundation for breath, asana (posture) and mind/body connection that guides me today. When I moved to Halifax, I wore out Brian Kest’s Power Yoga videos. These days, when I’m in the city, I’m fortunate to join Krista, Sherry or Amanda at Halifax Yoga for a Baron Baptist-inspired Vinyasa Flow class. There, I’ve also done teacher training with Coeli Marsh and Kathryn Budig. When I’m with my friend and research partner, Danielle, we do yoga in hotel rooms, visit her yoga studio or do Eion Finn’s video that was filmed in VanGroovy. One of my favourite memories is of doing a love-themed crazy ass yoga class at Laughing Lotus in New York City. When I’m home down south, I practice a mixture of traditions with Mario Corella at his studio at Rancho Cerro Largo. I think these experiences have all added to the joy I feel for yoga, and when I hear someone saying that such and such tradition isn’t good, or that someone is making too much money from yoga, or that wine and yoga shouldn’t be associated with one another, it makes me a bit sad because I learned early on that judgement is not necessary in yoga.
I think that yoga has the power to change lives, if even to bring joy to someone’s otherwise humdrum life. And, there are examples of where it is doing much more. There’s yoga in prisons, there is yoga in war zones, and yes, there is yoga in wineries. Who cares? It is what it is, and it can be what YOU want it to be. I say we should be tut-tutting about other things, not about what’s right and wrong in the world of Ohms.