Yesterday I had a day filled with yoga... er, sort of. My afternoon was devoted to the business end of yoga. Many people go to yoga classes to release the stress from their work life, but yesterday I found myself enraptured in joy and relaxation while taking care of business. It was a wonderful and welcome change and a feeling I have not had occasion to enjoy with my past work.
The first item of the day was a meeting at Freshies for Fernie's upcoming yoga and wellness festival Feel Good Fernie. It is always an amazing and full-filling feeling to be working with a group of like-minded people towards a goal or event and this was no exception. It's going to be a wonderful festival with yoga, health and wellness practitioners, markets, a world record attempt for the longest yoga chain and so much more! Save the weekend of July 12th and 13th and come feel good in Fernie.
I had back to back meetings and while I was looking forward to the second one, I was also a bit apprehensive. I was meeting with a photographer to do some yoga photos. I had suggested that we do them outside. I know EVERYONE does their yoga photos outdoors, but I thought that this would give me a bit of an edge, seeing as its the middle of winter in the Canadian Rockies (brrrr!) Weather challenges aside, I experienced even more trepidation when Emily, the beautiful, boisterous and brilliant, photographer, immediately suggested that I plop my mat down in the middle of (a very busy) main street to take a photo with the historical town center (see the view she was going for here) as the back-drop. I meekly suggested we try the sidewalk instead. Emily humoured me for a shot or two and then announced she was going to "bully" me into it. By bully she meant picking up my mat and plopping it down where she wanted it. I shuffled out to save my mat from being run over by traffic and began to strike Emily's requested pose of dancer. Traffic was stopped, pedestrians were staring and commenting and an unexpected and wonderful thing happened - I found some stillness and one pointed concentration in my pose. By the time Emily had the shot, my trepidation had given away to exhilaration. Not only had I braved traffic to get a great photo, but I'd found quietness of mind in less than ideal conditions! My yogic journey continued throughout the shoot. I noticed that, despite my worries about doing poses in non-outdoors wear and bare feet in winter, my body readily opened where I asked it to. I relished the challenges and adjustments that needed to happen with practising in unusual spaces - from balancing on boulders, to sinking into snow, to the unsteady feeling I experienced looking up in triangle without the corners and edges of walls and ceilings to ground my perception. And if a pose wasn't technically perfect for all of my best efforts, I let striving for technique go. By the end of our shoot, as I was rocking king pigeon in a creek bed wearing nothing but a tank top and leggings, I wasn't even noticing the cold. Instead I was overcome with the feeling that the "photoshoot" was one of the best practices I'd had. Ever. Face-plant into the snow and subsequent laughter during crow absolutely included <3
See the pictures from my shoot with Emily on my website www.coraleyletcher.com